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Best drones under $500 – Edition 2020

Best drones under $500 – Edition 2020

There are some good drones up to 500 euros. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you either have to search a little longer for cheap offers or you have to compromise.

Why this is the case and what you should look out for when buying is explained in this article. So that this search goes faster for you, I present in this Kompktguide besides 5 drones under 500 euro purchase price and point the advantages and disadvantages out of the Copter.

Why are good drones rare in this price range?

In the introductory sentence I mentioned compromises that you will probably have to make when buying your drone. The background is the two market segments between which you move with a budget of 500 euros: on the one hand the low-cost entry-level models up to 200 euros, on the other the premium flagships beyond the 1000 euros mark. The resulting area is a grey area: too demanding for low-budget manufacturers, too cheap for high-end manufacturers.

Nevertheless, with a little effort, good drones can be found that can be sold for less than 500 euros. However, one should not stick to rigid price limits when making a selection, but rather pay attention to the features of the Quadrocopter. Finally, some Quadrocopter listed here are reduced or discontinued models of former high-end series.

Which features are mandatory?

not good
<5 megapixels

bad apps

no (good) FPV

no GPS/GLONASS

alright
5-12 megapixels

2,7K – 4K Video

good FPV in HD Video

Selfies & Dronies

very good
12+ Megapixel

4K Video

obstacle detection

Flight time 20+ minutes

Within this price range you can expect a lot from a Multicopter! From 300 Euro the Quadrocopter should have a solid GPS navigation and positioning position, carry a Full-HD (2,7K) camera and be FPV-capable.

FPV stands for First Person View and means that you will see a live image of the camera on your tablet or smartphone during the flight. Ideally, you can also fly after this image, but the transmission must be stable and the frame rate (FPS) sufficiently high.

Tip: Multicopters such as the DJI Spark can also be controlled directly via the smartphone, whereby this connection is established via WIFI and is therefore limited in range.

The best drones up to 500 Euro

Yuneec Breeze

Yuneec Breeze in comparison with other drones
4K selfie drone for 200 Euro

Flight time: 13 minutes

Range: 1 kilometer

Camera: 13 Megapixel / 4K Video

Charging time: 45 minutes

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 200 Euro

Rating: 6/10

With a price of just 200 euros, the Yuneec Breeze is a real bargain if you are looking for a performant drone for little money. The Quadrocopter has it all: 4K videos, single photos with 13 megapixels and some autonomous flight modes.

Smaller buns have to be baked with the Breeze, however, with maximum flight duration in mind: A maximum of 13 minutes is possible.
Even the actual video quality can’t keep up with that of high-end drones, such as the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Compared to the DJI Spark Copter, the Breeze videos are softer, spongier and the individual photos less detailed.

Yuneec Mantis Q

Cheap 4K drone: Yuneec Mantis Q

Flight time: 33 minutes

Range: 800 meters (CE), 1500 meters (FCC)

Charging time: 60 minutes

Camera: 13 Megapixel / 4K

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 380 Euro

Rating: 8,5/10

The Yuneec Mantis Q is another good drone under 500 euros. As the unofficial successor of the Yuneec Breeze, the Quadrocopter scores particularly well for its foldable design, long flight time and 4K, 13 MP camera.

As a point of criticism the gimbal has to be used, which can’t compensate vibrations mechanically. In addition, digital image stabilization is only possible from Full HD.

For this reason, the Yuneec Mantis Q is particularly interesting for pilots who value a low-cost 4K drone that is easy to transport and control.

Yuneec Q500

Cheap drone for action cameras
Without camera but with GoPro-compatible Gimbal: Yuneecs Q500

Flight time: 25 minutes

Range: 1 kilometer

Charging time: 50 minutes

Camera: –

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 300 Euro

Rating: 7/10

The Q500 series from Yuneec is available in several versions, which differ in terms of their camera and of course the purchase price. The cheapest version for slightly less than 500 Euros is the Q500 without camera – ideal for all GoPro owners. They can now film their action cam in the camera mount from the air. The Copter can hold itself in the air for about 25 minutes and has a range of more than one kilometer.

UPair One

Cheap 4K drone: The UPair One Quadrocopter in detail.

Flight time: 18 minutes

Range: 600 meters

Charging time: 90 minutes

Camera: 16 Megapixel / 4K Video

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 350 Euro

Rating: 8/10

If you don’t want to buy a Quadrocopter of the “big ones”, you can also buy smaller brands in the price range of 500 Euro. There are also good offers here, as the UPair One shows. This Quadrocopter has a 4K camera, has a range of 600 meters (video transmission) or 1 kilometer (radio connection) and can release single images with respectable 16 megapixels. Another positive feature is the fixed display on the remote control, which can be used to receive FPV live data. With a price of less than 350 Euros, the UPair One is also the cheapest modern copter in this guide.

Unfortunately, the unsteady manufacturing quality and the long charging time of the batteries are negative.

DJI Spark

Scope of delivery of the DJI Spark drone
Colourful Selfie-Copter with high-end technology for high-end price.

Flight time: 15 minutes

Range: 2 kilometers

Charging time: 35 minutes

Camera: 12 Megapixel / 1080p Video

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 400 Euro

Rating: 8/10

In 2017 the DJI Spark was the smallest and youngest offspring of the DJI family, which consists of Phantom, Mavic Pro (1) and said Spark in the consumer area.
Basically Quadcopter is a very performant and high-priced selfie drone, ideal for small, spontaneous videos.
Compared to the Yuneec Breeze, the Spark’s camera is less high-resolution (1080p), but attached to a 2-axis gimbal that mechanically compensates for shaking and vibration.

The smallest Multicopter of this guide can be held in the air for up to 15 minutes.
The maximum range is given as 2 kilometres (remote control) and 80 metres (WIFI) – more than enough for such a small drone!

A giant feature of the Spark is definitely the high-end equipment: Visual obstacle detection and flying around, GPS, numerous flight modes, etc.. A true little luxury object! With a price between 400 and 600 euros, the small colorful Copter is priced exactly in the middle.

Parrot Anafi

21 MP, 4K Camera: The new Parrot Anafi

Flight time: 25 minutes

Range: 4 kilometers

Charging time: 25 minutes

Camera: 21 Megapixel / 4K Video

Smartshots & Dronies: Yes

Price: 599 Euro

Rating: 9,5/10

Launched at the end of 2018, Parrot Anafi is a foldable drone with powerful features: Not only does the Quadrocopter offer long flight times, fast charging, long range, dronies etc. – no – the real star of the Parrot Anafi is the camera! It is not only high-resolution (21 megapixels in the single image, 4K at 30 FPS in the video) but can also be swivelled 90° up and down.

Exciting perspectives with a smart drone are almost guaranteed.

The only problem: The Parrot Anafi exceeds the budget of 500 Euro and therefore gets half a point deducted. However, you won’t find anything comparable at this price.

Conclusion: Which drone to buy 500 euros?

As already explained at the beginning, the price range up to 500 euros is very exciting and occupied by specialists. On the one side stand 4K Selfie Copter like the Parrot Anafi (high-quality) on the other nice drones for occasionally Yuneec Mantis Q (favorably).

The best drone under 500 Euro is currently the Parrot Anafi (here to my Parrot Anafi review).

Who wants to buy a cheap drone and is willing to take a little risk, can bet on the UPair One.

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