The DJI Mavic Air 2 is the first "air" to look like a Mavic drone. It's the perfect midway between the Mini and larger Mavic...
- 34 - MIN
- 4K - 60 FPS
- 42.5 - MPH
- 6.2 - MILES
The DJI Mavic Air was DJI's response to those that loved the features of the Mavic Pro, but did not want to go as small...
- 21 - MIN
- 4K - 30 FPS
- 42.5 - MPH
- 2 - MILES
The UVify Draco took the crown as the fastest production-class racing drone, a 100MPH muscle-car of a drone, ready for racing, freestyle, and powerful enough...
- 8 - Minutes
- 100 - MPH
- 1 - KM
The Yuneec Mantis G adds a stabilized camera Gimbal to the Mantis Q - exactly the missing piece from the original folding drone. Now you...
- 33 - Minutes
- 4K - 30 FPS
- 45 - MPH
- 2.43 - MILES
The DJI Mavic Mini is the smallest Mavic drone released to date. Offering 2.7K video and great flight features in a package small enough to...
- 30 - Minutes
- 2.7K - 12MP
- 29 - MPH
- 2.5 - Miles
What’s your drone budget? None of us want to spend any more than we have to, so we spend a lot of time on our best lists for drones under $100 and $500, but the truth is, $500 is basically the starting point for good camera drones. Sure, the DJI Mavic Mini comes in at $400, and has a solid camera experience, but it’s still only 2.7K video, if you want to record 4K video, you’ll need a little bigger budget.
Make no mistake, this list of drones will look a little like our list of drones under $1000, but we’re happy to announce that there are enough drones to be more specific, we’ll update both lists to compliment each other. Helping you narrow down the right drone in the right budget for your needs, this is our list of the best drones under $800.
Best drones under $800
What to look for
Shopping for drones is any price bracket comes down to your needs. For example, the best camera drones focus on the smoothest video capture possible, even if that means slowing to a crawl. Racing drones capture amazingly fun action from the sky, but the video really is, technically speaking, low quality. As the market shifts towards prioritizing autonomy and aerial photography over the flight experience itself, we find more and more camera drones than racing drones on the market these days.
No matter what you are looking for, please also follow the rules of the sky. Here are some of the basics, then we’ll start the lists.
Drone legal and safety
Best drones under $800
DJI Mavic Air 2
May 2020Release Date
The DJI Mavic Air 2 drone is more than just a successor to the original Mavic Air, it's more of a transition from its own form-factor into a true Mavic drone. The Mavic Air 2 maintains its place as a midway drone in DJI's lineup. In terms of size, price, and capability, the Mavic Air 2 sits almost perfectly in between the Mavic Mini and the Mavic 2 series drones.
DJI has included Ocusync 2.0 connectivity, with impressive new range, and the Mavic Air 2 is the first consumer-class drone to offer an ADS-B receiver.
In the same way that the Mavic Air stepped up the camera game for small drones, the Mavic Air 2 is an exciting update in the visual department as well. You're looking at a new 1/2-inch sensor that shoots 12MP stills, but can also capture full 48MP images, managed by Quad Bayer technology. Photos are great, but the new 4K video capture at 60fps, and a data bit rate of 120Mbps, are more exciting to many users.
Once you put this drone into the sky, you'll enjoy APAS 3.0 flight assist in the numerous self-piloting functions, and you'll be up there for up to 34 minutes, as DJI has included their full suite of power management tweaks and high-performance propellers.
Check out the DJI Mavic Air 2 for a starting price of $799 for the base package, $988 for the Fly More combo at launch in May 2020.
DJI Mavic Air
January 2018Release Date
DJI found great success with the Mavic Pro, they followed that up with the far less expensive Spark. The Mavic Air bridges the gap between these two, offering all the fun features from the smaller Spark as well as all the pro flight features of the Mavic Pro. Better yet, the Mavic Air introduced a 100Mbps data rate for video capture on a DJI drone under $1500. That sounds like a mouthful, suffice to say that the Mavic Air instantly took the crown for the best video at the lowest price of any drone on the market.
After the launch of the Mavic 2 series of drones, we had to recommend the newer Mavic line as the best camera on a compact drone, but the Mavic Air still remains our top pick if ultimate portability is your concern. The Mavic Air manages to pack down to almost fit comfortably in your pocket.
July 2018Release Date
The Parrot Anafi is one of the best entries from Parrot for the consumer camera drone market. Recognizing the power of an articulating gimbal, the new 21MP, 4K camera is able to point all the way down and rotate to pointing all the way up. This is extremely powerful for inspection services on commercial drones, but is built into a consumer friendly folding quadcopter design.
The drone itself is a step up from Parrot's usual mostly-foam build. Foam is great for building size without adding much weight, instead the Anafi is a much sleeker package with a plastic body.
Look for the now-common set of features in the Anafi, such as folding propeller arms, folding propellers, a compact size and a stabilized 4K camera. The remote control uses your phone as a display and you can swap batteries to expand your flight day. The Parrot Anafi sells for $699, but you can often find deals to save a few dollars.
January 2017Release Date
The UVify Draco was the first consumer drone that UVify put up for sale. It garnered awards at CES 2017 and became the leaping point for several other racing machines in a series. The Draco was accompanied by the Draco HD — the only difference between the two being the camera. More specifically, the Draco is equipped with analog video transmission, while the Draco HD uses a digital video transmission, both work with FPV gear. There are pros and cons to each, but the Draco with analog video is less expensive, the video stream is lower latency, and more reliable in high-radio frequency areas.
For the racers out there, the UVify Draco is a fairly heavy drone. It is very powerful and fast, but needs a bit more room to make the corners. Draco is ideal for courses with long straights, but maybe grab something like that little Baby Hawk for tight courses.
Check out the UVify Draco for $699.
Yuneec Mantis G
October 2019Release Date
The Yuneec Mantis G is everything we had hoped for in the original Mantis Q. We can't see the difference between these drones, save for the new stabilized camera Gimbal. Superb flight time, easy controls, voice activated features, a compact design that folds small for transport and a 4K camera all sound good to us.
Yuneec understands they have stiff competition in this portion of the drone market. They build mostly for the commercial space, but fun drones like the Mantis line and larger Typhoon hexacopters have a tough battle. The Mantis G is a leap forward for the company. We had a hard time recommending the Mantis Q to users that cared about shooting video, now we can put the DJI Mavic 2 drones and this new Mantis G in the same sentence.
Based on price and camera sensor size, the Yuneec Mantis G best competes with the DJI Mavic Air, which is to say it is a viable option for hobby pilots looking for a reliable drone to fly.
The Yuneec Mantis G is $699 today.
DJI Mavic Mini
November 2019Release Date
With a long list of drones that start with the name Mavic, DJI has launched yet another consumer machine, perhaps their most consumer friendly yet, the new, very compact, folding DJI Mavic Mini.
As the name implies, the DJI Mavic Mini is a very small machine, and in true DJI fashion, it has few compromises to make it all work. The first thing to note is that the Mavic Mini weighs less than 0.55 lbs, which means you do not need to register it with the FAA before flight. Registration is quick and easy, but not requiring it at all is a bonus.
Related reading: DJI Mavic Mini review
Reminder: You may not have to register the Mavic Mini, but it's still a drone, you still have to follow the rules!
Don't let the small size fool you, this drone packs a 12MP camera, shoot 2.7K video from a 3-axis stabilized Gimbal and has all of the flight features you'd expect from a Mavic drone today.
PowerVision PowerEgg X
January 2020Release Date
The folks at PowerVision first captured attention with their Dolphin underwater drone, a submarine, of sorts. Their PowerEgg flying drone was a cool design, but the PowerVision PowerEgg X is a versatile machine that embraces some extra features we might have inadvertently used drones for from time to time. In addition to having a dedicated shell that allows the drone to fly in the rain, and floats to let it land and take off from water, the PowerEgg X breaks down into a compact form-factor, embracing its ability to operate as a camcorder.
Attach the hand strap to get a basic camcorder feel from your PowerEgg X drone. That's a 3-axis stabilized Gimbal, 4K camera with object tracking functions to automate some of your cinematography.
Some of these next drones cost more normally, but are often on sale for under $800:
DJI Phantom 3 Pro
April 2015Release Date
The original DJI Phantom 3 was an iconic drone. Its design is still emulated and celebrated on many machines today. There were a few versions of the Phantom 3, with the DJI Phantom 3 Pro topping things off with a 4K camera, extended flight range and better GPS and positioning tools. The industry has come a long, long way since the Phantom 3 Pro hit the market in 2015, but it's still a fin drone to play with.
Check out the DJI Phantom 3 Pro for $770 on Amazon today, just keep in mind that prices and availability will fluctuate for this discontinued drone.
DJI Phantom 4
March 2016Release Date
Carrying the DJI Phantom line torch from early 2016 until late 2016, the DJI Phantom 4 offered a familiar flight experience and solid camera performance for pilots. It may have held only a short time in the lime-light, taking over from the Phantom 3 and being replaced by the far more capable Phantom 4 Pro, but it was a well respected drone in the series. This was the last Phantom drone to ship with a 1/2.3-inch camera sensor, all Phantom drones since are equipped with a full 1-inch sensor, but it still offered 4K video capture and 12MP photos. With a flight time of about 28 minutes and a range of about 3 miles at 45 mph, the Phantom 4 remains on par with some of the best drones on the market today.
Check out the DJI Phantom 4 for about $999, but keep in mind that the drone has been discontinued, prices may fluctuate with availability of remaining stock.
UVify Draco HD
January 2017Release Date
The UVify Draco HD is the digital camera version of UVify's first consumer drone. The two versions, the Draco and Draco HD, garnered awards at CES 2017 and became the leaping point for several other racing machines in a series. The only difference between the two being the camera. More specifically, the Draco HD is equipped with a full digital video transmission, while the Draco uses an analog video transmission, both work with FPV gear. There are pros and cons to each, but the Draco HD with digital video is a little more expensive, still offers a low latency video stream, and provides a much cleaner image.
For the racers out there, the UVify Draco HD is a fairly heavy drone. It is very powerful and fast, but needs a bit more room to make the corners. Draco is ideal for courses with long straights, but maybe grab something like that little Baby Hawk for tight courses. For the high-speed aerial cinematography folks, you came to the right place!
Check out the UVify Draco for $799.
That’s all we have today, we’re always eager to test new drones and add more to our database of flying machines. You’ll see those adventures played out in future updates to posts like these, but do hit the comments if there are drones you hope to see sooner rather than later.