Today, the Mavic Air 2 was officially revealed and most of the leeks and rumors proved to be true. It looks like DJI didn’t manage to keep their secrets as well as in the case of previous release events. Priced for $799, is surely not the most affordable drone out there. Let’s find out what good Mavic Air 2 alternatives are for less money.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of DJI products. Over the last few years, I reviewed most of their new releases (from action cameras, gimbals to drones), but I’ve also realized that they’re no longer the only king in town. In the consumer drones market segment their biggest rivals are Yuneec, Parrot, SkyDio, Xiaomi FiMI, Hubsan, and of course, Autel Robotics.
What makes a drone a good Mavic Air 2 Alternative?
Designed with aerial adventure in mind, portability describes most of DJI’s Mavic series. Thanks to the foldable arms, you can take them with you everywhere. Measuring only 180×97×84 mm, the Mavic Air 2 can fit into almost any size backpack. Featuring active tracking and advanced obstacle avoidance, this gear proved to be the ultimate flying selfie camera. Super smooth 3-axis mechanical image stabilization and 4K video recording are “must-have” features for 2020. A 30 minutes battery life is also very important in order to be able to compete with the Air 2.
Best DJI Mavic Air 2 alternatives for 2020: In-depth comparison
In the table below I will try to compare the most important specs of the 3 best Mavic Air 2 alternatives that you can buy in 2020. I highlighted with red were the X8SE excels, with green where the Zino 2 shines and with blue the straightness of the little Mavic Mini. I marked with orange where the MA2 is the clear winner.
|Mavic Air 2||FiMI X8 SE 2020||Hubsan Zino 2||Mavic Mini|
|Size||180×97×84 mm||287 x 247 x 96 mm||326 x 260 x 95 mm||160 × 202 × 55 mm|
|Weight||570 g||765 g||915 g||249 g|
|Camera||4K@60fps or 1080@240fps||4K@30fps or 1080@120fps||4K@30fps or 1080@90fps||2.7K@30fps or 1080@60fps|
|Smart flight modes||RTH, Point of interest and QuickShot||RTH, Orbit, SAR||RTH & Orbit||RTH, Orbit, Dronie, Helix & Rocket|
|Obstacle avoidance||Yes, APAS 3.0||No||No||No|
|Optical flow sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life||34 min||35 min||33 min||30 min|
|Battery capacity||3s/3500 mAh||3s/4500 mAh||4s/3800 mAh||2s/2400 mAh|
|Range||10KM||8KM||8KM||4KM-FCC or 2K-CE|
|Transmission||Ocusync 2.0||TDMA||LEAS 2.0||WiFi|
|Price||$799 Order from DJI||$459 Order from BG||$591 Order from GB||$399|
1. Autel Robotics EVO II: Even better than Air 2!
Type: Cruising | Skills: Intermediate | Camera: 8K | FPV: HD | Flight time: 40 minutes | Features: Obstacle avoidance | Range: 9Km | Package: RTF
Autel claims that their new EVO II is the most capable folding drone on the planet. The EVO 2 series has 3 versions: Basic, Pro, and Dual (8k camera & FLIR thermal camera). The Evo 2 takeoff weight is about 1150 grams and it has a wheelbase of 397 mm. With a starting price of $1495, it is twice as expensive as the Mavic Air 2. Frankly, I don’t know if that 8K camera worth that much.
While the Autel Evo II can fly in level 8 wind conditions on the Beaufort Scale, the Mavic Air can take wind gust of only level 5 (8.5-10.5 m/s). The Evo 2’s max FPV transmission distance is 9 km, unobstructed, and low RC noise using the remote controller with a smartphone connected. This range is close to the one promised by the DJI Mavic Air 2.
2. FiMI X8 SE 2020: Same range, better battery life
Type: Cruising | Skills: Intermediate | Camera: 4K@30 fps | FPV: TDMA | Flight time: 35 minutes | Features: Dual-GPS, Vision Positioning and Smart track | Range: 8Km | Package: RTF
Featuring 35 minutes battery life and up to 8 KM flight time, the second generation X8SE is probably the best Mavic Air alternative which you can buy right now. Moreover, it comes with a much more attractive price, being about half the price. From the savings you made, you can buy a couple of spare batteries and other accessories or even book a city break as the borders reopens after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is some serious flying tech crammed in, it has a dual satellite positioning system (GPS and GLONASS) alongside optical flow sensors for super-precise flying indoors or outdoor
Where the Xiaomi FiMI X8 SE 2020 fails against the Mavic Air 2 is its camera performance and lack of an obstacle avoidance system. While the X8SE’s camera is capable to record with 4K@30fps or 1080@120fps, the Mavic Air 2 with 4K@60fps or 1080@240fps. The double frame rate allows you to capture some cool cinematic slow-mo footage.
3. Zino 2: Excellent compromise between price and features
Type: Cruising drone | Skills: Intermediate | Camera: 4K@30fps | FPV: LEAS 2.0 | Flight time: up to 33 minutes | Range: 8KM | Features: GPS+GLONASS satellite positioning and Intelligent flight modes | Package: RTF
Hubsan has been around for a while in the drone market and have made some excellent budget alternatives. Since launching in December 2019, their Zino 2 drone is continuously out-of-stock at most retailers. This could be due to the high demand or some logistic issues. Like FIMI X8SE, it also features 4K camera and 8KM control range.
The Hubsan Zino 2 is safe for the newbie pilots and advanced enough to keep hobby and most semi-pro photographers happy. It folds down to fit in your backpack easily.
Being powered by a 4s/3800 mAh battery, it has about 33 minutes flight time, which is 2 minutes less of the new DJI Mavic Air 2 has.
4. Mavic Mini: Cheapest alternative from DJI
Type: Cruising drone | Skills: Entry level | Camera: 2.7K@30fps | FPV: WiFi | Flight time: up to 30 minutes | Range: 4KM-FCC or 2K-CE | Features: QuickShot | Package: RTF & Fly More Combo
The biggest advantage of the Mavic Mini over the Mavic Air 2 is its portability. Weighting only 249 grams you can fly it out of the box without needing FAA registration. At this moment the MM is the cheapest DJI drone that you can buy. Since I reviewed the Mavic Mini I use it almost every weekend, I keep it in my backpack all the time. Thanks to the latest firmware update (V01.00.0500) you are able to manually adjust video settings, which makes a huge difference if you want to use it for professional works.
While the MINI adopts some “Advanced WIFI” transmission, the Air 2 professional-grade Ocusync 2.0 provides a much longer range and superior FPV quality.
With “only” 30 minutes battery life, the Mavic Arya has the worst flight autonomy from all Mavic Air 2 alternatives. Its range is also less than half of the other competitors have.
5. Skydio 2: Obstacle avoidance and 4k60 HDR camera
Type: Cruising drone | Skills: Intermediate | Camera: 4K@60fps HDR | FPV: SKYDIO LINK™ and WiFi | Flight time: up to 23 minutes | Range: 3.5KM | Features: Obstacle avoidance, Phone control, Dronie, Hover and Angle Track | Package: BNF and RTF
At the time the SkyDio 2 was announced we all were impressed by its autonomous object tracking system. It was much accurate compared DJI’s ActiveTrack 2.0. I would be curious to see the same test against the Mavic Air 2 which features improved Active Track 3.0.
Thanks to its six cameras system, Skydio 2 has a full 360-degree view on the surrounding world, allowing to safely navigate between trees and other objects. It looks that in aspect the Air 2 remains behind the Skydio 2.
Despite that is powered by a higher capacity 3s/4280 mAh battery, the Skydio 2 has 10 minutes less flight time compared to the DJI Mavic Air 2. The flight range of SD2 is also a third of the MA2.
6. Hubsan Zino 2 Plus: Best range and flight time under $700
Type: Cruising drone | Skills: Intermediate | Camera: 4K@60fps | FPV: Syncleas | Flight time: up to 35 minutes | Range: 9KM | Features: GPS+GLONASS satellite positioning and Intelligent flight modes | Package: RTF
With a range of up to 9KM and a flight time of 35 minutes, the new Hubsan Zino 2+ is also a serious competitor. Both drones feature 4K@60fps camera with 3-axis mechanical stabilization. Apparently, only the lack of an obstacle avoidance system puts the Zino 2 Plus behind the Mavic Air 2.
To be honest, I like more Hubsan’s transmitter than the DJI’s one. By providing lots of telemetry information (flight distance, flight altitude, and battery level), it’s onboard status screen allows phone-less flying. Also, the external antennas allow to make more easily some range hacks.
I hope I succeeded to give you a bit of an overview for each Mavic Air 2 alternative. I tried to compare the most important specs like flight range and battery life. Before making the final decision you should consider not just the price and features, but also after-sell services like customer support and warranty handling. At this moment, DJI and Xiaomi are the only drone manufacturers that offer paid “Premium care” services.
In a few months, we expect the release of the Mavic 3 Pro, which will surpass the Air 2 in every aspect, including the price of course.
last updated on July 1st
Which is better? The DJI Mini 2, DJI Mavic 2, or the DJI AIR 2?
I have never flown a quad-copter before, but I plan to buy one soon. I am pretty sure I want a Mavic Air 2 unless there are recommendations that are better alternatives for newbies; what you can say, guys, about the new FIMI MIMI, Stone HS720E, SG906 MAX, or Ruko F11?
I do not have unlimited funds, so I need a balance between features and price.
Any advice is welcomed!
Of all the cars you listed, MA2 is clearly the best, but also the most expensive. The FIMI X8 MINI is too new to have an opinion about it.
What would you rate as your best mavic air 2 alternative under $400??
What is the best drone for photography under $1000, or should I get the Air 2?
Let’s face it, DJI is obviously market dominate when it comes to great quality quads. No real alternative for the Air 2. At least not under $800
The clarity and quality of the Air 2 video is unbelievable! No real alternative in its price range.
Has anyone tried the Autel Robotics EVO II Drone? What are your thoughts against the Mavic Air 2?
For 2021 Mavic Air 2 is the absolute winner! Safe and easy to fly. Good 4K camera. Great battery life. Superb range. Affordable.
Hi guys, can use the Air 2 for professional use? There is any better quad on its price range? Looking for a semi-pro drone that hovers at $700-800.
Dji mavic air 2 or skydio for a newbie?
Air 2 for sure!
What would you rather have Mavic Air 2 or Evo 1 just wondering?
Who’s purchased the Air 2 over the Mavic 2 Pro and hasn’t regretted it?
Mavic 2 Pro, better camera, and if it’s fly more!
I was all set to buy a Mavic Air 2 but now I’m wondering if I should wait for the Mavic Air 3 or there is a better alternative for the same money?
Newbie from Canada
you should also add FUNSNAP DIVA to the list, it has quickshot modes too
I sold my Mavic Air 2 and purchased a slightly used Mavic 2 Pro. I had no problems with the Air 2 and really enjoyed it. I decided to sell and upgrade to the M2P because of the better camera with a larger image sensor.
I was planning on buying a Mavic Air 2 for videography purposes. But my wife was not okay with this as I’ve never had a quadcopter before. She doesn’t want me to spend $800 on a toy….
Can anyone suggest a good Air2 alternative for around 200-250$? A good drone for practice which takes decent videos.
Mavic Air 2 is NOT a toy. The amount of technology you’re getting for the money is amazing. And it’s easier to fly than most of the cheap alternatives. If anything, look at DJI Mavic Mini but don’t expect to use it if there is any wind.
My Mavic Air 2 fell from the sky today. Battery fully charged. Almost zero wind. I just lost control and it crashed. No care refresh or warranty, so I’m looking for a replacement. I think it will be an Evo 2 but I’m open for other better alternatives too.
Looking for advice between the Mavic Air 2 and the Mavic Pro 2. Is the Pro 2 worth the extra cost? I plan to use it for real estate videos
I think for that kind of job, the Air 2 is just perfect. You don’t need to invest more money…
I am a professional Cinematographer and currently, I own a DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus. I love it but I need a smaller more portable drone. I am thinking of buying a Mavic. As image quality is very important to me which one would you recommend Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Air 2, or any other alternative?
If the image quality is a must-have, you should go with the M2Pro, you can check the Autel Robotics EVO II 8K drone
Dji Mavic Air 2 or Autel Evo 2?
Currently have a Mavic Mini and want to upgrade
I’m planning to buy my first drone ever. After reading and reading the choice has come down to a used Mavic Pro, or a brand new Mavic Air 2. The prices of used Mavic Pro’s in my country are around 700$ and about $850 for Air 2. I am a wedding photographer looking to expand my field of view, so I would mostly take pictures with it thus RAW is a must-have, battery life not so much. Which one would you choose? Is the first generation Mavic Pro outdated?
My budget is around $800, so it’s pretty tight… Please don’t suggest me an Inspire 3 as Mavic Air 2 alternate :D
Personally, I would opt for a Mavic Air 2. In its price range no other alternative with such great performance.
Is the Mavic Pro worth buying over the Mavic Air 2?
The old Mavic Pro is a good deal for 500$, but the Air 2 is much better drone for 2020
Is it worth to buy a lightly used Mavic Air instead of the newer Mavic Air 2?
Is Mavic Air 2 a big upgrade from the older Mavic Air?. Currently, I’m using my first drone the DJI Spark. I’m a photographer/videographer who does some drone photos/videos for hobby till now. Thanks in advance for any affordable Mavic Air 2 suggestions. My budget is around $500
Forget older mavic air. The Mavic Air 2 is even better than the older Mavic Pro. What are you on about? There is no confusion.
Autel Robotics EVO II is much better than Mavir Air 2!!!!
If the original Air’s price drop to $400~500, it could be also a budget alternative of the Mavic Air 2!
Mavic Air 2 is too big. RC too Big also. Gimbal very exposed – For a backpacker I will stay with its smaller brother… even it has only 2.7k
Yes, SkyDio 2 has excellent active tracking + obstacle avoidance, but poor flight time and range. With mobile device range is only 200 meters!!!
Thanks, that’s a good comparison! Lots of people wonder which is the best Mavic Air 2 alternative for less money.
Only the Autel Robotics is better than the Air 2! The rest, FIMI and Hubsan are far behind DJI drones…
I think somehow is normal to a twice expensive drone to be better than the Mavic Air 2