GPS drones are getting more and more sales with each passing day, taking over the entire market one purchase at a time. People are loving them because they possess an extra dose of security and protection. As you already might know, drones with GPS can locate themselves and remember their takeoff position. In case a mishap happens and you lose connection to your drone, it will automatically return back to its original takeoff location. In addition to that, GPS also brings a handy set of features such as semi-autonomous flight, pinpoint precision and improved stability. After all of the above, I’m sure you would like to see a couple of awesome GPS drones. If that’s the case, make sure you check out our top 10 list down below!
What is GPS?
GPS AKA Global Positioning System is a comprehensive, triangulation-based, satellite-powered navigation system that’s available to the public throughout the world completely free of charge. Initially, it was sued by USDOD (United States Department of Defense) and was available only to US military force. Later on, in the 80’s to be more precise, GPS was released for public use which brought radical changes to the world we know today. Lastly, it is the first 100% free navigation system on a worldwide scale… but not the only one.
In addition to GPS, there are other similar navigation systems such as Galileo, Compass, IRNSS, DORIS, and GLONASS. The former, in addition to GPS, forms the best navigation combo as it covers extreme latitudes and is available on a wide array of devices… including drones. Most of the time, you’ll either see GPS-only or GPS/GLONASS in drones with rest of the bunch not being nearly as popular.
Table : Drones With GPS
|10. Hubsan H501S||300m||20min||See price now|
|9. Upair One||800m||15min||See price now|
|8. Hubsan H109S||1500m||25min||See price now|
|7. Yuneec Q500||600m||25min||See price now|
|6. Parrot Bebop 2||2000m||21min||See price now|
|5. DJI Mavic Pro||7000m||27min||See price now|
|4. Yuneec Typhoon H||1500m||25min||See price now|
|3. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium||2000m||25min||See price now|
|2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro||7000m||27min||See price now|
|1. DJI Inspire 2||7000m||27min||See price now|
But, before we jump into the list, let’s first take a more in-depth look at GPS technology in modern-day drones and just how much they can help the average user!
Are there any differences between GPS and GLONASS?
The difference between GPS and GLONASS start in their respective countries of origin. While GPS was made by the US, GLONASS delivered an alternative and was made by the Russians. Instead of providing a completely separate global navigation system, Russian GLONASS complements (when used together they provide even greater accuracy than standalone) GPS and together, these two are considered as only 2 fully operational global navigation systems with pinpoint accuracy.It’s also noteworthy to add that GLONASS works better in higher latitudes. So, if you’re a northerner, it might be a good idea to invest in GPS/GLONASS drone instead of GPS-only.
It’s also noteworthy to add that GLONASS works better in higher latitudes. So, if you’re a northerner, it might be a good idea to invest in GPS/GLONASS drone instead of GPS-only. Plus, with receivers for both systems, your device will have roughly 55 satellites at its disposal. Obviously, this will keep it accurate and, best of all, reliable no matter where you are located.
Why is GPS so commonly integrated into various drones?
Both GPS and GLONASS receivers are rapidly growing in popularity when it comes to drones. They’re being integrated into all high and mid end models… As a matter of fact, even a few entry level (read cheap) drones have them. Why is that so?
The most obvious answer would be – GPS/GLONASS bring a wide array of additional functionalities to drones that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. For instance, any smart flying mode (follow me, orbit, cable cam etc.) most likely wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for GPS. Additionally, one of my all-time favorite features, Return to Home feature is also powered by GPS. True, there’s a version of this feature that works without GPS but it is not nearly as reliable as GPS-powered. Lastly, GPS is also important for the safety of your drone. If you happen to go out of range or your battery goes to critical levels, with GPS turned on your drone will try to return to its takeoff location. Believe it or not, this feature has already saved thousands of drones across the globe.
What are the key traits that GPS gives to drones?
Let’s take a closer look at the key features in drones brought to life by GPS:
10. Hubsan H501S
We are starting this list off with one of Hubsan’s models. As you all know, Hubsan is becoming one of the most popular drone brands out there with plenty of awesome ones at display. Their H501S drone is the perfect example of what an entry level GPS drone needs to perform like. So, with that in mind, I’d like to take you through its main aspects so you can see whether or not Hubsan H501S can suit your needs!
First of all, it needs to be said that this little fella incorporates a handful of GPS-powered features. These include altitude hold, follow me and one key return to home, all of which are crucial for an exceptional flying experience. Also, Hubsan H501S has a decent full HD camera. Unfortunately, there is no hardware stabilization but considering H501S has a steady flight, the aerial footage you capture with it is jello free most of the time. So, with that said, Hubsan H501S is a stellar contender for the cheapest GPS powered aerial photography drone.
Moving forward, this drone is powered by 7.4V 2700mAh Li-Po battery which can provide juice for approximately 20 minutes. These batteries are not that expensive so you should consider getting at least 1 extra to double your flight time. On the other hand, FPV and controlling range rocks off at 300 meters which is just enough for most casual users. Combine all that with great build quality, plenty of parts available online and comprehensive manual and you’ll realize what a good deal Hubsan H501S is.
9. Upair One
Let’s start off by saying that Upair One is excellent across all departments. For instance, it can fly up to 18 minutes on a single full charge, it has a specially designed shape that allows more stable footage and improved GPS signal. But that’s not all, it also comes with a top-notch 4K camera that will amaze you as soon as you record the first picture or video with it. Even its controller is awesome. This is especially true because it features a big LED display used for FPV monitoring. It sports a clean white design and that same charm DJI’s Phantom controllers have.
Specifications-wise, we already mentioned that it is capable of flying up to 18 minutes under full load, but we didn’t mention that it can travel up to 800 meters without losing connection. Make that 500 meters if you have FPV turned on. Amazing, right? And what’s best of all – you get all that for less than $400 which is just absurd.
8. Hubsan H109S X4 Pro
After their entry level H501S X4 Pro GPS drone, now I’m going to tell you more about Hubsan H109S. At the moment, there are 3 versions of this little fella available on the market. They all bear the same name with only differences being their suffixes. They have Low, Medium and High editions which have certain advantages over each other.
For instance, low and medium editions feature the same controller with a small FPV display with the only differences between the two being gimbals – low edition comes with 1-axis gimbal while medium comes with a 2-axis one. Lastly, the most expensive high edition comes with a much better controller with a built-in touchscreen display as well as a fully fledged 3-axis gimbal. They all share identical FHD camera which is capable of recording solid quality videos and images.
Moving onto the features, Hubsan H109S X4 Pro proves that it is a smart quadcopter with GPS, follow me mode, return to home and altitude hold, all of which you could expect from such a beast. Specifications are thrilling too. Hubsan H109S X4 Pro can fly as long as half an hour and can go up to 1 kilometer away from its controller. Lastly, it needs to be said that this little bugger provides with an intuitive controlling schematic. That, combined with stable flight and altitude hold makes it not only a great GPS drone but an outstanding one for beginners as well.
7. Yuneec Q500
This awesome drone is coming to us straight from Yuneec, a company that has made quite the name for itself in recent time. After providing us with a live of stellar drones such as the Typhoon H or H920 Tornado, it seems pretty clear that Yuneec Q500 is bound to deliver. Luckily, it has done just that with Q500, a rather impressive drone with price/performance ratio that will blow you away!
With its state-of-the-art 4K camera, an exclusive design made out of top quality materials and outstanding controller, there is no doubt that Q500 is one of the best premium drones on the market. Alongside the drone, you will also get an aluminum case, ST10+ controller ( which is great for FPV due to its bright display)and a 3-axis gimbal stabilization system.
Last but not least, let’s talk a bit about Yuneec Q500 specifications. First off we have the range – Yuneec Q500 is capable of going up to 600 meters away from its ST10+ controller. It runs on 3S 11.1V 5400mAh Li-Po battery which can endure roughly 20 minutes airtime on average. Build quality is solid and spare parts can be found virtually everywhere you look. Yuneec has done it again!
6. Parrot Bebop 2
If you are looking for a mainstream drone that has a huge fanbase and does no fail to impress with its performance, then Parrot Bebop 2 is the one you should check out. Parrot, a very popular drone brand with a lot of RC toys to its name, created an awesome hybrid model. I’m calling it a hybrid because it can be controlled with a smartphone and with its dedicated controller.
Truth be told, the latter provides much-improved flying experience but does not come with the basic Parrot Bebop 2 package. So, if you don’t want a smartphone-controlled drone, make sure you purchase this drone in a package together with Sky Controller. As I’ve already said, it improves controlling accuracy and also greatly improves Bebop 2 range up to 2 kilometers. Likewise, Parrot Bebop 2 has roughly 25 minutes of flight time.
The camera also needs to be mentioned. We are talking about a 14MPX fisheye model that’s capable of recording in 1080p with decent quality and not too much jello effect. In terms of features, Parrot Bebop 2 is a fully autonomous drone with lots of smart features and even a purchasable flight plan app upgrade that lets you enjoy playing around with this birdie even more.
5. DJI Mavic Pro
Even though DJI Mavic Pro was most likely made to be a direct competitor to those selfie drones such as Zerotech Dobby and Yuneec Breeze… it ended up being something completely different. As a matter of fact, DJI was quick to figure this out so they rushed to make another (more appropriate) selfie drone called Spark to compete with the 2 above-mentioned models. So, why exactly was DJI Mavic Pro unsuitable for competing with other selfie drones? Well, the simplest answer – it’s just too damn good for them.
DJI Mavic Pro, in all its glory, can easily replace 90% of today’s premium drones… and do so with a much smaller size factor. Believe it or not, this is exactly what most people want. Bulky drones, even though they provide excellent performance, are a big hassle in terms of transportation; DJI Mavic Pro, on the other hand, has no problems with that as it can fit inside a small backpack or purse with ease.
Best of all, this foldable little fella has no sacrifices for its miniature size. It incorporates a 4K camera with 3-axis gimbal stabilization system, 27 minutes of airtime and up to 7 kilometers of range thanks to OcuSync technology. Combine that with DJI GO app which allows advanced features such as ActiveTrack, TapFly and plenty other smart flying modes and you’ll understand why DJI Mavic Pro is so popular at the moment.
4. Yuneec Typhoon H
I’m sure most of you are familiar with Yuneec, an up and coming drone brand with a few great models to its name. More precisely, I’m talking about their Q500 and Tornado models, both of which provide great value for money ratio in their respective price ranges. But, today we will be focusing on Typhoon H, a very powerful hexacopter that could perhaps serve as an alternative to DJI Inspire 2 for some professionals. What exactly does it bring to the table? Let’s see…
First of all, it needs to be said that we’re talking about a monstrous drone here. More precisely, Yuneec Typhoon H weighs in just under 4 pounds and its exact dimensions are 28 x 28 x 11.6 inches. Yes, inches! Luckily, this beast is as powerful as it is large so there are no worries in that department. It can withstand up to 25 minutes of air time and go as far as 1 kilometer. Lastly, Yuneec Typhoon H sports the CGO3+ 4K camera with a 3-axis sta
Features-wise, Yuneec Typhoon H offers geofencing, 8 smart flight modes, 5 rotors failsafe, sonar collision prevention and plenty more. This is all made true by its dedicated, Android-powered ST16 transmitter which is outright gigantic. I swear, I’ve never seen a controller this big. But it justifies its size with a 7-inch touchscreen display in the middle and overall excellent build quality which cannot be said for all controllers that come with premium drones.
3. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium
If budget is not an issue and all you care for is a premium drone with all the features you can think of, then the X-Star Premium is the one for you! It is made by Autel Robotics, a company that’s been getting a lot of attention recently… Although truth be told, this attention should’ve come a lot sooner since their X-Star Premium drone is a proper beast! With that said, let’s take a closer look and see what’s it all about?
With its amazing 4K action camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, the X-Star Premium is able to capture professional quality aerial footage with real ease. Not only that, its camera is also capable of recording footage in slow motion at full HD (120FPS) and allows you FPV capability up to 2 kilometers away. Yup, you read that right, 2 kilometers worth of lag-free FPV.
Keep in mind you won’t only get the drone itself, but a hard carrying case, 64 gigs memory card, fast charger and even some spare parts. Luckily, you won’t need to grind on that charger a lot since the X-Star premium is capable of delivering up to half an hour of flight time (25min on average). Impressive, to say the least!
2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Two best drones on our list are both made by a sophisticated manufacturer we all know and love – DJI. The Apple of drones, people call them… and quite frankly they have every right to do so. DJI has been at the very top of drone industry ever since it came onto the mainstream stage. With a plethora of top-flight models, great customer support and above all – respect of the entire hobby scene, it seems as though DJI intends to stay at the top.
With their current flagship, Phantom 4 Pro, they’ve tackled most issues that users wanted to see upgraded. That’s why, among other upgrades, DJI Phantom 4 Pro has finally received collision avoidance sensors as well as a brand new 1-inch CMOS camera that provides exceptional aerial footage and videos. OcuSync technology is present as well, allowing DJI Phantom 4 Pro up to 7 kilometers of range. That, combined with approximately 27 minutes of flight time gives the opinion that DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a proper beast.
Of course, this expensive aerial photography platform comes with full support with DJI GO app. It incorporates all the usual functions and features including detailed telemetry, GPS settings, autonomous flight modes, camera settings, ActiveTrack, TapFly and a whole bunch more. The build quality is as perfect as always, but that’s to be expected considering this is DJI’s current generation flagship model.
1. DJI Inspire 2
Don’t worry guys, I’ve saved the best for last! If you are looking for a smart GPS drone and you don’t agree to any compromises, then DJI Inspire 2 is your go-to choice. This behemoth of a drone brings the pinnacle of current drone technology and is primarily targeted for professional users. As a matter of fact, its price tag strongly implies just that. But still, if you’re a wealthy individual with a craving for smart drones, I see no reason why you should pass the opportunity to buy this masterpiece.
DJI Inspire 2 comes paired with either Zenmuse X4S or Zenmuse X5S, both of which are considered a class A photography solution for drones. They provide buttery smooth 4K (and even 5K) aerial footage and can record in RAW format for all you professional reading this. Considering this is a premium DJI model, it comes as no surprise to see brilliant specifications – 5 kilometers of range and cca 27 minutes of flight time are not to be taken for granted.
Moving forward, DJI Inspire 2 proves that it’s a professional aerial platform with a wide array of sophisticated features. Among others, these features include GPS, smart flying modes (follow me, orbit, waypoints etc), image stabilization (both hardware and software), FPV, and best of all – advanced obstacle avoidance sensors which prevent the Inspire 2 from receiving collision damage. All in all, DJI Inspire 2 is just what it claims it is – a fully functional drone for professional use that is capable of doing everything its users could think of… and even more!
Is it worth paying extra for a GPS drone?
It all depends on how precious you consider all those above-stated traits. While some people can’t imagine flying a drone without GPS, others don’t think so highly of it. Unfortunately, that’s most frequently because they don’t know what exactly are the biggest benefits.
I, for one, don’t like flying my drones without GPS… with the exception when I’m FPV racing. I’m just used to it that now I cannot imagine myself flying a fully fledged aerial photography drone without GPS. Plus, even though the most notable GPS features are return to home, follow me and autonomous flight modes, I’m more grateful for unparalleled flight stability!
So, if you ask me if it’s worth paying extra for a GPS drone, my answer would definitely be YES! On top of flight stabilization, you also get a ton of features and safety mechanisms that keep your drone safe from any harm. If your drone’s safety is important to you, then the extra price is worth every penny!
That’s it guys! Those were the best 10 drones with GPS, GLONASS or both positioning systems. Truth be told, drones with these features tend to be pricey, but in the end – you know exactly where your money is going. These positioning systems allow your drones to located itself and give it better stability and a wide array of useful functions that are not seen with cheaper drones. In the end, we would like to thank you for checking this list out, and we sincerely hope it has helped you with making your final decision.