Best Drones Under $100 That Are Actually Worth it: Quality Shots

Introduction

Drones are fun, but is this $3400 DJI Inspire 1 PRO worth the fun for when you are just testing the waters? Maybe not! This is why we looked around for some of the more budget-friendly yet not-so disappointing drones under $100. So, if you aim to get some of the best drones under $100 budget, you have come to the right place.

Drones are now everywhere. But it wasn’t always the case. Just like most technologies, you can say initially they were for the enthusiasts, the “drone nerds” and the techies. But now they are much more than that. And even so, we can now get much more value for a $100 drone, if there ever was one at the beginning of it all. 

Today, anyone can get a drone that they can call a real drone and not just a toy. The internet is full of many of those, and a simple Amazon search will bring a host of them right to you. Now the problem is, which of them is worth the money spent? If you already tried getting one and weren’t burnt up by scammers, then you are indeed lucky as some of them out there are just toys being sold as professional drones. The best drones under $100 are quite a good bargain if you are just window shopping into the drone world without getting your feet too wet. Getting one that gives you some satisfaction with little headache is probably what you want to look for here since the low-end drones available don’t ch, most of the time. But don’t be sad yet, it is for that reason we recommend the Ryze (DJI) Tello as the overall best. If you have done a little reading on our best drones with cameras, you would have realized DJI has some of the best in the market. The Tello is a result of a partnership with Ryze. Read more below. 

best drones under $100

What To Look for When Buying Under $100 Drones

Unlike the high-end drones with pocket-breaking price points, you may have to do a bit of thinking about what you want out of your drone and what the typical drone under $100 can give you. It is easy to find a drone under $100 but harder than you may think to find one that performs better than average drones out there. For the best under $500 drones out there, you would find that most of them have up to 30 minutes of flight, have high-quality camera systems, and have a certain build quality that screams high-end. You may not get a combination of all these features in a budget Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – If you prefer the fancy name for a drone, what you can look out for is what your need are and then find the perfect fit for that. Some of the devices in our list have some decent camera quality, while others are large for outdoor use.

By following what you need cut out the noise and just get what you need because there is not a drone under $100 that can provide you with everything from pro features to quality build and quality photography. Once we have cleared the air, shall we?

What is the Best Product Out There in 2022?

1. DJI Ryze Tello (Best cheap drone overall) 

Reasons to buy the DJI Ryze Tello:

  • Low on Budget
  • Easy to Fly with its mobile app
  • You Can program it
  • Has nice flight modes
  • Stable flight under good weather
  • Decent Image quality

Reasons not to buy the DJI Ryze Tello:

  • Not so good Video, often Pixelated and Low Quality
  • Has no GPS Function
  • Cant Fly Far; Limited Range

DJI Ryze Tello Drone Review

Here’s the deal, the Ryze Tello isn’t for you if you are looking for a drone for photography and videography. In fact, most of the best drones under $100 cannot guarantee high-quality photo and video quality at our current time. Perhaps that may change in the future. And neither can you use it for any sort of long-distance flight sessions. If your goal is photography, you might need up to 30 minutes of flight and a drone like the DJI Air 2S can help you better. However, it is still a good device if you are just starting as a drone user perhaps you simply want a quadcopter that you can fly around in the neighborhood for a nice experience without any videography. It takes decore at photos than videos so maybe a few photos won’t be bad. The Tello has a max speed of 8 m/s or 17.8 mph which means you will have to make sure the wind speed is lower than that number so it can fly else you’d have to run after your drone once it has been hijacked by the wind. In case you lose it, well that’s $99 flying away so it may not be much of a worry as compared to a $1000 drone. The Tello has a max flight distance of about 100m. It comes with a single cell battery which can take you an average of 13 minutes of flight time. The Tello is an extremely simple to use a drone, and you control it using your device such as your smartphone. But we must inform you the app doesn’t support quite a lot of devices so you might want to check that out. It has cool flying modes created for you and all you need to do is activate the mode and the drone starts to perform that routine like going around you and maybe taking pictures. 

DJI Ryze Tello Specifications

Ryze Tello Specifications
Aircraft Weight: Approximately 80 g (Propellers and Battery Included)

Dimensions: 98×92.5×41 mm

Propeller: 3 inches

Built-in Functions: Range Finder, Barometer, LED, Vision System, 2.4 GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, 720p Live View

Port: Micro USB Charging Port

Flight Performance Max Flight Distance: 100m

Max Speed: 8m/s

Max Flight Time: 13min

Max Flight Height: 30m

Battery Detachable Battery: 1.1Ah/3.8V
Camera Photo: 5MP (2592×1936)

FOV: 82.6°

Video: HD720P30

Format: JPG(Photo); MP4(Video)

EIS: Yes

 

Should You Buy the DJI Ryze Tello?

We have raised quite a number of pros and cons about this little fella so, Is DJI Tello worth it? On the surface level, DJI Tello is definitely worth it and the all-around best drone under $100. It has an affordable price and is one of the best-performing in that price range. Most of the drones within that price range do not give the features and specifications that come with the Tello. To get started, All you need is a wifi device, download the mobile and you are ready to go. No need to figure out a complex controller or some other flying stuff. If you are techier, you could program your drone to move in certain ways and that’s cool for kids learning to code. Its weight is extremely light which is both good and bad so try not to fly it in windy weather. Most of the best drones under $100 are not at their best in the wild winds of the outdoor environment. Its battery life is quite good as well. Even though it doesn’t have a GPS, it does a good job at keeping at its location and returning to the landing spot. 

2. Holy Stone HS160 Pro (Cool Foldable Drone) 

Reasons to buy the Holy Stone HS160 Pro:

  • Foldable Drone, Portable and Small
  • Quality Tough Build, Crash Endurance
  • Comes with Two Batteries
  • Easy For Beginners
  • Adjustable Camera (Manually)
  • Flight Stability

Reasons not to buy the Holy Stone HS160 Pro:

  • Comes without controller
  • Limited remote control
  • Camera adjustment is only manual

Holy Stone HS160 Pro Review

The Holy Stone HS160 Pro makes for one of the easiest and yet best drones for beginners, children, and even adults. And that certainly wins it a spot in the best drones under $100 list! It packs a lot of power even without a separate remote controller. You will have to use your smartphone since the drone comes without a controller. However, for most beginners, a remote may be a distraction, and the smartphone as a controller means less cost to the device allowing them to sell it for under $100. Its 1080p 110° FOV Full HD Camera is an absolute eye-catcher as the previous Ryze Tello didn’t have much good video footage. The Holy Stone HS160 Pro changes that, but it breaks the under $100 price. What’s not very desirable about the camera is that it can only be manually adjusted and once you have done so, there is no way to adjust it to capture certain angles once it’s taken off the ground and up in the air. That could be frustrating especially, an ally for beginners who are still learning how to fly. But it does give a quality camera which you can use to practice before buying much more expensive ones like the DJI Mavic Air 2. The Holy Stone HS160 Pro features Optical Flow Sensor, has 2 Modular Batteries which ensure you get up to 20 minutes of flight time, and is Foldable and Portable, Come with Storage Case. As if that was not enough, Holy made sure to include One Key Start and Landing, Speed Adjusting, Headless Mode, Wind-resistant, and more stable. 

Holy Stone HS160 Pro Specifications

Holy Stone HS160 Pro Specifications
Aircraft Weight: 0.27lb (No FAA registration requires)

Dimensions: Unfolded Size:8.7 x 6.7 x 1.5 inches

Folded Size: 6.3 x 2.7 x 1.5 inches

Rotors: 8620

Built-in Functions: Optical Flow Positioning, Explore More Scenic,  App Control, One Key Start and Landing, Speed Adjusting, Headless Mode, Wind-resistant and more stable 

Port: USB Charging Port

Flight Performance Max Flight Distance: 40M

Max Speed: 1.9m/s

Max Flight Time: 10 Mins, Two batteries (20 Mins)

Max Flight Height: 10M

Battery Detachable Battery: 2 x 3.7V 1000MAH (2 Modular Batteries)
Camera Photo: 1920 x 1080p

Video: FHD 1080p

 

Should You Buy the Holy Stone HS160 Pro?

The Holy Stone HS160 Pro is ideal for children, beginners, and even adults. It is quite easy and enjoyable to fly around in the neighborhood. Its small, portable and foldable size makes it good for traveling and carrying to places. It could easily fit into your pocket. What you might not like about it is that it doesn’t have a GPS so away with any of such accompanying features. It also doesn’t have a controller so you have to depend on your smartphone and its compatibility with their app to use the drone. It has some safety and security features that help you. A key downside about this drone is its low flying range which means you cannot fly it higher into the sky which could be a turn-off for some.  The Holy Stone HS160 Pro is ideal for 14-year-olds and above. So if this is you and you have no worries about its downsides, then this will be a good one to either start with or add to your lower-end drone collection. 

3. Snaptain S5C (A fast-flying photography drone) 

Reasons to buy the Snaptain S5C:

  • Sleek and Stylish design
  • Durable Design
  • Good For Beginners
  • Lots of impressive features
  • Comes with controllers

Reasons not to buy the Snaptain S5C:

  • Not so good camera
  • No GPS Functions
  • Limited in Control Distance
  • Short Flight Time
  • Short Flight Range

Snaptain S5C Review

The Snaptain S5C drone packs four extra propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, landing pads, a USB charger, a screwdriver, and two batteries. And is one of the best drones under $100 that we get from Snaptain. It also includes four extra propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, landing pads, a USB charger, a screwdriver, and two batteries. To get it started, all you need to do is to press a button and you are ready to fly. It also has single-button landing modes. It has other cool features like the smart voice controlling feature, the gesture controls, headless mode, and the 360° Flips & Rolls which is a very fun thing to do with a drone. 

Snaptain S5C Specifications

Snaptain S5C Specifications
Aircraft Weight: 1.55 pounds

Dimensions: 13.9 x 9.7 x 3.3 inches

Motors: 816 Coreless

Built-in Functions: Optical Flow Positioning, Explore More Scenic,  App Control, One Key Start and Landing, Speed Adjusting, Headless Mode, Wind-resistant and more stable

Flight Performance FPV Range: 40M

Control Range: ≤80M

Max Speed: 1.9m/s

Max Flight Time: 8-10 mins

Max Flight Height: 80M

Battery Battery: 2 Lithium Polymer batteries

Charging time: 90 mins

Camera Photo: 1280 x 720

Photo format: JPEG

Video Format: AVI

 

Should You Buy the Snaptain S5C?

The Snaptain S5C is a good option for beginners and children just like several drones within the $100 range. However, these drone packs come with cool features that not all UAVs within the price range have. It comes with a controller which most do not have, has a stylish and quality design-build, and offers a decent flight time. If you have more batteries, you can certainly enjoy it for much longer. 

4. Ruko B7 

Reasons to buy the Ruko B7:

  • Foldable and portable build design
  • Long flight time
  • Multiple flight modes
  • Great for kids
  • Has cool features

Reasons not to buy the Ruko B7:

  • Not suitable for outdoor flying
  • Performs badly under windy weather

Ruko B7 Review

The Ruko B7 gives you a flight time of about 18 minutes at a speed of 1.9m/s which isn’t bad for a under $100 drone. It does not have GPS and is mainly designed for indoor use. It is not recommended for windy outdoor use due to the absence of GPS. Ruko further advises that it be used indoors (most of the best drones under $100 are best used indoors). It has three Speed Modes, Optical Flow Positioning, Gravity Sensor Mode, Headless Mode, MV Mode, Gesture Control, and the Follow Me Mode features. These are awesome for their price point. When it comes to drone buying, the camera is a major consideration. The B7 comes with a 4K camera but do not expect anything fancy or high quality out of it. For a camera of its type, there is little it can do with such a camera and from experience, the quality is a little less than decent. Focusing on the flying experience will allow you to appreciate this drone much better.  Its photography will not serve you well as a professional photographer. It’s best for the kids, guiding them as they fly and stuff like that. 

 

Ruko B7 Specifications

Ruko B7 Specifications
Aircraft Weight :130g / 4.58 oz

Gesture Control Distance: 1-2M

Folding Size: 3.75*2.7*1.9 inch

Opening Size: 12.8*11.1*1.9 inch

Max Live Video Transmission Range: 60M/196ft

Flight Performance FPV Range: 40M

Control Range: 100M

Max Speed: 1.9m/s

Max Flight Time: 18-20 Mins

Max Flight Height: 80M

Battery Battery: 2 Lithium Polymer batteries

Charging Time: 1.5 Hours

Controller Battery: 3×1.5V AA Batteries (Not Included)

Camera Photo: 4096 x 3072P resolution

Video quality: 2048 x 1080P resolution

 

Should You Buy the Ruko B7?

The Ruko B7 drone is great for beginners and children as a play toy. It has a very portable and foldable design that allows it to be carried around and has some nice modes for flying. It also has a boatload of features that could be considered premium. But for most of the drones under $100, it has become an expectation of all of the good ones. Despite such great features, the Ruko B7 is not suitable for outdoor flying and performs not so well under windy weather. The ideal buyer of this drone would probably be a child, or as a gift to a child. Since it cannot be useful outside, the kids can enjoy it indoors as a play toy. If you have a kid with aspirations of becoming a pilot or simply loves the sense of flight, the Ruko B7 is the alternative for them. 

5. Eachine E010 Mini (UFO Quadcopter Drone)

Reasons to buy the Eachine E010 Mini:

  • Great Indoor Drone for Kids
  • Well built drone and controller
  • Easy to set up and use

Reasons not to buy the Eachine E010 Mini:

  • Not suitable for outdoor
  • Short flight time
  • No camera

Eachine E010 Mini Review

The Eachine E010 Mini is a little drone and does not compare well with the previous drones on this list. It’s the only camera that flies 5 minutes maximum. But don’t let its flight time scare you, yet. This little drone is a beast indoors and its batteries take 20 minutes to fully charge which means you can quickly recharge and get back into action. It comes in exciting colors of white and orange which the kids are sure going to love. It has a flight range of 10 to 20 meters which is just fine considering that this drone was built for indoor use. It has a 6-degree freedom allowance and comes with fancy LED lights for navigation. It has some integrated prop guards to keep it protected while performing one of its fancy 360-degree flip rolls which can be done by simply pressing one button. This feature alone is enough to impress your friends and make you feel like a pro drone pilot already. It is incredibly easy to set up and fly that even your mom can do it. 

 

Eachine E010 Mini Specifications

Eachine E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone Specifications
Specifications Product size: 45 x 45 x 30 mm

Product battery: 3.7V 120 mAh Li-Po

Charging time: 20 minutes

Flying time: 4 minutes

Flying range: 10 – 20 m

Colors: Black, White, and Orange

Features 6 Axis Gyro Stabilised Flying and Hovering

6 Degree Freedom

One Button 360° Flips and Rolls

LED Navigation Lights

Highly Durable Plastic Hull

Integrated Prop Guards

In Package E010 Quadcopter (1 pc)

3.7V 150 mAh Li-Po Battery (1 pc)

USB Charger (1 pc)

Spare Propellers (1 set)

Propellers Guards (integrated)

Instruction Manual

 

Should You Buy the Eachine E010 Mini?

The Eachine E010 Mini is a pretty cool toy for the kids and it could have a very good impact on their play and appreciation for higher-end drones. From creating little flight courses and races, this little fella can do a lot more than fly. Despite the fact that it is not suitable for outdoor flying, with a little creativity, a lot more could be enjoyed from the Eachine E010 Mini indoors. On top of it all, it has some really quality build considering that majority of the drone is plastic, it is quite resistant to crashes and accidents indoors during play. The major downside for the Eachine E010 Mini is its 5 minutes of flight and the fact that it has no camera. The good news is that for less than $20, you can get some extra batteries to increase the flight time per session. However, if you are big on the camera, we would recommend the Ryze Tello and the Holy Stone HS160 for drones under $100, the Phantom 3 for under $500 and if you have much to spend, you can check out the DJI Mavic Air 2 which is much more professional and can be used for a photography business, if you wish. 

Honestly, Is a Cheap Drone Under $100 Worth It?

At the beginning of this article, we called out your reason for wanting a drone in the first place, because honestly, the best drones under $100 make lots of sacrifices to get that price point. It could be a low-quality camera or none at all, a low-quality build for better flight time, or fancy features over what matters most. The Tello and the Holy Stone HS160 are great alternatives that provide a sort of all-around experience from flight to build, features, and specifications. Figuring out what you want the drone for will save you a lot of stress in selecting the best one available. 

If you are looking for best drones under $100, then you are probably a beginner to this whole drone thing so you want to figure out if you actually like flying before getting a high-end one. Or you are buying it for your kid who needs something good but not very complicated and complex. Or you are simply a drone collector and you want a cute little one with some decent performance you can show your friends during an excursion to your drone gallery. 

That said, anyone can fly these drones except that they are not very good for professional purposes like doing photography, or other professional uses. Most of the drones under $100 can easily be blown away in windy weather which means well, you are limited to indoors for some of them. For the few that can work quite well outdoors, you might have to be careful if you do not want to lose your drone. 

So is a drone under $100 worth it? Yes for beginners, kids, and hobbyists use. Nothing professional. 

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