When looking at UAVs below the fifty-dollar price point, you are looking at nano / mini drones that fit the bill. These little wonders are not just like their full-size friends but are cute, simple and fully capable of flight. Whether looking for a training drone to get your first wings or an indoor drone that won’t do damage in the home, a nano drone is ideal.
These types of inexpensive drones are ones that fit into the palm of your hand or not much larger than that. They don’t all look the same, though; they’re designed in all shapes, sizes, and colors. These nano / mini drones are also sometimes called toy drones because they’re fun to play with and most lack camera facilities.
Budget drones aren’t tough to come by. There many affordable UAVs that can take off from anywhere and land safely. They’re not all the same. Here, we help narrow down the field to the best Drones for Sale available under $50.
TABLE: BEST DRONES UNDER $50 :
10. CHEERSON CX-10
The Cheerson CX-10 mini drone is a colorful little model with an orange or gray top and a set of white propellers. The quadcopter has a useful range of 30 meters and stays in the air for 6 minutes on a single charge. The CX-10 is so popular that it’s owned by thousands of amateur drone pilots already and is likely to find its way into the homes of many more before it becomes outdated. Being so inexpensive, it doesn’t come with a camera. The model is equally adept at flying outdoors as it will do indoors. However, the sensors are ultra-sensitive with a light breeze able to blow it off-course with the sensors sometimes getting confused for a minute in the process. As a result, this model should only be flown in near perfect conditions with no detectable wind. The 30-meters range is not too impressive, but it reasonably on par with other similar models at this price range. The flight time of 5-6 minutes is smack in the middle of other products in this category; one really shouldn’t expect more in the sub $50 price range.
9. EACHINE H8
The Eachine H8 doesn’t have an easy to pronounce the name, but it looks pretty good. Colored predominantly in black, with full, curved propeller protectors and four slim propellers, it’s a light splash of color mitigates the darker remainder of its appearance. The H8 is larger than the Cheerson CX-10 mainly because of the enlarged prop guards, but it is still a mini drone nonetheless. It’s bright orange night LEDs stand out making it easier to see this little drone when it is flying at night. The headless mode is ideal for beginners who are not used to dealing with orientation changes when the drone turns around in mid-air. It actually has a 3D spinning feature that sees it rotating over and over in a sort of acrobatic maneuver that these nano drones perform so well which their giant cousins cannot. There is no camera here, which is no surprise. The flight distance is the same 30 meters as the Cheers on the model, but it manages to fly for 7 minutes which is slightly better. The controller supports a one press return to base feature to bring the drone home without needing to navigate it yourself.
8. TEC BEAN X902
The Tec Bean X902 drone looks like a flying spider with outspoken propeller guards that curve over and point down. The black body and similarly colored propeller all contribute to the overall appearance that resembles a spider stalking its prey from the air. There are two modestly-sized red LED lights on the front nose that make it easier to see the drone when it’s facing you. For anyone who likes a little aerial acrobatics, the X902 provides a 3-dimensional tumbling feature to roll over and over in the air. The stabilization is also good enough to recover from an extended roll without losing control of the drone. The effective range is a good 30 meters or so, with the flight duration around 7 minutes when the battery is fully charged. No lagging transmission was experienced when playing with the drone control system. No camera or camera cradle is provided with this product.
7. HUBSAN X4 H107C
The Hubsan X4 H107C (X4 for short) is a nano drone from a highly-respected drone manufacturer. The body is designed with a rounded shell, with tapered arms and motor sections with the black or green props above them. The effective range is the most impressive 90 meters, and the flight duration is up to 7 minutes. The nose includes a VGA camera with a 0.3-megapixel shooter that’s akin to the basic webcam-level cameras on basic notebook laptops. There is a 6-axis gyroscope system to steady the camera and provide improving flying capabilities too. Any photos or video is recorded on a micro SDHC card (not included) that is fit inside the camera before take-off. The materials used for construction are light plastic ones that do their job without expecting to be durable during a significant impact. The motors are stronger than one might expect for a mini drone. The X4 is a high-quality option for pilots who want to fly out a little farther and take a few low-resolution shots to share.
6. HASAKEE MINI
The Hasakee brand is gaining acceptance as a quality drone producer, with this smaller version entering a new market for their team. The model is available in either yellow or blue, with the primary body marked in black with their yellow or blue propellers and prop guards to match. The drone looks compact and robust with some good ergonomic features. It will fly out to 40 meters but no farther. The flight duration of 6 minutes is reasonable for a drone in this class. At the front of the cone is a camera with a 0.3-megapixel lens. It will shoot photos and also videos. This drone is FPV capable, which is a surprise, and beams back basic imagery of what the drone is seeing to help with both navigation and taking pictures at the right time. There are two speeds for the newbie and the advanced flyer alike. The UAV is also capable of performing 360-degree rolls to please anyone looking. The transmission is without lag which makes it much easier to fly. The Hasakee Mini is a neat looking drone with a good set of features, especially the inclusion of a basic camera and its FPV real-time live video feed.
5. AKOSO X5C
The Akoso X5C is a small nano drone that will stand out in the air if only because it uses bright red and white coloring. The prop guards are colorful, along with the propellers, with the body looking a little like a minified version of a DJI drone. The prop guards do offer some protection from accidental bumps and avoid some potential damage to the propellers. The X5C will perform non-stop rolls in the air and 360-degree flips to please the crowds (or the kids). Some subtle LED lights make it a little easier to spot this mini-drone in the night sky. The mini HD camera is barely noticed, but it offers 1-megapixel shots. The transmitter works with the drone up to 100 meters away which is a good distance for such a small UAV. The flight duration is around 6 minutes which is enough to fly around while grabbing a well-chosen shot or two. Not a bad mini-drone model for the cost.
4. JXD 512W
The JXD 512W is also known as the Elfin UFO Bee. It’s a small enough quadcopter and has an attractive yellow and black design that certainly could resemble an enlarged bee. The bee is also able to fly at night and has some good LED illumination to help spot it when losing track of it. There are four propellers and four spare ones (two black and two yellow colors) in case any of the props get damaged during a landing. To avoid that, unfortunate eventuality, there are generously-sized prop guards that take the side impact before the actual props do. Their inclusion helps increase the likelihood that the 512W will survive minor impacts with consummate ease. The effective range is 40 meters; acceptable for a model this size. Flight time is a reasonable 6 minutes which is the average in this category. The nose of the body contains a 0.3-megapixel camera that takes basic photos. The 640 x 480 image resolution of the video won’t impress but is still useful to have. There is an FPV capability to beam low-res live video of what the drone is seeing for navigation on the dark blue controller. For people who are new to mini drones, a headless mode is included to avoid confusion over drone orientation during flights. The UAV will also perform rolling flips in the air. The 6-axis gyro is also a beautiful thing to have that improves overall flying stability.
3. UFO 3000
The UFO 3000 certainly looks the part with its distinctive four-ring shape and dramatic illumination throughout. Two rings have blue LED lights in a strip all around the outer rings, and two rings have dayglo green LED lights similarly adorned. The effect is an impressive one during night flights where it’s truly a pleasure to watch the drone in the air. The UAV is also almost impossible to lose sight of because the LEDs are incredibly bright for such a mini drone. There is no camera provided with the UFO 3000. However, it does impress with the features packed into the model. During flights, it can flip around, perform 360-degree rotations, and provides two modes to change the speed of travel. With the night flight and LED lights on, the stunts will see the lights bounce impressively around the evening sky. The model will fly out to 35 meters and stays in the air up to 5 minutes 30 seconds on a single charge. There is a second battery supplied with the 3000 model, so with both being charged, it’s easy to get two consecutive flights for over 10 minutes of flight time. The model is mainly a fun UAV to play around with. The LEDs will certainly be a hit with kids who like to fly at night, and the aerial stunts certainly won’t disappoint either.
2. RC STUNT DRONE
The RC Stunt Drone is a compact UAV which comes in a basic black design with four circular tubes that act as prop guards for the interior propellers. Bright LEDs are fixed to the black exterior and light up successfully to help flyers see their drone in the night sky. The propellers are orange and light gray/white to denote the front and back of the drone. The range of this model is around 25 meters, and it has a flight duration of 6 minutes. There is no camera supplied with this model. The drone can perform a 360-degree maneuvered in mid-air, has multiple speed settings, and is made from tough materials that most likely can withstand a few crashes without sustaining crippling damage. Even the propellers are reinforced to avoid them needing to be replaced soon after the purchase of the product.
1.HUBSAN X4 HORNET
The Hubsan X4 Hornet is an aptly-named drone that’s priced under $50 and wins in this category. It is colored in a pale yellow with a slightly sinister-looking center decoration that tells the pilot that this drone means business. The mini-engines powering each of the four propellers are black and power the four black propellers powerfully. Not to be outdone by other nimble models, this one performs 3D flips in the air and can keep a steady altitude when needed. It is also built out of quality materials to avoid easy damage from rough landings delivered by new pilots. The X4 has an effective range of 50 meters and stays aloft for 10 minutes. For specifications in this class, that’s not bad. It doesn’t come with a camera and doesn’t have a cradle or gimble to fit one. However, one should want this nano drone to learn to fly and have fun rather than to try anything too serious. The lack of a camera is perhaps a little disappointing (there are other models in our list that include a basic VGA camera if one is needed) but in other regards, this model has the right features and durability to be worth its cost.
That completes our roundup of the best ten drones for under $50. Whether you’re looking for the best model that lights up the night sky most effectively, the fastest racer drone, a tiny UAVwith great navigation, and maneuverability, or one with a basic camera, there’s something here for everyone’s needs. A few models even have the headless mode to make it easier for beginners to learn to fly without getting confused when the orientation of the front and back of the drone switches around during a flight. Good luck with your selection and safe flying!