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Welcome to the third instalment of the Best of 2015 series of posts here on RC Drone Arena. The idea is self-explanatory; the series aims to condense the trends seen on the quadcopter drone market from around the year into simple, easy to read posts.

Previously, we posted about the top 10 most sold drones under $50 (and the most viewed content). Today, we’ll be taking a look at those that cost between $50 and $100… a perfect budget for an intermediate quadcopter drone pilot.

Thanks to advancements in technology and falling prices of components, many of the quadcopter drones mentioned here come with fairly advanced features such as FPV (first person view), brushless motors, and more.

As is the case with other Best of 2015 posts on RC Drone Arena, this list too is compiled with information gained from the top quadcopter stores.

So let’s get started!

Best Drones Under $100: Top 10

Note:  We’ve made it easier for you to buy from Amazon by integrating the ‘add to cart’ option right here. Just click on the button titled ‘Amazon’ to directly add the drone to your cart on Amazon! 

#10 WLtoys Q242: 2MP/5.8GHz FPV

best drones under $100

  • Camera: 2 mega-pixel
  • FPV: Yes, 5.8GHz
  • Battery: 400mAh
  • Size: Small
  • Price: $80
  • Headless Mode: No

Not only does the WLtoys Q242 come with a 2 mega-pixel camera, it also features full 5.8GHz FPV (along with a monitor inside the box that attaches to the controller) which makes it one of the top budget FPV drones in the market. Now that it’s been on the market for a while, it’s more affordable than ever before!

Thee Q242 is among the few FPV quadcopters that have a rechargeable battery in the transmitter.

#9 JXD 509G: 2MP/5.8GHz FPV/Altitude Hold

best drones under $100

  • Camera: 2 mega-pixel
  • FPV: Yes, 5.8GHz
  • Battery: 600mAh
  • Size: Medium-Large
  • Price: $89
  • Headless Mode: Yes

If you want something bigger and more powerful than the WLtoys Q242, the JXD 509G should be your answer. Besides having a 2 mega-pixel camera and a full 5.8GHz FPV system, the JXD 509G comes with altitude hold which makes basic aerial photography and videography a breeze.

#8 Cheerson CX-33W: 1MP/WiFi FPV

best drones under $100

  • Camera: 1 mega-pixel
  • FPV: Yes, WiFi
  • Battery: 450mAh 7.4v
  • Size: Medium-Large
  • Price: $79
  • Headless Mode: No

The Cheerson CX-33W is a special drone. It has three arms… before you say it’s a tri-copter, think again. Because the CX-33W has blades on either side of the arms! This means despite having just 3 arms, the CX-33W has 6 rotors which makes it a Y6 arrangement.

READ  Top 5 Quadcopter Drones For Beginners (Under $100)

Oh, and besides that, the CX-33W comes with WiFi FPV which means you can fly in FPV while viewing what’s going on right on your smartphone or tablet!

#7 JJRC H11D: 2MP/5.8GHz FPV

 

jjrc h11d

  • Camera: 2 mega-pixel
  • FPV: Yes, 5.8GHz
  • Battery: 1100mAh
  • Size: Medium
  • Price: $89
  • Headless Mode: Yes

If you truly want a quadcopter drone for FPV, you should be looking into the ones with 5.8GHz FPV instead of WiFi FPV ones. This is because 5.8GHz FPV quadcopters offer a better range and much greater clarity (besides a much less interference on the signal).

The JJRC H11D does just that… and it comes from a brand that’s been making quadcopters for quite a while. All for under $100!

#6 JJRC H26W: 720p/WiFi FPV

JJRC_H26W_Main_1-800x445

 

  • Camera: HD 720p
  • FPV: Yes, WiFi
  • Battery: 1200mAh 7.4v
  • Size: Large
  • Price: $85
  • Headless Mode: No

The JJRC H26W is a quadcopter drone with a mean look and a rather large size (not to mention the landing skids). If you’re looking for something to fill your appetite for field flights, the JJRC H26W should be the one for you. WiFi FPV means that you can fly it around in FPV while using your smartphone or tablet as the viewfinder.

#5 Hubsan X4 Camera Plus H107C+: 2MP/Altitude Hold

Hubsan X4 Camera Plus H107C+

  • Camera: HD 720p
  • FPV: Optional, 5.8GHz
  • Battery: 530mAh
  • Size: Small
  • Price: $85
  • Headless Mode: No

What makes the Hubsan X4 Camera Plus H107C+ special is that it is the world’s first ever micro-sized quadcopter drone to offer altitude hold.

Those that have been in the drone circuits for a while will know what a big name Hubsan used to be (for the X4, back in the day). The new X4 Camera Plus H107C+ with its impressive build quality and advanced features might just be what the brand needed to get back on top of its game!

#4 Cheerson CX-32S: 1MP/5.8GHz FPV/Altitude Hold

Cheerson_CX-32S_FPV_Quadcopter

  • Camera: 1 mega-pixel
  • FPV: Yes, 5.8GHz
  • Battery: 360mAh 7.4v
  • Size: Large
  • Price: $95
  • Headless Mode: No

You’ve probably heard about Cheerson, especially for their mini quadcopter drones (such as the CX-10, CX-10C, CX-Stars). What you might not know is that Cheerson also makes a lot of advanced drones, including the CX-20, and of course the all-new CX-32S.

The Cheerson CX-32S combines a lot of features otherwise seen on much more expensive drones. This includes 5.8GHz FPV (monitor included), altitude hold, and more.

READ  Here Are The Top 10 Follow Me Drones Money Can Buy

#3 JJRC H8C: 2MP 

best drones under $100

  • Camera: 2 mega-pixel
  • FPV: No
  • Battery: 500mAh
  • Size: Medium-Large
  • Price: $55
  • Headless Mode: No

This one’s a legend. The JJRC H8C is perhaps the first quadcopter that happened to have a camera AND wasn’t too expensive. Which is why you’ll find it in almost every drone pilot’s collection.

It’s been on the market for a long time now, so there’s plenty community support on sites like RC Drone Arena and RCGroups. What’s more, it’s also really affordable at just over $50 at the time of writing this article.

#2 Syma X8W: VGA/WiFi FPV

Syma-X8W-FPV-WiFi-Real-Time-2-4G-4ch-6-Axis-with-2MP-RC-Quadcopter-RC

  • Camera: 0.3 mega-pixel
  • FPV: Yes, WiFi
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Size: Large
  • Price: $90
  • Headless Mode: Yes

If you’ve owned a quadcopter drone and want a second one to take along for field trips, do not bother to look elsewhere. The Syma X8W is an absolute legend with the quality and price it has on offer.

Having flown a lot of Symas, I feel they have the best quality builds especially for budding fliers. Syma went out of their comfort zone and actually built a 350-sized quadcopter in the Syma X8C and the X8W earlier in 2015.

#1 Syma X8C: 2MP

x8c3

  • Camera: 2 mega-pixel
  • FPV: No
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Size: Large
  • Price: $90
  • Headless Mode: Yes

If you want a no-frills quadcopter which is large in size, great in quality and doesn’t cost more than $100, the Syma X8C is the one for you. Not just that, the X8C has enough power in it to lift a GoPro (or one of its cheaper alternatives) so you can get some killer aerial footage at next to no cost.

RECOMMENDED READ: Syma X8C vs X8W vs X8G

And that’s exactly why I recommend the X8C to a lot of people!

Best Drones Under $100: Conclusion

We’re starting to see a lot of quadcopters in the $50-100 range that are worthy of a much higher price tag. But no one’s complaining; the factories are happy for they’re selling well, and we’re happy for we’re getting some killer tech for not a lot of money.

Of course there are a hundred more drones that you can buy in the $50-100 range, but unfortunately we could list only the top 10 here. We’re sure you know of some besides what we’ve listed here… so be sure to comment below with your favourite $50-100 drone of 2015!

…and here’s wishing you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!

  • Robert H. Smith

    I didn’t see a quad with brushless motors on the list as mentioned in the introduction.

    • Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I had the JJRC X1 in mind when I wrote that, later realized it’s a little over $100!

      • Bruce Christianson

        any article on drones from $100-500?

        • One’s in the making! Do you have any favourite drones in that range?