Ultimate review of drones with long flight times

One of the most important things about drones is the amount of time they can fly. This is among the well-known specifications that everyone must check before buying their first drone. In other words, drones come with different types of motor and battery combinations which mean their flight time will vary significantly. We often get messages from our visitors asking about drones with the longest battery life. So today we’ll try to make it easier for all of you by publishing list of drones with long flight time. For example, you can’t expect more than 50 meters from a $20 drone just like you can’t expect more than 500 meters from a $200 one. More money equals to more battery power resulting in longer flight time. Luckily, there are drones with good battery life in almost every price range. If by any chance, you desperately need a drone that can withstand rather long aerial sessions, then you should definitely take a peek at the list below.

 Why is flight time so important?

Imagine this – you’ve finally managed to gather your entire family at one place for your annual family barbecue. After taking a couple of excellent aerial shots with your drone, you’re all set to make a gorgeous little video that you’ll rewatch for years to come… but unfortunately, your drone’s battery had other plans. It’s dying. Considering most people are leaving in an hour or so, and your battery needs roughly 2 hours to charge, it’s safe to say your video opportunity has gone to waste… Well, in order to stop this from happening, you should definitely consider buying a drone with a proper flight time.

Also, flight time is of crucial importance for commercial users too. Obviously, this is because it allows you to get more job done in a single flying session, instead of chopping it between a couple of charges. It will give you a continuous amount of entertainment which is exactly why it’s worth investing in better batteries for your drones.

What’s a good flight time for different usage scenarios?

Entertainment
If you are looking for a drone strictly for entertainment purposes, then you ought to be satisfied with 15-ish minutes of flight time. Realistically speaking (and unless you’re an advanced user), this sort of flight time is just enough for you to keep your level of entertainment at the maximum one flight session at a time. Also, mid-tier drones with cca 15 minutes of airtime aren’t that expensive so your budget will stay intact after the purchase.
Vlogging/Aerial Photography
Vlogging and casual aerial photography aren’t that time-consuming. In other words, roughly 20 minutes of flight time is the optimal number for most users. But, then again, if you consider yourself an advanced drone operator (or a generally tech-savvy person who just wants more than petty casuals), a drone with 25+ minutes is your way to go!
Filmmaking
Professional filmmaking and cinematographic use of drones usually require a whole ton of flight time. Most frequently, professionals rely on the method I’ve already described above – extra batteries + charging hub combination. It essentially allows them to have juice in their drones all the time. Needless to say, that’s of utmost importance in this branch, especially for projects that require a lot of aerial footage.

How to further improve drone flight time?

If you are not satisfied enough with the flight time of your drone (or the next one you’re aiming to buy), you can bypass it with a simple “hack”. Either get a stronger battery (but you also have to make sure your drone supports it) or invest in a few spare ones to go along with a specialized charging hub. The latter (at least in my honest opinion) is the best way to go. For example, if you get a total of 4 batteries for your charger, 1 is being used by your drone while the other 3 are simultaneously charging. Result? A continuous flow of entertainment/work without much hassle.

 

Table : Long Flight Time Drones

NameImageRangeFlight TimePrice
NameImageRangeFlight TimePrice
10. Hubsan H501S300m20minSee price now
9. Traxxas Aton300m15minSee price now
8. 3DR Solo800m22minSee price now
7. Yuneec Q500600m25minSee price now
6. Parrot Bebop 22000m21minSee price now
5. DJI Phantom 3 Pro5000m23minSee price now
4. Autel X-Star2000m25minSee price now
3. DJI Mavic Pro7000m27minSee price now
2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro7000m27minSee price now
1. DJI Inspire 27000m27minSee price now

 

10. Hubsan H501S

hubsan_h501s_web-1The first model on this list comes from Hubsan, a company who is really starting to make a proper name for itself out there on the market. Until a couple of months ago, they weren’t really ranking that well… but now that their top models have settled in and are starting to sell well, it’s safe to say better times for Hubsan are on the horizon.

When you take a first glance at Hubsan H501S you will see that it’s a gorgeous model with a miniature built-in full HD camera. With a beautiful gold/black color combination, powerful brushless motors and intuitive controls, Hubsan H501S has already conquered a big portion of drones market. That comes as no surprise since this little guy features GPS at an incredibly low price point. Navigation system allows more advanced features such as Follow Me, One key return and auto-landing.

Specifications-wise, Hubsan H501S is extremely aggressive, especially considering its price tag. It can reach up to 300 meters without any issues at all. Likewise, this birdie runs on 7.4V 2700mAh LiPo battery that effectively keeps it in the air for up to 20 minutes; 18 on average. So, with all that taken into consideration, it’s pretty clear that Hubsan H501S delivers great value for money and has every right to be featured on this list!

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9. Traxxas Aton

traxxas-atonJust one spot from the top, we have my all-time favorite budget drone ever. Even though it’s not the most popular drone model out there, it still has a very special place in my heart since it’s made by Traxxas, a company whose RC products I always adored. But still, I will do my best to keep a fully objective description here and switch off my personal preferences within the next couple of paragraphs…

Traxxas Aton is a unique looking quadcopter with a fixed camera mount that supports most of the today’s action cameras. It is packed with powerful motors which allow it to go more than 50 miles per hour in sports mode. In addition to this super fast sports mode, the Traxxas Aton also excels at being a rather stable aerial photography platform in its dedicated film mode.

With a powerful 3000mAh 3s LiPo battery, it is able to perform awesome aerobatics that is quite easy on the eyes. It can reach a maximum distance of up to 300 meters without any sort of control lag and is able to fly for around 20 minutes on a single full charge. All these specs, in combination with its manufacturer Traxxas, make it one of my favorite long flight time drones ever.

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8. 3DR Solo

3dr-soloIf you are looking for a feature-packed drone that has a lot of upgradeability in terms of camera quality, then look no further because 3DR Solo offers exactly that. This interesting little drone doesn’t have the marketing capability of DJI and the bunch but is still among popular drones due to its impressive price/performance ration. But, is it any good for average users? Well, that’s exactly what you will find out in the next couple of paragraphs!

Let’s start off wit 3DR Solo specifications. Most importantly, this drone can fly for around 20 to 25 minutes which is excellent for its current price tag (there’s been a massive drop in recent months so you can consider 3DR Solo a steal). Likewise, operating range is solid too. We are talking roughly 800 meters which give you plenty of room to work with.For those of you interested in aerial photography, I need to tell you 3DR solo doesn’t come with a camera.

For those of you interested in aerial photography, I have to inform you that 3DR solo doesn’t come with a camera. That’s not the end of the world though, as you can always purchase a dedicated gimbal for it and enjoy professional quality aerial footage powered by amazing GoPro Hero action cameras.

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7. Yuneec Q500 4K

yuneec-q500-4kAs you can see, we have moved onto the big boys on this list. All of the following drones are equipped with top notch cameras and image stabilization systems that will most likely rock your world once you try them out. Nothing different can be said about Yuneec’s newest drone – the almighty Q500.

This excellent looking drone comes with a 4K CGO3 action camera and a St10+ controller which allows it to have a lag free flying experience for up to 600 meters. When it comes to the controller, I should also mention that it features a relatively bright built-in display that will serve as your very own FPV monitor. That means you won’t need to use your smartphone which is always a big plus. Additionally, you can also expect a much better FPV range since we all know WiFi connection is a no-go for FPV…

Its 4K CGO3 camera is not only able to record 4K@30fps but excels at shooting slow motion footage. It can do so in full HD at amazing 120fps which is something we rarely see with drone cameras nowadays. Truth be told, there are a couple of them on the market, but they will set you back much more than $700, which is the price of the standard Yuneec Q500 package.

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6. Parrot Bebop 2

parrot-bebop-2Followed by a huge success in recent time, Parrot has released yet another top quality drone. This time, we are talking about their newest flagship model called Bebop 2. As you can conclude from the 2 in its name, it is, in fact, an upgraded version of their previous model with a few improvements here and there.

If you are looking for a cheap smartphone-controlled drone, then Parrot Bebop is probably your best pick at the moment. It is powered by Parrot’s FreeFlight app which features intuitive design and plenty of interesting features for you to examine. On the other hand, if controlling your drone with a smartphone seems like too much hassle to you, you can always make an upgrade in the form of Parrot’s dedicated controller called Sky Controller. It gives you all controls at the tips of your fingers and significantly boosts the operating range of Parrot Bebop 2.

When it comes to its specifications, it is able to reach 300 meters when controlled with a smartphone… but as I’ve already mentioned above, if you opt for the Sky Controller you’re looking at way more than that. Plus, I almost forgot to mention its built-in HD camera which supports FPV and outputs generally solid quality recordings. All in all, it’s a great drone that will surely provide you with a ton of fun, especially considering it can last up to 25 minutes in the air on a single full charge.

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5. DJI Phantom 3 Professional

dji-phantom-3-professionalThe golden middle of this list goes to DjI’s third installment in the Phantom series. I am talking about none other than DJI Phantom 3 Professional version. Needless to say, this little birdie has a couple of great aces up its sleeves so it’s a must to check it out!

With a crisp clear 4K UDH camera mounted on a fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal, you will get the optimal shake-free image time in and time out. With this camera system in place, it comes as no surprise why this drone is considered as the professional aerial photography platform.

When you combine this with the rest of its features and specifications, you will begin to understand why is it priced so high. When I come to think of it, it is actually not even priced that high if you take into consideration the fact that it can fly up to 5 kilometers away from you without much control lag. In addition to that, it can last up to 25 minutes in air and has a whole heap of additional features that will surely amaze not only you but your friends as well! Phantom 3 Professional is definitely one of the drones with longest flight times.

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4. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium

autel-robotics-x-star-premiumDear ladies and gentlemen, here we have another amazing long flight time drone bundle. This one is actually a bit less expensive than the previous one, but it comes with less stuff inside the package to compensate for the price. Despite that, it’s still a great choice for someone who doesn’t want to spare any money while drone shopping.

Let’s be clear here – the Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone is one hell of a device. It has crisp clear 4K camera (which is also able to shoot slow motion videos… as it should because this guy costs a fortune) mounted on a motorized 3-axis gimbal for the ultimate image stabilization. Let’s just say that you won’t even notice any shaking or distortion while filming great aerial videos.

With this bundle, you will get a bunch of extra drone equipment such as extra propellers, battery, prop guards, and a 64 gigs micro SD card among other stuff. Its dedicated controller has a top-notch LCD screen with flight information displayed and is equipped with SecureFly magnetic interference protection which grants it an amazing range of up to 2 kilometers. All things considered, this is an excellent drone that is straight on par with DJI’s beasts.

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3. DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro FeaturedThe bronze medal from this list goes to DJI Mavic Pro, another one of DJI’s modern marvels that are well capable of replacing your big bulky day-to-day model. This unique looking foldable drone’s main traits are its size and the sheer quality of hardware packed inside. For those of you who don’t know – DJI Mavic Pro is a miniature drone that’s the perfect example of the good old saying: best poisons are hidden away in smallest of flasks…

First things first, DJI Mavic Pro is capable of performing as good as Phantom 3 or 4 in terms of flight stability and photography. It is equipped with a 4K capable camera that has an integrated hardware stabilization system for ultimate aerial photography. Moving forward, DJI Mavic Pro is also finely poised with some of the most advanced features available on the market. I am, of course, talking about DJI’s patented ActiveTrack and TapFly (among others) technologies which do wonders in terms of autonomous flight.

The technical side of DJI Mavic Pro is simply awesome. This drone, even though it’s a miniature compared to others, has unbelievable specifications. More precisely, DJI Mavic Pro can reach up to 7 kilometers and fly for around 27 minutes. Needless to say, this sort of specifications wouldn’t be a bottleneck to the majority of full sized models on the market.

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2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

phantom-4The newest installment in DJI Phantom drone lineup is the Phantom 4 Pro. The professional version is primarily targeted at, you’ve guessed it, professionals. That includes photographers, real estate agents and pretty much people from a wide variety of industries that have started using drones as their day-to-day drivers. Why is that so?

Well, first of all, you need to understand that DJI Phantom 4 Pro is not a toy drone. I mean, the price suggests that too but nevertheless I wanted to make it clearer by stating it out at the very start. With that out of our way, I’d like to point out this beauty of a drone comes with 1-inch CMOS sensor featuring an integrated 3-axis gimbal for perfect video and image stability. Of course, in addition to its excellent camera traits, DJI Phantom 4 Pro also has an abundance of sensors (including obstacle avoidance) as well as advanced smart features that incorporate DJI’s patented recognition algorithms that allow features such as ActiveTrack to perform at their best.

On the technical side, you’re looking at an immensely sturdy drone made out of only the highest quality materials. DJI’s brand new OcuSync technology gets it roughly 5 kilometers of range and its smart 5870mAh LiPo battery enables up to 25 minutes of airtime. So, if you take everything stated above into your thoughts, you’ll end up with a positive picture about DJI Phantom 4 Pro, one of the best premium models currently available on the market.

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1. DJI Inspire 2

dji_inspire_2_webAt the very end of our list, I have a very special drone to show off to you guys! Not only is this one the best drones in terms of flight time but it’s certainly the best one when it comes to professional-quality aerial photography. As the title suggests, this drone goes by the name of Inspire 2 and it’s at the moment, DJI’s most reliable solution to aerial photography platforms. With that said, let’s jump straight to action and see what is DJI Inspire 2 all about!

Inspire 2, a successor to the ever so popular Inspire 1 brings the true meaning of a reliable and utterly professional aerial filmmaking platform. We are talking about a huge model here that is equipped with state of the art photography solutions including Zenmuse X5S that sweeps the floor with the competition. With a 20mpx sensor and 3.4 microns pixel size, this baby can soothe all your 4K imaging/video needs.

Performance is nothing short of brilliant either. Even if you use all of its advanced features such as ActiveTrack, GPS, and TapFly, DJI Inspire 2 can still reach 25 minutes in the air. Even better, with OcuSync technology, this beast of a drone can go as far as 5 kilometers away from its controller before ultimately losing connection. All things considered, if you are a professional user who doesn’t mind the huge price tag, DJI Inspire 2 can really inspire your needs and allow you to do what you do best – take breathtaking aerial videos!

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Conclusion

And that’s it, guys! With the most expensive drone in this article, you have come to the end of the list of drones with long flight time. As you could see for yourselves, there are many variations when it comes to drones’ flight durations. Without a doubt, this particular specification significantly depends on the pricing range meaning that you will have to spend a couple of extra bucks for a drone with longer flight duration.

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