Looking for the Best Long Range Drone? Here are the Top 5 [7 km (4.3 miles)]

A drone in the cloud

As you may have already known that the control range of the top drones in the market can reach up to 8 km (5 miles). Those are used for industrial purposes like delivery can fly even further.

But when it comes to buying the best long range drone with camera, it’s not likely that we can just go to an online platform or a local store and grab the one that can fly the furthest.

Why is that?

Because control range is only one single feature of a drone that we should pay attention to, and no matter you want to use a long distance drone for aerial photography, wildlife surveillance, property monitoring, dropping baited fishing line or surveying & mapping, you will also need to take the budget and other functions into account.

If you are in a hurry, here is the list. You can also learn how we picked and the detailed review for each drone right after.

You may wonder why most of them are DJI drone.

If you take a look at any online or offline store that sells drones, you will find the truth that DJI is everywhere and almost dominates the market. As mentioned earlier that a long range drone isn’t just about the distance, it requires the drone to be the same or even better in other aspects. Let’s find out why.

What you should consider before buying a drone with long range?

After more than 30 hours’ researching on over 20 top-selling drones that can fly at least 4.3 miles (2 km) by reading reviews from other websites, studying customer’s feedbacks, watching YouTube videos, etc., We have figured out a list of things that help make a good long-range drone.

Stable and low-latency Transmission System. A good transmission system is the key to flying a drone miles away. If a drone goes a few hundred meters long, you won’t be able to see it with your eyes. You will have to rely on the transmission signal which offers you HD live view. Together with a high-resolution camera, you will be able to better control the drone. We think those support both 2.4 and 5.8 GHz frequency and can switch automatically in real-time is more reliable. It makes the drone more flexible when dealing with interference. While unsteady and high-latency ones would result in a crash or losing your drone.

Obstacle avoidance system. When flying a drone out of sight, it’s a little bit challenging to tell the directions, especially for beginners. Drones feature obstacle sensing would significantly enhance the survival chance when potential accidents may happen. It warns you and stops moving if it’s too close to trees or buildings. Some can even fly over or pass the obstacles.

Wind resistance. Drones with good wind-resistance ability enable you to keep it under control at any time, don’t need to worry about blowing away.

Excellent Flight Performance. The faster a drone can go, the quicker you can send a drone to a faraway destination. The longer flight time it can offer, the more time you will get for getting your work done and won’t bother to get the drone back and forth frequently. Drones can fly 20 minutes or longer per battery are what we are looking for here.

Portability. If you may carry your drone around a lot, then portability is something that you should also pay attention to. Foldable and small ones are considered to be good options.

 

Top 5 best long-range drones with camera review

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Key Specs

  • Flight distance: 8 km (5 miles)
  • Max flight time per battery: 31 mins
  • Max speed: 72 kph (45 mph)
  • Obstacle avoidance system: Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing. Forward, Backward, Upward, Downward and Sides.
  • Max wind speed resistance: 38 kph (23.6 mph)
  • Design: Foldable
  • Video Transmission: 1080p live
  • Transmission Latency: 120 ms
  • Weight: 907 g (FAA registration required)

Suitable for: Prosumers, photographers, beginners who have a flexible budget

The Mavic 2 Pro is DJI’s latest model that features a Hasselblad camera. It allows you to take stunning aerial photos and videos with various smart shooting modes.

The Mavic 2 Pro can fly up to 8 km (4.3 miles) away which makes it the longest range drone in the consuming market. The use of both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz signal frequencies that can switch automatically ensures a stable and clear live 1080p video feed transmission no matter how far the drone goes and how complex the environment is.

Another thing that makes the transmission system impressive is the low latency. 120 ms is something that you almost can’t feel, and can also benefit you for better control. If you are flying a drone beyond your vision, and you can see from the live video that it’s going to run into something, drones with low latency offer you more time to adjust the course. But those with high latency may have already crashed the moment you see the obstacle.

It can resist a wind speed of up to 38 kph (23.6 mph). That is to say, it will hold its position or fly steady while small trees in leaf begin to sway in such condition.

One thing about flying a drone out of sight is the risk of running into obstacles that you can’t see. Many people crashed their drones because of this, especially when the battery runs low and the drone has to come back. Mavic 2 Pro packs an obstacle avoidance system called Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing. Sensors appear on all sides of the aircraft to ensure a safe flight.

In terms of portability, the foldable design is perfect for taking out for traveling or hiking. You don’t have to get a separate case or backpack to store it.DJI Mavic 2 Pro folded image

The max flight time per battery could reach up to 31 mins. Although the actual flight time is sure shorter, it is by far the best in the market compared to its kind, together with the fast speed. You will be able to send it to a faraway distance very quickly.

Taking all the factors into consideration, the Mavic 2 Pro is our top pick for the best long range drone. The only downside is the price. To buy a drone, you will also need to take some necessary accessories, the cost could go up easily.

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Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

Key Specs

  • Flight distance: 7 km (4.3miles)
  • Video Transmission: 1080p live
  • Transmission Latency: 220 ms
  • Weight: 1375 g (FAA registration required)
  • Max wind speed resistance: 36 kph (22 mph)
  • Max speed: 72 kph (45 mph)
  • Obstacle avoidance sensor: Forward, Backward, and Downward
  • Max flight time per battery: 30 mins

Suitable for: Prosumers, photographers, beginners who have a flexible budget

The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is actually the 4.5 generation of the Phantom series. Compared to the Mavic 2 Pro, the flight distance is 1 km (0.6 miles) shorter.

If you just take a look at the key specs of the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, you will find that it is quite similar to the Mavic 2 Pro, but not as good as except for the max flight speed and the video transmission system.

As the price of it is almost the same, if you are not a fan of the DJI Phantom drone or just like this classical quad design drone, you should definitely go with the Mavic 2 Pro.

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DJI Mavic Pro

Key Specs

  • Flight distance: 7 km (4.3miles)
  • Video Transmission: 1080p live view
  • Transmission Latency: 170 ms
  • Weight: 734 g (FAA registration required)
  • Max wind speed resistance: 24 kph (38 mph)
  • Max speed: 65 kph (40 mph)
  • Obstacle avoidance sensor: Forward, and Downward
  • Max flight time per battery: 27 mins

Suitable for: hobbyists, beginners photographers

The Mavic Pro the first generation of this series that adopted a foldable design. The control range is up to 7 km (4.3 miles) with 1080p live video. Apparently, it is no competing to both Mavic 2 and Phantom 4 Pro as it’s first released in 2016. But it is still one of the top drones in the market. If you are not looking for a high-end aerial photography drone that comes with the best camera, then this is the one for you. It is also a good starter drone for beginners who would like to invest a few hundred dollars on a hobby.

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Autel Robotics EVO

Key Specs

  • Flight distance: 8 km (4.3miles)
  • Max flight time per battery: 30 mins
  • Max speed: 72 kph (44 mph)
  • Obstacle avoidance sensors: Forward, and Backward
  • Max wind speed resistance: Not Applicable
  • Design: Foldable
  • Video Transmission: 720p live view
  • Transmission Latency: Not Applicable
  • Weight: 862 g (FAA registration required)

Suitable for: hobbyists, beginners photographers. The best alternative for a DJI drone

The Autel Robotics EVO is one of the few non-DJI drones that can reach up to a range of 7 km (4.3 miles).

It features a camera that allows you to take 4k 60fps videos and 12MP photos. Compared to the Mavic Pro, it has a better performance in terms of flight time and speed. The control range is the same, but the live video transmission is only 720p.

All in all, the Autel Robotics EVO is a good alternative for a DJI drone.

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DJI Inspire 2

Key Specs

  • Flight distance: 7 km (4.3miles)
  • Max flight time per battery: 23 – 27 mins (depends on the camera)
  • Max speed: 94 kph (58 mph)
  • Obstacle avoidance system: Forward, Backward, Upward, and Downward.
  • Max wind speed resistance: 36 kph (22 mph)
  • Video Transmission: 1080p live view
  • Transmission Latency: Below 220 ms
  • Weight: 3440 g (without gimbal and camera. FAA registration required)

Suitable for: Pro users, filmmaker, and hobbyists

Inspire 2 is one of the most expensive in the market, and really is designed for professional filmmaking. The aircraft and the camera are sold separately. To shoot high-quality videos for filming like AppleProres or CInimaDNG formats, you will also need to buy the license.

>>Learn More<<

 

Competition and comparison

Apart from the 5 drones listed here, we also checked others like Parrot Afani, Yuneec Typhoon H, DJI Phantom 4 Advanced, and DJI Mavic Air.

Parrot Afani can fly up to 4 km (2.5 miles) with 720p video transmission which is not bad. But the lack of obstacle avoidance might be a problem for out-of-sight flight. Yuneec Typhoon H is one of the few ones that can compete with the DJI drones, since we are talking about the range here, the 1.5 km (0.9 miles) flight distance really doesn’t give it an advantage.

Conclusion

When it comes to the drone that has the best control range, if the price is not a problem, we think that the Mavic 2 Pro is the best for people who need a long range drone for certain utilities. The Mavic Pro would also be a good choice for you to get a drone with similar performance at a much affordable price. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is kind of in an awkward position, it’s better than the Mavic Pro (not everything), but not as good as the Mavic 2 Pro while the price is almost the same.

If you are looking for a different brand, then Autel Robotics EVO is the best option. The Inspire 2 is really for filmmakers who value the video quality more than anything else. If you are hobbyists and just want a powerful drone with top-flight performance, you can also consider this model.

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