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Want to buy a drone on a budget? We’ve got you covered

You can fit one of them in your pocket.


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Nov 15, 2019   Updated on May 19, 2021, 10:54 pm CDT

There are so many uses for a drone — whether for filming, photography, land surveillance, or just for fun. Drones can be prohibitively expensive though, which is all well and good if you’re looking to use it for professional purposes. But maybe you just want to play around with a drone for fun. In that case, you’re going to want a budget drone. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of less expensive options out there. Here are some of our favorite budget drones. 

Parrot Airborne Cargo Mini Drone ($14.95)

One of the best budget drones is Parrot’s Cargo Mini Drone. This drone can be flown with an app and includes small compartments for holding cargo. Important things to know: The battery only allows for around nine minutes of flight, it takes about 25 minutes to recharge, and the charger is not included — you have to buy it separately. The embedded VGA camera makes this drone best-suited for the novice who wants to try out a drone before committing to a more expensive model.

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HALOFUN Mini Drone 2.4 Ghz RC Helicopter ($19.99)

This kid-friendly model doesn’t have a camera, but offers some similar entertainment value to flying a remote control model plane. It has a one-key return feature, which will call the drone back to the location of the remote control. It’s incredibly simple, and really just ideal for those who want to play around flying a drone, not accomplishing much else with it.

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Mini Pocket Drone with HD camera ($24.99)

Small enough to fit inside your pocket, this drone comes in four colors and includes a WiFi-enabled camera to capture flight video. It is capable of doing 360-degree stunts, and also includes a one-key return feature.

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Sharper Image DX-5 10″ Video Streaming Drone ($59.99)

For more serious drone pilots, the Sharper Image DX-5 offers flight simulation features within the app used to operate the drone. It includes a training mode that can limit speeds and height restrictions. It also captures flight video. 

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DJI Tello Quadcopter Beginner Beginner Drone VR HD Video ($99)

Geared toward the novice looking for a high-end drone experience, this DJI drone offers HD video and is powered by Intel technology. This model is beginner-friendly and operates for around 13 minutes per charge. It also comes with software that teaches users about coding for and flying drones.

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Ryze Tello EDU Drone Powered by DJI ($129.95)

The Ryze Tello Edu Drone is another DJI budget drone intended to educate users about coding for and flying the devices. The small drone can be coded with Swift, Scratch, or Python and includes multiple flight modes.

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*First Published: Nov 15, 2019, 12:51 pm CST