Flying drones is an incredibly fun pastime, the worst part is when the battery starts to run out and it’s time to bring it home.
All of us drone pilots will agree that if we could change just one thing, then it would be the amount of time our drones stay in the air for.
Here we will be discussing and reviewing the best drones for 2020 with the longest flight time so that you can be sure you’re getting the most flight for your money!
Note: All the drones we’ve included in today’s roundup come with cameras – just to make the comparison fair
Buyer’s Guide and FAQs
Before we get started, I wanted to run through a few common questions that crop up when it comes to purchasing any kind of drone, which should also be considered when solely looking at a drone for its flight time capabilities.
What Other Things Should I Look For When Buying a Drone?
This is a great question because although flight time is a huge factor when considering purchasing a drone (especially if it’s an expensive one) you need to consider what other types of tech you’re going to be getting for your money.
The answer to this question also depends on what you’ll be using your drone for. Generally speaking, things such as the camera quality, the range, and intelligent flight mode options such as ActiveTrack/Follow Me modes are a great place to start when it comes to comparing features.
Also, it’s important not to forget where you’ll be taking it and its portability!
If you’re a little stumped on where to begin when shopping for a drone, check out some of our buying guides like the best drone under $600, or the best drone under $300 to help you to get started. We also have a comprehensive review of the best foldable drones if you’re concerned about your drone’s size.
Should I Buy Extra Batteries?
Absolutely! Especially with the introduction of fly more combos that include multiple additional batteries and accessories for a cheaper, bundled price! I personally travel and camp a lot and I find having those extra batteries helps me so much.
What Flight Time Do I Need From My Drone?
This depends on entirely what you’ll be using the drone for. Most casual/hobbyist drone pilots have no issues with a flight time of around 20 minutes. However, if you’re shooting commercially then you may want something with a little more power that lasts a bit longer.
Many photographers will be happy with a battery that lasts up to and around 25/30 minutes. If you’re a filmmaker, however, who wants to shoot complex scenes, you may want to purchase a drone with an even longer flight time so you can get the shot without the worry of having to charge your battery.
Reviews: Top Drones With the Longest Flight Time
As you can see, this post is very ‘DJI heavy’. We’re not biased, they’re just somewhat of a powerhouse and always seem to have that slight edge on their competition in so many fields. We have managed to squeeze in a couple of great options from alternative brands that give DJI a run for their money.
Here’s what we came up with:
The Best All-Rounder Drone: DJI Mavic Air 2
The Mavic Air 2 features a 3500 mAh battery that can fly up to 34 minutes. It quickly took the spotlight from others for its 6.2 miles (10 km) transmission range, 1/2″ sensor capable of 4K 60fps videos, and 48MP photos.
It also packs DJI’s latest intelligent flight technology like APAS 3.0, Spotlight 2.0, FocusTrack, QuickShots, SmartPhoto. More importantly, it comes with a more affordable price than the Mavic 2 and Autel Robotics EVO 2.
Futureproof and Forewardthinking: Autel Robotics Evo 2
4K at 60fps is now a thing of the past since Autel launched its Evo II. With 8k filming capabilities, you’ll essentially have a drone with quality that’s going to be futureproof– at least for the next few years anyway.
But what about the flight time? The Evo 2 has been fitted with a 7100mAh battery meaning you’ll get a 40 minute flight time out of it which includes 35-minutes hovering, smashing the barriers that it’ predecessors set.
Our users that tested this drone reported that the 40-minute flight time does make all the difference though they found they had to fly it relatively slow to get the full flight time; around 16kph.
Also Great: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
It’s small, foldable, has an incredible quality camera, and has a maximum flight time of 31 minutes when flown at a consistent speed of 25 kph. You can even leave the drone hovering for 29 of these minutes!
Although it is one of the more expensive options in the roundup, you really get what you pay for with the Mavic 2 Pro and get all the usual bells and whistles like intelligent flight modes, active track, impeccable image quality on any screen size and HDR colors.
The Best Compact Drone: DJI Mavic Mini
The Mavic Mini had us in awe for many reasons, it’s one of the first ultra-light drones equipped with a camera and has revolutionized drone flying for hobbyist drone pilots.
Despite having a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, we ranked it below the Mavic 2 Pro because in order to achieve the flight time, you will have to cap your speed at 14 kph. Nevertheless, it’s still impressive that when doing this, it can stay airborne for just one minute less than a drone almost 4-times its price.
If you want to know the full low-down on the Mavic Mini and how it compares with similar drones check out these articles:
The Drone with the Longest Flight Time: Zero Zero V Coptr Falcon
Most drones we see on the market these days are quadcopters, but there are a few bi-copters out there and the V Coptr from Zero Zero Robotics is a world-first with its V-shaped arms. The great thing about this new, sleek design, it gave the manufacturers the ability to up the drone’s flight time to an incredible 50 minutes.
Though we would like to see a 60fps option on their 4k shooting mode, the image quality is crisp and clear and it’s something we’re willing to sacrifice if it means that we get an extra 19 minutes flight time compared to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It’s also really competitively priced at just $999 – with those who preordered a few months back getting a $300 discount.
Zero Zero also has another bi-copter in the works too to rival the Mavic Mini which is also set to have a 50-minute flight time and weigh just 249g so watch this space!
Note: The V Coptr Falcon is still not available yet.
The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is an upgraded version of the Phantom 4 Pro which launched a few years ago. It can fly up to 30 minutes with a top speed of 72kph, making it one of the fastest drones in the market.
It features an 1-inch sensor that allows you to capture 4K60fps videos and 20MP photos. With Ocusync 2.0, you will get an 8 km transmission range with 1080p HD live streaming.
It would have made it to this list and as of the date of publishing, but drones nowadays are becoming more and more portable, the foldable design has become mainstream. Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features the iconic DJI Phantom design which may be a problem when taking out for hiking or traveling, but it’s still loved by many old Phantom drone users and professional aerial photographers for its classic appearance and incredible performance.
The Blade Chroma is a great option if you’re looking for that coveted flight time of 30-minutes. Like the Autel though, the company doesn’t mention what speed you’ll have to fly the drone at in order to reach the max flying time and our users found they struggled to get the full 30 minutes out of it.
So what else made the Blade Chroma slightly miss out on one of our top-three spots?
There were a few things actually…
Our testers found that for its price, the camera quality although good, was only really great when viewing on smaller devices, despite it being capable of 4K shots.
Additionally, the size was put in a similar bracket to that of the Phantom 3 drone which is just too big nowadays with the plethora of foldable drones on the market.
With camera quality and range to rival that of giant DJI, Autel’s sleek EVO drone has an equally as impressive flight time of up to 30 minutes; although they don’t state what speed you should be flying to achieve this.
Nevertheless, our users that tested this drone reported the 30-minute estimate to be pretty accurate with most people achieving that – more interestingly, they said it did stay in the air longer than the DJI, even if it was just for a couple of minutes.
Verdict: Which is the Best Drone with the Longest Flight Time?
If your budget isn’t an issue and you want the crème of the crop when it comes to both flight time, price and added features, I would highly recommend the Mavic Air 2. It’s great for drone pilots who want a cool gadget that also performs well, making it equally ideal for professional photographers and videographers.
If you want something that still has an impressive flight time and is super cheap without compromising on too much camera resolution or quality, the Mavic Mini would be the perfect option, especially if you’ll just be using the drone leisurely.
Have you purchased or flown any of the drones we mentioned recently? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!