The rumors say that DJI is planning to release their MINI 3 in April of this year, but till then what are the best Drones Under 250 grams (0.55lbs) right now? Let’s find out from this in-depth comparison guide.
First of all, why is this weight limit is so important? In most countries including the US, recreational pilots, those flying just for fun and not for the furtherance of a business, do not have to register their drone if the flying weight is below 250grams (55 pounds). However, they still need to follow some general safety guidelines.
Back in 2019, DJI realized that most drones under the FAA’s 250grams weight limit were just cheap toys with no advanced features, and they saw an opportunity to extend their product range by introducing the highly capable Mavic MINI that become an instant hit. For more than one year they ruled this new market segment. The success story continued with introducing the MINI 2 which now had a 4K camera and improved battery life. Of course, its biggest rivals Autel, FiMI, and Hubsan also wanted their market share.
After DJI, FIMI was the first brand that introduced a GPS-enabled smart drone that weighs less than 250g and has a 4K camera. The FIMI X8 MINI is still on the market and is probably the best budget 250grams drone.
In 2022, we want not just medium but high-end features from sub 250g drones. This is why our Top 3 list includes only quadcopters with an advanced obstacle avoidance system (OAS).
Best drones Under 250 grams with OAS
Last year we tested most of the important releases in this weight segment. In the table below we compared the most important specs of the Autel EVO Nano Plus, Hubsuan Zino MINI Pro, and the upcoming DJI MINI 3. When you are purchasing a new drone, regardless of the weight class, you should consider besides budget things like Range, Battery life, Camera performance, Stability, Wind resistance, Smart and Safety features.
|DJI MINI 3 Pro||Autel EVO Nano+||Hubsan Zino MINI Pro|
|Weight||249 grams||249 grams||249 grams|
|Image sensor||1/1.3″ CMOS||1/1.28″ CMOS||1/1.3″ CMOS|
|Zoom||4X digital||4X digital||4X digital|
|True vertical mode||Yes||No||No|
|Smart flight modes||Circle, Dronie, Helix, and Rocket||Rocket, Fade Away, Orbit, Flick||Orbit, Line fly,|
|Active tracking||Yes||Yes (on paper)||Yes|
|Flight time||34/47 minutes||28 minutes||40 minutes|
|Battery capacity||Standard and Plus||2s/2250mAh||2s/3000mAh|
|Communication||OcuSync 3.0||SkyLink||Syncleas 3.0|
|Obstacle avoidance||Yes 3D||3 Direction (Front/Back/Down)||3 Direction (Front/Back/Down)|
|Smart FPV controller||Optional||NO||NO|
1. Hubsan Zino MINI Pro – Best flight time under 250grams
Weight: 249g | Camera: 4K/48MP | FPV: Syncleas 3.0 | Flight time: Up to 40 minutes | Features: GPS, RTH, Follow me, Precision landing, OAS | Range: 10KM | Package: RTF
Hubsan was the first manufacturer that released a drone under 250grams with an advanced obstacle avoidance system (OAS). Initially, the Zino MINI Pro was a great success but soon as was released on the market, crash reports started to come. Many pilots complained that they received a USB disconnection warning midflight which often ended badly.
The Hubsan Zino MINI Pro has the best flight time among all drones under 250grams. Being powered by a 2s/3000mAh battery pack, promise up to 40 minutes of flight time. By comparison, its contender the Autel Nano Plus has only 28 minutes. In terms of flight range, both are advertised with up to 10KM control distance.
Like all actual sub-250g drones, the Zino MINI Pro also is equipped with a 4K@30fps camera installed on a 3-axis gimbal. The camera is capable of taking 48MP photos. A unique feature of the ZMP is its built-in memory (64/125GB).
2. Autel EVO Nano Plus – Best all-rounder drone under 250g
Weight: 249g | Camera: 4K/50MP | FPV: SkyLink | Flight time: Up to 40 minutes | Features: GPS, RTH, Digital ZOON, OAS | Range: 10KM | Package: RTF
The Autel EVO Nano+ was the second drone that come with an OA system and weight less than 250 grams. Autel did a much better job than Hubsan, their anti-collision sensors work out of the box without the need for computer-assisted calibration.
Autel advertises their EVO Nano Series with ‘Master Subject Tracking’ that should allow you to follow any person, animal, or vehicle autonomously so you can focus on your activities while your drone handles the cinematic side. Unfortunately, this feature is still not enabled even after several firmware upgrades.
Its 4k@30fps camera is equipped with a large 1/1.28″ CMOS that provides outstanding video quality and up to 50MP photo resolution. The large aperture of f/1.9 offers superior noise reduction capabilities and the power to effortlessly produce quality images in low-light conditions.
From all 250g-class drones I reviewed, the Autel has the best FPV quality. It is the only ultra-light drone that has a 2.7K wireless video transmission.
The obvious downside of the Nano+ is the price which is by far the highest on this list.
3. DJI Mini 3 – Best sub-250g upcoming drone
Weight: 249g | Camera: 4K | FPV: OcuSync 3.0 | Flight time: 34/47 minutes | Features: QuickShoots | Range: 12KM | Package: RTF
This section will be updated after the official release. We expect that the MINI 3 has 3D direction obstacle avoidance sensors, a 4K camera, and more than 30 minutes of flight time. The leaks say that the MINI 3 Pro will be released with a new DJI Smart controller that should provide a 10-12KM range or even more.
We will be regularly updating this list till the end of the year so that our readers don’t miss out on buying the best drones under 250 grams.
I will cast my vote for the DJI MINI 3 Pro. It is the best from all 3!
Most drones over 250g also are highly restricted/regulated – requiring insurance, and licenses in many countries. So these 3 are the best if you don’t want to become a professional drone operator
Last week I was flying my drone which is UNDER 250 grams (DJI MINI 2) over my property and one of the neighbours knocked on my house and started complaining that I invaded his intimacy and will call the police if this happens again. I do not ever fly over his property, I can prove it with logs from DJI APP…
Your neighbour does not own the airspace!
Don’t worry about the weight, go fly….F*** the FAA!
Best sub250g drone for a beginner to start till 300€? Thank you
Starting with Sept 2022 drones over 250g will need remote ID to sell in a USA store!
Best drone under 250g for real estate still photography? My budget is around 500$
Are we allowed to fly a sub 250gr drone inside big cities?
The DJI MINI3 outperforms many drones over 250 grams. It is a technology marvel
Weighing less than 249g and enhanced safety features, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is not only regulatory but also the safest drone in its range!
Can I ask why is everyone trying to get their drones under 250g? If it’s close enough the authorities aren’t exactly out with a scale…
So many dji mini 3 leaks after I bought an autel nano just last week…
Need recommendations for a good drone under 250g for surveying. What’s the range and so on. Would be looking for something to go a quarter to half a mile or more. B budget is somewhere in the 5-700 dollar range.
Did some research as best I could as a newbie and decided on the FIMI X8 MINI. It looks like the best buy drone under 250g if you don’t need OA.
What differences between mini 3 and the mini 3 pro? both are under 250g?
Rumors say late April for the DJI MINI 3. Prices are expected to be on the high end: $950 for the Mini3 Pro FMC and a crazy $1250 for the Mini3 Pro with the new smart controller
The release date of DJI Mini3 was postponed to May from April.
Today I got a knock from the local police. I showed them my operator ID which he noted down. The cop was also interested in seeing my DJI MINI 2 drone and asked how much it weighed so I put it on my scale in front of him, came out at 247g with a battery. He thanked and left my home. Even if using only drones under 250grams you should be prepared for such visits!
Hello guys, I’ve never flown any drone of any kind before. Not even an RC toy. Nothing. I don’t want to register my quad so I want for the first something under 250grams. Which one is the best of these 3 brands? The Dji, Autel, or Hubsan?
My friend said that I should wait for the Dji Mini 3 Pro because it will be the newest and best drone in its weight class.
Yes, DJI is probably the most important drone brand in the consumer market segment. The MINI 3 Pro at a glance looks very capable, but let’s wait for the first reviews.
Nothing is more stable than a DJI drone, even in the sub 250g class!!!!
Autel Evo Nano+ all the way…. no brainer
After more than one year on the market, the Mini 2 is still #1 in sub 250g drone.
Right now the best 10 option in sub250 class are:
#1 DJI MINI 2
#2 Autel Evo Nano+ 50MP and Nano Standard 48MP
#3 FIMI X8 MINI
#4 DJI Mavic MINI
#5 DJI MINI SE
#6 Hubsan ZINO MINI Pro
#7 SG108 Pro
#8 HolyStone HS510
#9 Contixo F22
#10 JJRC X21 OAS
I’m totally OK with you!
If these leaks specs are true the DJI MINI3Pro will be the best drone under 250grams:
1/1.3″ CMOS and F1.7 large aperture camera
The gimbal is tilted at a large angle, and you can shoot upwards
Vertical mode (portrait mode)
3 direction obstacle avoidance system
New generation OA3 transmission
With 1/2 CMOS sensor, 4K/60 recoding, and a fixed f1.7 24mm lens, the new MINI 3 Pro will be a video beast!