If you did not know already, lots of drones nowadays come with built-in GPS systems. Some of them take a step further and implement both GPS (made by the USA) and the Russian satellite positioning system called GLONASS.
While the two are very much alike in terms of what they do, GLONASS is more effective for high latitudes where GPS tends to struggle with signal receptions. In other words, if you live in a high latitude area (south or north) it might be a good idea to get a drone that sports both of these systems. Together, they provide you with lightning-fast speed and pinpoint accuracy, even on high latitudes.
With all of this being said, let’s take a closer look at the Top 10 Drones with GPS / GLONASS that are currently available on the market!
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GPS Drones for Enthusiasts
If you’re not looking for drones that are suitable for commercial purposes, then these following five drones are the ones you should be looking at. They aren’t going to make too big of a dent in your budget, yet they’re very capable in terms of flight time, range, and their overall set of features. Camera quality is hard to get on the cheap, but there are two exceptional models (Zino and Mavic Mini) that posses close to professional-grade photography solutions…
Table: Drones with GPS and camera
5. Holy Stone HS700D
Starting off with a drone that’ll set you back for roughly $250 – Holy Stone HS700D. It’s bulky, sturdy, and features a sleek design with rounded edges and landing feet that make way for the shiny camera module. At this price point, the best thing about HS700D is its onboard GPS module as well as the brilliant set of features it comes with. In other words, it offers great value for money!
Camera and Features
Talking about the camera, we’re looking at a slightly extended 1080p resolution which is often dubbed as 2K by drone manufacturers. It features 90 degrees FOV and has 5G FPV transmission module that allows for roughly 500 meters of FPV range. There’s even a little motor that controls the vertical positioning of the camera. Above that is one of those simplistic anti-dampening solutions. It does work, but don’t go around expecting pro-grade stabilization with this little bugger.
Features-wise, Holy Stone HS700D has all the necessities for an enjoyable flight session. In addition to GPS, this bulky little guy sports altitude hold, massive brushless motors, advanced selfie flight modes and auto return to home. It doesn’t take much more than that to captivate the audience, especially at this price point!
Holy Stone is known for using top-tier batteries with their drones. Nothing different is the case with their HS700D, featuring a big 2800mAh battery that’s capable of outputting around 20 minutes of flight time. The range is excellent too. As stated above, you can count on approximately 500 meters of FPV signal, with controls extending to around 700 meters.
4. Ruko F11 – GPS drone
Next up is the Ruko F11, a foldable little bugger sporting a ton of features that ought to sweep you off your feet with its sleek, industrial design and great characteristics. Its features aren’t exactly off the charts by any means, but the sheer power of F11’s hardware ought to justify the price tag which goes around the $300 mark.
Camera and Features
First of all, we have to say a thing or two about Ruko F11’s camera. It’s actually a proper 4K sensor capable of shooting 4K images and 2.7k videos. It has solid color representation although it’s not the greatest sensor you’ll find out there. 120-degree FOV lens is good for semi-panoramic shots, but it’s not the greatest in videos, especially when turning left and right. If produces that awful, nauseating jello effect and doesn’t look all that good.
Alongside GPS, Ruko F11 also features FPV transmission (400 to 500 meters), auto return to home, headless mode, one key takeoff and landing, as well as Ruko’s version of TapFly. There’s nothing special in the features department, no advanced features like image tracking or obstacle avoidance, but it’s not really an issue at this price point.
As far as specifications are concerned, you can expect around one kilometer of lag-free controlling transmission. Perhaps even slightly more, if we are talking about completely clear and unobstructed terrain. As for battery duration, the provided 2500mAh battery gives up at around 25 to 30 minutes, which is among the highest flight times in this price range.
3. DJI Spark
Even though it’s been awhile since DJI unveiled their Spark model, it’s still among the best trending tech gadgets on Amazon. The miniature GPS-ready drone, first of its kind back then, took the market by storm and captivate thousands of buyers across the globe. It’s small, has proper camera stabilization, and all the accuracy and features you could wish for, all courtesy of the built-in GPS module.
Camera and Features
On top of all that, this little fella boasts state-of-the-art features such as PalmControl and PalmLaunch, among others. If you’re like what you are seeing here, then be my guest and sign up to buy this beauty. From what I can tell you so far, it seems as though DJI made a good move and will keep enjoying a fair share of success with Spark. Needless to say, a big part of its awesomeness lies in its full HD camera mounted on a hardware stabilization system.
Even smaller than the Mavic Pro and with excellent hardware inside, Spark is ready for a fight against other selfie drones out there. So far, the fight is going heavily in its favor due to seriously sick specifications. We’re looking at roughly 15 minutes of flying and 2 kilometers of supported distance… And all that in a drone not much bigger than your smartphone.
Of course, the all-new DJI Mavic Mini (coming right up) seems like a great choice too, thanks to newer hardware, foldable design, and a much more aggressive price tag. But, before we jump into the newest DJI drone out there, let’s say a few words about its biggest competitor – Hubsan Zino!
2. Hubsan Zino
We’ve already mentioned Hubsan Zino earlier. It’s the newest drone made by Hubaan, a foldable little bugger that comes in two version, base and Pro. They’re both pretty similar in terms of performance, with the Pro version featuring a few bells and whistles here and there. Instead of focusing on a particular version, we’re going to focus on the Zino platform that aims to be the perfect competitor for DJI Mavic Mini.
Camera and Features
Camera-wise, Hubsan Zino sports a beefy 4K sensor mounted on its own little 3-axis hardware stabilization system, AKA gimbal. For those of you who aren’t used to the drone slang, gimbals are basically a must-have if you want to have smooth, stabilized footage without any of that nasty jittery or jello elements.
From the features’ perspective, Hubsan has always been behind DJI in that department. However, Hubsan Zino could bring winds of change, blessed with a fine array of both security and recreational features. In other words, Zino doesn’t just feature GPS and altitude hold but line follow, image tracking, failsafe, panorama aerial solutions, and more. It’s a highly versatile model coming in at an impressively affordable price tag.
Yep – the price tag definitely makes Hubsan Zino one of the most attractive drones on the market. It has gorgeous desing, flies smooth and has a great camera too. The highly versatile package is nicely rounded off with 4 kilometers of operating range and cca 20ish minutes of flight time.
1. DJI Mavic Mini
As promised, DJI Mavic Mini is the next drone on the line. It’s in many ways similar to the aforementioned Hubsan Zino, featuring a similar design, features, specifications and even price tags. Still, don’t let the similarities fool you – we are still talking about two completely different aerial platforms that are trying to establish themselves on the market.
Camera and Features
In terms of image stabilization, thanks to 3-axis gimbals, both drones are doing a fantastic job. However, Hubsan Zino has a slightly higher resolution, being capable of shooting in 4K whereas DJI Mavic Mini can go as high as 2.7K. It’s not a big minus for the DJI model, especially considering the fact most people can’t even tell the different between the two resolutions.
Needless to say, DJI Mavic Mini is the absolute winner in the features department. It’s nothing surprising, though, especially knowing just how many drones with state-of-the-art features DJI has released thus far. That said, unfortunately DJI Mavic Mini doesn’t have obstacle avoidance or advanced image tracking features that allow it impeccable tracking accuracy. Still, it features all the photography and safety basics, alongside GPS, and stuff like three flight modes, access to four QuickShots, and digital FPV.
If you are still not impressed with what the Mavic Mini has to offer, the specifications ought to change your mind. Not only does this little bugger feature a brilliant camera and a fine set of features, but it also possesses specifications that are on point with much more expensive, premium models. Yep, DJI Mavic Mini can fly around for almost 30 minutes, which makes it the absolute champion in its price point. Furthermore, it can also reach up to 4 kilometers from the controller, making it among the longest reaching drones too.
GPS Drones for Professionals
Now that we’re all done with the enthusiasts’ part of our best GPS drones list, it’s time to take a closer look at more expensive models. By that, we’re referring to high-end models that are capable of using their onboard GPS modules for commercial/prosumer usage scenarios. They are a fair bit pricier than those above, but possess far greater performance that, in most cases, goes hand in hand with the price tag.
Table: Drones with GPS and camera
5. Upair Two
Now we’ve reached professional GPS drones that cost beyond the $500 mark. First up, we have a very interesting model coming from Upair, brand that got famous with its One model. This time around, they’ve brought forth Upair Two, carrying an interesting twist swinging in from the smartphone industry.
Camera and Features
What’s been the focus point of smartphones in the last few years alongside making foldable screens and smallest-possible bezels? Of course, it’s adding more and more cameras to the backside of the phone. Upair Two did a similar thing, placing three cameras (providing impressive 4K footage) on a sophisticated stabilization system including a motorized 3-axis gimbal.
When it comes to the features, the most important thing is the onboard GPS module. It’s precise, doesn’t lose connections, and packs quite a few supporting features. Additionally, we also have to mention the software used for setting up shots using the three aforementioned cameras. I’m sure it was quite the engineering/coding feet.
Specifications-wise, Upair Two will not let you down. Even though it can’t travel as far as, let’s say, Hubsan Zino and DJI Mavic Mini, it can still reach around 1 kilometer. For most intents and purposes, 1-kilometer drone range is more than enough. What’s more important is the battery duration and it’s safe to say Upair Two does a good job in that department. The provided battery can handle around 22 to 24 minutes, hitting the sweet spots right in the bullseye!
4. Parrot Anafi
Parrot Anafi is an excellent GPS-powered drone bringing another unique twist to the drone game with its innovative camera placement. It’s not just an aesthetically pleasing choice but one that can have great uses across a multitude of industries, including aerial photography.
Camera and Features
What is that unique twist we’re referring to here? Well, Parrot Anafi’s camera can turn 180 degrees vertically, meaning it’s capable of pointing both straight up and straight down. If it can point straight up and down, it can record aerial footage and take stills too. And that’s what makes it fantastic. The adjective is further boosted by the fact we’re looking at a 4K ready sensor here, with a pinch of that HDR goodness too. It’s a great package well worth the bucks, that’s for sure!
The features end of the spectrum isn’t too far from being perfect either. We all know Parrot is a well-respected brand in the business, partially because of their experience with making bestselling drone sand partially because of their software know-how and feature sets they’ve been implementing in older models. Luckily, they didn’t stop with Parrot Anafi, blessing it with numerous photography-based features, shortcuts and templates. Safety was a big concern too, and with a bunch of sophisticated safety features, the French drone brand has surely done a great job!
Let’s just say a few more words about the specifications and be done with it. Range-wise, we’re talking about a drone that can handle the usual 4 kilometers of transmission distance. Battery duration is a bit better, looking at the grand scheme of things. With 25 minutes, Parrot Anafi is a solid contender and is capable of satisfying both consumers and prosumers. Best of all, the extra batteries aren’t that expensive…
3. Autel Robotics EVO
Next on our list of the best GPS drones out there is Autel Robotics EVO! The orange masterpiece is what I like to call it, and it really is exactly that! The company that made headlines with their tacky orange X-Star Premium model is back with another swinging hit. It’s fast, stable, reliable, sports a great camera and is not afraid to show off the power of its internal electronics…
Camera and Features
Autel Robotics EVO isn’t shy to show off its sophisticated aerial photography solution. Obviously, we’re talking about a 4K camera here, one that can shoot impressive, professional-grade footage and do so with utmost stability thanks the 3-axis gimbal it’s mounted on.
As for the features, you won’t be lacking anything, really. EVO packs it all! Everything from GPS, return to home and failsafe, all the way to obstacle avoidance, image tracking and additional sophisticated camera-based features ready to make a proper Instagram influencer out of you!
Seven kilometers is what you can expect from Autel Robotics EVO. It’s a wonderful feat of engineering, bringing forth roughly the same distance as that of the highest-end DJI models. The same can be said about the battery time too, spreading all the way to impressive 30 minutes. If that’s not enough for your needs, you can always get a few extra batteries too extend your flight sessions.
2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro
The second-best GPS drone you can get your hands on is the age-old DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Considering everything this drone has to offer, there’s no doubt you’re looking at great bang for the bucks, despite its seemingly high price tag. The stuff this fella can do are outright ridiculous! DJI never ceases to amaze us with exceptional drones and this one, quite frankly, is no different. So, let’s see what’s so special about it!
Camera and Features
When it comes to positioning systems, the Phantom 4 has a pinpoint accuracy along with movement planning, waypoint set up, one key return and even more. There’s a bunch of safety features too, as well as photography-based bunch featuring DJI’s popular ActiveTrack and TapFly.
As all other premium drones with GPS and camera, this one also comes with a crisp clear 4K action camera that is capable of shooting professional quality aerial footage, not only due to its sheer quality but the motorized gimbal that makes sure the footage is as smooth as possible.
And finally, let’s take a closer look at its specifications. With around 7 kilometers of lag-free control range and about half an hour of flight time, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro establishes itself as the best drone on the market… period! High quality comes at a high cost, that’s quite obvious as well… But if you’re someone who needs a state-of-the-art aerial platform, then DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a proper pick!
1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro
If we’re talking about the big guns on this list of best GPS drones, DJI Mavic 2 Pro definitely takes the top spot . It’s a serious contender for the best drone of all time, this one. What’s so special about it? Well, it incorporates a sleek, foldable drone design and a whole bunch of raw power underneath the hood.
Camera and Features
It can fit into pretty much any backpack, which makes it one of the 5 best drones for travel. What’s this awesome drone’s name? People are loving it and they’re not afraid to show it… show it… It’s Mavic 2 Pro and you know it!!!
Jokes aside though, Mavic 2 Pro really is a beast, bringing forth notable improvements over the original Mavic Pro. This GPS drone comes with all standard features that this generation of DJI drones support; including ActiveTrack, TapFly, and many others. FPV goggles are also quite easy to set up. You can find a thorough guide HERE. Moving forward, this little guy is equipped with a class A Hasselblad 4K camera that has its own dedicated stabilization system ensuring top-notch stability no matter the conditions. With that in mind, Mavic Pro is not your typical selfie drone, it’s much more than that, capable of doing all sorts of commercial/industrial work.
As I’ve mentioned above, this drone has some serious power. More precisely, it can travel as far as 7 kilometers and do so within 27 minutes. Wicked, eh? Well, that’s not all! You see, another very important aspect is flight speed. In terms of that, DJI Mavic Pro is standing good at roughly 40 mph.
Do I need a GPS drone?
If you want a rather simple answer to this question, here it comes – Of course you do! Most drones (not counting those cheap toy drones though) nowadays come with GPS, GLONASS or both navigation systems.
Why is that so? Well, you’ll find an in-depth explanation down below. For now, let’s just say that GPS brings a lot more functionality to a drone. So, you really shouldn’t commit to a model that doesn’t support it.
What is the difference between GPS and GLONASS?
Even though these 2 were made as direct competition to one another, in reality, they actually complement and improve each other’s results. GPS was made by the USA and GLONASS was made by Russia. They work in a similar way but just via different frequencies. There’s also one more thing to take note of – latitude.
That’s the only aspect in which GLONASS is slightly ahead of GPS – it outputs good signal even on the highest of latitudes where GPS usually has issues. Other than, these 2 are pretty much the same. So, if you want to maximize your drone’s positioning and accuracy, make sure to go with a model that features both GPS and GLONASS navigation systems.
What is the point of a GPS in GPS drones?
The role of GPS in a drone is fairly simple. It is there to feed location data to the drone’s software. This, in practice, has a lot of benefits. For instance, GPS in drones enables a lot of those smart features. Sure, some of them can function (to an extent) without GPS; but if the drone has it, chances are those features will work much better. With that being said, let’s see which features in particular greatly benefit from navigational systems.
The Importance of Good Weather Conditions for GPS drones
Sure, GPS is awesome to have in your drones. Not only does it bring forth extra stability and precision, but it also paves the way for numerous safety and recreational features. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine high-end drones lacking GPS these days. It’s so versatile and spread across the industry that it’s impossible to think of commercial/prosumer drones without it.
However, there’s one external factor that’s important as the GPS module itself. You see, the importance of good weather conditions is of crucial importance for the positional accuracy and delay time of your drone.
We’re talking stuff like Cloud coverage, visible satellites, geomagnetic storm indexes, and the estimated number of satellite locks. All this stuff affects how your drone performs and influences the accuracy and stability of the onboard GPS module. Many people, even in professional circles, don’t know about this, so it’s important to stress it out.
Apps/sites such as UAVforecast.com are great for checking which days bring the optimal flying conditions do make sure you keep your tabs on them!
What features does GPS enable?
As I have already mentioned above, GPS enables more than a few smart features in drones. GPS drone features range from simple ones such as Auto return to home to more advanced ones such as DJI’s ActiveTrack and TapFly. So, with that being said, let’s take a look at the main features that greatly benefit (or can’t work without) GPS data:
Return to home
Even though Return To Home feature is available on drones without GPS, it is much more reliable on those who have it. GPS data basically allows the drone to find its way back to the location from which it took off.
Waypoints is another great feature enabled solely by GPS. It basically allows you to make a route that your drone will follow. You’ll get to enter height, flying speed, orientation and exact location of each waypoint you set.
GPS provides the drone with altitude data enabling it to hold its position accurately for prolonged periods of time. List of Top altitude hold drones is here.
Circle around area
This is another smart flight mode that is available on GPS drones. What it does is essentially allow you to select an area close to your drone’s location. With plenty of adjustability provided such as height, speed and camera positioning, you’ll be able to accurately order the drone to circle around your desired area.
In addition to everything above, many drones still rely on GPS for their follow me features. Yes, image recognition software and tracking algorithms have gone a long way in the last few years, but the basis of everyone’s favorite follow me feature is still GPS.
That’s it guys! You have come to the end of our Top 10 Drones with GPS list. It was a hectic one, that’s for sure, especially considering all those premium quality drones on display. As you could see for yourself, there are lots of drones with global positioning systems these days. Among other tasks, these systems provide drones with information about their current position and enable you to map a route for them. You can easily set up waypoints along with autonomous flight that can greatly improve your experience.
All things considered, GPS-ready drones offer a lot of functionality on the table, but you still need to decide whether or not you actually need a GPS drone. If you are planning to fly your drone in your house or around the backyard, then you shouldn’t spend a great deal of money for a GPS one. On the other hand, if you want to do professional aerial footage or wish to fly your drone quite far away from you, then GPS / GLONASS systems may be your friends!