Recently, I’ve reviewed drones in the $100 to $500 range, but your budget is even smaller still. You only want to spend around $50, and ideally less than that.
What are the best drones for the cost?
Here are the top drones under $50:
- Holy Stone HS210F
- Cheerwing CW4
- Potensic A20
- Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3
- DEERC D20
Even though you’re not spending that much money on a drone in this price range, you still want a good one. That’s precisely what this guide is designed to do.
I’ll review each drone and present specs so you can find one that suits you.
1. Holy Stone HS210F
Dimensions: 122 x 82 x 40 mm
Weight: 35 g
Max Flying Time: 7 mins
- Flies on land and in the sky!
- Offers three speed modes
- Has automated features for extending the fun
- Decent battery life for the cost
- Super inexpensive and well under your budget
- Nice design that beginners should appreciate
- The flashing lights might be a bit too much for some, but you have to long-press the controller button to activate them, so you can easily just skip this
- The bright and colorful design might make adults feel self-conscious using this drone
Starting this list is the kid-friendly beginner drone, the HS210F by Holy Stone.
While Holy Stone retails almost exclusively affordable drones, this one might be the most accessible yet. It costs under $30, so you can pick it up with cash to spare in your budget.
The HS210F is a two-in-one, meaning it can fly through the air and navigate on land. Its flight time is a moderate seven minutes in the air and longer on the ground.
Its appealing red color scheme with four black propeller guards gives the HS210F an unerring appeal, especially for kids and slightly older first-time pilots.
Launching this drone is effortless with the Throw-to-Go feature. Once it’s in the sky, this Holy Stone drone can perform all sorts of aerial tricks and stunts. It can drift, do 3D flips, or fly in Cruise Control mode.
No matter how you like to use your HS210F, be it on the ground or in the sky, you can do it in a way that’s comfortable for you.
The drone has three adjustable speed modes. You can start on the lowest speed if you’ve never flown before or skip straight to the middle or highest speeds.
The HS210F even has flashing lights if you’re into that sort of thing. With a long press of the remote controller button, the lights illuminate.
However, keep in mind that most drone laws prohibit pilots from flying at night or in other dim conditions where a bright light would be useful.
2. Cheerwing CW4
Dimensions: 14.17 x 14.01 x 4.25 in.
Weight: 0.26 lbs
Max Flying Time: 8 mins
Camera? Yes, 720p HD camera
- It has a camera and still costs under $50
- Has single-key takeoffs and landings
- Features headless mode, 3D flips, and other fun, beginner-friendly features
- Hovers in place for photography and videography
- Sleek design
- The camera quality leaves a lot to be desired
The first of two Cheerwing drones I’ll look at is the CW4.
The best feature of this drone by far is the inclusion of a camera. It’s an HD camera capable of shooting videos in 1280 x 720p quality at 30 frames per second and images in 2 MP quality.
Is that the greatest image and video quality on the planet? No, of course not, but cameras are rare in drones under $50. The camera will suffice for a first-time pilot.
I also quite like how this drone includes a microSD card that you can remove after your flights so you can store your footage on your computer.
Single-key takeoffs and landings will put any new pilot’s mind at ease, while headless mode is beginner-friendly enough that you can focus on having fun when flying.
The CW4 can also hover in place, which is the best way to take photos and videos on this drone.
After all, it lacks any kind of image/video stabilization, whether that’s EIS or a gimbal, so photos and videos taken when the drone is in motion will surely come out blurry.
You can also command the CW4 to do 3D flips at the push of a button. Beginners should enjoy the effortless aerial acrobatics.
The drone’s all-white color scheme gives it a more professional appearance than the Holy Stone HS210F, which is an important consideration for some pilots.
The drone uses two batteries and flies for up to eight consecutive minutes.
3. Potensic A20
Dimensions: 90 x 80 x 30 mm
Weight: 91 g
Max Range: 30 m
Max Flying Time: 21 mins
- Has three speed settings to select from
- Comes in three colors
- Offers more of the automated modes beginners need
- Has single-key takeoffs and landings
- Can fly for a long time with three batteries
- Flight time can be a lot shorter with fewer than three batteries
- Must purchase a charging cord separately
Potensic has a range of entry-level drones for pilots, with the A20 one of the lowest-cost and most beginner-friendly.
Fitting into the palm of your hand and weighing little, the A20 is a great drone for kids and adults.
Its frame and four propeller guards mean this drone can handle basic flight wear and tear well (but not necessarily crashes and tumbles).
Kids can also fly this drone without worrying about painful cuts from sharp propellers.
Intended for indoor and outdoor use, the A20 also has three speed settings.
If you want automated modes, the A20 has ‘em in droves, from headless mode to altitude mode. Single-key takeoffs and landings get this drone in the sky faster, as does its super simple setup out of the box.
Just insert the three batteries, hold the calibration button, and you’re ready to fly.
Potensic advertises the flight time for the A20 as between 18 and 21 minutes, but that’s only with all three batteries. This drone flies for under 10 minutes if you use fewer than three batteries.
Choose from three fun colors: bright red, neon green, and sunny yellow.
Click here to learn how to connect Potensic drones to your phone.
4. Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3
Dimensions: 31.5 x 31.5 x 10.5 cm
Weight: 119 g
Max Range: 50 m
Max Flying Time: 7 mins
Camera? Yes, 720p HD camera
- Includes a decent-quality camera
- Features single-key takeoffs and landings
- Offers automated features through the Cheerwing app
- Appealing design
- ABS plastic shell for decent durability
- Doesn’t include propeller guards
- Only has two speed settings
Here’s another drone for under $50 that includes a camera, the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3.
The latest version of the Syma X5SW before this one was released in 2021.
That version was notably missing a camera, but the third version of this beloved drone has one. It’s an HD Wi-Fi camera that shoots in 720p quality.
Use the Cheerwing app to transmit your footage as you take it in real-time, a feature that’s usually reserved for drones that cost four to five times more than this one.
Pilots who are just getting into photography and videography will appreciate the inclusion of a six-axis gyro across four channels for better flight stabilization and speed.
I would still recommend hovering this drone to take videos and photos, as it doesn’t have much else in the way of stabilization.
Your smartphone becomes the controller, with iPhone and Android devices supported.
Once you’re up and running, you can use features like headless mode, 360-degree 3D rolls, and trajectory flights. You can even create custom routes.
Choose from two speed settings, low or high, so you can fly no matter how inexperienced or seasoned you are.
The ABS white plastic frame with colorful accents makes the X5SW a looker in the sky as it flies gracefully for up to seven minutes.
5. DEERC D20
Mini Drone for Kids with 720P HD FPV Camera Remote Control Toys Gifts for Boys Girls with Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, One Key Start Speed Adjustment, 3D Flips 2 Batteries, Silver.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/03/2023 09:37 pm GMT
Dimensions: 7.72 x 6.38 x 1.69 in
Weight: 69 g
Max Flying Time: 10 mins
Camera? Yes, 720p camera
- Has a variety of automated features
- Available in five fun colors
- Features gestures for taking selfies
- Has a voice control feature
- Includes a 720p camera
- Not so great at hovering, which can impact drone photography and videography
The DEERC D20 is another great drone within this price range.
I love how it has safety features. The Emergency Stop mode tells the drone to stop spinning if it collides with objects or walls during its flight.
The drone also has propeller guards and a low-power alarm. Those are more safety modes than the other drones we’ve looked at.
One-key takeoffs and landings will help new pilots orient themselves to this drone more smoothly, while headless and altitude modes will also build confidence.
The D20 can roll and flip in the direction of your choosing without any manual effort on your part.
The inclusion of the Gesture Selfie mode is unique for a drone at this price point. You usually have to spend at least $100 for a feature like that.
The D20 will take photos or videos depending on how you gesticulate to the drone.
And yes, this drone does have a camera, an HD Wi-Fi camera with 720p quality.
Combining that with its automatic hovering feature lets you take some decent footage. FPV transmissions enable you to send that footage as you capture it.
You can even command this drone with your voice, which is sure to impress your friends and family as they watch you zip the D20 around. Its batteries support 10 minutes of flight.
You have some good color variety with the DEERC D20, as you can pick from hues like silver, white, black, blue, or red.
What are the benefits of a beginner drone under $50?
Beginner-friendly drones under $50 are advantageous for a lot of reasons, so let’s take a closer look.
Don’t have to register it
Hobbyists only have to register a drone with most governing drone agencies if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds or 150 grams. You won’t have to register yours since drones that cost $50 or under are largely toys.
You can save a step and get right to the fun part, which is flying your drone, whether that’s in your home, your backyard, or the local park.
Be aware that even if you don’t have to register your drone, you still must abide by the drone laws in your country when operating it. However, those laws are often more relaxed for your lightweight drone.
You can usually fly closer to buildings and crowds, even flying over people’s heads. You can’t do that with a heavier drone!
Drones at this price point are exclusively for beginners. A more experienced pilot won’t seek a drone for less than $50, as they’ll want more features.
The features you get in a low-cost drone are enough that you can get your drone into the sky and safely land it and enjoy it more while it flies.
Automated flight modes show what your drone can do, and speed settings let you work your way up to a comfortable level.
It doesn’t get cheaper than drones under $50. A drone is still a piece of tech, after all, so it’s not like you’re going to find one for $5 or $10 unless it’s used.
Bright and colorful
As you get into more expensive, mid-level drones, the color selection disappears, and the fun lights and sound effects vanish.
These are more professional drones, which explains their demurer exterior, but there’s something about a low-cost drone that’s so exciting.
These drones are designed to appeal to kids, so that’s why they have colorful designs, but that doesn’t mean adults can’t fly them!
Fun to fly
Drones in this price range are among the most fun to fly. The abovementioned automated features allow for a more hands-off approach, or you can manually fly if you wish.
Propeller guards and automatic stops will make you feel safer as you enjoy countless hours of fun with your drone.