Sooner or later, most people get drawn toward the world of drones, whether to simply use them as picture-capturing tools or to venture into the waters of content creation. Regardless of your preferences, drones will, sooner or later, be a part of your life.
Those who find an immediate interest in these aircraft soon realize the importance of keeping their drones safe, especially during their flying shenanigans. To address the elephant in the room, we have created a list of the best drones with collision and obstacle avoidance.
Below, you'll take a closer look at the top 3 drones that we recommend for anyone, but if you are interested in an in-depth look at how this safety feature works, then I urge you to continue reading until you reach the end of this article!
DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro
- Vastly upgraded safety features, weighing roughly 249 grams - by far the safest Mavic in its series.
- With a flight time clocking up to 34 minutes, you can effortlessly explore and capture superb-quality shots.
- The image quality is amplified with the 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, which unveils more detail in low-light scenery.
Our #2 Rated
DJI Mavic 3
Best High-End Drone
- Omnidirectional obstacle sensing matched provides an ideally safe flight experience lasting up to 46 minutes.
- 10-bit D-Log color profile allows you to capture up to 1 billion colors, enabling editors to bring the best out of the file in post-processing.
- 3-axis gimbal is integrated for maximum stability, as well as an infrared sensor positioned at the bottom of the drone
Our #3 Rated
EXO X7 Ranger Plus
Best Non-DJI Budget Drone
- An affordable camera drone that beginners and veterans can use.
- 100% brushless motor powered with a 3400mAh LiPo battery capable of reaching a top speed of 27mph.
- You can expect a 25-minute safe flight time with a fully charged battery.
1.DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro - Best Value
When the DJI drone manufacturers announced the Mavic Mini 3 Pro's release in May 2023, people were anxious to discover the main differences between its predecessor. We can safely assume by the overwhelming positive critics that the Mini 3 received made us eager to test it ourselves much faster.
As you have probably heard, obstacle avoidance systems weren't integrated into most drones before the release of the Mini 3 Pro, especially those that weigh less than 250g. To detect obstacles with such a light-frame drone was an inconceivable feat.
Despite all odds, on May 10th, 2023, drone enthusiasts were able to greet the smallest DJI drone that features a collision avoidance system, alongside other advanced specifications meant to provide a statement for other mini drone assemblers.
Regardless of your preferences, this model is suitable for nearly all endeavors - from young drone enthusiasts to veteran drone pilots, all individuals will be capable of piloting this unique drone. Furthermore, with such a small frame, you can leisurely carry it in most backpacks, which resolves the previous issues of needing special drone cases, which were proven to be extremely inefficient.
To kick things off, the Mavic Mini 3 Pro completely outshines the predecessor's maximum flight distance, bringing in an incredible 18km control distance, which can be further amplified to 25km with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus.
Regarding the battery - the starter battery weighs around 80.5 grams, whereas the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus brings that up to 121 grams. Remembering this is vital, as the difference in approximately 40 grams will enforce different FAA rules.
But, the main topic remains - obstacle avoidance algorithms stay the same even if you mount the larger battery on this drone. We believe that every quality drone should meet this standard, which can be difficult to achieve - sending our regards to the experts behind the DJI!
The obstacle detection sensors are located on the front of the airframe - the tri-directional obstacle avoidance system with downward, rear, and front-facing sensors that responds effortlessly to all obstacles present on the drone's environment flight path.
Shooting 48MP photos were made possible with the 1/1.3-inch CMOS camera in both JPEG and Raw formats. The camera runs on a 24mm format equivalent lens with a fast f/1.7 aperture capable of outputting a FOV of 82.1 degrees.
Although we noticed a slight reduction in sharpness near the edges of the frame - the Mini 3 Pro creates superb images, which speaks volumes about the camera quality of this drone. Most individuals won't notice this anomaly, so you don't need to worry about it!
The Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS 4.0) is without question the strongest point present in the newest generation of the Mini 3 Pro. The aircraft will detect all objects within its flight path despite its current location. As soon as it detects an object, the obstacle avoidance work will kick in without question, forcing the aircraft to fly around all the obstacles in real time.
In the previous generations, some complications were manifested when the Follow Me mode was turned on, most notably the lack of the drone's ability to sense obstacles. With the Mini 3 Pro's autonomous flight paired with its ultrasonic sensor - you won't need to worry about if it will detect objects during its autonomous flight modes.
2. DJI Mavic 3 - Best High-End
The 5th of November 2021 will be remembered as the official launch date of the brand new DJI Mavic 3 - the pinnacle of drone technology featuring a Hasselblad camera with a 4:3 image sensor, alongside a secondary camera packed with hybrid zoom.
Unlike the relationship between the Mini 3 Pro and the Mini 2 Pro, DJI Mavic 3 and DJI Mavic 2 feature collision avoidance sensors integrated within the aircraft. But, a notable difference is apparent, which will be touched upon a bit later.
Although they might seem quite similar to the naked eye - veteran drone enthusiasts are well-aware of all of the major upgrades and changes that were implemented into the Mavic 3 - from the improved video shooting to the obstacle avoidance algorithm - the superiority is present.
Most intelligent flight modes are also further developed, so that drone enthusiasts can feel a distinct difference from their predecessors. And why shouldn't they - expensive drones such as the DJI Mavic 3 should radiate a sense of luxury that high-quality drones should possess.
This is further evident by the famed Swedish brand Hasselblad, which designed the incredible L2D-20c aerial camera exclusively for DJI Mavic 3 integrated into an unbelievably compact space within the aircraft.
So, if you are looking for a high-end aircraft that archives state-of-the-art photography and the best obstacle avoidance, then look no further - let's start with the specifications.
Even though the Mavic 3 weighs roughly 895 grams - it's a foldable drone that can quite effortlessly be placed in most backpacks. Its folded state measures 221 x 96.3 x 90.3 mm, contrary to its unfolded state that's measured 347.5 x 283 x 107.7 mm.
Don't be fooled by the nearly 900 grams of this drone - it can easily reach 6000 meters while maintaining a crisp connection between the operating device. It's noteworthy that the previously mentioned maximum service ceiling is corresponding to the sea level.
Furthermore, the maximum service ceiling can be disrupted by most weather conditions, most notably the presence of wind.
Coincidentally, if there isn't an overwhelming presence of wind - this aircraft can reach a maximum hovering time of 40 minutes. The maximum flight time is capped at 46 minutes in ideal weather conditions, whereas the maximum flight distance is 30 km.
As we previously mentioned, the dual Hasselblad camera is the bread and butter of this aircraft. With 4/3 CMOS and 20MP, you can capture excellent images regardless of current lighting conditions.
The camera features a Natural Color Solution, which showcases a new perspective and standards on how drone cameras should handle a variety of scenes, all while reproducing natural and accurate colors.
When it comes to obstacle avoidance drones, only a handful can come close to the omnidirectional binocular vision system integrated within the Mavic 3, not to mention the infrared sensors located at the bottom of the aircraft.
The fifth-generation Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS 5.0) made all of this possible.
It's unbelievable when you think about the sheer number of obstacle avoidance sensors present on this drone - 8 to be more precise! Two sensors face downward, upward, forward, and backward, bringing it to a total of 8.
These stereo vision sensors are nothing short of amazing - we noticed that they can detect objects as far as 200 meters away, bringing the avoid obstacles term to a whole new level.
Most people within the drone community are primarily focused on DJI drones when discussing vision sensors capable of protecting their aircraft once it's launched into the air. Although we agree with this statement, some drones are capable of rivaling DJI's.
Look no further than the EXO X7 Ranger - one of the best non-DJI budget options for all drone enthusiasts. Those that were fond of the X7 Ranger are well aware of the vastly-present differences between the Plus model and the predecessor.
The 3-axis gimbal on the X7 Ranger Plus features a second-generation model, which completely outshines the first-generation one on the X7 Ranger. The battery is also more appealing - 7.6V 3400 mAh compared to the previous 7.4V 2800 mAh.
Even the main controller unit of the aircraft progressed from a budget grade to a premium grade quality. Of course, most notably - the X7 Ranger Plus joined the premium club of drones with obstacle avoidance, whereas the previous model lacks this luxury.
As a budget option high-quality drone, the X7 Ranger Plus offers a comfortable first experience with a drone for all people that are looking for a starter aircraft. Pilot support, easy tutorials, intuitive controls, and many more - let's take a closer look at this aircraft.
This drone weighs around 624 grams and can be folded into a 203.2 x 101.6 x 76.2 mm unit. Contrary to its folded state, once you unfold it, you will have a 279.4 x 279.4 x 76.2 mm aircraft capable of facing the most advanced drones.
We were quite surprised when we tested this unit for the first time - it turns out that you can expect a maximum flight time of 25 minutes per battery. We say per battery as you can extend your overall flight time as long as you bring in any additional fully charged spare batteries.
Even the maximum speed left us speechless - clocking in at 27 mph, one might say that this drone can even fair against professional racing drones! All jokes aside, with a level 6 wind resistance (around 25 mph winds), you are looking at a reliable drone that excels in windy conditions.
We highly recommend that you don't send the X7 Ranger Plus further than 800 meters from you, as the connection will be lost shortly after the limit is passed.
The 3-axis gimbal is paired with a 1/3.2 CMOS camera capable of shooting 4K images at 9MP. Once you decide to take your chances with the video recording, you'll shortly notice the excellent 2K video camera quality capabilities.
Skyline shots never looked this amazing on other drones with a budget prefix - you can zoom up to 50x live from the app.
Of course, the moment that you have been waiting for - the obstacle avoidance sensors on the X7 Ranger Plus are powered with the EXO laser obstacle sensors. Cheap drones usually can't brag about such features, let alone the physical scene observed at 360 degrees angles.
Further packed with advanced features such as Circle, Return to Home, and Follow me - the collision avoidance systems present within this drone is truly one-of-a-kind within its price range.
4. DJI Mavic Air 2S - Best Midrange For Content Creation
Most people are surprised that the DJI Mavic Air 2S is still seen occupying the skies in most drone areas. Regardless of its release back in April 2020 - the overall capabilities and specifications of the Mavic Air 2S made it a fan favorite back in the day, which resulted in its presence even in the second phase of 2023.
Drones with obstacle avoidance proved to be safer compared to their predecessors, which lacked this feature. With the coincidental release date being quite similar to the official start of Covid-19, people were left trapped with small opportunities, especially content creators that made a living by recording their daily lives.
As such, they needed to find other alternatives to help them with the problem at hand. With a little luck, the Mavic Air 2S was released, featuring obstacle avoidance and other tweaks that made the control of this aircraft, unlike anything we have seen before.
Placing them side by side - the Mavic Air 2S and the Mavic Air 2 looked quite similar, only differing in a small number of things - 2S is 4 mm shorter folded and weighs 25 grams less. But, once we start digging deeper, the differences in other specifications and features present quite dramatically.
Content creators seeking to make a name of themselves by shooting their daily lives with drones adore this aircraft - with a weight of just under 600 grams, you can place the Mavic Air inside most backpacks rather comfortably. We have seen some people even carrying them inside their winter jackets!
All of this was made possible with 180 x 97 x 77 mm dimensions when folded. On takeoff, you can elevate this drone to a maximum service ceiling of up to 5000 meters, which proves just how spectacular your landscape photos can look.
As long as there aren't any troublesome windy conditions currently present in the atmosphere, the Mavic Air 2S can comfortably reach a maximum flight time of 31 minutes. The overall flight time is usually lowered to around 20 minutes, as these ideal conditions for a maximum flight time are quite difficult to come by.
One of the key elements that most content creators are looking for in drones with obstacle avoidance is the lack of noise in propellers. To our general surprise, the noise of propellers was so light, that we believed at first that there was no noise whats0ever.
The 20 MP one-inch sensor integrated into this aircraft is capable of capturing some of the most stunning shots we have ever seen. With that in mind, it's quite apparent why the Mavic Air 2S is the most used drone camera even today by content creators.
Let's not forget the 4K/60fps video recording that is at your disposal once you make a takeoff with this unit. Authentic color tones are paired with rich clarity - the dream of all upcoming content creators.
A quick sidenote - although this camera features a lengthy digital zoom, we strongly recommend that you only use the zoom up to 2x, as anything above that reduces the quality of your images.
The Mavic Air 2S can detect obstacles with infrared sensors in all four directions - down, up, backward, and forward. We can thank the APAS 4.0 system for that; the latest system will be integrated into collision avoidance drones in 2020.
Collision avoidance or other drones - whatever your Mavic Air might come across, it will effortlessly keep track of the surrounding environment and calculate an optimal flight path.
Moreover, the DJI Air 2S has an added layer of airspace safety (AirSense safety system) - it receives an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) from other aircraft such as helicopters and drones that transmit the same system, which provides audio and visual alerts directly to your DJI Fly app.
The three most attractive features for all content creators would have to be Spotlight 2.0, ActiveTrack 4.0, and the Point of Interest 3.0 - all of which further enhance the safety of the drone and overall quality of footage captured with the DJI Air 2S.
5. Night Lions Tech GPS
As the last entry on today's list of drones that possess an obstacle avoidance function, we'll take a closer look at the Night Lions Tech GPS - a beginner drone capable of avoiding obstacles detected within a 20-meter radius.
It might come as a surprise that this type of drone is listed among those above it, but it's vital to provide a solution for a safe drone for all newcomers that are interested in piloting unmanned aircraft for the first time.
Of course, you won't make a single mistake with choosing a fan-favorite DJI drone, but those drones should be, in our humble opinions, piloted by seasoned individuals that have months or years of experience with drones. Still, once you find out the focal point of this drone, you might be interested in taking a closer look at this aircraft, perhaps even buying it someday yourself!
With a 7.6V 3400 mAh battery, the Night Lions proved more capable of having a fight time of about 26 minutes. One of the more interesting things about this drone is that it comes with a secondary battery that can be used as support whenever you wish to extend the total flight time by bringing it to a whopping 52 minutes.
Although the drone doesn't come with an SD Card within the box, it has a high-speed SD Card slot that will give you an edge over other drones that lack this slot. A quick sidenote - if you try to place a regular SD Card in that slot, you will come short, as the footage captured while a standard SD Card is within the high-speed slot won't be recorded and saved.
Most new drone enthusiasts won't bother to test their skills by maneuvering the drone too far from the location of the initial liftoff. As such, the 1200-meter maximum control distance should be more than enough to suffice the needs of those individuals.
Contrary to the control distance - the maximum WiFi image transmission distance is 800 meters, which serves nicely for a beginner-friendly drone with obstacle avoidance technology. Maintaining a human vision with your drone is a key element for all newcomers to the world of drones!
During our test runs with the Night Lions, we noticed remarkable features regarding the 3-axis gimbal camera. Most drones that come with two cameras are quite difficult for beginners, as they tend to lose control of the position of the cameras rather quickly. But, we shortly realized a nice addition to this unit - the 65 degrees lateral and 110 degrees vertical automatic repair of the camera's position.
Furthermore, the EIS Anti-Shake further complements the overall stability of these cameras mounted on the Night Lions drone - it swiftly shakes off any image vibration caused by the exterior elements. All your images will be captured in 4K resolution, whereas the video resolution is capped at 2K/25FPS.
The secondary camera mounted on the top of the Night Lions serves as a 360 degrees obstacle avoidance machine, which will keep your drone safe. Once it reaches a stationary object within a 20-meter radius, it will immediately provide you with an alarm, as well as inform you that the drone shouldn't go further due to the presence of an obstacle.
On the topic of safety repercussions, the Night Lions drone features an Optical Flow Mode, which further keeps your drone safe by using the low-power return and one-click return.
How To Chose Between Drones With Obstacle Avoidance & Collision
Depending on your budget and preferences, you'll take a high-end or a low-end drone. In either case, for today's standards, you need to be extra cautious when buying low-end drones, as some aren't equipped with obstacle avoidance features. We highly recommend that you exclusively aim for drones with obstacle avoidance, as they will save your drone more time than you can imagine.
It's better to purchase a more expensive drone with the obstacle avoidance feature than to end up in a loophole by constantly repairing your low-end drone, as it will inevitably run into certain obstacles, regardless of your piloting skills.
Battery Life & Control Range
Some drones come with obstacle avoidance features packed within an external camera that can be mounted and dismounted at will. Make sure to remember that using the overall battery life and control range of your drone will be affected by the presence of those obstacle avoidance cameras. In short - if you mount it, the life expectancy will decrease, as well as the control range of your drones.
Unfortunately, all good things need to come to an end sooner or later - such is the fate of our today's topic, "Drones with collision and obstacle avoidance." Before we depart, let's briefly take a look at what obstacle avoidance needs to achieve for all drones:
Regardless of the conditions, the integrated obstacle avoidance system within your drone must protect your drone at all times by informing you of any incoming obstacles approaching your drone or a stationary object within your drone's current flight path. Any compromise within this system shouldn't exist - keep your drones safe at all times and enjoy your next flight!
Are DJI Mavic Clones Good?
Not all, but the clones we reviewed are of good quality. If you have ever dreamed of owning DJI Mavic Pro 3 but its price tag is holding you back, then maybe consider the Holy Stone HS720E which will only cost you 1/10th the price of an original Mavic 3.
What is the Purpose of Cloning Drones?
It’s standard practice for manufacturers to produce clones, especially of drone models that have proven to be popular among consumers such as the DJI Mavic Pro. These clones are generally cheaper and are modified to have fewer features than the original drone.
They may offer a shorter flight time and have a smaller overall size but typically try to maintain the basic design style so as to attract customers who would wish to have a clone version of the original drone. In essence, clones act as the perfect cheap alternative for a popular yet expensive drone offering in the market.
The importance of these drones, apart from being cheaper, is that they will train you to fly the drone and master its general operation. If you still aspire to own a drone such as DJI Mavic Pro in the future, getting a clone in the meantime is the best way to prepare for that day!
Are the Above DJI Mavic Pro Clones Great for Beginners?
Precisely! All the Mavic Pro clones we’ve mentioned above are beginner-friendly. They are especially great for sharpening your drone flying skills as you wait to own more advanced drones in the future. You can tell this by looking at the general features that drone clones come with.
Usually, these will have a host of safety features such as propeller guards and return home functions. Also, they don’t have a strong propulsion force once they take into the air. In short, they are more user-friendly for amateur drone users compared to their more expensive and sophisticated inspiration.
You’ll realize that the best drones for kids and beginners are mostly clones of more popular drones in the market that fall at a higher price category. The best thing about these clones is that they offer you a cheaper option of your admired drone while still providing almost the same kind of drone flying experience.
Can I extend my DJI Mavic Clone's Fly Time?
One of the biggest issues with buying a Mavic clone is the fact that the battery life and fly time are much less than with the more expensive DJI counterparts. There are ways around this, one being to buy extra batteries for your clone, while the other being to buy a portable charger with which you can charge the spare battery while flying.
The DJI Mavic Pro is a spectacular drone that many enthusiasts dream to own someday. Unfortunately, it comes with a premium price tag that not so many can afford. If you happen to find yourself in this category, the best option for you would be to get a DJI Mavic Pro clone while you wait to buy the actual drone.
Above, we’ve provided you with the best DJI Mavic Pro clones in the market! They may not be the perfect replica of the Pro, but the performance you'll get them promises not to let you down!
Last update on 2023-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API This article contains affiliate links which for which the owner of the site may receive a commision.