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DJI Mavic Mini is a sub 250 gram, tiny little drone that shoots 2.7K video and JPEG photographs which I think are pretty good, especially if you know how to color grid and you’ve got a little bit of skills in Lightroom.
It’s got great range, well more than what you would need for a line of sight flying and for people who have zero piloting skills.
It has a few quick shot modes that you can just push button and the drone will take off and take a cool shot for you.
If you are still musing about buying Mavic Mini, you can check it latest price here.
DJI Mavic Mini is not perfect, here are 4 major shortcomings:
And a lot of people are claiming that this is a perfect drone. But if you are in the minority that would actually want to spend your money on some other flying machine, we got your back. Here are couple of great DJI Mavic Mini alternatives that are in the similar price range and flight performance level.
I will go through four things that you might want to consider if you’re thinking of getting this for your very first drone.
Reason one – this drone is incredibly fragile. DJI have made this out of ultralight materials and if you look front leg of the drone – its inside looks like it’s solid plastic or at least it’s four walls of plastic but it’s actually not. It is actually been backfilled with a squidgy foam just to try and cut down on weight.
Result of that is this is probably the most fragile drone that DJI have ever made.
And if you’re thinking of getting a drone for the very first time and have no experience with flying a drone, this could be a very expensive way to learn because everybody crashes a drone in their first flights.
Point number 2, which is related to the first point – this drone does not have any kind of obstacle avoidance, which again is not very good. If this is your very first drone, it can be tricky to work out those controls in a bit of time. You want a drone that’s not gonna punish you for your mistakes but if you fly this straight towards a wall, it will just keep going. Whereas a drone that has obstacle avoidance on the front would stop.
Point number 3 is that the Mavic mini uses a Wi-Fi transmission system and that basically means the quality of the signal that comes to from the drone to remote and then to your phone isn’t as good. It means in the event that you maybe fly behind some trees or some buildings, you’re far more likely to lose that signal.
Number four is the whole 250 grams thing. The whole reason this is under 250 grams is to try and avoid legislation which is coming in both in the US and in the UK and which says you have to register all drones over 250 grams.
The way regulators are approaching UAVs in general leads us to believe that any drone that carries a camera will eventually need to be registered and they’ll probably get rid of the whole weight restriction entirely. So you will have to register your Mini anyways, eventually.
Drones named below are not DJI Mavic Mini clones but their own brands. They can be considered Mavic Mini clones in a sense of their ability to mirror Mini’s capabilities and price.
Top Mavic Mini alternatives – Drones like Mavic Mini
DJI Mavic Air 2
This is a brand new DJI drone that was released in April 2020. The drone saw huge improvements over its predecessors. This machine is a real beast with impressive flight time of 34 minutes, 48 MP photos and HDR capabilities.
Check out the latest DJI machine - DJI Mavic Air 2.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great leap forward in comparison to Mavic Mini (and first generation of Mavic Air) in nearly every measurable respect:
✔️image and video quality
✔️transmission and controller
The Mavic Air 2 weighs 570g (1.3 pound) and feautres a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor capable of 12MP and 48MP photos (JPEG and RAW). When it comes to video, the Mavic Air 2 can shoot up to 4K 60fps at 120 Mpbs. Mavic Air 2 is also capable to shoot in the H.265 HVEC video codec to improve efficiency without any loss in quality.
It is a bit more expensive but also much more feature rich than the Mavic Mini as you can see in our comparison of Air 2 and Mini.
DJI also introduced some new smart camera features on the new Air 2, called Scene Recognition and Hyperlight.
- Scene Recognition is made for detecting sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees. It then optimizes images with these objects for a stunning final photo.
- Hyperlight is a feature that is drumming around mobile markets – it aims to increase the quality of night shots by taking multiple photos and merging them to reduce the amount of noise (graininess) that’s common in low-light images.
Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE
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).
Typical for Xiaomi is the low entry price of well under 500,- USD. With regard to the extensive equipment, the new 4K camera drone offers an extremely good price-performance ratio and can be seen as a serious alternative to the DJI camera drones from Mavic series.
Using the 4,500 mAh battery, the XIAOMI FIMI X8 SE should achieve a flight time of about 33 minutes. The manufacturer specifies the maximum flight speed at 64.8 kilometers per hour (18 meters per second).
The maximum flight altitude is – as with DJI-cameradrones – limited on the software side to a maximum of 500 meters. The maximum flight distance of up to five kilometres is sufficiently dimensioned.
Hubsan Zino 2
Even though Hubsan named this model Hubsan Zino 2, this is actually a third generation of Hubsan Zino series since there is also the Hubsan Zino Pro model in between.
The new Zino 2 will be a much more powerful drone with important specs jacked up:
- range is improved from 2.5km to 6km
- flying time is improved from 23 to 33 minutes
- camera will be able to do 4k on 60 fps (better than Mavic Air)
- 32.6 x 26 x 9.49 mm in size, meaning it is slightly bigger
- weighs almost 1Kg (915 grams) which is 215g more than Hubsan Zino.
It is a good Mini clone as it has similar flying time but better camera.
JJRC X12 (Eachine EX4)
The JJRC X12 is exactly what we expected. A really good drone that flies very stable and is absolutely reliable.
The 25 minutes flight time is a bit exaggerated. 20 minutes is realistic, but only if the outside temperature is right or the batteries are preheated. 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 2x cheaper than Mini, 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.
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
XIAOMI Fimi X8 SE is a stunning piece of aircraft. When you add the price to its impressive performance power, you get one of the best ratio/value drones on the market right now. Click here to check the latest price!
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).
You could also go Hubsan Zino. 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.
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.
If you just want to get into drones for the very first time, you’re not overly concerned about photos and videos – you just want to see how it feels to fly a drone. My recommendation, which will save you a fortune, is to get a little H 36 which costs about 15 USD and it’s virtually indestructible. It uses what’s called ducted props so they’re completely surrounded and you can crash it into anything you like, it wil survive.
This drone is operated fully manually as there are absolutely zero assists in it. I highly recommend this drone as a first UAV to anyone, it super cheap and lots of fun, great to learn on because there’s absolutely no assists
If you can learn to fly this tiny little drone, you can fly any drone. I do accept that H36 might actually be a little bit basic for somebody who wants something that has a camera so if you want a drone that has a camera than my next suggestion might be of interest.
Mavic Mini is all the rage and for a good reason. But that doesn’t mean there are no other drones that could be even better fit for your needs. That is why we made this DJI Mavic Mini alternatives list and we will keep it updated as the new models come around and enter the race to win the best low-priced high-power drone segment.