In order to become a serious drone pilot, pilots spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on their setups, either by building their own from parts or just by picking up a ready-to-fly drone. We may one day look into building our own rig, but for now, we’ll focus on off-the-shelf options that are relatively cheap while you get the hang of things.
No matter how much experience you have flying, you’re going to want the best drones under 500 that you can get your hands on. This category of drones has some truly high-quality machines in it, with features and capabilities that put them ahead of their price point in terms of quality, durability, and ease of use. Here are seven of the best drones under $500 that money can buy!
In order to save time, we’ve assembled this list of the best drones for under $500 and put together a brief overview of each product. It includes a list of qualities you should look for when purchasing one as well as our recommendation for the best deal if you’re looking to buy one today at an affordable price.
Top 3 Drones under 500
Fun and easy to fly
Good 2.7K camera
Under 250 grams
Things We Considered In Choosing The Best Drones under 500
When choosing a Drones under 500, many factors should be taken into consideration. Safety is paramount, but as teenagers might be new to the hobby, it’s necessary that they have an efficient failsafe protocol installed on their device.
The young pilot should also consider a few features to ensure he or she is getting a great product for the price.
Average Flight Time:
Battery life and drone technology has improved significantly over the past few years, resulting in longer flight times for drones. Therefore, you can expect an average of between 15-30 minutes when flying your drone – but this may depend on what features are prioritized by each brand.
However, keep in mind that increased payload will result in decreased flight time. Know the expected flight-time of your drone for each mode and act accordingly. Nobody wants to miss out on taking a photo due to low battery life – let alone if it was the best they ever took!
Average Battery Life:
The battery life of a drone has implications on the amount of time it can fly. For example, most drones last about 30 minutes before needing to recharge or replace the battery. Factors that may decrease this include weight and wind speed. In addition, accessories attached will reduce its flight time; but often times having spare batteries helps compensate for this so you won’t lose out on flying time. Lastly, some models come equipped with alarms or displays indicating when your battery is at critically low levels so you don’t miss out on using them before they die completely.
Average Control Range:
One of the most popular features among drone enthusiasts is range. Of course, it’s essential to invest in a long-range device when you’re purchasing something at this cost level. Fortunately, control distances are fairly satisfying for drones within this price range – usually between 500 and 1000 meters depending on manufacturer. Some companies even put emphasis on long range models that can transmit signals up to 4000 meters without any interruption!
Of course, you must expect (and demand) perfect performance from any drone that made it on the best drones under $500 list. Accurate controls, great capability in flying in windy days, and steady hover even without any pilot’s input are all a must. We have only picked the quads that have top-of-the-line performance compared to other drones at this price point. You’ll find that some best drones under $500 even offer better performance, flight time, and battery life than other, more expensive picks!
As technology has grown, more and more new features are being added to drones by competing companies; because of this, the best drones under $500 come with a wide variety of functions. A decent number of these drones will come equipped with autonomous flight, Headless Mode, altitude hold (altitude lock), and similar flight modes that make it easier for anyone to operate them without fail.
Average Camera Quality:
A 720p HD Camera drone and 4K camera drones are some of the best drones under $500. With these features, they create amazing quality footage even to semi-professional standards. Some drones are able to carry a GoPro camera and other action cameras which make them perfect for anything from recording commercials to filming amateur movies for school projects and YouTube vlogs.
Best Drones under 500 In 2022
|Product Image||Product Name||Retailer|
|DJI Mini 2|
|DJI Mavic Mini|
|Hubsan Zino Pro|
|Holy Stone HS720E|
|Ruko F11 with Gimbal|
|DEERC DE22 Pro Drone|
DJI Mini 2
|Dimensions||2.2 by 3.2 by 5.5 inches|
|Integrated Camera||Integrated with Gimbal|
The DJI Mini 2 Drone is the drone that can’t be missed; though it’s also one of the best drones under $500 as well as being our preferred machine when travelling due to its portability. Better camera drones exist and cheaper models are available for beginners, but the Mini 2 does an excellent job in filling a specific need – which is flying about for some casual photography!
Underneath this sleek exterior is a powerful 4K camera stabilized on a 3-axis gimbal, which allows for up to 30 minutes of uninterrupted flight time and over 1 mile in range. This quadcopter is also capable of reaching speeds around 30 mph (48 kph).
If you’re happy with what your smartphone can do when it comes to pictures and videos, the Mini 2 is a great buy. It’s easy to use and light enough to carry around which makes it perfect for anyone looking for something easy to travel with.
DJI Mavic Mini
|Dimensions||2.2 by 3.2 by 5.5 inches|
|Integrated Camera||Integrated with Gimbal|
The DJI Mavic Mini was the first DJI drone to feature a good camera and weight less than 250 grams, which means it doesn’t need to be registered with the FAA before you fly. Though it might not be the first DJI drone in this price bracket, there is little comparing its capabilities to those of other models within the series.
The Mavic Mini has a solid 2.7K camera, and only about 1 mile of connectivity, making it one of the least capable DJI drones still on store shelves. But for someone who isn’t looking for all the bells and whistles that come with larger models – this drone is perfect for them.
We really enjoy the Mavic Mini. It’s not the absolute best drone out there, but it definitely provides what we need for people who want something affordable yet still high quality. This makes it a fun and trustworthy option for new pilots as well as those who don’t mind tossing their drones carelessly into backpacks when they’re done flying them.
Hubsan Zino Pro
The Hubsan Zino Pro resembles other drones for its overall appearance and foldable design, but it also packs a decent camera. It’s a good drone for someone looking for what is essentially an older model of the Mavic series or the new Mini line.
We highly respect the Hubsan and Zino Pro drones. They are decent drones priced at a fair amount, so they are perfect for those who don’t want to spend too much money on their first drone. If you decide to purchase one of these brands instead of a DJI Mini then we recommend purchasing the Zino Drone.
|Use:||Indoor & Outdoor|
|Flight Time:||13 mins|
The Ryze Tello Drone is the best option for someone who wants to try flying a drone without spending too much money. It offers plenty of features that will make learning how to fly it seem easy and enjoyable. You can use your phone or purchase the optional remote control so you can really understand what it means to pilot this device.
If education is your thing, this quadcopter also has plenty of features which will keep things interactive while teaching you all about flight control! Make no mistake, the Ryze Tello is not a camera drone. Nor will it keep up on the race track – this little guy sticks to small spaces. It can still be used as an educational tool though, perfect for newbies and starters alike who want something easy to fly indoors.
The Hubsan H501S is an older model of drone, but it’s still one of the better options if you’re looking for a good GPS model. It has lots of power and reliability, which makes it easy to fly as well. The camera may not be top-notch, but this drone does offer some great views from up high.
Overall, this isn’t the perfect option for advanced pilots or photographers – however if you’re new to flying drones or looking for something fun that won’t break too easily then this would make a good purchase. The H501S is a great starter drone for learning how to fly, but don’t expect it to produce quality aerial footage. Still fun and fast!
Holy Stone HS720E
|Weight:||495 g/17.46 oz|
|Camera Frequency:||5.725-5.850 Ghz|
|Flight Time:||23 minutes|
|FPV Distance:||1640 feet/500 m|
|Flight Distance:||3277 feet/999 m|
Holy Stone has become one of the most well-known drone brands competing against DJI. Their drones are known for standing out from the competition and they’ve proven themselves to customers time and time again, proving they deserve their piece of the pie in this lucrative industry.
One of their best-selling drones has to be the recently updated Holy Stone HS720E, which we wrote about in our recent buyer’s guide.
I found HS720 to be surprisingly impressive. It seriously felt like I was controlling an expensive drone, even though it was only mid-range priced. Very responsive and nimble – capable of handling windy days without any problem whatsoever.
Ruko F11 with Gimbal
|Max Flight time:||28 Mins|
|Flight Time:||about 4.5hours|
|Camera:||4K camera with 2-axis gimbal|
As a newcomer to the market, the recently released but surprisingly popular Ruko F11 Gim includes many state-of-the-art features. This is precisely why it is one of the top drones under 500 dollars. Although this mini and foldable quadcopter looks small in comparison to Holy Stone’s HS720E, its sleek black design makes it look much larger than what it actually is.
Though there are certain limitations to the size of this drone, such as its bulky design and weight, it manages to make up for this by being collapsible. Though there are many lower priced drones that can do what the Ruko F11 does, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out just how well this one performed.
I liked how agile and durable the Ruko F11 drone is because of its ability to be quickly maneuvered, which makes for a pleasant flying experience.
DEERC DE22 Pro Drone
|Maximum Range||4900 Feet|
|Battery Capacity||27.75 Watt Hours|
|Age Range (Description)||14.00|
DEERC drones are among the most affordable and well-valued options when it comes to balancing features with price. And unlike their competitors, Hong Kong-based DJI drones, DEERC drones offer cheaper alternatives.
The DEERC Pro drone has several significant benefits – one being that it comes with 2 batteries, which gives you over an hour of continuous flight time. In addition, this drone features a sleek remote controller with an attached LCD screen for essential stats about your flight.
We have selected this quadcopter for its excellent price point of about $400 to round-up our list of the best drones under $500.
In this review, we have reviewed 10 of the best drones under 500, and we hope you can easily pick the right drone for you. In order to help you not feel regret when you make a purchase, we’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind before you spend any money. If you are new to flying drones or just looking for something with some nice features but also isn’t too expensive, then this article will point out some good options for different budgets – from affordable ones up to professional level models.
These drones cost over $1000 and might not work for you due to your budget or needs. However, there are some other models that would suit you better at a price range of less than $500. You should look at our review before making up your mind about which drone will be best suited for what you need!