Drones! There are tons of great reasons to look into getting a drone, from taking better pictures, exploring your neighborhood, or maybe even just racing around. Even better, finding a drone that works for you and doesn’t break the bank is more possible than ever.
So how do you know which drone under $150 is the right one? Read on in this article to learn about some of the key things to consider when making your first purchase.
Now is a Great Time for Drones
Back when drones were new, their prices were crazy. Any decent drone cost hundreds of dollars, with many models costing up to $1,000, and you needed to register with the FAA to boot! Nowadays, however, prices have dropped way down, and licenses aren’t necessarily required. Where do you begin your shopping?
Professional vs Recreational
The first question to answer is, are you planning to use your drone for making money, or is it more of a hobby/enthusiast purchase? If you are planning to use your drone to film videos or take pictures to sell, or even make money drone racing, you still need to get a license. You will also likely need to spend more on an expensive model that has the high-end features you need.
Professional Will Cost You
If you need a professional quality drone, you need to spend money on higher end versions of basic features, such as extended battery life, or a high-end camera. The price difference between the average battery life and extended life can be substantial.
Affordable drones will typically get you about 15-20 minutes of battery life, and while their cameras will be great for taking pictures of a hike, you will need something better for, say, a wedding photo shoot. On the downside for expensive machines, they are typically harder to navigate, which means newbies on the first flight can end up with a $1,000 paperweight easily!
What Kind of Drone Do You Need?
As with any purchase, your plans for the drone are an important consideration. Is this for snapping a few shots of your hike? Do you want to just fly around the neighborhood a little from your backyard, or do you want a drone that can do flips and fly fast? What about maneuverability?
These questions are particularly important when buying a drone as a gift. In addition to what they want to use it for, you should consider what equipment they have. For example, if the recipient already has a GoPro camera, then a drone with a nice camera is less of concern.
Whatever your answer to these questions, there are affordable options available.
Any drone purchase should consider the following things: battery life, range, durability, and stability.
As stated, your average drone battery is going to last anywhere from 10-20 minutes, with most around 15 minutes. The harder you use it, the faster this gets run down. If you want to race as much as possible, push for slightly stronger batteries.
This is about how far your drone can be from you before losing connection. This can be as short as 150 feet to as strong as over 1,000 feet away! If you are planning for lots of photography or videos, you’ll probably want a drone with a great range. If you are just piloting around your neighborhood, the shorter range will probably work just fine (and help you keep your drone in sight, so it doesn’t get lost in someone else’s yard).
Newer drone pilots should opt for models with a little more durability. No one likes a new toy that breaks on its first outing, and learning to pilot can involve a lot of crashing. Also, there’s no telling what can happen out there. If you are more practiced with drone piloting, buying a drone with less durability but other strengths may work.
Similar to durability, how stable is the drone’s flight? Newer pilots should opt for more stable models, or at least models that have stability options that can be adjusted.
From Beginners to Experts, Plenty of Options Under $150
Drones are fun and exciting devices that have lots of cool uses. While finding the right one does take a little shopping, there are lots of great drones for under $150. By planning out what you expect to do with the drone, and thus what features it needs, you can buy a great machine that will serve you well for years to come!