Thinking about buying a drone for your kids can be a scary thought. You don’t want to spend too much money yet you want them to be able to have a good time. Keep on reading to learn about the features you should look for and are recommendations for the best drones under $100.
We have recently updated the list for 2018 as new competition has flooded the market. The top spots remain with some of the more tested players but new drones are quickly rising to the top.
However, you’re just looking to get out there and have some good flying fun you don’t need to spend a ton of money.
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What To Expect
You can expect to have a ton of fun when you buy one of these drones. Just because you are not spending $500 doesn’t mean you cannot have just as much fun.
Of course, it won’t have the performance of the higher end drones but if you are just using it for recreational flying, what more do you really need?
You’ll be surprised to learn that many of these drones on this list have a lot of similar features as the more expensive drones.
Now, they might not be able to carry a GoPro or have the best camera, or for that matter even have a camera, but they will get up and fly around and are great for beginners or children.
All in all, you just need to think about which features are most important to you so you can make the best decision for your purchase.
What Features Are Most Important
If you are new to flying drones, there are certain features that you should look out for when buying your first one. Of course the more money you can spend the more features in better performance you can find in the drone.
Headless flying mode – this is not the easiest feature to explain but is important to have if you are buying this for it inexperienced fire or a younger child.
The headless flying mode basically allows you to fly the drone according to the direction that you are pushing the joysticks on the remote. Regardless of which way the drone is actually flying it is smart enough to know which way you wanted to go.
As you gain experience flying the drone, most allow you the option to turn this off to really test your skills. However, if you do not want to lose you drone on the first flight, finding one with the headless fly mode is a good idea.
One key return – the one key return button is another awesome feature to have for an experienced fliers or kids. Basically, if you have paired the remote correctly with the drone it will return to you with the push of a button.
As you can imagine this could be very helpful if you have not flown very much, especially if you are afraid that you are going to lose the drone.
Camera – as we mentioned earlier some of these drones might have cameras in some might not. If the camera is important to you, you may have to sacrifice some of the other features.
Some cameras also allow for live viewing during the flights which is a pretty neat feature.
However, if taking pictures and videos is not really your thing you should be able to find a better-performing drone that does not have a camera. Or you could even find a key chain camera and attach it to the drone.
360 degree flip – almost all of the drones these days are capable of performing a 360-degree flip with the push of a button so this feature will pretty much be standard on all the drones.
Batteries – there are two components that come into play with the batteries, the flight time and the charging time.
The flight times will range anywhere from five minutes to about 10 minutes in this price range. This doesn’t sound like a lot but batteries are relatively cheap and we always recommend buying extras.
When you have extra batteries, this limits your down time and you can take multiple flights in one trip. However, many drones require resting time between flights so make sure you read your owner’s manual carefully.
The charging time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you have multiple batteries this isn’t really an issue as long as you can charge them the day before.
If you don’t plan on buying extra batteries then you will want to factor this into your decision.
Range – most of the ranges on the drones under $100 around 50m. As you’re able to spend more money they can get a range of 100m or more.
However, if you are a newer flier or if this is for a kid 50 meters should be plenty of range.
You will also see other specifications when you’re looking at the drones about the controller and the battery type however, most of these are pretty much the same from drone to drone.
In the end you will have to decide what is the most important feature you are looking for.
How To Fly Them
Flying an inexpensive quadcopter is pretty much the same as flying an expensive drone. In fact, it is probably easier because the controllers are usually a little more simple.
When you’re looking at the reviews for these drones, you will see that the happiest customers are those that really took the time to learn how to use it properly before taking it outside.
Please read the instruction manual slowly and carefully. There are also plenty of videos online with tips on how to fly the drones.
Once you finally decide on a particular drone, you can even look at videos that only talk about that drone.
You should also read through several reviews on Amazon as many of them contain user tips that might not be common sense.
DBPOWER MJX X400W
The DBPower MJX X400W is one of the top drones on this list. It has many great features that will give you tons of flying fun.
One of the main things that makes this drone so awesome is a live viewing of the video while you fly it. The Drone uses its own WiFi connection with your smartphone so you can see what the camera sees while it is flying.
Besides that it has other necessary features that you’ll be looking for and a lesser expensive model:
- headless flying mode
- 100m range
- 9 Minutes flying time
- 3D roll
As you continue reading you’ll quickly learn that this offers a lot of bang for your buck compared to some of the other drones on this list.
Now, it might not be the best camera on the market but it does offer 720p resolution which is pretty solid.
Most of the complaints talk about the drone crashing or flying away. This is common with almost all of the drone reviews.
It appears some people don’t really take the time to learn how to use their drone before taking it outside. It is well worth your time investment to practice inside before you take the drone outside.
Overall this is one of the highest rated drones that you can buy for under $100.
Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 is another top contender that offers fpv viewing of real-time flight footage.
It is not as highly rated as the DBPower with only three point seven stars but still has over a thousand reviews making it a popular choice.
This drone also has many of the same features with headless flying mode, 6-axis flight control system and the 3D roll. However, this drone only has a 50m flight range which is about half of the DBPower drone.
The flight time might also be a couple minutes less with only six to seven minutes per flight. The camera is also not quite as good with a slight delay in the footage.
As you can see you get what you pay for with this drone being a little less and the features are not as great.
This one also has many similar complaints with people losing or crashing they’re drone on first flight. However, there are also a few other complaints about the camera not working.
It seems like Cheerwing took the time to send replacement drones out however, when they noticed they weren’t working properly.
Overall this is another solid drone that’s less than $100. You can see many videos online of it flying in action.
Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini
The Holy Stone HS170 predator is one of the best drones you can buy that does not come with a camera in this price range.
It comes highly rated with 4.3-stars and almost 3,000 reviews!
Even though does not come with a camera it still has many of the features that you need:
- headless flying mode
- 2.4 gigahertz controller technology
- 50m range
- wind resistant
- 8 minutes flying time
- 80 minute charge time
So, even though this drone is camera-less, it will still provide a ton of fun. It is smaller than the other drones so even though it says it’s wind resistant, you will want to be careful.
There are few comments about making sure you pair the remote correctly with the drone to ensure proper flying. There are also trim buttons on the remote to allow you to make fine adjustments so that your drone hovers correctly.
This will make sure that your drone is flying perfectly.
Besides that, the other complaints are typical about breaking or crashing on the first flight. Just remember to read instruction manual carefully before you take this outside.
The Drocon Cyclone X708W is a basic model with brushed motors and restricted functionalities. With regards to beginners, it isn’t recommended to put a great deal of cash into something they can crash at first flight.
Sold for just $55, the Drocon Cyclone X708W is by all accounts a nice learn-how to-fly quadcopter.
Except for the altitude hold, it includes all the most recent highlights (like headless mode and one key return to home). During night flights you will be assisted by four LED lights, one under each arm (blue ones in front and orange ones on the back).
As indicated by the manufacturer’s specs, the X708W has up to 8 minutes of flight time. The 550 mAh Li-Po battery is swap-capable, so in order to have more fun time you can have two or three extra charged ones. The Drocon Cyclone is a small newbie drone that is very easy to fly and uses cheap, basic batteries. If you are searching for a drone to learn on, check this one out
For $55, you won’t be able to find something better than this. You wouldn’t even think twice getting this because of the very affordable price.
At this price point, there are a few highlights you won’t expect – there’s real-time FPV for a start. It offers both the standard remote control and additional application control (with a free application called Wifi-Star) from your smartphone.
It’s foldable and folds up small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. This one does really hover appropriately – in the event that you release the throttle, it will hover enabling you to take good pictures. What’s more, the 720p camera is quite average for something of this cost as well.
The controller is entirely slick – it’ll be a familiar to any individual who has an Xbox gamepad, as it’s been intended to appear as one. Charging time takes around an hour and a half, and you’ll require 2 x AA batteries for the controller, at that point you are ready.
It’s not clear in the manual but rather the USB charger attachment will glow red when it’s prepared.
Take off includes connecting to the drone (left stick up then down), then pointing the two sticks towards the base center at a 45-degree edge then hit rock bottom at 45 degrees, then increase the throttle and you are airborne.
You’ll most likely need to modify the trim at first to keep it stable, however, that is very easy to do. It’s not a toy for kids, however, (hit yourself with a propeller and it truly hurt as I discovered!) and the age extends in 14+ on the container.
The SZJJX APP-RC Drone has an integrated reinforced retaining frame and an inside and out protection, effectively keeping the drone from being impacted. It is wind-resistant, flexible, heat dissemination, and durable.
It additionally incorporates the Headless Mode work, One Key Automatic Return, Direction arbitrary flight, and the most recent remote control innovation.
No compelling reason to recognize the heading of the airship as it will be the course of the remote control for flight; when the airplane fly over a long distance and you can’t recognize the bearing, press a key to return button, because of the built-in positioning, the drone can be effortlessly recalled.
With WiFi real-time FPV streaming, the SZJJX APP-RC Drone has a 30W 0.3MP HD camera that enables you to see photographs and video while flying. You can associate your smartphone to the drone, and the view will be shown straightforwardly on the mobile or smartphone.
It has a high affectability CMOS sensor, for you to indicate superior quality pictures and recordings. It also supports any IOS and Android framework.
It has a 6-AXIS GYRO and One Key Fixed Hight. They can be sensitive to three-dimensional space 4 heading speeding up and be sent. This is intended to give you a more steady flight understanding.
The flying machine can be settled at specific heights unchanged, simple to use, expanded more control fun.
Rabing Mini Foldable RC
The Rabing Mini foldable drone is another neat drone for under $100 and could be a great choice.
Despite being so small, it still comes with 720p camera that offers live first person viewing. You can even wear VR glasses to have a completely different experience when flying a drone!
It folds up nicely so it stays on storage space as well.
This only has a 4 axis gyro so it may not be as stable in flight but it still has a 10-minute flight time, 100m range and the battery only takes 30 minutes to charge.
As you can see there is a lot of give-and-take with these drones. Where some lack in the camera department, they make up for it in other areas like range or charging time.
Most of the complaints are the typical ones you see on all of these drones however, there are a few that just did not like this drone compared to others. There was not really any main complaint to take note of.
This drone is on the heavier side and some of the other so it may respond better in wind but you will probably have to register this drone with the FAA.
Rabing RC Drone Foldable
The Mini’s big brother the Rabing RC foldable drone is a little more impressive and comes with a lot more to get excited about.
It actually has a 5.0 star rating however, it is only from 34 reviews making it one of the top drones on this list.
Some of the awesome features that you will get excited about include:
- customizable route
- high quality camera
- one key return
- headless flying mode
- altitude hold
- 3D roll
- LED lights
That’s right you can actually pre-program a route with your smartphone if you download their app! This is a pretty cool feature.
The altitude hold feature will help you take better pictures and videos as you don’t have to worry about flying as much the drone will do the work for you.
Being all black gives this drone the sleek look as well.
As more of these are sold there will surely be some complaints but as of right now this drone seems hard to be in this $100 price range.
It has one of the best flight times at 10 to 15 minutes and the battery on it takes an hour to charge. You can control this drone by your phone up to about 50 meters and buy the controller up to about 80 meters.
So, for the performance you get on the other areas, having a slightly shorter range is probably worth it.
UDI U818A HD+ Drone with Camera
The UDI U818A has a little different look than was the other drones on this list if you want to stand out from the crowd. It comes with a 4.0 star rating and over 1,700 reviews.
While we usually recommend buying extra parts and batteries when you buy a drone, this one actually comes with 2 extra batteries saving you some money in the beginning. However, the batteries are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of the drone.
Another added benefit is this drone is ready to fly out of the box where many others require some assembly.
It also comes with a 720P HD camera how her does not offer fpv viewing.
If you are worried about beating up your drone this one may be more durable than some of the others on the list so far probably because of the design and the way the propeller guards are built into the drone.
None of the complaints were that helpful with the typical responses you see.
Overall, this drone is built to last and offers all the functions you need to have a good time as well as a decent camera.
QCopter Green Drone Quadcopter
If total flight time it’s one of the main features you are looking for the QCopter is definitely worth a look.
It comes with a second battery and each one is good for 15 minutes of flight time. 30 minutes of flight time out of the box is probably one of the best flight times on this list.
It’s lime green color may turn you off but if you can get past that, it is a solid drone for just under $100.
It comes with many of the standard features that most of these other drones do as well as a camera. It may not be the best camera but has been said that it is easy to use and control with your smartphone.
They’re all so many comments about how quick and easy it was to learn how to fly this drone compared to some of the others.
That being said some of the complaints talked about the drone being hard to assemble so make sure that you are able to get it together before you take it out for your first fight.
Overall this is the great drone because of it’s long flight time.
Holy Stone HS200 FPV
HolyStone is one of the more popular drone manufacturers and their HS200 model is another popular choice. The 4.2 star rating and over 300 reviews make it one of the top contenders.
This model actually has a few advanced features that will really allow you to have some fun. It offers first person viewing of the live flight footage on your smartphone.
You can also control the drone with your smartphone with its Gravity Sensor mode. Basically, you can fly the drone by tilting your phone in the direction you wanted to go.
The altitude hold function will allow you to take great video or pictures.
It comes with decent batteries that last about 9 minutes and want to take 60 Minutes to charge. The range is great as well allowing you to fly up to 120m although, the video range is only about 50 m.
There are few complaints about the one key return button not working however please just make sure you take the time and learn how this drone works. The drone is designed to return to the point where it was connected to the remote not to where that remote actually is so if you move around this feature may not work properly.
Overall this is another great drone that is just under $100.
DoDoeleph Syma X5UW Wifi FPV 720P
The Syma X5UW another quality drone with a 4.5 star rating.
It is somewhat sophisticated for this price range offering first person view in with its camera, altitude hold function, and allow you to design your own flight plan before takeoff.
Simply download the app on your smartphone and you can draw the flight with your finger on the screen. It is that easy!
The remote also has a one key takeoff and landing to get you started faster and easier. It also comes with an extra battery to give you more flight time straight out of the box.
The batteries are also some of the easiest to change and last anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes but take a little over 2 hours to charge.
The manufacturer recommends a flight distance of 5 to 100m however, some users have mentioned it can go up to 150m.
There are plenty of the typical complaints about this breaking on the first flight but you also see customer service responding to most of them asking for the customers contact them.
Overall, most people should enjoy this drone if they take the time to learn how to use it properly.
EACHINE E010 Mini UFO
Last but not least we have this mini UFO quadcopter from Eachine that has a 3.9 star rating and over 700 reviews.
This is definitely the cheapest model on this list so don’t have too high of expectations however, you’re just looking to get a drone out in the field and fly this could be the one for you.
Plus, you won’t have too much money wrapped up into it so if you do happen to beat it up quickly you won’t be losing out on your investment.
This is a small drone and despite being cheap, is still has many features that will make you happy including a headless flying mode.
You can get this drone in red or blue and it comes with a pretty simple remote.
It only has about a five-minute flight time for the battery is only take about 30 minutes to charge. The range is not that great only being 30 meters. This is where you are really seeing a performance drop with the price.
However, this could be a great drone if you don’t want to spend a lot of money or if it is for a younger child.
As you can imagine, there are several complaints about this drone being cheap, just try to have the right expectations.
As you can see there are several drones with many great features in this price range. Which is the best for you depends on which features you are looking for and are most important to you.
There are couple good options with cameras and there are others that might have better flight features that don’t have cameras.
Just make sure you read the instruction manual, watch videos and practice on a small scale before taking your drone outside. This will help make sure that you get the most out of your drone.