best drones under £1000 UK

Best Drones For Under £1000 UK 2023

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As a drone pilot who has been running the UK’s largest drone service – Leslie Drones – for over a decade, I’ve had the privilege of testing and using virtually every drone on the market.

When it comes to finding the best drone for under £1,000 in 2023, the answer is simple: the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

However, depending on your specific needs and preferences, there are also a few other models that I highly recommend. In fact, some of these drones cost even less than £1,000, making it possible to create an entire drone kit for under that budget.

From the impressive Mini 3 Pro to other top-performing models, each drone on this list offers a unique set of features that make it stand out from the rest.

So if you’re looking for a drone that delivers exceptional performance, reliability, and value for money, then you won’t want to miss out on our top picks.

Read on to find out which drones made the cut and why they’re worth considering.

Top Pick
DJI Mini 3 Best Drone for Under £1000

DJI Mini 3 Pro

Top Pick: Best Value-for-Money

The DJI Mini 3 Pro stands out as the best drone for under £1,000 in the UK for 2023, offering an ideal combination of affordability, portability, and advanced features. Its lightweight design, 4K HDR camera, and ease of use make it a top choice for drone enthusiasts, particularly beginners. Additionally, its sub-250g weight offers legal advantages, exempting pilots from obtaining a drone license.

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is truly the ultimate entry point into the thrilling world of drone piloting for aspiring enthusiasts, especially when considering a budget under £1000.

1. DJI Mini 3 Pro – Our Favourite 2023 Drone Under £1000 UK

I often receive inquiries from beginners seeking a drone under £1000. My top recommendation is always DJI Mini 3, as it offers an ideal combination of affordability, portability, and advanced features at a price far below £1000.

The DJI Mini 3 is a fantastic camera drone that’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

It’s incredibly lightweight and compact, making it easy to take with you on your adventures. The Mini 3’s 4K HDR camera is capable of shooting video at up to 30 frames per second, providing incredibly detailed footage.

With a battery life of up to 38 minutes, you’ll have plenty of time to capture breathtaking views from above. The DJI Mini 3 is perfect for those new to drone flying and aerial photography, providing a range of capabilities that make it a versatile and dependable choice.

Weighing under 249 grams, it allows novice pilots to hone their skills without needing a drone license, making it an excellent starting point.

Plus, the Mini 3 has intelligent features and flight modes that make it simple to use, even if you’re new to flying drones.

Its folding design makes it highly portable, making it a great option for anyone who wants a high-quality drone that’s easy to use and offers stunning image quality.

dji mini 3 beginner training drone

The DJI Mini 3 is truly the ultimate entry point into the thrilling world of drone piloting for aspiring enthusiasts, especially when considering a budget under £1000.


  • DJI Mini 3 Pro is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around for creators on the move
  • No need for UK drone GVC or aCofC drone licence
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro offers intelligent features such as QuickShots, Digital Zoom, and Panorama
  • It has a 4K/60FPS shooting mode
  • Up to 46 minutes of battery life
  • The drone is capable of obstacle detection and avoidance, making it safer to fly


  • Limited internal storage
  • Smart flight modes don’t support vertical video
  • Obstacle avoidance is not as good on the back and sides
  • Built-in screen remote doesn’t provide access to live maps

Design and Portability

I can say that the DJI Mini 3 is one of the most impressive mini drones I’ve ever used. Its compact size and weight make it incredibly portable and easy to carry with me wherever I go.

I’ve taken the Mini 3 with me on several trips, and it’s never failed to impress me. Its small size means that I can easily fit it into my backpack or even my pocket, making it a great option for capturing footage on the go.

And despite its size, the Mini 3 is incredibly powerful, with advanced stabilisation technology that keeps footage smooth and steady even in windy conditions.

In fact, I’ve flown the Mini 3 in some seriously challenging weather conditions. Living in Scotland the wind is never ideal and it’s always performed flawlessly. Its stability and control make it easy to fly, even in gusty winds.

I’ve never had any issues with it drifting or losing control, which is essential when you’re trying to capture high-quality footage.

Overall, if you’re in need of a highly portable and powerful drone that can handle a variety of weather conditions, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is an excellent choice. Its advanced stabilisation technology and overall performance make it a standout option for capturing high-quality footage in a variety of conditions.

dji mini 3 aerial uk

Camera Capabilities

The DJI Mini 3’s camera has some cool features that make taking photos and videos fun and easy. The 4K camera lets you capture high-quality videos, while the 12-megapixel sensor helps you take clear and detailed photos. The 3-axis gimbal keeps your shots steady and smooth, even if the drone is moving around a bit.

The DJI Mini 3’s user-friendly QuickShot camera modes perform complex drone manoeuvres automatically, making it easy to capture stunning footage.

  • Dronie: In this mode, the drone flies backward and upward, maintaining focus on the subject, creating a dramatic, selfie-style video.
  • Helix: The drone spirals upward and away from the subject, circling around it to create an eye-catching, cinematic effect.
  • Rocket: The drone shoots straight up into the sky with the camera pointed downward, capturing an impressive bird’s-eye view of the subject.
  • Circle: The drone orbits around the subject at a constant altitude and distance, keeping the subject perfectly centered in the frame for a smooth, professional-looking video.
  • Boomerang: The drone flies away from the subject in an oval-shaped path, returning to its starting point, mimicking the motion of a boomerang for a unique perspective.

Panorama mode helps you capture a wide view, like when you’re taking a photo of a beautiful landscape. HDR photos make your pictures look better by balancing the bright and dark parts of the image. The DJI Mini 3 Pro can also record slow-motion videos, which is great for capturing fast-moving objects or showing off cool tricks.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or videographer or a hobbyist who loves capturing aerial footage, the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s camera is sure to impress. Overall, the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s camera sets it apart from other drones in the under £1000 budget.

dji mini 3 product review

Flight Performance

The DJI Mini 3 boasts impressive flight performance that suits both beginners and experienced drone pilots. Its ability to handle windy conditions makes it a reliable option for outdoor adventures, though it’s essential to be cautious and adhere to safety guidelines.

When it comes to low-light performance, I find it less than perfect. However, by adjusting flying techniques and camera settings, the drone’s performance can be optimised to suit various lighting conditions.

The DJI Mini 3’s flight time is dependent on the battery type used. With the DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery, users can enjoy up to 34 minutes of flight time, while the standard battery offers approximately 32 minutes.

For extended flying sessions, the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus provides up to 47 minutes of flight time.

The DJI Mini 3 Fly More Kit is a worthwhile investment, as it includes three DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Batteries, significantly increasing your overall flight time. These batteries can be fully charged in just three hours using the DJI 30W USB-C Charger (sold separately).

Legal Advantages of its 250g Design

The DJI Mini 3 is an excellent drone for those seeking to take advantage of the legal benefits associated with its lightweight design in the UK. Weighing less than 250g, it falls under the A1 category, which offers significant advantages over heavier drones subject to stricter regulations.

Adhering to Flight Restriction Zones

To avoid penalties and legal action, drone pilots must comply with flight restriction zones around airports, even if using a lightweight DJI Mini 3.

The primary benefit of the DJI Mini 3’s sub-250g weight is that it can legally fly over people, as long as it does not exceed a height of 400ft above the ground.

This flexibility allows users to operate the drone in populated areas without worrying about violating regulations, making it perfect for capturing dynamic aerial shots in urban environments.

Moreover, the DJI Mini 3’s lightweight design exempts it from certain UK regulatory requirements, such as obtaining an A2 CofC or GVC drone license. This exemption makes it an ideal choice for beginners who want to start flying drones without navigating complex licensing processes.

Overall, the DJI Mini 3’s legal advantages make it a highly desirable option for drone enthusiasts in the UK, offering increased operational flexibility and reduced regulatory burdens compared to heavier drones.

With the DJI Mini 3 priced well below £1000, you have the perfect opportunity to invest in a comprehensive drone pilot kit that fits your needs and budget. We’ve put together three different kit variations, each designed to cater to varying levels of spending, ensuring that you get the most out of your drone flying experience.

These recommended kits not only provide you with the essentials for flying the DJI Mini 3 but also offer additional features and accessories to enhance your drone piloting adventures.

  • RC Pro controller

    dji mini 3 rc controller
    • Built-in 5.5″ 1080p 10-point touchscreen
    • Removes need to download phone apps
    • Reduced time setting up phone bluetooth connect
  • Best Value

    DJI Mini 3 Pro + Fly More Kit Combo

    dji 3 fly more kit
    •  Includes two Intelligent Flight Batteries for extended flight time
    • Two-Way Charging Hub for convenient charging of both batteries
    • Shoulder Bag provides enough space for one drone and accessories
    • Spare Propellers and Screws for easy replacement
    • USB Type-C Data Cable for data transfer and charging
  • Premium Pick

    DJI Mini 3 Pro + Fly More Combo + NC Controller Bundle

    dji mini 3 fly more kit
    • Everything in Fly More Combo
    • New RC Pro Controller
Amazon product

DJI Mini 3 Pro
Best Drone Under £1,000 In 2023

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is an exceptional drone for under £1,000, offering a lightweight, compact design and a 4K HDR camera capable of capturing stunning aerial footage. The DJI Mini 3 Pro stands out as a top choice in the under £1000 UK drone market for 2023.


dji mini 3 fly more kit

Best Budget Drone For 2023

  • Affordable and user-friendly drone
  • Impressive image quality for its size
  • Compact, portable, and easy-to-use
  • Good flight performance and manoeuvrability
  • Lower cost than DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3

When it comes to choosing between the DJI Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro, it ultimately depends on your budget and preferences. If you have the budget, I’d definitely recommend going for the Mini 3 Pro.

The DJI Mini 3 offers an affordable yet feature-rich alternative to the DJI Mini 3 Pro, perfect for those who want to enjoy drone flying without breaking the bank.

Though the Mini 3 has a 12MP sensor compared to the Pro’s 48MP and can shoot 4K video at 30fps rather than 60fps, it still provides impressive image quality and performance.

While the Mini 3 Pro boasts ActiveTrack and obstacle detection, the Mini 3 remains a fantastic option for those seeking a more budget-friendly drone. With its user-friendly features, solid performance, and remarkable affordability, the DJI Mini 3 is undoubtedly a worthy investment for both beginners and experienced drone pilots alike.

However, if you’re on a tighter budget of under £1000 or just starting out in the world of drone flying, the DJI Mini 3 is still a fantastic choice. It offers excellent performance and image quality, making it a great value for the price.


  • Lightweight, portable
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Quality camera
  • Extended flight time
  • Legal advantages
  • Affordable


  • Limited camera features
  • Shorter flight range
  • Less wind-resistant than pro
Amazon product

DJI Air 2S

dji air s 2

Sub Title

  • 1-inch camera sensor captures up to 5.4K UHD video.
  • Intelligent shooting modes like MasterShots.
  • Fast and agile flight performance.
  • Easy to use with a compact design.
  • Long battery life.
  • Suitable for both hobbyists and professionals.

DJI Air 2S

I recently had the chance to test the DJI Air 2S, and I must say, it’s genuinely remarkable. Its stability, even during windy conditions, let me capture incredible footage that would have been tough with a smaller drone like the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

The 1-inch CMOS sensor and 2.4μm pixels provide sharp, detailed images in 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps video, making each shot truly amazing. With advanced features like MasterShots and FocusTrack, following subjects and creating professional-looking cinematic sequences has never been easier.

The DJI Air 2S is perfect for photographers and videographers who want the best quality in their aerial footage. With its 31-minute flight time, powerful features, and fantastic camera capabilities, the Air 2S is an all-in-one solution for capturing breathtaking visuals from above.

Whether you’re a pro looking to step up your game or a hobbyist wanting to take stunning shots, the Air 2S is well worth considering.

However, it’s essential to know that the DJI Air 2S weighs 595g, which means UK pilots need to get an A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) to fly this drone legally. The A2 CofC certification makes sure that pilots have the right knowledge and skills to operate the drone safely and responsibly.

While this might seem like an extra step for some, the fantastic performance and features of the DJI Air 2S make it well worth the effort to get the certification and experience everything the drone has to offer.


  • Drone has a high-quality camera that can capture lots of details.
  • It can record videos in very high resolution.
  • There’s a feature that helps you take great pictures with just one tap.
  • It has good wireless connectivity and can fly well even in windy conditions.
  • You can fly it for up to 31 minutes on a single charge.


  • This drone is heavier than some other ones you might find.
  • It can only save videos in a certain format. Media type is limited to MP4/MOV
  • It might cost more than some other drones that are available.
  • Needs a A2 CofC drone licence in the UK
Amazon product

DJI Mavic Air

dji mavic air drone

DJI Mavic Air

  • 4K 30fps video with a 3-axis gimbal
  • Compact, foldable design for portability
  • Advanced flight features (ActiveTrack, QuickShots, SmartCapture, TapFly)
  • Collision avoidance with front, rear, and underside cameras

DJI Mavic Air

The DJI Mavic Air is one that deserves a mention. It’s a highly portable and foldable drone that offers excellent flight performance and functionality for limitless exploration. With a 3-axis gimbal camera that shoots 4K 30fps video, it captures every moment in stunning UHD quality.

However, with the recent release of the DJI Mini 3, the predecessor DJI Mini 2 has seen a price drop, making it an even more attractive option at times. While the DJI Mavic Air boasts some fantastic features like ActiveTrack, QuickShots, SmartCapture, and TapFly, it’s worth considering the DJI Mini 2 instead, as it offers similar capabilities at a potentially lower price point.

In conclusion, the DJI Mavic Air was a great drone at its price point a few years back, but now, with more recent options available, it might not be the best choice for those looking to get the most drone value under £1000.

If you’re considering the DJI Mavic Air, I’d recommend checking out the DJI Mini 2 as an alternative that could offer better value and similar performance in today’s market.


  • Compact and portable design
  • 4K 30fps video capability
  • 3-axis gimbal for stable footage
  • Advanced flight features (ActiveTrack, QuickShots, SmartCapture, TapFly)
  • Impressive flight time (up to 21 minutes)
  • Front, rear, and underside cameras for collision avoidance


  • Outdated compared to newer drones
  • Limited flight range
  • Some users experienced loss of control
  • DJI Mini 2 offers better value at a lower price point
Amazon product

DJI Mini 2 SE

dji mini 2 se

Still Worth It In 2023

  • Lightweight and compact design for easy transport.
  • 2.7K camera captures high-quality aerial footage.
  • 31-minute flight time for extended flights.
  • 10km video transmission range for exploring further.
  • Beginner-friendly features for easy operation.

DJI Mini 2 SE

The DJI Mini 2 SE remains an impressive camera drone in 2023, providing users with a lightweight and compact option that’s perfect for capturing stunning aerial footage. With a 2.7K camera, 31-minute flight time, and a 10km video transmission range, it’s an ideal choice for both beginners and experienced drone pilots.

Its foldable design and ease of use make it a popular choice for on-the-go adventures.

Although the DJI Mini 2 SE is still worth considering in 2023, if your budget allows, the DJI Mini 3 offers more advanced features and improved camera capabilities.

The decision ultimately comes down to your individual preferences and requirements. Regardless of your choice, both drones are highly capable and will provide fantastic aerial footage, ensuring that you capture your most memorable moments from a unique perspective.


  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Foldable design makes it highly portable
  • Reliable video transmission up to 10km away
  • Extended battery life of up to 31 minutes
  • Stable flight in winds up to 38kph (level 5)


  • Lacks advanced features found in DJI Mini 3
  • Lower camera resolution compared to newer models
  • Only underside obstacle detection system
  • Upgrades may become limited as newer models emerge
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Comparison Of the Best Drones Under £1000

This table is designed to provide you with an in-depth analysis best drones for under £1000 in 2023, enabling you to make an informed decision based on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Whether you’re a beginner looking to explore drone photography or a seasoned professional seeking advanced capabilities, our comparison table will help you identify the best DJI drone for your unique requirements.

Dive in and discover the perfect drone that aligns with your expectations and aspirations.

dji mini pro 3 with rc controller


dji mini 3 fly more kit

DJI Mini 3

dji air s 2

DJI Air 2s

dji mini 2 se

DJI Mini 2 SE

Takeoff Weight

Less than 249 g

Less than 249 g

595 g

Less than 249 g

Flight Time

38 mins

34 mins

31 mins

31 mins


1/1.3-inch sensor

1/2.3-inch sensor

1-inch CMOS

1/2.3-inch CMOS


48 MP

12 MP

20 MP

12 MP

Video Specifications





Max Transmission Distance

DJI O3, up to 12 km

up to 10 km

up to 12 km

up to 10 km

Obstacle Sensing



Four-Directional sensing


True Vertical Shooting

True Vertical Shooting

True Vertical Shooting













Best Drone Under £1000 Per Use:

  • Best for drone photography: DJI Air 2S is the best option for drone photography due to its larger 1-inch CMOS sensor, higher photo resolution of 20 MP, and wider field of view (88°). The larger sensor allows for better low-light performance and dynamic range, while the higher resolution captures more details in photos.
  • Best for traveling: DJI Mini 3 Pro would be the best choice for traveling due to its lightweight design (under 249 g) and longer flight time of 38 minutes. The lighter weight makes it easier to carry around and pack in luggage, while the longer flight time allows for more extended usage between charges.
  • Most features: DJI Mini 3 Pro offers the most features among the options, with advanced features such as 4K/60fps video recording, MasterShots, FocusTrack, true vertical shooting, and improved obstacle sensing (forward/backward/downward). These features make it a versatile choice for various applications, from photography to filmmaking.
  • Best for beginners: DJI Mini 2 is the best choice for beginners due to its simplicity and affordability. Although it doesn’t have some advanced features like MasterShots or FocusTrack, it still offers 4K/30fps video recording, a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, and downward obstacle sensing, which are sufficient for beginners to learn the basics of drone flying and photography.
  • Best overall choice: The best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, DJI Mini 3 Pro could be considered the best overall choice for its combination of portability (under 249 g), impressive feature set (including MasterShots, FocusTrack, and 4K/60fps video), and improved obstacle sensing. It strikes a balance between advanced capabilities and ease of use while still being travel-friendly.

Keep in mind that your choice should be based on your requirements, budget, and experience level to ensure that you get the most suitable drone for your needs.


The DJI Mini 3 Pro stands out as the best drone for under £1,000 in the UK for 2023, offering an ideal combination of affordability, portability, and advanced features. Its lightweight design, 4K HDR camera, and ease of use make it a top choice for drone enthusiasts, particularly beginners. Additionally, its sub-250g weight offers legal advantages, exempting pilots from obtaining a drone license.

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