6 Best Drones Under $1,000 in 2020

Last updated: August 26, 2020
Published 12:36 pm

DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic Mini

Published 12:36 pm

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Drones are constantly increasing in popularity and application every day. Today, there are thousands of drones in the hands of various individuals and companies who use them for recreational or commercial purposes.

This is a result of the constant advancement in drone technology and the increase in the level of accessibility.

However, there are drones of varying quality, and this is reflected in their different prices. There are low ends, mid-range, as well as high-end drones. Features such as 4K cameras, improved gimbals, increased flight time, obstacle detection and avoidance, and other automated processes are hard to find in low-end drones. Still, most of it and more are found in drones of higher ratings.

Most of them fall under $1000, while other impressive drones sell above that; for example, the Yuneec Typhoon H. Drones in this category offers users most of what they are looking for in a drone, if not more. However, they are not cheap, and most are not designed for beginners but rather experienced drone pilots.

The Six Best Drones Under $1,000 Are Reviewed Below

Lots of drones fall in this category, with all of them boasting of one exceptional feature or another. Finding the best may be tricky, but we have made your work easier. Below are some of the best drone on the market that you can get for under $1000 along with their features.

1

DJI Mavic Pro

DJI is arguably the most popular brand that comes to mind when high-quality drones are discussed. The brand constantly rolls out outstanding drones that keep on wowing customers, and the Mavic Pro is certainly one of those products.

The DJI Mavic Pro has an upgraded version, which is well priced above $1000, but people that settle for the Mavic Pro are not missing much as the difference between both drones is not very significant.

This drone has an impressive control range of 4.3 miles and a flight time of 27 minutes. It also comes with a 4K camera, therefore, making it ideal for high-quality aerial photoshoots, and video recording. It can also be used for live recording and comes with a dedicated gimbal. This puts the drone in a class of its own.

The drone also has a feature that helps it detect obstacles and avoid collision with them.

Key Features:

  • 4K camera
  • Dedicated Gimbal
  • Touch and fly feature
  • Smart object detection and anti-collision feature
  • Vision-based protection
  • 27 minutes of flight time

Specification:

  • Brand: DJI
  • Model: Mavic Pro
Pros
  • Easy to fly
  • It has a sleek design
  • It is foldable
  • It has a high-quality camera
  • It has a long range and an impressive flight time
Cons

2

DJI Mavic Air 2

Mavic Air 2 is another amazing drone from DJI. It is an upgrade of the Mavic Air, which came out a few years ago, and for all its incredible specs, it surprising that it still falls short of $1000.

The drone boasts of an array of high-end features that do well to satisfy the appetite of drone enthusiasts, both professional drone pilots, and beginners. It comes with a very good 4K camera, which offers users a high level of performance when it comes to aerial photography and video recording.

Its advanced controls make it one of the best drones on the market. It has an Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) and obstacle detection and avoidance feature, combining to give the drone a hitch-free flight in the best way possible. Under favorable weather conditions, the drone has a high speed of about 42.5 miles and a control range of 10 km. Added to this is an impressive flight time of 34 minutes.

Also, this drone comes equipped with GPS and GLONASS satellite systems. This can come handy for remote sensing, survey, etc. The drone is also compatible with the DJI fly app.

Key Features:

  • Advanced Pilot Assistance System
  • 4K camera
  • Dual-frequency
  • 3D environmental sensing
  • Obstacle detection and avoidance
  • Flight time of 34 minutes
  • GPS, and GLONASS satellite systems

Specification:

  • Brand: DJI
  • Model: Mavic Air 2
Pros
  • It has a very good camera
  • It can avoid obstacles
  • It has a wide range and long flight time
  • It is easy to use
Cons
  • It has to be registered before use.

3

DJI Mavic Mini

The DJI Mavic Mini is arguably one of the best drones for beginners on the market. It is designed mainly for recreational purposes, making it a good travel or holiday companion. This can be seen in its build as well as its relative ease of use. The drone can also be used for other activities.

It comes with a 12 MP built-in camera, design for taking cool aerial pics, and video recording. Also, it can transmit high-quality live-video with ease. It comes with a 3-axis stabilized gimbal that ensures that flight is vibration-free, therefore increasing the quality of images.

The drone has a maximum flight time of about 30 minutes and a maximum control range of 2.5 miles. It can attain a high speed of 31 mph when it is in the sport mode. The size of the Mavic Mini puts it at a disadvantage in windy conditions, meaning it is ideal for flying only when the wind speed is low. You can also fly this drone indoors.

Key Features:

  • 30 minutes of flight time
  • Small-sized
  • Vision Position-Based Navigation
  • 12 MP built-in camera
  • Gesture and touch control
  • Automatic return feature
  • GPS Tracking system

Specification:

  • Brand: DJI
  • Model: Mavic Mini
Pros
  • It is easy to fly
  • It is compact
  • It is fast
  • Impressive flight time
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • It does not perform well when it is a bit windy

4

DJI Phantom 4

This is arguably one of the most popular drones produced by DJI. The Phantom 4 leaves a trail of high-quality and performance. It is a must-have for anyone who places a high premium on performance.

It is very easy to operate and performs excellently in the air, even on windy days. Depending on the speed mode, it can fly for about 28 to 31 minutes. It also boasts of a maximum range of 7km.

Its impressive performance doesn’t fall short when it comes to its camera and its capabilities. The camera of the Phantom 4 can be used to shoot 4K videos as well as full HD videos. You can use it to take amazing aerial photographs and record videos. It also transmits live videos without a glitch.

Added to these is a range of autonomous features as well as a thrilling flight experience. You can almost never do anything wrong with this drone, thanks to its amazing precision.

Key Features:

  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Tap-to-fly feature
  • Automatic return
  • Maximum time of flight of 31 minutes
  • GPS and GLONASS for flight positioning
  • High-performance Camera

Specification:

  • Brand: DJI
  • Model: Phantom 4
Pros
  • It has high precision
  • It is very easy to control
  • Wide range of automatic features
  • Very good camera
  • It does not crash easily
Cons
  • Susceptible to price fluctuation

5

Yuneec Mantis Q

Yuneec is one of the few brands in the drone industry that is giving DJI a run for its money. They own an impressive line of top-notch drones such as the Typhoon models and the Mantis models.

The Mantis G is one of the best foldable drones on the market. It comes with a high-quality 4K camera designed for aerial photography as well as video recording. The drone stabilizes very well in the air and also has considerable speed.

It is very easy to operate and has an extended voice control feature. The drone has a maximum flight time of about 33 minutes and can attain a high speed of 44.7 mph. It also comes with intelligent automatic flight modes that seamlessly help the drone switch from one mode to another.

Key Features:

  • 4k camera
  • Intelligent automatic flight modes
  • Compact, and foldable
  • Upgraded positioning system
  • Flight time of 33 minutes
  • Supports GPS and GLONASS

Specification:

  • Brand: Yuneec
  • Model: Mantis Q
Pros
  • It is easy to use
  • It is lightweight and easy to transport
  • It has a high-quality camera
  • It is quite fast
Cons
  • Does not have a 3-axis gimbal.

6

Parrot Anafi

Parrot Anafi is one of the best camera drones on the market that you can get for under $1000. It comes equipped with a 21MP 4K camera that boasts of other impressive features.

The drone has a lightweight and ultra-compact carbon frame. This foldable drone boasts of filmed flight time of 25 minutes. Its sport mode boasts of a maximum high speed of about 34.2 mph, while the normal mode has a maximum high speed of about 31.1 mph.

Its camera can be used to take quality photos as well as record 4k videos. The camera can move in different directions, zoom in, and perform some special effects used in film production. Also, their Parrot constantly rolls out software updates to improve the performance of the drone.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight and ultra-compact design
  • High-quality 4K camera
  • Film flight time of 25 minutes
  • Foldable
  • Upgradable software

Specification:

  • Brand: Parrot
  • Model: Anafi
Pros
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a very good camera
  • Ideal for film making
  • It is easy to transport
Cons
  • Replacement parts are expensive.

Buying Guide Questions

Buying a drone without proper information on what to expect or do in certain situations can lead to avoidable issues. This buying guide is designed to inform potential buyers and drone owners on some important things they should know when they want to get a drone.

What is the average distance a drone can fly from the pilot operator?

Some drones can go as far as 5 to 7 miles, and some can go farther than that. However, the FAA requires that pilot operators. follow the public law regarding the distance they can fly their drone in public.

This law requires that drone pilots ensure that the drone remains in their visual line of sight. The size of the drone plays a huge role here. The larger the drone, the longer it remains in the visual line of sight, and vice versa.

Is a drone considered an aircraft?

According to the FAA, drones are classified as Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV), under the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). This means that they are considered aircraft. However, they are not in the same category as the traditional aircraft.

The FAA considers drone operators as pilots or fishermen, especially when flying in the national airspace. However, flying drones in some airspace is considered illegal for safety reasons.

What can drones do?

Drones can do quite a lot. They can be used for recreational, commercial, and research purposes. You can use your drones to perform different manoeuvres in the air, capture images, record videos, etc. These functions can be applied to a wide range of industries, including agriculture, film, underwater exploration etc.

They can also be used for sporting purposes.

Can I fly my drone at night according to the FAA?

The FAA recommends that you shouldn’t fly your drone at night unless the drone has a good lighting feature that allows you to detect its location and orientation when it is in the air.

What happens if a drone goes out of range?

This may spell the end for your drone as it is likely to collide with an object or crash. The drone can lose signal due to weather or controller issues. It can crash land, hit an obstacle, or get missing.

However, this is not the case for every drone. Some drones have an automatic return home feature. Meaning that the drone will automatically return home or the range of their radio signal when it goes out of range. Some drones are designed not to go out of the range of their radio signals.

Can I shoot a drone in my yard?

No, you cannot shoot down a drone in your yard. It is considered a federal offense.

Why is it illegal to shoot down a drone?

A drone is classified as an aircraft, according to the FAA. It is illegal to shoot down an aircraft in the unites states under federal law.

Conclusion

It is essential to know what you are looking for in a drone, and for what purpose you intend to use it. This will guide you on the type of drone you should settle for. Finally, it is recommended that you should not compromise on quality in order to have top-notch flying experience and enjoy the best features a drone has to offer.