There are many drones that utilize a GPS connection through the aircraft, remote control, or both, but there are a few that stand out above the rest. A drone with RTK, short for Real Time Kinematic, will offer the very best in flight precision. RTK is a GPS correction technology, a technique that combines the connection to satellites with photos and positioning to a known ground station.
While the best non-RTK drones hover with accuracy in the range of twenty to fifty inches, an RTK drone can hover with accuracy as low as a couple inches.
For most hobby flights, half a meter is more than accurate enough, but for absolute precision on inspection, surveying and mapping missions, the hover accuracy can make or break the project. Here are some of the best drones that either offer RTK or other similar GPS precision tools, the best GPS drones.
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Best GPS drones
DJI Matrice 300 RTK: Advanced utility drone
The DJI Matrice 300 RTK is a powerful commercial drone, designed for inspection tasks. With RTK GPS, you can expect extreme precision for both your flight paths and the repeated imagery you take of an object. Multiple payloads make the drone ideal for near any aerial imagery task, including infrared inspections and more. Bottom line, the M300 is a capable drone, and the RTK module ensures you get the most accurate results from the sky.
Should I buy the DJI Matrice 300 RTK?
While the Matrice 300 RTK is our top pick for a precision GPS drone, it’s still a high-end inspection drone. If you need to survey a construction site, this is our top pick.
- Very capable inspection drone
- Accepts multiple operators
- Versatile payload options
- Big commercial drone
DJI Matrice 200 RTK: Last gen, but still top notch
The DJI Matrice 200 series of drones together have all of the capabilities of the M300 listed above. Thing is, one of the M200 drones can hang multiple cameras, one can also mount a camera on top, and another yet has RTK GPS. Check out the options, one of these may be perfect for your needs, but if you don’t know exactly what you need, or just need more, please look at the M300 instead.
Should I buy the DJI Matrice 200?
This multi-operator commercial unit has good GPS, but only offers the top-notch RTK GPS in a specific model. I can’t tell you if the functionality of the GPS enabled version is right for you, but I can attest that the M200 series is a very capable platform, and actually a little fun to fly.
- Powerful commercial drone
- Multiple payloads
- RTK available
- RTK only on one model
- Multiple versions with different features
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise: Consumer-class airframe, Enterprise-class capabilities
The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is a superb crossover of a consumer drone with commercial applications. Enhanced software security is a good start, and the ability to attach external modules is invaluable for some operations. The drone was made to satisfy most search and rescue needs, with accessories including a spotlight and a loudspeaker, and the option of an infrared camera.
Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise?
The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is a solid drone for rapid deployment situations, where portability is a benefit. Make no mistake, the airframe is the same as the Mavic 2 consumer-drones, so you can get the same flight characteristics for less money, if all you need is a flying camera.
- Versatile platform
- Easy to transport
- Detachable modules
- Easy to fly
- An well upgraded consumer drone!
- Limited installed modules at a time
- Just an upgraded consumer drone
Yuneec H520: Hexacopter stability
The Yuneec H520 is the kind of commercial drone that proves safe and reliable for more sensitive operations. While a quadcopter is perfectly capable, having six propellers provides more power, more stability, and more reliability. Best of all, if you lose a propeller during flight, you can still safely land.
Should I buy the Yuneec H520?
The H520 was built for inspection tasks in high-wind, sensitive areas. The early demonstrations showed the craft inspecting radio towers, power lines, and windmills. After Yuneec teamed up with the Nevada State Highway Patrol, the H520 became well known for its ability to record accident scenes, reducing time on scene, and enhancing accident reconstruction efforts. While not exclusive for the task, the H520 is proven to be accurate enough to capture evidence for law enforcement.
- Capable hexacopter
- Reliable and safe
- Proven efficiency with law enforcement
- Compatibility with opensource flight software
- Older drone
- Limited payloads
DJI Inspire 2: Ready to shoot Hollywood movies
The DJI Inspire 2 is a high-end professional camera drone. Multiple payloads include micro four thirds cameras that shoot up to 6K video, and that’s the whole point, the Inspire 2 is a camera drone, born and breed.
Should I buy the DJI Inspire 2?
The Inspire 2 is simply our favorite camera drone. It’s large, hard to transport, and you’d call it cumbersome to manage if you compare to the ease of a Mavic drone, but it’s fast, fun, highly capable and shoots amazing images from the sky.
- Exceptional cameras
- Hot-swappable batteries
- Two operators, one pilot, one camera
- Fast and fun
- No RTK, just normal GPS