EXO drone sale offers big discounts for pilots seeking DJI alternative

Though we’re not really crazy about their products — and would only recommend them in a few cases — here’s a major drone deal we figured was at least sharing. The EXO drone sale is on now through May 23, 2024. And for pilots who want an affordable camera drone that’s not made by DJI (and especially who want an American-made consumer drone), this might be your best bet.

DJI alternatives have been a super hot topic lately. Especially as certain lawmakers in Congress push the Countering CCP Drones Act, discussion has increased around what drones pilots could even use. The Countering CCP Drones Act would place DJI on a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) blacklist, effectively blocking new DJI drones from being able to fly in the US. (though existing DJI drones would still be okay). Though I don’t actually expect the law to pass (it’s only in the introduction stage), I’ve been wrong before. If it does pass, EXO drones might be the new hot consumer aircraft in the sky — as there are few non-DJI camera drones out there on the market.

Others might want a non-DJI drone for plenty of other reasons. The specs might just not measure up. And for what it’s worth, some of EXO’s products actually do have really good specs. For example, its current flagship drone, the Blackhawk 3 Pro, has unbelievably good battery life, for what it’s worth. Iconoclasts might just seek something different. And some patriotic pilots might just want a camera drone made in America. This one is kind of considered American-made…emphasis on the word kind-of.

Here’s everything you need to know about the EXO drone sale for May 2024, how you can get in on it, and our honest take on EXO drone products:

Inside the EXO drone sale for May 2024

To kick off summer, the EXO drone sale runs now through May 23, 2024. The deals are available on both Amazon and the EXO drones store. Since both sites ship EXO drones to any of the 48 contiguous U.S. states for free, then your cost is the same.

Sometimes shopping directly through the manufacturer can make sense to give them a little extra support (that way they don’t have to pay a cut to Amazon). Though, shopping through Amazon has its own benefits, including faster shipping (it takes up to two days for EXO to simply fulfill your order, and that’s before shipping time is factored in). With the Amazon Prime Visa credit card, you’ll also save 5% on Amazon purchases. No matter where you buy them, here’s what’s on offer, sorted by size of discount:

EXO X7 Ranger PLUS (40% off)

  • Usual price: $549
  • Discounted price: $329

The EXO X7 Ranger PLUS is a rather unremarkable drone, but it’s at least quite affordable. Its specs are pretty meh, like a 25-minute flight time and a 4K camera, but only for photos. Videos are shot at 2K. This would be a good, entry-level drone for someone not seeking amazing image quality, but rather prioritizing something affordable.

Perhaps that’s why it’s being offered at such a steep discount. Even still, I’d considered most other drones in this list above the EXO X7 Ranger PLUS.

EXO Cinemaster 2 (35% off)

  • Usual price: $610
  • Discounted price: $399

The Cinemaster 2 has a lot in common with the EXO X7 Ranger PLUS save for one big upgrade: a better camera. It records true 4K at a 50mbps bitrate & f/2.5 aperture, all the way offering deeper colors and more balanced light to generate higher-quality images. The sensor is a 1/2.3in CMOS sensor.

EXO Blackhawk 3 Pro (24% off)

  • Usual price: $1,249
  • Discounted price: $949

The EXO Blackhawk 3 Pro is the most expensive drone in the EXO drone family, and unsurprisingly it’s the most advanced. It’s standout quality? Massively long flight times, at 53 minutes. The camera on the EXO Blackhawk 3 Pro is also quite good, offering a 1/1.3in CMOS at 48 MP. It also has smart features including obstacle avoidance.

Yet we have some qualms with it. We reviewed the EXO Blackhawk 3 Pro and were met with challenges largely in terms of setup and operation. The general user flow from ground to air was cumbersome, and sometimes smart features like “follow-me” didn’t work accurately.

EXO Mini Pro (18% off)

  • Usual price: $799
  • Discounted price: $649

EXO Mini Pro is perhaps the most compelling of all of EXO’s drone offerings. It’s addressed many of the concerns people have with consumer drones. For example, on the data security front, all drone and app data is encrypted and stored by EXO’s headquarters in Utah.

It weighs less than 250 grams, which is a critical milestone in that it doesn’t have to be Remote ID compliant.

Flight time is impressive at 40 minutes (and it takes just 90 minutes to charge). It also packs in some super solid nice-to-haves, like internal storage (you can choose the default 64 GB, or pay extra for 128 GB). It’s also considered semi-crash proof with 3-way (Front, rear and below) obstacle avoidance.

And yes, the camera is pretty solid too, offering 4K UHD 30fps / 2.7K 60fps video. There’s also a 48 megapixels camera with 1/1.3in CMOS sensor.

Sure, the discount on this is among the smallest of any in the May EXO drones sale, but I’d go with this drone if I could only have one.

EXO Blackhawk 2 Pro (17% off)

  • Usual price: $899
  • Discounted price: $749

The Blackhawk 2 Pro is basically the older model of the EXO Blackhawk 3 Pro. Sure, it’s $200 cheaper, but it’s almost always better to spring for the newer model (that’s the third generation). Most people are best off skipping this drone, given how many improvements were made in the upgrade to the third generation (including better battery life).

Is EXO an American drone company?

It depends on your definition. The products are engineered in the U.S. And since EXO was acquired by Miami-based OpenStore in August 2022, the company’s ownership is American, too.

But products are actually built outside the U.S. In fact, EXO is affiliated with another Chinese drone company that’s not DJI. Instead, it’s closely tied to Hubsan.

Alas, it doesn’t meet Buy American Act requirements. Those requirements apply to very few buying use cases (such as drones purchased with federal funding). But it does indicate that this drone certainly isn’t as fully “American-made” as much as other drones are.

Should we add EXO to the list of best camera drones made in the USA? For now, we’re not willing to go that far for two reasons: the drones aren’t as amazing as its competition (albeit, Chinese-made competition). But it also might be a stretch to call them American made.

That said, this EXO drone sale is certainly something to at least consider if you’re looking at what else besides DJI is in the consumer drone market.

Looking for more drone deals beyond this EXO drone sale? Check out my ultimate 2024 drone deals guide, including some Drone Girl-exclusive reader discounts.

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