National Geographic’s Top Ten Drones for 2017 (Under $100)

//National Geographic’s Top Ten Drones for 2017 (Under $100)

National Geographic’s Top Ten Drones for 2017 (Under $100)

Seems like there is a new top ten being released by every notable publisher. National Geographic’s didn’t want to be left out so they contributed their top drone picks for the novice drone operator in the article “Top 10 Drones for 2017: The Beginner’s List“. While the list has a lot of good choices for first time or novice drone pilots. The focus here is low cost, entry level drones; everything on this list is sub-$100. That’s why you won’t see any of the more expensive DJI drones.

On the market for a great first drone? This ultimate stress-free guide for the drone-obsessed will help you choose a beginner drone and hopefully inspire you to become a superb drone pilot. I have scoured some of the top drone all-around ideas, bringing together a comprehensible list -not in order of preference- of the most recent and interesting gadgets, quadcopters and Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Happy flying.

Top 10 Drones for 2017: The Beginner’s List


Please note, the list is presented in random order. (The order comes from the original article.)

National Geographic Quadcopter Drone, Credit: Amazon

National Geographic Quadcopter Drone

National Geographic Quadcopter Drone ($49.99)

  • Easy to use – With a kid-friendly design (age 14+) and an easy to use remote, our quad drone is great for novice pilots Auto-orientation and 1-button controls allow you to take-off, land and perform 360-degree flips, while built-in speed settings offer maneuverability and control.
  • 30% Longer flights – Premium rechargeable LiPo battery helps drone flies up to 10 minutes on a single charge! Paired with a 6-axis stabilization system and an altitude hold function, you can glide, race and soar through the air while maintaining safe, stable flight.
  • Complete Kit – For no-hassle flights, each drone copter comes with everything you need! You’ll receive a USB charging cable, landing gear and 4 propeller guards as well as 4 spare propeller blades. For added convenience, no FAA registration is required in USA.
  • Lightweight and expertly crafted air drone with advanced technology and a durable design help it resist damage on crash landings, while its 400-foot range provides safe control whether indoors or out.
Syma X8C, Credit: Amazon

Syma X8C

Syma X8C Venture ($66.18)

  • Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) system – The Syma X8C has the Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) function. Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction. By using IOC, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction. This lessens the steepness of the learning curve and allows the pilot to enjoy flight while slowly learning each specific orientation of the quadcopter.
  • 6 Axis Gyroscope: Equipped with the latest 6-axis flight control systems, 3D lock, More scheduled flight, operating more to the force!
  • 2MP HD Camera: Built-in the quadcopter for you to take photos and videos while flying! Have photos from aerial viewpoints while flying the quadcopter!
  • Colorful flashing lights – have fun playing with it during the day or nights with your friends, family, kids, even pets!
    Blade Protector – comes with blade protectors to protect your blades in flight or from wear or minor crashes!
Eachine H8 Mini

Eachine H8

Eachine H8 Mini Quadcopter Drone ($19.99)

  • Headless flight mode
  • One key return to home
  • Awesome 360 degree flips (stunts)
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor flights;
    Dual flight mode (Low 40% and High 100%)
  • LED light for better orientation in low light conditions
  • Very light weight, it has only 20g including the 150mAh battery
  • Play time, around 5-7 minutes.



PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Airplane, Credit: Amazon

PowerUp 3.0

PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane ($49.99)

  • The world’s first remote controlled paper airplane conversion kit has a 180 feet/ 55 meter range and a crash-resistant design
  • Contains Bluetooth Smart Technology controlled by your smartphone
  • Special template paper to ensure easy folding and flying spare, micro USB cable for charging, spare propeller and rudder
  • Control by tilting smartphone or tablet right or left for maneuvering and ascend or descend using the throttle lever
  • Features battery level indicator charging status indicator and range indicators and an Air Traffic Control attribute


UFO 3000 Quadcopter Drone, Credit: Amazon

UFO 3000

UFO 3000 LED Drone ($49.95)

  • Designed with vibrant LEDs all over so that you can fly at night in the dark
  • Light up the night sky with awesome stunts and 360º flips with the push of a button
  • It’s compact design and precision steering will allow you to zip around at high speeds
  • Low/High Speed mode and high visibility makes controlling easy
  • Includes bonus battery to double your flight time; Batteries last 7-9 mins each


Cheerwing CHEER X1 Mini RC Quadcopter, Credit: Amazon

Cheerwing CHEER X1

Cheerwing CHEER X1 ($16.98)

  • This 4-Channel Quadcopter brings a new element to radio control helicopters, and a completely different experience of flying – balance, control, and flips are a refreshing change and new process of learning to fly.
  • With use of the newer 2.4 GHz technology, the quadcopter has the characteristics of longer control distance, strong anti-interference ability, small power consumption, and rapid response.
  • A key 360-degree roll, continuous roll for perfect action and wonderful performance
  • 3D Full flight: Up, Down, Left, Right, Forward, Backward, Leftward flight, Rightward flight.
  • Includes Headless mode, in headless mode the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction. This lessens the steepness of the learning curve and allows the pilot to enjoy flight while slowly learning each specific orientation of the quadcopter.
Sky Viper S1700, Credit: Amazon

Sky Viper S1700

Sky Viper s1700 Stunt Drone ($38.49)

  • This 4th generation s1700 Stunt Drone is agile and fast reaching speeds of up to 20 MPH
  • Features 10 inch blades with guards
  • 8 One-Touch stunts, including; Flips, Barrel Rolls, Spirals, Spins & more
  • State of the art Viper Flight+ technology – AUTO FLIGHT (Auto Launch, Auto Hover, Auto Land)
  • No FAA Registration required



Holy Stone Predator HS170, Credit: Amazon

Holy Stone Predator HS170

Holy Stone HS170 Predator ($39.99)

  • Headless flight mode enables any level of pilot to fly the drone easily.
  • 2.4 GHz Technology Adopted for Anti-Interference
  • More Stable and Flexible with 6-Axis Gyro Stablization System
  • Good Performance of Wind-Resistant Control Range: About 30-50 Meters
  • Features about 6-8 minutes of flight time per charge




Hubsan X4, Credit: Amazon

Hubsan X4

Hubsan X4 ($34.99)

  • 6-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity
  • 2.4 GHZ Transmitter with LCD screen , Lightweight airframe with nice durability
  • Equipped with LED Lights and Comes with Blade Protection Guard
  • Directional Control (Left, Right, Forward, Backward, Sideways left, Sideways Right)
  • Flight Mode: Normal and Expert Mode



YANNI U845, Credit: Amazon


YANNI U845 WiFi FPV Drone with HD Camera ($83.99)

  • Gravity induction mode, allows you to fly the drone forward/backward/left/right in correspondence to the angle of the mobile phone.APP functional experience: APP enjoy great interface design, real-time preview of the shooting screen, can quickly edit video parameters, humane select the video picture storage location.
  • Headless mode makes easier flight. Once the fuselage direction can not be recognized, it can enter headless mode so as to continue the flight.
  • 720P HD FPV WiFI RC Quadcopter, ensure you can experience the First-Person View (FPV) and create an immersive RC experience.
  • 2.4 GHz High performance Quadcopter,operating without any delay, single drone with single frequency,multiplayers is available.
  • 2 pcs Batteries Included, double your flying time! It can be swapped or charged in place easily via USB with your power bank or car charger!

Once you’ve picked out and purchased your brand new drone, the next step is drone training. Learn the skills you need to safely and legally operate your drone in your locality. We offer FAA Part 107 training and specialized commercial training for aerial photography and GIS/mapping. Let Drone Universities teach you the skills you need.

By |2017-08-31T15:23:33+00:00April 21st, 2017|Drones|Comments Off on National Geographic’s Top Ten Drones for 2017 (Under $100)

About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at