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 PilotJonathan 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.

DJI Mavic 3: 9.3 miles

DJI Mavic 3 Cine flying propeller arm motor

The DJI Mavic 3 rides the line between consumer and professional drone. The familiar folding Mavic airframe is graced by a powerful Micro Four Thirds camera, up to 46 minutes of flight time, and a huge 9.3 mile connection range.

The Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine both offer the same flight features, but the Cine model adds better video data storage rates, and a 1TB internal SSD to store all of your 5.1K video from the sky.

Why we fly the DJI Mavic 3

Simply put, we know of no better consumer camera drone on the market today. Not only does the Mavic 3 produce some of the best aerial imagery around, the 9.3 mile range means we’ve never seen even a hiccup in our connection.

What we like


  • Powerful drone
  • Superb 5.1K camera
  • Up to 28x zoom
  • 15KM range with O3+ connection
  • APAS 5.0 & ActiveTrack 5.0
  • Optional RC Pro remote has a great display
  • Optional 1TB internal SSD
  • All-direction obstacle avoidance

What we don’t like


  • Price

DJI Mavic 3
DJI Mavic 3
  • Fantastic camera
  • 5.1K video
  • Huge flight time
  • Safe and capable drone
  • Class-leading flight range
Imaging Above Everything

A 20MP Micro Four Thirds camera that shoots 5.1K video, and 46 minutes of flight time make the DJI Mavic 3 one of the best camera drones you can purchase today.


DJI Air 2S: 7.5 miles

DJI Air 2S
Drone Rush Recommends

The 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.

Why we fly 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.

What we like


  • 5.4K camera
  • 31 minute flight time
  • Upgraded flight features
  • Huge 7.5 mile connectivit

What we don’t like


  • No display on remote
  • Fewer safety features than larger drones

DJI Air 2S
DJI Air 2S
  • Great camera
  • 5.4K video
  • 8X zoom
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Fantastic range
Affordable 5.4K camera

The DJI Air 2S is easily the best camera drone for most uses. The 1-inch sensor produces fantastic images from the sky, and the compact, folding design of the quadcopter is familiar and reliable – it may not be in the name, but this is still a Mavic drone.

$ 1279 at Amazon
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Autel Robotics Evo Lite: 7.5 miles

Autel Robotics Evo Lite Plus flying side

The Autel Robotics Evo Lite is a powerful drone that brings together many of the lessons that Autel has learned over the years, combined with familiar features that we’re seeing in most consumer drones today. The result is a capable camera drone that we enjoy flying.

The Evo Lite and Evo Lite+ are compelling drones. The airframe is a stable platform that performs admirably, and the camera output is pleasant. Overall flight stability and flight features are on par with the best consumer drones on the market today, and the range and flight time are better than average.

Why we fly the Autel Robotics Evo Lite

The Evo Lite is a welcome addition to the modern drone market. In terms of price and performance, it is positioned in the market right between several of the other top drones.

What we like


  • Relaxed flight characteristics
  • Great 6K camera
  • Super low-light capture
  • Great flight time

What we don’t like


  • No display in remote
  • Not great indoors

Autel Robotics Evo Lite
Autel Robotics Evo Lite
  • Great flight time
  • Great camera
  • Up to 6K video
The Evo Lite+ is a solid flying night camera.

The Autel Robotics Evo Lite and Evo Lite+ are a welcome addition to the compact, folding camera drone market. Superb flight time, great cameras, great flight range, and a fun set of flight features should keep most pilots happy. Enjoy up to 6K video from the sky.


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.

Why we fly 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 the Mavic 3 series certainly out-performs the Mavic 2 series.

If you’ll be happy with a solid and reliable drone, even if it’s not the latest and greatest, the Mavic 2 Pro is a good option.

What we like


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

What we don’t like


  • Older drone
  • Often over-priced

DJI Mavic 2 Pro
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • Reliable drone
  • 1-inch camera
  • Responsive controls
Great 1-inch camera

As one of two machines launched together for the consumer drone market, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is near identical to the Mavic 2 Zoom, with the main difference being the camera. The Pro rocks a 1-inch sensor that shoots 4K video at 100Mbps, making it one of the very best cameras in the sky for this size of drone, and price range.


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.

Why we fly 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.

What we like


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

What we don’t like


  • Older drone

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
  • Reliable drone
  • Solid build
  • Powerful zoom on the camera
Great zooming camera

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is near identical to the Mavic 2 Pro, the main difference being the camera. The zoom capabilities of the Mavic 2 Zoom are impressive, with a hybrid 4x zoom in total. As great as that is, we wish they would have used the same 1-inch sensor as the Mavic 2 Pro, instead of the 1/2.3-inch sensor that is common in drones these days.


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.

Why we fly 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.

What we like


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

What we don’t like


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

DJI Mini 2
DJI Mini 2
  • 4K camera
  • Very portable
  • Easy to fly
  • 249 grams
Best drone under $500

The DJI Mini 2 is a superb update from the Mavic Mini, now offering a 4K camera, Ocusync 2.0 and more power.


There are some higher-end commercial and professional drones that can exceed these values, particularly when you look at military drones, but when you are looking for a craft that you can launch from your own backyard, DJI is the dominant force on the market today.

For those wondering, you can generally identify ground coverage 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. Remember those questions in school about a train traveling x MPH? The same math applies to calculate the basic ground coverage of a drone.


Know before you fly:

Everything you need to know to fly legally and safely


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.


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