The 8 Best Long Range Drones
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Become a radio-controlled master of all that you survey with one of these long-range drones. Our selection includes compact, easy-to-control models with high-definition cameras that can capture and track just about any outdoor target imaginable. But before embarking on a quest for superior aerial photography, always be aware of your surroundings and the aircraft's registration requirements. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 21, 2020:
Drone technology is advancing quickly, so, considering that it had been a while since we last visited this list, it didn't come as a surprise that every one of our previous recommendations had been usurped by better models. For some, such as the DJI Mavic Air and Autel Evo, it was simply a matter of replacing them with their newer iterations, the the DJI Mavic Air 2 and Autel Robotics Evo II. For others, like the Enther GPS and Potensic D50, we chose to completely eliminate them in favor of clearly superior models from other brands. Some of these new additions are the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, which has one of the farthest ranges of any consumer-level drone, and the Yuneec Typhoon H3, which is incredibly stable in flight thanks to a six-rotor design. We also added the DJI Mini 2 as an ideal model for travelers, and the Hubsan Zino Pro Plus to ensure we had something for those with a limited budget.
March 15, 2019:
I tried to keep 2 things in mind when searching for the right options: safety and functionality. In terms of safety, long-range options are fantastic for beginners, as they not only give newcomers the opportunity to control a copter from a long distance, but also allowing them a more forgiving boundary in which to make flight errors without destroying their investment two minutes after takeoff. That's not to say there isn't learning involved here, but a wider range makes it easy to correct for errors. Additionally, I wanted to make sure I added plenty of camera-compatible options (i.e. those that can accommodate GoPros) capable of shooting high-quality video and aerial photos. The Autel Evo, for example, is equipped with 2 HD cameras with additional obstacle avoidance and 3D mapping functionality, so it's a great option for both beginners and experts looking to track targets for high-definition "reconnaissance." I also added the Holy Stone HS700 for its one-key start and altitude locking features as well as its generally quiet operation. When digital surveillance is key to one's outdoor adventures, the DJI Mavic Air comes in handy, thanks to an ability to create high-quality panoramas in just a few seconds. Additionally, the fact that it and the Enther GPS can support hand gesture operation is pretty cool, since that makes taking photos even easier without having to hold onto a bulky transmitter in the process. I included the JJRC X5 for its ability to circle preset targets. The Swagtron SwagDrone is an excellent option for beginners, thanks to 3 available flight modes and 2,600-foot transmission range. I thought the Potensic D50 was a pretty reliable choice, thanks to the automatic return feature and gravity sensor mode that can follow the direction of a smartphone. Finally, added both the Mysterystone Bugs 3 and Altair Aerial Blackhawk for their superior wind resistance, the former of which can even perform acrobatic flips in the air.