Now is a great time to purchase a new drone. Drones have never been more affordable while coming with a variety of awesome features.
But how do you decide which is the best drone for your lifestyle and budget?
In this article, we’ll go over the best drones under 500 dollars. We’ll go over what to look for when buying a new drone and what makes these ones stand out from the rest of the competition.
Like buying a new pair of headphones, you want to make sure that you look at all of the best options before deciding which model to get.
Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know so you can get the perfect drone for you.
Hubsan Zino is one of the best drones on the market today. Especially for ones that cost under $500.
This drone has a 4K camera that’s also able to shoot at 30 frames per second. It also features both hardware and software stabilization. This is going to give you professional-quality footage without any shakiness or vibration problems.
You’ll also be able to capture plenty of detail with a max bitrate of 60mbps. At only $400, it’s an incredible value for such a high-quality aerial camera.
This drone also comes with a bunch of neat features. Those features include follow me, GPS, altitude and safety features (failsafe modes and auto return to home).
With its battery, the Husban Zino is able to fly in the air for up to 22 minutes. It can go pretty far too – around 4 km.
Other models can go that far but Hubsan Zino is going to get you better image quality and a higher resolution. Plus, it’s very affordable.
Our company absolutely loves this drone.
DJI Mavic Mini
No drone list would be complete without a DJI. And luckily, DJI now offers an amazing drone for under $500.
The DJI Mavic Mini is an absolute monster of a drone with an aggressive price tag.
First, let’s talk about the camera. It’s important to point out here that the Mavic Mini’s camera doesn’t have a 4K sensor as the Hubsan Zino does.
However, it does record in a 2.7K max resolution which still offers you a beautiful image. So whether you’re trying to film cinematic landscapes, get an aerial view of the neighboorhood, or just work on your selfie game, the DJI Mavic Mini has got your back.
It also has all of the great features that DJI has been known to include in their products. Obviously, it’s going to come with GPS but it also features tapfly and active track.
With tapfly, all you have to do is tap on your screen and press Go. And the drone will take off and go directly to that location. Its anticollision sensors will make sure that your drone stays safe while it flies.
Active track is another really cool feature. When this mode is on, the drone will follow a chosen subject. Whether that subject is running, driving a vehicle, or swimming in the ocean.
And perhaps the best feature of all is that you can actually fold the DJI Mavic Mini. This makes it extremely portable since you can just fit it in the palm of your hand and take it with you.
When looking at the specs, it’s hard not to be impressed by the DJI Mavic Mini. Like the Hubsan Zino, this aerial camera has 4 kilometres of operating range. And can go as long as 30 minutes in the air.
The Upair Two is beautiful thanks to its simplicity. It sports all-white propellers, an all-white body, and a sleek white control that harkens back to those older DJI Phantom drones.
Or, at least, the Upair Two is simple until you start talking about the camera.
The camera on the Upair Two isn’t your average camera. This one has three sensors, believe it or not.
Thanks to its smartly designed 3-eye lens and 3-axis gimbal, you can get totally stable and totally beautiful 4K footage.
The main camera films in 4L while a second camera captures 16mpx still images and the other records in 2K FHD.
There’s absolutely no shakiness or vibrations in this camera’s footage. And coming in right under $500, we’re happy to have it on the list.
In terms of features, GPS is a given. It also has an optical flow positioning system, altitude hold, flight route planning, and one key landing/return/takeoff. It’s got everything you’d want out of a premium drone.
Unlike the other drones mentioned, the Upair Two can only go a distance of about 1 to 1.2 km for both controls and FPV transmission. It can also fly for around 23 minutes or so.
It’s an all-around great aerial camera but it is on the more pricey side.
The Ruko F11 is another great 4K aerial camera worth knowing about. It has a very nice metallic finish and, like the DJI Mavic Mini, can be folded. Plus, the relatively small two-bladed propellers are actually quite powerful and fast.
Although the Ruko F11 is technically 4K, it does feel as if the resolution is upscaled a bit. Because of this, it doesn’t feel as smooth as other 4K sensors and gives off a sort of fish-eye effect in the footage.
The stabilization is very good, however, although you will notice some vibration.
The drone features a headless mode, as most drones do. This means that no matter which way your drone is positioned if you tell it to go left, it will always move left relative to where the front end is facing.
It also has GPS, one key landing and takeoff, auto return to home, and altitude hold.
The Ruko F11 also comes with two batteries and each battery can keep the drone flying for around 30 minutes.
The operating range for this aerial camera goes a little farther than one kilometre and the FBV can work up to 500 meters.
For only $300, the Ruko F11 is a great drone for the price.
It’s products like these that make it a joy for us to review the latest tech.
Holy Stone HS720
The Holy Stone HS720 is another powerful, foldable drone that also comes with its own carrying case. The camera has a 2K sensor which means that the picture is slightly wider than 1080p. The quality is half that of the 4K cameras on this list.
Thankfully, by using GPS assisted intelligently flight, the drone can fly smoothly and without interruption to the operator’s desired destination. Plus, the drone features follow me, auto return to home, and waypoints which are always useful features.
For those who don’t know, a waypoint is a set of coordinates. These coordinates are able to identify a certain point in physical space. It uses three-dimensional positioning (altitude, latitude, and longitude) to go to an exact location.
In terms of the device’s specs, the Holy Stone HS720 can last for around 25 minutes or so on a fully charged battery. It also supports FPV and has an operating range of 800 meters.
All in all, the Holy Stone HS720 is a solid pick for the price but there are other drones on this list that can get you better picture quality.
This fully white drone has an aesthetic appearance that’s quite similar to the DJI Phantom. That’s also partly thanks to the massive camera that installed right underneath the main portion of the drone’s body.
At only $170, the Potensic T35 is one of the best-priced premium drones on the market today. Especially with all of the features this baby pack in it.
This drone doesn’t just have GPS but it actually comes with dual GPS. It’s got all sorts of other neat features like waypoints, follow me, and return to home, and altitude hold.
This drone is also incredibly stable and is able to stay very still as it shows to exhibit little to zero drift. It’s also quite fast.
It’s a great drone for beginners and will get you some really wonderful aerial photos.
Unfortunately, the camera isn’t as powerful as the other drones on this list. The Potensic T35 only contains a 1080p-sized sensor, but that’s still a great deal considering the camera also flies!
It’s important to point out that even though the drone is relatively stable, the video does sometimes come out as shakey and jittery. The photos are certainly better than the videos from this device.
The battery is also good but not great. You’re going to get about 15 minutes of flying time from the device’s 2500mAh LiPo battery.
That’s only from the included battery, however. If you wanted to, you could purchase other batteries online and increase the drone’s flight time significantly. It would also be a good idea to invest in a charger for this drone as well.
This drone can go out a distance of about 250 meters.
The Altair 818 is certainly the most popular drone model from the engineering company, Altair.
This device is also referred to as the Hornet. It got that nickname thanks to it’s black and yellow appearance, thick propeller protectors, and two-bladed propellers.
This is a fairly bulky drone but that’s not necessarily a negative thing because that means it can fly in less than ideal weather conditions.
The Altair 818 Hornet’s camera is located right between the device’s landing gears. It’s important to point out here that the camera is only able to capture video in 720p.
The camera’s FPV feature can work up to distances of 60 meters.
FBV stands for First Person View. When a drone is equipped with FPV, this means that you can see what the camera sees by looking trough a remote monitor.
Unfortunately, the Altair 818 is lacking a GPS module so this means that it doesn’t fly as smoothly as the other drones listed in this article. The drone does have 3-speed settings as well as altitude hold.
Plus, don’t forget you get the extra layer of safety thanks to the thick propeller protectors.
When looking at the device’s specs, you’re going to get around 150 meters of operating range. It also comes with two batteries that each hold 15-minutes of flight time for a combined total of 30 minutes.
We’ve got another Potensic drone for this list. One of their most popular models, the Potensic D85 is sturdy and big.
With this drone, you’ll get a 2K HD wide-angle camera as well as a powerful anti-vibration mechanism. You’ll hardly notice any shakiness and jitteriness.
In terms of features, you’re going to get a dual GPS module as well as return to home and altitude hold.
It’s sleek and stylish drone also goes quite fast and is able to reach up to 10 meters per second when flying in normal conditions without wind.
Thanks to the Potensic D85’s 2800mAh 2S (7.4V) LiPo battery, this drone can fly for about 20 minutes on a full charge. It’s also able to fly up to 1.5 km.
Last but certainly not least, you can get up to 600 meters of an FPV range with this drone.
Figuring Out Which of the Best Drones Under 500 Dollars Is Right for You
Clearly, there’s a lot of variety when it comes to which kind of drone you can purchase. But the good thing is that they all come at affordable prices.
However, it’s important that before you finally make the big purchase, that you consider all of the features and specs. Sometimes, you have to pick between camera quality and operating range or cool features.
That’s why you should weigh all of the pros and cons when deciding which of the best drones under 500 dollars you want to buy.
Interested in learning about more cool tech that you should? Contact us today and see how we can help you!