Since the Tefal Actifry hit the European market several years ago there have been a steady stream of new air fryers appearing. With the exception of Philips who produced their egg shaped air fryer hot on the heels of Tefal, most manufacturers have taken their time to offer their own products. I guess this was because they were waiting to see whether the popularity of these fryers held - they did!
Please excuse any manufacturer name dropping but there is little other way to differeniate between the models. As I said, the Tefal was first off the block quickly followed by the Philips air fryer. IMHO, Europe used to be the main market for this type of low fat cooking appliance but now, the US is rapidly catching up with many makes being made available there which are not available in Europe.
Although this list may not be exhaustive, at present, in the UK and most of Europe you can purchase models from at least Tefal, Philips, Duronic, Van Shef, JML, Russell Hobbs. In the USA you can find the Tefal, Duronic, Van Shef, GoWise, Avalon, Glip and Livng Basix. All air fryers as far as I know work by circulating hot air around the chamber in some way. This process negates the need for very much, (if any) oil. The placement of the heating element is dependant on the design of the machine with the majority housing the element in the top like the ‘egg’ shaped Philips model.
The market is now very competitive and the once higher priced Actifry and Philips Air Fryer have had to bring their prices down to maintain their market share. Indeed, you should be able to pick one up in the UK for around £80 or less whereas 2-3 years ago this figure would have been 40-50 per cent more. At the time of writing the cheapest model in the UK is the Duronic by about five pounds and it does begin to have positive reviews like the top selling Philips. If you're a fan of the Tefal actifry, I'm afraid that although users still rate it just as high as some of the egg shaped rivals, it is usually 20 per cent plus more expensive. A similar picture can be found in the US where you can even get oil free turkey ‘fryers’ now!
My conclusion would be that if you have been sitting on the fence for a couple of years thinking about getting an air fryer, now is the time. They have proved to be popular, to work and the prices are probably the lowest they will ever be. Personally, I love my faithful Philips Air Fryer and roast, bake and fry with it on a regular basis. It's much easier to clean and from a safety aspect it will always beat the deep fat fryers hands down - much, much safer particularly for the more infirm or if you have children around.