As drones of varying functionality are released into the market, you can now find genuinely decent 4K camera drones without spending a fortune. In every year that passes, drones have become more and more accessible to the average consumer.
With so many drones to choose from, deciding which one to buy can be tough. You’ll need to know which drone is worth every penny by getting to know each product’s pros and cons in functionality and design. Worry not now. We’ve come up with a list that will guide you through the decision-making process of choosing a drone before the year ends.
The Best Cheap Drones to Buy Before 2019 Ends
Ryze Tech Tello, $79
For only $79, you can perform flying stunts, shoot quick videos with EZ Shots, and learn about drones with coding education. Like any other drone, Tello has the patent of the DJI signature design. When it comes to appearance, you might mistake the Tello drone for DJI’s Spark. The Tello can be controlled directly from your smartphone using the Tello app—perfect for sharing photos straight onto social media. This super mini-drone is an absolute value for money and the perfect entry into the world of cheap drones.
Holy Stone HS100, $169.99
Holy Stone, a Chinese drone manufacturer, has built a reputation for producing great budget-friendly drones. Their HS100 is one of the best beginner-friendly drones on the market. Although released a few years back, the HS100 comes with quite advanced features, making it suitable for everyone. It has a flight session time of 15 minutes and a range of 500 meters, allowing the user to do some serious flying. Plus it comes equipped with GPS and one-key return to ensure that you don’t lose it in the process. Designed to introduce aerial photography novices to the world of cinematic drone photography, at the front of the Holy Stone HS100 GPS FPV is an optimised 1080p Wi-Fi camera with a 120-degree field of view and a 90-degree adjustable angle, ensuring you can capture quality footage or stills and experiment with shots from multiple perspectives.
Eachine E520S, $149.99
Eachine is a relatively modest-sized drone manufacturer known for delivering feature-rich, cheap drones with excellent cameras. The E520S, sometimes called a DJI Mavic Air clone, delivers top budget aerial photography performance in a compact package. The drone is collapsible, and it becomes half its size when you fold it. You need not remove the propellers to reduce the drone to its more compact size. On-board is a 1080p HD camera with 120-degree field of view, capable of capturing impressively high-quality videos and stills.
Syma X8 Pro, $188.99
If you’re a nervous flyer, the Syma X8 Pro offers two flight modes that limit the flying range of the drone. Novice Mode in particular is ideal, restricting the flight radius to 30 meters from the take-off point. As your confidence grows, that can be bumped up to around 70 meters. The X8 Pro is a great cheap drone for learning the aerial photography ropes. As such, stability in the air is key. It features an HD camera that is capable of 720p video and 1 MP still photos, complete with adjustable angle, which is more than capable of producing quality footage and stills in the right conditions.
Zerotech Dobby, $149
The Dobby has a flight range of up to 100 meters and is capable of shooting 4K video, but only when digital stabilization (EIS) is off. As soon as you switch EIS on, the image is cropped to 1080p. The Dobby takes pretty decent 13 megapixel stills, but because its camera doesn’t have a gimbal, you do get an awful lot of rolling shutter (wobbly jelly-like movement) when shooting videos. Small and reasonably priced, the pint-sized ZeroTech Dobby incorporates facial recognition software, dual GPS, and subject-tracking technology to help you capture images with a minimal amount of manual input.
Parrot Bebop 2, $96.99
The Bebop 2 is a mid-range offering that won’t break the bank yet offers a surprising amount of features for the price. It is a smartphone-controlled drone with a 14-megapixel camera that offers 1080p video recording, a fisheye lens, and stabilization software that removes the need for a gimbal. Combined with the intelligent construction of the chassis, which uses rubber dampeners to reduce vibration in-flight, this results in video footage that’s refreshingly judder-free. The battery is quoted as offering 25 minutes of flight time.