Best Drones Under $300

The Quality Starter Drones

drones-for-beginners

Drones under 300 bucks are at the lower end of mid-range. The Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) in this guide list the best camera drones available right now. Not ready to spend this much just yet? Take a look at my other guides for drones under $200, $100, and less than $50.

Keep reading if 300 bucks are within your price range. You’ll love the seven beauties I’ve found for you. What we have here are some impressive crafts packed with advanced features and exciting specs. These are quadcopters aimed at serious entry-level pilots and seasoned hobbyists.

Why these Drones?

This is not simply a list of camera drones picked out at random. I have personally researched every machine in this guide and compared them against similar models in the price category. I base my final decision on a number of factors (see below).

These no-nonsense reviews present the most feature-packed models currently for sale on sites like Amazon. It’s quite possible to fly some very capable crafts without the need of a second mortgage.

UAVs in this price range should provide everything a budding pilot needs. Some of you will use them as a stepping stone before moving on to the higher end of mid-range or above. Manufacturers usually aim their expensive drones at prosumers and professionals who make money from their hobby.

NameRangeFlight TimeRatingPrice
top-pick-drone
TOPPICK

UPair One Drone

800m+18 minutes
4.3


best-value-drone
BESTVALUE

Hubsan H501S X4

300m20 minutes
4.5


budget-drone
BUDGET

Goolsky MJX Bugs

300m12 minutes
4.8


Choose Your Budget:

About these Reviews

It would be easy to write pieces based purely on my own preferences. That’s not how these reviews work. My best budget, best value, and top pick are all mine, but the not the reviews. To remove any bias in these write-ups I take other things into consideration before giving each of these drones a final Editor’s Rating. This includes things like the opinions of industry experts and real user feedback.

The table below shows my seven affordable drones in the order they appear in this guide:

Make & ModelCameraFlight TimeFlight RangePrice Check
Goolsky MJX Bugs Racing Quad720P HD12 minutes300 meters
Onagofly Nano Smart 1 Plus1080P HD10 minutes100 meters
Hubsan H501S X41080P HD20 minutes300 meters
UPair One Drone1080P HD18 minutes600+ meters
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition720P HD10+ minutesWiFi dependent
Wingsland S6 Camo Mini Drone4K30P UHD10 minutes100 meters
ARRIS X-Speed 250B700 TVL10 minutes900 meters
GOPROPIC

Goolsky MJX Bugs 6 B6

The Pros

  • Affordable entry-level racing drone
  • Great design, crash resistant
  • +5 more
  • High and low-speed modes
  • Excellent FPV functionality
  • Powerful brushless motors
  • Decent flight time
  • Long flight range

The Cons

  • Some reports that Altitude Hold doesn’t always work well
  • Fast for a camera drone, slow for a racing quad
  • +1 more
  • Frame rates can drop

4.8

The first of my drone picks for less than 300 bucks is the Goolsky MJX Bugs 6. It uses powerful motors and serves as a great racing quad as well as a capable aerial camera drone.

  • Best Feature 1:1806 KV1800 brushless motors
  • Best Feature 2: 300m smooth image transmission
  • Plus Points: : Weak signal and low voltage alerts, fast stable flyer, high-speed, bright LEDs
  • Minus Points: Altitude hold not always reliable, top speed not overly competitive

Tech Specs

Drone dimensions:11.4 x 11.4 x 3.5″
Weight:282 (9.9 oz.)
Maximum flight time:12 minutes
Charging Time:120 minutes (2 hrs.)
Maximum Flight range:300m (984 ft.)
Camera :720P HD
Controller type:2-way 2.4 GHz
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It’s hard not to love the MJX Bugs 6. It looks the part of a pro racer even though the company aims it at the entry-level user. I’d say they’ve got the price/quality ratio spot on with this craft. Immerse yourself in a private world of smooth image transmission. Fly over long distances with VR goggles using the drone’s effective FPV capability. Now add to this a top speed of 31mph and enjoy the ride.

It’s not in the same league as racing drones that exceed 80mph of course. But if it was then it wouldn’t be an entry-level racer. The display qualities are amazing for the price. It starts with the capable 720P HD camera. There’s also the 4.3″ LCD remote control display monitor, and FPV G3 goggles (included). And if night flying/racing is your thing the super-bright LED lights will illuminate the way.

Having 4k resolution would have been the icing on the cake. Still, we can’t expect everything for a drone costing around 220 bucks (at the time of writing). The 720P HD camera won’t let you down and it’s more than okay for a UAV in this class.

The Bugs B6 Flying Capability

Overall this is a steady smooth flyer and heaps of fun to pilot. The 6-axis control helps to keep the B6 steady when performing fast maneuvers. The recovery time is impressive too. The maximum flight time is a generous 12 minutes. The flight range is an even more impressive 300m (984 ft.). Alas, the long 2-hours charging time makes it necessary to always keep a couple of spare batteries with you.

The Conclusion

The Goolsky MJX Bugs 6 B6 is not for folks who have experience in high-speed racing. Likewise, it’s not for anyone who wants to record ultra-high-quality (UHD) aerial footage. It’s ideal for every enthusiastic novice who wants a fun flying experience and an introduction to drone racing. It’s also a great looking camera drone and the perfect craft for developing aerial photography and piloting skills.

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ONAGOPROPIC

Onagofly Smart 1 Plus

The Pros

  • Small, portable, powerful
  • Fun and easy to fly
  • +6 more
  • User-friendly features
  • Easy to follow app
  • Virtual control using smartphone
  • Share to social media instantly
  • The perfect selfie-drone
  • Great camera, tilts to capture footage at any angle

The Cons

  • Battery can be fiddly to change
  • High price tag for a nano drone
  • +1 more
  • Some reports of toilet-bowling when left in auto-hover mode

4.6

The ONAGOfly 1 Plus is a much-anticipated upgrade to the ONAGOfly 1st generation. It may seem costly for a small quad but it’s packed with lots of impressive features as you’re about to see.

  • Best Feature 1:Palm-sized portable nano quad-copter
  • Best Feature 2: Takes video and photos from any angle
  • Plus Points: : Great camera, GPS navigation, obstacle avoidance, app control, live streaming
  • Minus Points: Flight time inconsistencies, damaged reputation overlapping from V. 1.0

Tech Specs

Drone dimensions:15 x 5 x 2.6″
Weight:190g (6.7 oz.)
Maximum flight time:10 minutes
Charging Time:30 minutes (0.5 hr.)
Maximum Flight range:100m (328 ft.)
Camera :13MP HD Sony
Controller type:Smart phone app control, 2.4G WIFI Frequency
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Feature Packed or What!

Look at what the Plus 1 offers for a palm-sized quadcopter:

  • Highly-portable craft
  • 13MP HD Sony high-resolution camera with tilt mode
  • Virtual control mode
  • GPS mode
  • Auto-follow and U-turn
  • One-key take-off and landing
  • Easy-to-use intuitive app
  • Instantly share images to social media

Flying the Onagofly Smart 1 Plus using a smartphone and WiFi connection is incredibly easy. For the most part it does what it’s supposed to do. That lets the pilot get on with filming and taking aerial photos without having to worry too much about the airborne craft. One complaint from a few users is that the Plus one has a tendency to toilet bowl in the auto-hover mode when left alone for too long.

They call this the selfie-smart nano drone because the Sony 13MP HD camera can track and film you wherever and whenever. The tilting camera lets you shoot at any angle and create some really impressive footage. Whether you’re standing on top a mountain, surfing, or doing some action sport, this drone will capture it all in impressive detail.

The Conclusion

The Onagofly Smart 1 Plus is a great gift for anyone who wants a portable and very capable little nano drone. It sports some of the features usually found on higher end drones. The virtual control mode adds to its simplicity. The 10-minute flight time and 100-meter flight range give you plenty of scope for fun. The 30 minute fast recharging time is another bonus feature that checks an important box.

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Hubsanpropic

Hubsan H501S X4

The Pros

  • Beautiful design, value for money
  • Ready-To-Fly (RTF)
  • +6 more
  • KV1650 PM1806 brushless motors
  • 1080p HD camera
  • Complete FPV package
  • Excellent flight time
  • Long flight range
  • Follow-me function
  • User-friendly flight modes

The Cons

  • No blade protection
  • Long charging time

4.5

Keep reading if you’re searching for a good-looking, feature-rich quadcopter. The Hubsan H501S X4 also sports that much sought-after feature called follow-me mode, but there’s plenty more besides.

  • Best Feature 1:Powerful KV1650 PM1806 brushless motors
  • Best Feature 2: Decent quality 1080P HD camera
  • Plus Points: : Robust quad, GPS Position Hold, Altitude Hold, One-Key Return & Landing
  • Minus Points: FLost altitude during acceleration

Tech Specs

Drone dimensions:8.7 x 8.7 x 2.8″
Weight:410g (14.5 oz.)
Maximum flight time:20 minutes
Charging Time:150 minutes (2:30 min)
Maximum Flight range:300m (984 ft.)
Camera :Inbuilt 1080p HD
Controller type:4-channel 2.4GHz RC with 4.3″ color screen
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What’s nice about the Hubsan, H501S X4 is that it sports a lot of the same features as the costlier mid-range crafts. It’s a particularly user-friendly drone. It’s an excellent quad for those who want an introduction to amateur aerial photography and video. Hasan has also equipped this quad with a complete FPV package so that pilots can enjoy real-time video up to a range of 300 meters.

Powerful, Durable, Reliable, User-Friendly

Another great feature is the brushless motors as they’re more powerful, durable, and reliable. Most drones in this price category use the old style brushed motors. Now add to this the GPS position hold feature, follow-me mode, altitude hold, and one-button take-off/landing. You have a stable, easy-to-fly quad that delivers a lot of bang for its $219 price tag (at the time of writing).

The 1080p camera has a 120° Field of View (FOV) and is built-in (fixed). It delivers footage that is on the high-side of average so you won’t find too many complaints about photos, video, or FPV. On top of all these impressive characteristics is the even more impressive 20-minute maximum flight time. The 150-minute battery charging time is the biggest gripe! Make sure you invest in one or two spares.

The maximum flight-range with the intuitive 2.4GHz controller is a generous 300 meters. The RC also sports a nice 4.3″ color screen which is a nice touch.

The Conclusion

These are just some of the highlights of this amazing Ready-To-Fly (RTF) quadcopter. It’s a brilliant consumer drone suited to beginners and enthusiasts alike. Follow the link under the table for a full list of technical specs and impressive features

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UPAIRPROPIC

UPair One Drone

The Pros

  • Great quad for the advanced beginner and seasoned hobbyist
  • Nice design, durable construction
  • +5 more
  • Decent flight time per charge
  • Incredible flight range
  • Quality camera pics & video
  • Excellent flight range
  • Easy to assemble

The Cons

  • Not always easy to find spare parts for this craft
  • User manual only available in English and Chinese
  • +1 more
  • 2-axis gimbal not great

4.3

The Upair One is a great all-around quadcopter for under 300 bucks. It looks similar to the much-loved DJI 3. Even so, this craft had made a name for itself based on its own spec sheet and performance.

  • Best Feature 1: Nice 7″ FPV monitor RC
  • Best Feature 2: 2.7K camera 1080P full HD with 2-axis gimbal
  • Plus Points: : Low-voltage return home feature, user-friendly, solid build, great value
  • Minus Points: Non-optimized gimbal, spare parts can be difficult to find

Tech Specs

Drone dimensions:19×14.1×9.7″
Weight:1350g (3 lbs.)
Maximum flight time:18 minutes
Charging Time:90 minutes (1.5 hr.)
Maximum Flight range:800m+ (1969+ ft.)
Camera :2.7K Full HD (1080P)
Controller type:2.4G RC+FPV monitor
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I write these guides because too many budget-priced quads have now inundated the consumer drone market. The problem is there’re too many choices now. And a lot of these new arrivals are of “questionable quality”. In other words, they can over-promise and under-deliver. The UPair One Drone is not one of them, hence its #4 slot in this guide.

The remote controller doesn’t have an HD screen but it’s a practical RC all the same. The 2.7K camera is impressive for a drone that costs half the price of a DJI. You can even get a 4K version if you’re serious about the aerial photography and videography side of things. There’s also First Person View (FPV) live video capability that puts you right in the virtual pilot’s seat.

User-Friendly Flight Features Aplenty

This quad flies really well and provides a rewarding experience for the novice to the more advanced user. There are plenty of operator-friendly flight features that help to instill pilot confidence:

  • Altitude Hold Mode
  • Headless Mode
  • One key Return Home
  • Position Hold Mode
  • Low-voltage return home
  • Lost contact return home

The 2-axis gimbal is better than nothing but a 3-axis would have given more camera control to the operator. In fact, the gimbal is one of the biggest gripes for this product. Considering the price tag, though, I don’t see this as a major drawback but you may think differently.

The company boasts a flight time of around 18-minutes. This is a little ambitious to be honest. But even a slightly lesser flight time is better than most of the competition. Charging time is average at 90-minutes. The flight range is phenomenal at around 800m. The FPV range is about 500m.

The Conclusion

The Upair One quadcopter looks great, is easy to control, and makes a great gift. It’s suitable for drone enthusiasts at any age and skill level. The suggestion is that under-14s should fly it with supervision.

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Parrotreview1

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition

The Pros

  • Great value quad for its class
  • Durable, crash-resistant
  • +5 more
  • Unique design
  • First Person View (FPV)
  • Easy iOS/Android FreeFlight app
  • Hide, race, and flip modes
  • Auto-stabilization

The Cons

  • Short landing equipment
  • Some reports of WiFi Connectivity issues
  • +1 more
  • Average battery life (flight time)

4.2

The Upair One is a great all-around quadcopter for under 300 bucks. It looks similar to the much-loved DJI 3. Even so, this craft had made a name for itself based on its own spec sheet and performance.

  • Best Feature 1:Absolute Control piloting mode (great feature for beginners)
  • Best Feature 2: Record photos and video footage directly on your mobile device
  • Plus Points: : Crash-resistant, unique acrobatic moves, compatible with iOS and Android
  • Minus Points: potential WiFi connectivity issues, average battery life

Tech Specs

Drone dimensions:23 x 5 x 23″
Weight:1814g (4 lbs.)
Maximum flight time:10+ minutes
Charging Time:90+ minutes
Maximum Flight range:WiFi dependent
Camera :Inbuilt HD 720p 30fps
Controller type:: FreeFlight app with smartphone and tablet
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The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition comes in three color designs; Jungle, Sand, and Snow. You’ll either love its style or prefer something more conventional. This craft is a beautiful steady flyer thanks to its effective navigation system and embedded sensors. It may take a little practice if you’re a novice but it’s an easy quad to fly and to perform impressive stunts.

Camera Quality and Function

The AR.Drone is also a camera quad equipped with a 720p camera that can face forward or down. Video and image quality is okay but not brilliant. It’s similar to the footage you’d expect from a budget-end smartphone. The quality is perfectly adequate if fun flying is your priority. You’ll need something better if you want to get more serious about aerial photography and videography.

The drone’s mobile app looks after all the still images and video footage by saving them to your mobile device (tablet or smartphone). Flying and filming with the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is a gratifying experience. The 10-minute maximum flight time is around average for drones in this class as is the 90-minute charging time. The flight range depends on factors such as WiFi and flying environment.

The Conclusion

Are you somewhere between toy drones and mid-range quadcopters? The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition sits nicely in the middle ground. It’s easily portable, heaps of fun, and looks pretty cool to boot.

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Wingpropic

Wingsland S6 Camo Mini Drone

The Pros

  • Slim and elegant design
  • Portable pocket selfie drone
  • +5 more
  • Reliable brushless motors
  • Built-in 6-axis Gyro
  • Decent 13MP camera/4K video
  • Sharp photo/clear filming
  • WiFi Remote Control

The Cons

  • Average flight time
  • Long battery charging time

4.0

The Wingsland S6 (Outdoor Edition) hasn’t quite caught on—yet—but I think it’s a worthy contender. It’s the first drone in this guide that offers 4k video resolution and costs less than all the other models.

  • Best Feature 1:4K30P and 1080P60P HD Video
  • Best Feature 2: Superior brushless motors
  • Plus Points: : pocketable, portable, lightweight, obstacle avoidance, available in five colors
  • Minus Points: long charging time, firmware updates fiddly

Tech Specs

Drone dimensions:7.4 x 5 x 3″
Weight:260g (9.2 oz.)
Maximum flight time:10 minutes
Charging Time:120 minutes (2 hrs.)
Maximum Flight range:100m (328 ft.)
Camera :4K30P UHD
Controller type:Smartphone and Smart App control
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This ultra-thin phone sized drone has an inbuilt 4K camera and a beautiful foldable design. There aren’t many drones that fit this easily into your pocket with so much technology. The camera is something else. You get HD Video at 4K30P and 1080P60P, steadied by the EIS 3-Axis Digital Stabilization. It’s all under your control via smartphone and the comprehensive Smart App.

It’s easy to take to the skies with the S6 mini quad by Wingsland. All you do is unfold the arms and push the blades into position. Once paired with the smart app you’re good to go.

I wouldn’t recommend the S6 to the complete beginner because it does take some experience and skill to get used to it. It has lots of user-friendly features but the actual flight control by mobile device is the tricky part. If it has a remote control device it would be different but it doesn’t have that option.

Another unique feature usually reserved for the costlier crafts is the obstacle avoidance. There are lots of other flyer-friendly flight features and intelligent modes too, including:

  • One Click Return-To-Home
  • Course-Lock mode
  • Home-Lock Mode
  • Orbit
  • Follow-Me
  • Outdoor Auto Hovering

I’ve only touched on a few of the key highlights and it reads like a review on a much higher-priced drone. On closer inspection, though, it does fall short on mid-range models but it’s still excellent value for the money. Some folks prefer to have a drone with a physical transmitter. Others like larger crafts. However, such things are subjective rather than critical.

It would have been nice to see a longer flight time than 10-minutes for this lightweight quad. Some users even say 7-8 minutes is more realistic. The 100 meters flight range is adequate for a small craft. The 120-minute charging time is a major gripe as there’s no bonus battery. And some users report that firmware updates are not always smooth.

The Conclusion

I’m a person who likes to travel light so I love almost everything about this capable little quadcopter. It’s hard to find such a quality feature-packed craft for the money. The Wingsland S6 Camo Mini Drone makes a nice gift for advanced-beginners and above.

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Arrispropic

ARRIS X-Speed 250B

The Pros

  • Ready-To-Fly (RTF)
  • Durable craft
  • +6 more
  • Powerful brushless motors
  • Fast flyer for its class
  • Excellent for FPV racing
  • Upgradable
  • Vibration damper to steady filming
  • Reasonable flight time

The Cons

  • Transmitter screen not easy to see in bright daylight
  • Camera mount restricts up-tilt
  • +1 more
  • Fairly low Payload capacity

3.9

My final choice in this guide is the ARRIS X-Speed 250B V2 Quadcopter. It’s another First Person View (FPV) racing drone that comes Ready-To-Fly right out of the box—well almost.

  • Best Feature 1:Highly-durable frame & arms
  • Best Feature 2: Powerful brushless motors
  • Plus Points: : Can use FPV goggles, pre-assembled, tuned & tested, Raptor 390 Tower
  • Minus Points: Restricted camera tilt, RC display dim under bright outdoor light

Tech Specs

Drone dimensions:7.88 x 9.35 x 2.63″
Weight:400g (14.1 oz.)
Maximum flight time:10 minutes
Charging Time:4S Lipo battery
Maximum Flight range:900m (2953 ft.)
Camera :700TVL 2.8mm
Controller type:Flycolor 4-in-1
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This version of the ARRIS X-Speed 250B is fully-assembled. They even do some fine-tuning and testing before it leaves the factory. The X-Speed has something called the Raptor 390 Tower that keeps the wiring protected and clean. If you’re familiar with this type of craft you’ll know how important this is.

The Radiolink AT9 transmitter (included) is intuitive and fully-configurable. Being able to tinker is exactly what you want from a racing drone setup. The only downside is that the transmitter screen is not the easiest to see outdoors on sunny days.

The fitted 700 TVL camera is not bad and takes fairly decent videos without delays. You can adjust the camera from 0-to-45-degrees which is a nice touch though a little restrictive. It’s possible to get up to 10-minutes flight time but this ultimately depends on the battery used (not included).

The Conclusion

This is not a beginner’s quad. If you’re new to racing look at something more suitable at the entry-level like the Goolsky MJX Bugs 6 B6. If you’re ready to move up to the next level then ARRIS X-Speed 250B will serve you well. It’s fast and furious and provides amazing First Person View (FPV). Opt for an FPV headset like the Fat Shark Dominator V3 for a totally immersive experience.

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