It can be frustrating to see DJI drones recommended everywhere, so you might ask yourself if there are drones out there that are better than DJI for their price.
As a long-term reviewer of all sorts of drones, I made a list of alternatives for DJI drones that can cover every need you might have and can have benefits compared to the drones the DJI tech giant commercializes.
Here are the drones that can be better for you than DJI:
|Drone||Image||Price||Footage Score||Battery life||FPV Range||Video Res||Photo Res||MP||Bitrate||RAW photo||HDR Photo||HDR Vid||Aperture||D-log||Sensor Size||Live Feed||Gimbal||Max Speed||Max Wind||Temperature||GPS||Max Altitude||Return Home||Obstacle avoidance||Optical flow sensors||Follow me||Under 250 g||Weight||Zoom||EIS|
|DJI Mini 2||Check Price||9||31 min||10 km||4k||4k||12mp||100 Mbps||yes||no||no||f/2.8||no||1/2.3”||720p||3 axis||16 m/s||10.5 m/s (Level 5)||0° to 40°C||GPS GLONASS GALILEO||4km||yes||no||yes||yes||yes||242g||2x||no|
|Mavic Air 2||Check Price||9||34 min||10 km||4k 60p||8k||48mp||120 Mbps||yes||yes||no||f/2.8||yes||1/2"||1080p||3 axis||19 m/s||10.5 m/s (Level 5)||-10° to 40°C||GPS GLONASS||5km||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||570g||2x||no|
|DJI Air 2s||Check Price||10||31 min||12 km||5.4k/ 4k 60p||8k||20mp||150 Mbps||yes||yes||no||f/2.8||yes||1”||1080p||3 axis||19 m/s||10.7 m/s (Level 5)||0° to 40°C||GPS GLONASS GALILEO||5km||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||595g||4x||no|
|Zino Mini pro||Check Price||9||40 min||10 km||4k||8k||200Mbps||yes||yes||no||f/1.85||1/1.3”||1080p||3 axis||16 m/s||10.5 m/s (Level 5)||-10° to 60°C||GPS GLONASS||4km||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||249g||6x||no|
|Autel Evo 2||Check Price||10||40 min||9 km||6k/8k||8k||120Mbps||yes||yes||no||f/1.8||yes||1”||1080p||3 axis||20 m/s||17m/s (Level 8)||-10° to 40°C||GPS GLONASS||7km||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||1150g||8x||no|
|Powervision power egg X||Check Price||9||30 min||6 km||4k 60p||4k||12MP||76 mbps||yes||no||no||f/1.80||1/2.8”||1080p||3 axis||18 m/s||10.5 m/s (Level 5)||0° to 40°C||GPS GLONASS||4km||yes||no||yes||yes||no||861g||no|
|Parrot Anafi||Check Price||9||25 min||4 km||4k||5k||21MP||100 Mbps||yes||yes||yes||f/2.4||1/2.4’’||720p||2 axis||14 m/s||-10° to 40°C||GPS GLONASS||4.5km||yes||no||yes||yes||no||320g||3x||yes|
|Xiaomi Fimi X8||Check Price||9||33 min||5 km||4k||4k||12MP||100 Mbps||f/2.2||1/2.3”||720p||3 axis||18 m/s||0° to 40°C||GPS GLONASS||4km||yes||no||yes||yes||no||790g||no|
|Tello||Check Price||6||12 min||0.1km||720p||4k||5MP||720p||none||8 m/s||no||0.1km||no||yes||yes||80g||yes|
|SJRC F11 4k Pro||Check Price||8||26 min||1.2 km||4k||4k||12MP||no||no||no||720p||3 axis||GPS GLONASS||yes||no||yes||yes||no||565g||yes|
|Skydio 2||Check Price||9||23 min||3.5 km||4k 60p||4k||12MP||100 Mbps||yes||yes||yes||f/2.8||no||1/2.3”||720p||3 axis||16 m/s||11.1 m/s (Level 5)||-5°C to 40°C||GPS GLONASS||yes||yes||yes||yes||no||775g||no|
Here's a quick pick for my top choices if you're in a hurry and want the best camera drones that aren't DJI.
If you're curious what actual companies can compete on a similar level with DJI, only a few stand out from the crowd.
DJI's biggest competitors are the companies Autel, Yuneec, Parrot, and recently Hubsan, who are getting into the world of professional drones and creating drones with very similar technology to DJI.
DJI stands at the forefront of drone innovation, and most other companies are copying major aspects of the newer technology DJI comes with.
Let's have a look at the best DJI drone alternatives and what each of their purposes is. Of course, not all are necessarily better than DJI, but they can all be considered at least equals.
The DJI Mini 2 is an outstanding drone, so it's pretty tricky to find something even better which weighs less than 250 grams, but now there is hope.
The best DJI Mini 2 alternative is the Hubsan Zino Mini Pro, a drone that weighs under 250 grams, comes with a 3 axis gimbal and "follow me" option. In addition, it improves on the Mini 2 by adding forward sensors and a 40 min battery.
It goes head to head with all of the DJI's Mini 2 specs and beats it most, including battery life, larger sensor sizes (1/1.3" vs. 1/2.3"), and improved bitrate.
This, in theory, translates to better images during low light and a better overall image. You can check a video on youtube with more details about this drone.
I have also compared the DJI Mini 2 vs. the Zino Mini Pro in another article.
The Mavic 2 Pro is a legendary drone that was the first of its kind to have a 1-inch sensor in a foldable drone, so what is its best non-DJI alternative?
The best Mavic 2 Pro alternative is the Autel Evo 2 drone that comes with more battery life (40 min vs. 31 min), a more solid build, and a zoom camera option without the sensor size compromise.
The Autel Evo 2, while bulkier than its competitor, is still a very slim foldable drone by most standards, yet it flies with extreme precision and utilizes sensors in multiple directions, just like the Mavic 2 for obstacle avoidance and precise landing.
The high resolutions and built-in zoom function allow some of the benefits of the Mavic 2 Zoom without getting closer to the subject.
The camera is also exemplary, and the colors are true to life, being able to shoot 10 bit HDR, and most packages come with a multitude of accessories included.
Autel is one of the few companies that can go head to head regarding image quality versus DJI.
If you're looking for a decent camera drone as a hobbyist but consider DJI isn't in your budget, what would be the best cheap DJI Alternative?
The SJRC F11 4k PRO is the best cheap DJI camera drone alternative that's foldable, comes with a 3 axis gimbal, GPS and is marketed towards people on a lower budget who still want a great camera drone.
In my experience testing it alongside many other similarly priced quadcopters, I have to admit there aren't many that can compete with it for this budget. The gimbal is relatively steady, the video quality is decent, and all that comes in a compact package with robust and durable brushless motors.
The SJRC F11 4k is a perfect non-DJI drone for beginners who want to experience flight and don't need highly excellent image quality (but still consider image stabilization necessary).
It's no secret that DJI hasn't produced any waterproof drone so far, so it's quite easy to find a competitor who does that.
The PowerVision PowerEgg X is the best waterproof DJI alternative that can both float on the water and take off from it. It's also modular and the camera bay can be detached for turning it into a handheld.
The PowerEgg X can also take off from water and comes with two forward-facing obstacle sensors and the follow-me option. To make it waterproof, you need to encase it in a transparent shell that doesn't take too long. This is the favorite of my top waterproof drones, but you can check my full article to see some more models.
It's tough to find a Mavic Air or Mavic Air 2 alternative as they're some of the best drones for the money, but there is an option to consider.
The Parrot Anafi is considered to be the best Mavic Air 2 alternative. It's made in the USA and with a lot of intelligent flight modes and a built-in lossless zoom camera that can look above the drone.
The Anafi is quite a bit different as it comes with a 2 axis gimbal, but the footage is stabilized electronically as well to compensate for the missing mechanical axis stabilization, and the final video ends up looking great overall.
If you're wondering if drones have better tracking than DJI, there's an easy answer for that.
The best DJI alternative with follow me mode and better tracking is the Skydio 2. It's a drone made for sports and tracking in the most difficult conditions, thanks to the 360-degree cameras with a total of 45 mp of visual data.
It's built to avoid obstacles even through tight spaces, something which even the most modern drones from DJI like the Mavic Air 2s have a difficult time with.
The camera shoots in 4k 60p and is comparable to what DJI can achieve. Still, it's more oriented for action-packed adventures than cinematography, making things easier in terms of camera settings and exposure with their Video HDR shooting mode, which makes it easy to do the right exposure.
The Xiaomi Fimi x8 is one of the best drones from Xiaomi, one of the main competitors of DJI, which has a history of producing reasonably priced high-quality tech, and drones haven't been excluded.
I tested the Fimi x8, and it stands as a well-built drone with a capable 4k camera, long battery life. Even though the camera quality is slightly inferior to the high-end DJI models, it still surpasses most of the drones in its price range (below $500).
The Potensic A20 is a straightforward drone for beginners who want to learn the basics of flight indoors. It doesn't have a camera; it's made for crashing and trying cool moves. Check out my other beginner drones on this site.
Ryze is a separate company from DJI; however, the drone has been made in collaboration with DJI, and it turned out to be one of the most popular beginner drones for the last years, which even comes with a camera.
This drone pioneered the bottom-facing sensors for stable flight and even electronically stabilized footage, which is still unheard of for a drone under $100.
It can take incredibly good photos, as I've shown in this youtube video, and because it flies steadily, it's very easy even for kids to use their phone to learn the basics of flight while also taking pictures.
There's no doubt that DJI drones are some of the best in the world, and there's hardly any competition in that space, but if that's true, why should you look for an alternative in the first place?
There are a few reasons why you may want a DJI alternative, which could prove to even be a better drone for your specific needs.
Here are the main reasons:
To be a DJI client you need to have at least $500 in your pocket for most acquisitions, and that's the lower end. So if you're looking for a simpler beginner drone, or even a good camera one priced cheaper, DJI might not fit in the budget.
DJI hasn't yet penetrated the long-range and long battery-life drone market, where you'll usually find fixed-wing drones that can do long-range mapping missions or even for certain agricultural needs.
Companies like Parrot in the US can be a great choice if you're looking to support different companies that are based in your country. However, since DJI is based in China, it can turn off some people from buying them.
While DJI has recently expanded their drone fleet to include cheaper drones like the DJI Mini 2 and even an FPV drone, they still haven't covered areas like waterproof drones, beginner FPV quads, or fixed-wing drones.
It's not difficult to find drones that are better than DJI if you know where to look, but if you don't care about the company that's producing them, I recommend you check my list with the best drones for sale.