Best Drones for under $500 – 2019

Best Drones for under $500 for 2019 – find out which top flying quadcopter drones can be purchased for an affordable price. Reviews of DJI, Parrot, MJX and more.

There are several drones under $500 that have all the features you need in a quadcopter. Knowing what you want in a drone helps you narrow down your choices. Whether you are a novice drone flier or a professional photographer and videographer, you are guaranteed to find the drone of your choice within this price range.

Best Drones under 500

Listing of the Best Drones Under $500

1. DJI SPARK

Sale
DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White
  • Intelligent Flight ModesSmart, reliable, and incredibly intuitiveQuickShotVideos with a Tap
  • High-Performance CameraAmazing images and stabilized videoMechanical Gimbal StabilizationShake-Free...
  • Flight PerformanceAwesome potential, immersive experiencesPowerful Propulsion Speed and Precision...
  • Flight SafetyWorry-free flight in the palm of your hand ; Propeller guards are recommended when...
  • 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera

Features
This is a smartphone-sized drone that packs superior features, and you can purchase it online. You can install the DJI Go app in your portable device and use it to operate the drone. The hands-free feature allows you to control the drone by waving your hand in the direction you want it to go. The excellent FHD camera comes with a gimbal that allows you to take sharp and clear videos and images even in windy flying conditions. The following are superior features this drone packs;

• Active track and top fly features
• PalmControl and calmly
• 15 minutes flight time
• 2KM operating range
• Spare parts

Pros

• Miniature size
• FHD camera
• 2-axis gimbal
• Large operating range

Cons

• Short flight time

2. MJX BUGS 2W

LOHOME MJX B2W Bugs 2 W RC Quadcopter - 2.4GHz 6-Axis Gyro 1080P HD 5G Wifi Camera FPV Drone Remote Control Drone, Long Range Drone With GPS, Altitude Hold, Headless mode and Return to Home
  • HI-DEF VIDEO & IMAGES: 1080P HD 5G Wifi Camera + powerful air pressure altitude hold function to...
  • GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS): B2W drone it moves accurately and locks onto satellites fast,...
  • SUPPORT SMARTPHONE & TABLET CUSTOMIZE ROUTE: Download the App on your mobile phone or tablet and...
  • HEADLESS MODE AND ONE KEY AUTOMATIC RETURN: Headless mode is the same words of the aircraft can fly...
  • MORE INFOMATION: This drone equipped with 4 LED lights under each propellers, ensure it can fly...

Features
This is an affordable drone that guarantees raw performance. The superior features this drone guarantees you value for your money. MJX BUGS 2W is a GPS enabled drone that can fly over a wide operating range. It is FPV operated, and it has a high-quality camera that captures sharp and clear images. By purchasing this drone, you get a quadcopter with;

• Long distance video transmission
• Return to home button that operates with or without enabling GPS
• 1800mAh battery
• 15-18 minutes airtime
• 300-500 meters operating range when FPV operated
• 1 KM operating range and failsafe return to home feature

pros

• FPV operated
• Full HD camera
• 1KM operating range
• Headless mode

Cons

• Short flight time

3. DJI PHANTOM 3

Sale
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera
  • 2.7K video and 12MP stills from the 3-axis stabilized integrated camera makes the Phantom 3 Standard...
  • View a live image streamed from the drone up to a half mile away on the free DJI Go app using your...
  • GPS assisted flight features let you concentrate on getting great images while the drone helps you...
  • Fly up to 25 minutes with the included intelligent battery
  • A range of accessories is included:1 battery and charger, 2 full sets of propellers, radio...

Features
This is a standard edition drone that packs a high-quality camera with wide angle lenses. The removable camera allows you to upgrade to a more advanced camera. With the DJI Go app, you can use your portable devices to operate this drone. DJI PHANTOM 3 packs valuable accessories that deliver excellent performance. Consider purchasing this drone online and enjoy the following superior features;
• 2.7K action camera with wide angle lens
• GPS assisted flight
• Follow me function
• Point of interest camera assist
• 25 minutes flight time

Pros

• 25 minutes flight time
• Excellent quality camera
• Can be operated with a portable device

Cons

• No sky controller
• Limited operating range

4. PARROT BEBOP 2

Sale
Parrot Bebop 2 FPV - Up to 25 Minutes of Flight time, FPV Goggles, Compact Drone
  • Compact and lightweight quadcopter drone (1.1 lbs);Capture high-quality pictures perfectly
  • Ultra-precise piloting and extended flight range of up to 1.2 mile with Parrot Skycontroller 2
  • Immersive flight experience with Parrot Cockpitglasses (FPV goggles)
  • Shoot full HD 1080P videos and 14Mpx photos with the built-in wide-angle camera. Footage can be...
  • High capacity 2700mAh battery with up to 25 min battery life

Features
This popular drone is an upgraded version of Parrot’s flagship drone, and it packs superior features. It comes with a built-in 14 MP camera that captures sharp and clear still and motion pictures. You can perfectly capture pictures and record videos even when the drone is high up. Purchasing this drone allows you to enjoy flying a quadcopter as far as 2KM. the following are the features you get with this drone;

• Exquisite design
• High-quality images and videos
• Stabilization system
• 25 minutes flight time
• 2KM operating range

Pros

• Wide operating range
• Long flight time
• Camera with a stabilization system

Cons

• No sky controller

5. UPAIR ONE

Sale
UPair One Drone 2.7K with 7 inch Screen, Quadcopter Drone with Camera, 5.8G FPV Monitor Transmit Live Video, Altitude Hold/Headless Mode/GPS Position Hold/One Key Return, Drone for Beginners
  • Drone Great For Beginners: Equipped 7 inch Screen with transmission and Sony HD camera. Wonderful...
  • GPS One Key Return Easy Use: When the drone is flying in headless mode, press one key return button,...
  • All-Round Functions: Headless mode and altitude hold for easier operation, don't worry about...
  • With Sony HD Camera: Take things to new highs and enjoy a live video feed in high-definition...
  • Never Let Battery Life Interrupt Your Session Again: Your Quadcopter Drone with Camera comes with a...

Features
This drone is built for aerial photography and videography. It packs a 4K action camera with a 3-axis gimbal for stabilization. Buying this drone allows you to enjoy flying a drone with onboard GPS flight assistance. The gorgeous design of this drone, as well as its functionality, make it a worthy investment. The amazing controller is well labeled, allowing you to operate the drone easily. The following are features this drone packs;

• 3-axis gimbal
• 4K action camera
• 15-18 minutes flight time
• Minimalistic design
• Pinpoint feature
• Altitude hold
• Return to the home button

Pros
• All-around drone
• Suitable for aerial photography and videography
• Small sized
• Altitude hold

Cons
• Short flight time

6. HUBSAN H501S

Hubsan Professional Version Mode Switch H501S X4 5.8G FPV Brushless with 1080P HD Camera GPS RC Quadcopter RTF
  • Equipped with 1080P HD camera , H906A advanced edition controller .
  • Function: GPS ,headless mode ,automatic return ,altitude mode ,follow me .
  • Hubsan FPV controller real time 5.8GHz transmitter and 2.4GHz receiver .
  • 6 Axis Gyro latest 6 axis fly control system ,make it fly more smoothly .
  • Lightweight airframe with nice durability and fashion design .

Features
This drone has an incredible amount of features, and it’s price makes it a valuable investment. This GPS-enabled drone can be flown even in windy flying conditions without a problem. The features it packs makes it suitable for aerial photography. It is a miniature sized drone that has a return to home button that brings it back to the launch location. This drone takes exceptional aerial videos with its FHD capable camera. The following are its features;
• 20 minutes flight time
• 300 meters operating range
• Follow me mode
• Altitude hold
• 2700mAh battery

Pros

• Exceptional videos and images
• Long flight time
• Follow me mode

Cons

• Small operating range

7. HOLY STONE HS100

Holy Stone GPS FPV RC Drone HS100 with Camera Live Video and GPS Return Home Quadcopter with Adjustable Wide-Angle 720P HD WIFI Camera- Follow Me, Altitude Hold, Intelligent Battery Long Control Range
  • GPS assisted flight: Provides you with accurate positioning details of your drone. Built in...
  • Optimized 720P 120° FOV FPV Wi-Fi Camera: 90° Adjustable angle, captures high-quality video and...
  • Follow Me Mode: The drone will automatically follows and captures you wherever you move. Keeping you...
  • Flying time up to 15 minutes / Longer control distance: Capacity of 2500mAh high performance battery...
  • Headless Mode, Altitude Hold and One Key Takeoff and Landing for easier operation, you will not have...

Features
This is a high-quality drone that is affordable and durable. The great performance and excellent build quality of this drone make it a valuable investment. This drone has a gorgeous design and functional features. This budget-friendly allows you to enjoy the unique experience of flying a drone as a novice or skilled drone pilot. The following are its features;
• Mid-tier drone
• 12-15 minutes flight time
• 2500mAh battery
• Half a kilometre operating range
• 150 meters operating range when FPV operated
• Motorized camera mount altitude hold that allows the camera to rotate 90 degrees
• Camera with 720p resolution
• Headless mode
• Follow me feature

Pros

• GPS enabled drone
• Return to the home button
• Beginner-friendly

Cons

• Short flight time
• Low camera resolution

8. YUNEEC BREEZE

Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera - Compact Smart Drone with Ultra High Definition 4K Video - Safe to Fly Indoor and Outdoor
  • 4K STUNNING VIDEO & PICTURES with breathtaking 4K Ultra High Definition and ultra-clear 13 megapixel...
  • EASY TO USE no flying experience necessary to take dramatic aerial group photos and video, simply...
  • SAFE TO FLY with built-in Indoor Positioning System to allow Breeze to hold its position indoors and...
  • SOCIAL Download the app on your mobile device to control and navigate Breeze, edit photos & videos,...
  • UPGRADED ONE YEAR WARRANTY - Guarantees against manufacturer defects from the original date of...

Feature
This is a race selfie drone that was built with size in mind. It is a miniature drone with outstanding camera quality. The affordable price of this drone allows you to purchase a drone that can take amateur shots on a budget. This stylish selfie drone packs a 4K action camera that captures sharp images. The following are its features;
• Altitude hold
• GPS enabled
• Small size
• 4K action camera

Pros

• Perfect angle shot
• Exceptional selfies
• Aerial videos
• Smooth image quality

Cons

• Not foldable

9. XERO XPLORER MINI

Xiro Xplorer Mini Discovery, Quadcopter Drone with HD Video Camera and Remote Controlled by iOS or Android APP, 1 Smart Flight Battery.
  • Integrated 1080p / 13MP Camera, Electronic Image Stabilization
  • Automatic Subject Tracking, App-Based Control with 328 ft Range
  • 720p Resolution Live Video Feed, Edit and Share Footage with App
  • Virtual Stick and Motion-Based Flying, One-key takeoff / landing, One-key return home
  • Up to 15 Minute Battery Life, Max Speed 17.9 mph, Max Flight Height 150 ft

Features

This is a foldable selfie drone that packs an excellent FHD camera with a 190-degree lens. The wide viewing angle of the camera allows you to take accurate shots. The small size and affordable price of this quadcopter make it an excellent selfie drone. The following are its features;

• GPS enabled
• 15 minutes flight time
• 100 meters operating range

Pros

• Foldable
• Miniature
• GPS enabled

Cons

• Does not offer 5.8G connection

Drone Selection Tips

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that have been built for civilian use. There are many factors you need to consider when choosing a drone. Quadcopters come with different specifications based on the purpose they were built to fulfill. Whether you want an X or H shaped quadcopter, consider purchasing a stable and manoeuvrable quadcopter with a gyroscope that measures the drone position.

• Types of Drones

There are four main types of drone in the market, and each one is built to maximize use and experience for the flier. Once you know why you want to buy a drone, you’ll be able to narrow down on the category to select from.

a. Beginner Drones

Beginner drones are entry level quadcopters that are suitable for novice drone fliers. These drones have a short flight range because beginners cannot fly drones too far or they might get lost or damaged. Beginner drones are easy to operate and fly, allowing beginners to practice how to pilot a quadcopter.

The drones are durable and can take a beating without getting damaged. As you learn to fly a quadcopter, there might be minor crashes here and there, and beginner drones are built for this. Spare parts are also readily available so that in case there are any damaged, you have had parts replaced.

b. Hobby Drones

Hobby drones are built for amateur photographers, and because of this, they have more superior features than beginner drones. Their durable quadcopters pack high-quality cameras that can take decent photos and record videos. Drone fliers with a little experience can easily fly these drones without a problem.

The specialized camera as well as the wide operation range allows you to do more with the drone. Hobby drones are mainly built for recreational use and because of this, their design and engineering much better than that of a basic starter quadcopter.

c. Camera/Professional Drones

These are highly prized quadcopters that pack high-end features. The advanced features are suitable for professional photographers and videographers who want to take their art to the next level. Professionals can take incredible footage at complex angles thanks to the high-quality adjustable cameras.

The wider operating range of professional drones, as well as the long flight time, allow you to do a lot with the camera before the battery runs out. These drones pack high tech feature making them worthy investments. As a photographer or videographer, you’ll need to get visuals from different angles, and these drones are guaranteed to deliver.

d. Racing Drones

Judging from their name, racing drones are built for speed. These quadcopters can achieve maximum speeds of 70MPH or 100MPH in the hands of a professional and experienced drone flier. The first person camera gives you the feeling that you’re inside the drone as you fly it. Racing drones are mainly competitively flown by skilled fliers.
If you want to compete and go fast, racing drones are your best bet. The complex controls these drones come with need steady hands and an individual who can manage swift motion. Race drones pack superior flight capabilities that makes flying them exhilarating.

• Desirable Features in a Drone

Once you know what type of drone you want, it is recommended that you have a checklist of the desirable features you want. Even though drones in the same category seem to be alike, there are features that one drone will have and another will miss. The first thing people consider when buying a drone is flight time. The duration of airtime you get from a drone will determine how much fun you’ll have with the drone.

Also, consider looking at how much you are willing to spend and how the prices correspond with the features you want. The flight range tends to correspond with the flight time because the airtime you have will determine how far a drone can go. Beginner drones usually have up to 10 minutes flight time while advance drone can have 25 minutes maximum airtime.

The quality of the camera a drone pack determines the kind of still and motion pictures it captures. If you are looking to upgrade the camera of your drone once you buy it, consider purchasing a drone with a removable camera. A camera that comes with a stabilization system allows you to take sharp and clear images and videos even in windy flying conditions.

• Top Brands

1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

• 907 grams
• Comes with a controller
• Camera with 20 MP resolution
• Foldable design
• 3,850mAh sized battery

2. DJI Phantom 4

• 1380 grams
• Comes with controller
• Camera with 12.4 MP resolution
• 5,350mAh sized battery
• 3.1 miles operating range
• 4K video footage
• Compatible with a smartphone app

3. DJI Spark

• Miniature drone
• Comes with controller-free gesture controls
• Camera with automatic quick shot mode
• 15 minutes flight time

4. Parrot Bebop 2

• 500 grams
• 300 meters operating range
• Camera with 14 MP resolution
• 2,700mAh sized battery
• Comes with controller and headset
• Shake-free video recording

5. DJI Mavic Air

• 430 grams
• Comes with controller
• Camera with 12 MP resolution
• 2,375mAh sized battery
• 4k Video footage
• 21 minutes flight time

• Pricing

Drones are priced based on the features they pack. There are cheap, medium priced and expensive drones. If you want you are an experienced flier, consider medium-sized drones as they guarantee a unique experience. The maintenance cost of the drone you choose to purchase is also a factor to consider as there are drones that need additional accessories for optimum performance. Some of the accessories you can purchase for your drone include;

• Propeller guards
• Extra propellers
• Extra batteries
• Drone carrying case
• Flight recorder
• LED light kit

Conclusion

Different drones have been built for different purposes. Knowing what you want to do with your drone helps you narrow down the choices. Ensure you consider the price of the drone before you purchase it.