One of the first questions many people ask about a new drone is how far it can fly — is it a long range drone?

DJI Air 2S flying

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.

Jonathan Feist, Drone Pilot
Jonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

 

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

1. DJI Air 2S: 7.5 miles

DJI Air 2S: 7.5 miles

DJI Air 2S

Drone Rush RecommendsThe DJI Air 2S is in a league of its own. Not only is it capable of a staggering 7.5 miles of connectivity, hauling a 1-inch, 20MP camera that can shoot 5.4K video, but all that is packed into a small consumer drone. While there are larger commercial and military drones specifically designed for long-range operations, (there’s a drone on Mars, remember,) the Air 2S is the longest range consumer drone today. The Air 2S is the only drone with DJI’s Ocusync 3.0 installed, expect newer drones to offer the same range.

Easy to fly, the Air 2S is fast and agile, it’s also very stable and reliable. The photos and videos this drone can capture are top notch, at least as far as a sub-DSLR camera is concerned. The compact size, and ability to fold down, make the Air 2S easy to transport, convenient to throw in a backpack and hit the trail. Of course, with 12KM of connectivity, you might be able to enjoy the view of the trail without having to take a step.

Should I buy the DJI Air 2S?

The DJI Air 2S is our top pick for hobby camera drone pilots today. Not only is it at the top of this list for best range, but the overall flight package creates the kind of drone we want in our stables, and we think it’ll serve you well.

Pros

  • Class-leading 7.5 miles range
  • 5.4K video
  • Fast and fun to fly
  • Updated to the best DJI flight features
  • Very portable

Cons

  • No built-in display in the remote
  • Fewer safety features than larger drones

DJI Air 2S

(9.8)
  • 31 - MIN
  • 5.4K - 20MP
  • 42.5 - MPH

April 15, 2021

Release Date

2. DJI Mavic 2 Pro: 6.2 miles

DJI Mavic 2 Pro: 6.2 miles

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the best consumer drone on the market. We think the Air 2S is better value for the dollar, but the Mavic 2 Pro is superior in many ways. However, the Mavic 2 Pro only has 6.2 miles (10KM) of range, which is common for a handful of DJI drones that use Ocusync 2.0.

The 4K camera on this drone is tough to beat, and this one of very few drones that offer all-direction obstacle avoidance sensors, for the best possible safety in the sky. Of course, the Mavic 2 series of drones are getting old, as far as technology is concerned – they’re still worth purchasing, but if you are willing to hold off a bit, we bet there will be a replacement in the next year or two.

Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Pro?

This is a tough sell. While you will absolutely get your money’s worth out of the Mavic 2 Pro, you can get almost the same camera quality from more affordable machines, and we’re actually a little surprised DJI hasn’t launched a Mavic 3 series already. If you’ll be happy with a solid and reliable drone, even if it’s no the latest and greatest, the Mavic 2 Pro is a good option.

Pros

  • 1-inch Hasselblad camera
  • Display in the remote
  • Very safe
  • Fast and easy to fly
  • Good range

Cons

  • Older drone
  • Often over-priced

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

(9.7)
  • 31 - MIN
  • 4K - 30 FPS
  • 44 - MPH

3. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom: 6.2 miles

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom: 6.2 miles

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom front angle

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is the same airframe as the Mavic 2 Pro, but offers both optical and digital zoom on top of a smaller camera sensor. As it is the same airframe, the Mavic 2 Zoom is capable of the same 6.2 miles of connectivity, it’s also just as fast, reliable, and easy to fly.

While the Mavic 2 Zoom remains one of very few consumer drones with optical zoom, the digital zoom found on newer drones is doing a great job at keeping up. Side-by-side we still give Zoom the win, but the Air 2S is almost as good, and costs a fair bit less.

Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom?

The Mavic 2 series was launched in 2018, which is not a problem for flight capabilities, but is a problem for camera capabilities. The Mavic 2 Zoom is worth every penny as an aircraft, but if your need is for a flying camera with zoom, please consider the Air 2S for less money.

Pros

  • Solid and reliable
  • Display in remote
  • Great 4K zooming camera
  • Good flight range
  • Safe and easy to fly

Cons

  • Older drone

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

(9.5)
  • 31 - MIN
  • 4K - 30 FPS
  • 44 - MPH

4. DJI Mini 2: 6.2 miles

DJI Mini 2: 6.2 miles

DJI Mini 2 flying front bushes

The DJI Mini 2 is a favorite around here. Packing a decent 4K camera, this tiny drone is very easy to transport, captures good photos and video from the sky, and makes few compromises on thigs that matter. Sure, it has fewer flight assist and safety features and sensors, and it trades a bit of material strength in exchange for weight, but it does weigh so little that you do not have to register with the FAA before you fly. All that, and you still get 6.2 miles of range.

Should I buy the DJI Mini 2?

We think every pilot can enjoy the Mini 2. It’s not the best machine in the sky, but it is extremely convenient, making it ideal for travel, and easy for most pilots to handle.

Pros

  • Very portable
  • Good range
  • Best drone under $500
  • Good 4K camera
  • Weighs under 250g

Cons

  • No display in remote
  • Some compromises to keep weight and price low

DJI Mini 2

(9.4)
  • 31 - Minutes
  • 4K - 12MP
  • 36 - MPH

November 2020

Release Date

5. Autel Robotics Evo II: 5.6 miles

Autel Robotics Evo II: 5.6 miles

Autel Robotics Evo 2 Dual front camera CES 2020

The Autel Robotics Evo II was one of the first consumer drones to crack the 5 mile connection range, offering about 5.6 miles (9KM) of connection. It was also one of the first to offer more than 4K video capture and flight time beyond 30 minutes. There’s lots to like about the Evo II series, and they hold their value today, but make no mistake, they’re pretty old, we’d like to see the Evo III series soon.

Should I buy the Autel Robotics Evo II?

There are multiple models to consider, with different cameras, but we stand by our concerns for their age. Of course, the HDMI receiver makes the EVO II a powerful tool for live streaming tasks, such as flying for the local news channel.