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Best Budget Drones with Obstacle Avoidance

Obstacle avoidance sensors are beneficial for new drone pilots, but not everyone will be able to afford expensive drones with anti-collision sensors.

What are the best budget drones with obstacle avoidance?

Autel EVO Nano Plus, DJI Mini 3 Pro, and DJI Air 2S are currently the best-balanced budget drones with obstacle avoidance.

In this article, I’ll share more information about the best budget drones with obstacle-avoidance technology and answer a few more questions.

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1. Autel EVO Nano Plus

Autel EVO Nano Plus (Premium Bundle)
$2,099.00

249g Mini Professional Drone with 4K RYYB HDR Camera, 50 MP Photos, 1/1.28" CMOS, 3-Way Obstacle Avoidance and more.

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03/06/2024 09:57 pm GMT

Specs

Weight249g
Size142×94×55mm folded
Obstacle Avoidance SystemForward, backward, and downward avoidance sensors
Maximum Sensor Perception Range– Forward sensor up to 16 meters
– Backward sensor up to 18 meters
– Downward sensor up to 20 meters
– Visual hover range of a maximum of 40 meters
Autonomous FunctionsDynamic Track 2.1 supports Rocket, Fade Away, Orbit, and Flick
Battery LifeMax 28 minutes flight time
Camera Sensor1/1.28 inch CMOS
Photo Resolution50 megapixels
Video Camera4k 30 frames per second

✅ Pros

  • It’s inexpensive compared to other drones with obstacle avoidance and comes in a premium bundle
  • It’s easy to set up and ready to fly
  • It’s a fantastic photo camera with a nearly one-inch sensor, which is large for such a small drone in this budget range
  • It has an excellent binocular vision obstacle avoidance system that can cover about 360 degrees. These sensors are advanced and should help any new pilot fly more confidently
  • It’s very tiny and weighs under 250 grams

❌ Cons

  • Autel Robotics is not as known as DJI in the drone industry 
  • It does not have upward and side avoidance sensors
  • It may not be the cheapest drone with an anti-collision system

The Autel Evo Nano Plus is a fantastic little drone capable of photographing at 50 MP. It has three-way (360-degree) avoidance sensors with a binocular function to detect obstacles at a greater distance.

This drone is affordable in that it comes with a massive premium bundle on top of it. 

Although it is not a DJI drone, the Autel Evo Nano Plus is unique, and it weighs under 249 grams. This is pertinent since drones under 250 grams may benefit from relaxed drone laws. Always check your country’s drone laws before you fly!

2. DJI Mini 3 Pro

Our Choice
DJI Mini 3 Pro (Standard)
$695.00

Includes DJI RC-N1 allowing you to pack light and enjoy the creative experience.

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03/07/2024 07:02 am GMT

Specs

Weight249 grams
Size145×90×62 mm folded
Obstacle Avoidance System– Frontal, backward, and downward avoidance sensors
– Advanced Pilot Assistance System 4.0
Maximum Sensor Perception Range– Forward sensor max 25 meters
– Backward sensor max 23.4 meters
– Downward sensor up to 9 meters
– Hovering range up to 12 meters
– Vision sensor hovering range max 30 meters
Autonomous Functions– Active Track 4.0 with follow-me mode function, spotlight, and point of interest
– Intelligent return-to-home function
Battery Life– 34 minutes with Intelligent Battery
– 47 minutes with Intelligent Battery Plus
Camera Sensor1/1.3 inch CMOS sensor
Photo ResolutionUp to 48 megapixels
Video CameraUp to 4k 60 frames per second

✅ Pros

  • It’s one of the most known drones nowadays, with extraordinary flight performance
  • Has three-way avoidance sensors
  • Has Active Track 4.0 with different functions
  • It can fly for quite some time
  • It’s a lightweight drone weighing under 249 grams with a standard battery
  • The performance is outstanding for the price
  • Can be connected to DJI RC with an incorporated screen (can be bought separately or with the drone)
  • Has a robust video transmission system perfect for long-range flights

❌ Cons

  • Due to its small size and weight, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is less resistant to strong wind than other heavier drones
  • It’s already an older drone
  • It does not have side avoidance sensors or an upward sensor
  • It’s not the cheapest drone, but it is one of the best budget drones with avoidance sensors you can buy for the price

We often talk about the DJI Mini 3 Pro as one of the best small and lightweight consumer drones you can buy at an accessible price.

The Mini 3 Pro is more than a fantastic drone – it’s excellent for many activities, from hiking to traveling and professional video creation to vlogging.

This drone also has two compatible batteries, where with the standard one, you can fly for up to 34 minutes, but with the Intelligent Battery Plus, you can fly the Mini 3 Pro drone for up to 47 minutes. 

Just beware that, in this case, with the Intelligent Battery Plus, you will exceed the 250-gram barrier.

We selected the Mini 3 Pro over the cheaper and newer Mini 3 drone because the Pro version has three-way fantastic avoidance sensors that should help you avoid collisions, whereas Mini 3 has no anti-collision sensors.

This makes the drone excellent for beginners who want to start flying drones for the first time.

3. DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S
$999.00 $949.00

DJI Air 2S has the ability to perceive its environment in four directions: up, down, forward, and backward, allowing it to actively avoid obstacles, even in complex scenarios and at high speeds.

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03/07/2024 02:02 pm GMT

Specs

Weight595 grams
Size180×97×77 mm folded
Obstacle Avoidance System– Forward, backward, downward, and upward avoidance system
– Advanced Pilot Assistance System
Maximum Sensor Perception Range– Forward up to a maximum of 23.8 meters
– The backward max range is 23.4 meters
– The upward maximum sensor range is 28.6 meters
– The downward measurement range is max 8 meters; the hovering range is 30 meters, and the vision sensor works up to a maximum of 60 meters above the ground
Autonomous FunctionsActive Track 4.0 (follow-me mode), Spotlight, Point of Interest
Battery LifeMaximum flight time is 31 minutes
Camera Sensor1-inch CMOS 
Photo Resolution20 megapixels
Video Camera5.4k at 30 frames per second

✅ Pros

  • Has a fantastic camera sensor for the price, with the ability to film in 5.4k at 30 fps
  • On top of forward, backward, and landing sensors, the Air 2S has an upward anti-collision sensor as well
  • Can fly a decent amount of time
  • It can operate better in windy conditions than sub-250-gram drones
  • The flight performance it offers is fantastic for the price
  • It can fold and be transported anywhere
  • Fantastic transmission for long-range flights

❌ Cons

  • Not as lightweight as other sub-250-gram drones
  • It’s already an older drone
  • The price is slightly higher than other drones with obstacle avoidance sensors but overall cheaper with an upward sensor as well
  • It does not have side sensors

» MORE: Does DJI Air 2S Have Follow Me?

The Air 2S, although it’s an older drone, is yet another fantastic DJI drone with obstacle avoidance sensors that does not surpass the budget of many drone pilots

Although it’s slightly more expensive than similar drones, the Air 2S has two major advantages over anything found at this price: the 1-inch CMOS sensor that will allow you to capture photos and videos with incredible dynamic range and the upward obstacle avoidance sensor.

The Air 2S is also known to have excellent flight performance and is a very beginner-friendly drone that will help new pilots stay on track with their flights and avoid unwanted collisions because of the advanced obstacle avoidance sensors and APAS method.

This drone is also compatible with the DJI RC, a brilliant remote controller to acquire if you have multiple DJI drones compatible with it, which will offer you the ability to fly several drones without the need to connect your mobile phone because the RC does have an incorporated screen.

DJI RC - Lightweight, 4-hour battery life
$309.00 $255.06

Remote Controller for DJI Mini 3 Pro/DJI Mavic 3/DJI Mavic 3 Cine, Lightweight Body, FHD Screen, 4hr Battery, Precision Control Sticks, O3+ Transmission

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03/07/2024 03:56 pm GMT

What are obstacle avoidance sensors?

Obstacle avoidance sensors help drones autonomously stop before an object to avoid a collision or create a new path around the object.

There are multiple types of obstacle avoidance sensors, but the most common are infrared, ultrasound, laser, or visual-based. 

In the past couple of years, DJI and other companies have contributed to developing obstacle avoidance sensors. With AI advancement and detection algorithms, drones are becoming more intelligent and autonomous than ever.

I remember when I had my first DJI Mavic Air, the obstacle avoidance was pretty terrible compared to today. 

Nowadays, drones such as DJI Mini 3 Pro benefit from extraordinary anti-collision systems, but the first prize goes to Mavic 3 Pro.

Are there any other cheap drones with obstacle avoidance?

With obstacle avoidance, there are plenty of drones, but the price range may differ from what we recommend.

Some drones with obstacle avoidance sensors are very affordable, but these drones may underperform in terms of flight, filming, and photographing, and even their avoidance sensors are not very advanced; therefore, we have avoided recommending such drones.

On the other hand, drones such as the DJI Mavic 3 Pro have the most fantastic and advanced omnidirectional avoidance system to protect the drone from any angle with complete anti-collision coverage.

However, they are not budget drones anymore.

» MORE: Best Beginner Drones with Obstacle Avoidance