Best drones under 50 USD [Sep 2017]:Beginner buying guide

By V Kadamatt | Buying Guides

Jun 25
Best drones under 50: Featured Image

Best drones under 50 USD for beginners: Updated Sep, 2017

We’ve been asked by beginners over and over: What are the best drones under 50 for beginners that you can buy to get into multirotors and practice your skills? This article is an attempt to make the purchasing decision easier. We’ve decided to make a list of the best drones under 50 because we think it is important that beginners master flying a quad and learning to fly may involve mistakes which can be costly.

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Best drones under 50: A quick overview

Syma X5C

Best drones under 50 : SYMA

Our rating:

Holy Stone HS10

Best drones under 50: Holy stone predator

Our rating:

Eachine E010

Best drones under 50: Eachine

Our rating:

Akaso X-5C

best drones under 50: Akaso

Our rating:

Cheerson CX-10

best quadcopter under 50: Cheerson

Our rating:

TEC.BEAN X902

best drones for beginners: TEC.BEAN X902

Our rating:

Syma X-11

best quadcopter under $50: Syma-X11

Our rating:

What to expect?

Design and build

Design

Like the drones under $200, we think that the drones under 50 are designed okay, but not spectacular. Unlike semi professional or professional drones at the $500 price range or above, many of the quads are designed pretty much the same way one way or the other, so you’ll have a hard time finding something that stands out. This is not to say that they're ugly - most of them look decent enough. We have tried to include a few quadcopters that stand out in their design in this list too.

Build

Don’t expect extreme high quality build with any of the drones under 50 and its components. Please try not to use them TOO rashly or in harsh weather. You’ll quickly be disillusioned if you do. That being said, again, we’ve tried to distill down to the ones that are most sturdy and capable of taking a beating.

Flight characteristics and functionalities

For drones under 50, expect to be able to fly indoors perfectly well. As for outdoor flying, some of the quads like the Syma X5C or Akaso X-5C can handle low-wind conditions while others, like the Cheerson CX - 10 may get pushed around even with the slightest of winds.

As far as functionalities go, most come with headless mode and gyros, which should make flying easier for newbies. You can use these features to progressively make it harder for you to fly by enabling them at first and then disabling them (switching modes).

Camera

Most drones under 50, especially the ones that are well below $30, do not come with a camera. The ones that do fall in the costlier end (typically $30 - $50). We've included some that do have a camera in this best drones under 50 list. Though they can capture some decent video and pictures, don't expect anything magnificent. Getting a quadcopter for this price is best done to improve your flying skills than anything else. Getting that awesome aerial photography can be put off to later, when you are ready to buy something fancier.

Warranty :A heads up for drones under 50

Most drones under 50 are not offered by giants like DJI or Parrot. Rather, they are shipped by companies like Syma and Cheerson . The customer service may not be on par with the giants, but most of them respond well in case of a damaged product. Regardless of the quadcopter you buy, make sure you do so from the vendors directly (in case of websites like Amazon). Do not go for cheap knock offs.

We also recommend you get an extended accidental protection plan for anything RC related. Canopy provides a decent plan but there are also others. (Make sure you select the appropriate price setting)

Selection Criteria

The best drones under 50 listed here are at a price range from as low as $13 up to $35. We’ve handpicked four of what we think are best drones that fall under 50. These are what we think are ideal for beginners, especially.

The crafts mentioned in this article are reviewed for different characteristics – the overall design and build, ease and flexibility of control, flight characteristics and camera quality (if there is any). At the end of each model’s review, we have listed what is awesome and what is not so awesome for each model for you to be able to quickly glance over the pros and cons.


Our Top Pick for drones under 50 : Syma X5C

Best drones under 50 : SYMA

Excellent build quality, flight characteristics and comes with a camera making it worthy of being included in the best drones under 50 list.

Design and build

The Syma X5C may not stand out when it comes to it design. In fact, it looks like many other models out there in the market by the same brand and others.

When it comes down to the build quality however, the Syma X5C has to be the #1 in this list along with the Hollystone HS170. The size of this quadcopter is neither too big nor too small making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

The controller is also pretty well build and designed for a drone under 50 USD. Unlike some other quads in this price range, it comes with a decent sized controller that isn’t too small. If you are not looking for a fancy looking quad, but want something that boasts the highest quality build and features, go for the Syma X5C.

Flight and control

The Syma X5C has amazing flight characteristics for its price. It is nimble and flyable both indoors and outdoors, in moderate wind conditions. Don’t expect it to be heroic in heavy winds and you’ll be happy with its capabilities.

The flight time you can get with this drone is about 7-8 minutes with about 100 minute charging time. Overall, it has solid flight characteristics. Everything you would need as a beginner and more!

Photography and videography

The Syma X5C is one of the few “drones” in this price tange that comes with a camera. However, unlike the Akaso X-5C, it doesn’t come with a micro SD card. It can take some pretty OK pictures and video but nothing magnificent. Even so, we think that it is an excellent addition.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Great flight characteristics
  • Great flight times
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor
  • Lights for night use

Cons

  • Very mediocre design, look and feel
  • Mediocre video and picture quality
  • Long charging times and does not come with additional LiPo batteries
  • Does not come with a micro SD card

Holy Stone HS170 Predator

Best drones under 50: Holy stone predator

Design and build

The Holy stone HS170 has to be one the bigger drones in the best drones under 50 list. While the design may not be anything particularly unique in comparison to other options, the build quality is arguably the one of the best for its price range aong with the Syma X5C and hence, we thought it deserves a place in this list.

The only downside to the design is the controller. We think that it looks cheaper and even more toy like, relative to what you can get in this price range.

Flight and control

This drone comes with everything you’ll need for indoor flight and beginner friendliness. And though it cannot be compared to real “drones”, it has also got to be thebest in this list when it comes to outdoor flight.

The HS170 comes with a control range of 30-50 meters and a flying time of about 6-8 minutes with a charge time of 60 minutes. Pretty decent, we’d reckon.

Photography and videography

This drone does not come with a camera!

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Well built and nice color combination
  • Best in this list for being wind resistant, can fly outdoors in mild wind conditions
  • Easily swappable battery
  • LED lights

Cons

  • Cannot remove propeller guards
  • Poor controller design
  • No camera or FPV features. There are other drones with the same price tag that come with camera

EACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter

Best drones under 50: Eachine

Cool looking, sturdy and resilient, great flight characteristics. Definitely one of the best drones under 50.

Design and build

When it comes down to the design and overall looks, the Eachine E010 has to be the most unique and cool looking in this list. At the time of this update, you can get the “drone” in two color variations – green and red. This craft looks like an alien spacecraft straight from a sci-fi movie. The controller color is also matched with the craft.

As of the build, it has to also be one of the sturdiest in this price range. The prop guards not only make the quad look amazing, it is also a nice little bonus to the overall resilience of the craft.

Flight and control

This quad is pretty snappy and great at flying. It comes with every feature you’ll need as a beginner flyer like headless mode, one key return, different speed settings and 360 degree flip at the press of a button. Expect to get fight times of about 5-6 minutes with moderate speed setting.

Overall a great quad to practice if you are a beginner, or if you want a quad to present to your kid. However, like many of the quads you get in this price range, the controller size can be annoying if you have large hands. Don’t expect it to fly well outside in windy conditions either.

Photography and videography

This “drone” doesn’t come with a camera!

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Excellent design, cool looking!
  • Sturdy and resilient
  • Great, snappy flight characteristics
  • Light weight
  • Short charging time

Cons

  • Small controller
  • No additional batteries
  • Mediocre flight times. It can only be improved if you remove the propeller guards and other body parts through modding
  • Can be tossed around severely by wind

Akaso X-5C

best drones under 50: Akaso

Excellent build quality, flight characteristics and comes with a camera making it worthy of being included in the best drones under 50 list.

Design and build

The quality of build is excellent with this craft, especially in the price range. We’d reckon that this craft might even make some of the drones ‘under $200’ category for a run when it comes to the build. Now of course, if you punish it too much, it is going to fall but nevertheless, it can take a beating.

The Akaso model isn’t too big or small: The size of the craft makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor flying.

The design may look mediocre to some with it white plastic, plain look but nevertheless it looks pretty decent.

Flight and control

For its price, this craft is a steal. The Akaso has stable flight, and can handle low wind conditions pretty well, making it good for both indoor and occasional outdoor flying. This is one of the few quads that come with the instant 360-degree flip (that works incredibly well for this quad) in the price.

The flight times are excellent. The advertised flight time for this craft is about 5-7 minutes, but this craft exceeds expectations. We’ve hit 8 – 10 minutes of flight time with the craft. Note that the craft comes with headless mode: something which you should avoid as a beginner to maximize your learning. This makes flying the craft easier, however.

Photography and videography

The drone boasts a ‘HD’ camera, and comes with a micro SD card to which you can store your videos and images. Although we’d say the camera isn’t exactly ‘HD’, it can capture decent quality videos and images for its price. It is one of the only crafts capable of capturing videos at the level of quality it captures, in this price range. Note that the video can be wobbly and not stable.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Light weight, durable: Guarded propellers by plastic frame that are removable
  • Comes with bonus micro SD card and propellers
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor
  • Stable and easy to control, comes with features
  • LED for night use
  • Comes with a decent camera
  • Excellent flight times
  • Relatively low charge times
  • Decent flight range: 50 to 100 meters

Cons

  • Mediocre and wobbly video quality
  • Plastic and plain look may put off some

Cheerson CX – 10

best quadcopter under 50: Cheerson

Cheapest in the best drones under 50 list: You should consider buying multiple of these for more uptime during practice (use one while the other is put for charging) and backup in case of damage from crashes. Buying multiple Cheerson CX-10s is an excellent setup for beginners learning to fly for almost the price of candy packs.

Least durable in the drones under 50 price range.

Design and build

The Cheerson CX-10 has what we’d like to call the ‘cutest’ build of all in this price range. It is a small, ‘super mini pocket quadcopter’, extremely lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around. Carrying around multiple of these shouldn’t be a problem either.

We’d caution that the build quality isn’t great. It can break and stop functioning easily. This is expected, given its extremely cheap price. Nevertheless, the craft itself functions pretty decently with moderate usage.

Flight and Control

The Cheerson CX-10 is a great indoor flyer but a poor outdoor flyer. Nevertheless, it makes a great beginner quadcopter especially because of its price. The flight is pretty stable and responsive. The size of this craft makes it easier to manuever it through small enclosed areas as well. It also comes with plenty of features: headless mode, one key flips and rolls and easily launched with a throw.

The charge time is pretty low: about 30 minutes, making it extremely ideal for beginners looking to practice over and over with minimum charge time. We recorded the flight times at around the 6-8 minute range. This is excellent for its price range and especially amazing if you buy 2 or more of these, enabling you to continuously practice for hours! Again, avoid headless mode for maximum learning!

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Small and maneuverable. Excellent indoor flyer and easy to carry around
  • Cute design
  • Comes with extra props
  • Low charge times and decent flight times making it excellent for continuous practice
  • Different flight modes: beginner, intermediate and advanced
  • Easy to control for beginners, but also makes a great practice quadcopter
  • Comes with three different Flight Modes: beginner, intermediate and advanced modes

Cons

  • Cheap build: Probably the least durable in this price range
  • Does not come with propeller guards (which we think beginners need). Have to purchase separately. Installing propeller guards will reduce flight times, which is to be noted
  • Very poor outdoor flyer : drifts away even at the slightest of winds

TEC.BEAN X902

best drones for beginners: TEC.BEAN X902

Best durability and build in the best drones under 50 USD list

Sensitive controls

Design and build

This little beast HAS to be the toughest and the most durable among all the four drones we have listed here. The build quality is great, it even comes with protectors that protect the propellers and still manages to be super lightweight.

The drone also looks downright awesome. No arguments. With its unique placement of the motors, propellers and propeller guards at the bottom and the headlight made to look like red eyes, the quadcopter looks like an awesome (but not scary) !

Overall, an A++ over the design and build! Definitely makes the list for the best drones under 50 for beginners!

Flight and control

The quadcopter is extremely stable and reliable due to its 6 axis stabilization system making it extremely easy to control. It comes with two modes – low speed and high speed for beginner and intermediate flyers respectively.

The controls can however be too sensitive, even at low speed but it will only be a matter of time before you get used to it. The craft can perform 3D flips and rolls, adding to the fun factor.

Overall, it is a very flyable and very controllable quadcopter!

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Stable and easy to control with lights that can be switched on and off via the remote
  • Very durable and tough, comes with protectors that protect the propellers
  • Can fly both indoors and outdoors under mild wind conditions
  • LED lights enable you to keep the orientation and position of the drone in check
  • The remote indicates basic information like battery levels

Cons

  • Can get blown out during mid-high wind conditions, but this is to be expected from most drones in this price range
  • Remote control batteries not included
  • Controls can get too sensitive for some

Syma X-11

best quadcopter under $50: Syma-X11

Design and build

The build quality of the Syma X-11 is pretty decent. We’d say it falls somewhere between the Cheerson CX-10 and the Akaso. It can take some beating, but may break if you push it too much. The package comes with a propeller guard, which is pretty nice for beginners who are prone to crashing it. The craft may not be as manuverable or compact as the CX-10, but it can still easily be flown indoors.

The design is pretty cool. It May not be not as ‘cute’ as the Cheerson because it is bigger, but pretty awesome in its own way!

Flight and control

The Syma X11 is a stable flyer indoors and a pretty OK flyer outdoors given that the winds stay low. It may not drift off as easily as the Cheerson CX-10, but don’t expect it to hold itself against anything more than a light breeze.

The control is pretty straightforward with the transmitter. It doesn’t have a headless mode but this shouldn’t be much of an issue for you at this point as a beginner looking to learn how to master flying multirotors. The flight times were recorded at around 7 minutes, which should be decent for practice, given that the charge time is only about half an hour.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Extremely enjoyable due to the 2 in 1 car and quadcopter flying factor
  • Smooth, stable and easy flying for kids
  • Can do flips and other basic manuevers
  • Durable and long lasting build quality
  • Aesthetically pleasing looks
  • Resilient to low wind conditions, making it a good indoor and outdoor flyer

Cons

  • The car driving mode requires smooth and levelled surfaces
  • Only capable of flying up to 50 meters in range
  • Might be hard to quickly steer or change direction
  • Needs a lot of height if you perform flips - Loses a LOT of altitude on flips

Conclusion

We already discussed in many articles before that prior to getting a pricey 'drone', it is recommended that you practice your multirotor skills with cheap drones under $50 with minimal features. The replacement parts should also cheap in case of crash damages. If you are a beginner, the "drones" we have listed are perfect to get you started and practice your flying skills, before moving onto costlier and fancier ones!

That’s all folks! We hope you loved this buying guide for the best drones under 50. If you did, please do share it! 🙂

 
 
 

Best drones under 50 USD [Sep 2017]:Beginner buying guide was last modified: September 3rd, 2017 by V Kadamatt

About the Author

Artificial Intelligence , UAV and RC enthusiast. Software professional, part time philosopher and star gazer. Also loves physics, mathematics, economics, psychology, fantasy, Sci-Fi and futurology.

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