Best Long Range Drones 2020 Review – find out which drones are best for long range distance flying. DJI, Holy Stone and Altair models are reviewed in this article.
If you feel it’s time for you to shift from a drone hobbyist to a serious flyer, you cannot but consider the long range drones. After all, it may be fun to fly a 30-metre drone with a flight time of 7-8 minutes. And if the drone happens to be equipped with a decent quality camera, it will let you capture some nice photos that you may find fun to share on your social media accounts.
Well, that’s all very good but once flying becomes a serious passion for you or if you are flying primarily to capture professional or semi-professional grade photos and videos, you have little choice but to consider the long range flyers. So, here we’ve handpicked the top long range drones available in the market right now.
One of our major criteria for this selection had been the price-to-quality ratio. So, you’ll find upscale models in this list that are equipped with a host of top notch features as well as mid-scale to budget models that are among the best in their price category.
So, let’s get going with the list…
1. DJI Mavic Pro
This is arguably the best long range quadcopter you will find considering the quality to-price ratio. The control range is a whopping 7km (4.3 mile) in ideal condition and the drone can fly at a maximum speed of 40mph.
Add to it a 27-minute flight time; an incredibly fast 30-minute charge time; a brilliant 4K camera with five vision sensors; a 3-axis gimbal for image stabilization; a wireless remote control with integrated video downlink and equipped with OcuSync transmission technology enabling HD video streaming; as well as some other excellent features and you’ll know why we sound so crazily enthusiastic about this model.
Also, the smaller size and the light weight (1.6 lbs) make the drone a highly portable one as well. Finally, if you want something more upscale, check out the new Mavic Pro Platinum. And then, of course, there is the Mavic 2 Zoom if you really want to rev it up.
- Incredible price-to-features ratio
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Crisp videos and images
- Autonomous flight modes
- Noisier than other models
- Limited payload
- Smaller size, though good for portability reasons, may negatively affect the stability issues
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2. DJI Spark
For a mid-scale model, DJI Spark really punches above its weight. The drone comes with a range of close to 2km (1.2 mile) and will stay afloat in air for 16 minutes at a time. The quad is also equipped with two batteries and uses a vision-based GPS navigation, a 3-D obstacle-deletion system and a variety of flight modes. One of the amazing thing about this model is that you can operate it indoors as well, quite unheard of for long range models. As for photography, the model lets you capture excellent snaps and video (12MP still + 1080p video) and you are unlikely to face any stabilization issue thanks to its 2-axis gimbal support.
- Excellent value for money
- Advanced flight modes
- Abe to handle greater payload than Mavic Pro
- One could expect slightly better flight time considering the price point of the model
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3. DJI Phantom 4
With a flight range of 5km which is considerably lesser than that of the Mavic Pro, one may wonder why he should invest in this model especially when it costs almost 2 times the price of Mavic. Well, before we go into that, here’s something you should take note of: recently, with the release of Phantom 4 Pro, the price of the present model has come down considerably, so it’s as good a time as any to get your hand on the model if you are so inclined.
Now, as to why you should pay the extra money, the simple answer is that the Phantom 4 model is furnished with a whole host of industry-leading specs and features and very few model can offer you those.
Well, just to give you an idea, below are some of the pros:
- 12 Mp stills with a resolution of 4000 X 3000
- 4K High Definition video (at 30 FPS)
- GLONASS and GPS dual positioning modules as well as dual IMUs and a dual compass module for greater reliability
- Flight time of 28 minutes
- Ability to handle heavy payload
- Longer charging time and shorter flight range than Mavic Pro
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4. DJI Inspire 2
If you don’t shy away from this model simply looking at the price tag, there is so much to marvel at this model which has been aptly described elsewhere as a ‘piece of engineering genius’. Try the DJI Inspire 2 at a drone store if possible and you’ll know what we are talking about.
- Able to reach its maximum speed of 58mph in a mere 5 seconds
- Range: 7Km, Flight time: 28 minutes
- 5.8GHz dual frequency video link
- Compatible with 5.2K gimbal camera
- Extremely prohibitive price
5. Yuneec Typhoon H
Now, here’s a hexacopter for a change and something which is a ‘non-DJI’. Yuneec is one of the few brands whose manufacturing brilliance can match that of the DJI. Be that as it may, you will still justifiably wonder that why on earth should you spend $1,000+ for a model with a paltry control range of 1.6km. Well, the answer again is: for the top quality features that you receive.
- Eight autonomous flight modes
- Mid-flight settings control
- Obstacle avoidance technology similar to Phantom 4
- Flight time: 28 minutes
- Part of the model’s props comes in the field of view of the camera if you tilt that latter too far up.
6. Holy Stone HS100
Released by Chinese drone manufacturer, the Holy Stone HS100 is quite an impressive drone. The HS100 is 50 cm in length and 20 cm in height which makes it one of the largest drones out there. With the battery included, the drone weighs approximately 700 g. The design is somewhat similar to the Hubsan x4 series where the body stretches out to the sides to where the blades are. The blade guards make it a perfect drone for beginners while more confident pilots are welcome to remove them. In order to take off, all you need to do is push the one key take off button and the exact same button is used to land the drone. the adjustable speed helps new pilots while it can also challenge more advanced ones. The Holy Stone HS100 has a highly responsive transmitter as well. One very impressive feature that ensures your drone never gets lost is that once it reaches approximately 150 m, the transmitter automatically activates GPS aided return to home function. So while this could be frustrating for some people since the transmitter itself has a range of approximately 500 m, it’s also nice to know that your drone is not easy to get lost.
The Holy Stone HS100 does have some additional and quite interesting features. One of them is the follow me mode which basically programs the drone to follow you around so that you can record yourself. Another great feature is the headless mode and altitude mode. This is great for beginners who are not experienced in flying drones as it automatically hovers the drone without the need to hold the throttle. The emergency stop feature is a security measure put in place that ensures that if you go out of range, the drone automatically returns home using the GPS and doesn’t fly off.
- The Holy Stone HS100 is both bulky and powerful which allows it to tackle winds without issues.
- The impressive 500 m flight range and FPV range of 150 m are quite impressive.
- The Battery is a 2500 MAH and allows for a 15-minute flight session. It is also replaceable.
- It’s easy to keep your drone in the air reliably using the Altitude hold mode
- In order to access FPV flying, all you need to do is install the holy stone app on your smart phone.
- At this price range, a better quality camera is expected.
- Although the 500 m flight range is impressive, the 150 m FPV range is quite limiting and frustrating for experienced drone users.
- The battery takes approximately 3 to 6 hours to charge
7. Altair Aerial Blackhawk
Altair Aerial Blackhawk drone is one of the quickest and most durable on the market. This done is built for both speed and distance and offers an astounding speed, stability and overall quality at an impressively low price. One of the first things that you will notice about this drone is that there are no app features so that basically means you won’t need a smart phone to get started. In fact, there is no camera at all, and you’ll be using an attachable mount for an action camera. It also doesn’t exclusively work with Gopros but it’s designed to work with any similar action camera. On the plus side, the drone takes much less time to actually start flying. Once the battery is fully charged, it’s extremely easy to connect the drone and take off. There lots of extra buttons for calibration effects and adjusting the trim, however, you might not use any of them right at the beginning. The drone is pretty basic and does not include the additional features like other high-end drones including the headless mode, altitude hold and you also won’t have the benefit of the One Touch take-off button. You simply get a stick that goes up and a stick that turns. While some experienced drone users may see this as a disadvantage, others view it as an absolute joy. Everything about the design of the drone is intended to give it an advantage over the wind. The Black Hawk drone is a lot heavier than other drones however it has much thinner guards which have plenty of room for air to move through. The 6 axis Gyro also keeps the drone steady in harsher weather conditions.
It costs anywhere between $120-$160 depending on where you buy it from.
The Holy Stone HS100 is priced at approximately $249 and for many drone users, this is quite a hefty price.
- It’s heavy and this makes its more sturdy and gives it that edge to fight the wind.
- The brushless motor ensures that the drone is a lot quieter than others. Another advantage of the brushless motor feature is that it provides more power to the drone and ultimately that power translates into more stability allowing the drone to fight off winds.
- The 6 axis Gyro keeps it steady in harsh weather conditions.
- It is designed to feel more like a racing drone since it is superfast. It also contains a dedicated button that allows you to pull off, land and do 360° flips.
- This drone has incredibly accurate control
- The flight range is impressive at 300 meters.
- It does not work with a smart phone and doesn’t even make use of a proper camera.
- For the features that it offers, Some users find it a bit pricey $120
- While this drone is fun and exciting to use, it really is mostly suitable for amateur photography.
8. Force1 F100 Ghost Drone
The Force1 F100 Ghost Drone is one of the best drones on the market for photography and videography. This is mainly because it contains a brushless motor which is super quiet and makes it perfect for videography fans. Video enthusiasts will also enjoy combining an onboard camera mount for GoPro hero three and four. It contains a double LIPO battery which ensures long flight time and it’s also lightweight which keeps it aloft for up to 15 minutes. This basically translates into more pictures, more stunts and ultimately more time in the air. It’s also capable of 360° stunts since it has an intuitive control scheme. It is suitable whether you are an experienced drone user or just a beginner, the F100 ghost promises to be entertaining and exciting. Perhaps one of its best features is the fact that the controller is so simple and can be used by anyone who’s ever played a video game. The remote also fits well in your hand and most users get the hang of it in just a few minutes. This drone is definitely not designed for indoor use since it is quite large. It should ideally be flown on a clear day since it is quite light and a good breeze will throw it of course. For your first flight, find an area that is free of trees since the drone tends to pick up altitude and can get caught or tangled in branches. The F100 ghost drone provides a straightforward flying experience and most users have very few complaints about it if any. It has everything that a pilot needs and is affordably priced as well.
- The drone comes with four spare propellers
- The controls are responsive
- It can perform 360 the roles
- It’s relatively easy to fly and therefore suitable for beginners as well
- Works well with most cameras
- This drone works straight out of the box
- The brushless motors make it quiet and therefore perfect for videos.
- It’s relatively easy to set up and dismantle.
- It does not include first-person flight
- Is also not suitable with all go Pro models
- It’s difficult to get replacement parts
- Remote can sometimes be finicky
- Some users say that it is difficult to pair
It costs approximately $199 and while this may be pricey for some people, for others it’s quite affordable.back to menu ↑
9. Potensic GPS FPV RC Drone
If your goal is to purchase top long range drones, then the Potensic GPS FPV RC Drone is your best bet. This impressive drone has a flight range of between 500 to 600 m and up to 800 m provided there is no signal interference. It also contains four strong brushless motors making it extremely quiet and perfect for videos. The 1800 MAH smart lithium battery provides up to 20 minutes of flight time. It also contains a handy dual GPS mode which ensures that it is automatic, low-power and does not have any signal return. It also contains variable speed settings to suit both beginners and advanced drone users. According to many users, this drone is one of the best buys due to its fabulous GPS systems and diverse functions. It contains a convenient one-button take-off and landing feature and when this button is pushed, the drone will automatically take off and hover at an altitude of 1.5 m. When the drone is in flight and you push this button, it will automatically land on the ground. It contains one of the best cameras on the market at 1080 pixels. This real-time transmission camera is also built into the drone and can capture clear pictures even while the drone is flying at high speed. One of the most impressive features is the fact that you can draw a path on the app and the drone will fly according to it. Many users enjoy this hands-free option and says it gives them a better flight experience. The electric fence feature keeps your drone from getting lost or entering into the flight limited area.
- The impressive built-in camera allows you to take fantastic, high-resolution pictures and videos.
- Remote controller alarms you with the beep and the drone automatically returns home when the battery gets low, when the signal is weak or when you are flying out of range.
- The innovative hands-free option allows you to draw a path on the app and your drone will follow it exactly.
- Contains a convenient one-button take-off, landing and return feature.
- Users complain that it does not come with a setup manual to make set up and operation easier
- In some cases, the app does not work
- The price is a bit on the high-end for many users.
The Potensic GPS FPV RC Drone costs approximately $260.back to menu ↑
Purchasing a drone can prove to be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. Depending on exactly what you’re looking to get out of your drone, there are a few features that you should look out for. If you want a drone that flies long range then it is advisable to go for lighter weight ones. You should also look out for brushless motors that offer a quieter experience but more power at the same time and potentially longer range flights. If you plan on flying your drone long range, you will definitely need a GPS feature and also a rescue mode that will bring your drone back to you in the event that it is out of range. This prevents it from getting lost. A good long-range drone is anywhere between 300 to 800 meters. However, the range depends on a number of factors as well, including the weather, interference and so on. Some of the top brands for long-range drones include Yuneec, Autel, Parrot, Forcel, Altair, and GoPro among others. Drones are priced anywhere between $100 to several hundred dollars depending on the brand, model, flight time, flight range, and additional features. So when it comes to making your purchase, ensure that you read product and customer reviews and speak to people who already own drones. You should be able to gather enough information this way to make a well-informed decision. Doing your homework before hand will also keep you from having buyers remorse once you have already made the purchase.