Hubsan Zino – A Mavic Air at the price of a Spark?

hubsan zino

Hubsan will soon launch the Hubsan Zino, a $399 folding drone with a 4K camera. Hubsan is marketing the Zino as a competitor to the Mavic Pro. A better comparison is probably the Mavic Air ($799), the ultra-portable 4K drone from DJI. The price of the Zino is far less than the Mavic Air, it is identical to the price of the DJI Spark ($399). This is good news for consumers, as there are very few good entry-level drones under $500. By the specs, the Zino compares favorably to the Spark in a few areas. Is the Zino the new leading drone under $500? Let’s take a look.

The Hubsan Zino

The Hubsan Zino camera has some solid specs. It utilizes a 4K camera on a three-axis gimbal, that is capable of shooting 3840 x 2160 video at 30 fps. The field of view is 89-degrees and the aperture is an impressively-low f/2.2. Like the Spark, the Zino also has a panorama photo mode. In the past, we have found that the cameras on other Hubsans, like the X4 Air, to be better than most of the competition in its price range. Will this improved camera justify the $399 price tag? That remains to be seen.

The Hubsan Zino has a flight time of 23 minutes. That is 7 minutes better than the Spark and 3 minutes better than the Mavic Air. You can add a second battery for only $30 by picking up the Zino battery bundle. The Zino has a range of up to 2,500 meters but the video transmission is limited to 1,000 meters. The Zino’s range falls well short of the Mavic Air (4,000 meters) and the Spark (2,000 meters).

The Hubsan Zino utilizes GPS as well as an internal barometer to add stability and intelligent flight modes. In addition to various panorama modes, the Zino has return-to-home, waypoints, and line-flying mode. The line-flying mode allows you to set the Zino on a straight path while you have the ability to control the camera for smooth cinematic footage. This is the course lock mode that is available on many DJI drones. Like both the Spark and the Mavic Air, the Zino has image tracking. You should be able to choose a subject for the drone to track. This feature is iffy on DJI products, so we will see how it pans out for the Zino.

Should we be excited about the Zino?

Hubsan has had some success with GPS drones in the past with their X4 lineup, but the camera on the Zino should put it in a different class from those previous models. It may look like the DJI Mavic Pro, but in terms of performance, it is likely to be much closer to the DJI Spark. The Zino promises to be the first sub-$500 drone with a 4K camera and a full three-axis gimbal. I’d love for this to end up being one of our new favorite drones. Will DJI respond with a new version of their Spark? Time will tell.

Check back soon. Hopefully, we will be able to put the Hubsan Zino to the test and see how it stacks up against the Spark. The Hubsan Zino, also known as the H117S, is on sale for preorder at Banggood for $399.


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