Most of the better drones manufactured today are GPS enabled. If you tend to think such a feature isn’t good for much except jacking up the price of a drone, think again. A GPS drone is a far more capable drone and these are just some of the reasons why:
The best drones even reach beyond the US-based GPS system for guidance information and embrace the Russian GLONASS system as well. The use of both systems provides virtual blanket coverage of the entire planet, even those areas in the far north where GPS can sometimes come up short.
So now that you have a better idea why satellite positioning represents such a huge leap in drone capabilities it’s time to look at the 10 best GPS-enabled drones sale collection on the market
But wait! Are you sure I need a GPS drone?
Well, that depends. If what you want is just a hunk of plastic that will fly through the air, annoy the local curmudgeon and crash into the lake when the battery unexpectedly dies then no, you don’t need a GPS drone. If on the other hand you want to see things you’ve never seen before, produce astonishing video and perhaps be of service in the event of a natural disaster all while exploring the limits of the technology then yes, you absolutely need a GPS-enabled drone.
What’s “GLONASS” and where did it come from?
As we mentioned briefly above the GLONASS system or “Global Navigation Satellite System” is the Russian answer to the US Global Positioning System or GPS. GLONASS development got underway in the late 70s, 3 years after the US decided to create the GPS system. It seems that folks in the Kremlin didn’t like the idea of being dependent on American technology for accurate positioning data (can’t imagine why). The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 caused development of GLONASS to grind to a halt with some components falling into disrepair. Under Vladimir Putin, however, the system was revived and today it competes favorably with the GPS as far as coverage and accuracy. Having a drone that is both GPS and GLONASS enabled ensures that should one go down your drone doesn’t go down with it. It also ensures you’ll never be the victim of one system’s blind spots.
Now that we’ve cleared all that up let’s take a closer look at the 10 best GPS-enabled drones on the market today starting with most expensive and ending with the less expensive but still capable models.
10DJI Inspire 2 Drone
The DJI Inspire 2 drone is a dream-come-true for professional photographers and video enthusiasts. The name Inspire 2 came from the fact that this drone comes with two of every feature. It is designed to be used with the advanced Zenmuse X5S camera but it can also be used with older Zenmuse camera models. It is a quadcopter in design and has a tough magnesium composite body with strong carbon fiber arms to resist impact crashes.
- High-speed flight of 93km/h/58mph
- 2 cameras – FPV camera and 4K 60FPS pro camera
- Obstacle sensors above, below, front and sideways
- Return to home feature
- Advanced visual tracking for shooting moving objects
- 25 minutes flight time
Equipped with terrain sensors at the bottom, the DJI Inspire 2 flies very well at high as well as low altitude. It has two cameras; one is a fixed, front facing FPV that enables the pilot to see what the drone sees. This camera is designed with a 2-axis gimbal system for stability. The second camera is a detachable 3-axis gimbal for taking high quality footage at high speeds. The X5S camera can shoot 5.2K videos, which is a big step for DJI since most other drones can only do 4K videos. If you are a professional photographer, researcher or just a drone enthusiast who looks for the crème de la crème of the drone world, the DJI Inspire 2 drone is perfect for your needs. With the high speed of 58mph, it flies fast and uses DJI’s advanced visual tracking algorithms to lock on take good footage of moving objects. It will put a dent into your pocket for sure but the extra features for performance safety, flight and footage will be more than worth it
9DJI Mavic 2 Pro
As one of the very first foldable design drones, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is made for a person that likes to record their outdoor adventures. The sleek design, the grayish color and the small size make it look like a small predator. Like many Mavic drones, this is one of the best consumer drones in its range with good flight features, impressive performance and increased flight time.
- Flight time of 31 minutes
- Obstacle avoidance sensors
- Hasselblad camera with CMOS 1-inch sensor
- Foldable arms
- Stable flight
- 8GB in-built storage
If you are looking for a professional quality drone that is a bit affordable, then the DJI Mavic 2 Pro will meet your needs. It is light in weight at 907g, shoots awesome photos and videos thanks to the inclusion of the 1-inch CMOS sensor Hasselblad camera. It shoots good footage even in-flight because of the 3-axis gimbal system that stabilizes the camera. DJI has included its visual tracking system in this drone too and it is therefore able to capture moving objects. Top speed is 72km/h/45mph. This drone is also very responsive to commands from the controller or the smartphone and the DJI app is seamless and fluid. With many safety features and built like a brick, this drone will stay intact for years on end.
8DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has good features for safety and flight. It has a pair of ultrasonic sensors under it, which helps in determining how close the drone is to the ground when taking photos and videos in-flight. With a 3-axis gimbal for camera stabilization, this system keeps the camera stable even when the flight becomes a bit shaky.
- Automatically controlled landing
- Two cameras
- Minimal noise from the propellers
- Ocusync transmission system
- 4K 60 fps video camera – with gimbal stabilization
- 1-inch CMOS sensor 20MP
The Phantom V2.0 is definitely worth writing home about. One of its most outstanding features is the 5.5-inch LCD screen that is on the controller. You need not use your smartphone or iPad on the stand because this screen is bright and has incredible color clarity. It has obstacle avoidance sensors on all sides and the bottom too. With a flight time of 30 minutes, this drone meets the needs of professional photographers but it can also be used by hobbyist drone enthusiasts. With first person view and a wide angle of view, you can stream footage in real time. For all these features, you will pay a good amount of money, but you will get the full value out of every dime that you spend on it.
7DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
The DJI Mavic Platinum has many improvements over the Mavic Pro. It has reduced the propeller noise levels by up to 4db thus giving a quieter and more efficient indoor flight experience. You can fly it in your yard without your neighbor hollering at you to stop. The aerodynamic, stylish and rugged design gives this drone an aggressive look. You will get 30 minutes of flight time from the battery. The camera is protected in a bubble, which is quite rare, and the arms of this drone are foldable.
- Foldable design
- Redundant sensor system to detect any part failure
- 4K Camera shoots video at 30 fps
- Camera protected inside a glass bubble
- Ocusync transmission technology
- Obstacle avoidance
The 4K camera is mated to a 3-axis gimbal system that helps in video and image stabilization so that the quality is not affected even when you are shooting footage mid-flight. The flight range within which the controller will stay connected is 7km/4mi and the ability to sense objects when they are at least 15 meters away makes it a safe drone. It will go around, over the obstacle or it will stop and hover to avoid crashing. The return-to-home button further enhances the safety of your drone. Press the button just once and the drone will fly towards the controller. In calm conditions, this drone can fly for a full 30 minutes. The total flight range is 13 km/8mi.
6Yuneec Typhoon H Pro
Yuneec Typhoon H Pro
The Yuneec Typhoon H Pro is an advanced drone that has been designed and built with the needs of professional video and photographers in mind. High quality video and photo footage taken from the air was a dream decades ago but it has now become a reality. This is a multi-rotor design drone with six rotors, and all of them contribute to the smooth flight experience. It is a big drone, which will need to be registered with the FAA before you can fly it outdoors.
- Six rotors
- 3-axis gimbal for 360 degree rolls
- Obstacle avoidance with Intel RealSense technology
- Remote controller has a 7-inch display
- Landing gear is retractable
- Over 20 minutes of flight time
- FPV live video and photo footage transmission
With the six-rotor design, the Typhoon H Pro drone can stay aloft longer even if it experiences propeller or engine loss, not that it is likely to happen anyway. The sleek build is impressive for such a huge drone and makes it look more professional as compared to its competitors. With retracting landing gear, this drone indeed looks like a predator bird. Footage quality is enhanced by the 3-axis gimbal for stabilization. Foldable carbon fiber arms make the drone more effective. All these and more features will cost you a handsome amount of money but the drone is a durable piece with technology that is ahead of itself. It will still be fashionable many years to come.
This lightweight drone is good for traveling or for use to take pictures and videos when you are having fun on the beach or other outdoor adventure. One of its best features is that it is able to recognize your hand gestures. It has advanced flight capabilities for such a small drone. Although it is small, the body is durably built and it feels quite solid in your hand. The body ribbing is made with molded plastic that is not seamed or joined anywhere, the kind that can outlive a crash.
- Most affordable of the DJI drones
- Hand gesture recognition
- ½ – inch sensor 30 fps
- Has obstacle sensors in the front
- Top-flight speed of 50km/h
- Takes off from your palm
DJI Spark is one of the lightest drones in the market, one that you can easily fly off your palm. Although it is small, it packs quite a lot of flight intelligence to enable it give a seamless performance especially to beginners. Even if you have never touched a drone before, flying the Spark should be so easy for you. The controller is advanced and the drone responds fast to all commands. Capturing video footage is easy, and the small dude is available in different colors to meet the needs of different people. With a maximum flight time of 20 minutes at a speed of 12.4mph, hovering mode, return to home button and other features, you can see that DJI has designed this super mini drone with many of the features that they had hitherto only included in the bigger drones.
4Holy Stone HS700
A perfect mini drone, looks like something out of Star Trek with its rugged and handsome design. The Holy Stone HS700 can reach speeds of 25kmh/15.5mph but when you fly it downwind, it can reach a speed of 60kmh/37.3mph. It has been designed with an FHD camera that shoots high-resolution 1080P videos. The video transmission distance is 400 meters and the flight time is 20 minutes (without the camera). The controller stays connected to the drone for a distance of up to 1000 meters.
- Brushless motor
- Full HD 1080P, 12MP camera
- Bigger control distance
- Low db noise from propellers
- Follow me mode
- Return to home feature
At the weight of 608g, you will have to register this drone with the FAA before you can fly it. It is not foldable but it packs small and fits into your backpack just fine when traveling. Although it is recommended for beginners, professionals can also use it. It is not sold with a spare battery and the charging time is 270 minutes, not good but you can buy a spare battery and increase your flight time. Holy Stone has packed this drone with good flight intelligence with features such as follow me mode, return-to-home feature that is automatically activated when the drone drains the battery. The brushless motor makes the drone stronger and more efficient and the price is quite affordable. Brushless motors also require
3Holy Stone HS230
As an affordable racing drone with FPV, high wind resistance and maximum speed of 45kmh/28mph, this is one of the most affordable racing drones in the market. It has many advanced features such as headless mode, ability to do 3D flips and rolls and it has been designed with a wide angle 720P HD camera to record footage even when in full speed flight. With an FPV camera mode, you can watch real-time video transmission of the landscape as the drone flies fast over various features.
- High speed – maximum speed in seconds
- Wind resistance
- 720P camera/FPV with 120° FOV
- Modular bonus batteries
- 360 degree flips
- 3 flight speed modes
The HS230 has been equipped with fun as well as functional flight features and high wind resistance. Although it lacks features such as altitude hold, that is compensated for by other features like fast speed, bonus battery for more flight time and the ability to do those entertaining rolls and flips. The controller is quite intuitive and it has an LCD display so you can as well catch your video and photo transmission from there. As Holy Stone says, this is a small drone with a big promise and a huge future ahead of it. The drone is good for beginners but professionals can use it too. The power icon on the LCD on the controller shows you how much battery the drone has left. You will be getting all these features and more for a very affordable price.
2DJI Ryze Tello
As a programmable drone, the Ryze Tello would be a good buy for kids to introduce them to programming, make them look at code from a fun angle. This affordable drone is targeted at beginners mostly but anyone can use it. Small and light in weight, users need not register this drone with the FAA to be able to fly it outdoor in the park. Small size and affordability have not hindered the inclusion of advanced features.
- 720P video camera recording at 30 fps
- Very affordable price
- Incredibly small for traveling
- Flight time of 13 minutes
- Small weight of 86 g
- Two speed settings
- Altitude hold feature
Buying a cheap trainer drone will help you cut your teeth before you can upgrade to a more advanced one. Although it is designed basically as a toy drone, the DJI Ryze Tello costs a fraction of the price of its older mini drone brother the DJI Spark. With features such as the ability to do 8D flips, hover mode, throw & go and others, a flight range of 100 meters, bounce mode and one-button take off and landing, many users are left wondering whether this is really a toy drone made just for fun. The body is made with impact-resistant nylon, probably they figured that a beginner drone gets to experience more bumps than usual.
There many recreational drones in the market but not even once did they cost such a small amount of money. If they did, then it is because they lacked features such as headless flight mode, FPV camera for live video transmission and an incredibly stylish design. This is a good beginner drone that is affordable, does not promise what it cannot do and has a flight time of 9 minutes maximum.
- First person view mode
- 360-degree rolls in all directions
- Two-speed modes
- Headless flight mode
- 6-axis gyro axis system
For its price the drone helps beginners learn the ropes of flying advanced drones at their pace since it has two speed settings. Beginners can use the slow mode. It is a fun and entertaining drone with the ability to do 3D flips and 360 degree rolls on all directions. When flying the drone, there is no need to look at the drone in the air. Just look at the transmitted feed in your smartphone attached to the controller. The controller is quite responsive and has a control range of 100 meters. Users may buy spare batteries to extend the flight time of 8 minutes to double or triple that. They can also buy replacement parts easily. For night flights, the drone is designed with LED lights that can be switched on or off.
The number and variety of GPS-enabled drones available today is pretty astonishing. From feature laden UVAs with 2 mile operational ranges, both GPS and GLONASS compatibility and 4K cameras hanging from their bellies, to micro drones that fit in the palm of your hand, to others that can be controlled as if by magic with a few simple hand gestures and everything in between. Yes, the GPS drone is here to stay and is quickly becoming the industry standard. The best news is that there’s one to fit just about everyone’s budget so there’s no need to sit on that park bench watching everyone else having a blast. If you have a few hundred bucks you can put yourself in the game. We hope you found the above information useful and don’t forget to check out more of our drone reviews and other UVA-related content.