This review is designed help you decide on the best drone to suit all your requirements and specifications within your under 150 dollar budget.
Drones are becoming increasingly popular for both commercial and home use. A lot of videographers are Turing to them for high definition aerial shots, while teenagers are using them for Virtual reality and hobbies. It is very helpful that they have become easier to purchase and more affordable in recent times, making them accessible to anyone, even on a 150 dollar budget. This buying guide is designed to help you, a potential drone buyer, to assess your requirements and intentions for a drone against some of the most affordable yet high quality models available, all under 150 dollars.
|Selected Drone||Time||Skill level||Camera||Range||Price|
|Ryze/ DJI Tello||13 minutes||Beginner||720p (Video)|
|100 Meters||Check Price|
|DB Power Discovery||9 minutes||Intermediate||720 HD camera||100 Meters||Check Price|
|UFO 4000 LED Mini||9 minutes||Beginner||N/A||100 Meters||Check Price|
|Altair AA108||8 minutes||Beginner||720 HD camera||150 Meters||Check Price|
|Blade Inductrix FPV||7 minutes||Beginner||720p HD camera||90 meters||Check Price|
DJI is well known for their advanced and helpful features and this affordable camera drone is no different.
- Flight time: 13 minutes per charge
- Range: 100 meters horizontally and 10 meters vertically
- Camera: 720p for video and 5mp for photos (On board)
- Beginner level difficulty
- Automatic low battery protection
- Auto-Vision positioning system
- Can be programmed with SDK and scratch
- Automatic landing and take off
- Compatible with Virtual Reality headset
- 7 different piloting modes (Circle, 360 degrees, throw and go, up and out, 8D flips and bounce mode)
The DJI Tello camera drone is very advanced and easy to use, which is a rare combination. It has automatic battery protection, which alerts the user when the drone is low on batter, in addition to having an inbuilt battery life of 13 minutes, which is impressive for its 100m range. This drone is especially suitable for hobbyists because of its Virtual reality compatibility, which gives the user an exciting experience with an 82.6 degree Focal view from its 5 megapixel on board camera. It is also easy to programme because it can be done with Python, swift or scratch. In addition to all this, the user has the option of buying the full Ryze package, which would still be within the under 150 dollars price range, and get 3 sets of batteries, a Micro-USB cable, a battery charging hub, a propeller remover, a set of propeller guards and a set of propellers.
The drone is extremely light, making it ill-suited for use in wind over 5mph because it might fly away. It also does not work well in the dark because it cannot sense the ground making it difficult to hover and land.
- It is very easy to use and programme
- It has a lot of attractive features
- It is very affordable considering its quality and features
- It has a variety of piloting modes
- It cannot be used in wind over 5mph
The Ryze Camera drone would be perfect for a new drone user who needs a basic camera for their hobby.
DB Power discovery – Top overall drone pick
The DP Power discovery drone is the top pick because it combines intermediate and advanced features with a beginner user level, making it the best for both experienced and learning drone users.
- Flight time: 9 minutes
- Camera: 720p HD
- Dual camera
- Single-key landing and take-off
- Altitude hold
- Headless mode (Mirrors Drone direction relative to user)
- Dual speed mode
This drone is great for both novice and advanced users because of its dual speed mode. Beginners have been very satisfied with the low-speed mode which allows them to get accustomed to the drone and polish on their drone control, while advanced users have enjoyed the high-speed mode. The headless mode makes it very easy to control because the direction is easy to understand, while the single-key landing and take-off make it very easy to land.
It has a low flight time which is 9 minutes. This is offset by the dual batteries which should give the user about 18 minutes of flight time. However, the battery still has to be switched manually between charges, making the dual battery model ineffective.
- It is very affordable
- It is easy to use
- It has a high definition camera
- The manufacturers offer very good customer service
- It has a low flight time (9 minutes)
The DB Power discovery would be ideal for experienced users or users who are in the process of learning with the intention of becoming master drone users.
UFO 4000 LED Mini – Top pick for use by children
The combination of features and ease to use on this drone make it ideal and safe for use by children.
- Flight time: 9 minutes
- Range: 100 meters
- Dual-speed mode
- Headless mode
- Simple remote control
- Dual rechargeable batteries (9 minutes each)
- Single-key stop and start
- Bright LED lights (Blue, white and red)
- 4 channels
The bright LED lights on the UFO 4000 LED Mini make it difficult to miss and very attractive to children. It has a simple remote joystick controller that runs in headless mode making it very compatible for a child because the drone goes in the direction relative to the user as opposed to the controller, which is already very simple. It also has single key start and stop which further increases its ease of use while its bright lights make sure that it is very easy to spot.
The flight time of 9 minutes is rather low especially for kids, considering that it has no camera for which battery drainage could be attributed to.
- It is very easy to use
- It is durable
- It is child-friendly
- The manufacturers offer great product support
- It has no camera
This would be the go to drone if you have been looking to buy one for a child above the age of 8. It would be the perfect introduction to drones as well as a fun way to spend their time.
Altair AA108 – Widest range pick
The Altair brand is well known for offering high quality products with remarkable customer care support directly from the two co-founders and this top pick drone is no different.
- Flight time: 8 minutes
- Range: 150 meters high and 60 meters high
- Camera: 720 HD (Wide-angle)
- Single Return home key
- Has an altitude hold mode allowing it to hover at heights of around 60 meters
- Three speed setting
- Headless mode
- Automatic landing and take-off feature
The Altair AA108 has the widest range of all the drones in this review, paired with a 720 HD camera and an extra battery in the package to double its flight time. The multiple speed settings allow for its features to be utilized at any skill level and give a beginner the experience required to advance in their drone controlling techniques, with the first speed mode being kid-friendly. It can also automatically land or take off with the push of a button, further increasing its convenience and ease of use.
It has a rather short flight time in relation to its wide range. Users have complained that for a drone that is designed to go so high and far, the short flight time undermines its wide range.
- It is easy to use
- The producers offer very good customer care support
- It is very durable
- It has a very wide range and height of use
- It has a kid-friendly speed mode
- It has a short flight time
The Altair AA108 has the widest range of all the drones in this selection, with a 150 meter range and a 60 meter height flight, making it the best pick for a user whose priority is drone range.
Blade Inductrix FPV – Top beginner racing drone pick
The combination of features on this Blade industry drone model make it the best indoor drone for beginners on Drone racing.
- Flight time: 7 minutes
- Range: 90 meters
- Camera: 720p video
- Skill: Beginner
- Comes ready to fly (RTF)
- It has high performance motor technology
- Uses SAFE technology
- It is an indoor drone
The Blade Inductrix FPV is one of the best indoor drones with its 90 meter range and ready to fly feature, which makes it very easy to use. In addition to its RTF feature, the drone is FPV ready, meaning that it comes fully constructed with all the parts, including the camera already set up and ready to use. The package comes with a spare battery, a FPV monitor and a transmitter, which saves the user the cost of having to buy them separately. It also has a shell that is built in and designed to protect the body and propellers of the drone from crash damages, making it very durable.
The battery life of 7 minutes is rather low, compared to other drones within the same price range that offer battery life of up to 10 minutes. However, for competitive drone racing 7 minutes is not bad in addition to the fact that it is for home use.
- It is easy to use and ideal for drone racing
- It is very durable
- It comes FPV ready and ready to fly
- It is affordable
- It has a low battery life ( 7 minutes)
The blade Inductrix FPV would be the best pick for a beginner who is looking into racing drones or other forms competitive drone flying,
What should you consider when buying a drone?
Buying a drone is not very different from buying any other product. There are certain features that you need to consider, besides price, in line with your individual needs to ensure that you get the best bargain.
A drone’s range is the distance a drone can fly away from its controller with the user still being in full control. In most cases, the higher the range, the more expensive the drone. It would be important to note however that it is important to have your eye on the drone at all times, except for those with Virtual reality compatibility that allow you to see as the drone sees.
- Battery life
Drones have notoriously low battery lives, because of the power they require coupled by the need for them to be light. Even the best models struggle to last for over thirty minutes between charges. It is important to buy a drone whose battery life matches your requirements, or consider adding the cost of extra batteries to your budget.
This feature should align with your purpose for the drone. There is the option of buying a drone with an inbuilt camera or buying a drone without one and attaching your own camera to it. In both cases, you need to consider the cost versus your intention for the drone because it may be more expensive to attach your own camera, but may also give lower resolution. In some cases, good camera quality could come with a small range or low battery life.
- Motor type
Drones typically have either brushless motors, or brushed motors. Depending on your budget and intended use, it would be preferable to get a drone with a brushless motor. This is because brushless motors have a longer lifespan and are quieter, which is the reason they cost more. However, they are the best long term plan for a drone because they do not require frequent replacement.
- Integrated GPS
This feature is common in high end drones and ensures that the user knows the exact location of the drone at all times. It is especially essential for drones with wide ranges where they go out of the users view. Integrated GPS also allows the drone to be programmed with a certain GPS location to hover above or go back to, without control, reducing the chances of the drone getting lost and increasing the user’s navigation capacity.
Drones come with different features. However, there are certain features that are instrumental in ease of use and ensuring that the drone lasts long:
- Obstacle avoidance – This feature is designed to allow the drone to automatically avoid obstacles like trees or birds, reducing the risk of damage. It is expensive and sometimes does not work as advertised, making it essential for a potential user to check the reviews for a drone to make sure it works as intended.
- Headless mode – This feature is ideal for beginners. It programmes the drone to move in the direction of the joystick in relation to the user not relative to the joystick direction, making the drone easy to control because of the mirror effect.
- Follow me mode – This mode programmes the drone to automatically follow the user and is available for drones with GPS tracking. It would be useful for filming as well as ensuring that the drone does not get lost.
Drones have become very affordable compared to when they were first introduced to the market, making them an easy acquisition for beginner and advanced users. For this reason, it is important for a potential use to choose the right drone for their intended use, while considering the factors listed above in order to get the most out of their purchase.