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Best RC Quadcopter Under $100 – Reviews and Comparisons for 2017

Don't Feel Like Reading? Here's Our Top Choice:

Photo of Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter

For the price, the Holy Stone F181 is the best bang for your buck. It is loaded with features and it will get your body pumping with adrenaline the second you fly it. It's variable speed makes it great for any flyer..

When it comes to choosing an RC Quadcopter, you want the best you can get, right? As you may know, the industry has evolved rapidly over the past few years. This means there are tons of choices when it comes to purchasing one. So how do you know where to begin?

The list below features our five picks for the best RC quadcopter under $100. All of these quadcopters are full size (Not mini), and they all have cameras (Which is definitely a plus).

Top SellersPhotoNameRating
Top Sellers BadgePhoto of Holy Stone F181 RC QuadcopterHoly Stone F181 RC Quadcopter4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
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Top Sellers BadgePhoto of Potensic X5C-1 Syma ExplorerPotensic X5C-1 Syma Explorer4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
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Photo of AKASO X5CAKASO X5C4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
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Photo of DBPOWER MJX X400WDBPOWER MJX X400W4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
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Photo of UDI U818A-HDUDI U818A-HD4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
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Why do we love RC Quadcopters?

Beyond all the hype, beyond all the cool HD cameras and spying on your neighbors, the best part about quadcopters and every other RC vehicle, is that they make you feel like a kid again. Having an adrenaline rush as you fly an RC quadcopter at full speed through the sky, make it around trees and narrowly miss walls and buildings, is a liberating feeling. You immediately get in touch with your wild side as you fly it around, having endless hours of adventures with your new quadcopter. There is nothing more fun, and no better way to feel like a kid again.

What do you need to look for when purchasing an RC quadcopter?

Some quadcopters fly for a longer time on each charge than others, some fly for a further distance before losing the signal, and some are just downright easier to fly. When it comes to quadcopters, there are many different features you need to look out for, so we’ll break it down for you below. These features include:

Flight Time

Flight time is an important factor to consider because you’ll want to fly your quadcopter on a single charge for as long as possible. Some of the more expensive one’s drones can fly upwards of 20 minutes on a single charge! However, when you are looking at one under $100, the average is around 7-10 minutes (Which is still pretty good).

Control Range

Control range is the range that you quadcopter can be flown in before losing the signal to the controller. This is important for obvious reasons. Some of the cheaper quadcopters only go a distance of around 100 meters (~328 feet), and some of the more expensive ones can go well over 300 meters (~984 feet). The good news is, most RC quadcopters are equipped with a feature called Return to Home or One Key Return which returns the drone to the takeoff spot in case you ever lose sight of it in the sky. Now whether this always works is a question you’ll have to find out on a drone to drone basis.

Speed

Speed is another factor that you want to consider when looking at different quadcopters. If you’re an adrenaline junky, you’ll want one that can go insanely fast, but if you’re a beginner pilot, you might want one that is a little slower. As of writing this article, the fastest quadcopter could reach speeds of up to 85 miles per hour, but the average speed of most drones is around 25-35 miles per hour. Who really needs a quadcopter that goes 85 miles an hour anyways? It will be out of range before you can even blink an eye. 😛

Camera Quality

Camera quality is important if you plan on using your RC quadcopter for recording video or taking photos. The drones in the $100 and under price range typically only have around a 2 megapixel camera, which is not a professional camera by any means. We would recommend looking into more expensive models if you are doing any serious photography or filmography with your camera. The more money you spend, the better camera the quadcopter will have (Amongst other features). The more expensive models like the DJI Phantom 3 have a 12 megapixel camera which is a much higher resolution than a basic 2mp camera.

Skill Level Required

Depending on whether you are an amateur pilot or a professional drone racer, the skill level required to fly is another consideration you should make before purchasing a radio controlled quadcopter. We would recommend at least starting out at least with a cheap mini copter like this black spider to get the hang of flying before going out and purchasing a much more expensive one. At least by getting a cheap one, you can practice and become familiar with it so your brand new $650 DGI drone doesn’t end up as a $500 pile of junk. As a side note, all five of the RC quadcopters features on this page would all be considered good options for beginner flyers.

Price

Last but certainly not least, is price. Although this isn’t necessarily a feature, per se, it is definitely a factor you need to consider. RC quadcopters come in all different colors, shapes, sizes, speeds, qualities, but when it comes down to it, you get what you pay for. All of the radio controlled quadcopters featured in this article are the best RC quadcopters under $100. With that being said, a $100 quadcopter has little in common with a $600 quadcopter, other than the way it operates. Always keep the price in mind when you go on to make your purchasing decision. Without further ado…

Our Picks for the Best RC Quadcopter Under $100

Top SellersPhotoNameRating
Top Sellers BadgePhoto of Holy Stone F181 RC QuadcopterHoly Stone F181 RC Quadcopter4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Amazon Discount
Top Sellers BadgePhoto of Potensic X5C-1 Syma ExplorerPotensic X5C-1 Syma Explorer4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
Amazon Discount
Photo of AKASO X5CAKASO X5C4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
Amazon Discount
Photo of DBPOWER MJX X400WDBPOWER MJX X400W4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
Amazon Discount
Photo of UDI U818A-HDUDI U818A-HD4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
Amazon Discount

RC Quadcopter Reviews

Photo of Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter

Average Rating

4.5 out of 5

Specifications

Size

12.2 x 3.5 x 12.2 inches

Max Range

100 meters

Flight Time

7-9 minutes

Camera

2 MP

Frequency

​2.4 GHz

I have never used a drone before so I was so happy to finally have one that was affordable to learn how to use. We have been practicing for a few weeks now and it is definitely worth the price for as much fun as you can have with it. It comes with everything you need to start flying and replacement parts so you have them if something happens. I crashed it right after we got it but luckily I didn't' do any damage. It is well made and very durable.

Jamie
Verified Owner

When it comes to the Holy Stone F181, you can’t beat it for the price. Not only does it look cool, but it’s also made of high-quality materials and can definitely take a beating or two.

From the moment you open the box, you will be welcomed with everything you need to get flying (It even comes with an SD card for the camera). Not to mention, this RC quadcopter has too many features even to list here.

You can fly the F181 at variable speeds of 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. This is great for beginners to learn with and slowly speed up once they get the hang of flying.

There are also some other cool features like the one key return where it will return to the takeoff spot when you press the button, and headless mode, where you can forget about your drone’s orientation altogether, and the 360 flip feature that will roll the quadcopter in any direction flawlessly.

The quadcopter also comes with a 2 megapixel camera that is great for taking videos or pictures of your surroundings. Although this camera isn’t a top quality camera that you would use professionally, it is still fun to use for recreational purposes.

Overall, this RC quadcopter is the best you’re going to get for the price. It flies smooth from beginning to end, it can handle high speeds but also makes a great quadcopter to learn on, it can definitely take a beating, and the features are aplenty for a quadcopter under $100.

Pros

  • Flies super smooth from beginning to end
  • 4 Variable Speeds: 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%
  • Comes with everything you need in the box
  • LED's allow night flying
  • Great for beginners
  • Great quality for the price
  • Cool feature allows you to flip the quadcopter 360°
  • One key return
  • Headless mode

Cons

  • Camera is just so-so
  • Gets blown around in heavier winds
  • Controller beeps in headless mode
Photo of Potensic X5C-1 Syma Explorer

Average Rating

4.4 out of 5

Specifications

Size

17.4 x 9.6 x 4.3 inches

Max Range

60 meters

Flight Time

5-7 minutes

Camera

2 MP

Frequency

​2.4 GHz

This is a great and very easy to fly drone that provides a ton of fun for the price. Certainly this is not a professional video drone, but this is a perfect quadcopter to learn how to fly before you invest in high-end expensive drones... It is also a very safe drone to learn with, inasmuch as I don't really see the propellers doing any real damage.

Art
Verified Owner

If you’re looking for a bang for your buck, then this is the RC quadcopter for you. The X5C-1 by Potensic is an upgraded version of the X5C. The previous X5C had some hardware issues that were fixed with this model, and you also get the blue camo blades with the X5C-1.

This RC Quadcopter is great if you are just looking for a beginner quadcopter that has all the minimal features you would expect. It doesn’t have auto-return or headless mode, but it does have two speeds, low and high.

The X5C-1 comes with everything you need to get started, right out of the box. The package contains the quadcopter, eight extra blades, the transmitter, the battery, two landing skids, four protection frames, a USB charging cable, and a screwdriver to assemble the few pieces together.

This RC Quadcopter is a great one to get the hang of flying with if you are new to quadcopters. It typically lasts around 6-8 minutes per charge, but can last longer if you remove the camera to make it lighter.

Overall, the Potensic X5C-1 is a great quadcopter for the money. While it doesn’t have the features of the Holy Stone F181, it still is made with high-quality materials and can certainly take a beating.

Pros

  • Easy to maneuver for beginners
  • 2 speeds: low and high
  • Comes with everything you need in the box
  • Great quality for the price
  • Can take a beating
  • LED's for night flying

Cons

  • Battery life is fairly short
  • Average camera
  • No auto-return or headless mode
AKASCO X5C RC Quadcopter

Average Rating

4.4 out of 5

Specifications

Size

11.8 x 11.8 x 5.5 inches

Max Range

100 meters

Flight Time

5-7 minutes

Camera

2 MP

Frequency

​2.4 GHz

I have had a number of RC toys... This one is among the best of the bunch. It is a great entry level quad copter. I was impressed at what was included. Of course you have the copter and a controller (there is some simple assembly required) but also included is a memory card for the camera, a USB card reader to view your videos with a usb card, replacement blades, and even a tiny screwdriver to help with assembly. Also included is a quad charger that charges 4 batteries at once and 4 batteries.

Scott
Verified Owner

Coming in at number three on our list is the AKASO X5C. This is another great RC quadcopter that you can get under $100. While it features the same body as the same body as the Potensic X5C-1 shown above, this quadcopter has some additional features that the Potensic does not.

The second you open the box, you will realize why you purchased this quad compared to the other ones available in the same price range. For less than $10 more than the drone being sold by itself, you get way more gear and extra parts.

This package features not only the quadcopter and control, but it also has the SD card for the camera, an SD card reader for your computer, replacement blades, a battery charger and four batteries.

You can fly the AKASO X5C at three different speed levels, and it even has a beginner mode for first-time flyers. This is a great way for first-time flyers to learn how to operate a drone; start slow, and increase the speed when you get the hang of it.

Although this RC Quadcopter doesn’t have an auto-return button or headless mode, it also has some other features like the 360 flip button that makes the quadcopter do a perfect roll in the air at the push of a button.

Like the other quadcopters in this price range, this one comes with a 2 megapixel camera that is a decent camera if you want to get some quick videos or pictures from the sky. It is definitely not a professional camera by any means, so don’t plan on using it as such.

Overall, this RC quadcopter is a decent copter for the price. It flies smooth, and its variable speeds make it great for new flyers. The best part is the protection, and quality is there to keep it from breaking on the first crash.

Pros

  • Easy to fly
  • Three speed levels and a beginner mode
  • Comes with lots of spare parts
  • LED's lights for flying at night
  • Great for beginners
  • 360° flip button

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Non-professional camera
  • Controller and drone feel cheap
DBPOWER MJX X400W

Average Rating

4.3 out of 5

Specifications

Size

11.8 x 11.8 x 3.0 inches

Max Range

100 meters

Flight Time

8-9 minutes

Camera

2 MP

Frequency

​2.4 GHz

Wow. This little guy is awesome. I feel bad for not ordering more batteries so I can keep flying. The FPV feature is something I've been wanting for a long time. I have a few other quads, like the Estes and Hubsan, and I like them a lot, but I love being able to see the view as I'm flying. That is truly awesome. The camera is pretty decent and has a nice picture... The copter is fun to fly, and I'm not that great of a flyer yet. It's got a good flight range and the return home feature comes in handy.

Pandion
Verified Owner

DBPOWER MJX X400W where have you been all of my life? If you’re looking for an RC Quadcopter under $100 that has it all, then look no further. While this drone might look like all the other white ones out there, its fully loaded line of features sure makes up for its lack of style.

Let’s start off with the one feature none of the other quadcopters under $100 seem to have; FPV (First person view) real time transmission. What I mean by this is that the drone’s camera will connect with your smart phone so that you can see what the camera sees, in real time. While many of the pricier options seem to have this, none of the cheaper ones that we could find seemed to have this. In addition to the first-person view, you can actually connect the camera to a virtual reality headset if you have one.

Other features include a high capacity battery that lasts slightly longer than most of the competition, headless mode, a return home button, a 360 roll button, and of course, a decent camera.

Straight out of the box, this quadcopter has everything you need. You’ll need to charge the battery before you do any flying, but you can install the blade guards and read the manual while you are waiting.

One thing to take note of, is that this quadcopter’s camera does not hold a memory card. This is kind of unfortunate, but if you hook it up to your phone with the FPV, you can actually record the photos and videos to your phone.

As far as flying goes, the MJX X400W flies just a well as the other quadcopters featured in this article. It has two speeds, and the faster speed is just fast enough to be thrilling, but not so fast that you will lose the quad before you can blink.

Overall, this RC quadcopter is loaded with features for the price. It flies smooth and can handle its share of beatings. I think the real draw with the copter is the first person view that you usually don’t see at this price range.

Pros

  • First person view syncs with iPhone for real time camera streaming 
  • Headless mode
  • Return home button
  • 360 roll button
  • Underside LED's
  • Comes with spare blades 
  • High capacity battery
  • Cool feature allows you to flip the quadcopter 360°

Cons

  • No memory card in camera
  • Remote is not mapped out
  • Camera is only 2 MP
Photo of DBPOWER MJX X400W

Average Rating

4.1 out of 5

Specifications

Size

13.4 x 13.0 x 2.2 inches

Max Range

100 meters

Flight Time

6-9 minutes

Camera

2 MP

Frequency

​2.4 GHz

Overall, considering the price of this product, I was very impressed with it. It is very well made and there was much attention paid to the build of it. I'm only a casual user of remote toys, so when I first tried using it in my house, (due to my lack of flying skills, not because of the product) I banged it on walls, ceilings and dropped it from 10-12 feet directly to the floor, where it crashed quite dramatically. Yet surprisingly, it simply bounced here and there and kept going. It is extremely light and thin, but made to be very durable.

Mike
Verified Owner

Last but certainly not least is the UDI U818A-HD RC quadcopter. While this is the cheapest of the five featured in this article, it does not lack in the bang for your buck department.

The UDI U818A-HD is probably our favorite as far as looks go. The other four quadcopters seem to all have the same general look going on, but this one is different. This one looks more like something you would see in a sci-fi thriller abducting the humans from earth.

This RC Quadcopter is great for flyers of all levels, but particularly for beginners. The quad comes with two flying speeds, of which one is slow, and one is fast. The slower one is perfect for learning on, and the faster one is fast enough to get a thrill when you are good enough to control it. And as always, it’s better to fly with a minimal amount of wind, otherwise, you might as well say bye bye to your new drone.

As far as quality goes, this quadcopter is in line with the others; not indestructible, but can definitely take a beating or two. It has the built-in blade protectors which is a nice change from the other models that have detachable blade protectors.

This quadcopter also includes features similar to those of the F181 and the MJX. These features are the headless mode, return home button, and the 360 flip button. Each drone has their own way of performing each of these functions, but this drone’s isn’t any better or worse.

Overall, for the money, you can’t beat this RC Quadcopter. It has all the features you could ever want or need from a drone that costs $50, and it is a great flyer for both beginners and advanced flyers.

Pros

  • Easy to learn on
  • Looks cool
  • Blade guards are built-in
  • LED lights for flying at night
  • Can take a beating
  • 360 flip button
  • Includes SD card and other spare parts
  • Advanced features available

Cons

  • Average camera quality
  • Battery drains fast
  • Controller is large
  • Hard to navigate in strong winds

With so many options available on the market for RC quadcopters that cost less than $100, it’s hard to find the one that suits your needs the best, and the one that is the best bang for your buck. Luckily, we did the hard work for you.

After looking at each one closely and weighing all the features of each option, we have come to the conclusion that the Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter is the best RC Quadcopter under $100.

There are a number of reasons for this. Although the price is right at the top of the budget ($100), the pros far outweigh the cons.

This drone looks the coolest (In our opinion), it’s built tough, it flies smoothly on four different speed levels, it has LED lights so you can fly at night, it has the return home button, the 360 flip button, and the headless mode for easy flying. Oh and it’s also great for beginners to learn on.

While this RC Quadcopter may not have the first person streaming view, this one also has one of the longest battery lives and ranges of the five picks.

Overall, the Holy Stone F181 is the best RC Quadcopter under $100 and the best RC Quadcopter for the money.

The Best RC Quadcopter Under $100

Photo of Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter

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