15 most popular drones with the longest control range

If you are looking for a good quality long range drone that is able to maintain quite a distance without receiving any control lag, then you have come to the right place because this list is just about to cover that. I am sure most of you are well aware of the fact that “how far can a drone fly” is one of the most important specifications of modern day drones. It represents the area around you (while holding the controller of course) inside of which the drone will have no lag issues.

Long range drones

This control distance is a very important aspect of every drone and as such, it should not be taken lightly. That’s exactly why we are going to be showing you some of the best drones with the longest range that are currently available on the market.

Keep in mind though, long range isn’t the only viable trait to look for in a drone. Drones with long battery duration are also quite popular so the mix of these 2 traits is probably what you should ideally be looking for.

All of them are sorted by their range, starting from the lowest and aiming towards the most professional drones with long range. Without further adue, let us start with our list of drones with the longest range:

 

Table : Best cheap long range drone (up to 300m)
NameImageRangeFlight TimeCameraPrice
5. MJX X708WMJX X708 Table80m8min720pSee price now
4. Holy Stone F181Wholy-stone-f181100m10min720pSee price now
3. UDI U34WUDI U34W Table80m8min720pSee price now
2. Holy Stone HS300150m15min1080pSee price now
1. UDI U818Plus150m15min720pSee price now

5. MJX X708WMJX-X708W

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Starting off with MJX X708W at the 5th spot we are beginning our journey to the longest reaching drones available on the market. MJX X708W is nowhere near the top tier, being priced at well below $100 it’s still a solid cheap long range drone choice. It’s a rare occurrence though – to see a drone whose actual operating range is higher (in most cases) than its marketed number. MJX X708W is one of them and as such, it definitely deserves every last bit of attention it can get.

Camera and Features

In addition to X708W, there is also a long distance drone called X708 available on the market. It is basically the same exact drone as this one just with the obvious lack of a camera module running the show up front. The price has been drastically reduced too, making X708 the perfect long distance drone under $50.

However, if you are interested in a drone with a camera, you’ll have to go for X708W. It costs slightly more but is definitely worth every penny because of its 2MPX camera capable of recording 720p videos.

Specifications

I already told you a good deal about this drone’s range without actually mentioning the numbers. Well, enough is enough – believe it or not guys, MJX X708W can reach 80 meters away from its controller. It’s absurd to see such a high number from a dirt cheap drone.

But it’s true! And finally, battery duration is not slacking either, providing you with approximately 8 minutes of airtime. To conclude – MJX X708W is definitely an awesome addition to the already awesome array of budget-friendly long range drones.

 

4. Holy Stone F181W

Holy Stone F181C Novi

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Similarly to 2 versions of X708 by MJX, Holy Stone F181 series also sports 2 versions, C and W. They are identical in terms of design and hardware but with a simple difference – F181C does not have FPV. Everything else both design and performance wise is identical.

So which one should you opt for? Well, considering the price gap is not too large, I warmly suggest going for the FPV-ready F181W long distance drone since it will allow you to view the live video feed from the drone’s camera as it’s flying around you. If that’s not awesome then I don’t know what is…

Camera and Features

And this feed you’re going to be getting will be pretty good considering we are talking about a 720p ready wide-angle camera that captures pretty sweet aerial footage. However, the FPV range is not going to sweep you off your feet. You see, if you’re lucky you can expect around 50 meters. And that’s in wide open areas.

In normal conditions, you can consider yourself lucky if you get 30m… Don’t get me wrong though, most other drones can’t do more than that in the first place. Features-wise, in addition to FPV, Holy Stone F181W also comes with altitude hold, 1 key flips, headless mode, LEDs for night flights and even one key return to home function. A pretty neat set of features if you don’t mind me noticing.

Specifications

Moving forward to specifications, our story continues in the same fashion.  If you’re wondering how far can a drone fly, I’ll tell you in a second! Holy Stone F181W still seems like a great choice with its cca 8 minutes of flight time and close to 100 meters of operating range. As far as operating range is concerned, you can see there’s a massive price difference between this one and MJX X708W and just a couple of meters of operating range differentiating the two. Once again, that just goes to show you what a wonderful long-range budget friendly drone X708W by MJX is!

 

3. UDI U34W

UDI U34W Novi

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When it comes to miniature entry-level drones, you won’t be getting much with most of the choices available out there. Some, however, will offer you a lot more than the rest. UDI U34W most definitely belongs to the second category that allows you to experience much more and is able to prepare you and teach you how to handle with higher performance machines.

This little & cheap long range drone bugger comes for just under 100$ and is our favorite pick when it comes to indoor-friendly drones. Engineers that created it kept it clean and simple, enabling great overall ratio of features, build quality, and overall performance.

Camera and Features

U34W Dragonfly comes with 120° wide-angle 720P HD WiFi Camera, which combined with altitude hold option makes it possible for you to take clear and steady shots from the air. It is extremely easy to fly, with a simplistic controller and live video playing directly on your phone. 1 button take off and landing allows you to have fun with it both indoors and outdoors with great safety.

Headless mode is yet another feature that helps you fly it with ease, even without knowing where it is oriented. Low battery alarm and range alarm will take all the pressure off your shoulders and you should feel comfortable with it first time you lay your hands on the controller.

Specifications

U34W Dragonfly is lightweight and doesn’t take a lot of space. It also comes with 4 additional propellers and propeller guards just for additional protection. 2 350mAh LiPo batteries will keep you occupied for somewhere around 10 minutes each. As for the operating range, UDI U34W can reach up to 100 meters although I wouldn’t recommend going over 60m since it’s so small you’ll easily lose it.

 

2. Holy Stone HS300

Holy Stone HS300 Novi

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Whether you are looking for a new source of fun or something to help you capture breathtaking shots, Holy  Stone HS300 has you covered. It is arguably one of the best cheap long range drones bearing a camera that you can get for under 200$. Not only does it look great, but also performs at an envious level and has plenty to offer for anyone controlling it.

In the past, this was a price range you wanted to avoid if looking for a great product, but the ones like HS300 and MJX Bugs 2W made sure you are still getting a lot of value for your hard-earned money.

Camera and Features

When it comes to equipment, this quadcopter doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Its semi-professional wide-angle 1080P camera allows you to record amazing videos and take pictures from plenty of different perspectives. Automatic altitude hold will make sure your photographs come as clear as it gets.

This long distance drone also comes with functions such as emergency stop, headless mode, controllable led light, one key start and landing, and 3D flips. Some of these things combined with great build quality would definitely cost significantly more if you would decide to go with some other, less buyer-friendly manufacturer.

Specifications

It won’t represent a problem for you to take it wherever you want, being extremely compact and weighing only 1.4 pounds. You will also be getting two 2000 mAh batteries, with each one providing you somewhere around 10 minutes of flight time per charge. It can fly up to 100 meters, which isn’t something it stands out with but still offers you a lot of space to maneuver and cruise through the air.

 

1. UDI U818Plus

UDI U818Plus Novi

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I don’t need to tell you guys what a huge player UDI is as far as the entry level drones are concerned. Each and every one of their models sports excellent build quality and fits lots of accessories inside the package. Also, they are all easy to use, making them the perfect option for both beginners and more experienced users. Today, we are going to take a closer look at their U818Plus long range drone model which seems rather interesting. Why is that so? Well, here’s the deal…

Camera and Features

First of all, you need to know this birdie sports a solid 2MPX camera. It performs better than I initially expected and it’s all thanks to the mount locking mechanism which effectively eliminates a good deal of vibration. This camera records in 720p which is OK for the price you’re going to end up paying for UDI U818Plus.

I almost forgot to mention WiFi FPV support that will serve you well more often than not. Other features include altitude hold, headless mode, and one key takeoff/landing. Don’t get your hopes up, though – there’s no GPS!

Specifications

UDI U818Plus continues in the same fashion though even despite the lack of GPS. With an aggressive price tag and exceptional specifications, there is no doubt in its success on the market. If you want more precise figures, UDI U818Plus flies for roughly 12 to 15 minutes and can travel all the way to 150 meters. If that’s not enough for you at this price point then I’m sorry but you’re asking for too much…

 

long range drones

Table : best long range drone (up to 1000m)
NameImageRangeFlight TimeCameraPrice
5. Traxxas AtonTraxxas Aton Table300m20minGoProSee price now
4. MJX Bugs 3MJX Bugs 3 Plava Tablica300m15minGoProSee price now
3. Holy Stone HS100500m15min720pSee price now
2. Upair One800m15min4KSee price now
1. MJX Bugs 2Wmjx-bugs-2w_table1000m18minFull HDSee price now

5. Traxxas Aton

Traxxas Aton Novi

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Without this long range quadcopter, our list of long range drones simply wouldn’t be complete. With great battery life and solid range, Aton is worthy of the 10th spot on this list. As you can see, It is made by Traxxas, a familiar name in the drones industry (and even more so in RC industry). It stands for a top quality drone that is available for a quite a competitive price tag of approximately $300. But, what’s so special about it? Well, let’s see…

Camera and features

Let me elaborate on that real fast. You see, Traxxas Aton comes with 2 flight modes – photography and sports. The former gives you a decent kick in terms of stability and general flight smoothness and works great when you want to shoot aerial videos with your Aton.

On the other hand, sports mode gets rid of all that stabilization gimmick and focuses solely on providing the best speed. Like I said, we’re talking more than 50mph with stock hardware… So, if you want a drone that can do both racing and aerial photography equally good then the Traxxas Aton is the right choice for you!

Specifications

With a great set of specifications and features to behold upon, it comes as no surprise that this is one of the best selling long distance drones within its price range. If we are to be more precise here, Traxxas Aton can go as far as 300 meters and fly for around 20 minutes. Not bad for a drone that costs slightly over $300, right?

Moving forward, with its 50 miles per hour top speed and amazing altitude holding capabilities accompanied by a top-of-the-class image stabilization system (purchased separately or within Aton Traxxas Plus bundle), this bad boy is the best of both worlds – speed and photography.

 

4. MJX Bugs 3

MJX Bugs 3 Novi 2

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Unfortunately, most drone manufacturers won’t let you experience new technologies unless you are willing to pay more money than it is actually worth. Recently we got our hands on one of the most affordable models on the market, MJX Bugs 3, and if we are being honest it totally blew us away.

Its original price was just under 200$, and lately, it has been available for a little over 100$ which is an absolute bargain when you consider what it has to offer. If you haven’t still, make sure to take it into consideration, because this deal may not last for much longer.

Camera and Features

If you don’t manage to get it on discount, don’t worry because even for the original 200$ you will be getting a great deal. It features a brushless motor and variety of different options for stable and safe flight. Bugs 3 doesn’t come with an integrated camera but has a GoPro camera mount for one of the best aerial photography you can get.

Although it may sound silly at first, this is our favorite feature of this little beast. This actually allows you to experience performance you would usually be getting with higher end drones, but still offering you the option of adding a third party camera.

Specifications

If you decide to take it to the air without a payload, it will be able to stay out there for about 18 minutes, and with an additional camera, it will be reduced for a couple of minutes. Not bad, isn’t it?! Its control distance is yet another additional virtue it stands out from the rest, going up to 300 meters. Overall, I still firmly believe MJX Bugs 3 to be a great entry level long distance drone that’s well worth every penny spent on it.

 

3. Holy Stone HS100

Holy Stone HS100 Novi

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I’m sure many of you hear about this cheap long range drone for the very first time. No reason to be alarmed though. It’s not surprising at all considering HS100 is the newest drone from Holy Stone’s lineup. And a pretty decent one for that matter. In fact, HS100 is the first GPS ready drone ever created by Holy Stone. Want to know more about it? Well keep on reading and you might just find out!

Camera and Features

The best thing about Holy Stone HS100 is surely the integrated GPS module. Not only does it make room for several other supporting functions but it also drastically increases the drone’s stability. You can expect nothing but perfectly smooth flight accompanied by state of the art photo/video quality.

However, the only downside in this department is the fact HS100’s integrated camera only records in 720p. It has a motorized mount that allows you to tilt it in mid-flight but it’s nowhere near a proper gimbal so bear that in mind.

Specifications

The overall performance of a drone heavily depends on its specifications. Luckily for Holy Stone and their HS100 model, they haven’t disappointed us. This time around, Holy Stone has created their first mid-tier drone that can boast with up to 500 meters of operating range. That’s the answer to your how far can a drone fly questions 🙂

Flight time is not to be taken for granted either and I am sure many of you will greatly appreciate it. In other words, Holy Stone HS100 can fly around for up to 15 minutes. Not surprising given the fact HS100 runs on a mighty 2500mAh LiPo battery. FPV range is decent too, snapping at around 150 meters. Realistically speaking though, you can’t expect a lot more than that coming from a standard WiFi FPV connection.

 

2. Upair One

Upair One Novi

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All of you will have to agree with me on this one – Upair One is probably the prettiest long range drone out there. With an extremely glossy all-white finish and a stylish black/white camera adding to the contrast, Upair One is definitely a beauty. But there’s more to this little bugger than just looks. Just like in real (human) love, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!

Camera and Features

With GPS+Beidou positioning systems, Upair One is one of the most stable long range drones I’ve ever used that weren’t made by DJI. It’s astonishing, mark my words. Other than that, Upair One also sports several other equally important features such as altitude hold, pinpoint and return to home.

When it comes to imaging solutions, Upair One lets you choose between 2K, 2.7K, and 4K cameras. The price gaps aren’t that huge so if you are pursuing the best possible image quality then I strongly recommend going for the 4K version. 3-axis gimbal is a praiseworthy addition too, pushing Upair One to the top end of the market as far as great aerial photography/videography is concerned. I also shouldn’t forget about the fact it sports 5.8Ghz FPV (transmitter comes with a built-in touchscreen display) capable of reaching 600 meters.

Specifications

Starting off with operating range, Upair One is just 200 meters short of the first spot. More precisely, you can expect around 600 to 800 meters of operating range on average whereas MJX Bugs 2W goes up to 1km. Battery duration is pretty good too, standing proudly at around 15 minutes. It’s all thanks to the provided 5400mAh LiPo battery which doesn’t break a sweat powering this long distance drone.

 

1. MJX Bugs 2W

MJX Bugs 2W Novi 2

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At the top spot of long range drones (up to 1000m), we have MJX Bugs 2W, a relatively new long distance drone that has conquered the mid-tier market, unlike any other drone before it. This stylish little fella offers a lot for your hard earned money, making it the perfect family friendly quad out there. As far as drawbacks go, I really can’t name a single one… it’s that good. Well, enough with the bold praises – let’s take a closer look at this little fella and see what’s so charming about it!

Camera and Features

After taking just a quick glance at MJX Bugs 2W set of features, you will realize that MJX hasn’t held back. Not only does Bugs 2W feature GPS and GLONASS but it also sports altitude hold and 3 types of return to home. Headless mode is here too and so is 5Ghz WiFi FPV that can reach up to 500 meters. The onboard camera isn’t half bad either. It sports wide angle lens and can record relatively smooth 1080p videos with ease.

Specifications

MJX Bugs 2W long distance drone is an absolute beast in terms of hardware. Not only does it have independent ESC instead of a 4in1 board, but it also sports powerful 1806 1800kv motors. Paired together with the proprietary 2S 1800mAh LiPo, this little bugger is capable of going pretty damn fast.

It can do so for up to 18 minutes, making it by far the best value for money option as long as you’re looking at its nearby competitors (in terms of price range). Last and most certainly not the least – operating range of MJX Bugs 2W is ridiculously lengthy. Around 1 kilometer to fly around with will make your flight session as entertaining as they come with this long range drone!

 

drones with long range

Table : best long range drone
NameImageRangeFlight TimeCameraPrice
5. Autel Robotics
X-Star Premium
2000m25min4KSee price now
4. Yuneec Typhoon H1500m25min4KSee price now
4. Parrot Bebop 22000m21minFull HDSee price now
3. GoPro Karma2000m20min4KSee price now
2. DJI Phantom 4 ProDJI Phantom 4 Pro Tablica7000m27min4KSee price now
1. DJI Mavic Pro7000m27min4KSee price now

6. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium

Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Novi

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The golden middle of this list goes to none other than Autel Robotic’s awesome drone called X-Star Premium… not to be mistaken with X-Star. The Premium version comes with double the range of the original, which was roughly 0.6 miles; but more on that later. For now, we are going to take a closer look at its camera and features.

Camera and features

Autel Robotics X-Star Premium’s camera is able to produce high-quality 4K videos which were expected from a drone of this caliber. Furthermore, it also provides you with a crystal-clear HD FPV feed that brings a whole different level of immersion. It’s also noteworthy to say a thing or two about its controller. It’s big, bulky and feels that it’s made out of top quality material.

Likewise, it also sports a small LCD display which provides telemetry data. All things considered, Autel Robotics X-Star Premium is a great drone with dual GPS and GLONASS outdoor navigation system as well as a handful of other features including return to home and SecureFly.

Specifications

Finally, we have reached specifications. Just like I stated earlier, Autel Robotics X-star Premium has double the range of its standard counterpart. That means it can reach up to 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away from its controller without any issues. The battery is great too – it can power it up for around 25 minutes and doesn’t take too long to charge.

 

5. Yuneec Typhoon H

Yuneec Typhoon H Novi

 

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If you are looking for a top-notch long range drones with a whole bunch of additional equipment and accessories then you cannot go wrong if you opt for Yuneec Typhoon H. This drone represents the first try of Yuneec with building a premium quality industrial drone, and oh boy haven’t they done an amazing job.

With supreme looks, excellent safety measures and a whole bunch of raw power hiding inside, Yuneec Typhoon H is a real treat for all of you who want an industrial/commercial drone.

Camera and features

This hexacopter has everything you need and a little bit of extra stuff on top of it. With its 3 axis gimbal stabilization system (capable of panning for full 360 degrees), ST16 transmitter, and a 7-inch touchscreen display that serves as an FPV monitor… this should be your drone of choice for all commercial uses. It flies smoothly thanks to responsive controls of ST16. This gigantic transmitter offers plenty of features which are available at the tips of your fingers.

If you’re wondering how good this baby is for aerial photography, then read on. Yuneec Typhoon H incorporates a 12MPX sensor with a dedicated 3-axis gimbal. It records in 4K and provides incredibly smooth aerial footage. Needless to say, this makes Yuneec Typhoon H one of the best real estate drones currently available on the market.

Specifications

Specifications-wise, you’re looking at cca 1 kilometer of operating range. Battery life – up to 25 minutes per charge which is astonishing considering how much this hexacopter weighs. With everything stated above in mind, there is no doubt Yuneec Typhoon H is an outright awesome drone. It has a great set of features combined with powerful hardware that synergically adds up to an incredible package.

 

4. Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer

Parrot Bebop 2 Novi 2

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Bebop 2 Adventurer is one of several new packages introduced by Parrot. In addition to this one, there are also Power and FPV packages which offer similar experiences but are targeted at different user groups. So, you’re interested in a portable aerial photography drone that won’t make a too big dent in your wallet?

Well, Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer long range drone is exactly that. Well, what are you waiting for… Keep on reading and find out what exactly is so special about it!

Camera and Features

Now that we’re done with the camera, it’s time to see what exactly awaits you inside this package. First of all, you’re obviously getting the drone. But, in addition to that, you will also get SkyController 2, Cockpitglasses and a specialized backpack. Believe it or not, this stylish backpack is relatively small but spacey enough to fit everything nicely inside. As for the features, Parrot Bebop 2 sports WiFi FPV, altitude hold, GPS, pre-programmed flight maneuvers and one key flips.

Specifications

Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer edition is basically the same as the standard model with the only difference being the extra accessories found in the package. With that said, you can expect roughly the same performance as you would with the original. This is in no terms a bad feat since you get SkyController 2 which boosts the operating range up to 2 kilometers.

Airtime isn’t scarce either, standing high at around 20 minutes. All in all, if you are on the market for an adventure-friendly long distance drone that doesn’t take too much space but records great footage, Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer is a clear choice!

 

3. GoPro Karma

GoPro Karma Novi

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Even though it falls short of DJI Mavic Pro, its only real direct competitor, GoPro Karma is an astonishing long distance drone that has already captivated lots of users from all around the world. It did so with its stellar performance and gorgeous foldable design making it a damn fine travel-friendly aerial photography solution. With a stylish controller, HD video feed and generally great performance, there are only a handful of better drones out there on the market…

Camera and Features

Unfortunately for Karma, among those long range drones is DJI Mavic Pro which doesn’t take no for an answer no matter what’s on the line. Still, GoPro Karma does one thing better – there’s no better option for a more versatile approach to photography. And I am not just referring to aerial photography but photogrsphy in general.

That’s because Karma Grip is included in the package which acts as a standalone stabilization system for aerial and conventional purposes. It also supports the newest 3 generations of GoPro cameras including Hero 4, 5 and 6.

In terms of features, GoPro Karma sports several autonomous flying modes but, unfortunately, lacks Follow Me or any type of obstacle avoidance. It also has altitude hold and return to home too which will come in handy more often than not.

Specifications

As I’ve already stated above, GoPro Karma cannot really be compared with DJI Mavic Pro as far as specifications are concerned. DJI’s masterpiece is a clear winner but not because Karma is bad… but purely becuase it is so good! With that said, GoPro Karma can reach from 2 to 3 kilometers away from its controller.

That number can go slightly lower though, but only if you’re living in a crowded area with lots of interference going on. As for battery duration, you can expect up to 20 minutes per charge. Not bad by any means… but still not nearly as lengthy as DJI Mavic Pro.

 

2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Novi

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Silver medal goes to DJI Phantom 4 Pro, the current flagship in DJI’s Phantom series of drones. This gorgeous, all-white drone incorporates cutting-edge drone technology and intuitive interface, well worthy of the 2nd place. It does cost a lot too, but considering what this birdie is capable of offering, you can rest assured your money is well spent!

Camera and features

Feature-wise, rest assured that Phantom 4 Pro is in good hands. DJI, obviously, implemented full support for DJI GO app. As you all know, it brings a lot of extra functionalities to the drone, including several advanced flying features. Autonomous flight is always a big thing for premium drones and it’s safe to say DJI Phantom 4 Pro passes that test with straight A’s. Last but not least, this little fella also features collision avoidance sensors as well as outdoor navigation systems which further increase its flight stability.

Specifications

Specifications are nothing short of brilliant, but we are already used to that from DJI drones. Thanks to OcuSync technology, DJI Phantom 4 Pro can effectively reach up to 7 kilometers without any issues. Moreover, with its powerful LiPo battery, this stylish birdie has approximately 25 to 27 minutes of airtime.

Awesome, right… So is the camera! DJI Phantom 4 Pro sports a 1-inch CMOS sensor capable of recording silk smooth 4K footage.

 

1. DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro Novi

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Like it was ever in question which drone would take off as the best long range model currently available on the market. It’s, of course, none other than DJI Mavic Pro, a ridiculously small drone with impressive power. One thing is certain – Mavic Pro took the drone world by storm with what is, by far, the best performance/size ratio we have ever witnessed in a drone. So, without much further adue, let’s take a closer look at it and see what’s it all about!

Camera and features

With full support for DJI GO app, DJI Mavic Pro has access to a wide array of useful features. For those of you who already own a DJI model, some of the following will be familiar: ActiveTrack, TapFly, Precision Hover, Return to Take Off Location and more. Of course, DJI Mavic Pro also includes a state of the art 4K camera with a 3-axis gimbal. After all, what good would it be without one? Furthermore, this foldable birdie is equipped with 2 sets of sensors for safe flight and collision avoidance.

Specifications

As I stated above, DJI Mavic Pro is an absolute champion in terms of performance/size. That’s why it is not surprising to see whopping 7 kilometers of range and up to 27 minutes of airtime. Impressive, to say the least… In the sea of excellent features and specifications paired together with a ridiculous size, it’s safe to say DJI Mavic Pro is deservedly the best long range drone at the moment.

 

 

Benefits of long range drones

Obviously, the key benefit of long range drones is the fact they can cover a massive amount of ground around you. In theory, this is just a numbers’ advantage. In practice, however, things are much bigger than that. Take extreme sports as an example – usually, they’re covering great distances (f.e. snowboarding, skydiving) which means you need a long range quadcopter if you want to capture the whole performance.

On the other hand, various industries are taking advantage of long distance drones too. The perfect example would be surveillance. Drones are sorted into patrolling groups. Each of them covers a certain area and are being a part of autonomous systems that charge themselves automatically once they run out of juice.

 

Long range drones for commercial purposes

As previously stated, long distance drones are frequently used for various commercial purposes. I took surveillance as an example and explained how the process generally works. Now, let’s take a more in-depth approach to the subject and thoroughly examine most popular commercial purposes for long range UAVs.

 

Surveillance

Drone powered surveillance is becoming more and more popular these days. There are even specialized drone surveillance companies which offer their services at moderate prices. These services involve public area surveillance, property surveillance, and monitoring of larger groups of people. The latter reflects protests, riots, demonstrations and so on.

 

Agriculture

Agriculture also greatly benefits from long range drones. Of course, this was to be expected since, at the moment, most drones in agriculture are based on huge farms with tons of ground to cover. That’s why long range is of crucial importance for these scenarios as it allows farmers to cover more ground with a single device.

Drones in Agriculture

Agricultural long range drone is usually equipped with HD and/or thermal imaging solutions which allow superior crop inspection. Drones can effectively inspect current health situation of crops, determine critical spots and differentiate healthy from unhealthy ones. All in all, long range quadcopters have a bright future in agriculture. Many farmers are noticing the opportunity so it’s no wonder agricultural drones are a hot topic nowadays

 

Mapping

Geographical mapping, obviously, requires a lot of range to work with. That’s why this industry mostly uses drones with extremely long range and equipped with state of the art cameras and GPS for pinpoint mapping accuracy. Of course, specialized mapping drones come at impressive price tags, but you can still use some of the below-listed ones as solid alternatives.

 

Real Estate

Some of you would argue that long range drones are important for the real estate industry. After all, all drones do is take a few pictures of the property and perhaps create a compelling tour of the interior. Nope – you’re wrong! Real estate drones are also used for showing the surrounding area around the property. This includes nearby landmarks, ATMs, fast foods and pretty much anything that’s in a close proximity to the property.

 

Perimeter Security

Surveillance DronesSimilar to surveillance, perimeter security industry is also starting to use drones in order to improve its performance. Even though there are other practices at the moment, the crucial one is border patrol. Drones are being heavily used to guard borders, not just in USA and Canada but on other places in the world as well. In fact, Canada is trying to manufacture face-reading drones which would further improve their border security

 

 

Frequently asked questions :

What do you need for a commercial drone piloting license?

If you need a long range drone for various types of commercial purposes (some of which have been described above), then you must be looking into the whole license-obtaining process. Believe it or not, it’s quite complicated but luckily, you have me as your personal guide. First of all, you will need to get in touch with your local FAA testing center. They are spread out across all of USA so chances are high that you’ll have one relatively near to your location. Once you’ve agreed to the terms, you’ll end up registering for a standardized knowledge test. Part 107 is the name, and it is well-known for giving lots of people headaches. Why? Well, it can be quite difficult. You will need to dedicate a lot of time and effort into properly preparing yourself for the test. It consists of everything related to UAVs and our national airspace (including sophisticated regulations) thus being extremely comprehensive.

Keep in mind that you’re going to get your own Drone Piloting Licence once you pass the Part 107 test. With that certificate, you are able to fly your drone for commercial purposes and apply to various job posts that look for drone operators. Believe it or not, there’s an abundance of those. Matter of fact, it’s not even that surprising considering how much drone industry is growing at the moment.

What about casual users?

Casual users are able to take advantage of long range drones just as much as commercial users can. For casual users, long range drones provide a hassle-free experience for recording huge pieces of aerial footage. We’re talking about capturing the skylines of entire cities from the sky, making up for amazing shots and videos that are sure to awe the crowd. Additionally, long range drones can also be used for taking shots of hard to reach places which you would otherwise be unable to inspect closer. Plus, let’s not forget the fact that you’d finally be able to see your hot neighbor Casey’s bedroom with one of these long range birdies… But beware though, flying your drone too far away from you might lead you to all sorts of trouble… Which brings us to the final topic before our list of best long range drones!

How far am I allowed to fly my drone ? - How far can a drone fly?

If you’re living in the USA, this is probably one of the first things that swing to mind when you think of long range drones. And that’s for a good reason! You see, FAA holds the sUAV (small UAV) section under strict regulation. So, if you’re flying your drones in the USA, the law obliges you to stay below 400 feet in height. There are several reasons for this, the key one being the safety of populated aircrafts such as airplanes and helicopters.

Additionally, there is also a chance you’ll get a fine for flying your drone beyond the visible line of sight (BVLOS from now on). So, in other words, you are only allowed to fly your drone in your visible horizon – if you can’t see it in the distance, it means it’s already BVLOS and you should get it back ASAP. Honestly speaking (and I’m not suggesting you go ahead and start breaking the law on a daily basis), cases of BVLOS are extremely rare and are obviously very hard to properly monitor. That’s why, if you plan on flying BVLOS, make sure you’re far away from any airports and any other types of no-fly zones. With all that said, I believe it’s time to dig into the Best Long Range Drones list!

Delivery with drones

Believe it or not, fully automated drone delivery systems exist. True, they aren’t technically being used at the moment, but that’s more due to laws and regulations than due to the technology behind it. As a matter of fact, Amazon just held a small test of their drone delivery service in UK and the results are better than initial expectations. Unfortunately, it seems as though we will have to wait at least couple more years for these automated drone delivery systems to become fully usable in our society.

Conclusion

I am sorry to inform you that our Top 10 list is finished with the awesome DJI Mavic Pro. As you had the chance to see for yourselves, there are lots of high quality long range drones on the market. True, you will have to splash out decent amounts of cash to get the premium ones… but it is also noteworthy to add a couple of solid contenders in mid-range market. Those drones might not come with all those bells and whistles but can definitely work as solid alternatives to big guns out there.

Removed Drones

Hubsan H501S

I already told you about one of Hubsan’s models above. It was their premium H109S which packs quite a punch in terms of both specifications and features. But, when it comes to value for money, I have to admit Hubsan’s middle tier H501S simply excels in that department. Want to know more about this beauty? Well, continue reading and you’ll find plenty of useful information about it!

First of all, you need to understand that, for this price, you will have tough luck finding a GPS-powered drone… Hubsan H501S, not only has GPS but also flies with pinpoint accuracy and possesses a 4.3-inch LCD display incorporated in its dedicated controller. But, that’s not where the fun ends. You see, Hubsan H501S comes with a surprisingly good camera that shoots videos in 1080p at 30fps. It does not feature hardware image stabilization, but it’s still able to present you with smooth aerial footage… unless it’s extremely windy. In that case, you can expect a bit of shakiness, but nothing too drastic, don’t worry.

Specifications are always a big plus when it comes to drones made by Hubsan. If those of H109S amazed you, wait till you see what you will get for under $300 from Hubsan H501S. Starting off with the battery, this birdie sports a 2S 2700mAh LiPo capable of enduring up to 20 minutes in the air. In terms of range, the situation is a bit lower but still good considering the price you’re paying. In clear, unobstructed areas with no WiFi interference, you will be getting slightly over 300 meters. When you take into account fluent FPV working over 5.8Ghz, it goes without question that Hubsan H501S is a wonderful piece of tech gadgetry!

 

3DR Solo

3DR Solo perhaps is not the most popular drone out there, but it surely has traits that are making it interesting for both casual and commercial users. First of all, it needs to be said that 3DR Solo is on a massive sale at the moment. From its initial price which went around $600 to even $700, 3DR Solo has now dropped to under $300 which is outright amazing. But, is such a huge discount a bad sign?

Good news – no it’s not! Even though it can be bought for a ridiculous sum of money, 3DR Solo is still an exceptional model – there were no drawbacks from the version that used to cost a lot more. So, in terms of features, you can expect the usual smart flying modes (orbit, cable cam, follow me and more) as well as altitude hold and GPS. It does not come with a camera which could be an instant turn-off for some of you. But, keep in mind that you can purchase an optional gimbal which supports GoPro Hero 3 and 4. Undoubtedly, this will turn your 3DR Solo into an outstanding aerial photography platform.

Moving onto the specifications, 3DR Solo looks sharp. Even with the gimbal and camera mounted, it can achieve 15 to 20 minutes of airtime. For those who are more interested in its range, you will get roughly 800 meters. While it’s not that much, considering all those advanced features and potency of being a great photo platform, 3DR Solo is deservedly placed on the 8th spot of this list.

 

Hubsan H109S

9th spot goes Hubsan’s flagship model. For those of you who are not familiar with this brand, I am referring to Hubsan H109S – a mighty drone that does not cost a lot but incorporates premium-grade features. Truth be told, there are 3 versions of this beauty, but in this next few paragraphs, we will be focusing on the high end one. It sports just a few improvements such as an awesome 3-axis gimbal and a greatly improved controller which packs more than a fair share of features.

Speaking of the controller, it needs to be said that it comes with a built-in LCD display for FPV monitoring. Don’t worry – FPV works over 5.8Ghz which means you’ll get a proper experience. In fact, that LCD display is more than a mere display – it’s actually sporting Android 4.2 operating system for ensuring intuitive controls and responsive commands. In terms of photography solution, Hubsan H109S comes with an FHD camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal for optimal stabilization. It delivers solid aerial footage, but don’t expect it to be crystal clear like premium models such as Phantom 4 Pro and the rest…

Some of the key features Hubsan H109S comes with are GPS, headless mode, altitude hold and automatic return. In addition to those, you will also have low power protection at your disposal which often comes in handy. In terms of range, Hubsan H109S goes up to 1.5 kilometers which are excellent for its aggressive price tag. Even better, it has juice for roughly 25 to 30 minutes, making it among the longest flying (time-wise) drones on this list.

 

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

There is one drone that must be included on all lists about drones with extremely long ranges. Of course, I’m talking about DJI phantom 3 Pro. With the release of P4, P4 Pro and Mavic Pro, people are starting to forget about this little fella. Luckily, DJI Phantom 3 Pro has a ton of amazing features that will give you a whole heap of bragging rights in front of your friends, even though it’s a last gen model we’re talking about here. So… has it aged well? Why don’t we take a closer look and see!

DJI Phantom 3 Pro has always been one heck of a drone. It was awfully famous for its exceptional aerial stability as well as the 4K-capable camera. We should not forget about its awesome features either. Return to home, GPS-powered altitude hold (with the help of additional sensors on the bottom), follow me, point of interest and much more. Needless to say, such an abundance of smart features will relieve the pressure on you as the pilot, giving you a worry-free flying experience each session.

In terms of specifications, one thing is certain – DJI Phantom 3 Pro is not a toy and as such, it should not be taken for a joke. In other words, this fully-fledged sUAV (in every meaning of that word) is capable of flying up to 5 kilometers away from its control point which is just absurd. Please note that, according to FAA’s regulations that were mentioned earlier, you should always have your drone in your sight which means you should never allow it to go anywhere close to its max range… But then again, should, would, could… Secondly, DJI Phantom 3 Pro has up to 25 minutes of flight time that should satisfy both casual and commercial users. In the end, even though DJI Phantom 3 Pro is already a few years old, it’s aged well and definitely still deserves people’s attention.

 

DJI Inspire 2

If what you are looking for is a top flight aerial photography platform, then you cannot get anything better than DJI Inspire 2. This beauty of a drone is huge as it is good. With the luxurious cosmetic appearance, the flashy raising effect of propeller arms upon takeoff and second to none performance, many would agree that DJI Inspire 2 is an outright champion in commercial grade drone market. Is that really the case? Let’s find out!

First things first, considering DJI Inspire 2 is targeted mainly at professional photographers, it’s only logical to start off with its camera. We’re looking at Zenmuse X5S or X4S camera and gimbal combinations, both of which are capable of bringing shivers down your spine with image and video quality. Furthermore, it needs to be stated that DJI Inspire 2 captures not only in 4K but 5.2K too… and supports RAW format for advanced users.

In terms of features, DJI Inspire 2 brings roughly the same deal as DJI Phantom 4 Pro. There are plenty of autonomous flight options, precise hovering and advanced settings for photographers. As a matter of fact, you can even use 2 controllers to operate DJI Inspire 2. 1st for flying and 2nd for controlling the camera+gimbal system. All in all, my words from the start are now surely ringing in your ears – in terms of professional grade aerial photography platforms, you cannot get anything better than DJI Inspire 2!

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