The Xiaomi Mi Drone has caused quite a stir in the quadcopter drone industry. Pilots from around the world are lining up to buy this new quadcopter, without much success.
And there’s a reason why they aren’t able to get their hands on this elusive drone, and that is Xiaomi’s business model. Unlike DJI, Parrot or Yuneec, Xiaomi products (phones, tablets, or any of their gadgets) aren’t available for purchase off-the-shelf. They’re sold in a model that’s known as the ‘flash sale’ model.
Long story short, buyers from around the world that want to get their hands on the Mi Drone will likely have to wait not a few days, weeks, but a couple of months or so (at least) to be able to purchase an Mi Drone. I understand this might be a bit too late for some, which is why I brainstormed a bit to find out what could be the best Mi Drone alternative. The Hubsan H501s ticks almost all boxes, and is readily available. Let’s check if it is indeed the next best thing!
Hubsan H501s Features
The Hubsan H501s, despite being much cheaper than the Xiaomi Mi Drone (for international buyers, that is), has quite a lot of the features of the Mi Drone. Let’s have a look:
- GPS assisted flight
- Barometer set altitude
- Follow Me mode (also see: Top 10 Follow Me Mode Drones)
- Built in FPV
- Built-in 1080p camera
- One Key Return to Home
- Headless Mode
- 20 minute flights
- Brushless Motors
- OSD, Telemetry, etc.
Besides this, there are some impressive mods that you can perform on the Hubsan H501s to make it even better. For example, this range mod will give you a range of over 3 miles (for real!), which is in one word, quite insane for a quadcopter this price. Here’s a demo:
Should your transmitter lose connection with the H501s drone, failsafe will kick in, triggering the Return to Home mode. If it isn’t self explanatory, the drone will come back to the position it took off from. (more about Return to Home here)
While the 1080p camera of the Hubsan H501s doesn’t feature gimbal (or OIS for that matter) stabilisation, it does offer a very stable stream of video. What’s more is that the camera doesn’t hang or bulge out of the frame; it neatly sits in the nose of the quadcopter.
Follow Me mode is made possible due to GPS modules both in the drone and in the controller. When Follow Me is engaged, you can stop worrying about the quadcopter’s controls and let is follow you in a very seamless manner.
Hubsan H501s Pricing
At just about $250, the Hubsan H501s offers an extremely high value for money, both on paper and in real life. The one aspect where the Hubsan H501s completely trumps the Xiaomi Mi Drone is availability — you can purchase the Hubsan H501s right away, no flash sales, no invites, no waiting!
We have one in the mail (coming from the Everbuying warehouse). You can purchase a Hubsan H501s from various e-shops, including:
So, will you be getting yourself an H501s this season? Let us know in the comments below. We totally are (and can’t wait for the DHL delivery boy to ring the doorbell)!