Alternatives to DJI for £250?

Dji good, everyone else bad? Seriously, are there any other makes or models I should be checking out for a reliable, controllable drone that can shoot decent photos and vids, and has the benefit of gps, which is I think an essential for a newbie if only for the RTH facility, though it has other advantatges as well.

Strapped for cash (poverty-stricken pensioner) and probably going to buy a basic dji mini se 2 setup at £250, my absolute top budget, but I’m checking out other dji on the Bay of e in the hope of picking up a decent ‘fly more’ setup for less than £250. I have eliminated the big lumps, Phantom and such, because a kilogram of electronics falling out of the sky can do quite a bit of damage if I lose control of and because I like the idea of a folding drone. I’ve registered with the CAA as an operator, so can happily consider 250g+. I don’t have a car so my flying has to be from places I can walk to or go to on the bus (I’m in Cardiff, and a pensioner, so the buses are free, tx Welsh Assembly Govt.). Tello are no good because they have no gps, but I think I’m correct in saying that all other dji does.

Been learning the ropes with a cheapo non-gps drone, a Global Drone P8, which is u/s in even the lightest of winds and not particularly wonderful in the camera department. I don’t think I can learn much more from it now…


Apart from no collision sensors, the DJI mini 2 se is a great little machine, so long as the trees and walls don’t jump out on you lol, you’ll be good. Great camera, GPS, RTH, you’re good to go.


This is coming from a DJI fan. I have looked at others but I like the DJI. I am not saying all the others are bad but in my own opinion, I doubt I would ever change for many reasons.

I would say stay below 250g as then you have a lot less restrictions on where you fly. Keep looking on here in the for sale thread. There are some drones popping up on the thread. There is more chance that the people selling maybe selling for upgrade reasons and also are likely to be more honest then ebay. Not always true but there may be other resons for the sale. Be careful of what you buy and make sure the person has unlinked their account from the drone.

Even if you have registered with the CAA, if you go above 250g then you will find yourelf with restrictions. Make sure you are fully aware of what restrictions you will get.

Have a look at good to go and that will give you an idea of your restrctions.


Dji certainly seem to be the way to go. But it’s a bit of a culture shock; my other hobby is model railways, also nearly all made in China, but there are a number of firms in the field of high-quality models, some well established and some that have sprung up in the last few years. Unlike the drone situation, there is no real equivalent of the cheapo Amazon drones that don’t come from a firm anyone’s ever heard of; they are all ‘DJI equivalants’ though some cater to what might be described as a ‘lo fi’ market in the same vein as DJI’s Tello range. It’s a bit more lively and competitive, same as cameras, hi-fi, cars, and most other consumer hi-tec. Even in computing there are two dominant players that have the global market pretty much sewn up, but there are at least more than one!

DJI apparently have 70% of the global market in camera drones, and I would probably not be far off the mark in suggesting that the other 30% is mostly the cheapo Chinese Amazon bargain basement stuff. There can’t be many fields in which one firm holds such an overwhelmingly dominant position, and presumbly a monopoly on the design expertise needed to create drones with what are to my primitive brain near-miraculous performance and abilities for the prices that they do; £249 for the basic mini 2 se is astonishing, and what the drone can do is pretty astonishing as well.

It will be interesting to see if anybody takes up the gauntlet now that what seem to be easily the best quality and value-for-money drones anywhere are not going to be available in the US, a huge market with a lot of customers with high disposable incomes. It is a law of nature that a vacuum tends to be filled, and this applies to an economic vacuum as well; there’s money to be made, and I have no doubt that made it will be…


Bore da, John. Sounds like you’ve already made up your mind mate, so go out this morning and get one (or order it straight from DJI, free postage, and you’ll get a free T shirt!). Charge it up, get out and practice, enjoy!


Unless you want the places you fly to be severely restricted, stay under 250g. Unless off course you plan on spending more money to do the A2CoC course, but even then it will still restrict your flying.
I would definitely be looking for a used fly more combo of some sort. One battery will only give you 25 minutes of flying time and then you’re finished until you recharge. If you go down the ebay route, make sure the seller has a really high rating and has put plenty photos of the item on, also look for other info like flight times and distances, software/firmware versions, battery cycle counts etc. If they don’t have the info, then ask for it. Honest sellers will have all this info. Last but not least, take your time!!! Be patient and the right one will turn up. Also keep an eye out in our own for sale section, or maybe even put in a wanted post? You never know, someone in here might have one sitting around they no longer need after upgrading. I have one in there just now, but I’m about to withdraw it as
A: it wont sell for what I want.
B: since it’s been up for sale I’ve realised how restricted I am in using the air 2 because of the weight.

If you spot something on ebay, post us a link so we can help check it out for you.


Evening squire

We started out with the Mini 2 SE fly more combo, for the money its an amazing piece of technology. Great pics and video even tho its 2.7k ( i cant really see any difference). I then treated the Mrs to the Mini 4 pro of which she loves, but despite the obstacle avoidance a rogue tree managed to ambush her.
I keep the Mini 2 SE in the boot of my car all the time ( mobile engineer) and actually prefer it to the 4 pro. The quality of the videos still amaze me knowing how much it cost.
I have heard people rave about the Potensic Atom which you can find slightly cheaper but DJI in my eyes win hands down.
Good luck with the hunt for your new drone, it will be worth the wait


The Potensic Atom is a good starter drone. I have a Potensic Atom SE and a DJI Mini 2 SE, the Mini 2SE is the better option of the two in my opinion. The Mini 2 SE has a 3 axis gimbal and therefore produces much smoother video footage. The range is also better. The Potensic Atom SE can suffer from ‘camera fogging’ and often needs to be given time to adjust to the ambient temperature (10 - 15 minutes out of the case), however it is a great flyer and the Potensic customer support is claimed to be pretty good.
The newer Potensic Atom (3 gimbal version) produces some great video / photos however the price difference between the Atom and the Mini 2 SE isn’t enough to justify buying it, in my opinion.

Hi John! Lots of helpful folk on this forum and usually without any pomposity too! It isnt a bad idea to source a low hours used DJI mini with the ‘fly more’ setup. Ive seen them pop up on FB marketplace for a little over £200 with original packaging and hardly flown. The only real reason I post on this is that if your buying used (apart from the wise advise already given) is to ensure the drone has been un registered with the original owner with DJI through the app. It will cause problems with registration when you connect everything up initially. I wont elaborate on it as there is much online regarding resold DJI products being still registered on someone else’s account. It is the usual saying of ‘if it seems to good to be true’ it probably is. I would try to source something locally if a used bargain to be sourced. That way you can be shown the seller hasnt got it registered etc before parting with cash. Like a few posters have said. Something will show up. I waited 2 years to get a used Inspire I could warrant spending a hobby budget on. Like most though now my mini is a go to with the weight! Happy hunting!

A few Mavic mini fly more packages on the bay have attracted my attention at around the £200 level buy it now, not auctions, can’t be doing with auctions…

How would one tell if they’ve been de-registered and how does one go about re-registering them if they aren’t?

Just make sure to remind the seller to unbind it from their account ( it’s one of those ones you have to trust in they have done that )

If they aren’t unbound as far as I’m aware you can’t your buggered :grimacing:

Me personally if I was going to buy a second hand one I’d rather go or meet in person to make sure this has been done & secondly to make sure everything works as should.

Edit : sorry I read wrong.

You can tell if they haven’t been un bound, when you come to register it, it’ll tell you it’s still bound to a DJI account


At least on eBay you can contact the seller, and hope he is cooperative. But I’m glad the GA collective have flagged this up for me, it is certainly a potential spaniard in the werks… Not sure I have a full handle on the situation, but AIUI if the drone is still bound to a previous owner’s a/c with DJI, you can’t fly it at all, or only within limited parameters set by the pervious owner, and DJI don’t have any mechanism that allows you to re-register it as the new owner.

I’m sure this has all been covered before, but, and again AIUI, I would be entitled to a refund from eBay because the drone is not working as advertised. But it’s a situation I would obviously prefer to avoid! Thing to do if you’re buying 2h on eBay is probably to contact the seller and ask him if it will be dispatched unbound, and not buy from that seller if he/she doesn’t respond.

I need to watch out for this sort of thing; as the old bluesman says, ‘if it was’n for bad luck, I would’n have no luck at all’. Makes it all a bit onerous, though, I’ve got half a dozen DJI drones on my eBay watchlist, and asking half a dozen owners and waiting on them for responses is a bit of a time sucker and highly inconvenient.

Or take a chance on it, buy a 2h drone from one of them, and hope it is unbound or the seller is amenable to unbinding it.

‘One DJI to rule them all, one DJi to find them
one DJI to bring them all, and in the darkness BIND them
in the land of Drondor where the shadows lie…’.

I would respectfully suggest that a company that commands 70% of the global market in a product is a pretty good match for the Dark Lord.

By which time it’s too late.

1 Like

That’s why DJI are about to get banned in America :chains:

Born under a bad sign, Cream. Can’t remember the original singer.

The no fly bit was brought in to stop people selling lost/found/stolen drones, one point where DJI are helpful. They can’t, or won’t do anything to help you unbind a drone in case you’re the one who pinched/found it.

Albert King 1967

You could maybe keep an eye out for ‘Refurbished’ on the DJI store website (no mini2SE’s at the moment though, but they do have a ‘Notify Me’ button).
I’ve not bought ‘refurbished’ myself, maybe someone could advise whether they found them good or bad.
Here is the link:

Good luck with finding your drone. Go DJI as it’s they are the most covered drone on YouTube for info and guidance. You mention £250 limit but Ill guarantee you’ll want to upgrade pretty quickly. I started with the mini 2 and now have the mini4 Pro so stretch your budget as far as you can and it’ll save you money in the long run. Perhaps go to a local GADC meet if you want to try them out, our members are all eager to help and let you try their expensive toys. It’s the beauty of this club. :+1:

1 Like

I’ll let you have a play with the Inspire if you like

1 Like