Quadcopters for Beginners Under $100

With so many quadcopters selling for under $100 these days it’s difficult for a beginner to make a good choice. Some models have low resolution video cameras while others omit a camera which lowers the overall weight and improves flying performance. Picking a quad that is easier to fly and doesn’t frustrate the pilot makes a lot of sense.

I hope the following information will help you select the right quadcopter for getting started with this exciting new remote control hobby. Choose an inexpensive quad to learn on first, before moving up to the better quality and much pricier models. Every week new quads are appearing and I’ve recently selected a few to test fly for review and report my findings. Two of these are indoor flyers and the other three are meant to be flown outdoors. I’ve listed them in order of preference and explain why some impressed me, while others were second best .

#1 Pick: Blade Nano QX

Blade Nano QX
Blade Nano QX

This indoor quad is definitely my favorite due to its precise and crisp response to transmitter inputs. The Blade Nano QX easily hovers in place with very few adjustments to the transmitter.

Horizon Hobby’s Blade line of quality products including the palm-sized Nano QX utilize advanced technology features. Their exclusive SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) software technology provides multi-axis stability that beginners will appreciate. Hovering doesn’t get any easier than this.

Full review: Blade Nano QX

Where to Buy: Amazon

Blade BLH7600 Nano QX RTF with SAFE

#2 Pick: Hubsan X4 H107C

Hubsan X4 H107C
Hubsan X4 H107C

What impressed me the most with the Hubsan X4, besides how well it flies, is the solid build of this palm-sized indoor quad. No flimsy junk here. It’s tough enough to handle less than perfect landings. Rubber landing pads cushion hard impacts and the included propeller guard saves the blades from damage.

Flying the Hubsan X4 is a blast! In normal flight mode, beginners will enjoy how easy it is to maneuver. For teaching the basics of quad piloting, the Hubsan does an excellent job. The included camera takes decent video footage, but hardly HD.

Full review: Hubsan X4 H107C

Where to Buy: Amazon

Hubsan X4 H107C with HD 2MP Camera 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter Mode 2 RTF (As shown)

#3 Pick: Syma X5C Explorers

Syma X5C Explorers Quadcopter.
Syma X5C Explorers Quadcopter.

Syma is one of the most popular quad manufacturers and for around $60 the outdoor X5C Explorers flies better than I expected. Aerial flips are amazing with almost no drop in altitude. It performs well against light wind, even with propeller guards attached.

You’ll want to fly this one close to your standing position, as its all-white color scheme makes visual orientation tricky with increasing distance. This is a great trainer before investing in higher priced quads.

Full review: Syma X5C Explorers

Where to Buy: Amazon

New Version Syma X5C 2.4G 6 Axis GYRO HD Camera RC Quadcopter RTF RC Helicopter with 2.0MP Camera By E-Trade Deal

#4 Pick: UDI U818A

The UDI U818A quadcopter.
The UDI U818A quadcopter.

The UDI quad is one of the best sellers on Amazon. Included is a 640 X 480 pixel resolution fixed position camera capable of still shots and video footage. A great feature of the 13″ outdoor UDI is the ability to capture photos and video using dedicated function buttons on the transmitter. For around $60, this quad is hard to beat.

The white front propellers and the “eyebrows” along the front edge of the built-in propeller guard really help the pilot with visual orientation. A bright white LED up front also indicates the model’s relative position.

Full review: UDI U818A

Where to Buy: Amazon

UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2

#5 Pick: Dromida Ominus

Dromida Ominus RTF Quadcopter.
Dromida Ominus RTF Quadcopter.

Strictly an outdoor flyer (although manufacturer advertises it as an indoor flyer as well), the Ominus offers four flight modes; easy, normal, expert and advanced. Without the additional weight of a camera, this quad really moves. Light winds were not a problem for the 9.4″ Ominus.

Intensely colored LEDs really help with visual orientation and can be seen easily in daylight. The included large capacity LiPo battery allows for 10-12 minute flights. Aerial flips are flawless with minimal drops in altitude.

One fairly major design flaw appeared during my test flights, which I discuss in my full review. I’m hoping that Dromida designers are working to correct the issue as this quad is otherwise an awesome flyer.

Full review: Dromida Ominus

Where to Buy: Amazon

Dromida Ominus UAV Quadcopter RTF, Green

 

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