Today we are going to review the best drones under $300, if you are looking to get one and don’t want to spend a fortune make sure to check these devices out.
What should you know before buying a drone?
To get the best return on your investment, it’s important that you know the average specs and features of the products under that price and category. That’s why we’ve written a brief summary of what you should expect from such a product.
Average flight time
At this price range, you should expect an average flight time between 15-20 minutes. Of course, some brands focus on longer flight time as a selling factor, while others prioritize other specifications. However, any RC drone in this budget with a flight time of fewer than 15 minutes is considered below average.
Note: Smaller drones will have a lower flight time more due to battery power. Although larger drones may also have a low flight time due to a high payload.
Average control range
It is one of the most commonly prioritized specifications by drone enthusiasts, virtually everyone likes to fly far out of sight. Today, an average control range for a product within this price range is considered to be between 200 and 500 meters. However, some brands focus on long-range and they are manufacturing products that can reach up to 1000 meters.
Of course, you should expect (and demand) optimal performance from any drone for $300 or less. Precise controls, the ability to fly on windy days are features that we are looking for.
As technology advances, more features are added to drones as companies compete with each other for sales. Therefore, most products under $300 already come with GPS, Waypoint Flight, Follow Me, Orbit Mode, Headless Mode, Auto-Return, Auto Takeoff, and Landing, Low Battery Alarm, Altitude Hold, LED lights, and 360° Aerial Stunt.
Average Camera Quality
The camera quality of these drones still varies a bit. However, most already come with good quality image cameras and live video streaming. You can get some aerial footage and photos that you can proudly share online with your friends and family. Some cameras are even good enough for school projects. On the other hand, most of these drones are powerful enough to carry a GoPro camera, which we highly recommend if you’re looking for HD and 4K quality footage.
Best drones under $300
Holy Stone HS720
Holy Stone’s HS720 is an upgrade to the extremely popular HS100, a quadcopter for filming amateur videos and even film projects for your school without spending too much money on a high-end quadcopter.
It’s also a good drone for filming your outdoor events and family vacations. It comes with a 12MP camera but is also compatible with the famous GoPro.
Holy Stone has a great reputation, and this is reflected in a large number of positive reviews on Amazon.
Even though HS720 is easy to use, although you will require some practice. It is a great device for filming. The HS720 uses brushless motors, which can handle a lot more mileage. This is one of the best drones you can buy for under $300.
Flight time without accessories (guards, landing gear and camera) is 20 minutes. The control range is 1600 meters, but the most impressive thing is the 4K UHD 5G 4K video transmission at this range.
The Holy Stone HS720 comes with a great action camera, which will please most people. It is a 2K FHD 5G camera. Live video can be streamed to the pilot’s smartphone screen or an FPV monitor. If you want even better image quality, you will be happy to know that this quad is compatible with GoPro and other action cameras.
In terms of features, HS720 exactly like HS100, has an integrated GPS module. It powers smart functions, including follow me, circle around me, return home, and TapFly. All these features are quite accurate and the GPS finds approximately 22 satellites in less than a minute from startup.
Calibration is fairly easy to manage as well with clear and easy instructions. In addition, there are 3 types of return home modes called:
- Low battery RTH
- Loss of signal RTH
- Guide RTH
This drone has very similar features to the very popular MJX Bugs 2W, which has a $200 price tag, but the HS720 beats it with a superior camera, flight time, and range.
- Returns home
- Full 4K FPV video
- Great handling
- The best GPS system on test
- Single 4K drone camera for less than $300.
- Long charging time
- Spare batteries are expensive and not included.
Contixo F24 Pro
Explore the world with this easy-to-carry FPV quadcopter that comes with a backpack and practically everything you need to start your adventure right away! With a control range of 2000 meters (1 mile), Contixo F24 Pro is ideal for travelers!
It is important to mention that Contixo F18 is a drone for beginners. If this is the first time you want to fly a drone, it is fine to start with F20 because of the GPS-assisted displacement.
On the other hand, if you already have an intermediate level of experience, you will get the best performance from this quadcopter. Designed for travelers and explorers, F24 Pro is smooth and maneuverable, ideal for carrying in the included backpack. It is equipped with 4 powerful 1806 1800KV brushless motors.
Are you ready to see some top-notch specs? It has a flight time of up to 30 minutes and a control range of 1.2 km (0.7 miles). However, we wouldn’t advise beginners to fly that far, even with the smart return home feature. However, the FPV distance only transmits up to 500 meters (1,000 feet).
Of course, a drone intended for exploring the outdoors must come with a good camera, otherwise, it would be pointless. The camera has a UHD resolution (2976 * 1680P), which allows you great quality aerial images. However, you’re going to have to download and install an app (available for Android and iOS) on your smartphone to be able to record videos. The remote control comes with a phone mount where you can place your phone.
First of all, it has advanced GPS-assisted hovering, which also enables precise features such as Auto Return to Home, Smart Return to Home, Failsafe Return to Home, and Low Voltage Return to Home. It supports headless mode, altitude hold, one-key takeoff, and landing.
- Cost much less than $300!
- Live video
- Complete package (backpack included).
- Great flight time
- FPV distance is only 600 meters (considerably less than HS720).
- Negative reviews regarding Wi-Fi configuration on Amazon.
Altair Outlaw SE
Altair Aerial’s Outlaw SE has some incredible features and comes from a top-tier brand. This is a great drone for video and photography, and it comes with some amazing features for that purpose. There’s a 1080p camera on this drone.
You also get some features that make flying the Outlaw SE incredibly easy. With GPS integration included, you’ll have better stability in the air, and with 1-touch takeoff and landing, you’ll never worry about landing the drone safely.
All of these features combine to make the experience of flying this drone accessible to all levels of drone enthusiasts.
Plus, you know you’re getting a quality drone from Altair Aerial. Their customer service is top-notch, and you can easily find instructional videos to help you if you have any problems.
For starters, the Outlaw SE has a huge range of up to 600m. That’s a crazy range for a drone in this price range with these kinds of features. You’ll need some battery power to explore that whole area, and the Outlaw SE offers that too, with up to 20 minutes of battery life, you can really get out and explore!
The Outlaw SE also includes GPS integration, which is really nice to have on any drone under $300. This makes flying easier and helps stabilize the drone when taking images and videos. GPS also allows the drone to return to a designated home position with the push of a button.
Speaking of the camera, this drone’s camera is fantastic. Offering 1080p HD video and images, the quality is excellent and delivers exactly what you want from a video drone. With First Person View (FPV) functions, it can stream videos to your connected smartphone in very high quality. Combine the quality of the camera with the drone’s GPS and altitude hold functions, and you can get some really beautiful photos and videos.
Flying this drone is very easy, which really helps you when taking videos and photos in the air. When you’re worried about how to control the drone, you spend more time maneuvering and less time capturing your high-quality moment.
We’ve only mentioned a few of the excellent features of this drone, but there are many more:
- Return Home
- Waypoint Flight
- One button takeoff/landing
- One button takeoff/landing
- 600m range
- 20 minutes of battery life
- 1080p HD camera
- GPS enabled for easier flight.
- Quality brand with excellent customer service.
- Only comes with one battery
Parrot Bebop 2
The famous Parrot Bebop 2. One of the most attractive and fun drones on the market. An incredible value for its price, it is a drone that stands out from the rest.
It is a very smooth drone, ideal for beginners due to its stable hovering flight (even without pilot controller input).
If you are worried about losing control of the quad, go with Bebop 2, it is extremely beginner-friendly, even in strong wind conditions. All thanks to the 3-axis digital stabilization system. No wonder why it’s a best seller. This is one of the best drones you can buy for under $300.
Ready to be amazed? If you’re the type who prioritizes flight time, I’m pleased to inform you that Bebop 2 can fly up to 25 minutes per battery (on average, depends on payload and flight conditions). The maximum control range is also amazing, although not as impressive as the flight time. Bebop 2 can fly up to 300 meters.
Looking to shoot amazing aerial videos and take the perfect selfies? Well, Bebop’s fisheye lens ensures that. It allows you to capture the best moments with a built-in 14MP 1080p camera. It also streams high-quality live video to your device’s screen via Wi-Fi; no latency! It is compatible with VR FPV Goggles.
Parrot Bebop 2 includes some unique features, unlike any other drone on this list. I’m talking about digital stabilization, a dual-core processor with quad-core GPU, GPS, and Flight Plan (an automated flight planner that uses landmarks to plot your drone’s journey). Unfortunately, Flight Plan is an in-app purchase and does not come free with the drone.
Note for beginners: This drone is capable of reaching 60 km/h (38 mph), we do not recommend top speed to beginners.
Bonus: There is a controller called Parrot Skycontroller (purchased separately) that improves the range of the drone up to 3.1km!
- Easy to use.
- Complete FPV kit.
- 12MP 2.7K camera.
- Unique features and hardware.
- Excellent control range.
- Great flight time.
- In-app purchases (depending on flight plan).
Holy Stone HS100G
It is one of the best-selling drones priced under $250 and one of the top-rated among drone enthusiasts. HS100G combines a neat set of features with impressive specifications.
A drone aimed at the great outdoors, HS100G is an incredible machine that is stable and highly maneuverable. Not an indoor drone, most people use it to film sporting events and their vacations. Some even use it to film marathons.
This drone is a bit larger and will require FAA registration in the U.S.
If you prioritize a good set of specs, this is the drone to have. HS100G has an incredible flight time of 15 minutes per battery (7.4V 2500mAh) and the maximum control range is 500 meters!
The camera is capable of recording videos and taking photos with 720p resolution and has a 120° field of view for a wider angle. The camera angle is adjustable, allowing you to move it 90º to acquire different viewing angles.
This is especially useful for FPV flights. The drone streams live video via 5G Wi-Fi directly to the pilot’s smartphone device via a free app download (Android and iOS). This is one of the best drones you can buy for under $300.
It comes with GPS Auto Return, for accurate positioning and a safe return home. It features Follow Me, this feature makes the drone follow you (it follows your smartphone).
Other features: Headless mode, altitude hold, one-key takeoff and landing, low battery auto return, and 3D VR support.
- Excellent Follow Me functions.
- FPV via smartphone.
- Amazing specifications (5G Wi-Fi).
- Large field of view (FOV).
- Requires FAA registration in the US.
- The HS720 is a newer upgrade.
UPair One Plus
The UPair One is commonly regarded as the cheap alternative to the DJI Phantom series, even the design and camera resemble the DJI line. UPair is a beautiful and powerful drone equipped with excellent hardware.
UPair One is the cheapest 4K drone we would recommend to our family or friends. It is very easy to control, even if you are a beginner.
It moves constantly without the input of the pilot controller, so you will have no problem maneuvering it. It will prevent many beginner accidents. The GPS system assists the flight, enhancing the whole experience. It really feels like you are flying a high-end drone.
Powered by a 5400 mAh battery, UPair One has an amazing flight time of up to 19 minutes The maximum control range of the drone is 2 km. Don’t worry about losing it, just make sure it is locked on satellites before testing the maximum range.
The UPair One has the specs of a $500 camera drone in the sub-$300 price range!
The ideal drone for shooting stunning aerial videos and taking beautiful photos of your best moments. In fact, many customers buy this drone specifically as a cheaper alternative to high-end camera drones, for capturing outdoor sporting events, vacations, etc.
The camera is 12MP with 2.7K video. It streams live video to the 7″ monitor screen located on the remote control. The real-time video is high quality and has no latency!
The 2.7k camera is placed on a brushless gimbal that can be adjusted for different viewing angles. Do you have a love of videos and photos? Go with UPair One for an affordable aerial photography experience without sacrificing quality.
UPair One includes all the fun and useful features you’re going to need to get the most out of your drone. First, it has a GPS lock (capable of searching and locking 8 satellites), position hold, MicroSD card support (up to 32GB), and auto return.
- Easy to use.
- Live video
- 12MP 2.7K camera.
- Unique features and hardware.
- Excellent control range.
- Great flight time.
- Lacks flight plan.
- Some negative reviews on the internet.
The build quality, features, and technical specs of the Zino 4K make it outperform many of its competitors in the sub-$300 category.
The Zino 4K boasts a control range of a whopping 2.5 km and can transmit FPV videos at a distance of 1 km. Not even the most expensive drones can offer you this.
The flight time is 23 minutes in ideal flying conditions, which might be the only average thing about this drone.
The camera is possibly the strongest feature that Zino offers, if aerial photography is important to you, definitely consider buying this drone.
It is equipped with a 4K UHD camera that can stream FHD videos at 50 FPS and its 3-axis gimbal stabilizer allows you to produce images better than most drones.
There is no other drone that offers so many quality features at such a low price. It has multiple different intelligent flight modes, a return to starting point button, and many other features.
- 2.5km control distance.
- 3-axis gimbal image stabilizer.
- 5G transmission and 1km FPV live streaming.
- Doesn’t have Obstacle Avoidance
Walkera Rodeo 150
Rodeo 150 was designed by one of the most recognized drone brands in the market, Walkera. The goal of the Rodeo 150 is to provide a simple yet powerful and beginner-friendly racing drone for novice racers. This drone requires no assembly and is ready for you to start racing!
If you are taking your first steps in drone racing and don’t have the experience to build your own custom FPV racer, then Rodeo 150 is made for you. This is one of the best drones you can buy for under $300.
It has a great performance. It is able to compete with all low-end custom racing drones. Rodeo is a must-have to get on the track and start practicing before moving on to more expensive and complex racing quads.
The Rodeo 150 is powered by a 7.4C 850mAh 30C 2S Lipo battery that provides up to 8 minutes of flight time. If you’re serious about racing, you’re going to need to buy some extra batteries to switch between flights.
Of course, every respectable racing quad needs an FPV camera to provide the pilot with the vision to race properly. Rodeo 150 comes with a 600TVL camera, good enough to keep your eyes where they should be, the race track! You can watch real-time videos on the FPV monitor or FPV goggles.
Besides the WK-WS-17-002 brushless motors (a must-have in any racing quad) and ESCs, Rodeo doesn’t come with any fancy features. However, it does include the powerful DEVO-RX716 receiver to help you boost your skills.
- Good fit for beginner racers.
- 600TVL camera.
- Brushless motors.
- Great handling.
- DEVO transmitter.
- You have to buy FPV Monitor/Goggles separately.
MJX BW2 Bugs 5W
A powerful quadcopter that combines an impressive set of features with impressive specs, the MJX BW5 Bugs is a very popular drone. Considered one of the best on the market, it is probably the most recommended drone for that particular reason.
Equipped with the 6 Axis Gyro system, Bugs 5W is a stable and smooth drone that will ensure you many hours of fun.
This is where Bugs 2W shines the most. Powered by a 7.4V 1,800 mAh battery, it has a flight time of around 15 to 18 minutes. The control range and FPV distance measuring is average and stays at 300 meters.
The built-in camera has a 1080p resolution and allows you to take good quality aerial videos and photos. It also streams live video to the pilot’s smartphone via Wi-Fi. The remote control comes with a phone holder where you can safely place your phone while watching the real-time video. This is one of the best drones you can buy for under $300.
MJX Bugs 5W doesn’t have many features, it comes with the basics but nothing sophisticated or out of the ordinary (besides GPS). Its has headless mode, GPS, altitude hold, one key return and LED lights.
- Very affordable.
- Good flight time.
- Great handling and stability.
- Smartphone controller support.
- Control distance is only 300 meters.
Hubsan X4 H501S
Manufactured by one of the most recognized brands on the market, Hubsan X4 H501S is the ideal drone for FPV enthusiasts. Why? Because it works great and comes with a full FPV package with a built-in LCD monitor.
There is a reason why it is one of the top choices among enthusiasts. H501S has incredible performance and is ideal for practicing. An awesome entry-level FPV drone for everyone who never flew a drone before. Hubsan H501S is equipped with four powerful brushless motors.
The drone’s specifications are well above average, even for drones within the same budget. Maximum flight time is 20 minutes, powered by a 7.4V 2700mAh Li-Po battery. The control range is 300 meters; don’t worry about losing it, the Failsafe mode will allow the drone to return safely.
You are going to get a good quality image from the built-in 1080p camera. It is capable of recording video, taking photos, and transmitting live video to the 4.3″ LCD screen built into the remote control. FPV transmission is through 5.8Ghz frequency and there’s no delay.
The H501S includes very interesting and useful features, e.g. GPS Positioning, Follow Me Mode, Fail Safe Mode (the drone returns home when it loses connection with the controller), and of course the most common features like Headless Mode, Return Home, and Altitude Hold.
- Live video through FPV goggles.
- Great features (including GPS and Follow Me).
- 1080p camera with 4.3″ LCD screen.
- Excellent battery life.
- The camera has a narrow viewing angle.
Parrot AR 2.0 Elite Edition
It is not a new product and has been available on the market for quite some time. To this day it remains one of the best drones under $300.
It performs incredibly well, as you would expect from any Parrot drone. It is ideal for beginners thanks to its stability and protective foam covering around the propellers and motors.
This drone does not come with remote control. Instead, it makes use of your smartphone or tablet to function as remote control via a Wi-Fi connection.
Powered by a 1500 mAh lipo battery, AR Drone 2.0 has a flight time of 12 minutes, which is surprisingly good considering how big and heavy the quad is. In terms of control range, it is too short, only 50 meters.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 camera has slightly above-average image quality and can actually provide good quality aerial videos and photos. The built-in camera has 720p resolution and can stream live video via Wi-Fi to your smartphone screen via a free app.
Besides Live Video, app control, and 3D Flip, this drone has no other features. So why is it on our list? Because the quality/price ratio of the drone is still much better than most common drones within this budget. This is one of the best drones you can buy for under $300.
- Easy to use.
- Good handling
- Crash Friendly – Protective Foam.
- Very affordable price
- Lack of features.
- Short control distance.
Are these drones under $300 ideal for learning?: Yes. Most of the drones on our list have very stable stationary control and responsive controls. Throughout the article, we specified which drones are best suited for beginners and which are not. Just keep in mind that racing drones are not suitable for beginners, even if they are easy to control, they require a certain level of prior experience. If you are a first-time drone user, use beginner-friendly options.
Can I fly a drone indoors and outdoors?: It depends. There are drones that can be flown both indoors and outdoors.
Are these drones safe for children?: No. A great drone for a child should have a protective frame around the propellers and motor, a very stable hovering, responsive control, plastic frame.
Do I have to register my drone with FAA?: If you live in the U.S., FAA registration is required for any drone for recreational and commercial use if it weighs more than 0.55 lb (250 grams).
Are these drones compatible with GoPro and other action cameras?: Some of the drones on our list are capable of carrying GoPro, Xiaomi, and SJCam action cameras. Mainly the larger drones with brushless motors.
Are there drones under $300 with a full FPV package? Yes! We’ve reviewed amazing drones that include everything you need to fly FPV right out of the box, including the LCD monitor and FPV goggles!
Why there are no DJI drones on the list?: Some may wonder why we didn’t include any DJI drones on our list. Well, these popular drones are slightly above the $300 price range, but you can find these types of drones under $1000.