Like many other electronic products, China is the leading manufacturer of drones with DJI, a Chinese company, occupying over 70% of the world drone market.
However, many pilots have been feeling the call to bring their business back to the American market, whether for quality purposes or political.
American-made drones are swiftly rising the ranks with the best drones not made in China including star players like Parrot ANAFI USA, Skydio 2+, Vantage Robotics Vesper, Autel EVO II, and Autel Nano +.
Undeniably, quality and performance are things the US is striving to outbid when it comes to their Chinese drone counterparts. You’ll find that these drones are easy to fly at great prices.
Check out below how these quality USA-made drones compare to Chinese models.
List of American-Made Drones
|Parrot ANAFI USA||Commercial||Check price at Amazon here|
|Skydio 2+||Hobby||Check price at Skydio here / At Amazon here|
|Vantage Robotics Vesper||Commercial||Upon request at Vantage Robotics here|
|Autel EVO II||Hobby and Commercial||Check price at Amazon here|
|Autel Nano +||Mini drone||Check price at Amazon here|
Best American-Made Drones
1. Parrot ANAFI – USA – Perfect for Professional Drone Photographers and Videographers
The incredible Parrot ANAFI is the top pick among US-made drones.
It features 4K videos, 32x zoom, and 21MP photos without compromising quality. Better still, it can take precisely-detailed footage from as far as 5km away and as many as 10 photos per second.
This is it if you are looking for something that doesn’t waste time. The Parrot ANAFI unfolds, turns on, connects to a secure link, and takes off within just 55 seconds.
Thanks to the intelligent Li-Po battery, the ANAFI Parrot drone can last up to 25 minutes of filmed flight time. This battery optimizes and charges 60% faster using the USB Type C charger.
Remarkably, this drone is compact and lightweight but highly stable.
As a commercial drone, sports drone pilots can fly at speeds of up to 52.92 km/hr. For convenience, it comes with a remote controller that helps the pilot control the drone from anywhere.
There have been incidents with unexpected motor switch-offs that cause crash landings – and repairs aren’t cheap.
However, that isn’t the usual and with Parrot moving their focus to commercial drones you can expect a more streamlined approach to improving the drone’s hardware and software.
High-quality videos and photos
Speeds over 50 km/ph
Perfect all-around option for drone photographers and videographers
Expensive upfront cost and repairs
Not ideal for hobbyists
2. Vantage Robotics Vesper – USA – Perfect For Low-Light Shoots or As A Travel Drone
Launched in 2018, the Vesper provides drone pilots with trusted eyes in the sky for any condition. Being one of the top drones not made in China, you’ll enjoy the heavy-duty commercial aspects of this model.
This commercially designed drone comes with a 4K camera with 48x zoom for quality and detailed footage. Also, the high-quality camera features low-light abilities and a three-axis gimbal for excellent image stabilization.
Additionally, the Vantage Robotics Vesper gives an impressive 50-minute flight time. This is more than adequate for complete footage on the first full charge.
Hence, you can use it in mapping, surveying, and photography!
Vesper is lightweight and compact, which makes it very convenient to fit in a backpack on the go. Above all, it features rugged and solid construction that easily withstands harsh conditions.
Unfortunately, the con with Vesper is the lack of visibility at 100 meters altitude. Losing sight at any point can lead to sudden collisions.
Fantastic commercial quality (i.e. long flight time, high tech camera, lightweight)
Low-light abilities perfect for nighttime surveys
Easy to lose visibility
3. Skydio 2+ – USA – Best For Hobbyists Looking to Upgrade
When looking for American-Made hobby drones, this could be it! All the design and assembly work takes place in the US, so you can be sure of the quality.
The selling point of this drone is the ability to fly as fully automatic as possible. Thus, you can fly using an app, remote controller, or Skydio beacon, making it ideal for hobbyists who want to focus more on the footage than flying.
Flying safe with Skydio is guaranteed thanks to the AI 360° obstacle avoidance feature.
This way, it detects obstacles and interference from all sides to stop or change the path. The drone has six 4K 45MP cameras covering all directions and a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer with fantastic clarity.
Skydio 2+ also has low-noise propellers that make it safe to fly in the neighborhood. Besides, the 20 minutes of flight time is enough to cover reasonable footage before recharging.
Though the autonomous effect makes it easy to use, it doesn’t help improve the skills of a beginner drone pilot compared to manual controls.
It’s a better option for those who already tried a toy drone and are looking for that next step in their hobby drone career.
360º obstacle avoidance
Automatic features make flying a breeze
Low noise pollution
Isn’t great for building piloting skills due to all the automation
4. Autel EVO II – USA Best For Professional Cinematographers
The Autel EVO II is a wholly manufactured drone in the USA. As an upgrade in every aspect, the EVO II is among the best non-Chinese drones.
Social media being the perfect platform for business and fun, the Autel EVO takes amazing portrait shots for social media sharing.
Moreover, it features a distinct RYYB technology that improves light by up to 40% under a similar shooting environment.
Better still, this drone can capture precise details in low-light or night conditions thanks to the 4K HDR video, 50MP camera, and 64000 ISO.
The dual Autofocus Technology in EVO II provides quick and accurate focus simultaneously. For its size, the Autel EVO II is the only drone with 40 minutes of flight time.
Also, it can resist extreme winds to enable stable footage even at a high altitude of 800 meters.
Moreover, this drone comprises three-way obstacle avoidance and binocular vision. So, it can effortlessly detect and avoid obstacles to prevent collisions.
The only notable downside among many consumers is the loud propeller sound. Therefore, it would be best to use it in an open area to avoid noise pollution.
However, if you’re avid about cinematography, Autel EVO II is up and ready to go!
Incredible flight time for the price
Enhanced photography features
Perfect hobbyist alternative to the Parrot ANAFI
High level of noise pollution, so be careful in nature/wildlife areas
5. Autel Nano+ – Best Mini Drone For Beginners
With the newly released DJI Mini 3 Pro causing some buzz among mini drone lovers and beginner photographers, it’s imperative to look for an American-made drone that can offer the same features.
The Autel Nano+ does just that.
This drone can shoot in 4k at 30fps and weighs 249 grams, so you don’t have to register it, and has an extended operating range of up to 10 KM.
You also get a 50Mp still image resolution, which is more than you can say for most mini drones in the market today.
A 28-minute flight time gives you enough time to fly to the destination, take the perfect shots, and fly back home before the battery gets depleted.
One significant advantage the Nano+ has over other Mini drones, like the Mini 3 Pro, for instance, is the ability to transmit live footage at 2.7k, while the Mini 3 Pro can only manage a 1080p live transmission.
Another reason I believe the Nano+ is the American-made mini drone for people who want to transition to professional photography is the pricing.
For around $1000, you get the drone, three batteries, and several accessories, which is considerably cheaper than what you will get for drones offering the same features from other manufacturers.
Direct competitor to the DJI Mini 3 Pro
2.7k live footage transmission
Weighs only 249g so you don’t have to worry about registering it or Remote ID
Entire manufacturing pipeline isn’t American-based
NOTE: Both the Autel EVO II and the Autel Nano+ are made by Autel Robotics, a company that originates from China, but both drones were manufactured in the USA. So if you had doubts about Chinese-made products, you could rest assured that Autel Drones feature the manufacturing quality of products made in the USA
Reasons to Buy an American-Made Drone
With time, people are avoiding Chinese-made products citing low quality, poor labor conditions, and territorial conflicts within China, among other more specific issues.
The case is no different with drone manufacturing in China.
Even though China has the leading drone manufacturers, there are significant reasons consumers opt for American drone manufacturers.
Price & Quality
China, the top manufacturer of drones, makes many models for consumers. These drones come in different prices to suit different buyers.
However, the issue lies in quality.
In most cases, the high-end and costly China-made drones are unaffordable, especially for a beginner pilot. And the ones that are affordable are cheap models that have compromised quality.
But, the case is different for US-made drones.
Consumers pay for what they get in terms of performance and quality. Better still, even cheap drones boast quality parts and software albeit with limited features.
Security becomes an issue when governments have to send China their private security data for manufacturing drones.
For example, drones not made in China provide trusted and secure drone options that can work even for federal roles.
In America, the government raised concerns about their data and privacy going to the Chinese government when making specific drones for them. That’s why it launched several American drone companies.
This also makes it easy to follow up on domestic accountability to deliver efficient and reliable drone warfighters.
Due to the alleged discriminatory trade practices and intelligent property theft, the US put strict sanctions and barriers on China. This makes it hard to access most items like drones from China if you’re an American citizen.
In the end, buying non-Chinese drones seem convenient and easy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though the vast manufacture of drones is in China, the best American-made drones put up stiff competition in quality and performance.
The above USA-made drones have incredible features that work both for hobbyists and commercial purposes. Our top pick Parrot ANAFI-USA is not only high-quality but the performance and style are worth every penny.
Nonetheless, each of the above choices promises fantastic photos and videos, stability, robust build, and convenience.
Your only task would be to choose one that suits your budget and purpose.