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By Jose Lozano
When looking for a drone, we sometimes do our search based on our budget. That is because as good and fantastic drones are, they definitely can make an expensive hobby. With that in mind, I wanted to contribute with a list of the top 10 best drones under 200 dollars, since that price range seems to be popular among the hobby enthusiasts.
Now, I went online and discovered that many sites actually have a bunch of lists with the top 10 models under this price range, but I had a hard time trying to understand how and why those drones were ranked on those lists.
That is why I ended up creating my own ranking, based on data and with a simple yet useful analysis that anyone can understand.
I'm only posting an excerpt of the whole analysis here, but I hope it helps you make an informed decision.
I first defined what I call "critical for operation" features, the ones you can't live with. For instance, flight time, if your drone has 0 flight time, or very short flight time, your experience will not be great, no matter how advanced the gyro, or the altitude mode. These features are: Budget, customer reviews, camera specs, flight time, charge time, and flight range. You may think there are more, but to me (and in order to simplify the study), those are the ones that count more. Then visited Amazon and searched for drones under 200 dollars with 4+ stars in customer reviews. All the data about these 6 features I mentioned before was arranged in the form of a table. Then, based on the best values I found for each drone, I assigned a rating from 0 to 100 to each feature of each drone. Last step was to average all the values and translate this to a 5 point scale system and sort them from high to low. The result of this analysis is a table with real rankings, based on the numbers each drone brings to the game.
I also want to say that just by considering the customer reviews from Amazon, I'm including the testing part, since that is crucial in order to know how a drone behaves in reality.
Here is the simplified version of the list I built. For more details, please visit https://www.rchobbiesonair.com/best-drones-under-200/
Rank Item Rate 1 Force1 Drones with Camera - “MJX B2C Bugs 2 Specter” 4.5 2 Potensic T25 4.2 3 Force1 Drones con cámara - U49W Blue Heron 3.7 4 Altair #AA108 3.7 5 Holy Stone HS110D 3.5 6 Holy Stone HS200D 3.5 7 Potensic F181DH 3.5 8 Holy Stone HS230 3.4 9 DROCON U818PLUS 3.4 10 Altair 818 Hornet 3.4 What do you think about the items that ranked here? Also, did you notice the F181W drone from Holy Stone is not on the list? That is because it didn't make it to it, which is interesting because most websites out there rank it very high. I actually think it's a great drone, but just by looking at its numbers, there seems to be better options.
I'll be glad to know your comments.