Long Range Drones - Best quadcopters from 300m to 8km distance
Long range drones is quite a subjective category, depending on the budget and what you plan to do with it.
I’m thinking that because you’re here, you got tired of piloting cheap toy drones that have a maximum range of like 50m and want something more to satisfy your need to fly.
That’s why even the cheapest drone on this list will start from 300m in range and they go up to quite a lot of km, enough to satisfy anyone.
Range isn’t everything, but there is indeed a strong correlation between how far a drone can fly and its price and capability.
Usually, cheap toy drones that you can find for under $50 or so will have a maximum range of 100m, usually 50m.
Frankly, for quads that don’t have GPS, there’s no need for a longer range, as you need to see the quadcopter permanently and not lose it out of sight.
But all the drones on this list can use the Return to home function because they have GPS. Not only that, but they’re also some of my top pics when it comes to drones in general.
Don’t forget, there are some drones that not only fly above the ground, you should also check these underwater drones!
300m range (1000 feet)
This range can be achieved even with drones that don’t have GPS and it’s usually enough for filming buildings, parks, people and events.
500m range(1600 feet)
At this point you’re already not able to see the drone anymore and need to have a good FPV transmission to guide the drone where you need it.
1km range(3300 feet)
Usually you won’t need to go farther than this range for most of your filming jobs, if you’re a professional, but having a
over 4km range(13000 feet)
Some of the more expensive drones, like the Phantom 4 and the Mavic series can go up to 8 km in range, but they are limited when it comes to battery, so even if you can send them 8km from one point to another, you can’t return them back as there’s not anymore battery left.
This table doesn’t actually represent a top when it comes to quality, but they all have really good range and are some of the best drones in their price category.
|Dji Mavic Pro 1 – Still a good drone in 2019?|
|DJI Mavic Air – 4k compact drone for everyone|
|Xiaomi Fimi A3 review – best gimbal GPS drone for the price|
|DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom|
|Funsky 913 Drone Review|
|Hubsan X4 H501s standard and advanced versions|
|C-Fly Dream drone review – The cheaper DJI Spark alternative!|
|Hubsan Zino Drone Review – cheap 4k GPS drone|
MJX bugs 5w
This drone is probably some of my favorite ones for this price coming with things like:
- Great GPS
- Flight functions like Waypoints, follow me, etc
- Moving camera( from controller)
- great range
- brushless motors
Just keep in mind it doesn’t have a gimbal for image stabilization, but the image is stil pretty good thank to the more than average 1080p camera.
The range of the drone itself is actually more on the 500m side, but I limited it to 300 as that’s the maximum visual range you can get. Make sure to have a 5g 802.11 ac wifi capable phone to pilot this drone.
This drone, besides the fact that it comes with brushless motors and really good GPS for a super low price, also has some flight modes and is super portable, as it’s size allows it to almost fit in a pocket.
It’s quite fun to fly in sport mode too, as it’s high pitch propellers make it quite fast and it’s size makes it nimble.
There’s no doubt this has become one of my favorite drones under $150 and that’s one of the reasons it got so popular recently.
- brushless motors
- good range
- great battery life
- very stable GPS
- good quality camera
- can fly faster in altitude hold mode
- no turning in follow me mode
3 axis gimbal
The Hubsan zino is a great long range drone, mainly because of it’s price and quality fimbal stabilization and camera.
It doesn’t have close to the range of more expensive drones like the DJI Mavic, and a similarly priced DJI Spark has even more range, but I would have like to mention it on the list as it comes with a 4k camera that might be useful for many people.
It also comes with multiple flight modes like follow me, orbit, waypoints and so on.
If you really prioritize range that much, you can get more by buying the spark, but you’re losing the 3 axis gimbal and 4k footage.
- 3 axis gimbal
- 4k camera
- flight functions like follow me and waypoints
- foldable design
- return to home
- super smooth gimbal
- lots of spare parts available
- no obstacle avoidance or position hold sensors
- No low battery warning on the controller
Xiaomi Fimi A3
2 Axis Gimbal + EIS
The Xiaomi Fimi A3 is a drone released in 2019 by one of the better companies out there.
The design isn’t foldable unfortunately, but it’s considerably slimmer than its bigger brother the Mi4k drone.
What I’m most excited about in this drone is the FPV option, as it has 5.8ghz transmission and you can connect a cheap pair of goggles to it.
Besides that, the huge 1km range, the super stable video and long battery life make it the best choice in my opinion for this budget.
The build quality is also fantastic, as we’ve been used from Xiaomi in all their products.
The drone doesn’t come with flight modes like waypoints, circle around and so on, as it doesn’t connect to the phone (which in my opinion is a benefit, lol).
- 2 axis gimbal
- Electronic Image stabilization
- long battery life
- slim profile
- 5.8ghz signal
- great quality transmitter and build
- I wish this was 2.7k in resolution
4k with lossless zoom
The parrot is in my opinion the best drone you can get for actually under $500 because of it’s very high quality build, awesome zoom features and overall very capable camera.
Considering Parrot is one of the main competitors for DJI and has a strong history of high product quality and drone manufacturing, it’s safe to say the quality level of the product is something that becomes a big advantage.
This quadcopter is nothing short of being a fully fledged professional drone, able to take 16 or 21 mp photos in RAW format while also capable of shooting 4k super stable video.
Another reason why this drone is in the number one spot is that the camera can turn 90 degrees above to take absolutely original shots that no other drone is curently capable of.
It may not have optical sensors in front to avoid obstacles, but it still comes with the optical stabilization at bottom that helps it land better and fly more stable close to the ground.
Here are the box contents for the standard package:
- drone case
- propellers (spare)
- USB C Cable
- 16 gb micro SD card
- Really Quiet
- big battery life
- 4k camera
- can film 90 degrees up
- lossless zoom
- 21mp photos
- a lot of flight modes
- card slot must be handled carefully
- only 2 axis stabilization+EIS
Xiaomi Fimi x8
4k(2.7k in 60p)
As you can see above, I underlined the fact that this drone is unique though the fact that it shoots 2.7k in 60p. Which is something I wanted for a long time considering I usually shoot in 2.7k anyway.
The drone and controller are both very well made, typical for Xiaomi and the app is also pretty good too.
A thing about this drone, although it may look like it has optical flow sensors in front, it in fact doesn’t.
But the Fimi does come with optical flow sensors underneath to better hold its position in the air.
The only downside of this drone is that the gimbal doesn’t have any ground clearance and you have to launch it from a plane surface.
Otherwise, it’s flight modes are all working great, and the gimbal does an extremely good job overall.
To be noted that the drones in this category can’t really go up to their maximum range and get back as they are limited by their battery life. Drones like the Mavic 2 pro can pretty much go up to 5km before having to come back because of low battery.
Also keep in mind that in Europe there’s a legal limitation to the maximum range, so they’re gonna be limited to 4 km anyway.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t send them 7-8km away and simply land them there.
Dji Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic pro is still one of the longest distance flying drones up to this day, and with the lowering of prices considering it has been released for quite some time now, it’s becoming one of the best choices for people looking to clear as much ground as possible.
The signal strenght is quite good and its image capture capability is unparalleled to this day, at least for the price.
- Great battery life
- cheap price (compared to the beginning)
- Huge Range and good signal strength
- All the actually useful flight modes
- Precise automatic return to home
- Amazing 4k camera
- 3 axis gimbal
- Foldable design
- Great build quality
- No back and side sensors for obstacle avoidance (only front and bottom)
- gimbal is a bit delicate (didn't have any problems in 2 years though)
Dji Mavic 2 Pro - longest range drone
Dji Mavic 2 pro has beecome the pinnacle of drone technology, with two versions to choose from, both coming with the same body and same insane range capablity of up to 8km.
They’re filled with sensors in every direction, smart flying modes and one of two cameras:
- 1 inch hassleblad with changeable apperture (Mavic 2 pro)
- zoom lens (mavic 2 zoom)
- Huge range
- Optical avoidance sensors in every direction*
- Small foldable body
- High wind resistance 38km/h resistance
- internal storage 8gb
- 72km/h speed
- great dynamic range
- hard to decide between the pro and zoom
- spare batteries can get expensive