12 Best Drones for Under $400 | 2023 Guide & Reviews

Do you want to know which drones are the best under $400? With all of my drones listed, you’ll have lots of choices, they all come with very good cameras, the top 4 of which are great for professional drone photography. Each drone comes with GPS, so you get features like autonomous flight modes, automatic return home, and tracking of the drone from your phone. 

Ensure you’re familiar with drone laws where you live before you buy any type of drone. In the UK, anyone who owns a drone with a camera, even if it’s less than 250 grams, has to register it. Drone laws in the UK changed recently, and now owners need an operator ID to fly their drones.

A drone that weighs less than 250g does not need to be registered in the US if you plan to fly only recreationally. Drones that weigh more than 250g must be registered. Check out this article to learn more about US drone laws if you plan to use drones commercially.

A list of the best drones for beginners to buy in 2023, including the best mini drones, the best camera drones, and the best drones under $400.

Buying drone insurance may also be a good idea if you are a hobbyist. The drones listed on this list are not required to have drone hull insurance (if you are flying for fun), but some are quite costly. In case your drone is permanently damaged during flight, you should purchase drone hull insurance as an added precaution. 

What Should You Look for in a Drone Under $400?

The time between flights on average

Over the past couple of years, drones have become more efficient and can now fly for up to 30 minutes on a single charge. It is therefore expected that your flight will last between 15 and 30 minutes on average.

Flight time is one of the most important specs for some brands, while other specs are more important to others. The increase in payload, however, decreases flight time.

Determine how long your drone is expected to fly in various flight modes, and act accordingly. Murphy’s Law dictates that it would’ve been a great shot if the drone had died when it was being used.

Duration of a battery

The flight time of a drone is directly influenced by its battery life. The average flight time for drones in this price range is 30 minutes, corresponding to the average drone battery life. Nevertheless, the battery life depends on a variety of factors.

The battery life of your drone will primarily be affected by its weight and aerodynamics. It can also be lowered by unused accessories you have attached, which are less obvious.

The battery life can also be affected by external factors, like the wind. Spare batteries are always a good idea if you feel like your drone’s battery life isn’t enough. You’ll also get an alarm when your battery is low on some drones.

Range of control average

Drone enthusiasts tend to prioritize this specification highly. The long range of a drone is obviously important when investing this kind of money.

There is no doubt that the best drones under $500 provide satisfactory control distances. Drones in this price range typically have a control range of 500 to 1000 meters, which is quite good.

As well, some brands manufacture products that are able to transmit signals as far as 4000 meters without losing them.

Performance average

If your drone made it to the list of the best drones under $500, you must expect (and demand) perfect performance from it.

The controls must be accurate, the flight should be stable even on windy days, and the hover must be steady without the intervention of the pilot. Based on our research, we chose quadcopters that offer top-of-the-line performance.

A good drone under $500 might even have a longer flight time, better battery life, and better performance than a more expensive drone!

Features that are typical

In order to compete for sales, drones are being loaded with more and more features as technology advances. A wide variety of features is therefore included in the best drones under $500.

In this price range, you’ll find a good deal of drones with autonomous flight, headless mode, altitude hold, and other cool flight modes. You’ll also find features that help you get the most out of your camera, like Follow Me, Orbit, Point of Interest, GPS-assisted flight, and optical flow sensors.

If you want a GoPro-compatible drone, you can get one for under $500. There are also some nice little extras, like a low battery alarm, One key return, and live video feed, that aren’t essential but are nice.

Quality of cameras on average

Almost every drone you can buy under $500 comes with a 720p HD camera, and some drones even have a 4K camera. Despite being semi-professionals, they can produce amazing quality footage.

Drones can also be equipped with GoPro cameras and other types of action cameras in addition to the onboard camera. Commercials or live video feeds from sports events cannot be recorded with the onboard camera.

It can, however, produce excellent stills and videos for semi-professional projects, film school projects, and YouTube vlogs.

Here are 12 of the best drones under $400

1. DJI Mini 2

In the DJI Mini 2 series, which replaces the Mavic Mini, the price is a little over $400. Having a small and compact design makes the drone easy to carry around, which makes it an ideal drone for traveling.

This device is equipped with an HD camera that can record 4K video at 30 frames per second at a speed of 100Mbps. As well as shooting in RAW and JPEG, you can also create three types of panoramas.

HDR support is built into the camera, and it has a feature called quick shots for the hands-free recording of short cinematic videos. With its reasonable price and excellent performance, it’s a great drone for professional drone photography.

Key Features

  • 84° field of view and 1/2.3-inch sensor
  • An aperture of f/2.8 is fixed
  • Captures videos in 4K, 2.7k, and 1080p
  • Images in 12MP (JPG+RAW)
  • (Automated & Manual) ISO 100-3200
  • Film hands-free with quick shots
  • Video/image stabilization with gimbal
  • A 31-minute flight
  • Technology for transmissions
  • Range of 10km

2. DJI Mavic Mini

My favourite drone on this list is the DJI Mavic Mini, which has some awesome features despite not having the best specs.

 In addition to the drone’s lightweight design, it also does not require registration with the FAA (or the CAA if you live in the UK). A 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor on the Mavic Mini can record 2.7k video at 30fps and capture 12MP still images.

With its Quickshot feature, you can capture short cinematic videos and shoot slow-motion videos if you’re trying to get into drone photography. On its belly is an optical flow/infrared sensor for better hovering accuracy. It has two GPS systems for easier navigation.

A great feature of this drone is its flight time of approximately 30 minutes, which is on the higher end of consumer drone flight times.

Key Features

  • Sensor with a focal length of 24mm and a field of view of 83°
  • An aperture of f/2.8 is fixed
  • Images with 12MP
  • Photographic modes: single shot & interval
  • Video ISO – 100-3200 (Automatic & Manual)
  • (Auto), and 100-3200 (Manual) ISO Photo 100-1600
  • A 2.7K video is recorded at 30 fps, a 1080p video is recorded at 60 fps
  • With Quickshot, you can create short cinematic videos
  • Flight time of 30 minutes
  • Range of control is 4km

3. Fimi X8 Mini

I decided to put the Fimi X8 Mini higher on my list due to its small size and compact design compared to its larger counterpart, the Fimi X8 SE.

There is a good flight time of 31 minutes (with the pro battery) and the drone weighs under 250g (with the pro battery). Video footage can be recorded at 4K at 30 frames per second, and still, images can be captured at 12MP.

HDR images and videos can be created with this camera with an advanced image chipset from Hisilicon. It also allows you to take short videos at the push of a button. The drone comes with active track and waypoint flight modes, which set it apart from the DJI Mini 2 and Mavic Mini.

Key Features

  • CMOS sensor 1/2.6″ with 26mm lens and 80° field of view
  • Fixed aperture of f/2.0
  • Image quality: 12MP (RAW & JPEG)
  • Captures 4K videos at 30fps
  • Images and videos with HDR
  • Modes that fly intelligently
  • Here’s four quick shots
  • A 31-minute flight
  • Range of 8km

4. Hubsan Zino Pro

A big upgrade to the original Zino drone, the Hubsan Zino Pro is one of the most attractive drones on this list. Featuring a compact foldable design and many advanced features, this medium-sized laptop is perfect for traveling.

A Sony image sensor can capture 12MP images with the Zino Pro, which features a 4K camera with a 3-axis gimbal. Video and photo quality is enhanced thanks to the image chip from Ambarella, which is compatible with ND filters for better drone photography.

There are several smart flight modes available on this drone and it has a good flight time of 23 minutes.

Key Features

  • Camera with 4K/30fps
  • Sony sensor with a 1/3-inch diagonal
  • Sensor from Sony
  • Stabilizing 3-axis gimbal
  • EIS chipset for Ambarella A12S
  • Modes of intelligent flight
  • Auto-return to home via GPS
  • Flight time of 23 minutes
  • Range of transmission of 4km

5. DJI Mini SE

A 3-axis gimbal stabilizes an HD camera on DJI’s Mini SE, the company’s cheapest GPS drone. Amazing 2.7k video footage can be captured, as well as crystal-clear 12MP images. 

Infrared and optical flow sensors are included for better flight stabilization, and the drone has a 30-minute flight time. With its Quickshot mode, your family and friends can capture and enhance short cinematic videos, and you can share them with them using the DJI Fly app.

Key Features

  • Sensor with a 1/2.3-inch diagonal
  • Images of 12MP
  • 2.7k@30fps video recording
  • Gimbal with three axes
  • Easy cinematic video quick shots
  • Homecoming on autopilot
  • Flight time of 30 minutes
  • The range of control is 4km

6. Holy Stone HS700E

Holy Stone’s HS700E drone is one of its strongest drones, with some impressive features. Besides its solid structure, it has powerful brushless motors that help the drone stay stable even in slightly windy conditions.

One of the main features is the HD camera with electronic image stabilization, which reduces distortion. Video footage can be recorded in 4K and 8MP images are captured, plus you can stream live HD video to your smartphone. A 1km range, intelligent flight modes, and 21 minutes of flight time come with the drone.

Key Features

  • 130° field of view HD camera
  • Images with 8MP
  • 4K video recording
  • Stabilization of electronic images
  • Auto-return to home via GPS
  • Modes of intelligent flight
  • Flight time of 21 minutes
  • Range of transmission of 1k

7. Ruko F11 Pro

There are many advanced features included in this well-built drone. It has a robust structure and has a robust structure.

Despite its bulky design and powerful brushless motors, the drone has good stability during flight and is resistant to high winds. High-quality videos and photos can be captured with the drone’s HD camera, which has a wide-angle view.

The smart flight mode, automatic return home, and 30-minute flight time make it a great choice.

Key Features

  • 120° FOV HD camera
  • Image capture in 4K
  • 25fps recording of 2.9k videos
  • Flight modes with intelligent controls
  • Return home automatically with GPS
  • Flight time of 30 minutes
  • Range of control is 1.2 km

8. Contixo F35

Its large battery makes the Cobtixo F35 a bulky foldable drone. Despite the drone’s long flight time of 30 minutes and two batteries, you’ll never have to worry about the battery charging, since you can extend the flight time without waiting.

Video footage can be recorded in 4K and 8MP still images can be captured using its HD camera. It is stabilized by a 2-axis gimbal. Intelligent flight modes, gesture control modes, and low battery automatic return to home are a few of the advanced features.

Live HD video footage can be transmitted by the drone, and the transmission range is 1.5 km.

Key Features

  • 100° field of view HD camera
  • Image capture in 4K
  • 4K@30fps video recording
  • Gimbal with 2 axes
  • Modes of intelligent flight
  • Flight time of 30 minutes
  • Range of 1.5km

9. Potensic Dreamer 4K

An elegant drone that resembles the DJI Phantom, it has powerful features that make it easy for beginners to operate. The drone features an HD camera with a Sony sensor that captures 8MP images and records 2.7K video footage. GPS technology is part of the drone, as is an automatic return home feature that is triggered as soon as the drone battery runs low. Additionally, the drone has a good flight time, an 800-meter transmission range, and intelligent flight modes.

Key Features

  • Sony sensor HD camera
  • Images with 8MP
  • 2.7K@30fps video recording
  • The use of a damping plate to reduce distortion in images and videos
  • Flight time of 30 minutes
  • Modes of intelligent flight
  • Homecoming on autopilot
  • Reception of two GNSS signals
  • Range of 800 meters

10. Holy Stone HS720E

This Holy Stone drone has some impressive features including a camera capable of recording 4K video footage, something that has never been done before by a Holy Stone drone.

Despite being a toy drone, it has a very premium feel to it, and has a nice foldable design. Video footage can be recorded in 4k at 30 frames per second and very good images can be captured in 10MP resolution.

This toy grade drone has an electronic image stabilization feature that minimizes distortion in video and still photos. Furthermore, the drone has a GPS module and an optical flow sensor, allowing it to fly autonomously.

Key Features

  • 130° field of view HD camera
  • Video recording in 4k@30fps
  • Image resolution of 8MP
  • Gimbal with one axis
  • Stabilization of electronic images
  • Improved flight stability with GPS and optical flow sensors
  • Flight time of 22 minutes
  • Range of control of 900 meters

11. Holy Stone HS710

Featuring a HD camera and GPS-enabled intelligent flight modes, this lightweight drone is the perfect companion.

Video can be captured in 4K and photos can be captured in 8MP. The lens can be adjusted remotely to get better angles. In addition, to follow me mode, waypoint mode, and automatic return home features, there are some advanced features.

The drone comes with a dual GNSS receiver and an optical flow sensor to ensure a more stable flight experience, and it can take off and land for a total of 25 minutes.

Key Features

  • 120° field of view HD camera
  • Images captured at 8MP
  • Captures 4K videos at 15 frames per second
  • Lens that can be adjusted
  • Flying modes that are intelligent
  • Homecoming on autopilot
  • Flight time of 25 minutes
  • Range of 600 meters

12. Ruko U11 Pro

Designed for those who need a drone they can easily travel with, the Ruko U11 Pro is a small and lightweight drone.

Dual GPS receivers are included in the drone, and intelligent flight modes, such as follow me, waypoints and orbit modes, are also available.

Two batteries are included with it, and it has a flight time of about 26 minutes. Real-time video is transmitted in 720p, while images are captured in 4K and videos are recorded in 2k.

Key Features

  • Lens-adjustable HD camera
  • 4K image capture
  • 2K video recording
  • Streaming video in HD
  • GPS with dual satellites
  • Adaptive flight modes
  • There is a 26-minute flight time
  • Range of 500 meters


The topic of drones in this article has come to an end.

Are these drones familiar to you guys? How do you feel about them?

Could you please tell me which drones are the best under 400 dollars?

Would you mind sharing your favorite drone that I did not mention in this article?

Please let me know what you think and what you comment on?

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