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Top 7 Best GPS Drones to Buy in 2024 (That Have Return Home & Follow Me)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
Best GPS Drones

From capturing breathtaking videos and mapping, to search and rescue missions, drones are becoming almost crucial in many sectors.

The thing is though… There is only one type of drone capable of the above: GPS drones.

If you’re looking to do anything other than fly for fun on the weekends, you’re going to need a drone that has GPS, and for several reasons: mainly the ability to fly for extended periods of time, to hover in place, to have the “return home” feature, and to be able to use waypoints… to name a few.

In this article are my top 7 best GPS drones in the market right now, some of them are entry-level drones while others are slightly expensive – but don’t worry, after reading through this you’ll know exactly which type of drone you need!

My Top 3 GPS Drones

If you’re tight on time or simply don’t like reading a lot, I got you. Out of all the drones that we’ll cover in detail here, here are my top 3 based on category:

1. Best GPS drone in terms of price to value

DJI Mini 3 Pro

  • 3 axis gimbal
  • 4K 60 FPS camera
  • 47 Minutes – Plus Battery
  • 10 km
DJI Mini 3 Pro

2. Best camera GPS drone

DJI Mavic Air 2s

  • 3 axis gimbaly
  • 5k camera
  • 1-inch sensor
  • 31 min battery
  • 12 km
DJI Mavic Air 2s
Check Price

3. Best follow GPS drone

Skydio 2

  • 23 min battery
  • 3 axis gimbal
  • 4k footage
  • Advanced follow me
  • 3.5 km range
Skydio 2

Why choose a GPS drone?

You might opt for a GPS drone instead of a normal one for several reasons.

GPS, or Global Positioning System, brings a world of functionalities to drones, from hover stability to return-to-home features. It’s what allows your drone to know where it is, where it's heading, and how to get back to you safely.

The top 7 best GPS drones – comparison

These seven are all some of the best GPS drones out there. The cream of the crop…

But how do they compare with each other? You don’t have to dig on the internet as I’ve already compiled the ultimate comparison table for you below:

SpecsAir 2sDJI Mini 3 Pro Autel Evo II ProAutel Evo Nano DJI AvataSkydio 2Eachine Ex5
Sensor size1'' CMOS1/1.3-inch CMOS1" CMOS1/2″1/1.7”1/2.3” 12.3MP CMOS-
Pixels20 MP48MP20 MP48MP48MP72MP12MP
FOV88°82.1°82°82°155°200°150°
Aperturef/2.8f/1.7f/2.8–f/11f1.9f/2.8f/2.8-
5k Res5.4K/30fps4K 60FPS(6K video at 30fps)4K@30fps4K/60p 4K60-
4k FPS50 fps60FPS(5k at 60fps)4K@30fps4K/60p 4K604K HD/30fps
Battery31 min47 min40 min28 min18 min27 min30 min
Max Hover30 minutes47 min40 min28 min18 min27 min30 min
RangeFCC: 12 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 10 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 10 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 10 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 10 km CE: 8 km6km1 km
Weight595 g249 g1191 g249 g410 g800 g229 g
Folded Size180×97×77 mm145×90×62 mm230*130*108mm142×94×55mm180×180×80mm229 x 274 x 126 mm 14 x 8.5 x 5.7cm
Unfolded Size183×253×77 mm171×245×62 mm457*558*108mm264x310x50mm 180×180×80mm229 x 274 x 126 mm 24.9 x 29 x 5.5 cm
Obstacle SensingOmni w/o lateralForward, Backward, BottomOmnidirectionalBack/Front/BelowDownward obstacle sensing360°none
Max Speed68.4 kph35.7mph45 mph29mph60 mph36 mph-
Max Altitude5 km6km6km6km500m500m120m
Wind Resistance38.5 kph24mphForce 8 windLevel 5Level 5
25 mph
-
Temperature0° to 40° C (32° to 104° F)14° to 104° F or -10° to 40° C5~45℃14°F to 104°F-10 to 40°C-5°C to 40°C0 to 40°C
Internal Storage8 GB1.2GB8GBnone20GBnonenone
Image size3:2: 5472×3648 16:9: 5472×30784:3: 8064 x6048 (48 MP), 4032 x3024 (12 MP5472*3648 (3:2)5472*3076 (16:9)3840*2160 (16:9)50MP: 4096x3072 (4:3)4K: 3840x2160 (16:9)(4000 x 3000)3840x2160 30 fps 3840x2160 60 fps 3840 x 2160
Raw PhotosJPEG / DNG (RAW)JPEG / DNG (RAW)JPEG / DNG (RAW)JPEG / DNG (RAW)JPEG / DNG (RAW)JPEG, DNG (RAW)-
Battery mAh3500 mAh2453 mA7100 mAh2250mAh2420 mAh5410 mAh2200mAh
Video TransmissionO3O22.4~2.4835GHz2400-2483.5MHz5725-5850MHzO3+5.18-5.24 GHz 5.725-5.85 GHz2.4GHz
Remote Res1080p/30fpsFull HD 1080p resolutionFull HD 1080p resolutionUp to 2.7k720p720p-

The Best GPS Drones in 2023

1. Autel Evo II Pro – Best camera GPS drone

camera-icon-spec

6K / 8K

battery-icon-spec

40 Minutes

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

3-axis gimbal

Pros:

  • 40-minute battery life
  • Excellent image quality
  • 6k / 8k video capabilities
  • Best non-DJI drone

Cons:

  • App isn’t intuitive
  • Expensive

The Autel Evo II Pro is known for boasting a 6K@30fps shooting camera which is amazing for its price range.

This gives you a powerful tool to shoot cinematic and professional footage that can be compared to very expensive cameras, even if you don’t choose higher-priced models like say the DJI Inspire 2.

These guys have done a great job comparing it to the very loved DJI Mavic 3, and the results might actually shock you.

As you can see, compared to the DJI Mavic 3 there is almost no difference in the footage. And in some cases, the Autel Evo II pro even came out on top.

Another cool thing about this drone is the 360-degree obstacle-sensing camera (something the Mavic 3 has as well).

This would allow most pilots who like shooting in large cities or in mountainous terrain to be able to fly without the anxiety of their drone crashing into a skyscraper or large tree.

You can check that 360-degree obstacle sensing in action in this video.

2. DJI Mini 2 – Best beginner drone with camera and GPS

camera-icon-spec

4K

battery-icon-spec

47 Minutes – Plus Battery

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

3-axis gimbal

Pros:

  • Best Camera Quality for this price
  • 47-minute battery life
  • 10 km range
  • Stable 3-axis gimbal

Cons:

  • None as far as we can tell!

I’m putting the DJI Mini 2 on this list because it boasts a powerful 4K camera and is priced at only $349.

This gives you the ability to capture breathtaking and cinema-worthy raw footage, while still not putting a strain on your pocket.

As for the camera, most people don’t even notice the difference between the footage of a Mini 2 and a DJi Air 2s, here’s a video of me comparing the two.

Besides the camera, the drone also comes with a 31-minute battery and great wind resistance.

Meaning you can take your ample time planning out those perfect shots mid-air, without worrying about the wind or running out of battery.

I’ve actually personally tested the wind resistance compared to other DJI drones and it’s clearly better than the Mini 1 and very similar to the other larger drones.

3. DJI Mavic Air 2s – Best professional drone with a camera and GPS 

camera-icon-spec

5.4k

battery-icon-spec

31 Minutes

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

3-axis gimbal

Pros:

  • Great image and video quality
  • Solid upgrades from Mavic Air 2
  • Great low light performance

Cons:

  • Missing the higher-end options from more expensive models

The Mavic Air 2S has an exciting feature: its O3 transmission is linked with a Full HD live video feed that stretches up to 12 kilometers.

This is ideal for those passionate about wildlife and national park photography. It allows for extended drone flights, maintaining a solid signal amidst trees and mountains, and helping you capture even more stunning shots.

As is clearly shown in this video.

Another notable feature is the camera's 1-inch sensor which is perfect for low-light performance.

This would allow you to shoot cinematic footage even in low light conditions (night or dusk), which is perfect for most people shooting in cities. Check out this video for a night footage comparison between the Air 2s and the Air 2.

4. Skydio 2 – Best follow-me drone with GPS

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

23 Minutes

range-icon-spec

3.5km

drone-icon-spec

3-axis gimbal

Pros:

  • 4K60 camera
  • Crash-proof
  • Improved follow-me mode
  • Can be controlled by body signals
  • GPS locator

Cons:

  • Slow startup time
  • Disappointing camera
  • Short battery life
  • Only works in daylight
  • Remote and GPS Beacon add to cost

The Skydio 2 is mostly known for its impeccable follow-me feature and strong GPS capabilities. 

This makes it perfect for pilots who don’t like to fly too much but need a hands-free drone following them around and shooting their activities.

In fact, it’s so good at keeping track of your movement that you can have it fly behind you as you bike down a mountain, as this guy did in this video here.

All this is made possible with the beacon tool, which is a pill-shaped remote that lets you control the camera through your body signals. 

5. Autel Evo Nano – Best DJI alternative with GPS

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

28 Minutes

range-icon-spec

10km

drone-icon-spec

3-axis gimbal

Pros:

  • Best DJI alternative at this price point
  • 28-minute battery life
  • 10 km range
  • Stable 3-axis gimbal

Cons:

  • Can be a bit lacking compared to DJI Mini 3 Pro (same price)

At this price the Autel Evo Nano (and Nano+) are the best DJI Mini 3 and DJI Mini 2 alternatives, with their 4k cameras and light sub-250g build.

This drone gives you the ability to capture breathtaking and cinema-worthy raw footage, while not breaking the bank and while fitting in your pocket.

It also holds its own against the new DJI Mini 3 as you can see in this video comparison.

6. Best FPV drone with GPS

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

18 Minutes

range-icon-spec

10km

drone-icon-spec

1-axis gimbal

Pros:

  • Best quality FPV in the market
  • Easy to fly
  • Beginner friendly

Cons:

  • The battery could be improved

With its arcade-like controller, the DJI Avata is perhaps the easiest FPV drone to fly out there that also has a GPS.

The joystick allows for easy game-like control, which solves the biggest problem of any FPV drone: being too hard to fly.

You can see the motion controller in action in this video.

Another cool feature about it is the obstacle sensing, which is honestly a lifesaver.

In fact, many pilots claim that the drone is almost crash-proof   , and even if it did crash it’s more than durable enough to withstand it.

Check this out.

7. DJI Mavic Air 3 – Best video drone with GPS

camera-icon-spec

5.4k

battery-icon-spec

46 Minutes

range-icon-spec

10km

drone-icon-spec

3-axis gimbal

Pros:

  • Dual cameras
  • 46-minute battery life
  • 10 km range
  • Stable 3-axis gimbal

Cons:

  • Slow charging
  • Occasional subject-tracking lag

One of the more impressive features of DJI's newest Air model is the long battery life of up to 46 minutes.

Since chances are you’ll be using the Mavic Air 3 for shooting, this is perfect because it’ll give you ample time to get all the shots you like without worrying about running out of time.

While it requires perfect conditions to fly for 46 minutes, In real-world use, I saw flight times of around 35 minutes before the return-to-home warning went off, depending on flying style and winds. That generally allowed me to fly for a full day with three charged batteries.

Another cool feature is the ActiveTrack 5.0. An upgrade we saw first on the Mavic 3, which is now available on the Air 3!

This is something most “active” pilots who like shooting themselves during activities will appreciate.

I’ve tried it and the upgraded omnidirectional obstacle avoidance and support for APAS 5 allow the Air 3 to glide around trees, poles, fences, or whatever else you put in its path.

Bonus Drone – Best budget GPS drone (Eachine Ex5)

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

30 minutes

range-icon-spec

10km

drone-icon-spec

No gimbal

Pros:

  • Under 250g
  • 30min battery life
  • foldable design
  • good range of 1km
  • stable GPS flight

Cons:

  • None for this price!

The Eachine Ex5 is one of the cheapest GPS drones out there that aren’t one-use toys.

With its $99 price and similar design to known DJI drones, the Eachine Ex5 gives you the perfect dummy drone to learn the basics of flying, without worrying about crashing the drone!

See for yourself as this guy takes it for a flight.

Originally made to be a clone of the Mavic Mini, it really doesn’t leave much to be desired at its extremely low price point.

Although it doesn’t have any image stabilization which hurts the overall footage quality, it does have a follow-me mode which is amazing for its price.

How does GPS work?

As we’re drawing close to the conclusion of this article, I thought we’d look at what GPS even is and why many drone pilots go for GPS drones (to the point where I think non-GPS drones will go extinct in the coming years).

GPS is a global network of orbiting satellites that send signals which are picked up by a radio receiver. These signals allow the module to determine its position, speed, and time. 

Starting to get a picture of how that’s crucial to your drone yet? The GPS helps your drone know exactly its altitude (so it can float in the air), it helps it know its position (so it doesn’t get swept by the wind and can calibrate), and it helps it know YOUR position…

Which is the key to the Return Home feature many drones have!

Conclusion

While I covered 7 of the (what I think) are the best GPS drones on the market right now, there are several other drones that are also good.

I’m talking about drones like the DJI Mini 2, and DJI Mavic 3 to name a few.

In fact, most newer drone models have a GPS feature. So just know exactly what you want out of your drone and what type of flying you’ll be doing to determine which one is good for you.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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