best drones under $500

Best Drones Under $500

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Value for Money with Drones Under $500

Drone flying is a new and exciting hobby that has caught so many people around the world in a frenzy of excitement! Of course, to be able to call yourself a drone pilot, you’ll need a drone. However, how will you know which drone to buy? I know I asked myself that question when getting my first drone and all the different models of drones can really spin your head around. So we put together this 2017 guide to help you with your decision on the Best Drones Under $500

 

In order to choose the best drone, the first thing you need to do is to assess your own skill. If you’re a beginner flyer, it will be a good idea to go with a less expensive drone. Even if you’re an intermediately skilled pilot, you should opt for a drone under $500.

If you’d like a more expensive model, then you shouldn’t look for a drone in excess of $1000. All in all, a price range of up to $500 is more than enough for somebody who is just interested in drones for the sake of the hobby.

Anyway, to cut the chit-chat short, we’ve assembled a top ten pick of the best drones under $500. Make sure you check out the table, as there I put the most relevant information for the models you’ll be looking at. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go on and read the review section below.

List of the Best Drones Under $500

Name Photo Flight Range Flight time Top Speed Price
Holy Stone X300C FPV RC Quadcopter Drone

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 screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-46-06-am 100 m About 10 minutes 20 mph $90 – 110
Holy Stone F181

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 screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-46-24-am 100 meters 7-9 minutes 20 mph $110 – 130
3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-46-39-am 0.5 miles 15-20 minutes 55 mph $320 – 340
DJI Phantom 3

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-46-53-am Up to 6 kilometers 25 minutes 35mph $410 – 430
UDI 818A

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-47-09-am 100 meters 7-9 minutes 20 mph

 

 

 

$100 – 120
HP95(TM) Racer 250 FPV

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-1-04-02-pm 250 meters 10-14 minutes 35 mph $310 – 330
MOTA Pro Live-5000 FPV Drone

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-1-04-59-pm 250 feet 7-9 minutes 30 mph $280 – 300
Syma X5C

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-1-05-08-pm 50 meters 7 minutes 20 mph $40 – 60
ARRIS X180

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-1-05-13-pm 900 meters 15-20 minutes 50 mph $250 – 270
Traxxas Aton Plus Quadcopter

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screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-1-05-28-pm 500 feet 20-25 minutes 50 mph $370 – 390

 

Holy Stone X300C FPV RC Quadcopter Drone

Holy Stone X300C FPV RC Quadcopter Drone

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There is no better brand than Holy Stone in the drone industry, let me tell you that. Or more precisely, there is no better manufacturer of low-cost drones than Holy Stone. It is no wonder then that our first pick it the Holy Stone X300C Quadcopter drone. This baby has all the characteristics you’d want in a professional drone, except it has a very reasonable price tag.

There is no better brand than Holy Stone in the drone industry, let me tell you that. Or more precisely, there is no better manufacturer of low-cost drones than Holy Stone. It is no wonder then that our first pick it the Holy Stone X300C Quadcopter drone. This baby has all the characteristics you’d want in a professional drone, except it has a very reasonable price tag.

The drone is built to facilitate flying by both beginners and experts alike. To this end, the drone has been fitted with the 6-axis stabilization system. This system makes the drone very stable in the air and provides it with enough stability to even withstand 10-15 mph winds. In addition, the drone has a Headless mode that significantly cuts set-up time and further increases the copter’s handling.

The Headless mode allows the pilot to steer the copter in any direction they want because the drone doesn’t have a “true” front end. Instead, the “front” end is relative to the position of the controller.

Furthermore, this copter has been outfitted with the 2.4 G transmission signal. This allows the user to fly multiple drones at one time without interference. It also extends the flying range of the drone to about 100 meters.

The copter is fitted with a great camera that provides live footage for a great FPV flying experience. It also comes with a propeller guard in order to prevent propeller breakage in case you crash. Finally, the drone is fitted with an automatic recall button that returns the drone to your original position, which is a great feature for when you’re uncertain of your position (or have trouble landing safely).

The drone can fly up to 10 minutes, and with an additional battery, you can double the flight time. It takes about 90 minutes to fully charge the battery once empty.

  • Superb drone with plenty of things featured on professional drones.
  • Great stability and handling make this craft suitable for beginner users.
  • 2.4 G transmission allows for multiple drones to be flown at the same time without interference. It also extends the range.
  • The headless mode allows for easy setup and flying because the drone’s front end is analog to your position.
  • Flight time is rather short, but you can extend it with and extra battery.

All in all, this is a wonderful aircraft for both beginners and experienced users. The 6-axis system gives this drone rock-solid stability in the air, making it a favorite for any user.

Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone

Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone

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Up next, we have another Holy Stone product, the F181 drone. This craft has been adorned with much the same features as the X300C, making it just as appealing to flyers all over the world. For starters, the copter has been fitted with a 6-axis gyro system that allows the copter to be steady and stable when flying. This appeals greatly to beginner flyers who might be struggling with flying their copter safely because it makes the craft very easy to fly.

Furthermore, the copter has been outfitted with a Headless mode. This allows the pilot to fly the drone in whichever direction they want, because the copter is always relative to the position of the controller, and thus the pilot themselves. Not only that, but the craft has an Auto-recall feature that returns the copter automatically to your position. This is most useful if you’re not sure where you are and where the copter is.

Just like its predecessor, the F181 has a 2.4 G transmission system that allows more copters to be flown at the same time. It also puts its flight range at 100 meters. The copter has one more feature, and that’s the Altitude Hold mode. This allows the copter to remain steady in the air, allowing the pilot to take high-quality footage.

  • Excellent beginner’s drone, but also appealing to experienced flyers due to its superb stability.
  • Headless mode makes the flying even easier because you can fly it in any direction, as the drone is always turned the right way
  • 2.4 G transmission allows for extended range and more copters to be flown at the same time without disturbances.
  • The drone features the auto recall function.
  • The drone features the Hold Altitude option that allows it to stay in the air even if you let go of the throttle.
  • The flight time is 7-9 minutes, doubled with additional battery. Takes about an hour and a half to recharge.

All in all, this is another superb Holy Stone product. The drone has found many admirers because of its stability and overall good handling, and especially because of the Hold Altitude feature.

3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter

3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter

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And now, we’re moving on to the big leagues. 2DR Solo Drone is a wonderful, high-end machine that really takes drone flying to the next level. Its superb 1080 HD camera will enable you to take breathtaking shots and the convenience of flying this copter is almost unmatched.

Furthermore, this copter is suited for a GoPro action camera to be mounted. This really allows the pilot to make some amazing footage on the go. The copter is really stable in the air, thanks to the 6-axle stabilizing system. It is very easy to master, as the twin 1 GHz smart computers offer the pilot plenty of assistance. On top of that, the controller for the drone has a design that resembles a game controller, so the pilots are already familiarized with the workings of this transmitter.

But the drone goes even further with its features. The drone offers many modes that facilitate safe and even automatic flying. It has a follow feature that makes the drone follow you without you having to control the craft at all. It has an orbit function that makes the drone revolve around your position for some great footage. You can even send the drone out using the GPS tracking system to a set location.

The copter can fly continuously for up to 20 minutes.

  • Superb smart drone is controlled by twin 1 GHz computers.
  • The computers do a great job at assisting flight.
  • The drone features a follow me feature where you can set it to follow you automatically wherever you go.
  • The craft has a Cable Cam feature that allows the user to turn the camera midair while the copter rests.
  • Orbit feature makes the copter fly around you without your direct control.
  • The craft offers up to 20 minutes of flight.

In all, this is a superb machine for advanced users. Yet, the drone is so malleable and easy to use that even a complete rookie can use it. That is why this drone enjoys great esteem with drone hobby enthusiasts.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone

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DJI is a powerhouse in the drone making business. It produces consistently high-quality products, ranging from beginner’s models to really high-end ones. The DJI Phantom 3 is somewhere in between those two extremes, making it very much suitable for a wide range of users.

The copter is very easy to fly and operate. It is very stable and highly maneuverable, allowing even the newbies to fly this machine safely without fear of crashing. On top of that, the quadcopter offers features that allow for full UAV, automatized flight. The machine has the Follow me feature, as well as Point of Interest and Waypoint. These flight modes tap into the onboard GPS system which creates a flight path of the craft to follow. The follow me allows the drone to automatically follow the user, while the Waypoint feature allows the user to set waypoints for the craft to any desired location.

The coper also has a very good battery that allows it to fly continuously for 25 minutes. The 2.4 GHz transmission delivers a live feed to your mobile device and allows for flight range of up to half a mile.

  • The craft is great for both beginners and experienced users.
  • Plenty of features that promote automatized flight.
  • A superb battery allows for a 25-minute flight.
  • The 2.4 GHz transmission system streams the video directly to you and allows for flight range of 0.5 miles.

When all’s said and done, you can’t go wrong with DJI Phantom 3. This is a fabulous aircraft with great battery and superb flight range, and plenty of features to entertain you for days on end.

UDI 818A HD+ RC Quadcopter Drone

UDI 818A HD+ RC Quadcopter Drone

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Another beginner’s quadcopter UDI 818A is a perfect learning platform. The aircraft is very easy to control as it offers superb maneuverability. It features the headless mode that offers convenient flying. The craft doesn’t have a front end, but its orientation is relative to the position of the controller. The copter comes with a good 2MP camera, and a 4 GB MicroSD card for storage.

On top of that, the drone has been outfitted with a 6-axis gyro stabilization system, which, in turn, further improves the craft’s stability and maneuverability. This is why UDI 818A is an absolute favorite among beginner fliers, second only to Holy Stone series drones.

This drone is also outfitted with a Return Home features that help you recall the craft at a push of a button. It comes with a 2.4 GHz transmitter that extends its flight range, and offers the opportunity to connect several crafts at once and fly them without interference.

The copter has a flight duration of 7-9 minutes. Double the time with an extra battery.

  • Superb learning platform copter, perfectly suited for beginners.
  • Excellent stability and maneuverability in the air.
  • Decent on-board camera, coupled with 4GB MicroSD card.
  • Superb 2.4 GHz controller extends range and allows for multiple copers to be flown.

When all is said and done, this is one of the best quadcopters for beginner fliers. However, its low price and great maneuverability make this drone a viable option for some experienced pilots too.

HP95(TM) Racer 250 FPV Quadcopter Drone

HP95(TM) Racer 250 FPV Quadcopter Drone

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For those interested in quadcopter racing, we present the HP95 Racer drone. HP95 Racer is a very powerful machine that is able to develop quite the speed in order to compete with other drones. It may not be a top class racer, but this little buzzer can hold its own even against top-tier racers. The drone is ultrafast and boasts a very sturdy construction in order to avoid getting damaged if it crashes.

The drone is also made easy to assemble and disassemble. This is done in order to facilitate faster replacement of the propellers and the motors. After all, this is a racer drone, and you can expect an occasional rotor or motor failure due to extremely high speed.

One thing that really stands out with HP95 is that it has a special snowflaking camera. What this does is that it starts to lower video quality in order to give you more flight range. This is a welcomed feature because it can really extend the drones range allowing it to race further.

The done comes with a 2.4GHz controller and a monitor attached to it. It can fly continuously for about 10-14 minutes

  • Excellent racing drone, ultra-fast and easily repaired.
  • A very sturdy drone.
  • Boasts an innovative snowflaking feature that sacrifices video quality for extended flight range.
  • Superb 2.4 GHz controller that boasts a monitor.
  • Decent flight time.

In conclusion, for anyone looking to get into the drone racing business, this drone is your number one pick. Good speed, durability, and maneuverability make this drone one of the best low-budget racers on the market.

MOTA Pro Live-5000 FPV Drone

MOTA Pro Live-5000 FPV Drone

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MOTA Pro Live-5000 is a rather unusual looking drone. However, this innovative Y-shaped design offers as much maneuverability and mobility as a standard X for H-shaped drone. The craft is as fast and as nimble, and this is owing to its 6 rotors, 2 on each arm. This gives MOTA Pro good stability and even increases its overall aerodynamics.

The drone features a 6-axis gyroscopic stabilization system. This allows is to be rock solid in the air and withstand winds up to 15 mph and makes it very beginner friendly as well. The drone also features a smart One Touch Take-off and Landing option that really solves the inconvenience of landing the thing without crashing it, which is, again, favorable for newbie flyer.

The drone also features a camera and a 2.4 GHz frequency controller. It has a flight range of 250 feet and has a flight time of 7-9 minutes. Like all others, the drone is compatible with your smartphone and the camera sends a high-definition real-time footage.

  • An innovative design of this copter not only make it appealing but very fast and maneuverable as well.
  • The craft has a 6-acis gyro stabilization system for better stability and nimbleness.
  • Good quality camera and smartphone compatibility allow you to receive a live feed.
  • The 2.4 GHz controller allows multiple drones to be flown without interference.

In the end, this is a great all-around drone. It is gentle and forgiving toward novice users, but provides plenty of speed and maneuverability for advanced pilots.

Syma X5C Quadcopter Drone

Syma X5C Quadcopter Drone

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Our next product is another beginner-friendly mini copter. What this means is that the copter is built for maximum stability and maneuverability. The drone features a 6-axis gyro system that allows it to stay in the air even when facing strong gusts of wind. The copter’s maneuverability is especially beginner friendly, and a newbie pilot will have no trouble mastering the controls.

The drone features an excellent 2.4 GHz controller. This controller allows the craft to fly further out and gives you the ability to fly multiple drones at once without any interference at all. The drone also features a button that lets you flip the copter 360 degrees.

Among other things, the copter features a Headless Mode that literally removes the hustle about setting up. The copter doesn’t have a front end, but flies in the direction you’re facing, or, rather, it the direction the controller is pointing. It has a flight time of 7 minutes and takes 100 minutes to recharge.

  • Superb stability and relatively small size of the copter is very appealing to beginners.
  • The copter features a 2.4 GHz controller that extends flight range and allows you to fly multiple crafts without interference.
  • The craft has a 6-axis gyro system that increases its stability even when facing the wind.

All in all, Syma X5C is a wonderful copter. It is very forgiving for beginners and offers plenty of fun for advanced users too. The only downside we can see is the relatively long recharge time.

ARRIS X180 180mm FPV Racing Drone

ARRIS X180 180mm FPV Racing Drone

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ARRIS X180 is one of the most reliable copters on the market. It is built with a very sturdy frame, coupled with geometric component alignment in order to protect the electronic components. The battery is built sunken deep and horizontal to the camera for better placement and longer life span.

The copter features a very nimble camera that the user can adjust to get the best angle. The camera offers decent resolution and allows for HD footage. One important thing to note is that the craft is already assembled and properly lined up, saving you plenty of time when setting it up.

Like the others, the copter is fitted with a 6-axis stabilization and comes with a 2.4 GHz controller.

  • The copter is RTF – ready out of the box, just start it up and fly.
  • Very stable and nimble copter.
  • 2.4 GHz controller for extended flight range.

All in all, this is a wonderful copter. What sets it apart from other copters is its great durability and safety making it a favorite among all hobby enthusiasts.

Traxxas Aton Plus Quadcopter Drone

Traxxas Aton Plus Quadcopter Drone

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And our final product for today is the Taxxas Aton quadcopter. This copter is a very ubiquitous machine – it combines a superb camera with a sporting copter. This craft is very fast and can develop speeds in excess of 50 mph. This effectively puts it on a par with racing copters. Coupled with an HD camera and you’ll have yourself a hell of a time.

The camera stand features a 2-axis gyro stabilizator that allows you to move the camera independently. The copter features a Return Home button that allows you to recall the aircraft that will fly back automatically to your position. It also features Altitude Hold that allows the craft to fly in place even when you let go of the controls. This, in turn, allows you to take better shots and move the camera around.

  • Excellent copter that brings together two worlds.
  • Very fast, can move at speeds in excess of 50 mph.
  • Has the Altitude Hold feature that allows it to hover.
  • The camera stand is able to be adjusted midflight.
  • Has the Return Home feature.

In conclusion, this is a great all-arounder. With great speed and hi-def camera, you can’t go amiss with this quadcopter.

 

Final Word on the Best Drones Under $500

And that’s it for our best drones under $500 list. As you can see, we have plenty of variety. We purposefully put in professional and beginner drones so you can assess your skill level and choose accordingly. In all, we hope you make the right choice for you and have a lot of fun flying your new favorite toy.

Finally, you can rest assured that each of the listed items offers pretty much the best value for money and stands out as a product you cannot regret purchasing if the listed specs and price are what you’re after. Good stuff, a thumbs up from here!

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