Are you interested in capturing pictures and shooting videos from the sky? Is the limited-budget stopping you from beginning your journey as a drone pilot?
Budget-priced drones don’t always have to be for kids. Several drone manufacturers have made it possible for you to enjoy the premium features like Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, 1080p HD camera, Follow Me Mode, Return to Home, etc., at a low-price.
Although, it would not be fair to compare the quality and durability of these drones to the ones manufactured by DJI. In this post, I have shared six of the best drones under $150.
Best Drones Under $150
1. Snaptain S5C
Snaptain S5C is one of the most user-friendly drones under $150. It has a classic look with blue and red LED lights placed on each of its arms. Unlike other budget-friendly drones, this one comes in black color with a Snaptain logo on top of the head– no fancy cheap-looking colors. Plus, all the critical operations like takeoff and landing can be performed with a click of a button. You don’t have to be an expert pilot.
Furthermore, this drone offers some exciting features for beginners. Along with all the standard features–that you get with every budget-prices drone– the Snaptain S5C also has Gestures Control. You can click pictures and start recording without even touching a button. To click a selfie from within 2-3 meters from the drone, simply say the word, “Yeah.” Also, you can get the camera to begin recording by making a “Palm” gesture.
If you are into VR Goggles, this drone might be the perfect one for you. VR Goggles are connected to the phone, which is in constant communication with the drone. The footage captured by the drone is streamed live to the phone. The app available with this product allows you to live footage with high visual fidelity. To access this feature, simply tap on the 3D View Mode option.
Snaptain S5C is Suitable For:
This product is suitable for those who wish to have a decent quality drone under $150. It comes with all the necessary features.
Some of the features include Altitude Hold, 720p HD Camera, Headless Mode, easy to fly, swift takeoff and landing, and many more. Although, the battery life with the smartphone is no more than 10 minutes (per battery).
- It is easy-to-use and lightweight.
- It comes with protective propeller guards.
- It has a built-in gravity sensor.
- A giftable product.
- It comes with a backup battery.
- The signal transmission module needs improvement.
2. Holy Stone HS120D
Best Overall Runner-Up
HS120D is a popular product from an American robotics company known as Deerc. After Snaptain S5C, this is the best overall product in this list of best drones under $150. Although it’s a bit higher on the price range, the extensive features and benefits make it worth a buy. Also, this product has some new and upgraded functions–you won’t find them in any other budget-priced drone.
So, why is this product priced much higher than the Snaptain S5C? Along with the HS120D Drone, the package includes a 1200 mAh Battery, 1080p HD camera, a remote controller, a USB balance charger, four extra propellers, two landing gears, some tools and a manual. You can begin recording stunning videos immediately upon product arrival– simply follow the instruction provided in the manual.
Sometimes, it is not possible to traverse on a fixed path. Due to wind, eyesight problems, and lack of piloting skills, the drone gets sways off of the desired path. What if you want to capture a particular region without missing an inch? This is where the TapFly feature comes into play. Simply draw the path with your fingers, and the drone will fly in the exact path you selected.
Holy Stone HS120D is Suitable For –
Not everyone needs to purchase a high-end drone like DJI Mavic Pro. As an amateur aerial photographer or just someone who is curious about drones can satisfy their need for creativity with a budget-priced drone-like Holy Stone HS120D.
I understand that there are cheaper drones available in the market, but none of them offer the range of features that this one comes with.
- This product offers 15 minutes of flight time with a fully charged battery.
- It is fun to fly.
- The signal transmission works perfectly. You can watch live videos while flying.
- The drone automatically returns to home when the battery drops below the danger limit.
- The blade guards are not included in the package.
3. Altair AA108
Altair Aerial is an American robotics company. It is known for its fast shipping and prompt customer service. Have you had trouble explaining a technical issue to a customer care representative located somewhere in Asia or Europe? You will never reencounter this problem with Altair Aerial. With years of groundbreaking research, Altair Aerial has come up with AA108, a feature-rich yet budget-priced drone.
Usually, drones under $150 do not fly more than 60 meters from the launch pad. AA108 is a relatively long-range drone with a flight range of up to 100 meters. It can also remain airborne for more than 10 minutes. Although, the package does include two lithium polymer batteries–just in case you need to fly for a longer duration. And yes, the drone can accommodate a spare battery too, so there are no pit stops during the flight.
Furthermore, with the 720p HD camera, you can capture futuristic-looking videos right from your smartphone. By the way, the smartphone (Android or iOS) can be easily mounted on the remote control. To have better control over the HD camera, simply download and install the Flyingsee App. It is also equipped with the latest Custom Route Mode. Similar to the TapFly function in Holy Stone HS120D, the Custom Route Mode, too, allows you to pre-select the flight route.
Altair AA108 is Suitable For –
As advertised by the manufacturer, this drone is perfect for beginners and kids. This product can also be an excellent gift to children and teens in the age range of 12-16. It offers you three skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. With a button located at the back of the remote control, you can switch the skill level mid-flight as well– landing a takeoff can consume a lot of power.
- It comes with a 120-degree wide-angle camera.
- Durable construction.
- Remains steady and stable even in winds greater than 10 MPH.
- Longe range drone (100 meters).
- The customer care staff is based in the United States itself. Expect a prompt response.
- Some of the parts are imported from China.
4. Altair 818
Best Value Runner-Up
The 818 Hornet is another decent product from Altair Aerial. This is a versatile drone that can be used for a variety of purposes. From kids to older adults, everyone can find this drone useful. Also, this one of the rare drones in the $150 price range that also comes with propeller protection. The bright yellow-colored blades encompass within the round protector. They can come handy during a collision with a tree or a house.
Furthermore, this product also comes with two lithium metal batteries. Each battery offers 15 minutes of flight time. To maximize the performance, you can use two batteries with the display switched off. You can either charge one battery when the other one is in use or attach both batteries when planning for a more extended session. The choice is yours.
Similar to the AA108 model, this product, too, comes with three skill levels. In fact, this function makes Altair stand out from the rest of the budget drones. This drone can also be operated in Altitude Hold Mode. Meaning, the drone can be left to fly on its own when your hands are busy with other tasks. Maybe you got interrupted by someone nearby. Instead of risking a collision due to distraction, let the drone remain airborne.
Altair 818 is Suitable For –
Altair Aeria 818 can be an excellent choice for those who need to kick start their drone piloting career. You can capture stunning landscapes in the places you visit.
This drone also lets you survey the territory or land you own without leaving your front porch. By connecting this device to a VR Goggle, you can even fly in a low pass. This drone also helps you keep an eye on your cattle or their predators (like Coyotes, Eagles, or Wolves).
- Good customer service.
- It has a collision-resistant body.
- It comes with all the essential features.
- It is long-lasting.
- The manual does not have enough information on the Hover Control function.
- The camera quality is average.
5. Mixi Dual-Camera Smart Drone
This foldable RC quad from Mixi is one of the best drones under $150. This drone comes with two HD cameras. The primary 1080p camera is located at the head, and the secondary 480p camera is pointed downwards. The Mixi app makes it easy to record two footages at the same time. You can chop and change the video later in your own time.
Do you love to bike? Are you into marathon running? It is not uncommon for athletes to feel like the best moments of their lives occur when they are engaged in their sport. It is challenging to record yourself in action without external assistance. The Mixi Smart Drone makes it possible to record HD quality videos even in a low pass. You can operate the drone yourself or simply select the Follow Me Mode— the drone will follow you while pointing the primary camera towards you.
Gesture Shooting is another hands-free feature of this drone. This feature allows you to instruct the drone to click a selfie picture with specific hand movements (showing your palm, etc.). This feature can be quite useful when capturing the critical events of your life, such as birthday parties, weddings, etc. Furthermore, this product also comes with two 1100 mAh batteries. Mixi has made provisions so you can charge both at the batteries at the same time.
Mixi Dual-Camera Smart Drone is Suitable For –
The state-of-the-art design makes it possible to fold the arms of this device when not in use. The folding feature makes it one of the best drones for backpackers and vloggers. Carrying an unmanned aerial vehicle around the globe is generally considered very challenging. Such is not the case with this smart drone from Mixi.
- You can take selfies with the Gesture Shooting Mode.
- It is equipped with the Intelligent Beginner System.
- The drone can perform 360-degree flips and rolls.
- Good customer service.
- The instruction manual does not come with step by step instructions.
- The live streaming function takes time to set up correctly.
6. Eachine E58
Best Budget Runner-Up
Eachine E58 is a perfect startup quad. Anyone wanting to learn the art of drone piloting or aerial photography can benefit from this drone. Generally speaking, drones under $150 do not offer the same features as those placed in the high price point. When purchasing a low-priced drone, it’s always good to acknowledge this fact. So what can you expect with Eachine E58 quad?
The Eachine E58 does come with a 720p HD camera with a wide-angle bird view. Although the picture quality is average, it is good enough for personal use. You should also know that Eachine has made all the necessary accessories available to you.
The package includes the drone, a transmitter, a 500mAh lipo battery, a USB charging cable, a protection cover, a toolbox, and a manual. You will be surprised to see the package (with so many accessories) when it arrives at your doorstep.
Furthermore, the Altitude Hold Mode lets you lock the height and location, so this device stays put without manual intervention. This feature can also be used when shooting indoors, especially when capturing a particular object or event in detail. You can also fly the drone on its own axis. The Headless Mode allows you to shift the trajectory of the drone without having any knowledge of its orientation.
Eachine E58 is Suitable For –
Are you looking for a feature-rich drone at a low price point? Eachine E58 is the best drone for those wanting to begin their drone piloting career right from their porch, patio, or backyard. It is small and lightweight. Even travelers can take this device to the existing locations they visit. Use the Follow Me Mode to shoot yourself and your travel buddies in action.
- It is the best drone for beginners.
- The body is compact and lightweight. Fits in the palm of your hand.
- Good battery life. Flight time is more than 15 minutes.
- Functions smoothly even in winds higher than 10 MPH. No hard drifting.
- The instruction manual is difficult to read—no clear cut explanations.
As a Beginner Should I Build a Drone, or Buy One?
Whether to build your own drone or buy one entirely depends on the level of interest you have in drone piloting. Do you have a track record of building DIY robotics-related projects all by yourself? If yes, then I would suggest you purchase a DIY drone kit and get started with your new project. The same goes for STEM students; in fact, for them, it is a no-brainer.
Having said that, building a drone at home has its challenges. You don’t know whether it is going to deliver the results you are hoping for. When it comes to robotics, no one gets it right the first time. You must go through a testing and debugging phase. Are you willing to exert the effort and invest your precious time? A ready-to-use drone does not involve any risks or compromises.
What Can I Use a Cheap Drone For?
It is totally normal to be curious about unmanned aerial vehicles. If you are one of those people who wish to explore the endless possibilities of a drone, you can start by using it for personal purposes. This is where budget-priced drones come into the picture. These drones come with all the necessary features and are also quite durable. Also, flying a budget-priced drone–instead of an expensive one that you have set your heart on– takes the nervousness away.
Here Are a Few Applications of a Cheap Drone
1. Surveillance of Illegal Activities in Your Neighborhood
A cheap drone can capture territory ranging from 50 to 100 meters. If you stay in a secluded neighborhood where the crime rate is quite high, you might want to keep an eye on the area every now and then. Use this drone to look for anything odd or suspicious. For the safety and security of the community, always keep the cops informed.
2. Perimeter Surveillance
Perimeter Surveillance involves protecting a commercial space such as a warehouse, company, RV campgrounds, etc. A short-range drone can help you safeguard your investment from intruders and trespassers. Functions like Altitude Hold can help you perform the routine check-up without diverting your attention from the task at hand. You can examine the footage life or later at your own time.
3. Monitor Your Harvests
Did you know that a farmer can now analyze the essential determinants like soil quality, leaf color, the growth of the crops, and pest infestation with a $150 drone itself? Drones are becoming a vital part of the agriculture industry. If you are a farmer, it’s about time you learn drone piloting. It will save you a ton of time, effort, and money. Plus, you don’t have to invest a lot. The monitoring of the harvest can be done right from a smartphone.
4. Search for a Missing Pet
Losing a pet is one of the most disheartening experiences ever. If you stay in a mountainous region, there is always a chance of a predator hunting your lost pet before you even begin the search. This is where a cheap $150 drone can come handy.
With a drone at your disposal, you can begin the rescue mission quicker. Before your pet gets far away from your home, you now have a chance of locating it. A drone allows you to cover more distance in a short period.
5. Travel Vlogging
Do you run a travel YouTube channel? Or perhaps you procrastinate on starting your own travel vlog? Getting a brand new drone can provide a boost to your views and also increase your subscriber count. If you look at the best travel vloggers on YouTube, most of them add the drone footage as B-roll for their videos. It is best to begin experimenting with a budget-friendly drone under $150.
Choosing the right drone under $150 depends entirely on what you are planning to use it for. For aerial photography, pick a drone with 1080p Camera and Follow Me Mode. A smart drone from Mixi would be the right pick for photographers.
Do you wish to give it to someone as a birthday present? Maybe Eachine E58 would be a better choice.
However, Snaptain S5C is by far the better choice for those looking for a versatile drone under $150. It is the most professional looking drone equipped with all the features you need.