It might be aggravating to see DJI drones suggested everywhere, so you may wonder whether any drones are better for the money than DJI.
DJI, the dominant Chinese company, produces some of the best drones on the market. Drone airframes like the Phantom have generated a slew of successful and dependable machines, encouraging a slew of similarly built aircraft from the competitors.
As a long-time critic of many drones, I’ve compiled a list of DJI drone alternatives that may meet every demand you might have and provide advantages over the DJI tech giant’s commercial drones.
It might be difficult for others drone companies to compete, especially with recent DJI launches like the new Mavic 3, but in fact, there are terrific or even better options out there.
Let’s get started; here are some of the best non-DJI drones on the market right now.
Top 9 Best Non-DJI Drones Reviewed
Yuneec Typhoon H3: Pro hexacopter
One of the best consumer camera drones on the market is the Yuneec Typhoon H3. The huge 20MP 4K camera produces excellent photos, which are dynamic thanks to the camera gimbal’s complete swivel.
Six propellers give for smoother flying and increase safety by allowing you to lose one or two propellers without crashing. This proficient drone with robust remote control includes many flight characteristics and critical instruments for aerial photographic operations.
We can’t think of a better consumer-grade camera drone outside of the DJI stables. The increased equipment on the H3 comes at a cost, but if you don’t want to take your own camera into the sky and don’t want to spend the money on the DJI Inspire 2, this is the camera drone for you.
The Parrot Anafi can point its camera straight up, which is a fun and potentially extremely useful party trick. There are just a few occasions when a hobby pilot needs to see straight up into the clouds, but being able to check the bottom of a bridge is a useful asset.
The Anafi is an older craft with subpar, at best, characteristics and amenities for the ordinary consumer pilot.
The 4K camera is good, and it was one of the first to have a zooming lens. And the ability to tilt the camera upwards is entertaining, but a newer Mavic drone could provide greater value.
If you’re in the inspection industry, seek Parrot’s pro versions of Anafi, which are tailored to your specific needs. If you’re a hobby pilot, the Anafi is an excellent choice; you won’t be disappointed.
Hubsan Zino Mini Pro – Best DJI Mini 2 Alternative
The DJI Mini 2 is an excellent drone, so finding something even better that weighs less than 250 grams is difficult, but there is now hope.
The Hubsan Zino Mini Pro, a drone that weighs under 250 grams and comes with a 3-axis gimbal and “follows me” feature, is the finest DJI Mini 2 alternative. In addition, it adds forward sensors and a 40-minute battery to the Mini 2.
It matches all of the Mini 2’s specifications and outperforms them, including battery life, bigger sensor sizes (1/1.3″ vs. 1/2.3″), and higher bitrate.
In principle, this translates to better photographs in low-light situations as well as a better overall image. You may learn more about this drone by watching a video on YouTube.
What would be the best affordable DJI Alternative if you’re searching for a nice camera drone as a hobbyist, but DJI isn’t in your budget?
The SJRC F11 4k PRO is the finest inexpensive DJI camera drone alternative. It’s foldable, has a 3-axis gimbal and GPS, and is targeted at individuals on a budget who still want a fantastic camera drone.
In my testing of it against a variety of comparably priced quadcopters, I have to say that there aren’t many that can compete with it at this price point. The gimbal is rather stable, the video quality is acceptable, and it all comes in a small box with sturdy and long-lasting brushless motors.
The SJRC F11 4k is a fantastic non-DJI drone for novices who wish to try flying but don’t require high image quality (but still consider image stabilization necessary).
Yuneec Twister H Plus
The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is the latest edition of the Typhoon hexacopter family. The H Plus outperformed the earlier Typhoon H in practically every aspect, especially in terms of camera, safety features, and flight capability.
The H Plus was a modest step up from the DJI Phantom series at the time, and while the current H3 outperforms them all, the H Plus was a step up from the DJI Phantom series at the time.
Despite the fact that the Typhoon H Plus is an older drone, we’d be pleased to add one to our fleet. While we admire the airframe, we acknowledge that the camera is already obsolete, thus we’d explore modified payloads for this drone.
Autel Robotics Evo 2
The Autel Robotics Evo II is a Mavic competitor. Without a doubt, the newer Mavic drones have superior cameras, but the Evo II still has a lot more flying time and a fantastic camera that can capture up to 8K footage.
Although the Airframes are comparable and fold up in similar ways for travel, the Evo II is the superior device for production since it links to an optional HDMI receiver that can immediately deliver live footage to an external video platform.
We’re on the fence about recommending this drone. It’s competent, but it’s getting on in years. It’s a useful instrument for live video production, but the camera isn’t as excellent as the current tiny consumer drones. However, it’s extremely safe and has a long flying period, so the Evo II has a lot of professional applications.
The Hubsan H501S belongs to the category of toy drones. While this is true, it is also one of the most powerful and competent GPS-enabled drones in the toy category. It has a good camera, but it isn’t stabilized enough for dramatic aerial footage.
The H501S is the drone to acquire if you want to fly something quick and entertaining in the park; it’s not a camera drone, and I wouldn’t recommend flying it indoors.
Xiaomi Fimi X8
The Xiaomi Fimi x8 is one of Xiaomi’s top drones. Xiaomi is one of DJI’s key competitors, and it has a history of developing cheaply priced high-quality technology, including drones.
The Fimi x8 is a well-built drone with a decent 4K camera and a long battery life, which I tested. Even if the camera quality isn’t quite as good as the high-end DJI models, it still outperforms the majority of drones in its price category (around $500).
When it comes to follow-me features, the Skydio 2 is unrivaled in the consumer market. The drone’s array of sensors, combined with strong computing, allows it to do more than simply securely follow you; it can also anticipate your activities, allowing it to keep up even if you vanish behind a tree for a few seconds.
The powerful 4K camera captures excellent footage of your activities, but this is not a drone for which you would pick up the joystick and operate by hand. It’s not your typical hobby drone; in fact, it’s more of a one-trick pony.
The Skydio 2 is an excellent alternative for those who want a hands-off piloting experience so that they may film amazing footage of themselves doing exciting things. Consider something more economical if you want to take up the controller and get the most out of piloting the craft.
Who is DJI’s most significant rival?
Only a few firms stand out from the pack when it comes to competing with DJI on a similar level.
Autel, Yuneec, Parrot, and, most recently, Hubsan, are DJI’s main competitors in the professional drone market, producing drones with technology that is extremely comparable to DJI’s.
DJI is at the forefront of drone innovation, and most other businesses are emulating key features of DJI’s newest technology.
World Politics and the DJI
People are avoiding drones made by this Chinese company due to global politics. DJI is going to make great efforts to protect the safety and security of your data, with servers all over the world and even pre-COVID discussion of constructing a manufacturing site to complement its US offices.
For those concerned, if you follow DJI’s instructions and use the appropriate settings, your flight data may be correctly stored and even encrypted locally.
If you have an active account with DJI and/or have purchased products directly from their site, some account data is sent to their servers in China, but you can operate a drone offline, then download the flight data before reconnecting to the internet to avoid having it sync to DJI servers – even then, those servers are most likely based in the United States, as DJI uses AWS servers like most websites.
This process becomes easier if you choose the US Government authorized DJI Government edition drones. Remember that non-DJI drone manufacturers also provide account sync, including flight records and photographs, so no matter which drone you buy, you’ll need to do your homework.
We’ve always found it perplexing why drones designed to US government specifications and certified for government use by the US Department of Homeland Security are suddenly being outlawed as a security concern…
We are pleased to have some competition in the drone industry, and we are satisfied with the alternatives offered, but the options from DJI are truly excellent machines, so making a decision may be tough.
Isn’t DJI the best maker of drones?
DJI is unquestionably the most popular drone maker based on unit sales, and we feel their products are excellent, but it’s difficult to conclude that they create the finest drones available.
We have yet to come across a competitive consumer-grade drone that is as dependable as a DJI drone, but we do not doubt that several $30,000 business machines can surpass DJI’s $3,000 drones for similar jobs.
We recognize that this is an unfair comparison because DJI also has machined in the $30K price range; however, if you have $100K or more to invest, you may find better machines than DJI devices.
Sorry, back to the point: It’s difficult to recommend anything other than a DJI drone if you’re looking for a fun camera drone for beginner to entry-level professional engagements.
What are my alternatives if I want an American drone?
If you’re searching for a hobby-class camera drone, your options are quite restricted, to the point that we can’t really recommend anything. Skydio is an excellent option; the Skydio 2 has a good camera, but it’s not your normal camera drone.
We know of no American drone manufacturers that can compete with the likes of DJI, Yuneec, or Parrot in the sub-$1500 pricing category. There are many outstanding commercial drones built in the United States and plenty of parts makers for racing drone components. Look at Impossible Aerospace, DraganFly, and InstantEye Robotics in the commercial space.
Is it true that DJI is prohibited in the United States?
In 2021, DJI was added to a commerce entity list, which implies that American companies are no longer permitted to sell components to DJI. DJI drones are still available for purchase, exactly as they were yesterday.