Drones are the new hot stuff these days. They’ve multiple uses, can be controlled from afar, and have a lot of features.
However, when drones first started appearing on the market, they packed a hefty price tag. fortunately, that’s not the case anymore.
Let’s say that you’ll buy your first drone ever; would you like to go over your budget and end up crashing the drone and losing all your hard-earned money? If the answer is no, then you are in the right place, because we’ve gone on ahead and scoured the world wide web to create a list of the top drones under $50.
So, if you want to own a brand new drone without paying over $50, stick with us as we discuss what makes a good drone as well as how to pick the best drones under $50.
Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3
Holy Stone HS190 Foldable Mini Nano RC
SNAPTAIN H823H Mini
SANROCK U61W Drone with Camera
Newest Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone
The 5 Best Drones Under $50 in 2021
1. Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 Drone – Best Overall
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 Drone is our top pick as the best drone for under $50 for many reasons. From its 5-7 mins flight time to its 50-meters range and all the amazing features that it packs, it truly is an all-round drone.
Starting with its headless mode, the drone will go forward or backward depending on how you control the joystick, which means that if you push the joystick forwards the drone will move forwards and the same goes for pushing backward.
Moreover, it’s equipped with a 0.3 MP camera, which’s a bit disappointing. However, for this drone’s price, having a camera is great and this camera has a few tricks up its sleeve. One of the best things about it is that you can connect it to your smartphone through Wi-Fi and then use mobile apps that allow you to watch the videos and pictures taken mid-flight. You can also download all the images that you took or videos that you recorded on your smartphone using those apps.
Another amazing thing about this drone is that if you want to see things through the camera from a different perspective, you can flip the drone. This feature is called the 360-degree feature and it gives you amazing results while recording.
Furthermore, if your battery is draining quickly, you can remove the camera from the drone and it’ll save your battery life; similar to the battery saver mode in smartphones. Additionally, if you can’t keep hold of the controller and your mobile phone at the same time, the controller has a viewing holder where you can safely put your phone.
The only downside to this drone is that it requires a long time to charge, taking between 90 to 120 mins for a single charge.
- Headless mode
- The camera can be removed to save battery life
- 50 meters range
- 360-degrees flip
- The battery takes a long time to charge
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 Drone is the ultimate drone for under $50 in every aspect from its 50meter range to its headless mode and great camera features. It excels in every aspect.
2. Holy Stone HS190 Foldable Mini Nano RC Drone – Runner-Up
The second drone on our list is the Holy Stone HS190. It is jam-packed with amazing features from its 5 to 7 minutes of flight time and 30 to 50-meter range, you can’t go wrong with this one.
The best thing about this drone is its folding mechanism, you can fold the entire drone to fit into its controller and put the whole thing in your pocket. You won’t have to worry about carrying the drone with you on a picnic or wherever you might need it. This one will fit in your pocket just like your wallet or phone.
Moreover, the Holy Stone HS190 has a headless mode, where if you move the controller’s joystick forward the drone will move forward no matter its orientation and this is the same for all the other directions. Also, it includes a One Key Return mechanism or system, where you press a key on the controller, and the drone will find its way back to the transmitter as long as it’s within range.
Additionally, it has an Altitude Hold function. When used, the throttle stick will be released allowing the drone to hover at the same height. You also get the One Key Take off / Landing feature, when the drone takes off and before landing, it’ll hover at a set altitude to give you better control and maneuverability.
Furthermore, this drone can also perform some tricks like the 360-degree flip that will always keep you excited. Unfortunately, the Holy Stone HS190 doesn’t have a camera.
- Folds into the controller
- One Key Take off / Landing
- Headless mode
- Altitude hold
- One Key Return
- No camera
The Holy Stone HS190 is a fantastic foldable drone. It has a headless mode, One Key Return function as well as altitude hold.
3. SNAPTAIN H823H Mini Drone – Best for Kids
Not only is the SNAPTAIN H823H Mini a great option for children, but it’s also the most budget-friendly drone on our list. It packs the longest flight time of 21 minutes and one of the shortest charging times of 45 minutes.
This is an excellent gift for your kids. It can be flown indoors and will not bother you at all. Don’t let its toy-like shape fool, this drone is built to withstand collisions and crashes. It is durable due to its small size and high build quality.
Furthermore, It’s easy to operate and a perfect fit for practice due to its three different speeds that you can choose from. You can master one speed and then move on to the other. Additionally, it can perform 360-degree flips and rolls due to it having a 6-Axis Gyro flying control system. Moreover, it comes with three batteries that each provide 7 minutes of flight time.
Additionally, it has a lot of extra features like the Headless Mode and One Key Return, allowing you to retrieve the drone with a push of a button as long as it is within range of the transmitter. Additionally, the Altitude Hold Mode allows the drone to hover in the same altitude for as long as you want.
The controller is a bit subpar and can break down if not used with care. Unfortunately, The SNAPTAIN H823H Mini doesn’t have a camera.
- Headless mode
- One-Key Return
- Perfect for practice
- Remote quality is subpar
- No camera
The SNAPTAIN H823H Mini is ideal for your kids and for new learners. It’s easy to operate and control, has three different speeds, can do tricks like the 360-degree flip, and is an overall fun drone to fly.
4. SANROCK U61W Drone with Camera – Best Camera
The SANROCK U61W is the perfect drone for under $50 for video recording. This drone has a lot of features, with the most notable feature being the 720p HD camera. It also has 14 minutes worth of flight time on both batteries and a range of 24 meters.
We can’t talk about the SANROCK U61W without talking about its camera first. The camera can record footage at 30 frames per second and 720p HD, this is astonishing for a drone under $50. Not only that, but there is a 90-degree rotating mechanism that allows you both underneath you and in front of you as well.
Additionally, when you connect it to your smartphone, you’re offered direct FPV transmission through an app that allows you to control the drone using your phone.
Furthermore, you get a lot of extra features like headless mode, One Key Take off / Land, altitude hold, and emergency stop. Finally, this is a durable drone that can withstand more than a few hits or crashes. The propellers also have protective frames around them for extra protection.
Unfortunately, the camera and all those features drain the batteries very quickly as a single battery gives you 5 mins of flight time.
- 720p HD Camera
- FPV transmission
- 90-degree rotating mechanism
- Headless mode
- One Key Take off/ Land
- Camera drains the battery quickly
The SANROCK U61W is a drone made for recording video and taking pictures. It’s one of the best camera drones for under $50.
5. Newest Syma X20 Mini Pocket Drone – Best Mini
Don’t let its small size fool you, the X20 is full of amazing features that make it just as amazing as all the other quadcopters on this list.
This drone is the smallest by far. It’s so small that it can fit in your palm. Moreover, it still has many functions like headless mode, One Key Take off / Land, altitude hold, and can even do 360-degree flips and rolls.
Moreover, the small size of this drone makes it easy to control. It also has various speeds for you to choose from.
Furthermore, this drone is ideal for practice as it can even be flown indoors without fear of collateral damage. Additionally, it comes with an LED light for increased visibility.
One of the downsides of the X20 is that the batteries are built-in and can’t be removed. This means that you’ll have to charge the drone through the USB port which is quite fragile, and you’ll also have to wait for up to 50 minutes between each charge.
- Perfect for practice
- Can be flown indoors
- Multiple speeds
- LED light
- Built-in battery
- USB port is fragile
The X20 is an excellent mini drone. It’s extremely stable and maneuverable due to its small size. You can also take it anywhere as it can fit in your palm.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Drone Under $50
Now that we’re done with these amazing quadcopters, we have come to the factors that you must consider before making your purchase. They vary from the type of drone to its uses, battery life, and many more. So let’s cut to the chase and get to know what these factors are.
There are hundreds if not thousands of drones online, all with different features and specifications. However, there’s a noticeable pattern amongst drones, and after carefully studying this pattern, we’ve concluded that there are two main categories of drones with a few subcategories under each main one.
RTF vs. DIY Drones
The first category or type of drone is ready to fly drones or RTFs for short. These are drones that are ready to fly straight out of the box. They come equipped with everything; all you have to do is to charge them and you are good to go.
The good thing about this type of drones is that you won’t spend any time or effort in getting them ready for takeoff, but you might have to compromise some of the features that you want in exchange for others.
The second category is DIY Drone Kits. These are pretty self-explanatory. DIY Drone Kits or do it yourself drone kits are drones that come fully disassembled and you have to put them together. Similar to a lego kit, you’ll have to assemble the drone by putting every piece in its right place according to the user manual.
The best thing about these kits is that they are customizable, which means that you can order a custom kit with all the specs and features that you need. However, they are both time and effort consuming as they are hard to put together and you might need the help of someone else.
Video vs. Photo Camera
Moving on from these two main categories, we have the secondary branches. There are drones that are equipped with cameras for capturing still photos, while other drones have cameras that only record videos. These are perfect for shooting ads, races, and even weddings. You’ll be getting that sweet panoramic shot a lot easier. Other types of drones simply don’t have a camera. they’re perfect for first-timers or kids.
As we previously discussed, many drones provide you with the ability to shoot videos whether for business or for pleasure.
A video or image resolution is the quality of a video or picture taken. In other words, it refers to its sharpness and clarity. That’s why you need to choose the best resolution available if you’re going to use your quadcopter in recording videos.
Unfortunately, since we’re talking about drones under $50, it’ll be hard to find a drone that can offer you 1080p resolution. Your best bet would be to buy a drone that provides you with 720p HD resolution like the SANROCK U61W Drone for kids. The 720p HD resolution is fantastic considering that the drone is below $50.
The drone’s battery is impacted by a lot of different elements like maximum speed and whether the drone has a camera or not. Therefore, if you think that your drone’s battery will last for a full day of flying, you are mistaken. So let’s say for example, that you have a camera drone that can snap pictures or record videos. The process itself of taking pictures or recording videos drains the drone’s battery life.
Luckily, some drones offer you the choice of adjusting your drone’s speed. However, if you choose to keep your drone flying at top speed, then you’ll drain the battery a lot faster. You have to maintain a relatively medium speed. Only go for top speeds in case of emergencies. Another solution would be to look for a drone that has a faster charging time to compensate for the weaker batteries.
Some drones offer you the choice of setting your speed. For example, some provide you with three speeds: slow, medium, and fast. If you are not looking for a racing drone, then the drone’s speed should not be a factor for you to consider, but if it is, then let’s get right to it.
Each speed affects the battery, maneuverability, and control of the drone differently. Slow speed is the speed that drains your battery the least with high speed being the most. Also in slow speed mode, you have the highest level of control and maneuverability that you can have, while the high speed mode greatly decreases your control.
Since some drones can go up to 35mph or even more at some times, crashing at these speeds will be catastrophic for your drone and for whatever it crashes into, which is why we recommend that you don’t change the drone’s original speed until you’ve mastered it. When you have mastered that speed and can control the quadcopter with relative ease, you can move onto a higher speed, and so on.
For a drone to be kid-friendly, it has to strike a lot of points. For example, it needs to have a simple design. Just a simple motor and propellers will suffice. Children won’t be entertained when they can’t control the drone because it’s too complicated.
Moreover, before making your child pilot the drone, you must be sure that your child’s age is appropriate. Drones are perfect for kids from 7 years old and up, they aren’t suited for younger children as they could end up harming themselves.
Drones require a lot of spare parts in case anything goes wrong. You must always stock up on them, from spare engines to propellers and a lot more. And since your drone will be less than drones $50, stocking up on their spare parts won’t hurt your budget.
With all the technological advancements that we see nowadays, drones are capable of performing a multitude of functions. From rolling over, to turning around and even doing flips, some drones can do them all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Budget Drones Good for Learning?
Many people like to test and get a grip on something before moving on to more advanced levels. The same thing goes for drones. Most of the drones for under $50 are made for children and have a low price tag, making them perfect for practicing drone control till you get the hang of it.
What Will I Need to Fly a Drone?
After purchasing a drone you won’t really need anything. Almost all drones come equipped with everything that you’ll need, even the batteries. So as soon as you open that box, just pop the batteries in and you’re good to go.
However, before using your drone it’s always advised to check the rules and regulations of your country or state.
We’ve concluded our article, and we hope that you have become more enlightened about the best drones under $50 and came to a decision about your next purchase. Nonetheless, let’s get down to some recommendations.
If you want the absolute best drone that has everything from a camera to headless mode and many more, then the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 is the drone for you.
If you are more interested in getting a drone for kids, then go for the SNAPTAIN H823H Mini. It has three different speeds, can be used at home and its propellers are protected.
Finally, if you need a drone to take pictures and record videos, look no further than the SANROCK U61W Drone with its 720p HD camera that can record videos at 30 frames per second and has a 90-degree mechanism.