If you can't buy a DJI drone, what should you get? Here are six non-DJI drones I recommend

Potensic Atom

The gimbal tilt control is smooth. There is a video button on the left shoulder and a camera shutter on the right.

(Image credit: Future)

Thanks to legal restrictions on freedom (or those which might be on the way) it's sometimes important to look for an alternative to DJI, the world leader in consumer & prosumer drones.

Most of the time, you'd simply look for the best camera drone, the best beginner drone, or best thermal drone out there, but not everyone has that luxury. 

Adam Juniper with a drone
Adam Juniper

Adam was building drones when DJI was just another company online selling parts like all the other hobby firms in what was a super-niche area. He is our resident expert on drones (but also boasts a law degree). He is the author of several books on the subject including bestsellers The Complete Guide to Drones and The Drone Pilot's Handbook.

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Features4K camera, rich software features including subject tracking★★★★★
DesignStylish folding airframe, smart controller, decent app★★★★
PerformanceSharp video, effective 3-axis gimbal ★★★★★
ValueExcellent prices, especially in the fly more kit★★★★★
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FeaturesThere is a lot this drone unlocks once you take a moment to learn★★★★★
DesignSlightly less elegant than some, the controller is very weighty★★★★
PerformanceThis is a responsive and powerful drone, with brilliant control range★★★★★
ValueThe pricing is surprisingly reasonable, especially compared to American-made commercial drones, but the mapping software requires an extra subscription★★★★
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FeaturesMulti-lens camera system is good for inspection, and the optional accessories including RTK make the drone a portable powerhouse.★★★★
DesignPersonally I don't love the green, but the hardware is tried and tested with little to fault it★★★★
PerformanceAt his point I can only speak to the cameras in their DJI form; the telephoto could have been sharper but the main camera is stunning★★★★★
ValueThe prices are very encouraging, especially compared to many American firms who seem to be taking advantage of the situation somewhat★★★★★
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FeaturesSubject tracking and remote-less operation★★★★★
DesignUltra-light folding cage ★★★★★
PerformanceAI tracking great, though battery could be longer★★★★
ValueSomething of a matter of opinion★★★★
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FeaturesFeatures aren't important here – simplicity is – but the flight modes are helpful and you can record video with the goggles★★★★
DesignThis is a versatile frame which can cope with a lot of bump, and the game like controller is appreciated★★★★
PerformanceAs micro-whoops go, it's quick and responsive★★★★
ValueAll you need with far less investment than many hobbyists have made. What's to complain about?★★★★
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FeaturesGood resolution, though lacks the dual-camera system of the Air 3★★★★
DesignNot 'light' but easy to travel with★★★★
PerformanceDecent battery, impressive camera and night modes★★★★★
ValueThe price is very appealing if you want creative control★★★★
Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook