Best Drones Under 500 Dollars: 15 Options That Won’t Break The Bank

one of the best drones under 500

As technology continues to improve itself, it is only natural to want to keep up with the times. If you have been keeping any tabs on the current technological world, you have likely heard about drones. These electronic devices can soar high into the air and give us a view previously unattainable by common folk. 

However, getting one of these drones can be unbelievably expensive at times. If you are looking to take part in this new wave of technology, but do not want to break the bank, check out our picks of the best drones under 500 dollars currently on the market.

Best Drones Under 500: A Comparison Table

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quadcopter drone flying low

1. What Is a Drone?

A drone is a technological device that can soar up into the sky via remote control. These unmanned vessels often work to capture images and videos of sights up above. Plus, they can be a fun way to see the world around you and feel like an actual pilot.

2. How Expensive Are Drones?

You can get drones ranging from a cheap to premium price. Sometimes, even more. This is why we have made a list of the top 15 best drones under 500 dollars. Just because a drone is more expensive does not necessarily mean that it is a better device.

Similarly, just because it is cheap does not mean that it is a poor decision. The drones we have selected for this list are able to live up to their names, titles, and skills. They can perform well consistently and provide you with a great deal of fun, all for under 500 dollars.

3. Why Should You Have a Drone in Your Life?

You have never truly seen the world around you until you have gotten an aerial view of it. Having a drone is a great way to truly experience what the world has to offer. You can travel to places you could not normally go, gain a new perspective on your environment, and even begin to understand the layout of your town. Plus, many of these devices can live stream the footage straight to your phone, making it both accessible and simple.

Another great reason to have one of the best drones under 500 dollars in your life is that they are fun. Everyone loves being able to control small vehicles and watching them fly into the air. It is something all people can enjoy, both young and old, that is safe, exciting, and progressive. Drones are the start of the future of technology, and it is only right to have the future on your side.

4. Where Can You Buy the Best Drones Under 500 Dollars?

The best drones under 500 dollars can all be found on Amazon. Each of the drones featured here has a direct link to their Amazon page, so you can easily find and purchase the perfect drone for you.

5. Why Should You Buy the Best Drones Under 500 Dollars?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of unreliable drones out on the market. A lot of brands try to cut costs by compromising certain essential assets to a drone’s system. By doing so, the drone can become unstable, easily destructible, and potentially dangerous. They try to sell you with their cheap price tags but can end up wasting more of your money than it is worth.

This is why you should invest in one of the best drones under 500 dollars. We have ensured that these products are not only under 500 dollars, to keep you in budget, but are also reliable. They are well crafted, simple to use, and dependable. You do not have to worry about them malfunctioning after a week. If you want the true drone experience, you have to invest in the best the market has to offer.

How We Reviewed

black and white drone flying over the sky

We ended up looking at a ton of different drones before settling on the top 15 best drones under 500 dollars. After confirming our selections, we carefully reviewed each of the drones we had chosen based on their features, pros, cons, price, and camera capabilities. We also considered things such as style, ease of use, materials, and mechanics when making a final decision on the best drone for sale under 500 dollars.

Overall Price Range of Drones

As the title says, all the drones featured on this list can be found for under 500 dollars. The drones under 500 dollars can be found for somewhere between cheap to average to premium pricing for drones.

The price of these drones will vary depending on the quality of the drone, the size, its flight time, what sort of camera is equipped, and its control system. To determine exactly what drone is best for you, be sure to consider each of these factors, along with your budget, before purchasing.

What We Reviewed

  • DJI Phantom 2 V2.0 Quadcopter
  • Altair Aerial Black Hawk
  • Potensic A20 RC Nano Quadcopter
  • Holy Stone HS700 FPV Drone
  • Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone
  • Eachine E58 WIFI FPV
  • Parrot Bebop 2 FPV
  • 3DR Solo Quadcopter
  • ZEROTECH DOBBY Mini Selfie Pocket Drone
  • Walkera F210 Quadcopter
  • Force1 Compatible GoPro Drone
  • DJI Spark Mini Drone
  • UPair One Drone
  • Yuneec Mantis Q YUNMQUS Foldable Camera Drone
  • Cheerwing Syma X20 Pocket Drone

DJI Phantom 2 V2.0 Quadcopter

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Features

The DJI Phantom 2 V2.0 Quadcopter can begin to fly mere minutes after you open the box. It has the ability to attach a camera like the GoPro, allowing you to capture your view up above. Plus, this drone can stay in flight for up to 28 minutes with only a single battery. This long-lasting flight will allow you to enjoy your drone longer, more frequently, and more independently.

While there are newer models of this drone out on the market, you can get the second version for well under the $500 mark. It has the high-quality you can expect from the DJI line at a much more reasonable price. Plus, its quadcopter design makes it stable, reliable, and easy to work with, regardless of your skill level.

Pros

  • Can fly for up to 28 minutes
  • Has self-tightening propellors
  • Able to hold a GoPro

Cons

  • WiFi streaming from the GoPro will not be possible
  • Not the newest model
  • Does not have a camera built-in

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone has the capability to hold a mounted camera, such as the GoPro. It has built-in support and stability to keep your video footage smooth. However, it does not have a camera built into the system itself.

Altair Aerial Blackhawk

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Features

The Altair Aerial Blackhawk Drone is a fantastic choice for both amateurs adult flyers and kids alike. This drone has an incredible built-in camera mount for GoPro Hero 3 or 4. It can maintain flight for around 17 minutes on a single charge, soaring up to 500 meters with ease.

What makes this drone unique is that it is designed with heavy duty construction that can handle great winds. This means that it can go a far ways away, and you can still know exactly where it is. Perhaps what is even better still is that it can return directly to you. With the use of the automatic lock protection feature, you can prevent burnouts due to deadlock.

Pros

  • Has long-range remote control capabilities (up to 500 meters)
  • Has an automatic lock protection feature
  • Can fly for up to 17 minutes at a time

Cons

  • Heavy duty construction may not be suitable to the liking of other flyers
  • No built in camera included

Where to Buy

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Camera

Unfortunately, this drone doesn't come with a built-in camera of its own. However, it has a camera mount which can house either a GoPro Hero 3 or 4 so that you can still capture photos in HD quality.

Potensic A20 RC Nano Quadcopter

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Features

The Incredibly affordable Potensic A20 RC Nano Quadcopter is an ideal choice for beginners or those with children. This drone comes in four different colors and allows you to adjust your speed as you learn more about how to control the drone.

What makes this drone great, especially for children, is that it is incredibly easy to handle. They have done just about everything to make sure you can control this drone with ease. It has an altitude hold mode, to allow you to lock the drone in at a certain height. It also has a one key mode for taking off and landing. These modes allow you to bring the drone back in and make it take off with the press of a single button. This is a great first drone to get accustomed to all drones have to offer.

Where to Buy

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Camera

Unfortunately, this drone does not come with a built-in camera, nor does it have the design to support a large external camera like the GoPro. It may be possible to attach your camera if you are creative, but it may not be a simple process.

Holy Stone HS700 FPV Drone

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Features

The Holy Stone HS700 FPV Drone is an excellent choice for those looking for something reliable, long-lasting, and all around wonderful. This drone has just about everything you could want out of one of the best drones under 500 dollars.

Besides having an incredible camera capable of capturing images like never before, this drone also has an intelligent GPS assisted flight system. This allows the drone to automatically return home when signaled or when its battery is running low. It can also be easily located wherever it may fly.

This drone also has simple controls, allowing you to easily control the device regardless of your skill level and experience. Plus, making the controls simple also allows you to focus more on creating the perfect camera shot. For those looking to record videos from above, this drone has a brushless motor that quietly runs without interrupting your video quality.

Pros

  • Has a high-quality camera
  • Offers GPS tracking
  • Has a maximum flight time of about 20 minutes
  • Runs quietly

Cons

  • More expensive than many other drones
  • May not be easily transported

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone has an exceptional camera with 1080P HD video capabilities. It contains a 5G FHD camera that allows you to have a 110-degree field of vision. The 5G allows you to transmit high-quality video instantly. Plus, it can also hold a GoPro camera, allowing you to get additional coverage while in the air.

Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone

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Features

The Altair 818 Hornet Beginner Drone allows you to grow and enhance your skills with the device. Made by an American-based brand, this drone offers the chance to capture beautiful images and video hundreds of feet in the air. It offers an altitude hold option, allowing you to get stable footage no matter where you are.

What is extra special about this drone is that it offers three different skill levels in its controls. This way, you can begin with the basics, learn to master those, and then bump up the challenge to learn even more.

By having a versatile controller, you also enable the possibility to create family bonding. Your younger sister, grandma, and dad can all control the drone without having to re-explain a million complicated controls.

Pros

  • Made in America
  • Offers three controller skill settings
  • Comes with two batteries

Cons

  • Does not have the best quality camera
  • Cannot maintain flight on a single battery for as long as similar drones

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone contains a decent camera capable of taking live video and pictures while it is flying high in the sky. It also allows you to take a first-person view with an FPV headset connected to your phone or tablet.

Eachine E58 WIFI FPV

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Features

The Eachine E58 WiFi FPV has a unique fold-in design that allows it to be easily transported wherever you want to go. It is sleek, easy to maneuver, and easy to spot up in the sky. The controls are fairly simple to understand and allow you to enjoy your experience each time your drone takes flight.

The great thing about this drone is that it can be controlled through the control panel, but also through your phone. Thanks to its WiFi capability, this drone allows you to sync up your phone to its internal systems. By doing that, you can have remote control access of your drone via your smartphone. This will allow you to adjust camera angles, bring your drone back home, and so much more.

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone contains a decent camera capable of taking live video and pictures while it is flying high in the sky. It also allows you to take a first-person view with an FPV headset connected to your phone or tablet.

Parrot Bebop 2 FPV

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Features

The Parrot Bebop 2 FPV is another great choice for those looking for an all-around drone. This drone comes with all the bells and whistles and knows just how to stretch its limits to the full potential. With its built-in wide-angle camera and smartphone compatibility, this drone will allow you to obtain breathtaking images from up above.

In terms of usage, this drone can put many of the others to shame. With a single battery, this drone can stay in the air for around 25 minutes. That is a significantly longer time frame than many others out on the market. Not to mention the fact that it can be controlled when it is 1.2 miles away from the controller. This is a drone that means business and can provide a great deal of joy and excitement to your everyday life.

Pros

  • Lightweight in design
  • Can fly up to 1.2 miles away
  • Uses a three-axis digital stabilizer
  • Can stay in the air for about 25 minutes
  • Can connect to smartphones

Cons

  • A great deal more expensive than others on the market
  • Does not offer GPS tracking

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone has a built-in, wide-angle camera perfect for capturing 1080P HD videos. What is great is that the camera can output images in either RAW, JPEG, or DNG formats. You can easily upload these images to your computer and share them on social media.

3DR Solo Quadcopter

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Features

The 3DR Solo Quadcopter breaks technological grounds by being the first drone controlled by twin computers. This gives the drone an actual brain that can fly and function in ways never before seen. The controller has a video game-like design to make it simple for people to hold, grasp, and understand.

What is great is that it also has a lot of safety measures in place, including its safety net. Having features like this built-in helps to provide peace of mind while you fly. You can also continually upgrade the software for free, allowing you to always stay a step ahead of the rest.

Pros

  • Offers the follow me function
  • Has an HDMI port in the controller
  • Has an intelligent brain

Cons

  • Quite a bit more expensive than others
  • Does not come with the camera built into the design

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone does not have a camera built in but is capable of holding one that will capture your moments on the move. With its follow me function, the drone will capture the view around you, following your movement as you travel. Plus, the controller has an HDMI port that will allow you to hook it up to any screen, letting your family watch the sight above on the big living room TV.

ZEROTECH DOBBY Mini Selfie Pocket Drone

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Features

The Zerotech Dobby Mini Selfie Pocket Drone is the perfect way to get that high-angle, all family selfies. With a focus on its camera functionality, this drone is far different from the rest and will probably appeal to a much different audience. It has great capabilities, a high flight radius, and is durably built.

This drone easily syncs with your smartphone device via WiFi. By doing this, you can automatically sync photos from the drone to your phone, allowing you to share them almost immediately. Your phone then becomes a powerful tool as it can control multiple aspects of the drones functionality.

Pros

  • Pocket-sized
  • Can be controlled by your phone
  • The camera has facial recognition and target tracking

Cons

  • Not the cheapest model on the shelf
  • Does not have GPS tracking

Where to Buy

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Camera

The camera is the overall, highlighting feature of this drone. You can quickly and easily make the drone move by swiping your phone or using motion control. Plus, it enables facial recognition and target tracking.

Walkera F210 Quadcopter

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Features

The Walkera F210 Quadcopter not only raises the height but also the stakes. This small machine can fly past its competitors, coming in at a top speed of 60 miles per hour. For those who are looking to get into racing, or just want to practice high-intensity maneuvering, this is the drone for you.

The drone itself has a modular design that is easy to assemble, which makes maintaining the drone a breeze. It also has a full carbon design that helps improve the drone’s overall durability.

Thanks to that, and its anti-shock design, you can race to your heart’s content without fearing the smallest scratches will break your device. This drone is sure to hold its own against all its competitors, which is why it is one of the best drones under 500 dollars.

Pros

  • Can reach up to 60 miles per hour
  • Has a durable design
  • Compatible with FPV goggles

Cons

  • Does not have as stylish of a design
  • Designed more for racing than casual usage

Where to Buy

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Camera

The built-in camera on this drone allows you to capture every moment of your race. While it is not the focus of the drone, it does offer high-quality resolution and performance while speeding through the air at 60 miles per hour.

Force1 Compatible GoPro Drone

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Features

The Force1 Compatible GoPro Drone makes it easier than ever to take control of the pilot’s seat. This drone is capable of performing a wide array of stunts and tricks, including a full 360-degree flip with ease. That makes this a terrific drone for those looking to create thrills while having fun. Plus, with its highly durable design, you can feel free to experiment with your flying style and technique.

If you are looking to capture the action created up in the sky, you can attach your camera into the built-in mount. This will allow you to see everything going on up above while remaining safely on the ground. Its motor runs quietly softly as well, allowing you to capture video without unwanted background noise.

Pros

  • Comes with two batteries
  • Can perform some stunts and tricks
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • Does not come with a camera built-in
  • Has a lower amount of air time compared to others

Where to Buy

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Camera

The built-in camera on this drone allows you to capture every moment of your race. While it is not the focus of the drone, it does offer high-quality resolution and performance while speeding through the air at 60 miles per hour.

DJI Spark Mini Drone

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Features

Crafted by a well-respected drone brand, the DJI Spark Mini Drone is a small, yet powerful drone that many can enjoy. This drone comes in four different colors and has a slim and sleek design. Its controls are standard, making them easy to comprehend for those with prior flight experience. Even without experience, you should be able to quickly adapt to this reliable device.

What should be noted about this drone are some stand out features it contains. Its most notable is the flight autonomy feature. While you are soaring through the sky, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate away from a tree or building in quick enough time. The flight autonomy function can detect obstacles while in motion and actively avoid running into them. This will help protect your device and give you a safer flight overall.

Pros

  • Has a subject tracking feature
  • Can detect and avoid obstacles
  • Comes in four different colors

Cons

  • Has a slower maximum speed than others
  • Has a higher cost than other drones on this list

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone comes with a two-axis stabilized gimbal camera, which will allow you to capture 1080P videos and HD still photos. The stabilizers allow you to capture quality footage that has the least amount of shaking possible.

UPair One Drone

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Features

The UPair One Drone is one of the best drones under 500 dollars for beginners. This unit can fly high in the air for about 19 minutes, allowing you to experience the world with a new perspective.

It has an LCD screen built into the remote control, which will allow you to see the footage the camera captures the moment it captures it. Plus, the camera can record HD 1080P videos, making both the speed and quality top notch.

For those just starting out with drone technology, the controls can often be quite difficult. However, this machine has made all the complicated stuff disappear.

You can easily control your drone in headless mode, keeping you as the center, hold your position in the sky, and hold your altitude with a quick press of the button. It also has an automatic low-battery sensor that will return it to you when it is about to run out of energy.

Pros

  • The controller comes with a built-in LCD screen
  • Has about a 19 minute fly time
  • Offers simple controls

Cons

  • Cannot reach top speeds of 40+ miles per hour
  • Not designed to be flown indoors

Where to Buy

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Camera

This drone features a Sony 4K gimbal camera capable of capturing HD images and footage. It has a 12 megapixel SMOS sensor and sits comfortably at the bottom of the drone. The camera is able to be held securely, limiting the amount of shakiness created by the running of the drone.

Yuneec Mantis Q YUNMQUS Foldable Camera Drone

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Features

The Yuneec Mantis Q YUNMQUS Foldable Camera Drone is great for those looking for versatility. This drone offers the opportunity to set positions for both indoor and outdoor use. You can also be sure that the drone will remain safe against unknown objects due to its propellor protectors. And, if you are done for the day, you can bring your drone back to you with the touch of a single button.

Beyond that, it should also be noted that this drone is easy to use, fun to play with, and requires no prior flying experience to understand. It offers five automated flight modes to get you accustomed to the mechanics and to capture great images. Plus, if you download their app, you can edit those images instantly on your smartphone.

Pros

  • Able to be flown both indoors and outdoors
  • Easy to use
  • Designed with voice control and face detection
  • Flying time can reach up to 33 minutes

Cons

  • Not the cheapest drone
  • Does not come in any color except black

Where to Buy

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Camera

The camera on this drone is able to capture photos with a resolution of 4800x2700 (16:9) or 4160x3120 (4:3) pixels which are saved in JPEG or DNG format on the included MicroSD card. The same goes for up to 4K of recorded videos.

Cheerwing Syma X20 Pocket Drone

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Features

The Cheerwing Syma X20 Pocket Drone allows you to truly explore the skies without busting the bank. This simple drone offers a great deal of usability for those who have never owned a drone before. It offers headless mode and altitude hold mode to make managing your drone easier than ever. It also has one key controls to teach out how to launch and land. Plus, it has a highly stable and durable design that makes this a great choice for children.

Where to Buy

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Camera

Unfortunately, this drone does not come with any sort of camera, but it may be able to have one equipped depending on the size.

white drone with camera flying over the sky

The Verdict

Ultimately, finding the best drones under 500 dollars is simple, but finding the best one for you is difficult. Consider your skill level, intended usage, and budget to select the perfect drone for you.

Our overall pick of the best drone is the Yuneec Mantis Q YUNMQUS Foldable Camera Drone. It is designed with voice control, gesture control, and face detection. It's flying time can also reach up to 33 minutes. It may not be the cheapest drone in our list but its features are surely worth its price.

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