Best Drones Under 500 Dollars in 2018

When buying a drone, you need to go through the process of thinking. You need to think about various things, about specifications, features, usage of the drone and of course the price. Most essential specs you need to look at is flight time, control range, size, speed, weight, and many others. You need to make sure you are buying the drone that fits your usage. In other words, if you are buying a racing drone you need to look at the speed and FPV capability. For aerial photography, you need to go all in on the best possible camera and gimbal. It will also be ideal if the flight time and control range is high enough. You can expect flight time around 20 minutes and control range around 500 meters for drones under 500 dollars.

Drones under 500 dollars are ideal for amateurs and people that have some experience in drone flying. Because the price is not small, it is not best for beginners that never fly a drone before. You really would not like to crash a drone worth a 500$. But the beginners that have extra money to spend on getting new piloting skills these drones are the ideal choice. They are just not too expensive and at the same time provide more than the cheaper drones.

These are the best 10 drones under 500 dollars


Pocket Selfie Drone

DJI Spark Pocket Selfie Drone

DJI Spark is first on the list, but that does not mean that it is the number one choice to buy. Like I already said, you need to look for a drone that fits your purpose. The primary purpose of DJI Spark is to take selfies. It is a small drone that fits in your pocket. If you are looking for the best selfie drone, the DJI SPark is one of the best choices you can get on the market right now.

Features and Specifications:
Spark is small in size, and you can carry it around in your pocket. But despite being a tiny sized drone Spark has power. It is one of the fastest drones on the market capable of speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour (31mph). Maximum flight time is also good caped at 16 minutes. Spark uses a GPS system, and that is one of the essential features that allow the drone to hold the altitude, hower and return home using only a button.

For taking lovely selfies, Spark has a full HD camera with 1080P resolution. Frame rates at this resolution are 30 which is more than enough from smooth shooting. Photography is taken with 12 Megapixels camera which guarantees a clean picture in every circumstance.

Spark also has some advanced features like the ability to fly the drone with hand gestures. You will need to learn how to do that, but once you get that skill, you will be able to use Spark by only flashing your hands around. There is also a DJI app that allows navigation by using a smartphone. But to the new pilots and those that just started flying, I suggest using a suitable old remote controller that comes with a DJI Spark package.

Another fantastic feature that comes from DJI department is the feature that allows automatic avoidance of obstacles. Spark will avoid all the obstacles 5 meters in front. This gives excellent security to the pilot and makes this drone an ideal model for casual drone pilots.

First person view mode on DJI drone is impressive and you can enjoy the view on a 720P resolution at 30 frames per second and latency is around 200ms. That just means that the Spark is easy to navigate using the FPV.

Wingsland S6

Best Drones Under 500 Dollars in 2018 1

Wingsland S6 Pocket Selfie Drone

If you thought that the DJI Spark is the only pocket selfie drone on the best drones under 500 dollars list you were wrong. Wingsland is the company that produces drones, stated in China in the Shenzhen, Guangdong province. S6 looks mean, it looks like a pocket selfie drone capable of high performance. And one of the first things that need to be said about S6 is that you can really fold the drone and place it in your pocket.

Features and Specifications:
S6 comes in many colors. My favorite version is Banana. S6 is not as fast as DJI Spark, and its maximum speed is 29 kilometers per hour (18 miles per hour).

The most significant advantage of this drone is the ability to take 4K videos, and this drone is one of the smallest drones at the moment that are capable of filming at the highest possible resolution at 30 frames per second.

For using special features like follow me and one key return home, drone uses its internal GPS. S6 also has other features like orbiting, hovering and course lock mode.

Flight time and control range is not the best specifications for this model, and the S6 is capable of only up to 10 minutes of flying time and the control range is up to 100 meters.

Reasons to pick Wingsland S6 instead of DJI Spark is the ability of 4K filming and price. S6 is almost two times cheaper than the DJI Spark.

Upair One Plus

Upair One

Upair One Plus 4K Camera drone

If I didn’t say to you that this is a Upair One drone you would think it is a DJI Phantom version. Upair One looks like a DJI Phantom but by the specifications and features is far away from one of the most popular models in the world. But Upair One has its own advantages when comparing it to the other models on the list and other drones under 500 dollars. One of the bright advantages is excellent communication between the drone and remote controller, as well as the FPV connection. Upair One can be remotely controlled from distance as far as 1 kilometer. And that is a just huge feature for a drone under 500 dollars.

Features and Specifications:
Drone is not especially fast, and we can put it in a slow speed drones group as well as easy to fly. Since the speed velocity is not high you can easily navigate this drone.

Flying time of this drone is also amazing, up to 25 minutes. Upair One is clearly one of the drones with a longest flying time as well as control range. It can even compete with the more expensive drones than the 500 dollars.

Upair One Plus has, even more, advantages inside the shelves. It has a camera capable of recording in 4K resolution. For the price under 500 dollars, you are getting a drone with incredible features and abilities.

The remote control is also a well-designed piece of hardware. Usage of the remote controller is simple, and you will have zero problems using it. The screen for the first person view is large enough, and the quality of the stream is excellent.

All in all, if you are looking for an alternative to the expensive Phantom, Upair One can be a good choice. This drone can serve as a perfect solution for landscape recording. It can be put to good use in crop farming monitoring and all other aerial landscape shootings. The 4k resolution will make sure that the picture has as much as possible details and that everything that is recorded is crystal clear.

Eachine Racer 250

Racing Drone

Eachine Racer 250 For League Racing

If you are looking for an extremely fast drone for racing, then the Eachine Racer 250 is perfect for you. Like the name of the drone says, it is made for racing. But what makes this drone standing out from other racing drones is customization. You can actually switch all the parts and customize the drone for your needs. Also, you can order a do it yourself version where you receive drone in parts, and then you assemble it alone at home.

Features and Specifications:
Extremely high speed, Racer 250 is capable of speeds up to 145 kilometers per hour (90 mph). At that speed, you can see why they say that this little drone is not meant for new pilots. You really would not put a flying projectile capable of 90 miles per hour into hands of a new pilot. Consequences may be lethal. Other than that, the drone flies kinda easy. It is fast, responsive and you can adjust it to fit your preferred flying style.

Eachine Racer 250 has plenty of add-ons, and one of them is a racing FPV which is crucial at racing. Or if you are a pro pilot that uses the headset you can get that too. At that fast speeds, you really need a headset or a splendid first-person view to be able to get the maximum from this racing machine.

Flight time is around 15 minutes which is enough to win a race. Control range is large enough as well it is responding fast which is crucial at such tremendous speeds. Eachine made one hell of a racer for a really affordable price. The camera is built for the first-person view, it can record, but you will not be able to make great landscape pictures over the vast area in extremely high resolution. This drone is not made for that, it is a racing drone for amateurs or very brave beginners, but my recommendation is for the professional racers.

Traxxas Aton

Traxxas Aton Quadcopter

Traxxas Aton – Multi-usage Drone

Traxxas Aton is one of the drones that have multiple usages. You can use it for fun flying, racing and for shooting amazing videos. All that in one drone. Because of that multifunctionality, this drone is taking lots of attention on the market. Racers love it because it is simple to fly and fast enough. Hobbyist loves it because you can perform various tricks and the pilots that want to do amazing videos like it because of 2 gimbal axis camera and fantastic performance of the camera lens.

Features and Specifications:
Traxxas Aton is capable of speed higher than 50 miles per hour (80kmh). Because of such speeds, it is ideal for new racing pilots.

Drone is capable of three modes, filming, sport, and expert.

Filming Mode
In this mode the drone is very easy to fly, even beginners can use it in this mode. Capturing video and photos of the surrounded area is done without any problems. The drone also has auto take off and key for the fast return home. So even if something terrible happens on your fly, the auto return key will help you bring the drone safely back.

Sport Mode
In sports mode, we can have more fun by performing some tricks and just flying the drone at higher speeds. You will gain more control over the vehicle and in that way you may learn some piloting skills. There is also safety in this mode, with one press of a button drone will stop and hover. So if you see that you will hit the wall and if you continue flying at the current speed all you need to do is hit the key and drone will stop and hover in a place. This feature is a crucial feature for all the beginners who wish to learn real flying skills.

Expert Mode
Traxxas Aton has the ability to fly at extreme speeds and performances. You can perform various and unbelievable stunts all with the use of the powerful brushless motors. For this kind of flying, you need to be an expert, and you need to know what you are doing.

Aton is a terrific drone that fits all the groups of pilots. Experts, beginners, racers or video makers all of them can benefit from this drone. Because of that usability, it is a number one pick for the pilots that love to try different things.

Hubsan H501S x4

Hubsan Drone

Hubsan H501S x4 Quadcopter

Hubsan is a company that produces various type of drones. Hubsan makes drones for racing, FPV drones, photography drones and all other forms of drones. H501S is one of the amazing models from Hubsan company capable of big performance.

Features and Specifications:
The flight time of this drone is around 20 minutes which puts this affordable drone at the sides of the even more expensive drones. Control range is 300 meters. With this drone, you can stay in the air for a long time and the distance is large enough to cover a large area. These features are useful for taking a recording of a particular area, like real estate or even a crop field. The camera on the drone is decent, and it is capable of 1080P resolution. Sadly, the resolution is not the highest possible, and if you are looking for the most quality picture, you should seek other drones on the list that are recording videos at 4K resolution.

The drone has lots of fancy features. Features like follow me mode, altitude hold, GPS positioning, and one key return home button. With all of these features, the drone is suitable for beginners and amateur photographs. Despite recording in only 1080P which were a year ago a standard, but now is the 4K resolution standard, you can still make excellent videos.

H501S also has a first-person view option, and you can watch the drone path on the LCD that is attached to the remote controller. You always see where the drone is going and you can respond fast to the obstacles on the flight path

Hubsan also has LED lights for more leisurely navigation during the night time.

Xiro Xplorer

Mini Drone

Xiro Xplorer Mini Drone

Xplorer Mini is another pocket selfie drone on the list. Pocket selfie drones are getting popular every day, and Xiro knows that. That why they release this pocket selfie drone. But the central question is if Xiro Xplorer Mini offers something new or maybe even more than the competition.

Features and Specifications
The name says that this is a mini-drone and it really is the mini-drone, you can land it on your palm. Maybe the size is the limit in flight time duration. Flight time is only 15 minutes, or we should say a massive 15 minutes for such a small drone limited to a small battery. Control range is not significant, and it does not need to be big because the purpose of this drone is to take selfies, not the landscape.

Xiro Xplorer Mini has many flying features and security measures. For example, the drone is protected from getting low power and even when it loses connection the drone will return to the safe place. In both cases, the drone will return home. It has GPS, and that just opens new doors to more advanced technology. You can without a problem hover in a place thanks to this technology.

The camera on Xplorer Mini is a decent quality camera with the ability to shoot videos at 1080P resolution at 30 frames per second. Pictures are taken in maximum possible resolution with 13MP.

Xiro Xplorer Mini is ideal for new pilots and for the people that never used a drone before, but they are looking to take selfies. It is suitable for the beginners because it has much flying safety’s which guarantees in some way that you will not crash the drone on your first attempt to fly. Also, the drone is not able to operate at a fast speed. It is a slow drone, and if you think that the design and outfit of the drone mean that this little fellow is speedy, it is not. It moves through the air kind of slowly and that is another reason for new pilots to get this drone.

Walkera QR X350

Walkera Drone

Walkera QR X350 Quadcopter

QR X350 Pro primary purpose is a video recording of the landscape. The drone has all that is required to do that job correctly. Flight time is large enough, the control range is enormous, and the camera is of high quality and capable of delivering an entirely clear picture.

Features and Specifications:
X350 has a reliable battery that guarantees the fly time of up to 25 minutes which is more than enough to record everything you need to record. 25 minutes of flight time puts this drone on a higher level according to the flying time. But the drone is on a higher level by another feature, and that is control range. Control range of Walkera QR X350 Pro is enormous, 2 kilometers. That is more than enough. Possibility for such extended control range hides in an extended antenna which has the power to send signals on farther distances.

The drone has many flying features like hovering, altitude hold, GPS positioning, one key home return. It also has many safety protocols. Things like low power protection which return the drone home if the power levels get low. Or signal loses security if you fly the drone out of the range, but that will mean that you have flown it more than 2 kilometers away.

The camera can be mounted, and you can install some expensive pro cameras that are capable of delivering a crystal clear picture. You can attach GoPro Hero 3 or even iLook. And when you choose your preferred camera then you will see that this drone is meant for taking video recordings from the air. You can easily compare this drone with DJI models, models like Phantom 3.

The remote controller has many options. There is also a return home key which you can press in any situations that require a fast and secure return to home. Many other options are available to control the drone or to give you info about what is going on. Low voltage warning is also indicating on the remote controller so you can react on time.

Maybe this drone is not for the beginners because it can get pretty expensive if you install a fancy camera. And the drone is kind of large and has a higher weight than usual smaller drones, so this drone is not recommended for new pilots because if you fail to fly it safely, the adventure may end in hazardous accidents with property damage or even worse.

3DR Solo Pro

Solo Drone

3DR Solo Pro Drone

3DR Solo has a unique design, and when you see it for the first time, you have an impression that this drone will deliver. And he does deliver. Flight time is good enough for various things. Control range is large enough. You can use different gimbals for different cameras. It supports GoPro Hero 3 and Sony cameras.

Features and Specifications
Design of the 3DR Solo is simple, no fancy colors and it reminds me of the Terminator movie. Once you turn the drone on you will see why. Solo is quite a massive drone if you compare it to the others on this list. But because of the size, it has the ability to take off and fly with more expensive cameras.

3DR Solo uses much-advanced technology for autonomous flying, so you can record the area while the drone flies on its own. That’s how professional drone pilots do the job. And that means that this drone is not intended to be for the beginners. And my humble advice is if you are the beginner skip this drone, this drone is built for professional drone pilots who will get most from it.

Solo has many flight modes. You can even take selfies with it. You can use orbit mode to fly around the object while you are recording it or use “follow me” mode and the drone will follow you while you record whatever you are doing.

A most advanced feature of this drone is the ability to stream video directly to iOS or Android devices. Which means this is a drone that can stream videos from GoPro camera directly to your mobile phone. There is also an option on the remote controller to start and stop recording.

Remote Controller is also advanced. When you get the controller in hand you, see it is made from high-quality material. Design of a remote controller is also simple, minimalistic but at the same time delivering a powerful message. Remote controller also has LCD for a first-person view.

Zerrotech Dobby

Pocket Drone

Zerrotech Dobby Pocket Drone

Last on the list, but this does not mean that it is last on the quality or performance. In fact, Dobby is a pocket selfie drone capable of many things. But first I need to say that the design of this drone will leave you breathless. It is a really nicely designed drone.

Features and Specifications:
Zerotech Dobby is a pocket drone which can comfortably fit in your pocket and in another pocket you have your smartphone which you can use to control the drone. You can take this pocket drone with you everywhere you go.

Drone is extremely fast for a small drone which the primary purpose is to take selfies. Maximum drone speed is around 50 kilometers per hour (31mph). Being so fast this drone can be used in racing leagues, without a problem you can win some races. Of course, it still can’t compete with pro racing drones that are lighting fast, but some domestic amateur competitions with amateur drones sure can win.

A little problem for winning races may be low flying time. Probably because of the small size and being so fast the battery gets drained quickly. Maximum flight time is just 9 minutes. But this 9 minutes is more than enough to take many selfies.

The camera is capable of filming videos at 4K resolution. That puts this drone in an extremely affordable drones category because not only you will get a decent drone capable of advanced flying features, but also you get a camera with a maximum possible resolution.

Drone is capable of being controlled by hand gestures. You wave your hands and drone will obey commands. The drone has “follow me” mode and can follow you or any desired object you select. As well it has face recognition which means you can lock the drone on the target. These fancy features allow you to take amazing pictures of others or yourself while you perform various stunts or set your self in desired poses.


Now you have it. The list is complete and as you maybe noticed it contains several pocket selfie drones. Pocket selfie drones are in the price range for this list, and that is the only reason why several of them are listed. Also, pocket selfie drones are getting more popular because the technology to record you while you perform is getting affordable, and everyone can use it. And pocket selfie drones can be used for other purposes as well. The list contains all the drones for all the purposes. You just need to choose the best drone for your needs. To pick the best drone from the best drones under 500 list first you need to know what you are going to do with a drone if it is a landscape filming then go with a bigger drone with large control range and long flight time if it is for taking selfies then you have several choices on the list. If 500 dollars is too much for you then you should look at the best drones under 200 dollars list.

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