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.
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 2021, 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 X8 MINI||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|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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 December 12, 2021
Looking to buy a 250g class drone for my father. Have around $150 to spend on it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Looking for the best sub-250g freestyle FPV quad recommendations. Thanks!
You should check the GEPRC Baby Croc 4″ and Diatone Roma F4. The Armattan Gecko 3″ and Happymodel CRUX35 are also great options in the sub-250g class
DJI plan to launch the Mini 3 Pro this April 2022. It will the best drone under 250g for sure!
The DJI Mini3 will be the direct competitor of the Autel Nano+ and Hubsan Zino MINI Pro.
Hi all! Looking a getting the DJI Mini 2. What’s everyone think? There is any better option under 250g?
Yes, the MINI 2 is a great option, also the FIMI MINI but not the Zino MINI Pro! If you can wait the Autel Nano+ could be the best in 2022
There is any drone under 250 grams that can lift a GoPro or similar action camera?
However, some of them should be able to take off with 100-150 grams extra weight. Remember that this would overstress the motors and battery.
I want a get an affordable drone under 250g with a good camera and quality… Which do you recommend… DJI Mini 2, Fimi Mini, or Hubsan Zino mini Pro?
I think currently the DJI MINI 2 is the best option to consider under 250 grams. The Autel EVO Nano+ will also be a great option in 2022
What are the FAA criteria for night flights with drones under 250g?
Is the drone over 250 grams difficult to do FAA register in the US?
What are the legal requirements for flying a DJI Mini 2 (249g drone) in the UK?
Best to ask your authorities, rules can be changed from day to day!
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.
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.
Yes, most 250g-class drones have level 3-4 wind rating.
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!
It is similar to your car. You can’t drive at top speed in a City…
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.
So there is any difference in the law regarding flying INDOORS with drones under or above 250g?
This is a joke? As I know there is no law about what you can fly in your living room.
the neighbors sort of told on me when I landed a 747 in my back yard they said it was scaring the chickens they had
Under 0.55lbs, Mini 2 all day long!!!
Any drone under 250grams with an infrared night vision camera? I need one for night wildlife videos.
Hubsan will have a version of the Zino Mini Pro with a thermal camera
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.
In this budget, you get a used Mavic Mini 1, or you can add some extra money and buy the FIMI MINI Pro.
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?￼
The MJX Bugs 19 Mini is nice entry!
What’s the highest legal height you’ve taken your sub-250g drone to safely and got it back?
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
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.
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
In Canada, the maximum legal flying weight is 250grams. Over this, you need a special license.
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?
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);
The FIMI MINI is a great entry on the 250g class drones!
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.
As I know FAA takes into consideration the total take-off of your drone. So this will be 249+10=259 grams!!!!
CAA uses the term ‘flying weight’, so in UK, your 10gms puts your ‘flying weight’ over 250gms.
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.
I think a 5$/3years registration fee for a drone over 250 grams is not a big deal…
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?
Best drone for newbies under 250grams that is not DJI?
Any sub 250g FPV quad for long-range?
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 :)
Someone could share the new EU regulation for drones under 250 grams. We are still allowed to use them without registration?
You should find here the details you look for: https://www.easa.europa.eu/
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;
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?
UK drones under 250g now need a drone license from 30 Dec 2020!
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?
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…
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.
How many of you have got 107 and it is just a recreational flyer with a drone under 250g. Is it worth it?
For my first drone think I’m gonna go cheaper than a DJI. Any recommendations under 0.55lbs with a decent FHD camera?
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.
Europe also working on a new drone weigh regulation. In the future, 249g is going to be the best solution.
Insurance us required for drones under 250g like the DJI Mini 2?
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.
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.
What is the best DJI or another brand drone under 250g? Don’t worry about the price…
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.
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
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)?
it’s usually not allowed to fly in cities without some sort of license I think
What do you recommend for a first drone? I don’t want to register it. So it must be under 250g.
Depend on how much you are willing to spend. In the $500 price tag, the DJI Mini2 is the best drone under $250
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.
Just got me my Mavic Mini. Can’t wait to try it out.
Goodbye Holy Stone and JJRC x16
My boy wants a racing drone. Any suggestions for a first racing quad with FPV under 250grams?
The is a great Betafpv Beta95X FPV quad for newbies. It weighs less than 250g with battery
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!
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
What would be a good “learning” drone under 250g for a ten-year-old child?
a balsa wood rubber band powered plane
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!
Good to know that every drone that weighs more than 250g (0.55lbs) need FAA registration
What about 107 certifications. It is needed for these sub 250g drones?
Anyone know of a good cheap 4K drone to buy without FAA registration?
in the UK is legal to use these sub .55 pound drones?
Hi Oliver, you should check here https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft-and-drones/ the UK rules for drones under 250g
Any drone weighing more than 250 grams must be registered in the UK with the CAA by completing an online safety test. After this, you will obtain a Flyer ID and an Operator ID that should be attached to your aircraft!!!
Yes, there is no better drone than the MM under 250grams!
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…
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.