Top 10 Drones Under $500Updated December, 2019

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Compare the best-rated drones based on price, performance, power, efficiency, and user experience and get the best drone for your home!



10.0
Holy Stone HS700D

  • 22 minute flight time
  • Max speed of 15.5 mph
  • 2K HD video at 30 fps
  • Manually adjustable camera mount
  • GPS assisted flight

9.5
Holy Stone HS100

  • 15 minute flight time
  • Max speed of 25 mph
  • 1080p video at 25 FPS 
  • 1-Axis gimbal
  • Return-to-Home function

9.2
Holy Stone HS160 Pro RC

  • 31 minute flight time
  • Three speed modes
  • 1080p HD camera
  • Fixed camera mount
  • One Key start and landing


9.1
Potensic T25 GPS Drone

  • 10 minute flight time
  • Max speed of 22 mph
  • 1080P HD video at 30 FPS
  • 1-Axis gimbal
  • Follow Me function

8.9
DJI Spark with Remote Control

  • 16 minute flight time
  • Max speed of 31 mph
  • 1080p video at 30 FPS
  • 2-Axis gimbal
  • FlightAutonomy with Obstacle Detection

8.7
EACHINE E58 WiFi FPV Quadcopter

  • 9 minute flight time
  • Max speed of 40mph
  • 720p HD camera
  • 1-Axis gimbal
  • One Key take-off and landing

8.5
Holy Stone F181W

  • 10 minute flight time
  • Four speed modes
  • 720p HD camera
  • Fixed camera mount
  • 6-Axis gyro control system

8.4
ScharkSpark Drone Thunder w/ Camera Live Video

  • 10 minute flight time
  • Three speed modes
  • 480p video at 25 FPS
  • Fixed camera mount
  • 6-Axis gyro control system

8.2
Potensic D80 Brushless

  • 20 minute flight time
  • Max speed at 25 mph
  • 2K HD video
  • Fixed camera mount
  • GPS-Based stabilization

Our Top Choice




10.0
Holy Stone HS700D

  • 22 minute flight time
  • Max speed of 15.5 mph
  • 2K HD video at 30 fps
  • Manually adjustable camera mount
  • GPS assisted flight
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Choosing The Best Option

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Drone Shopping Guide

Drones can be used in many situations from a tool to measure topography to a fun toy to fly around the house. You may own a few acres of property you need to survey frequently, or maybe you need to check the quality of your roof shingles (these are both real and practical uses described in reviews).

Simply put, you can buy a drone for just about any reason.

How cool would it be to see a family selfie taken from an aerial view? It sure beats the former solution of asking the most agile family member to climb to a higher vantage point for the perfect angle. When you think of it that way, drones can potentially save you tons of money on ER visits.

If you’re a first-time drone user, your needs are going to vary drastically from an experienced drone pilot looking to update their technology. It’s easy to get lost in the world of drones, but with a little bit of guidance, you’ll be ready to buy a new drone in no time.

Recreational vs. Professional Photography

For some drone users, they’re on the hunt for a toy they can zigzag through the air with ease. The folks who fall into this category should consider the Holy Stone F181W to get their drone fix. Without breaking the bank, this model is easy to use and fun to fly.

For other drone users, camera performance is the biggest priority. From still image quality, to speed determined by frames per second, photographers and videographers will have a much different list of necessities.

Avid trail runners and mountain bikers need a drone that can keep up and deliver high-quality videos to truly showcase their athletic abilities. There’s nothing worse than venturing out on a mountainscape only to find that your video is grainy and pixelated.

For videography to keep up with sports, compare the frames per second (FPS) for each unit, as well as the video resolution. The crystal-clear video will fall into the 1080p and 4K range, but you’ll also need projectors and televisions to support this resolution. To keep up with a 4K resolution, drones will need to film at 24 FPS.

You can find a drone with great video starting at 720p. Below this resolution, you may notice a more granular quality.

If you’re an athlete looking to take Red Bull-style videos of your amazing stunts and bike rides through beautiful trails, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum was made for you. With its innovative Sport Mode, incredibly fast speeds (40 mph), and 4.3-mile range, this drone will give you the action shots you’ll want to share with family and friends.

Runtime

Runtime is not crucial when your drone will be primarily used around the house or within the neighborhood. A low battery in these local spots just means a quick turnaround and some docking time.

Drone runtime averages around 20-30 minutes for models that sit in the $500-$1000 range. This can vary with how much power is being used for live video transmissions or speed controls. On the lower end of the budget, you’ll find these drones will last for 15 minutes or less.

Consider the distance and remoteness you’re envisioning for your new drone. With large properties, you want to make sure your drone can leave on its mission and make it back in one piece.

Usability

Are you looking for a drone you can fly right out of the box? Depending on the model and your experience as a drone pilot, this can be a deciding factor when choosing the right unit for you. Some drones require a few hours to navigate through the instruction manual. Others have automated features like DJI Phantom 3’s Beginner Mode, which helps first-time pilots keep their new toy in the air safely and securely.

Some models offer more technical features, for example, Yuneec’s Typhoon H Pro has 8 different modes for more advanced users to find which mode is perfect for them. For a new user, this can be overwhelming when first learning.

Mostly, It’s About Fun

Don’t let your decision-making drone on… if you’ve been wanting to try a new drone out, it’s the perfect time to go for it. Drones are becoming more readily available for the average consumer at safe prices for the wallet. Compare our top 10 drones and get the adventure started!

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