Best Drones Under 250g (0.55lbs): Top 10 in 2021

Best Drone Under 250grams (Top5))

In most countries, there is a weight limit for drones that require registration. For example, the US FAA considers drones under 250g (.55 pounds) just toys and you are free to use them for recreational flying without enrollment. Canada also has a different set of laws for drones under 250 grams.

Without any doubt, the DJI Mavic Mini is currently the most versatile drone under 250 grams. At $399, there’s not a better value on the market. It packs an impressive set of features in a drone that has the size of a smartphone. You get a three-axis stabilized camera, creative Quick Shot modes and excellent battery life. For the Japanese market, they have an even lighter version, which weighs just 199 grams. BTW, I just read that during Amazon Prime Day you can get the Fly More Combo pack for the price of the basic edition.

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Unfortunately, the weight limit also brings certain constraints. For example, there is no drone under 250g with an advanced obstacle avoidance system. Also, these lightweight drones have poor wind resistance.

If you are looking for the best drone under 250g that you can buy in 2020, check the list below.

What are the top 10 drones under 250 grams right now?

Model name Battery life Range Camera Price
DJI Mini 2 31 minutes 6KM/10KM 4K $449, Buy from DJI
Autel EVO Nano 30 minutes 10KM 4K N/A
FIMI MINI Pro 31 minutes 8KM 4K $449, Order from BG
Mavic Mini 30 minutes 2KM/4KM 2.7K $399, Order from DJI
ZLRC SG108 25 minutes 1KM 4K $99
Hubsan Zino Mini Pro 40 minutes 10KM 4K $459
Betafpv Beta95X V2 FPV drone 4-10 minutes NA FPV $180
Flywoo Explorer LR GPS FPV drone 5-15 minutes NA FPV $139
SHRC HR H3 Mini GPS drone 18 minutes 500 meters 4K $85
JJRX X16 25 minutes 500 meters 6K $84
Holy Stone RC HS510 16 minutes 800 meters 4K $140
JDRC JD-22S ultralight GPS drone 16 minutes 300 meters 4K $99
MJX Bugs 19 Mini 20 minutes 800 meters 4K $200

Editor’s pick from best drones under 250g

Now, let’s have a closer look at five of the best drones under a quarter of a kg. Most of them were already reviewed in detail on FirstQuadcopter.

1. DJI Mavic Mini – The true king under 250g

Weight: 249g | Camera: 2.7K with 3-axis gimbal | FPV: WiFi | Flight time: Up to 30 minutes | Features: GPS and Quick Shots | Range: 4Km – FCC or 2KM – CE | Package: RTF

It costs twice more than others on the list, but as I previously mentioned it’s pure value for the price, and weighing just 249 grams can avoid drone registration laws across the world.

Mavic Mini King of drones under 250g

In addition to the excellent battery life (up to 30 minutes), DJI’s smallest drone has the best flight range in its weight category. While FCC (US market) version has up to 4KM range, the CE (Europe) edition up to 2KM.

The Mavic Mini shoots 1080p (FHD) video at up to 60fps and super crisp 2.7K at up to 30fps with a max bitrate of 40Mbps. It has four Quick Shot modes (Dronie, Rocket, Circle, and Helix) which allow us to capture some truly creative footage.

Hope that the new Mavic Mini 2 will come with ActiveTrack, manual exposure settings, and even a frontal obstacle avoidance sensor.

2. ZLRC SG108 – Best drone under 250g for less than $100

Weight: 242g | Camera: 4K | FPV: 5Ghz WiFi | Flight time: Up to 25 minutes | Features: GPS, RTH, Follow me, Waypoint, and Surround | Range: 1KM | Package: RTF

Our second favorite drone in the 250g category is the ZLRC SG108. For its friendly price tag, it comes with tons of great features. It has reliable brushless motors, GPS positioning, an Optical flow sensor (OFP), and a decent flight range. Thanks to the fail-safe RTH function, the drone will return autonomously to the take-off point in case of low battery or RC signal loss.

ZLRC SG108 best drone under 250g for $100

According to the specs, the ZLRC SG108‘s 7.6V/2200 mAh battery allows up to 25 minutes of play-time. The LIPO pack can be conveniently recharged with the included micro USB cable.

3. Eachine EX5 – Best Mavic Clone

Weight: 229g | Camera: 4K EIS | FPV: 5Ghz WiFi | Flight time: Up to 30 minutes | Features: GPS+GLONASS, Follow me, Waypoint, and Surround | Range: 1KM | Package: RTF

Many sources agree that the Eachine EX5 is one of the Mavic Mini clones. It features a similar weight and folding design. Furthermore, it comes with a 4K camera, long battery life of 30 minutes, and WiFi real-time video transmission.

Eachine EX5 best Mavic Mini Clone

Unfortunately, it lacks a 3-axis gimbal for stabilizing the camera and on-board recording. However, it comes with electronic stabilization (EIS) which in some cases can be almost as good as mechanical stabilization.

4. Betafpv Beta95X – FPV drone under 250g

Weight: 99g (without battery) | Camera: BETAFPV EOS V2 | FPV: 5G analog | Flight time: 4-10 minutes | Features: Insta360 GO compatible | Range: NA | Package: PNP and BNF

We couldn’t create a list of best drones under 250g without including a FPV drone. The second-generation Betafpv Beta95X was specially designed to carry the ultra-light Insta360 GO camera.

Betafpv Beta95X best FPV drone under 250g

The Beta95X drone features Whoop style design with inverted motors. It can be powered by 4S LIPO batteries. According to Betafpv with a 450mAh pack, you can have about 4minutes of fun time. Beta95X is offered in a bundle with Futaba, FrSky, or TB Crossfire radio receiver.

5. JJRC X16 – Cheapest drone under 250g

Weight: 197g | Camera: 6K | FPV: 5Ghz WiFi | Flight time: Up to 25 minutes | Features: GPS, RTH, Follow me, Waypoint, and Surround | Range: 500 meters | Package: RTF

Lastly, let’s have a closer look at the cheapest brushless GPS enabled drone under 250 grams. As you could read in our JJRC X16 review, this tiny foldable drone has about 20 minutes of flight time and up to 500 meters of control range.

JJRC X16 Cheapest Drone Under 250g

Its 6K camera provides disappointingly poor quality. It does not even have an onboard recording. The footage is captured from the real-time WiFi video feed and stored on your mobile device. Also, it doesn’t have any kind of video stabilization (EIS nor Mechanical).

6. Xiaomi FIMI X8 MINI – Best DJI MINI 2 alternative

Weight: 245g | Camera: 4K | FPV: TDMA | Flight time: Up to 31 minutes | Features: GPS, RTH, Follow me, Precision landing, Waypoint, and Surround | Range: 8000 meters | Package: RTF

2021 brings a new highly capable sub-250g class drone from Xiaomi. The FIMI MINI comes with two weight options. ‘Pro’ edition has 245 grams and ‘Standard’ version 258g. The only difference between them is the battery type that powers the drone.

Photo of FIMI X8 MINI Pro

The FIMI X8 MINI has an impressive up to 8KM control range and about 30-31 minutes of battery life. Its HDR UHD camera is capable to record 4K videos with 30 frames per second.

7. Hubsan Zino Mini Pro – First drone under 250gr with obstacle avoidance sensors

Weight: 249g | Camera: 4K | FPV: Syncleas 3.0 | Flight time: Up to 40 minutes | Features: Active Track Follow me & Obstalce avoidance system | Range: 10KM | Package: RTF

The Hubsan ZINO MINI Pro has announced on April 2021 and it is the first 250g-class drone with an advanced 3D collision avoidance system. Adopting Syncleas 3.0 communication it has a control range of up to 10Km (6.2 miles). The real-time video transmission has a resolution of 1920×1080@30fps with 20Mbps.

Hubsan Zino Mini Pro

Hubsan claims that the Zino Mini Pro has an advanced Tracking System and a flight time of 40 minutes (while its rivals do not exceed 31 declared).

8. MJX Bugs 19 Mini

Weight: 249g | Camera: 4K EIS | FPV: WiFI | Flight time: Up to 20 minutes | Features: RTH & Inteligent flight modes | Range: 800 meters| Package: RTF

MJX Bugs 19 MINI

9. Autel EVO Nano series

Weight: 249g | Camera: 4K | FPV: Proprietary | Flight time: Up to 30 minutes | Features: RTH, Intelligent flight modes & Obstacle avoidance sensors | Range: 10KM | Package: RTF

The EVO Nano+ is the newest entry of our ‘Best drones under 250 grams’ list. Autel announced this new ultra-light model in September 2021 and it comes with an amazing set of features. Its 4K camera has a 1/1.28-inch CMOS sensor capable of 50 MP photos. A RYYB color filter array design with a large aperture of f/1.9 offers superior noise reduction capabilities and the power to effortlessly produce quality images in low-light conditions.

Autel EVO Nano seris

Fly farther while maintaining crisp, clear visuals with Autel SkyLink communication which offers a transmission range of 6.2 miles (10KM), transmission quality of 2.7K@30FPS, and superior anti-interference capabilities, all while relaying stunning HD video.

Similar to the Hubsan Zino Mini Pro, the EVO Nano series is the first and only aircraft series of its size to offer an advanced obstacle avoidance system — making it the obvious choice for users looking to avoid crashes and preserve the life of their aircraft. With three-way, binocular vision sensors that enable the drone to perceive obstructions in front of it, behind it, and below it, the Nano+ can easily brake to avoid collisions.

Last updated on September 28, 2021

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86 COMMENTS

    • The simple answer is to comply with the latest version of CAA’s CAP722 https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722%20Edition8(p).pdf
      A rather long document but if you search through for 250g or C0 it will give you a feel. There are few restrictions on sub 250gm quads, apart from no-go areas, but as it has a camera it must be registered, a simple process, and flown so that you don’t put anyone or property at risk or be considered to be invading privacy.

      Don’t be overwhelmed by CAP722’s 238 pages as much of it will not be relevant to you. Note though, that this area is under constant revision. There are some useful Youtube channels that will take you through the basics eg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4xWX0cloJk&t=7s but note: this is 7 months old now.

  1. Flight performance-wise, drones under 250g are behind larger drones. They can’t fight with wind gusts. It would help if you considered this aspect when you are looking for an ultra-light drone.

  2. Question if the FAA only allows drones under .55lbs to go 400 ft in altitude. Why are the drones able to go much higher? My DJI MINI 2 can go up to 1640 ft!

  3. In Canada, sub 250 drones basically have the “don’t be stupid” rule and don’t require registration or an operator’s license. It is your responsibility to fly in safe places.

  4. Hello, I am interested in drones. I’ve seen lots of DJI drones in the sky but I don’t have the budget for them. I am planning to buy one under 250g for a beginner like me. Any suggestions or recommendations? Something around 200-300€

    Thank you in advance.

  5. I recently got my first sub-250g class drone, a JJRC X16. Has anyone had experience with it? Good bad anything? What legal rules do I need to follow?

    • safe or legal?
      safe: in no wind, you can fly till you have signal
      legal: depending on your local rules\legislations, but in most countries 120 meters is the highest limit

  6. In the US, if you do have a part 107, you can fly over people if the drone is less than 0.55lbs including prop guards. Unfortunately, there are only few drones that fit that criteria.

  7. What will be the best Cinewoop drone to start with, ready to go under 250g?.
    I’m planning to use it with a Go2 camera on top

  8. According to EU laws, there is no big difference between 248g with a camera and 254g with a camera. Both need to be registered in the same way.

    • Not necessarily, the following has been copied from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) website.

      Do I need to register my drone?
      Answer

      Unless they are certified, drones do not need to be registered, but you, as a drone operator/owner, must register yourself. You do so with the National Aviation Authority of the EU country you residence in. (https://www.easa.europa.eu/domains/civil-drones/naa)

      You register once, independently of how many drones you have operating in the ’open’ or the ’specific’ category. Your registration will be valid for a period defined by your National Aviation Authority, after which you need to renew it.

      However, you do not need to register yourself if your drone(s):

      1. weighs less than 250g and has no camera or other sensor able to detect personal data; or
      2. even with a camera or other sensor, weighs less than 250g, but is a toy (this means that its documentation shows that it complies with ‘toy’ Directive 2009/48/EC);

  9. What happens if you put a 10g night strobe on a 249g drone? You will need to register it??? or it is important the weight of the drone itself.

  10. The biggest problem with sub 250g drones is the poor wind resistance. They can be used only indoor or in calm days. This is the compromise you need to do if you want to avoid aircraft registration.

  11. Just got my first drone over 250g. Now I have to get some certification in order to fly legally… Any suggestions on how to study for the FAA part 107 test?
    Thanks!

  12. The upcoming FIMI MINI looks like a DJI Mini 2 copycat. It will be also sub 250 grams and much cheaper. I started to love 2021 :)

  13. Hi guys!
    Someone could share the new EU regulation for drones under 250 grams. We are still allowed to use them without registration?

    • If a drone under 250 grams has a camera, you also need to register. Your ID number you stick to all the drones you own. But you don’t need a pilot license (certificate)
      Silly privacy rule. Do we need to register zoom cameras also?

      • Interesting.. if I throw my handycam in the air do I need to register it? :P what if it has less than 250g?

        • Good one, but there is a serious point here. Anything launched into the air can be dangerous, even lethal, in certain conditions, even your ‘handycam’. If there is an accident, you are liable.
          However, the UK CAA definition is: ‘unmanned aircraft’ means any aircraft operating or designed to operate autonomously or to be piloted remotely without a pilot on board; ‘aircraft’ means any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air other than reactions of the air against the earth’s surface;

  14. Just got a very confusing email from CAA:
    Previously, if you flew drones under 250g then you didn’t need to register as an operator. Under the new rules from 31 December 2020 if your drone is under 250g and has a camera then you will need to register as an operator and renew this annually. The only exception to this is for drones which are toys. The law doesn’t require you to also obtain a flyer ID but we strongly recommend that you do. It is free and gives you an overview of the rules to keep your flying safe and legal.
    You can register and gain a flyer ID at Register-drones.caa.co.uk

    So, do I need to register my sub 250g drone or not?

  15. I’m a newbie thinking of buying my first sub 250g drone. Would a Mavic Mini a good drone to learn with? Or should I just get a “cheaper than $50” toy?

    • Hi,
      I did that exactly. Bought a DJI Mini 2 combo a couple of months back, but did not yet try it. instead, bought a cheap Eachine E88, which hit already some tree branches. :-) Now still considering buying a ZLRC SG108 or an Eachine EX5 to gain more confidence, before trying the DJI.
      But maybe I am being too cautious, and should instead look for a free wider area to try it…
      Good luck

  16. I’ve read that it is legal to fly over national and state parks with drones under 250g if you take off and land from outside the park. Is this correct or is it still illegal? Newbie from Detroit, Michigan.

  17. For those that say the FAA isn’t doing anything in the US. FAA fines Philadelphia YouTuber with $184,500! Even your drone is under 250 grams you need to follow FAA rules regarding flight restrictions.

    • Even lightweight drones as the Mavic Mini can produce serious injuries/damages in case of o an unhappy accident (whatever caused by hardware failure or pilot error).
      If you fly only in nature, without the risk to make any damages, the insurance still could cover the repair or replace if something bad happens with your drone.

  18. What’s the lightest drone I can buy that can live stream to Facebook? I’m looking for something under 250g I can quickly get in the air without FAA registration.

  19. My favorite one, is the Holy Stone HS510. Considering it only weighs 245g and does not require registration, it is much more than I was anticipating. And Yes, it has all the good stuff: brushless motors, GPS and 4K camera.

  20. I’m looking to get Into drones. Could someone recommend a good place to start? Maybe a good beginner drone under 250g that won’t cost me more than my ex-girlfriend

    • :)) you are funny! The first generation Mavic MINI is an excellent GPS drone, and probably during DJI’s Black Friday sales will have a promotional price!

    • Grab a Tello to learn to fly. Not only will they get to enjoy flying with a reasonably good drone for the money (5mp cam and video), but they under 250grams so no FAA registration required

  21. Hey folks, I just purchased DJI Mini 2. Where can I fly it legally in UK? As its under 250g what I should know about flying in big cities (I am a videographer and do weddings)?

  22. Looking for a sub 250g “travel drone”. Must take excellent quality videos and have a case that’s small enough to fit in carry-on luggage. And at least 3 batteries!

    Anything better than the upcoming DJI MINI 2?

    • Under 250g, you can’t find a better drone than the new MINI 2! It has 4K recording and lots of other cool features. Go with the “Fly More Combo” pack, it has 3 batteries and a nice case. exactly like you need.

  23. In Europe, starting with 01.01.2021, drones under 250g (including the Mavic Mini), don’t need an exam or the registration of the operator!

  24. I’m a newbie at this and I could use a recommendation. I’m looking to purchase a drone for a young man who loves to have fun with entry-level drones. I’m looking for something in the $250-$400 range that has a good camera and weighs less than 250g

    Any suggestions?

  25. Despite that drones under 250 grams doesn’t have to be registered or licensed in most countries for personal use, you still have to follow all the rules when flying that you would have to if it was registered and licensed and a heavier drone. Many people think that because it’s not registered you basically can fly it anywhere which is not true!

  26. I just saw some leaked images of the Mini 2. It looks to have rear obstacle avoidance sensors and a different kind of battery with a top power button. Hope to be still under 250 grams…

  27. Hey folks, I need your advice. I’m looking to buy a Cinematic FPV drone with a weight under 250g. I found 3 potential quads:
    • iFlight iH2 HD
    • BetaFPV 95x V2 HD
    • Flywoo Explorer LR

    Thanks for your help!

    • BetaFPV 95x with Naked GoPro 8. Best CineWhoop under 250g. I suggest using Betaflight 4.2.3. I can send you my optimized PID tuning if you want.

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