The 21st century has played host to the influx of advanced technological gadgets such as drones; the devices have simplified life in more than one way, as they have proved their effectiveness in various fields such as medicine, agriculture and even in the military. They are also used for recreational and are available at a pocket-friendly price.
Drones are available in different designs but what matters is what you want it for; there are some that come complete with a camera and others that you have to mount your own camera. There are those that have LED light for night flight and others that can be used in water or in a rainy environment.
Each of the above drones is priced differently with regards to features. Let us, therefore, look at some of the best drone under $100.
The Best Drone under $100
Speed: 19 mph
Battery: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries
Speed: 17.8 mph
Battery: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries
|Husban x4 Plus|
Speed: 10 mph
Battery: 1 x 3.7V 240mAh LiPO Battery
|Cheerwing CW4 Drone|
Speed: 5 mph
Battery: 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po battery
Speed: 31 mph
Battery: 3 Lithium ion batteries
Speed: 12.4 mph
Battery: 2 Lithium Metal batteries
3.7v 900mah Lipo Battery
Speed: 15 mph
Battery: 3.7v 500mAh Lithium Polymer battery
Speed: 33 mph
Battery: 3.7V 500mAh lipo battery
Speed: 30 mph
Battery: 1 x 3.7V 350mAh Lithium Battery
1. Parrot Swing Drone Dual Flight Mode
Top on the list is the Parrot Swing, which is not exactly a high-end drone but will serve its purpose nevertheless. The X-shaped wings facilitate its helicopter-like take off and smooth landing. Some of the factors that should concern a buyer are its battery life, whose performance is a bit low and the quality of images taken by the camera are not quite impressive.
The gadget is however, good for recreation, or home use as it is easy to fly and light in weight, you, therefore, don’t have to worry about getting it damaged. The features therein will let you learn how to fly a drone while you invest in a much more professional one.
The drone has two sort of eyes like structures at the front part that flash green, to let you know if the connection to the controller has been successful and red indicating low battery.
The drone can only be flown 4meters above the ground and contains an ultrasound sensor that measures the distance from the ground. The 3-axis gyroscope and the 3-axis accelerometer are responsible for the drones speed, and determine its impact when it hits an object.
For maximum flight experience, it is advisable to use the Flypad controller as it will give you up to 60meters of range; however, if you want to try it out with a Smartphone, the farthest it can go will be 20meters. The drone has marked control buttons, for switching the drone to plane mode, for taking photos and another one for u-turns. To use it on your Smartphone you will have to download the control application.
- Automatic landing and take off
- Joystick for directional movements
- 0.3-megapixel camera
- 160x78x9.8, 295g
Why we like it
- Android or I phone app
- Contains a second battery
2. DJI Tello Quadcopter Drone
Many people don’t expect to find quality in a drone that costs below $100, and that is where you go wrong, the DJI Tello is a feature-packed drone. The first thing that people always want to know about a specific type of drone is its flight time, picture and video quality.
Tello comes with a 5mp camera complete with EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) whose purpose is to improve blur and video footage when the drone is on the move. Another important feature that will surely boost footage quality is the 14-Core Intel Processor.
At $99, you will be able to get the FPV (First Person View) experience, and when the drone is in flight mode you can capture excellent shots with the 360, up, circle and away modes, while you enjoy your 13minutes airtime.
The pressure sensor altitude holds, ensures that you only focus on controlling the drone. New drone drivers might have a hard time if they have to watch the altitude and control the drone at the same time, so if you are shooting a video or trying out your flight skills, you can forget about the altitude with Tello.
Even more interesting is its intelligent low battery sensing feature that enables the drone to land, protecting it from unnecessary accidents. Tello will alert you when you run out of battery, but in case you fail to notice and the connection to the drone is lost it will land on its own.
- 100m Range
- The Battery is 3.8V 1100mAh
- Lightweight at 80gr plus the battery
- 720p video
Why we like it
- Fly time 13 minutes
- Camera 5mp
3. Husban x4 Plus Drone
Husban as a brand are known for quality, and their users are served with manuals to help in the operation of the drone. The x4plus drone will give you about 10minutes of flight time for you to perfect your flight skills. The drone comes with one 520mAh rechargeable battery and is chargeable via a computer; a USB cable and a remote control are also provided for in the package.
Initially, altitude hold was a feature present in high-end drones, but technological advancements have enabled the toy drones to be included with the feature such as the Husban. When piloting and want to keep the drone steady in the air, release the throttle stick at about 50% and the barometer will help keep the drone in its altitude and that is at 2 or 3 feet high.
X4 Plus flight performance is not as fast and would make a perfect fit for new users. Its movement is rather less aggressive and exceptionally slow thus predictable, which sort of kills the fun. However, you can arm it before take-off, as it is provided for with the motor arm protocol. So to arm, you Husban you simply push the controls down but away from each other, they will then start spinning ready for flight.
This type of Husban drone is not convenient for outside flying but rather indoors, as it can handle too much wind and a change in air pressure would confuse the quads barometer. Most of its features are user-friendly and seems like the manufacturer had beginners in mind with this type of drone as it can rarely handle fast and tight corners.
- 100m control distance
- Offers 10 minutes of flight time
- Only 30 minutes charging time
- Attitude hold
Why we like it
- Rechargeable battery
- Normal and Expert speed modes
4. Cheerwing CW4 Drone RC Quadcopter
The CW4 drone is specifically a new beginner type of drone, you don’t have to struggle so hard after you have just gotten it in the air and want to put it down. The auto-landing will prevent it from crushing; the camera is 2MP and 720P, a good fit for your flight mode pictures and photos.
Seems the FPV feature is not included as you are provided with a micro SD card for storage, you will, therefore, look at your photos and videos later. The Cheerwings video quality is good given its standard and has been upgraded to 1280 to 720 at 30 Frames per Second.
Altitude hold keeps the CW4 drone stable and enables you to take clear and steady images, what’s more, is that it can be used effectively outdoor (avoid windy days) and indoor. The connection between the drone and the remote control is so strong that if it gets out of range the remote control will start to beep.
You can always change your propeller in case it bends or gets broken due to an accidental flight; the Cheerwing comes with four pairs of propellers. Crashing you drone the first time you use it should not surprise you, the CW4 is quite stealthy and can take a few crashes without getting seriously damaged, as you learn to be stable.
You can also mount your own camera but don’t expect battery performance to remain the same, therefore you will probably get about 4minutes max of air time, but since it comes with two batteries you can always replace and enjoy your flight time.
- SD card storage
- Comes with 4 extra propellers
- Has 2, 500 mAh batteries
- Flexible throttle stick
Why we like it
- Auto landing feature
- Can handle extreme stunts
5. Eachine EO10 Drone
The nano quadcopter is packed with many extra features that you would moslty find in other expensive drones; it, however, does not lack a few downsides. The headless mode for example can give you headaches as it does not perform as it should. Apart from that, the drone is a good fit for indoor fun given its size and can be used outdoors, but on a calm day.
The compass mode feature makes using the flying controls easy especially for new beginners. The feature is also not common in most of the below $100 drones family. As you perfect your flight skills, you can access the 360 rollover control via the command button which when pressed makes the Eachine do the stunt.
The return home button works perfectly well and will redirect your drone back to you while in flight mode, many high-end brands include the feature for users, and it’s thus a welcome addition given its price. The headless mode is supposed to stabilize the drone while in flight to make your experience memorable, however, the device is not very functional, and you may have to avoid it altogether.
The nano quad manages about 8 minutes while in flight, which is quite impressive in relation to its size (1.8 ounces) and price. The landing and take-off features are pretty automatic; it also tends to take off fast so you might want to go easy on the flying for control
- Comes with 4 extra propeller guards
- 30meters flying distance
- Battery 3.7V (150mAh)
- Gyro is 6-axis
Why we like it
- Intuitive compass mode
- Offers value for money and good flight time
6. Eachine E58 RC Drone
For a drone under $100, the Eachine sure does have a sophisticated look and can easily be confused for a professional gadget. Powering the device is different from other drones of the same small size, as with this one you simply press the button on top of it and a column of blue led lights will go on, indicating that the drone is on.
The remote control can be paired to your Smartphone and with Wi-Fi connection, you will be able to stream live video, the camera is 2MP and able to cover a wide-angle. Though its flight speed is not impressive it does have good stability when flown in windy areas. Its battery lasts for ten minutes but you don’t have to worry as you are provided for with three upon purchase.
FPV range stands at 30 meters and you will be able to control it from 100meters of range. While in flight mode, you can comfortably practice your flight skills and stunts for a maximum of 9minutes. The drone also has a gravity sensor that will make the E58 to automatically follow the movements of your Smartphone.
The machine also comes packed with an automatic landing feature that you can quickly engage to avoid colliding with trees or even crash landing on the ground. For effective control, you can download the APP and for 180-degree flips just use the Rev icon. On your Smartphone you can also experience the split-screen mode via the VR icon.
- Real-time image transmission via Wi-Fi
- Dual control mode (APP and RC)
- Flight speed has multiple rates
- 500mAh Lipo battery
Why we like it
- Replaceable drone arm
- Only one key for take-off and Landing
7. Visuo XS809W Camera Drone
Closely resembling the DJI Mavic pro the Visuo presents a professional look, the later has been installed with a 0.3MP camera that you can certainly upgrade to a much higher resolution. The drone can shoot up to 720p High Definition films. The camera modes are adjustable and with the presence of Wi-Fi, you are able to live stream on your Smartphone.
The arms are foldable and given its small size carrying it around should not be a problem, you are also provided with a good FPV range of control, the feature will enable you a good radio link. Their operation is mostly by default on a 2.4 GHz range. One nugget of wisdom though is that you shouldn’t fly your drone where you cannot access it, after it crashes or if it lands on a tree.
The Visuo is perfect for both indoor and outdoor flight time, and its cruise speed is slow, so maneuvering shouldn’t be a headache. At a control distance of 80meters, you will have 9 minutes max of flight time but under good conditions, you can manage up to 100 meters of control. Visuo also has one key return and can perform 3D flips.
The headless mode enables easy control as it aligns the drone to the controller, and the Gravity Sensor control feature will control the drone’s orientation as you move your hand. The altitude hold, on the other hand, enables the Visuo to maintain its altitude without your interference.
- 720p HD camera
- The video is Lag- video
- One click-One launch
- Foldable blades
Why we like it
- 3D VR compatibility
- Availability of the Gravity Sensor control
8. Holystone HS160 RC Portable Drone
At $74.99, the HS160 offers value for money, especially with the video quality. Do not be deceived with the affordable price as you will have to take your time before you can successfully fly the drone. It has multiple speed levels and is a headless mode; you, therefore, don’t have to concentrate on the drone when in flight, a process that gives you a good line of sight while in flying.
The altitude hold feature lets you control the pitch and roll angles, as it autonomously manages its altitude. Newbie drone flyers can easily use the Holystone’s responsive controls, to maneuver the HS160 as they please, as most of the drone’s operational controls are intuitive.
The video range is 200 feet with 9minutes maximum for the drone’s battery flight time. You can easily connect it to your Smartphone and land it with one button that is also used for take-off. Upon purchase, you will get at least 4 extra pairs of landing pads and propellers.
Since the drone can be charged with a computer, you are provided for with a USB cable and a phone holder so you won’t have a hard time pairing it with the remote control. You will also get two extra control sticks and by combining the batteries you can enjoy 16minutes flight time.
The drone does not function well in a windy day but you can get up to 9 minutes on a cool day, and to maximize on your drones speed performance, check on the speed level that you are using. You will need up to 100minutes for your batteries to be fully charged but if you are light flying then you don’t have to worry about your battery life.
- Offers one-key landing and take-off
- App and remote control
- 720 resolution
- Allows 50-70 meters control distance
Why we like it
- Altitude hold enables aerial photography
- The drone is foldable thus portable
9. GoolRC T47 Wifi Camera Drone
Drone lovers will agree that the T47 has a superb camera, the drone comes with a G- sensor controller but you also have the alternative of using your phone. New users might want to keep off the former until they have learned how to use it. The extra battery included gives you extended flight time and if you are using your phone as the control then you just have to tilt for different fly motions.
The drone is an FPV control and only requires up to 1hour charge time, most drones take a lot of time to charge with less flight time. T47 will give you 7 minutes flight time out of an hour of charging. Live image transmission is 30meters though clear there are possibilities of delay. They also have a control distance of up to 80meters.
A downloadable free app is provided for Android and iOS users, with 720p resolution, the camera is a standard VGA quality that records videos and takes photos. Transmission of the videos to your phone will be possible with Wi-Fi. Altitude hold and gravity sense control have also been enabled in the GoolRC.
- 7 minutes of flight time
- 720P Resolution
- Live video
- Up to 80 meters control distance
Why we like it
- G-Sensor control
- Foldable design
10. Holystone HS170G Headless mode drone
The HS 170G is suitable for both outdoor and in-house flight time and the 6-axis Gyro system enables it a stable hover. The speed level depends on the person flying the drone; beginners could use the low speed, as they perfect their flying skills and move to high speeds. Indoor flights can also be operated with a low-speed level.
The drone does not come with an inbuilt camera so we can comfortably qualify it as a newbie drone and for recreation purposes. It does, however, offer a lot of fun with the 3D stunts, complete with one key take-off and landing. The HS170G turns out to be the cheapest among the $100 family, could be because it lacks a camera.
However other important features available in drones of the same size are the altitude and headless mode, which are present. It also has an emergency stop option to prevent you from crashing it on trees or crash landing. The control range is roughly 70 meters and you can enjoy a 7 or 8 minute flight time.
Apart from polishing your flying skills, there is nothing much you can do with the drone. However, it can be a good teacher for your kids as they learn to fly drones and familiarize with some of its parts and features. Included is a 350mAh battery, a good fit considering its price.
- Offers up to 70 meters control range
- 8 minutes max of flight time
- 350mAh batter
- 2.4 GHz remote controller
Why we like it
- Has one key for take-off and landing
- Can perform aerial stunts