We decided to take a close look at the best drones under 500 and compile a list of 10 that we felt stood out among all the others. Having taken a look at user reviews, manufacturer specifications, and many other criteria to give you the best list possible, we trust that these are some of the finest drones you can buy before you have to up the price a step further. As a result, the price list ranges wildly, but everyone should find something that suits their budget.
5 Best Drones Under $500 Overview
|Drone Name||Camera Type||Video Resolution||Number of Rotors||Flight Time||Remote Control Type||Amazon Rating||Our Rating|
|DJI Phantom P3-Standard||2.7K HD video||12 Megapixel||4||25 min.||Android mobile app||4.5 stars||5 stars|
|Walkera F210 Racer||700TVL night vision||700TVL||4||9 min.||Flight stick||3.5 stars||4.5 stars|
|RISE Vusion 250||FPV||VGA||4||6 min.||5.8GHz stick||4 stars||4 stars|
|DYS XDR220 Racing Drone||HD CCD camera||1280×720||4||9 min.||9-channel 2.4GHz stick||4 stars||3.5 stars|
|YKS Unicorn 220||FPV||VGA||4||10 min.||Dual stick with FPV screen||5 stars||3.5 stars|
10. Holy Stone HS200 Specs & Features
Ranging around $80-90, the HS200 drone is certainly toward the inexpensive end of any list of best drones under 500 dollars. The mobile controls work great though, and it flies great in an outdoor environment. You should get upwards of 10 minutes of flight time each time you take the H200 out. It doesn’t require FAA registration either.
- 720p HD FPV Camera
- Altitude hold
- Control through Android and iOS
- The 2.4GHz -channel controls can sometimes attract interference
- The rotor armature may be fragile
9. Force1 Hornet FPV Specs & Features
As the name suggests, the Force1 Hornet FPV comes complete with a 720p HD FPV camera that records video straight to an upgraded 4GB microSHDC card. You can watch the video feed right on the included controller, which makes it easy to fly even outdoors.
The altitude hold system lets even beginners fly it extremely well. It tends to sell around $200 or so, which places it at the midrange for drones of this class. While the manufacturer claims that it should fly for around seven minutes, it generally stays aloft for only five.
- Watch video right on controller
- Easy to fly
- Video feed can run the controller’s battery down
- Frame tends to be rather fragile
8. ProMark VR Drone Specs & Features
The ProMark VR drone comes with 3D goggles and offers 720p HD streaming video straight to your mobile device. You can also use your phone to control this drone easily with an official app. This makes it easy to fly outside or in large areas indoors. You should see around 8-10 minutes of flight time. It ranges in price from around $140-160.
- 720p VR Camera
- Integrated mobile app
- Decent flight time
- Can be hard to find replacement parts
- Fragile blade assembly
7. ARRIS C250 Specs & Features
At around $280-300, the ARRIS C250 is a relatively expensive drone, but it’s designed with racing in mind. It features heavily reduced wiring, an extremely heavy duty controller and efficiently designed propellers to give you the best performance possible.
It’s usually not possible to fly this fast of a drone inside of a house, but you should be able to get around 8-10 minutes of flight time on a single charge outside.
- Brushless motors
- Preprogrammed remote controller
- Excellent HD camera design
- Compatible with some VR goggles
- Relatively expensive
- Propeller tips are easily broken
- Use of low-quality adhesive
6. Eachine Wizard X220 Specs & Features
Most users say that the Eachine Wizard X220 can fly from around 5-10 minutes depending on how much wind you have outside, though it naturally lasts longer indoors. The soft-protection subroutines should keep you from crashing it and the inclined motor offers some of the fastest speeds in this price range. You shouldn’t expect to pay much more than $170-190 if you want your own X220.
- Compatible with many replacement propellers and motors
- Fits the 3/4S batteries
- Features soft-protection functions
- Easy to damage frame
- Equipment held together with straps
5. YKS Unicorn 220 Specs & Features
The YKS drone sells for around $300–320 and is small enough to avoid registration requirements in most areas. The rugged construction, excellent controller, and advanced OSD will make you feel like a professional pilot. It flies equally well indoors and outdoors. It’s carbon fiber skeleton certainly helped it make the list of best drones under 500 dollars.
- Extremely tough design
- Long battery life
- Unusual shape makes flight learning curve steeper
- Little warning when battery dies
4. DYS XDR220 Racing Drone Specs & Features
The DYS drone from FPV might have a strange name and a stranger appearance, but it offers 5.8GHz FPV video sent straight to the included goggles. While it can cost upwards of $480-490, the batteries should last around 5-10 minutes depending on which features you have turned on and whether you’re flying it outside.
- Brushless motors
- 9-channel controller seldom receives interference
- Strange frame design
- Slightly top-heavy
3. RISE Vusion 250 Specs & Features
When it comes to outdoor aerodynamics, the Vusion drone is one of the best drones under 500 dollars. It has a sleek low profile that makes up for its short battery life. The video slot can accept massive 32GB microSDHC cards, though you won’t need much else to get this $350–370 kit working.
- Very sleek design
- Excellent aerodynamics
- VGA video
- Cloverleaf antenna can break off
2. Walkera F210 Racer Specs & Features
This drone from Walkera drone is clearly designed for serious UAV pilots, so it’s not meant for beginners. It offers experienced pilots a load of features for under $400, and these include the latest F3 flight technology coupled with a 5.8GHz image transmitter. The remote controller will actually remember personalized settings, which is great for situations with more than one pilot.
- Best controller in class
- Professional high-performance frame
- Steep learning curve
- Poor indoor performance
1. DJI Phantom P3-Standard Specs & Features
The DJI Phantom P3-Standard is one of the best drones under 500 dollars when it comes to battery life. You should get around 25 minutes of flight time even if you’re flying it outside.
You can use a GPS-assistance mode to get help while you’re flying the Phantom P3, and you can even set points that the drone will navigate to. Its mobile app is undergoing further adjustments, which should make it even more impressive.
- Computer-assisted flight
- Excellent battery life
- Great mobile connectivity
- Price ranges from $480-490
- Documentation wasn’t translated well
While it can be difficult to keep all the various versions of the DJI Phantom intact, the P3-Standard version is certainly one of the best drones under 500 dollars today. The videos it shoots are really stunning and the 8GB microSDHC slot should hold plenty of them for the future.
You can even watch a live image streamed straight from the drone to a mobile phone or tablet. If you’ve had any experience with the DJI Phantom P3-Standard or any of the other drones on our list, then we’d love to hear about it! Let us know if there are any you felt we missed too.