The Best Drones Under $50 – We tested 5 of the best

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Best Drones Under $50

You’ve seen the cool footage and pictures taken by drones…then you look up the prices and realize you can’t afford one. A lot of the best drones cost thousands of dollars! If you have kids, they might want a drone due to stuff they’ve seen on social media. But here’s a bit of life advice: stop focusing on what you can’t do and focus on what you can. And most people can buy the best drones under $50. So, what’s the best of all budget drones?

The DeeRC D20 is one of the best drones under 50 bucks. It has simple controls—one touch lets you land and fly. It can also flip, follow flight paths, and do other basic tricks. But it also has a few pro features like wayfinding, stabilization, and, most impressively, voice commands! It’s very beginner-friendly. Even though it doesn’t have all the spectacular features of modern drones, it has the basics down. If your kid has been begging for a drone, the DeeRC D20 will be a fine start to their piloting career.

DEERC D20

The D20 has a camera, does tricks, and is great for learning the ropes of drone control. Flying and landing are one-touch commands.

It has a flight time of approximately 20 minutes. The camera isn’t great, but if you want a good beginner drone experience, go with the DeeRC D20.

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If you want to get into drones without spending thousands of dollars, the DeeRC D20 is the best overall drone for under 50 bucks.

Unlike most of the other drones on this list, the DeeRC D20 has several features that could be on pro drones. For example, you can set a flight path using the app on your phone. The D20 also has a degree of stabilization—a feature that other budget drones would love to have. The DeeRC D20 is pretty close to a professional-grade drone at less than half the price.

It also has voice commands—a feature most drones, professional or not, do not have. Along with using the remote, you can tell the D20 to stop, move left/right, or land. No other drone on this list has this feature, so have fun talking to your drone. 

This drone is currently on Amazon for just under $50, but it might not stay that way. Apply all the coupons you can!

Mind, The DeeRC D20 is still a budget drone. The camera is only 720p (worse than most phones). The propellors lack protection; be a little careful with this drone around kids. Some reviews also report the controls not being as easy as they thought. But if you just want a drone to show to your kids, the DeeRC D20 is the best drone under $50.

Holy Stone Mini Drone

Holy Stone drones are great for tricks. This one does flips, circles, and other tricks in midair.

If you have siblings, it comes in three different colors, so you can always tell whose drone is whose.

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Veterans of this blog will recognize Holy Stone as a great budget brand, and their Mini Drone is no exception! The Holy Stone Mini Drone is the best value for money. This drone has many of the same features as the DeeRC, including one-tap stopping and landing. It can also maintain a steady altitude. And with its protected propellers, it’s safe for children and pets.

The main problem is that this drone often breaks due to beginner mistakes. Many new pilots are not prepared for how this drone rises for its first flight. This leads to many crashes from the word “go.” Step back, be patient, and read the manual. Also, if you want a drone with a camera, the Holy Stone Mini drone does not have one.

NEHEME NH525

The NH525 is really, really light. However, it has no stabilizing mechanisms as seen in more professional drones.

Its light construction makes it extremely foldable and compact allowing you to take it anywhere!

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If you’re a potential pilot looking for the best drone under $50, the NEHEME NH525 might be the one for you. It is almost on par with a drone in a higher price bracket. But its features are just similar enough to a professional drone to make it the best for beginners.

Let’s start with the camera. The camera offers an excellent 1080p. That’s almost double what the DeeRC had. It’s not a great camera but gives you a better idea of what you will get if you want to upgrade to a bigger drone. All of these factors make the NH525 a strong contender for the title of best drone under $50.

The biggest drawback to the NH525 is the app. The app is very slow and has a bad UI; this reviewer mentioned not being able to read all of the terms and conditions. The company could save people a lot of stress by changing the wallpaper!

The sales video lies about how stable this drone is; multiple reviews mention how the slightest breeze makes it waver. At least if it gets blown away, it’s just 50 bucks.

Force1 UFO 4000

Once you get it in the air, it does all kinds of neat tricks, including flips and circles.

The drone has exciting neon red and blue LED lights that show up brilliantly in the dark

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The Force1 UFO 4000 advertises itself as a “flying toy for kids,” but I prefer “the best budget option.” This is a fun drone. If you have kids, this might be the perfect drone for them.

But the Force1 UFO 4000 also has a feature that not many drones, professional or not, have: it lights up! .Be careful piloting it outside; this drone does not have a return-to-home feature and can easily get lost.

All these good points crash against multiple, varied reports of propellor damage. The toy comes with spares, almost as if they saw this issue coming. But the excellent customer service almost makes up for it. The company knows this drone is for kids, and kids will break things. Between a bunch of fun gimmicks and excellent customer service, this is a strong contender for the best drone under $50.

Dwi Dowellin

Its bright lights and multiple colors make it one of the best for kids.

It’s well-protected, so kids can handle it without any worries.

It’s also small enough to slide under slightly-lifted furniture like benches, making it a ton of fun!

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Speaking of drones that can light up your life, the speedy, maneuverable Dwi Dowellin also has colorful lights.

However, this drone has the lifespan of a mayfly. Either its batteries die quickly (sometimes in midair with zero warning) or dust and other bits of fluff get in the propellors. The company is usually pretty generous within a certain timeframe, so please contact them if your drone dies unexpectedly.

And yes, Dwi Dowellin encourages you to contact them if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase. People who broke their drones have gotten free replacements in the mail. Nobody expected such stellar service from one of the best drones under $50, but I’ll take it!

Buying Guide

Are you ready to make a child’s eyes light up? Or maybe you want to try a drone for yourself after hearing so much about them. Whatever your reasons for seeking a budget drone, here are some things to consider when deciding.

What Are the Benefits of Buying Cheaper Drones?

The most obvious benefit of buying a cheaper drone is, well, saving money. You may also be a beginner and not want to break a hundred-dollar drone (and you will crash). And if you have a kid, getting a possibly delicate, expensive drone will not end well.

If you don’t have any major plans for your drone and just want to mess around, why spend hundreds of dollars on a machine? Just because you appreciate Autel’s amazing image quality doesn’t mean a child will. Look for the best drone under $50 instead!

Why Do Budget Drones Have Short Flight Times?

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you may have noticed that I don’t talk as much about battery life when it comes to budget drones. That’s because even the best budget drone won’t fly longer than ~20 minutes. If you look at professional drones, too, you’ll notice that 30 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, yet these machines cost hundreds of dollars.

Why?

The reason any drones have short flight times is that drones, in general, are inefficient. Most of them have very short propellors, meaning that those blades have to spin very quickly. This takes a lot more power than you think it does. Learn more about what makes drones burn battery life and how to make the most of your batteries here. Think about why hummingbirds need to drink so much nectar and you’ll have an idea as to why drones burn power so quickly!

And of course, professional drones have more research and efficiency put into them. Most toys don’t have that much effort behind them. They are meant to be relatively disposable.

best drone under 50

What Should I Look for in a Budget Drone?

There are a few factors to consider when picking out a budget drone. All of them should go into your decision to buy a drone. Adjust your priorities accordingly.

Price

If you are reading this article, price is a concern for you. You may have seen drone videos and wanted to try a drone without breaking the bank, or maybe your kid saw a drone at the mall (those are still around, right?) and wants one. Whether you’re on a tight budget or you have a kid who wants a drone, there are plenty of reasons to seek a budget UAV.

You may, however, get only what you paid for. Many cheap drones are also cheap in the “breaks easily” sense, so even though the price is a factor, a cheap drone may not last long.

Flight Time

Budget drones generally do not have good flight times. You may need to replace batteries when piloting a budget drone, but even so, don’t expect a flight time much longer than 20 minutes.

Your flight time may also come in the form of multiple batteries, meaning you have to land your drone and “reload.” Toy drones are not designed for efficiency—or long lifespans.

Extra Features

There aren’t going to be too many extra features since these are basic drones. But if you want to impress a kid, look for drones with speed, tricks, and lights. Don’t count on any of these drones to have things like obstacle avoidance, wind resistance, or good cameras.

Camera or No Camera?

Most of the time, you will not need a camera for your mini-drone. If you are just trying to make a kid happy, factor in what they would like, their attention span, etc. Most cameras on drones under $50 are not very good and may not even be worth the money.

But probably the best reason to get a mini-drone with a camera is the experience. Most pros buy drones because of their cameras. But if you’re just buying it for a child, or as a cat toy (spoiler: cats tend to freak out around drones), don’t worry too much about getting a camera.

Conclusion

When it comes to the best drone under $50, I believe the DeeRC D20 is the one to buy. It’s a great all-around drone that, for now, sits under $50. The NEHEME 525 is also a good buy if you can get it for $50. The other three I mentioned are all trick drones that are excellent for beginner pilots or kids. It all depends on where you want to start. That said, most of these are great starters or toy drones, but if you want something with a good camera, you’ll have to reach a little higher.

DEERC D20

The D20 has a camera, does tricks, and is great for learning the ropes of drone control. Flying and landing are one-touch commands.

It has a flight time of approximately 20 minutes. The camera isn’t great, but if you want a good beginner drone experience, go with the DeeRC D20.

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AUTHOR

Keith Moreau is the founder and chief editor at Flyver.co. His aim? Simple. Cut through the jargon and help you fly better and safer with your drone.

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