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).
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 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 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 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 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.
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…
RC Quadcopter Reviews
- Size: 12.2 x 3.5 x 12.2 inches
- Max Range: 325 feet (~100 meters)
- Flight Time: 7-9 minutes
- Camera: 2 MP
- Frequency: 2.4 GHz
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.
- 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
- Camera is just so-so
- Gets blown around in heavier winds
- Controller beeps in headless mode