Best Drones Under 500

(Last Updated On: October 11, 2019)

Everyone loves having gadgets, and there are few ways that are better to spend the day than flying a drone. Whether it is just your hobby or something to do with the kids, seeing the world from a different perspective can help you truly appreciate all that is around you.

There are several different types of drones. Most people, when they think about drones, are thinking of large drones, but having the best mini drone ensures that you can have just as much fun. You can even enjoy maneuvering the drone around to do different things larger drones can’t do.

Whether you are a beginner or someone with experience flying drones, you can have a great amount of fun in the great outdoors and not spend a large amount of money. In fact, when you find the best micro drone, you will find that being in the outdoors is even more fun, as you get some great aerial photos and video to accompany your memories.

Mini drones and nano quadcopters come in all different designs and have a variety of prices. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to get a great mini drone.

In fact, whether you use the drones for business (real estate agents are using drones to photograph property) or pleasure, the cost is actually quite affordable. The key is to know what you are getting, and therefore these mini drone reviews will help you find the right drone for your needs at a great price.

Mini Drone Reviews

Check out our thorough and honest reviews of the 10 best mini drones on the market.

1. Global Drone GW66 Mini RC Drones

Global Drone GW66 Mini RC DronesThere are some drones that are designed with the needs of a beginning pilot in mind. Whether you are looking to fly indoors or outside, this mini drone’s durability and easy one-button controls allow you to learn how to fly a drone before you get way ahead of yourself and have to deal with the results of a crash you didn’t see coming. As a gift for kids, there are few mini drones that are better on the market.

When using the Global Mini RC Drone, you’ll notice the buttons for the 360-degree rollovers are very tempting…And as you become a better pilot, you’ll be able to deploy this button with aplomb and amaze family and friends.

Features:

  • Durability and settings allow you to bounce this drone off walls without worrying about crash problems.
  • 360-degree rollover button adds flair to flight.
  • Different speed modes make playing a blast.
Pros
  • Great mini drone for novice pilots, especially useful for helping kids learn about flying drones.
  • Auto-locator eliminates the navigation problems that lead to crashes when bringing the drone back from flight.
  • One-button controls eliminate much of the flying guesswork.
Cons
  • Takes nearly an hour for the battery to charge.
  • The base model lacks a camera.

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2. Holy Stone HS150 – Great For Racing

Holy Stone HS150One of the best ways to have fun with mini drones is to race them. Of course, with racing comes more opportunities to crash and ruin the mini drone, so you need a racing quadcopter that is extremely durable and can handle the high speeds needed for racing.

Fortunately, the Holy Stone mini drone offers everything you need for racing success, including durability.

There are two modular batteries that will give you double the flight time included in the box. When you break out this impressive mini drone, you will notice right away there are five different speeds. For the novice racing pilot, this is the ideal way to train yourself to navigate courses.

The mini drone accelerates fast—it can reach up to 30 mph very quickly. Instead of paying a lot of money to get a high-quality racing experience, with this drone you can get a perfect learning experience while not paying premium cash.

Features:

  • Five different speeds allow you to learn how to race without the pressure of going fast on the first try.
  • Multiple batteries included for double the racing time.
  • Includes eight spare propellers to easily fix if there are crashes.
  • Base model comes without a camera.
Pros
  • Ideal for young mini drone pilots to learn how to race drones.
  • Plenty of extras in package help make mini drone flying more fun.
  • Fast acceleration reaches up to 30 mph for a true racing experience.
Cons
  • Takes more than one hour to fully recharge batteries.
  • Doesn’t include a camera on base model.

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3. Syma X21W – Plan Your Flight

Syma X21WIf you are looking for a mini quadcopter that allows you to take great pictures, then this Syma model is very much the one for you.

There are many things that allow this mini drone to work beautifully for both novice pilots and veterans. One of the most interesting features is the “flight plan” function. This is where you can create a route on the interface, and the mini drone automatically goes along that path—one example of a feature that helps novice pilots learn how to maneuver the mini drone.

Another interesting feature is the SYMA GO app. This app includes the flight plan functionality, but it also helps you learn the different ins and outs of flying the mini drone. One thing that is enjoyable is the altitude hold and hover function.

One-key takeoff and landing makes flight easier for novices and efficient for experts. The .3-megapixel camera allows recording of video and pictures, making this mini drone ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities.

Features:

  • SYMA GO app is a one-stop shop for all of the controls to operate mini drone.
  • Use flight plans and altitude stabilizers to make flight much more easy for novices.
  • Camera is great for taking pictures of natural areas right around you.
Pros
  • SYMA GO app makes it much easier for novices to learn how to be great pilots.
  • One-key takeoff and landing eliminates need for steady hands during crash-prone moments.
  • Hold and hover at altitude stabilizes photos and video.
Cons
  • Takes a long time for the battery on this unit to charge, must get spare batteries.
  • Doesn’t seem to do much to protect the mini drone against crashes.

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4. Potensic A20 Quadcopter – Great For Learning

Potensic A20 Quadcopter When you are looking for a drone that is durable and appropriate for all ages, this Potensic drone is ideal. It’s particularly good for families looking to make heading out into nature and flying a drone part of the fun routine.

You can also use this drone when flying indoors. Because the propellers have shrouds protecting them, you don’t need to worry about crashing the way you would with other mini drones. Though the price point is low, it is deceptive because there are a number of great features built into this mini drone.

There are three speed settings, and you can control altitude as well. The headless mode is an option on this mini drone too. Because there are a lot of safeguards built into this particular model, you can’t worry too much about the different pitfalls that come with learning how to fly a mini drone.

Pros
  • Ideal drone for beginners, as it’s built to withstand crashes.
  • Controls for altitude help newbies avoid basic flight problems.
  • Unbeatable price point compared to other drones.
Cons
  • Mini drone lacks a camera, is for flight only.
  • The charging time is a bit long compared to similar models.

Features

  • Altitude control & headless mode
  • 30-minute charging time
  • Seven-minute flying time
  • Includes extra propeller blades, USB cable
  • Uses three AAA batteries for the transmitter

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5. Tello Mini Drone – Big Results, Small Design

Tello Mini DroneHaving great components is a key to success with any item that is computerized, and the Tello mini drone is one of the best examples of this. With component parts from Intel and DJI, there are great software programs that allow these mini drones to fly with great effectiveness and responsiveness.

The lightweight and durable design of the mini drone ensures that you can have fun flying the drone without worrying too much about any damage that could come from a crash.

Though the mini drone is small, it’s a great way to get kids involved with the hobby. There are features like auto takeoff and landing which take the guesswork out of two of the most difficult things to do with a mini drone. There is also fail-safe protection, this is when your mini drone safely lands even when you lose power and connection with the controller.

Taking pictures is great fun with the mini drone’s camera that has 720p HD and five-megapixel capability. This means that you will have some exceptional footage to remember your forays into mini drone flight!

There are several other software features built in that make sharing video incredibly easy. In fact, with this mini drone, it is very easy to stay connected to all things and memorialize all the fun you and your family have with it.

Features:

  • There is a bundle that includes VR goggles, a spare battery, and a carrying case
  • HD camera with five-megapixel and 720p
  • 13-minute flight time
  • Specialized tools are included to help repair mini drone
Pros
  • Nearly 15 minutes of flight time.
  • Camera is one of the best on the market.
  • Intel and DJI tools provide seamless software efficiency.
Cons
  • Though it’s easy to learn to fly, there is a lot to wrap your mind around when using this mini drone.
  • Would like a crash kit included with a mini drone such as this one.

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Buying Guide

Now that we’ve looked at the different mini drones and all of their features, you probably have some more questions. The good news is that I am including  answers to some of the most frequently asked questions here. As you learn more about the features and key points of mini drones in this buying guide,be sure to go back and check out the different mini drones again. You will notice that some make more sense for what you’re looking for than others.

best micro drone

Why Choose A Mini Drone Or Nano Quadcopter?

Some folks think that mini drones are only popular because they have a low price, but the truth is there is so much more to these smaller drones than just a nice price tag.

One of the best things about them is their size. Nano drones can fit in the palm of your hand, while some mini drones have the ability to fit in your pocket. The size advantage makes them easy to pack and deploy wherever you like to fly drones.

The advantage of this size is it’s easier to learn how to fly and maneuver a drone in a way that would be more clumsy with a larger drone. There are several features included with the mini drones that are similar to those on larger models. For example, if you like LED lights or HD cameras, you will find them on many different types of mini drones.

The mini drones are also great for kids as well. If you are trying to bond with your child, there’s no need to worry about caring for expensive drones and letting that be a barrier to enjoyment. Furthermore, getting a mini drone with an attachment that guards the blades allows your kids to get into the nitty-gritty of drones without getting hurt.

Also, part of learning about drones is crashing them, and with the low cost of mini drones and nano quadcopters, there won’t be a dispiriting feeling if the drone is broken after a crash. Finally, there are some buttons on controls that allow you to do stunts with your drone that you and your kids will enjoy.

What Are The Differences Between Drones And Mini Drones?

Besides size and price, there are several things that you should know about how mini drones are different from regular sized drones. The first thing is the manufacturing of these drones is advanced. By miniaturizing the technology, this allows parts to be reproduced at a higher rate which contributes to a lower cost.

Also, larger drones used to boast greater capabilities with cameras and batteries. The reality is, now many of the best mini drones have the same features such as impressive HD cameras and long-life battery options.

Tips For Mini Drones

It is important to know some tips before you start flying these drones. By listening to these tips, you will avoid some of the many different problems that afflict folks who are eager to fly drones and are new to the hobby.

When you avoid these mistakes, not only do you save money, but you have greater enjoyment of flying mini drones. Understanding that there are going to be bumps in the road is important, so follow these tips so you can have fun flying drones right away.

best small drone

  • Go easy on the throttle. Many new drone pilots are heavy on the throttle. The controls are extremely sensitive, and if you move the stick too sharply, this will cause you to lose control of the mini drone, possibly resulting in a crash.
  • Practice before showing off. The temptation to do tricks (like flips) is immense, but you should refrain from doing that at first. Just because you read there is a way to do something doesn’t mean you should attempt it right away. Get very familiar with the controls before doing tricks. When you try to do tricks, leave a large margin for error.
  • Understand that repairs are part of mini drones. Your mini drone will crash, and things will happen to it. This is a part of mini drone life. Be prepared to spend some time fixing the drone, and if the fix is beyond your ability, take it to a hobby shop. Usually there are experts that can fix your mini drone.
  • Buy extra parts. Having extra batteries and extra props is very helpful when you first start flying mini drones. This will help you when you deal with crashes and the batteries dying. Some models even have “crash packs”. Purchase these, as it will save you some money over the long term with repairs.

Some Things To Consider When Buying A Mini Drone Or Nano Quadcopter

It may feel a bit overwhelming, but the key is knowing what you want to do with the drone. Some folks may enjoy taking pictures, while others are interested in impressing with their flight skills.

The biggest key is your budget. Include not just the price of the drone but also the price for parts. You may have to select a drone that doesn’t have as many features just so you can have the spare parts.

If you live near a hobby store, you could get away with not buying as much in terms of spare parts. Still, it is important to get batteries and extra props.

Finally, if you are flying mini drones with your kids, make sure that you get safe mini drones. These are mini drones with guards around the propellers, for example. Also, you will want a mini drone that has controls which are easier for kids to use.

The more sensitive the controls are, the less kid-friendly they are. You want controls that are not as sensitive when you are working on mini drones with kids.

FAA Regulations Related To Mini Drones

There is a lot to think about when you decide to purchase a mini done. One of the most important things to consider is the flight requirements.

Check with the FAA and your local authorities to see exactly where you can fly. If, for example, you fly your mini drone near an airport, there can be some very serious penalties. Once you understand where you can fly your mini drone, this will keep you on the right side of the law and increase enjoyment and safety.

The general rule is not to fly your mini drone within five miles of an airport. There are also several areas of restricted airspace you may not know about without doing your homework.
While not part of FAA regulations, you should never fly your mini drone over others’ private residences and property. This could be an invasion of privacy, and there could be criminal implications depending on the municipality in which you live.

Warranty Options

Crashes are a part of drone flight. If a crash is severe enough, then a warranty can serve as a way to replace the mini drone at little to no cost. If you are purchasing one of the more expensive mini drone options with the cameras, then a warranty is something you should definitely consider.

If the plan is to use your mini drone with your kids, then getting one with a warranty is a very good idea as well. It is inevitable that kids will crash the drone, and all sorts of things will happen. This is part of the learning process.

Taking out a warranty is a great way to guard against all the different things that could adversely affect the drone.

Conclusion

There is a lot of fun to be had when flying mini drones, regardless of whether you do it on your own or with your family and kids. Though mini drones are not as expensive as the larger drones, there is no disputing that the level of enjoyment is equal. Once you take your mini drone out into the world, you’ll be amazed at the fun of flying and seeing the world in a completely different way.


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