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Mavic Air 2 is the latest model from the Mavic series by the legendary Chinese DJI company.
The drone itself has little or no flaws at all but the price point is a bit steep for advanced beginners or intermediate level drone pilots. This article aims to assist this cohort of drone pilots in finding an affordable DJI Mavic Air 2 alternative. The drones we suggest below are cheaper alternatives to Mavic Air 2 but they are not necessarily inferior to the DJI’s latest exponent.
Top DJI Mavic Air 2 alternatives:
DJI Mavic Mini
It is small, feathery light and can fly up to 30 minutes. DJI Mavic Mini is currently the cheapest Mavic drone by DJI. It is a perfect drone for everyone, beginners and advanced users alike and it looks like a meld of all Mavic models together – it is on par with Mavic 2 Pro in terms of flight time, it lighter and more portable than any other Mavic model. The only drawback is lack of 4K videos but it does 2.7k and it is only fractionally worse than 4K Mavic models.
There is hardly another drone more compact and lighter than the new DJI Mavic Mini. Weighing only 249 grams (without propeller protection), the new DJI Mavic Mini does not even require a drone license plate or registration – for example in the USA.
Granted, it is not the most stable drone in windy conditions nor are the plastic legs and propellers as sturdy as with high-end DJI drones (cost of the weight reduction) but Mavic Mini is just incredible piece of engineering with frugal mindset.
FIMI X8 SE
Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi Tech’s new camera drone X8 SE Drone has made its debut in 2019.
The X8 SE drone is marketed under the subsidiary brand FIMI. The Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE has a 4K camera and a three-axis gimbal and, thanks to its foldable design, resembles the DJI Mavic Pro or DJI Mavic 2 (Pro/Zoom).
The consumer drone has very small dimensions of only 204 x 106 x 72.6 millimetres with the arms folded in. This makes the drone about the size of a conventional smartphone. By comparison, the DJI Mavic 2 measures 214 x 91 x 84 millimetres when folded. The take-off weight of the FIMI X8 SE is 790 grams. The integrated positioning system consists of a modern GPS and Glonass module. In addition, the XIAOMI FIMI X8 SE has a Vision Positioning System (VPS) on the underside of the housing.
It is quieter than its competitors and can develop decent speed of 65 km/h.
The maximum photo resolution of 4,000 x 3,000 pixels.
When in video mode, the camera can record 4K images at up to 30 fps or 1080p images at up to 60 fps.
The data is stored at a bit rate of 100 Mbps on a local microSD card with up to 64 Gigabyte storage capacity in the drone. The drone is easy to fly and is suitable for beginners and professionals alike.
The Xiaomi FIMI Xiaomi drone has 33 minutes flight time.
Hubsan Zino/Zino Pro
In terms of quality the Hubsan H117S Zino is really top! Everything works as it should. Here you get a high quality copter at a moderate price. If you have 20 dollars to spend more, you can get yourself even better version of Hubsan Zino Pro that has a lot more features.
The Hubsan has similar characteristics to the DJI Mavic Air (which is a superior to Mini) but it costs less than Mavic Mini and in terms of value/price ration is this one a real bang for the buck. It can do 4K video and has a 1KM range when on controller but it can do up to 2.5 KM on flight mode like Waypoint. It has a shorter flying time than Mavic Mini (23 minutes compared to 30 minutes) and is heavier. But it has a superior camera and is much more sturdier and crash resistant.
DJI Tello Ryze
DJI Tello – it is under $100 and it’s got a camera on it, it takes photographs and it takes video. The quality of the video and the photographs is not fantastic as the photographs are much better than the video. The video is okay if you get a really still day with zero wind as there’s no stabilization on it. It transmits the video via Wi-Fi so the video can tend to look quite jerky
because of the wind and then and frames can drop because of the Wi-Fi signal. It has couple of intelligent flight modes, take off and landing are assisted and activated with a single tap on a screen of your phone.
The great thing about these two little drones is they are both pretty crash proof. Those two drones are really just a toys and if you are buying your first drone and if you really want to get something that is going to shoot really high-quality photos and videos, than my next recommendation will be a good fit for you.
This drone is not like Mavic Mini but can be rather considered a cheap alternative to it, a good training machine until you are ready to shell out more money for the Mavic Mini.
Here is a full review of DJI Ryze Tello drone.
The fact is, if you don’t have a reason to need a drone this light, I would actually recommend that you buy the original DJI Mavic Pro.
This was the first folding drone that really took the world by storm and completely changed drones as we know it.
Prior to this, most people had the really large phantom drones which required a bowpack all of their own. This was the first drone the size of a bottle of water and nearly 2 years later, it’s still a fantastic drone. It shoots 4k video and 12 megapixel RAW photographs. It’s got 25 minutes flight time and OcuSync transmission so you get really clear image to the Controller and your phone. Mavic Pro also has built-in obstacle avoidance so you’re not gonna crash it. You can get it second hand for less money than Mini, especially if you consider that Mini bundle version would cost you $500 (regular version is $400).
The Potensic D88 is a decent foldable drone with a good-quality 2K camera with a 110-degree wide angle lens so it can see more within the frame and a modestly able 1 axis gimbal.
It has a 2MP CMOS sensor which will allow you to take awesome aerial photography and it comes with dual GPS modules and intelligent flight modes that will make it easier to fly the drone.
The feed from the camera can be streamed via Wi-Fi using the mobile app for real-time first-person videos. The transmission range is up to 984 feet.
The drone features a 3400mAh battery which is good enough to power it through 20-minute flights.
JJRC X12 (Eachine EX4)
The JJRC X12 a fantastic drone that flies very stable and is absolutely reliable.
The 25 minutes flight time is a bit exaggerated. 20 minutes is realistic and the gimbal works reliably, unless you are at the maximum or minimum deflection, in which case you will see vibrations or movements of the drone, because the gimbal cannot compensate.
The camera is useful for private purposes, but unfortunately not for professional use. Therefore the RAW material is missing. All in all the JJRC X12 is worth every cent and an absolutely good drone. Considering it is almost 4x cheaper than Mavic Air, you might want to consider it as a good alternative.
The drone also comes under a different brand name – Eachine EX4 Aurora (here is a full review). It is the same drone but only sold under three separate brand names, since C-Fly sells it under their brand name Faith.
As you can read from the full review, this drone is similar to Mavic Mini in its flying time, camera abilities and size.
Great drone that can fly up to 30 minutes, has a 4k camera and a 1.2km control range.
The drone features a 4K UHD camera that lets you to capture footage at high resolution. The camera can record 2.7K videos and stills at up to 8.3MP. It also has a 120-degree field of view, which enhances the extent of details in your footage. It lacks the smoothness and has a bit of a fish-eye effect. The stabilization is surprisingly good, although there’s still a bit of vibration going on.
The long flight time is powered by the 2500mAh intelligent batteries that it uses to give a pilot a whopping 30 minutes of flight time.
Two downsides are lack of obstacle detection sensors and gimbal stabilization.
Ruko F11 is easy to fly thanks to onboard GPS, and it possesses the typical safety/accessibility features like headless mode, one key takeoff and landing, altitude hold, and auto return to home.
Conclusion on top drones that are like Mavic Air 2
As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of options when it comes to finding a good, affordable Mavic Air 2 alternative. If you are on a patient side, get yourself one of the machines we mentioned above and wait for the price decline of the Mavic Air 2 before snatching one for yourself because, original is still original.
Make sure to check out our other guides about DJI drones: