How Much Does a Cheap Quadcopter Cost?
Cheap is really a relative term. What’s cheap for me might not be cheap for you. So for the purposes of the discussion here, I will set the upper limit of a cheap quadcopter at about $25.
We’ll consider several models of quadcopters that you can find for about $25 or less at online stores and marketplaces. All of these should be considered among the best beginner quadcopters available.
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In a hurry? Check the pricing and availability and read the reviews here:
You should think of purchasing one of these models if 1) this is your first quadcopter, 2) you want something inexpensive to fly indoors, or 3) you’re looking for a present for someone who has never flown before. There’s no sense in spending a lot of money on someone who may not enjoy flying machines.
Note that the prices I found for these machines may change over time and that some of them may be low due to current special deals or sales. What this means is that, if you go looking for any of these, the price could be a bit higher – but hopefully lower – than $25.
NIHUI U207 UFO Intruder
The NIHUI U207 is a nifty little quadcopter that comes with propeller guards as an integral part of the assembly. You could remove the bright orange frame, if you really wanted to, but that would probably not be a good idea.
The 150 mAh LiPo battery will let you fly for about 4 minutes before it needs to be recharged.
The CG023 reminds me of a spider, even though it only has four legs. The small propeller guards are a nice addition, since they don’t add much weight. This quadcopter also has a 150 mAh battery, so you can expect about 4 to 5 minutes per charge. In fact, many of these cheap quadcopters have batteries about this size, so you’ll get roughly 4 to 8 minutes of flying time from each of them.
Mould King X6-33022
The Mould King X6-33022 is one that I cannot recommend to you. Based on other reviews I’ve seen, there seems to be an internal problem that causes it to pitch forward on it’s own shortly after takeoff, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Since there are plenty of other machines in this price range, just skip this one and look for something that doesn’t have such problems.
Cheerson CX-10 and CX-10A
These two models from Cheerson are very popular. As of late 2014, the CX-10 was the world’s smallest quadcopter. It only has a tiny 100 mAh battery, but you can still get about 4.5 minutes of fun before the juice is gone.
You can also use the WLToys V252 Pro transmitter (remote control) with the CX-10, if you prefer something a little fancier than the one it comes with out of the box.
The CX-10A is the same aircraft except it also has a feature called headless mode. This means that, relative to your position in the driver’s seat, forward is always forward – even after you spin the quadcopter by changing the yaw.
JXD 395 Air Bus
Why is the JXD 395 called an Air Bus? Because the chassis really does look like a bus. I’m not sure what this does to the aerodynamics. I wouldn’t think it would be a good thing, but maybe at this small size it really doesn’t matter that much.
WLToys V646 and V676 Super Minis
WLToys’ V646 and V676 perform much the same way, even though their frames look quite different. Both of them have a headless mode and give you the usual flying time for craft this size. I guess it depends whether you want prop guards or not.
Eachine H1 Sky Walker
Here is a quadcopter that puts a different spin – literally – on propeller guards. This one comes with two relatively large wheel-like structures that prevent the blades from contacting nearly anything. When you get good enough at flying this one, you can make it appear to walk up and down the walls and other surfaces by aligning those wheels with the surface. Thus, the name Sky Walker. (I doubt any Star Wars reference is intended.)
WLToys V911S is actually a series of quadcopters. The V911S-1 UFO is shown here. Other versions include the Olympic with optional circular prop guards and another machine with partial guards.
The JJRC 1000A looks pretty basic and similar to other quadcopters, but since it comes with a larger battery (250 mAh), you’ll get a few more minutes per charge. (Note: JJ is Jian Jian.)
Eachine H7 / Gin H7 / Gintrude
The official name of this one is a bit of a mystery. I have seen it called the Eachine H7 and the Gin H7, but the frame displays the word Gintrude. The brightness and good placement of the lights on this quadcopter should allow you to fly fairly easily at night (or in a darkened room) if you want that kind of challenge.
This is the cheapest quadcopter I could find currently. Again, you may find other prices due to sales, etc. when you actually check out these quadcopter and other.
Are There Any Cheap Quadcopters with Cameras?
In the $25 and under group, you won’t currently find any aircraft that include cameras. That certainly could change in the future.
You don’t have to spend much more though to get one that does have a built-in camera. You should be able to find one for about $40, which is still quite cheap. It just doesn’t fit into my arbitrary categorization here.
So with this information in hand, grab one or even two of these cheap quadcopters for yourself and have fun buzzing around the house with them. I think you’ll be glad you did.