• Yuneec
    More Info

    Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

    (9.4)
    $1899.00 BUY
    • 28 - Minutes
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 30 - MPH
    • 1 - MILE
    The hexacopter design of the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus offers a reliable and smooth flight experience for the attached 20mp camera.
  • Parrot
    More Info

    Parrot Anafi

    (8.9)
    $699.00 BUY
    • 25 - MIN
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 32 - MPH (50 km/h)
    • 2.5 - MILES
    The Parrot Anafi is one of few drones that looks up as well as it looks down. The 4K front mounted camera is on a...
  • PowerEgg
    More Info

    PowerVision PowerEgg X

    (8.5)
    $899.00 BUY
    • 30 - MIN
    • 4K - 60 FPS
    • 40 - MPH
    • 3.7 - MILES
    The PowerVision PowerEgg X is a camcorder and waterproof drone all in one. Fly in the rain, remove the shell to add some flight time,...
  • Uvify
    More Info

    UVify OOri

    (9.0)
    $349.00 BUY
    • 5 - Minutes
    • Basic FPV
    • 50 - MPH
    • 500 - ft
    The UVify OOri is a fantastic drone for aspiring race pilots. It is stable and manageable in the living room, but can also run up...
  • Evo 2
    More Info

    Autel Robotics Evo II

    (9.1)
    $1495.00 BUY
    • 40 - Minutes
    • 8K - 48MP
    • 45 - MPH
    • 9 - KM
    2020 marks a new era for drones, the Autel Robotics Evo II (Evo 2) series offers 6K and 8K cameras, and 40 minutes of flight...

Some of the best drones on the market are from the dominating DJI. Starting with the Phantom drone, followed by Inspire, Mavic Pro and Matrice UAV, DJI has a long list of successful and reliable machines. That being said, world politics are inspiring folks to avoid drones from this Chinese based manufacturer. DJI is going to great lengths to ensure that your data is safe and secure, with servers around the world and even opening a manufacturing facility to go with their offices in the United States.

I’ll take a personal stance here, following DJI’s guidelines, with the right settings, I am confident my flight data can be secured locally. Don’t get me wrong, I know some data makes it to DJI servers in China, I do have an account with them and I’ve purchased products directly, but I can operate a drone offline, download the flight data and avoid having it sync to DJI servers. Should you opt for the US Government approved DJI Government edition drones, this task gets easier. Just remember, manufacturers of non-DJI drones also offer account sync, including flight logs, so research is required no matter what drone you purchase.

If you do not feel the same way, or you don’t have fears, you just want to see what else is out there, let’s dive in, here are some of the best off-the-shelf non-DJI drones on the market today.

Yuneec

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

July 2018

Release Date

The hexacopter design of Yuneec's Typhoon line of drones has been quite popular, if not successful. The design has become an icon in the industry and the safety of having extra propellers has been well accepted in the commercial market. The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is a second generation model of their consumer focus. The Typhoon H Plus lands somewhere in between the DJI Phantom and DJI Inspire line of drones in terms of specs and price. Packing a 20MP 4K camera on a 3-axis gimbal, folding design and market average flight times and speeds, the Intel RealSense obstacle avoidance sensor may a leading reason to consider this drone over others.

You'll be able able to check out the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus for about $1899 from a few retailers.

Parrot

Parrot Anafi

July 2018

Release 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.

PowerEgg

PowerVision PowerEgg X

January 2020

Release 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.

The base PowerVision PowerEgg X costs $899, jump up to the full waterproof package for $1249.

Mantis G

Yuneec Mantis G

October 2019

Release 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.

Uvify

UVify OOri

January 2018

Release Date

UVify has a rich history in drone racing. They understand that the future racers need to start somewhere, developing the UVify OOri as a fantastic beginner's race drone. Slow and stable for practicing in your living room, this machine can open up to over 50MPH when you want to win a race. Agile, light-weight and fast, the UVify OOri is great for beginners on a budget.

There may be less expensive beginner drones out there, but if quality is of concern to you, the UVify OOri for $295 is hard to beat in the segment.

Evo

Autel Robotics Evo

June 2018

Release Date

Announced at CES 2018, the Autel Robotics Evo folding drone offers a familiar design and flight features for a DJI Mavic Pro owner. This familiarity is not a bad thing, it means a compact folding design, 4K stabilized camera and reliability you can take to the bank, so to speak. Autel Robotics is one of the few drone manufacturers to build a machine in this form-factor that isn't a toy builder trying to step it up, the Evo has roots in commercial quality, down-sized to fit in your backpack.

The Autel Robotics Evo offers a solid flight experience, to the level that very few can compete, and the introduction of the Live Deck takes video transmission to a new level. To be fair, it's just a video receiver that can hook to your TV or other HDMI device, making it an important tool news crews or for safely recording footage on the side.

Check out the Autel Robotics Evo for $999 most days.

Evo 2

Autel Robotics Evo II

January 2020

Release Date

The Autel Robotics Evo II (Evo 2) is an exciting update to the initial Evo. Sharing much of the same ideology for form-factor and flight characteristics, the newer machine is an update in almost every way. Primarily, pilots should be excited for 40 minute flight times, extended connectivity range, and an 8K camera. Sure, you can upgrade to a Pro model that has a larger sensor and only a 6K camera, but base model Evo II buyers are getting their hands on one of the first consumer products to shoot 8K video, not just drones, one of the first, period.

This orange folding drone is a machine that satisfies consumers, but also tackles commercial and professional needs. Notably, the top model of the new Evo II line comes with a dual-camera configuration, sporting an 8K sensor and a decent IR camera. The base model and the commercial model each get that 1/2-inch 8K sensor, while the pro model gets a full 1-inch 6K sensor. They can all send the camera feed back to the Autel Robotics Live Deck, for your studio and independent recording needs as well.

The Autel Robotics Evo II will be available in early 2020 starting at $1495. Exact prices and availability yet to be announced.

  • Evo II - $1495
  • Evo II Pro - $1795
  • Evo II Dual - $1999+
Drone Rush our philosophy

Hubsan

Hubsan H501S

January 2018

Release Date

The Hubsan H501S was one of the first GPS enabled drones from Hubsan to offer a 1080p camera and brushless motors. This sounds like a common thing, silly to celebrate by today's standards, but this was a game changer for Hubsan and the toy drone market. Looking at 2017 and earlier, most toy-class drones, which included most all of Hubsan's drones, used inefficient brushed motors and all flew in what you might call ATTI mode. While the early drones had no navigation or a tools for object avoidance or flight assist, GPS in the H501S gave it the ability to hover and even set a GPS controlled route through the mobile app on your smart device.

With RTH functionality and more, the Hubsan H501S remains one of the best drones that live in between toy-class and what we might call the premium experience of full GPS flight control. Check out the Hubsan H501S for around $168 and watch for deals as low as $150.

Typhoon

Yuneec Typhoon H

June 2016

Release Date

The Yuneec Typhoon H is a folding hexacopter with 4K camera and effective flight features. The design has become iconic of Yuneec drones, offering the safety and stability of six propellers and the versatility of a center-hanging camera. The remote control of the Typhoon H is an Android powered device with built-in 7-inch display and all the controls needed to navigate the aircraft and operate the camera.

GPS connectivity and multiple smart flight modes ensure a successful flight for most pilots and operations. Basic obstacle avoidance sensors help keep things safe, with the option of the Typhoon H Pro with equipped Intel RealSense collision avoidance sensors.

The attached CGO3+ camera offers 4K video resoplution at 30 fps and still images at 12MP. As a discontinued drone, you can still find the Yuneec Typhoon H for about $1199.

3DR

3DR Solo

June 2015

Release Date

The 3DR Solo was one of the best drones in its time. This large and powerful machine was made to haul a GoPro, and it did so very well with a 3-axis stabilized gimbal (worth more than the drone itself) and quality peripherals to enhance the flight. 3DR themselves have shifted their focus greatly since the Solo began to lag behind others in the market. 3DR is almost entirely a services and software company now, offering site scan packages using drones from multiple other manufacturers, that said, these are drones that accomplish what the Solo did in the early days.

The 3DR Solo has big, powerful motors, a large battery and versatile payload mount. The machine is sturdy with a plastic housing and LED lights on each corner. The landing gear are not wimpy, but they are a little fragile feeling. Considering some of the antenna are in those legs, we recommend getting spares, just in case.

The 3DR Solo is a stable drone, hovering quite well and is fairly smooth. We don't recommend relying on the non-stabilized GoPro mount for your camera, but the results are not terrible. As mentioned, the stabilized gimbal sells for more than the drone these days, it also supports up to the Hero4 camera, so we have a really hard time recommending it at this point. Still if you are looking for a solid and reliable drone for other uses, the 3DR Solo is a great option.

We've seen some crazy deals on this discontinued drone, but you should expect to find the 3DR Solo for around $399.

Skydio

Skydio 2

November 2019

Release Date

Skydio 2 is the follow up to the impressive Skydio R1, a powerful drone with unheard of autonomy for its time. The power of both Skydio drones is in the Nvidia Jetson on-board computer and an array of obstacle avoidance sensors. The Skydio 2 uses six cameras, with a total of 48MP of resolution, for obstacle avoidance purposes, making it one of the safest drones around, in terms of avoiding a crash. They believe in this tech so much that they offer free repair or replacement if your machine happens to crash.

Skydio is not the only company that has drones powered by the Nvidia Jetson computer system, but at the time of launch, we know of no other Jetson powered drone that is designed for consumer use with a price tag less than a thousand dollars. Of course, the Skydio 2 integrates with DroneDeploy, for those looking to perform inspection or mapping tasks.

For the consumer side, the Skydio 2 offers a fairly standard 4K camera, that shoots at up to 60 fps. It is a class-leader in follow-me modes and finally offers additional control options. You can control Skydio 2 via your smartphone, just like the earlier models, or you can opt for the new remote control or the Skydio Beacon, which gives you some control of the drone, but mostly acts as a wireless tether, to ensure the drone follow you even when it cant see you.

Launch price for the Skydio 2 is $999 with pre-orders in October 2019, first shipments due in November 2019.

Purchase links coming soon!

H520

Yuneec H520

September 2017

Release Date

After some success with the hexacopter design, Yuneec decided to head over to the commercial drone market with the Yuneec H520. A commercial-grade, folding machine that ships in construction orange. A range of payloads are available, mostly allowing the H520 to serve your inspection, surveying, mapping and search and rescue needs. Retractable landing gear allow 360 degree rotation of the camera, and the platform promises stability, even in high winds.

The Yuneec H520 alone costs less than $2000, but you should expect to pay around $4000 for a full flight package with multiple batteries and a camera or two.

Egg

PowerVision PowerEgg X

January 2020

Release 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.

The base PowerVision PowerEgg X costs $899, jump up to the full waterproof package for $1249.

Evolve 2

XDynamics Evolve 2

April 2020

Release Date

The XDynamics Evolve 2 drone offers a carbon fiber fuselage and propeller arms with magnesium undercarriage, plenty of power and flight time, and a slick micro four thirds camera. The payload makes the purpose of this machine very clear, this is a high-end camera drone.

The original Evolve drone was a good stepping stone for the company, but now that they've learned how the market works, we're glad to see the huge jump from a 1/2.3-inch camera up to a micro 4/3 system. The camera we use to record our videos for the site, the Panasonic GH5, is the same size of sensor, and cost close to the same price as the Evolve 2, with lenses. we have very high hopes for a machine with a camera of this caliber, and we look forward to putting some of our lenses on this drone. The XDynamics Evolve 2 also offers crazy connection range, clocking over six miles of connectivity. Laws make it hard to use this in the Unites States, but waivers can be had, and other countries can take advantage of this.

The XDynamics Evolve 2 is set for April 2020 release with a price of $3,699. You can pre-order today for $50 down.


DJi is still a very dominant player in the drone market, we are happy to see some competition out there, and we are impressed with the options available, but the options from DJI really are great machines, so the choice can be difficult. What is your choice of drone?