DJI Mavic Mini Alternatives – 5 Drones Worth a Look

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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.

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.

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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.

Top Mavic Mini alternatives

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.

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H36 Drone

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. 

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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. 

Here is a full review of DJI Ryze Tello drone.

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Mavic Pro

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. 

Check out the most recent DJI Mavic model - Mavic Mini! Affordable drone that turns complete newbies into top-notch videographers! Click here to read the review or here to check the latest price!

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).

Here is a full review of Mavic Pro drone. Additionally, if you are interested how this drone stocks up against its competition, check out our Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 comparison.

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Hubsan Zino

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.

Here is a full review of Hubsan Zino drone.

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Conclusion

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. 

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