Xiaomi’s Mi Drone is all set to take over the limelight from it’s fellow Chinese competitor, DJI. But even before Mi Drone came to existence there have been many other DJI competitors who have been making some decent drones.
Virtually, these become Xiaomi’s competitors now and here we’ll have a look at a few of those. So here it is — the top 10 Mi Drone alternatives!
Bear in mind though, some drones mentioned here may not have features that will trump the Mi Drone. That said, each one mentioned here is available to buy without any delays whatsoever!
Top 10 Mi Drone Alternatives
Don’t let the $330 price tag of the Hubsan H109S X4 Pro fool you. The drone has the capabilities of going nearly on par with the Mi Drone!
It comes equipped with a 1-axis gimbal with 1080p camera that does FPV over 5.8GHz. The 7 channel 2.4GHz transmitter can control the drone from up to 1000m and so does the FPV stream.
The drone also features GPS positioning, one key take off, return to home (and even automatic return in case of a signal loss). The on-board 7000mAh battery can deliver flight times of up to 25 minutes with the camera.
The Hubsan H501S is a more compact flyer and weighs about 410 grams (FAA registrations required in the US). Carrying a price tag of about $250 at the time of writing, it features a built in 1080p camera that does FPV over 5.8GHz to the 4.3 inch LCD built on the controller.
The drone also has features like GPS assisted flight mode, headless mode, follow me mode, one key return and barometer set altitude hold mode. The 2300mAh battery on the drone gives a flight time of up to 20 minutes.
3. WLtoys V303
The WLtoys V303 isn’t a camera drone by its own, but it plays well with other cameras and camera modules including gimbals and has a GoPro mount in the box. Here are some cameras you can use with it – best GoPro alternatives.
Costing just shy of $200, the 4 channel 2.4 GHz transmitter on the remote controller of the V303 has a range of up to 500 metres. Hardware like GPS, compass and barometer are all present on the drone to ensure safe flying.
The drone also has functionalities like headless mode, one key take off and land, fail safe landing, among others. The 2500mAh battery on the drone promises a flight time of up to 15 minutes.
4. XK X380
The XK X380 comes in a total of 4 variants with the X380-C being the top-end. The drone starts at about $280 and features its own 1080p camera stabilized by a two axis gimbal system.
The XK X380 drone has features like headless mode, point of interest, one key take off and return, altitude hold. A thing to be noted is that the drone doesn’t do FPV out of the box, but can easily be configured to do it.
The drone has a control range of up to 1000 meters and can deliver flight time of up to 30 minutes from its 5400mAh battery.
5. UPair One
Touted as the cheapest 4K drone (that is until the Mi Drone was announced), the UPair One (which was formerly known as the UPair Chase) promises a lot more on paper than what its $310 (2K) and $370 (4K) asking price would make you imagine.
The drone uses a 12 mga-pixel Sony camera stabilized by a 2-axis gimbal system. It can record 1080p videos at 60 fps on both the variants (4K and 2K at 24 and 30fps respectively) and does 720p FPV over 5.8 GHz.
The 2.4GHz remote controller has a range of up to 1km. GPS assisted flights,one key return, fail safe mode, altitude hold, way points are all enabled on the drone. The 5400mAh battery can deliver flight time of up to 16 minutes with the camera module and 22 minutes without it… making the UPair One quite a killer model for the price.
The Cheerson CX-20 has been a drone hobbyists’ favorite for a while now, and has given some tough competition to the DJI Phantom 3 Drone.
With a really lucrative asking price of about $230, the drone does not come with a camera of its own but has a GoPro mount in the box. The drone has some really neat features like headless mode, one key return, fail safe mode, altitude mode and GPS assisted flight.
The drone has control range of about 300 meters and can stay in the air for a maximum of 15-18 minutes on the stock battery. However, affordable aftermarket accessories make the CX-20 a worthy choice, making it comparable (even better, if you choose the right accessories) than higher priced DJI drones.
7. JYU Hornet S
The JYU Hornet S has a built in HD camera meant for FPV flying and streams over 5.8GHz to the controller’s mounted LCD or JYU’s VR FPV goggles depending on the version you buy which will set you back by between $200 to $350 respectively.
The drone’s GPS module helps it to perform functions like Follow Me, Hover, and Return to Home. The drone also does point of interest flying and way points. The drone can be controlled from up to 1km and can fly non stop for a maximum of 20 minutes.
This list would certainly not be complete without a DJI drone. Athough the Phantom 4 is a much better competitor to the Mi Drone, the sub-$500 price tag of the Phantom 3 justifies it as the real competition.
The Phantom 3 has a 3-axis gimbal stabilized 12MP camera that can record at up to 2.7K resolutions at 30fps. The drone can downlink video streams in realtime to the user’s Android or iOS smartphone.
Flying modes like Follow Me mode, Point of Interest mode, Waypoint mode (Flight Plan), Home Lock mode, Course Lock Mode, Return to Home mode are some of the Phantom 3’s major highlights. The controller has a signal range of 1000 meters and the drone has a flight time of up to 25 minutes.
The Walkera QR X350 Pro comes in many variants with the Devo F7 FPV variant being the most popular among them with the BNF version of it costing about $210 (battery not included).
The drone uses its 2 Axis Gimbal stabilized iLook camera for FPV at HD resolution (iLook+ for full HD resolutions) through 5.8 GHz stream from up to 500 meters. The QR X350 Pro’s GPS system helps it in achieving stable flights. Control range of the drone can go up to 2km and flight time is up to 25 minutes.
The Autel Robotics X Star Premium’s $899 pricing might be a bit on the higher side for this list, but for the price it offers flagship drone level specifications.
It features a 3-axis gimbal stabilized 12 MP camera that can shoot videos at up to 4K resolutions at 30 fps or 2.7K at an impressive 60 fps. The drone streams live HD footage to the pilot’s Android or iOS devices from the Starlink app and even control the camera settings.
Apart from GPS assisted flights, the drone can also visually track an area and fly accurately. Flying modes like Follow, Orbit, and Waypoints are all present in the drone. The drone has a maximum control range of up to 2km and can fly for a maximum of 25 minutes.
Top 10 Mi Drone Alternatives: Conclusion
As apparent, we’ve seen some really kickass drones in this list. While it is true that the Xiaomi Mi Drone looks (on paper) like a killer prospect for the money, it is a quadcopter that’s extremely tough to get hold of. For some, it may not be worth the wait plus the hassle of dealing with non-existent after-sales (outside China).
So this was it for our list of the top 10 Mi Drone alternatives. If you have any suggestions for this list, let us know in the comments below!