The Best 4 Drones Under $300 to Buy for Christmas this Year
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting a drone for Christmas? Both drone enthusiasts and newbies alike will love unwrapping their very own drone on Christmas morning.
Though a lot of long-time drone users swear by high-end models, there’s no reason the hobby has to be expensive. There are plenty of quality budget models available that teach the basics, are fun to fly, and don’t break the bank.
Here are four of the best drones, all under $300, that are great Christmas gifts.
1. Parrot Bebop Quadcopter
The Parrot Bebop’s list price is $399.99. However, it can currently be purchased for $224.99 on Amazon.
The quadcopter drone is small and lightweight yet surprisingly durable. It’s perfect to learn on thanks to its near indestructability in the event of crashes. It’s also very easy to repair if it does become damaged.
The Parrot Bebop performs well in all conditions. Though its light weight puts it at risk in high winds, it’s capable of staying stable in wind speeds up to 24 mph. The UAV’s top speed is an impressive 45 mph (in ideal conditions).
The small size of the craft means small batteries are used. Yet the stock batteries still provide a flight time of right around 10 minutes. It comes with two batteries so it’s easy to switch them out when one dies for 20 minutes of total flight time.
One of the most impressive features of the Bebop is its camera. It features a f2.2 fisheye lens with a 180-degree angle of view. Video is shot in HD 1080p and stored to the 8GB internal storage. Unfortunately, there’s no slot for a Micro-SD card.
A controller isn’t included with the Parrot Bebop. Instead, it’s completely controlled through an app on your smartphone. A robust controller (dubbed the Skycontroller) complete with joysticks is available separately. The Skycontroller is compatible with many VR headsets for the full FPV (first-person viewing) experience.
The Parrot Bebop Quadcopter makes a perfect Christmas gift for just about anyone. It will be particularly appreciated by those with an interest in aerial photography or videography. Despite its durability, it’s probably not a good option for children because of its steep price.
2. Hubsan H501S Brushless Quadcopter
The Hubsan H501S can currently be purchased for $263. 95 on Amazon.
The drone is small and compact, but heavy. At just 9 inches across, it still clocks it at over 3.5 pounds. This extra weight translates into a powerful motor plus increased stability in moderate winds.
The performance of the H501S, like all Hubsan products, is exceptional. The response between controller and drone is top-notch. Small movements of the controls translate directly into small movements of the drone. Robust batteries equate to up to 20 minutes of flight time.
The H501S comes with a 1080p camera. Numerous in-flight modes, notably “Follow Me” mode and “Selfie” mode help you get the perfect shot. The only downside to the camera is that it’s not stabilized.
The included controller is highly intuitive. Though, as we mentioned above, it’s very sensitive, it’s easy to get a hang of. Plus, the sensitivity can be dialed back for beginners. The controller has a built-in LCD screen for FPV (first-person viewing).
Everyone will be able to appreciate the Hubsan H501S Quadcopter. It’s very fun to fly and take pictures/videos with although it won’t quite meet the standards required by a professional photographer/videographer.
3. Nighthawk DM007 Quadcopter
The Nighthawk DM007’s list price is $129.95. However, it can currently be purchased for $69.95 on Amazon.
Like most sub-$300 drones, the Nighthawk DM007 is small and compact. Its light weight makes it nimble in good conditions but relatively unstable in mild to moderate wind.
Other than its instability in wind, this quadcopter drone performs very well. It’s agile and has great hovering capabilities. Another neat feature is the placement of LED lights for night flying.
The Nighthawk DM007 comes with a 7.4V 2S battery. Unfortunately, the flight time is quite short, only about 5 minutes. You can increase this by a few minutes by detaching the camera for weight savings.
As for the camera, it films in 2-megapixel 720p HD. A 4GB Mini-SD card is used for storage. The quality of the camera isn’t the best but it certainly gets the job done (especially considering the drone’s current price of well under $100).
We consider the Nighthawk DM007 Quadcopter a great choice for beginners. It’s affordable, very easy to learn to fly, and extremely durable. Nighthawk also offers superior customer support so any questions you have will be answered quickly.
4. Syma X8G Quadcopter
The Syma X8G Quadcopter can currently be purchased for $112.99 on Amazon.
The quadcopter drone is the complete package. It’s sleek, nimble, durable, and comes with everything a beginner needs to successfully pilot a drone.
The Syma X8G performs just as well outdoors as it does indoors. It’s capable of flying in mild wind (though you don’t want to push it). As a heavier and more powerful drone for its size, it stays relatively stable in even moderate wind.
The battery for the X8G only has a lifespan of about 7 minutes of flight time. Using the camera takes up significantly more battery. You might be able to increase flight time by another minute or two if you don’t use the camera.
The controller for the X8G is easy to use. Taking photos and video with the 5 megapixel HD 1080p camera is just as easy. Images are stored on the included 4GB memory card.
The Syma X8G Quadcopter is perfect for beginners to learn on. It’s affordable, high performing, and is made by a well-respected company.
You have a lot of great options when it comes to buying a sub-$300 drone for Christmas this year.
Whether you choose the Parrot Bebop, Hubsan H501S, Nighthawk DM007, or Syma X8G, the recipient is sure to be more than happy. The exact best drone to buy depends on your budget as well as the needs, preferences, and skill levels of the intended operator.