Quadcopters are one of my favorite toys. The way they flip and speed through the air in graceful displays of ballet. Unfortunately I also crash them way too often.
Since I keep breaking them and because I love trying out new models, I've listed here the expected pricing ranges of a new quadcopter based on its functionality and what you get for that price bracket.
Like the quadcopters reviewed in our article about quadcopters costing less than $100 here, most of the quadcopters in this range are quite low end. I expect the majority of these drones will be smallish builds, not particularly strong motors, around 10 minutes of flight time and potentially a low-end camera or no camera at all. Pure entry level fun, but no real applications outside of indoor tricks.
Quadcopters costing $200 or less are pretty decent hobby drones. These drones allow you to generally do decent amounts of flying around 20 minutes, can be larger in size or better quality motors, and generally pack a decent camera (2MP being definitely low end). Over and above this, at this price point you are getting a quadcopter that can be flown outdoors and is expected to last, this is the level where most trick enthusiasts will likely play.
At this price range of $500, you are getting into the world of quadcopters for a function/purpose. These quadcopters are getting into the range of drone racing due to better quality motors, video and support for FPV, into the world of aerial photography due to GPSs and more complex controllers, although the quality of the video is still not sufficient for high-end photography, and some other multi-rotor variants such as hexacopters and octocopters.
Now we are talking of the world of high end imagery like the DJI Phantoms, high end drone racers and special purpose autonomous flyers such as Freefly Systems ALTA UAV for ~$12k. Due to the customisation options available for drones, you can end up spending any amount of cash you have lying around. These are mostly drones, quadcopters kitted out for your particular application and more for professional photographers or hobbyists looking for specific applications like crop dusting. I would be surprised to see much production in this range for a high-end drone racer at this stage.
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How much does it cost to build a quadcopter
Hexacopters vs Quadcopters
Types of drones
The 9 best quadcopters for under $100
Build your own quadcopter frame
5 of the best quadcopters for under $200
Do you want to crash your quadcopter? Yes/No? Simulate it with one of these 7.