DRONES UNDER £200
When it comes to budget drones there is a plenty you can get for less than £200. We assess the top 3 drones on a sub £200 budget.
Best Drones Under £200
Drones are so much cheaper as we head in to 2018 then they ever have been and with multiple companies starting up each week looking to take on the established manufacturers the more the big boys have to up the ante. Luckily for the consumer this usually results in more competitive pricing and getting more tech for your pound.
No matter what your budget, it always pays to look around and do your research. We have done the hard work for you here and compiled our top 3 drones for under £200 with some coming in at almost half of the maximum budget.
If you are looking for something a little cheaper then why not check out our top ten drones under £100 article but if you are really looking for something with a decent shelf life and that will keep you (and the kids) entertained for more than a few months then the drones reviewed here could hardly be a better starting place – not only that, but we have rounded up the best offers from the most reputable retailers so you can be rest assured that you are getting the very best deal.
1. Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition (Jungle Skin) – Just £99 on Black Friday Sale
Top all round value, a joy to fly and great for social media lovers – 9/10
Before DJI came and stormed the drone world with their expensive (but really quite nice) technology, we saw Parrot dominating the UAV market and to some extent they still have some of the best looking and performing technology in the industry.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is a drone that would usually fall just outside of our price point for this article as it retails at around £230 to £280. However, stocked direct from Parrot on this reputable third party site, the drone is available at well under £200 when you purchase it in the jungle skin – which just so happens to be our favourite.
To give the AR Drone 2.0 a score of 9/10 we had to be seriously impressed – and we were.
Going back to DJI, you might think they invented the perfect social media drone with the Spark, but that is not so as the AR Drone 2.0 has been around a little longer and is a true social butterfly. This quadcopter has a fantastic 720p HD camera on board with a dedicated free app that allows you to take photos and create films and gives you the ability to share them straight to your favourite social media channels – including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
This drone is not just about the social media sharing though, although we do think it is pretty cool that there is no need for cables, SD cards and the like when it comes to storing your footage as your phone/tablet will store it on the fly (you see what we did there).
When it comes to flying the Parrot you are treated to a very intuitive piloting experience using your smart phone and the AR.Freeflight 2.0 app to control your craft. There is no controller which may take seasoned pilots a little getting used to but for those who are new to drone flying it is a breeze. The on board pressure sensor allows for an extremely stable flight no matter what the conditions or altitude. You can use the headless mode, tilting your smartphone to move or use the virtual control sticks on your screen.
The Parrot automatically holds its position unless you direct it to move and it is exceptional at this. This makes this drone easy to control for beginners but also provides enough of a test for experts. The drone has all sorts of flips and moves built in that can be performed at the touch of a button and the video/camera streams back to your mobile device at a range of up to 50m or so.
The app is compatible with iOS and Android and you can even use Amazon Kindle Fire, HD and HDX models with it too.
A battery life of around 11-12 minutes as standard is provided with the 1000mAh lithium Polymer battery and you can purchase extras for around £20-£35 that will extend your flight time considerably.
The only negative we found with the AR Drone 2.0 was the lack of controller as it is nice to have the display completely clear when streaming video and trying to take stills. That being said, this drone would not be under £200 if it had a controller and as such this becomes our favourite pick at this price point.
2. Hubsan H501S X4 FPV Drone (white edition)
Best for full 1080p HD – 8/10
The Hubsan H501S X4 FPV drone is a drone that we have been a fan of for a while now but up until now it has been unobtainable in this price bracket of less than £200 – that was until Hubsan decided to sell used refurbished models that put the price at around £190 instead of £230. Whether you choose to up your budget and go for the brand new model is up to you, but either way you are getting a hell of a lot of technology for not a lot of money – when compared with other models with similar specs at least.
Hubsan are one of the big players in the budget and mid-end drone market and have made waves over the last 12 months with some of their exceptional products.
There are two key advantages of the Hubsan over the Parrot:
- It has a controller with a 4.3″ screen meaning there is no need to use your smartphone
- It can enjoy flight times of around 20 minutes
These two reasons alone will make the Hubsan X4 a much more serious proposition than the Parrot to some people and it is true that in many ways the Hubsan excels. One thing we found to be slightly less flattering was the stability when taking video, but then I guess you can’t have everything.
When it comes to piloting the X4 it is perfect for beginners and more advanced pilots. There is a 1 key return to home feature, follow me and altitude hold as standard. The 1080p full HD onboard camera is excellent and provides you with the ability to take some excellent footage. When the drone is stable with altitude hold you can get some simply stunning shots and they record on an SD card which is handy for extra storage.
Overall, we loved the Hubsan H501S X4, if nothing else it provided an excellent FPV experience at a fraction of the cost of some other drones and the return to home and built in GPS were very reliable and a lifesaver at times.
3. JJRC H8D FPV Drone
Best FPV Drone Under £200 and suitable for kids – 7/10
This is not the first time we have featured a JJRC drone at dronedeliver.co.uk and it probably won’t be the last. The H8D is an excellent FPV package that comes complete with everything you need to get going, not only that but the manufacturer suggests it is suitable for ages 6 and up (although we stick to the usual 14+).
Coming in at the lower end of our budget this is one of the best value for money packages we have ever reviewed and if you want video, FPV, good battery life and ease of use then you probably don’t need to look much further.
In fact, this drone is so cheap that it could have featured in our cheaper drones guide – but it holds its own amongst this competition at well under £200 here.
The 6 axis quadcopter has a battery life of around 10 minutes and back up batteries are pretty cheap to come by. Featuring a HD camera and FPV display on the controller itself, the 2.4Ghz controller might look a little cumbersome but has that brilliant retro feeling that will have you thinking you are back in the 80’s – but this would have been the coolest thing in the world back then!
The camera is HD but is limited to 2MP and although you can get some decent shots with it, the camera is going to be better suited to aiding your flying than for winning any photography awards.
When it comes to fun the JJRC H8D drone has it in abundance. It has some of the nicest looking LED lighting we have seen, is capable of plenty of flips and rolls and 3D stunts as well as having a one key return which is great for beginners.
We didn’t test it with a water cannon, hook and basket or bubble blower but have it on good authority that these features are a lot of fun too.
If you are looking for a decent FPV drone that is suitable for young people and won’t break the bank then you can’t go far wrong with this drone at the price.
We have compiled our top 3 list of best drones under £200 and within this list there is something for everyone.
Whether you are looking for a high end flying machine with the ability for taking full 1080p HD video footage or you want something that is a little more immersive and providing a true FPV experience, we have it covered.
These drones range from £80 to £200 and have been fully reviewed to help you make the right choice for your needs.