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Just a few decades ago, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, were exclusive to the military and high-tech companies. Not to mention their ridiculously expensive price tags. The rest of the population could only stare in awe and marvel when drones were put into action in Hollywood blockbusters.
However, this has changed significantly with companies introducing affordable, consumer-level drones for average customers. If you’re in a hurry and want a quick recommendation, you won’t go wrong with the Tello Quadcopter with DJI tech, which is certainly one of our favourites.
This is particularly beneficial for beginners and young adults, as they take their first steps into the fascinating world of drones. Most of us would agree that the best strategy to begin flying drones is starting with a wallet-friendly model. You can hone your drone flying skills, and in case you crash it, your financial situation won’t crash with it!
In this post, we have picked five of the best drones available for under $150. So for all the beginner drone pilots out there, “These are the drones you’re looking for!” (Storm Trooper voice)
Please note: The drones reviewed in this article were found to be available for less than $150 at the time of writing. However, prices change regularly. For the most up-to-date price on each model, click the “Check Price” button to view the price on Amazon.
The Tello quadcopter comes from one of the most renowned companies in the drone industry, DJI. They are globally known for their excellence in drone technology, and this Tello Quadcopter is no exception.
- Exceptional Flight Time – DJI’s Tello Quadcopter has one of the longest flight times in drones under $150. You can use it for up to 13 minutes full charge, but this figure is variable.
- Multiple Flight Modes – This deceivingly small drone has 8 flight modes, which is not found even in some premium-priced drones. This includes 8D flips, throw and go, bounce mode, 360°, circle, up and out. This feature makes the drone very easy to fly and easily one of the best drones for beginners!
- HD Camera – Typically, drones in this price range do not have a good camera, and some do not have one at all. This Quadcopter is equipped with a 5 megapixel HD camera that captures stunning still photography in JPEG and MP4 videos in 720p.
- VR Headset Compatibility – You will love flying this drone because you can also view realistic views of the landscape with 82.6º FOV using a VR headset!
- Fly with your Phone – There is something quite fancy about controlling the drone via smartphones, and you can do so with DJI’s Tello Quadcopter. It can reach a vertical distance of 33 feet, and its maximum range is 3300 feet. It connects to your smartphone via Wi-Fi.
- Tello Edu – This drone is compatible with MIT developed Scratch as well as Python and Swift. It is also programmable with SDK. This feature makes it a great learning tool for advanced drone flyers as they can develop software.
- Effortless to fly
- Incredible flight time
- Multiple flight modes
- Very responsive
- Cannot be flown in windy conditions
This Altair Camera Drone is definitely one of the best drones for kids and for flying indoors.
- HD Camera – The 720p camera captures excellent still photography and videos.
- Good Battery – The flight timing on Altair’s Camera Drone is a good 10 minutes. Additionally, it comes with an extra battery so you can fly double the time straight out of the box.
- Flight Distance – This drone flies comfortably up to 3300 feet!
- Speed Modes – One of the most outstanding features that make this very drone kid-friendly is the variable speed modes. It has three-speed modes 1, 2, and 3, which is for kids/beginners, intermediate and experienced, respectively.
- Altitude Hold Mode – You will especially love this feature because while this is very helpful for beginners, it will also be appreciated by experienced drone pilots!
- Automatic Landing and Takeoff – The drone can take off and land automatically at the push of a button.
- Automatic takeoff and landing
- Variable speed modes
- Altitude hold mode
- Very durable
- Can be flown indoors
- Double batteries
- Not the fastest drone
The Force 1 FPV Drone is a beginner-friendly one but is also one of the best drones for adults under $150.
- HD Camera – This drone takes exceptional pictures with the 2-megapixel onboard camera. It also records videos at 1280p, which is perfect for live streaming or shooting videos. It has six-axis gyro for stabilization, making sure your shots are pro-quality!
- Easy Controls – It has one key takeoff and landing, which makes it very beginner-friendly. It also comes with altitude hold mode and headless mode, which makes it effortless to fly.
It can perform 360º stunt flips with ease, and you can also create custom flights with an iOS or Android smartphone.
- Long Battery Life – You will love the impressive battery life of this drone. It comes with three rechargeable batteries, each having up to 18 minutes per flight!
- Stable camera for great aerial photography
- Easy buttons for flying
- Exceptional flight time
- Compatible with smartphones
- Can be flown right out of the box
- Limited durability
- Not suited to windy conditions
Undeniably one of the best drones for beginners, UDI RC’s HD Drone Quadcopter has many beginner-friendly features that make it a delight to fly. This lightweight drone can be flown right out of the box as it does not require FAA registration.
- Headless Mode – This is a great function as it can get tricky to keep your eye on the drone as it goes further away from you.
- HD Camera – The 2-megapixel camera takes great quality pictures at 1280p x 720p, as well as record videos. The captured data gets stored in the micro SD card, which comes with the drone.
- Flight Controls – This drone has a six-axis flight controller, which allows the user to perform stunts at ease like a pro. It also makes the drone extremely stable, which is a perfect match for those learning how to fly a drone.
- One Key Return Home Function – Another kid and beginner-friendly feature, this allows you to bring the drone back home without any problem.
- Good Flight Time – This quadcopter has a good flight time of 8 minutes, which is powered by dual batteries. This Drone Quadcopter has a flight range that is considerably shorter than others in the price category, which is around 164 feet. However, given that it functions via Wi-Fi connectivity, it is not so bad, after all.
Another feature that impressed us was the built-in propeller guards. This makes UDI RC’s HD Drone Quadcopter one of the toughest drones for beginners and kids who will inevitably crash the drone.
- Headless mode
- Excellent stability
- Easy controls
- Return home function
- Good flight time
- Very durable
- Does not have altitude hold mode
Initially, we debated about including two drones from the same company on this list. But Altair’s Hornet Drone is just too good to be excluded from the list of the best drones for under $150. Here’s the reasons why:
- Beginner-friendly Features – Altitude hold mode, headless mode, one-button takeoff and landing, automatic return home – these are all the essentials that make a drone effortless for beginners and even for adults. It makes the drone easy to operate with very little skills, and also if you possess none!
- Different Speed Settings – This very thoughtful and practical feature is found in very few drones, but it makes it perfect for all levels of drone pilots. You can fly the drone safely up to 200 feet.
- Longer Flight Time – The Hornet Drone has a flight time of up to 18 minutes, which makes it even better than Altair’s Camera Drone and can give premium-priced drones a stiff competition. The time can be doubled by making use of the 2 batteries that come with the drone.
- Onboard Camera – The onboard camera takes good quality pictures at 720p as well as shoots videos at 30 FPS.
Another great feature of the Altair’s Hornet Drone is that it can be flown indoors. The emergency landing feature also makes this drone a perfect choice for beginners and kids learning to fly the drone.
- Exceptional flight time
- Altitude hold mode and other beginner-friendly features
- Variable speed settings
- Support FPV
- Comes with two batteries
- Emergency landing
- It is a bit bulky
Affordable Drones Open Up the Skies to Beginners
Learning to fly a drone is a fun activity in many ways. However, it is also a fantastic way to enhance learning in kids and young adults. Curious minds can learn about the physics behind the drone, as well as the designs. Alternatively, it can also inspire innovative ways to learn about photography skills, film-making and prepare children for creative industry careers.
Drone technology will no doubt become more refined in the coming years, which will drastically reduce the prices of the drones. At the current time, these are the best drones for under $150 on the market. You can take your pick for yourself as a beginner, or for your kid. Drones are also excellent gifts for the holidays!