Is that the Mavic Pro in front of Mt Hood

One of the first questions many people ask about a new drone is how far it can fly — is it a long range drone? There are two ways to measure the range for a drone: Are you asking about how far away from you the drone can get, or are you referring to how many miles of ground the drone can cover before the battery runs out? Many drones offer enough speed and flight time to cover ten or more miles of ground, but can only travel less than one mile from the remote control.

Our list today will cover the distance between the drone and remote control.

  • 6.2 Miles
    More Info

    DJI Mavic Air 2

    (9.6)
    $799.00 BUY
    • 34 - MIN
    • 4K - 60 FPS
    • 42.5 - MPH
    • 6.2 - MILES
    The DJI Mavic Air 2 is the first "air" to look like a Mavic drone. It's the perfect midway between the Mini and larger Mavic...
  • 6.2 Miles
    More Info

    DJI Mavic 2 Pro

    (9.7)
    $1,449.00+ BUY
    • 31 - MIN
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 44 - MPH
    • 6.2 - MILES
    DJI called the Mavic 2 Pro an iterative update over the original Mavic Pro; It may look like a simple upgrade, but the Mavic 2...
  • 6.2 Miles
    More Info

    DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

    (9.5)
    $1,299.00 BUY
    • 31 - MIN
    • 4K - 30 FPS
    • 44 - MPH
    • 6.2 - MILES
    Along with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the Mavic 2 Zoom is one of the safest drones in the sky. You'll enjoy the flight with...
  • 6.2 Miles
    More Info

    DJI Mini 2

    (9.4)
    $449.00+ BUY
    • 31 - Minutes
    • 4K - 12MP
    • 36 - MPH
    • 6.2 - Miles
    The DJI Mini 2 is an updated Mavic Mini, now with a 4K camera, Ocusync 2.0, and updated flight features in a package still small...
  • 5 Miles
    More Info

    DJI Matrice 200 series: 200/210/RTK

    (9.5)
    $6,500.00+ BUY
    • 38 - MIN
    • 6K - 24 FPS
    • 50 - MPH
    • 5 - MILES
    DJI designed the Matrice 200 series to offer a versatile set of inspection capabilities. Choose from various payloads and mounting points to look up, down...
Back to the top

We’ll visit actual ground coverage another day, but you can generally identify that range by looking at battery life and speed — ignoring other factors, a 45mph drone with 30 minutes of battery life will cover up to 22.5 miles of ground, where a 30mph drone with 20 minutes of battery would cover up to 10 miles. Makes sense, I hope. For now, here are some of the best long range drones.

Important note: No matter what your drone is capable of, your country likely has drone laws that prohibit flight beyond visual line-of-sight.

The drones

How far can drones fly?

6.2 Miles

DJI Mavic Air 2

May 2020

Release Date

The DJI Mavic Air 2 drone is more than just a successor to the original Mavic Air, it's more of a transition from its own form-factor into a true Mavic drone. The Mavic Air 2 maintains its place as a mid-tier drone in DJI's lineup. In terms of size, price, and capability, the Mavic Air 2 sits almost perfectly in between the Mavic Mini and the Mavic 2 series drones.

In the same way that the Mavic Air stepped up the camera game for small drones, the Mavic Air 2 is an exciting update in the camera department as well. You're looking at a new 1/2-inch sensor that shoots 12MP stills, but does so from a 48MP sensor! You can capture 48MP stills as well, but the 12MP shots are better, using pixel binning managed by Quad Bayer technology. Photos are great, but the new 4K video capture at 60fps, and a data bit rate of 120Mbps, are more exciting to many users.

Check out the DJI Mavic Air 2 for a starting price of $799 for the base package, $988 for the Fly More combo at launch in May 2020.

6.2 Miles

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

August 2018

Release Date

Introduced in August of 2018, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro instantly became the best consumer-class folding drone that DJI had to offer. A marked upgrade over the original Mavic Pro, the Mavic 2 Pro rocks a 1-inch camera sensor for 4K video capture at 100Mbps, multi-direction obstacle avoidance sensors for some of the safest drone flight possible, and much more. OcuSync 2.0 enhances connectivity to the remote control and other accessories, now able to transmit 1080p live stream video well beyond the legal line-of-sight.

With an initial launch price of $1449, plus another $319 to get the Fly More kit with extra batteries, there is a barrier to entry with this machine, but if the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is within your budget, we think you will not be disappointed.

 

6.2 Miles

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

August 2018

Release Date

If you run down the spec sheet, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro are the same machine, with one major exception, the camera. The folding quadcopter design offers great portability, the multi-direction obstacle avoidance sensors assist in safe flight, and the new capabilities of OcuSync 2.0 add versatility for control and accessories. That is true for both of the drones, the Mavic 2 Zoom, on the other hand, rocks a 2x optical zoom lens on top of a 12MP camera. It shoots 4K video at 100Mbps and can digitally double that zoom for an impressive close-up.

Launching with a price of $1299, plus $319 for a Fly More kit, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom was an instant crowd favorite.

6.2 Miles

DJI Mini 2

November 2020

Release Date

The original DJI Mavic Mini was a very important machine for the consumer hobby drone market. The DJI Mini 2 is the next generation of super-compact camera drone, it's a solid improvement over the original Mini, especially in terms of the camera and flight capabilities. You still get a sub-250 gram drone, but now get a 4K camera, vastly improved connectivity, a more durable design, and more power.

The newer 1/2.3-inch sensor produces 12MP stills, and 4K video at 30 fps and 100Mbps data rate. For some, the most exciting update is lossless zoom. With up to 4X zoom, you can safely fly at distance from your subject, perfect for those pet photos or to capture shots of a waterfall in the distance.

DJI continues their accessory package trend, you can get the DJI Mini 2 for $449, or grab the DJI Mini 2 Fly More combo for $599.

5 Miles

DJI Matrice 200 series: 200/210/RTK

February 2017

Release Date

When DJI re-imagined their commercial drone platform, they had inspection services in mind. Previous drones struggled with looking up, so DJI added a mount to point a camera up. Previous drones struggled with only having room for one payload, so DJI put three mount points, and thus the DJI Matrice 200 series was born. The Matrice 200 is the started machine, a quadcopter that accepts two bottom mounted payloads. The Matrice 210 adds a third mount on top of the drone, for an upward facing camera. The Matrice 210 RTK adds in that crucial GPS performance for demanding environments and precision operations.

These are powerful, fast and weather resistant drones that are almost custom order from DJI. Budget about $6,500 to get started, with a full flight package of the 210 RTK running north of $10,000.

4.3 Miles

DJI Inspire 2

November 2016

Release Date

The original DJI Inspire may have set a tone for what a professional drone should look like, but the newer DJI Inspire 2 set the tone for what it should be able to accomplish. At launch, the Inspire 2 was equipped with the Zenmuse X5, a 5.2K camera with interchangeable lenses, ready to take on tasks in Hollywood. Since then, DJI has added the Zenmuse X7 camera, a 6K shooter even more capable of professional filming tasks.

Check out the base DJI Inspire 2 for around $2999, but expect to spend at least $6200 for a well appointed flight package with cameras, extra batteries and more.

4.3 Miles

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

May 2018

Release Date

The DJI Phantom series of drones are some of the best machines on the market, every iteration makes improvements on the previous and in the case of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, we're talking about improved motors, more efficient propellers and the first Phantom drone to rock OcuSync connectivity.

The Phantom 4 Pro series was DJI's best drone at launch for object avoidance technology, a trend that continues and is improved upon with the V2.0 series, adding radar and more obstacle avoidance goodness. The newer drone comes with the same 20MP 4K camera as previous, still one of the best camera drones on the market.

The difference between the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 for around $1,499 and the Phantom 4 Pro+ V2.0 for $1,749 is the inclusion of a 5.5-inch built-in display on the remote of the Pro+. The bright, Android powered display is the only difference between the two machines.

Drone Rush our philosophy

4.3 Miles

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

August 2018

Release Date

Introduced in August of 2018, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro instantly became the best consumer-class folding drone that DJI had to offer. A marked upgrade over the original Mavic Pro, the Mavic 2 Pro rocks a 1-inch camera sensor for 4K video capture at 100Mbps, multi-direction obstacle avoidance sensors for some of the safest drone flight possible, and much more. OcuSync 2.0 enhances connectivity to the remote control and other accessories, now able to transmit 1080p live stream video well beyond the legal line-of-sight.

With an initial launch price of $1449, plus another $319 to get the Fly More kit with extra batteries, there is a barrier to entry with this machine, but if the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is within your budget, we think you will not be disappointed.

 

4.3 Miles

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

August 2018

Release Date

If you run down the spec sheet, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro are the same machine, with one major exception, the camera. The folding quadcopter design offers great portability, the multi-direction obstacle avoidance sensors assist in safe flight, and the new capabilities of OcuSync 2.0 add versatility for control and accessories. That is true for both of the drones, the Mavic 2 Zoom, on the other hand, rocks a 2x optical zoom lens on top of a 12MP camera. It shoots 4K video at 100Mbps and can digitally double that zoom for an impressive close-up.

Launching with a price of $1299, plus $319 for a Fly More kit, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom was an instant crowd favorite.

4.3 Miles

Autel Robotics Evo

June 2018

Release Date

Announced at CES 2018, the Autel Robotics Evo folding drone offers a familiar design and flight features for a DJI Mavic Pro owner. This familiarity is not a bad thing, it means a compact folding design, 4K stabilized camera and reliability you can take to the bank, so to speak. Autel Robotics is one of the few drone manufacturers to build a machine in this form-factor that isn't a toy builder trying to step it up, the Evo has roots in commercial quality, down-sized to fit in your backpack.

The Autel Robotics Evo offers a solid flight experience, to the level that very few can compete, and the introduction of the Live Deck takes video transmission to a new level. To be fair, it's just a video receiver that can hook to your TV or other HDMI device, making it an important tool news crews or for safely recording footage on the side.

Check out the Autel Robotics Evo for $999 most days.

4.3 Miles

DJI Mavic Pro

November 2016

Release Date

The DJI Mavic Pro is a compact, folding drone that was a pioneer for portability. This quadcopter folds down to fit easily in a backpack, or large pocket, while opening up to take 4K video to over 40mph in the sky. The 3-axis stabilized gimbal offers very smooth footage and OcuSync enables long range and HD live video streaming. The Phantom line of drones may have established DJI as a leader in the consumer drone market, but the Mavic Pro made high-quality aerial photography fun and highly accessible.

 

The DJI Mavic Pro is available in several packages, but mainly you can get the drone alone or bump up to the Fly More combo, which includes extra batteries, a carrying case and more.

5.6 Miles

Autel Robotics Evo II

January 2020

Release Date

The Autel Robotics Evo II (Evo 2) is an exciting update to the initial Evo. Sharing much of the same ideology for form-factor and flight characteristics, the newer machine is an update in almost every way. Primarily, pilots should be excited for 40 minute flight times, extended connectivity range, and an 8K camera. Sure, you can upgrade to a Pro model that has a larger sensor and only a 6K camera, but base model Evo II buyers are getting their hands on one of the first consumer products to shoot 8K video, not just drones, one of the first, period.

This orange folding drone is a machine that satisfies consumers, but also tackles commercial and professional needs. Notably, the top model of the new Evo II line comes with a dual-camera configuration, sporting an 8K sensor and a decent IR camera. The base model and the commercial model each get that 1/2-inch 8K sensor, while the pro model gets a full 1-inch 6K sensor. They can all send the camera feed back to the Autel Robotics Live Deck, for your studio and independent recording needs as well.

The Autel Robotics Evo II will be available in early 2020 starting at $1495. Exact prices and availability yet to be announced.

  • Evo II - $1495
  • Evo II Pro - $1795
  • Evo II Dual - $1999+

I hope this list doesn’t bother you too much, truth is, DJI makes their drones to handle 4.3 miles, and sometimes more, where many of the competitors of off-the-shelf drones opt for connectivity with less range. Considering the line-of-sight rule in most countries, we can’t blame anyone for thinking they need less range, but don’t forget that a longer range antenna will provide an even more powerful connection at shorter distances, and cut through, or compensate for any interference that may occur in your flight.

If you live in a place you can max out these drones, what’s your long range record?

Drone legal and safety

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How far can I actually fly my drone?

The rated range for each drone is based on an unobstructed line-of-sight between the remote and the drone. In addition, these values will have been calculated in a low-interference environment and with the remote antenna positioned optimally for connectivity. My part of the world has lots metals in the ground, I often get interference warnings before take-off. In these places, I begin to see video lag and stutter at distances far less than the reported range of a drone.

Please keep in mind that your video signal and your control signal will likely be different frequencies, 5GHz and 2.4GHz, respectively, so you should stay in control long after your video completely cuts out. However, stuttering video is a good indicator that your connection is not ideal.

In a real world test, you should expect your DJI Mavic Air 2 to get upwards of 4 miles before experiencing any issues. Of course, when you follow the drone laws of your country, you will likely be limiting your flight to no more than 2,000 feet out. The legal line-of-sight rule in place for most countries is intended to keep your drone visible to your naked eye, can you see a small drone at 6 miles out?

What do I do if my drone loses connection?

The best defense to a lost connection is to make sure your gear is in good order and that you operate in a safe manner in the first place. Loss of control incidents should not be taken lightly. Each drone manufacturer will have different solutions to a lost connection, some will automatically return the drone to Home, that’s a GPS location it likely set on take-off. Other drones will hit the emergency stop and bring the drone to a hover, and others yet will automatically land the drone where it stopped.

Sadly, some drones will continue to operate at the settings last received from the controller, we lost a toy drone this way, as it simply drifted up and away completely out of control.

Before you take to the sky, please identify what actions you can take to recover a disconnected drone. In most cases you can wait for the drone to return itself close enough to recover connection, or you can move yourself toward the drone until you connect again. If you are unsure of why the drone disconnected, please land immediately and diagnose.