It’s time to look at today’s market and the best drones under $500 you can currently buy.
Drones are a fairly new invention and a novelty for some, but they have serious practical and professional applications and are definitely here to stay.
Not all the best drones are expensive and you can pick up a cheap drone just for a bit of fun if you want. However, features to look out for include a good camera, good video, a reasonable range and good battery life.
Here we walk you through our pick of the 10 best drones under $500 that we think you will want to take a seriously good look at. So choose your drone and get flying!
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1. Holy Stone HS720E 4K EIS Drone
The HS720E 4K EIS drone is a classy model by Holy Stone. It is optimized for easy flight controls and clear camera captures. The drone foldable design makes it one of the best Holy Stone drones you can buy.
The Holy Stone drone has a “tap fly” feature that allows it to follow a designated path.
You also have the “follow-me” feature that captures everything before you.
The double altitude hold technology is another great feature of this drone, which allows the drone to hover with stability, reducing blurry captures and making it easier to use.
HS720E drone models have a “return home” feature that is activated automatically when the signal is lost or in cases of low battery. The feature can be activated manually if need be.
A balanced weight of 500g gives it stability in the air when recording videos and taking pictures.
When a memory card is inserted, the recorded images are saved in high 4K resolution of 4K and a resolution of 1080P if saved on the phone.
With a maximum flight time of 23 minutes, these Holy Stone drones can reach an incredible height of 394 feet above sea level and with a transmission range of 0.62 miles.
What Customers Say
Based on customers’ reviews, this id a very good model and design.
While seasoned users have expressed their pleasure in its simple and effective use, new pilots have also mentioned the ease of control and stability.
Key features mentioned by customers include its operation mode and how it makes it easier to capture clear images.
Agreed by many who have used this model, the optimized stability makes it one of the best drones under $500.
The failsafe feature that allows it to come home has also been commended by different users.
The Holy Stone HS720E 4K EIS drone is a very good model that has been optimized for easy and simple use.
If you are a new drone pilot, this model would be a good one to start with.
Whilst more can be improved in terms of transmission distance and flight time, it is still a great drone for different projects.
2. Snaptain A10 Mini Foldable Drone
The A10 mini foldable drone by Snaptain is an excellent drone with many fun features and properties. It is a new model with the latest technology for young pilots and beginners.
The Snaptain A10 is a mini drone that is foldable for easy transport and care. It has a voice control system and a gesture control system that allows the controller to issue simple commands that add fun to flight.
Voice commands include take off, forward, backwards, and landing.
You can capture live videos and quality images with the “Real-Time Transmission” feature. The camera has a 720P HD resolution. It has a gravity sensor mode that enables the drone to follow the movement of the smartphone.
What’s more? Enjoy the path designator feature, the latest drone technology. You can draw a path on the smartphone and the drone flies by “following” the drawn path. It all makes for easier use and capture.
The drone has three different speed modes and can be toggled in-flight to suit various purposes. This Snaptain A10 model also has an altitude hold feature that allows it to hover freely mid-air when the hands are off the controller.
Other cool features include 360° flip, circle fly, and high-speed rotation. It has a maximum height range of 15 meters and a control range of 87 yards. The mini drone weighs just 508g and so has good air stability in flight.
What Customers Say
There are many cool features that endear customers to this Snaptain A10 mini drone.
Reviews and feedback have shown that the Snaptain A10 is excellent when the cost is considered.
Customers have also mentioned the ease in controlling it (very important for drones!) stating the fact that the drone is very sensitive to the controls.
The battery life has also been commended, with some customers confirming that the battery often last longer than advertised.
This is a very decent drone with many features for beginners and kids. It definitely gives good value for money and is easy to use and maintain.
The many features give you different options in various situations. You can capture images in different formats. That is one way to ignite creativity in new users.
3. Potensic D58 Drone with 4K Camera
Potensic D58 drone is a great drone with different features making it suitable for use by both beginners and experts. It is the perfect drone to capture nature in all its glory with the high-resolution 4K image capture feature.
This drone stands out with expert design and classy features. The camera, which is one of its best features, is state of the art. You have a camera that has a 120° range and an adjustable 90° lens that moves up and down. This allows you to capture different angles when the drone is stationary. The camera has a 4K resolution with great image quality. This camera feature makes it one of the best drones under $500.
There is also a live video option and the app allows you to share instantly on social media. That is coupled with an optical flow positioning and a GPS-oriented return home feature.
There is an easy operation mode that allows the drone to take off or land automatically. You can also set the drone to fly at a certain height which makes it easier to navigate.
It also features a multifunction operating system that includes “custom flight”, “follow me” and “orbit” mode.
The flight time is 32 minutes and it has a battery alarm feature. The three-speed mode (slow, medium, and fast), makes it suitable for both beginners and experts. You can also upgrade the software to the expert level.
What Customers Say
The high camera resolution is the major talking point for most customers. The image quality has been commended by many.
Drone novices have mentioned the easy flight feature as another outstanding part of this Poytensic D58 drone.
The few complaints about the drone have been about the battery life and that there is no indicator to show the battery percentage. The latter a minor gripe maybe, but important to some.
The camera feature with its adjustable lens makes this drone a special one. The 4K resolution means you are going to enjoy every part of using the design. While it is optimized for beginners, it is great for experts too.
The accessories including batteries and others could use an upgrade, but it is worth every penny.
4. Ruko F11 Foldable GPS Drone
Experts and seasoned pilots will enjoy using Ruko F11 Foldable GPS drones for different projects. This model has a lot of features that make it fun to use and it gets the job done.
The Ruko F11 drone features 4K photo resolution to capture high-quality images. The camera view is 120° with a lens that is adjustable by 90°. That is impressive, no doubt.
What is more impressive is the drone video transmission range of 0.3 miles. You can continue to record live video feeds clearly from a stable height with its “First Person View” feature. It shows the bird’s eye view of the landscape in real-time feeds. The control range is around 0.74 miles without interruption.
The Ruko F11 drone has a GPS lock-in mode that aids stability when recording videos or taking pictures. It is highly resistant to wind thanks to its expert design and brushless motors.
The drone has a GPS-enabled auto-return home feature and in case of an operating error, the app records the drone’s last location using GPS features. That way, it is easily found.
The tap fly feature (the latest in drone technology) is also available. Make a path on the smartphone and the drone follows that exact pattern.
The foldable design makes it easier to transport and operate. It weighs 520g and the maximum flight time is 30 minutes.
What Customers Say
Customers review shows to a great extent the level of satisfaction that the drone has to offer. It is one of the best drones you can buy and is a quality product that offers great value.
The GPS-enabled stability is one of its most impressive features according to customers using the drone for professional purposes. There are a series of upgrades available for experts too.
Looking for one of the best drones under $500? This surely is one of those.
The drone is a quality model from Ruko. The user-friendly app makes it easier to use. The drone is more suited for expert and professional use. The movable camera and its high resolution make it one of the best. It also features the latest technology, which makes your work a lot easier. It is a quality one to have.
5. Simrex X20 GPS Drone
The Simrex X20 drone has great features and controls. It is a high-tech drone suitable for both recreation and professional purposes. There are couple of downsides, but the advantages may outweigh them.
The Simrex drone has an adjustable camera with a 108° focus view and can move up and down. Its 4K resolution ensures that you capture events in high quality.
There is an altitude hold mode that is air resistant, increasing stability at a set height. This makes it easier to shoot and record your videos.
The camera is programmed to remain horizontal irrespective of the angle of flight. You have a “follow me” feature and a free hovering feature in case you are stationary.
It can automatically rotate around you or an object to capture a wide image range. A trajectory flight which allows you to set a flight pattern is also available. In terms of control, you have it at the easiest.
There are numerous automatic commands like take-off, landing, high speed, low-speed modes, and others. One unique feature is the double control mode: you can control the drone using the controller and the smartphone app when the controller is detached.
The X20 automatically returns home when the signal is lost or the battery is low and has a control range of 0.31 miles. The maximum flight time is 30 minutes and it weighs about 108g.
What Customers Say
This is a nice product from Simrex with a lot of functionality. The majority of customers mentioned the fact that it is easy to operate if you are an expert but that it is not particularly designed for beginners.
The pictures taken are clear thanks to the stability that many customers have applauded. The charging period is the major complaint. Some customers also talked about the lack of a comprehensive manual which means you might have to discover some features by experiment. But it is highly rated among pilot experts.
The Simrex X20 GPS drone is an upgrade when compared to many other models of the same price range. The intuitive features add fun to your professional work.
However, the camera angle needs working on. It can move up and down but not sideways. The drone would have to face the image being captured. Even so, its high resolution and aerial bird view feature make it one of the best drones under $500.
6. Fancool 4000ft FPV Drone
The Fancool 4000ft FPV drone is definitely a cool product. The black-colored drone has that modern-day design and feel. It has many top features to aid the user’s experience, making it suitable for different purposes.
The camera has two different resolutions, 4K and 1080P. With the EIS (Electric Image Stabilization) feature and the brushless motor design, you have a drone that is resistant to level 4 wind.
The transmission distance for the first-person view is up to 0.37 miles and the flight control distance is up to 0.75 miles.
It has two different speed levels, coupled with an incredible flight time of 60 minutes when in low-speed mode and 44 minutes when in high-speed mode. The high-tech lithium-ion batteries make this possible.
With that flight time, of 60 minutes the Fancool FPV is one of the best drones under $500.
There is an orbit feature that allows you to capture images from every angle. You have an altitude hold feature that automatically initiates flights, the drone becoming steady at a height of 4.9ft. An auto-return home feature is activated by low battery, weak signal or manually. The feature uses GPS, so you don’t have to worry about losing the drone.
Other functional modes include “follow me”, “headless mode” and there is a cool night vision feature with the camera. This foldable drone weighs just 508g.
What Customers Say
Based on customers’ reviews, the Fancool 4000ft FPV drone is a great unit for those who are looking to improve their skill set. The clear image quality is mentioned by many customers, attributing this to its high level of stability.
The flight time is also a plus to many and it doesn’t take long to charge. Customers also commend the mobile-friendly app.
Although some have expressed displeasure at the way the controller is designed, it is still highly rated among different users.
If you have been using drones made for beginners and you want to switch to drones with advanced levels of control, this Fancool drone is the way to go. It is a bridge between both levels.
The extended flight period makes it one to go for. It has the basic features of the drone of the price range. It is a great product.
7. AOVO 4K EIS Drone with UHD Camera
The Aovo 4K EIS drone is a perfect fit for starter drone pilots. As with any drone with camera on board, it allows you to see the world from a whole different angle. Its impressive design makes it one of the best drones under $500.
The Aovo EIS drone features a 120° focus view camera that is adjustable by 90°. The resolution is 4K, providing you with high-quality images.
Its anti-vibration feature and the EIS feature ensure that the images are clear and the drone is wind resistant.
You have a 5G WiFi transmission feature. The video transmission range is an incredible 0.37miles and the control range is more than 0.62 miles.
There are many other features including an altitude hold option that helps maintain a steady height when in flight. The auto-return home feature and subsequent landing are GPS-initiated. The GPS also allows you to find the drone in case of technical malfunction or accidents and it records the last-known location of the drone before the signal was lost.
The “follow me”, “person of interest”, and “tap fly” modes allow you to capture images even when your hands are off the joystick. It has a foldable design for easy transport. The flight time is between 25 to 30 minutes.
What Customers Say
This is a good drone for a starter pilot who wants to capture quality images, not just for fun but for professional reasons. Many customers have indicated this point.
According to expert users, the drone can maintain a level of balance in strong winds. Some customers have also mentioned that it is crash-resistant to a reasonable extent. The designgives it strength and stability.
The long transmission range is one feature that makes this drone a quality unit. The GPS hold function is also the best in terms of stability.
Admittedly, the GPS function can be improved to give more accurate movements. The image quality is as good as it gets. This is a top model for your money’s worth.
8. Holy Stone 2K GPS FPV RC Drone
The Holy Stone HS100 is a top drone with intelligent transmission functions that redefines the terms “fun and effectiveness”. The drone is advanced with many cutting-edge technologies. Worth a very close look.
With this Holy Stone drone you have an advanced model with high transmission power. The transmission range is 1986ft, giving high-quality live feeds.
The drone camera’s resolution is upgradeable to 2K with a focus-on-view angle of 120° and a 90° adjustable angle. It uses a 5GHz WiFi network to give clear image captures.
The drone has a “follow me” and “auto return home” feature that is GPS-enabled. The auto-return feature is automatically activated when the battery is low or the signal is lost.
There is a simple control mode that allows you to keep the drone in flight steady at a preset height. It has a big body and powerful engine that helps to maintain stability in flight.
The flight time is about 18 minutes and you have a LED screen light indicaing the battery level percentage. The app is user-friendly and contains instructions on how to configure the drone. The drone weighs up to 750g.
What Customers Say
This Holy Stone drone has a great tool for quick recordings and high-quality image capture. It is convenient for short live videos, thanks to its transmission power.
One popular comment among customers is that there is a bit of a learning curve and it will take a while for you to get used to its operation. You need to be patient with it.
The body design has also been commended, helping with stability and making it resistant to damages on the unfortunate occasions of a crash.
This Holy Stone drone is optimized for quick advanced use and operation. It is not particularly designed for beginners but the transmission feature is a big plus point for this drone. Though the resolution can be improved upon, it is still a great drone you will love flying.
9. Zuhafa T4 WiFi FPV RC Drone
This Zuhafa T4 drone is well-suited for both kids and adults. This beginner’s drone is designed to add fun to your video capture experience. The T4 design is unique and excellent.
One of the most exciting features of this drone making it one of the best drones under $500 is its dual camera feature. Yes, the drone has two cameras, one at the front and one at the back. The front camera resolution is 1080P HD and the back, 720P. You have a switch lens button that allows you to toggle between the front and back feeds when live.
It is also equipped with advanced gesture functions. For example, a peace sign automatically takes a picture. A flat palm gesture starts and records video automatically when you are not more than 2 meters away.
There is an anti-shake and beauty lens feature to make videos smooth and pictures clearer. The palm control mode enables the user to control movement with their bare hands. It adds fun to the user’s experience.
The Zuhafa T4 also has 360° flip modes. The flight route mode allows the controller to draw a specific route. The flight time is 20 minutes and it weighs just 178g, so is a lighter drone than most others in our list here.
What Customers Say
This is rated as one of the best drones to give to kids. It is also a good product for beginners.
The HD camera quality captures clear and smooth images. Customers have expressed their satisfaction with how easy it is to operate and pilot the drone. Based on customers’ reviews, it is best enjoyed in close proximity because it can suffer from a weak signal if it gets too far away from you, meaning a lack of responsiveness.
This is a cool drone for anyone looking to hone their drone piloting skills. The design and features make it more suitable for fun use rather than as a drone in a professional capacity. Although it is best operated at low altitude and is not that resistant to wind, it still gives users a good experience and is good value for money in our list of best drones under $500.
10. Contixo Quadcopter GPS Foldable 4K Drone
If you want to buy a decent drone, this Contixo quadcopter foldable drone is one to consider. The high-tech design drone is the best for beginners with easy operation mode.
The Contixo drone is equipped with a camera of 4K resolution to capture high-quality images. The camera has a focus-on-view angle of 120° to give you more area to cover, far more than the eyes can see. An adjustable 90° feature adds to the view and capture.
It has a long transmission range for videos up to 0.3 miles and the transmission signal is strong enough to share live videos at high altitudes.
The control range before the signal is lost is around 0.74 miles, which is pretty decent.
Exciting features include 3D view mode and selfie mode that is controlled by different gestures. The brushless motors help with stability and it is resistant to level 7 wind.
It has GPS-locked features that include “follow-me” mode, “auto return” mode and “custom flight”, the latter mode allowing you to designate a flight pattern for the drone. Flight time is 30 minutes for each battery and with the two batteries you have 60 minutes maximum. It has a weight of just over 500g so will be fairly stable in the sky.
What Customers Say
This drone is extremely easy to use for beginners. Its one-button features covering several commands make it easy to operate. Some customers have also talked about its quality video feeds. The app, on the other hand, rates quite poorly and is in need of an upgrade, with several reporting glitches during flight. At the time of writing that may have well been corrected by the manufacturer, so check it out further.
The Contixo foldable 4K drone offers a fun experience for its users and is an excellent fbeginners’ drone. There are a few negative remarks here and there as regards the app and occasion glitch. With that said, it has plenty of redeeming features.