There was a time when we were impressed by being able to remotely pilot cars and boats, and while remote controlled flight followed shortly after it cannot be denied that RC planes were extremely costly to purchase and maintain, and required some significant discipline to pilot. But modern innovations in materials and wireless technologies have found a way to decrease the costs and increase the capability of would-be pilots by introducing drones. Typically constructed of light (but durable) materials, drones are very similar to helicopters except that they are lifted into the air by utilizing not one, but four rotating blades. They can be outfitted with cameras for capturing video and still images from above at higher altitudes, and are even capable of being programmed to fly autonomously. This feature, in particular, is quickly gaining drones prestige with online companies like Amazon who are seeking to use them as a new method of delivering parcels. This article will take a look at three affordable drone models available today so that you appease your inner “dronie” by taking to the skies with the best drone under $400. Without further adieu, let’s jump right into our list of the best drone under 400!
A light-weight and easy-to-use model of quadcopter by Antix, this unit is stockpiled with features that make it a truly intriguing specimen capable of tackling a variety of tasks. For new or uneasy pilots it features a built-in flight control system to help improve stability while in the air. You can take advantage of the auto-return home feature to bring the unit back to you if you lose track of its high-intensity LEDs, which is quite possible considering that it can travel up to 500-meters at a rate of 20-meters per second. Cast aside the worry of crashing your drone and let the auto-landing feature help you to bring the unit back to earth safely until you have fully grasped the technique. The rechargeable battery on this quadcopter offers 20 minutes of flight time on a single charge, and a low battery alarm will help you to keep track of when to give it more juice. This model of drone does include a mount that can hold a GoPro camera (HERO 3+, HERO4, or HERO4 Session) in order to capture video and still images, and the GPS locator will let the drone position itself for the perfect angle. Click here to view this drone on Amazon
If you are looking for a drone built specifically for speed, then the Eachine Racer 250 is definitely going to be right up your alley. This futuristic looking drone is constructed using high-carbon fiber materials in order to complement its boasted anti-drop capabilities. This drone will maintain a 10-14 minute flight time on a single charge, and relies on Eachine’s 2.4G transmitter, each with their own unique ID, in order to allow you to control the unit up to 300-meters without worrying about the unit picking up another signal. The real stand-out point of this unit is the fact that it has an integrated high definition camera that produces up to 1000 television lines resolution during the day or night. The picture is streamed live (there is no data storage or recording) to a 7-inch LCD screen built directly into the remote unit, which can make it a little heavy. The screen can also display the drones battery voltage, flight time, and current transmission channel. This drone also features a 3-watt white LED headlight and a taillight LED that can be customized to any one of several colors. Click here to view this drone on Amazon
DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter for GoPro (The Best Drone Under 400)
So we may have fudged the numbers a little on this particular drone, and while it may not be under $400 exactly it is very close to that price and well worth every extra dollar. The DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drones are pre-tuned in the factory and come ready to go right out of the box with minimal effort. It comes with an advanced GPS positioning system that will not only keep the unit steady in light winds, but it also has a fail-safe that can be set so that the unit returns to its take-off position and lands itself if it ever loses its connection to the transmitter. This drone can be controlled up to 300-meter and the rechargeable battery will provide continuous flight up to 15 minutes. The Phantom Aerial UAV can be flown on its own, or it can add a camera by relying on the units GoPro camera mount (compatible with Hero2, Hero3, and Hero3+ models) allowing you to record at high altitudes. You can also utilize DJI’s Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) to achieve a perfect shot, allowing the drone to keep its nose aimed at a set point and still move without changing its orientation. Putting it simply, you can point a camera at the home point with one mode and circle around it or move closer or further away from it without taking the camera moving off target. This drone definitely earns it’s spot as the best drone under $400, and is our personal favorites here at shoponless! Click here to view this drone on Amazon.
If you are just looking for a drone to race with, then the Eachine Racer 250 FPV Quadcopter Drone is going to meet all your demands. It is fast, it has some added durability to keep it together after a crash, has a multi-channel transmission that won’t get confused by other remotes, and the integrated camera and 7-inch monitor will stream all the video from the unit offering you a first person view. But this unit won’t record, and it has a limited battery life. Both the Antix GPS Enabled Professional Quadcopter Drone and the DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone can have a GoPro mounted to them; both offer great range and battery life for prolonged flight and have some measure of autonomy. But the DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone takes the position of the best drone under $400 (despite costing a little bit more) for its Intelligent Orientation Control, which will help keep the camera on target while you move the drone around it, encouraging a whole other level of recording possibilities.
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