Top 10 drones you can buy for less than $1000 [2020]

Hello boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen… and welcome to our Top 10 Drones Under $1000 article. Today, we will be focusing on premium models that, you’ve guessed it, have premium price tags to their names. But, don’t despair if your budget isn’t that deep – there are a few models that go for much less than $1000… but still, provide somewhat of premium-grade performance.


Best Drone under $1000: Table of Contents

10. MJX Bugs 3
9. Potensic D85
8. Holy Stone HS700
7. Ruko 11
6. DJI Mavic Mini
5. Parrot Anafi
4. Hubsan Zino
3. DJI Mavic Air
2. Autel EVO
1. DJI Mavic Pro

drones under 1000

Table: Top 10 Drones Under $1000 :

ImageNameCameraRangeTimeBest Price
mjx-bugs-3-altair-table10. MJX Bugs 3No300m15minSee best offer
potensic-d85_table9. Potensic D85720p1.2km20minSee best offer
8. HStone HS7202K800m25minSee best offer
ruko-f11_table7. Ruko F111080p1.2km25minSee best offer
DJI-Mavic-Mini-table6. DJI Mavic Mini2.7K4km30minSee best offer
Parrot Anafi Table5. Parrot Anafi4K4km25minSee best offer
hubsan-zino-table4. Hubsan Zino4K4km20minSee best offer
3. DJI Mavic Air4K4km20minSee best offer
autel-robotics-evo-table2. Autel EVO4K7km28minSee best offer
1. DJI Mavic Pro4K7km26minSee best offer

On the other hand, for all of you who just want to buy the very best drone out there so they can play with it and fly it around wherever they want… my oh my, we have a couple of special treats for you… But, before jumping straight to the list, first, we have to make sure you get your expectations straight. That’s why I came up with a couple of introductory chapters that will guide you through the most important aspects.



10. MJX Bugs 3

MJX Bugs 3 is the oldest drone on this list but has definitely aged well. It still brings forth a ton of entertainment but can pose as a solid all-around entry-level aerial photography solution too. There are plenty of Bugs 3 listings on Amazon, but the one we’ve linked below delivers the optimal package. So, if you like what you see about this hefty drone, make sure you check it out!

Camera and Features

As you can see, MJX Bugs 3 does not come with a camera. Yep, it’s one of the rare drones these days that don’t come with one. And while many people won’t appreciate this, I for one do. How come? Well, in my opinion, not having a camera is better than having an awful camera, it’s as simple as that.

But how can this drone be a viable entry-level aerial photography solution? Well, believe it or not, MJX Bugs 3 comes with a handy mount that supports all sorts of action cameras, including Go Pro’s. The vibration dampening system isn’t ideal, but if coupled with a decent-enough action camera, MJX Bugs 3 can definitely provide decent aerial footage.


As for the specs, MJX Bugs 3 can handle around 300 meters of operating range. You can even get FPV with this thing, but that solely depends on your action camera and whether or not it supports wireless video downlink function. Battery duration is capped at 15 minutes, although don’t be surprised if you end up getting slightly less than that with an action camera on board.




9. Potensic D85

Don’t be scared, Potensic D85 doesn’t bite! Yes, it kinda looks like it does with its aggressive design, but we’re talking about a pretty stable drone here, excellent for beginners and people looking to get into aerial photography. You can even mount a GoPro on it if the default camera isn’t good enough for you.

Camera and Features

And it probably isn’t, because Potensic D85 features a dedicated camera shooting in what seems to be an upscaled 720p resolution. It’s marketed as 2K FHD, but as soon as you lay your eyes on the footage, you’ll know it’s nowhere near FHD. The vibration isn’t that big of an issue, as much as the too sharp footage with a ton of jagged edges and lines.

Features-wise, Potensic D85 has FPV that goes up to around 700 meters, which is great for a price of under $300. Additionally, there’s also GPS as well as the usual bunch of features such as altitude hold, return to home, and failsafe. There are a few more autonomous options you can choose from, bringing the overall features department to a pretty admirable level.


You don’t have to worry about going out of range with this one. Thanks to the sophisticated transmission/receiver system, Potensic D85 can outfly a kilometer without any issues. Heck, some users have started reporting close to 1.5 kilometers of LoS distance, which is outright crazy at this price point. The battery is solid too, delivering around 20 minutes of moderate flying. Double that number and you’ll get 40 minutes, thanks to an extra battery provided in the base Potensic D85 package. All in all, this little bugger definitely deserves its place in our Top 10 drones under $1000 list.



Holy Stone HS720 with Transmitter

8. Holy Stone HS720

Holy Stone HS720 is a portable bugger, capable of delivering excellent specs and numerous advanced features at a highly competitive price point. It has a camera too, but it won’t sweep you off your feet with its sharpness and smoothness. Instead of beating around the bushes, let’s jump straight to Holy Stone HS720 and see why it’s one of the best drones you can buy for under $1000. Well under $1000, mind you!

Camera and Features

Let’s start with the camera. As hinted above, Holy Stone HS720 doesn’t feature one of those state-of-the-art sensors that you’ll find on high-end models. Instead, we’re looking at one of those 2K FHD sensors that are somewhat solid for casual users. If you want any kind of professional-grade photography out of your drone, Holy Stone HS720 won’t be able to cut it.

On the bright side, Holy Stone HS720 offers a completely different tale in the features spectrum. Not only does it have GPS, but it also runs on brushless motors (much more durable than their brushed counterparts), 2 night lights, positioning sensors, and a couple of useful flight modes, including a return to home and follow me.


Holy Stone HS720’s range took down the tests pretty well. In an orderly fashion, some would say. You can’t expect a few kilometers here, of course, seeing as this is a $300 device, but with cca 800 meters of lag-free range, I can’t say I was disappointed. Yes, the battery duration is good too, capping at around 25 minutes. Not too shabby, don’t you agree?




7. Ruko F11

Ruko F11 is coming right up! We’re looking at a foldable bugger here, featuring a solid camera, but making up for it with exceptional specs and features. It’s one of the cheapest drones on this list, too, coming in at around $300. Overall, a great package that’s well worth the money!

Camera and Features

Let’s address the elephant in the room first – Ruko F11’s camera might offer FHD footage, but it’s not that smooth in execution. While it’s still better than most similarly priced drones, it features way too much visible vibration which messes up the overall quality. That said, if the primary reason for you buying a new drone is aerial photography, then DJI Mavic Mini poses as a much better solution.

Still, Ruko F11 has some stellar features to its tally. For instance, it delivers excellent GPS connectivity, paving the way for smooth flight controls and no hiccups along the way. It also sports the usual set of features like altitude hold, follow me, auto return to home, and a bunch more. You’ll have plenty of stuff to explore once you get your hands on the Ruko F11.


Ruko F11’s specifications make up for the lack in the camera department. With roughly 25 to 30 minutes of flight time, Ruko F11 is a great example of what a proper battery size/weight ratio should be. The range isn’t half bad either, capping at 500 for FPV and around 1.2 kilometers for the controls. All around the great package, if you can suffer through the mediocre camera quality.



DJI Mavic Mini with Transmitter

6. DJI Mavic Mini

Now let’s take a closer look at one of the hottest foldable drones in 2019! This little bugger is bound to leave a mark on the entire drone scene, delivering outright sick performances and camera quality at an extremely aggressive price point. As the heading suggests, I’m referring to DJI Mavic Mini, one of the best price/performance drones, period.

Camera and Features

The biggest problem people point out regarding Mavic Mini is the fact its camera doesn’t support 4K. If that’s really such a big issue for you and shooting 4K content is a must on your end, then the next best thing you can get is the Mavic Air. If, however, you’re satisfied with crystal clear 2.7K footage, then you need nothing more than the all-new DJI Mavic Mini.

In addition to the fully stabilized (hardware and software) aerial footage, DJI Mavic Mini can also go on all sorts of autonomous missions. DJI Go app is as intuitive as always, and this little bugger features plenty of options for you to explore.


Just like the majority of similarly priced drones, DJI Mavic Mini can also fly for up to 4 kilometers. That’s sort of like the industry standard in the mid-tier section these days, and I for one can’t be happier about it. 4 kilometers is just enough, somewhat of a sweet spot for both casual and professional use. Battery duration, on the other hand, is absolutely incredible. This miniature, extremely power-efficient drone can fly as long as 30 minutes. Yep, 30 freakin’ minutes. If that’s not enough for you, then I don’t know what is…




5. Parrot Anafi

If you’re into uniqueness, then Parrot Anafi is the drone for you! It’s foldable, smart, possesses all the latest and greatest features, and has powerful hardware. However, what sets it apart from all other drones out there is the innovative camera mechanism. Want to hear more about it? Keep on reading then!

Camera and Features

Parrot is known for making unique drones, and their newest model dubbed as Anafi is the perfect example. With a unique camera charming the front portion of the drone, taking up all of the space, it’s able to record straight up. Yep, you’ve read that right – Parrot Anafi’s camera can rotate 180 degrees vertically, enabling wicked aerial perspective that’s bound to sweep you off your feet. Not only that, but this camera can also record 4K HDR footage, with professional-grade quality each and every time.

Obviously, Parrot Anafi is a high-end drone, so it’s not surprising to see a whole heap of advanced features incorporated in its dedicated app. The sky controller has been redesigned too, offering more functions and better coverage (more on that later). For now, let’s just say Parrot Anafi has one of the best sets of camera-based features currently available on market. Yes, including DJI’s lineup!


With around 4 kilometers of coverage, Parrot Anafi is no pushover in the range department. Yes, there are drones that can fly further than that, but in my opinion, 4 kilometers is more than enough for 99% of usage scenarios. As for the battery duration, Anafi can handle up to 25 minutes, which is reasonable considering its firepower and the amount of power its 4K HDR camera draws out. Overall, if you’re looking for an awesome, unique drone, Parrot Anafi is as innovative as they come!



Hubsan Zino with Transmitter

4. Hubsan Zino

Hubsan Zino won our best drones under $500 list thanks to its impressive set of features and specs, as well as a potent 4K camera. It is by far the best drone ever made by Hubsan, and with an aggressive price to its name, Hubsan Zino is on its way to conquer the mid-tier foldable drone market!

Camera and Features

Le’ts kick things off with the most important bit – Hubsan Zino’s camera. As hinted above, it’s capable of shooting 4K videos with pretty good results. I’ll even dare to say Hubsan Zino’s footage is suitable for some types of professional use. Yep, it’s that good!

The features department isn’t lacking either. Hubsan Zino has GPS and GLONASS, ensuring ultimate stability no matter your location and the weather conditions. Of course, there’s a fair share of flair here as well, mostly in the form of autonomous camera-based features that will significantly improve your aerial selfie game. The standard features are here as well, and it kind of goes without saying considering everything else Hubsan Zino comes with.


Specs-wise, Hubsan Zino isn’t too far away from the Mavic Mini. They both feature the same range, roughly 4 kilometers. However, Zino’s battery caps at around 20ish minutes, which is slightly less than 10 minutes shorter than Mavic Mini. In Zino’s defense, you can get it bundled with two batteries for roughly the same price you’d end up paying for DJI Mavic Mini.



DJI Mavic Air With Transmitter

3. DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air is next up on our bucket list. This was DJI’s second foldable drone, released after the original Mavic Pro but before the second generation and Mavic Mini. Considering the quality of the Fly More package, DJI Mavic Air belongs to the high-end list of semi-professional drones. Long story short, DJI Mavic Air has everything you might need and costs well below the $1000 mark.

Camera and Features

DJI Mavic Air sports a potent 4K camera with 3-axis gimbal stabilization. It’s capable of shooting HDR and RAW files, capturing even the slightest of details with impeccable accuracy and sharpness. The footage is as smooth as possible, even support fluid 60fps for that ultimate buttery goodness.

Features-wise, DJI Mavic Air sports a whole bunch of DJI quick shot modes for advanced aerial selfies, as well as the usual handy dandy features like GPS-assisted follow me, waypoints, return to home, altitude hold and more. Obstacle avoidance is here too, with both downward, frontal and backside sensors. Unfortunately, DJI Mavic Air can’t avoid obstacles when flying sideways, which is what most of its advanced selfie modes use.


The second foldable drone by DJI has slightly inferior features to its big brother, the original DJI foldable drone, the Mavic Pro. We’re looking at roughly 4 kilometers of operating range if you opt for the Fly More Combo that comes with the dedicated controller. Add to that roughly 20 minutes of flight time (60, considering the three included batteries), and a superb 4K camera, and you’ll realize what a wonderful deal DJI Mavic Air Fly More package is!



Autel Robotics EVO with Transmitter

2. Autel Robotics EVO

Yep, as you can probably see now, DJI Mavic Pro is still the best drone under $1000. However, there’s a small change on the runner-up spot. Autel Robotics EVO is the new arrival, featuring an exceptional package packed with accessory for just a few bucks over our $1000 limit. This package is a proper steal, to be honest, and if you’re thinking of spending exactly $1000 on a drone, you can’t really go wrong with either EVO or Mavic Pro.

Camera and Features

The biggest thing with Autel Robotics EVO camera is its bandwidth. This thing captures 4K footage at 60 frames per second, delivering exceptional smoothness combined with crystal clarity. For professional and casual uses alike, Autel Robotics EVO is one of the best mainstream packages at the moment.

The GPS/GLONASS systems are present, just like they were on the age-old Autel Robotics X-Star Premium. There’s also a 3.3-inch OLED display featuring intuitive controls and FPV footage up to 7 kilometers. Yep, 7 kilometers, just like the best DJI drones out there. Advanced vision tracking features are here as well, led by a superb follow me mode that’s pretty difficult to lose track of.


As stated above, both FPV and operating range of Autel Robotics EVO go up to around 7 kilometers. The battery duration is solid too, capping out at around 28 to 30 minutes, depending on how far you push this bad boy. The best thing is, if you’re going for that $1000+ bundle, you’ll get two additional batteries as well as a bunch of propellers, landing pads, and a carrying case. If you’re starting your own drone business, that might just be the best drone deal for slightly above $1000!



DJI Mavic Pro Novi

1. DJI Mavic Pro – Best drone under $1000

Feast your eyes, ladies, and gentlemen, because we have finally reached the best drone that you can purchase under the $1000 mark. Of course, there wasn’t any real competition for DJI Mavic Pro, an absolutely magnificent foldable drone that isn’t shy when it comes to showing off its abundance of features. So, without much further adue, let’s check this baby out and see why exactly is it considered the best under $1000 drone currently available on the market!

Camera and Features

Moreover, DJI Mavic Pro also bears an incredible number of features at its disposal. We’re talking about several autonomous flight modes, GPS, obstacle avoidance, altitude hold, facial recognition and many more. Combine all that with a fully-fledged 4K camera with its own dedicated 3-axis gimbal and you’ll begin to understand why it’s the favorite drone of choice for aerial photographers all around the globe. And for that reason, DJI Mavic Pro deservedly stands tall at the number 1 spot!


Surely the best thing about DJI Mavic Pro is its incredibly compact design. Furthermore, it’s foldable as well, allowing you to pack it with ease and transport it wherever you please. The fun starts with the fact DJI Mavic Pro does not have any compromises in terms of specifications due to its incredibly small size factor. On the contrary, it is an outright beast. With up to 7 kilometers of operating range and roughly 27 minutes of airtime, DJI Mavic Pro can go head to head with the best out there.


Average specifications of drones under $1000

If you’re looking to buy a drone under $1000, I’ll presume you’re aiming at somewhere around $700-$1000. Luckily, there are plenty of models in this price range and you will have a lot to choose from. Ultimately, that does not have to necessarily be a good thing since some of you won’t be able to make up their minds. This is due to an incredible number of top-flight models, all of which have somewhat similar performance…

With that in mind, you should still be on the lookout for “scam” drones which look pretty, have good reviews… but fail miserably when it comes to performance. That’s why I’ve decided to give you some general insight about what to look for while purchasing your drone. So, let’s jump straight to the action!

If you are looking for an amateur aerial photography platform, then you have to make sure your drone has an above-average camera. By above average, I mean that it should at least have a solid 12MPX sensor that’s capable of recording in FHD or 4K. Make sure your drone has a CMOS and not CCD camera – it will give you a much better image quality. On a side note, if you’re serious with your aerial photography, it might be good to examine image stabilization solution of your drone-to-be. Look for 3-axis or 2-axis gimbals because typical software image stabilization isn’t exactly the best method.
Even though you can always go ahead and buy additional batteries if you’re paying slightly under $1000 for your next drone, you should make sure it has at least 20 minutes of airtime. If it’s less than that, mark my words – you’ll spend more time waiting for the batteries to recharge than actually flying your drone. Don’t say I did not warn you!
In terms of features, one thing is for sure – you should not settle for a drone that lacks GPS or GLONASS. This is the most crucial feature on which your entire flying experience heavily depends. Let me elaborate on that a bit further – you see, GPS allows a huge variety of additional features including smart flight modes, follow me, return to home and even altitude hold in some cases. Other things you should look for are obstacle avoidance sensors and hardware imaging stabilization in the form of 3-axis gimbals.
The operating range represents the geographical area around your transmitter, inside of which your drone can fly freely without any interference or lag issues. In this price range, you should ideally look for more than 1 or even 2 kilometers. For reference, the newest DJI models have 7 kilometers which are absolute overkill for most real-life scenarios.

READ LATER : Drones under $500 / Drones under $300


Frequently asked questions about drones under $1000:

Are there any high-end drones on this list?
Yes, this list is definitely filled with high-end drones. As a matter of fact, it would be crazy if it was not since we’re talking about under $1000 drones here. Still, not all drones featured below can be considered the high end. The first 3 models, even though they are awesome in their own right, cannot be placed into the same basket with premium drones such as Yuneec Typhoon H or DJI Mavic Pro.
Can I use these drones for aerial photography?
There’s a simple answer to this question and that’s a loud and clear – yes! If you’re an amateur (or even a semi-professional), aerial photographer, there’s no doubt any of the below-listed drones can help you capture perfect aerial shots and videos. That’s because most of them come with hardware image stabilization in combination with top quality cameras which get the job done quickly and with buttery smoothness.
Are these drones compatible with FPV goggles?
Even though this cannot be said for all drones featured on this list, most of them indeed have full support for FPV goggles. However, if you would like to buy FPV goggles but you don’t know which ones to go for, I am afraid I cannot give you a straight-out answer. That’s because it all depends on the type of frequency your drone emits FPV video feed through. So, if you want more precise answers, you’ll have to examine the manual of your drone once it arrives… but for the most part, you should look into the most popular FPV brands such as Fat Shark which have a ton of great models to choose from.
What about drone insurance?
If you are using your drone for commercial purposes or you’re planning on doing just that in the near future, then I warmly recommend getting an insurance policy for it. Similar to car insurance, drone insurance policies will cover all damage and liability costs in case of an accident. As a matter of fact, many clients will require you to have drone insurance before doing business with you. Furthermore, by getting yourself a drone insurance policy, you are showing thorough professionalism and you’re bound to attract more clients in the future.


Drones hidden on 2019 update

10. AEE AP11

If you are looking for a great mid-tier drone with a solid camera, GPS and great flight speed, then AEE AP11 is the right one for you. Before jumping to the explanation of this drone, I must warn you that it’s not a mainstream model. It’s made by AEE, a rather unknown company… but a company that did a fairly good job with their lineup of AP drones.

In addition to this one, there are also AP9 and AP10, both of which offer pretty solid value for money. But, today we’ll be focusing on AP11 so let’s jump straight to action and see what’s it all about!

Not only does AEE AP11 have an exceptional camera that records 16MP still images and FHD footage at 60 frames per second, but it also possesses a great 3-axis gimbal stabilization system that ensures optimal image and video stability. 6800mAH LiPo battery is in charge of its operations and, quite frankly, it does its job really well by offering up to 25 minutes of flight time on a single charge. I doubt you will need more than that for casual use. Add roughly 500 meters of operating range to the equation and you’ll realize what a great mid-tier choice AEE AP11 is.

Features wise, this little fella comes with failsafe function, auto return to home and (as we already mentioned) GPS. All things considered, it is a solid looking drone with more than good specs and features. It definitely has what it takes to give you a ton of drone-flying fun!



9. DJI Spark

Truth be told, when I first started making the Best Drones Under $1000 list, I wanted to place DJI Spark on a much higher position than this one… But then it hit me – people want to see more expensive models on this list so they’ll hate it if there’s a $500 sitting at the top. That’s why I pushed it back to the 9th spot and am introducing it as a great value for money alternatives…

For those of you who don’t know about this little birdie, we’re talking about the newest drone made by DJI which is, size-wise, on a completely different level than all previous models… Heck, even DJI Mavic Pro seems like a big bulky chunk of electric circuitry in comparison to this little fella. As a matter of fact, it’s so tiny you can easily place it into your front pocket – as simple as that.

It’s pretty much why people love it so much – DJI Spark is insanely easy to carry around. Plus, it has some serious power underneath that stylish hood. We’re talking about roughly 15 minutes of flying time and cca 2 kilometers of operating range if you pair it up with its dedicated controller. Furthermore, it’s also noteworthy to add that DJI Spark incorporates a miniature FHD camera with 2-axis gimbal for optimal image stabilization.

So, needless to say, this little birdie is a genuine aerial photography platform. Even more so considering it has excellent features to go alongside its already magnificent overall performance. You see, DJI Spark comes with full DJI GO app support which means it has access to a ton of handy features including ActiveTrack and TapFly. Moreover, it also has a couple of specialized ones such as PalmLaunch and PalmControl. You’ve guessed it – what these features do is they essentially allow you to take full control over the Spark by using only hand gestures.



8. Parrot Bebop 2

Parrot is yet another extremely popular drone manufacturer. Their collection includes awesome drones such as Bebop and AR, but just recently they came out with an upgrade to their Bebop flagship. It’s the second generation of that model so it is only logical that they give it the name Bebop 2. But, what is this upgraded version capable of? Well, why don’t we take a closer look and see what’s it all about!

On the outside, Bebop 2 looks quite similar to its predecessor. There are a couple of design tweaks here and there but most of it has remained the same. On the inside is where things are much different. Take battery, for example, Bebop had a 1200mAh one that could last up to 11 minutes in the air while Bebop 2 has 2700mAh one and it can last up to 25 minutes.

Bebop 2 is significantly faster than its predecessor and has a superior flight range. This is especially true when paired with the Sky Controller which boosts the range up to 2 kilometers which are, how should I put it lightly… spectacular!

And last but not least, the camera, and believe me when I say that it’s not to be taken for granted either. Bebop 2 sports a full HD wide lens camera that is able to capture quite the aerial shots. If you are looking for a solid all-around drone with great specifications, it is quite clear that you cannot go wrong with Parrot’s Bebop 2!



7. Yuneec Typhoon Q500

Yuneec is one of the most popular drone manufacturers nowadays. Some would say they go shoulder to shoulder with DJI, even though I am not sure whether that’s true or not. But, what I am sure about is the fact that Yuneec Q500 is an excellent choice for all of you who are looking for a great aerial photography platform. Is that really so? Well, there’s only one way to find out…

First of all, let’s start with photography. At an unbelievable price, Yuneec Q500 offers a breathtaking experience with its 4k camera capable of providing you with FPV flight. Moreover, it also comes with an excellent controller featuring a large LCD display for FPV purposes. Additionally, it also sports GPS as well as other interesting features including a return to home and altitude hold.

All things considered, Yuneec Q500 seems like a proper refreshment in the higher end drone market with its spectacular performance… and we haven’t even gotten to its respective specifications!

With over 800 meters of range and up to 25 minutes of flight time is some serious power. Even though it still cannot be compared to Phantom 3’s (and above) specs, the Q500 manages to compensate for that in other aspects such as the build quality. All things considered, Q500 is a great drone that will continue making a name for itself on the market.



6. GoPro Karma

Truthfully, GoPro took much longer to enter the drones’ market than I initially expected. But is their Karma drone any good? Well, that heavily depends on what sort of experience you want from your next drone… and quite frankly, Karma gives out an outright unconventional one. Why is that so? Well, here’s the thing…

Even though it was supposed to be a direct competitor to DJI Mavic Pro, GoPro Karma had a particularly tough launch due to technical issues that ruined its chances. Luckily, that’s all fixed now… but it still cannot go anywhere near DJI’s foldable masterpiece. However, what GoPro Karma does better is provide more versatility to its users with included Karma Grip, a specialized stabilizer which can either be handheld or body-mounted. With Karma Grip, it’s obvious that GoPro aims not only at drone enthusiasts but at professional photographers as well…

And they’re making that quite clear with 3-axis gimbal in combination with one of their HERO action cameras. With such exceptional imaging solutions, there’s no doubt GoPro Karma can capture extraordinary aerial footage. But, when it comes to specifications, that’s where it lacks the most… at least in comparison to DJI Mavic. GoPro Karma has an operating range of up to 3 kilometers and its battery lasts approximately 17 minutes.

It’s a bit bulkier than Mavic Pro too, but it’s nothing drastic. The foldable format keeps it out of the dirt and rounds up what seems to be a decent package… but nowhere near DJI Mavic Pro!



5. DJI Phantom 3 Professional

After that miniature DJI Spark, it is time to go for the golden middle… and this time around, that place belongs to none other than DJI Phantom 3 Pro. The third installment in DJI’s Phantom lineup is nothing short of spectacular. Especially the Pro edition which has some good upgrades including better camera (4K at 30fps), longer flight range, Lightbridge video downlink and GPS/GLONASS dual positioning modules.

All of this makes the Professional version a much more versatile drone that can be used for a wide variety of possible applications. When it comes to build quality, I am sure you already realize that DJI did not let anything bad slip away under the radar. The quality is perfect as expected, even though there aren’t that many changes in the entire Phantom lineup.

As always, DJI takes good care when it comes to features as well so it is no surprise to see that DJI Phantom 3 Professional has a whole plethora of them. Needless to say, these are just some of the reasons why this drone is considered one of the best ever made.

Even though time has obviously taken a fair share of toll, DJI Phantom 3 Pro is still not falling too short from newer models… at least when it comes to specifications. To elaborate, DJI Phantom 3 Pro has approximately 25 minutes of flight time and roughly 5 kilometers of the range which is, you’ll have to admit it, pretty good for an aging drone…


4. DJI Phantom 4

Even though it is pretty difficult to find this drone under $1,000 (then again, it is on sale frequently), we decided to place it on our list because let’s face it, what kind of a list would it be without DJI Phantom 4, the God among drones… This little fella has it all. In other words, if you are looking for a premium drone and money is not an issue, then this is definitely what you are looking for.

For those of you who aren’t familiar (although I don’t think there’s too many of those reading this) with DJI or their awesome Phantom 4 model, I’m going to give you a brief 101 in the next few paragraphs.

First of all, with its 4K camera, 3-axis motorized gimbal, a whole bunch of smart features, obstacle avoidance and more, there is no doubt that Phantom 4 is one hell of a drone. And that’s just for the starters! So, obviously, its features aren’t the only thing awesome about it – specifications are too! With 27 minutes of flight time, 45mph top speed, and roughly 7 kilometers of operating range and an ultra-responsive controller, there really are only a few drones that are worth comparing to this beast.

Still, as I already mentioned in the first sentence of this short review, it is not that cheap. It comes in a wide variety of bundles that will give you a bunch of accessories, spare parts, extra batteries and so on and these can go up to more than $2,000. Still, if you are lucky enough, you might just be able to find the drone itself bundled together with just its controller and battery on sale for just a bit less than $1,000.



3. Yuneec Typhoon H

Ranging on the upper margin of our price tier today, Typhoon H sure has a ton of features to talk about. With brand new technologies being implemented in this little birdie (and by that, I mainly think of Intel RealSense which could stir up the entire market) and an aggressive price tag that could interest both casual and professional users, Yuneec Typhoon H is ought to make it good out there on the market…

This bulky, powerful hexacopter comes with an ST16 controller and sports a CGO3+ camera capable of providing you with FPV live feed. More importantly, this camera supports 4K resolution and is mounted on a motorized 3-axis gimbal that is going to give it all the stability it needs, even during the stormiest of flights.

The great thing about this model is the previously mentioned Intel RealSense module which is unlike anything we had the chance to see thus far. It is basically a collision-avoidance system that enhances obstacle avoidance by providing real-time detection from all directions. It is pretty clear that this is an innovative technology and it really makes this drone stand out in front of the competition.

Features-wise, Yuneec Typhoon H comes with everything you’d expect from a drone with this price tag. Autonomous flight modes are here, and so is altitude hold, GPS and all that good stuff. Combine that with awesome specifications (1 mile of flight range and cca 25 minutes flight time) and you will understand why people are going crazy about it.


2. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium

And the title of the second-best drone under $1000 goes to X-Star Premium by Autel Robotics. In fact, this is the only drone that can be mentioned in the same sentence with DJI Phantom 4  and DJI Mavic Pro without me feeling bad about it. I swear it’s true! Come to think of it, the two are pretty similar in terms of both design and specifications, but the X-Star Premium is much cheaper than DJI’s flagship. But, can its performance match that of DJI Phantom 4? Let’s take a closer look and see for ourselves!

With its 4K camera that’s, of course, mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, this drone effectively captures the very essence of aerial photography and produces extremely smooth recordings and crystal clear still images. The remote controller that comes bundled with the drone is quite good and allows for seamless connectivity up to 1.2 miles away from it. This is especially praiseworthy considering the live FPV feed works without any issues over the entire length.

When it comes to airtime, you can be sure that the included 4900mAh battery works exceptionally well. Believe it or not, this thing can last up to 25 minutes on a single charge, almost to the point of beating DJI’s flagship. To top it all off, it is also worth mentioning that it’s packed with smart features such as GPS+GLONASS navigation systems, magnetic interference protection, auto takeoff/landing, hovering, return to home and more.


1. DJI Mavic Pro

Feast your eyes, ladies, and gentlemen, because we have finally reached the best drone that you can purchase under the $1000 mark. Of course, there wasn’t any real competition for DJI Mavic Pro, an absolutely magnificent foldable drone that isn’t shy when it comes to showing off its abundance of features. So, without much further adue, let’s check this baby out and see why exactly is it considered the best under $1000 drone currently available on the market!

Surely the best thing about DJI Mavic Pro is its incredibly compact design. Furthermore, it’s foldable as well, allowing you to pack it with ease and transport it wherever you please. The fun starts with the fact DJI Mavic Pro does not have any compromises in terms of specifications due to its incredibly small size factor. On the contrary, it is an outright beast. With up to 7 kilometers of operating range and roughly 27 minutes of airtime, DJI Mavic Pro can go head to head with the best out there.

Moreover, DJI Mavic Pro also bears an incredible number of features at its disposal. We’re talking about several autonomous flight modes, GPS, obstacle avoidance, altitude hold, facial recognition and many more. Combine all that with a fully-fledged 4K camera with its own dedicated 3-axis gimbal and you’ll begin to understand why it’s the favorite drone of choice for aerial photographers all around the globe. And for that reason, DJI Mavic Pro deservedly stands tall at the number 1 spot!

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I haven't seen any reviews of the Autel Robotics X-Star drone, regular or premium. Do you have a review on-line?


Might also mention that the price of building is usually 250 USD - ∞. There are many great communities such as the one I'm a part of with people willing to help you choose parts and help get you in the air.

- GJH105775 from quadcopterforum


Will look into that!


I want my son and I hes 13 to get into this bigtime I have 1000 bucks to spend full budget can you recommend 5 of your best picks need good camera and ease of operations and also from a good reputable company that has great support also id like to be able to hook up my tablet to fly with option of controller . thank you so much for any help. Gerry Maloney. [email protected]


The Go pro Karma looks great. I'll look more into it.


Does the DJI mavic pro has a slot or holder for a gps tracking device? Will buy them soon, only if it has a holder for my trackimo, a gps tracking device. Thanks in advance for your replies.