One of the chief complaints among drone owners through the years has been short flight time. Don’t you just hate it when your drone suddenly “returns home” when you’ve barely started shooting your video documentary because of the dwindling battery life?
I’m sure you can relate!
And even though it would be prudent to bring along extra batteries while piloting your drone, the hassle of changing the batteries can cause you to miss an important aspect in your shot and mess up the whole recording.
Luckily, with technological advancements, some manufacturers are producing drones that can take flight and stay airborne beyond our expectations.
In this post, we present to you the longest flight time drone you can buy this new year!
Top 3 Longest Flight Time Drones
DJI Mavic 3
- A ¾ CMOS sensor camera can capture 5.1K videos in 50 fps, along with 4K with 120 fps and RAW stills.
- The Mavic 3 can last up to 46 minutes and reach speeds up to 47 mph.
- A considerable upgrade to the Mavic 2 series, this model deserves its place as the #1 spot.
Our #2 Rated
DJI Mavic Mini 2
"The Best Budget Option"
- The Mini is equipped with a 4K FHD Camera with a 3-axis stabilization system.
- Flight Time is up to 31 minutes and the Flight Range can go up to a whopping 10km!
- Other than having no object detection, the Mavic Mini boasts great specifications and features at a very affordable price, which is what makes it our budget pick.
Our #3 Rated
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DJI Air 2S
- A one-inch CMOS sensor camera that captures 5.4K in 30 fps, along with 4K at 60 fps and 1080p at 240 fps
- The Air 2S can fly up to 31 minutes, with a transmission distance of 12 km (7.4 miles).
- It outperforms its predecessor in almost every way and provides plenty of features for professional filmmakers.
1. DJI Mavic 3 - Editors Choice
DJI Mavic 3 has not one but two significant changes that stand out for photographers and drone enthusiasts.
These changes are the four-thirds image sensor and, interestingly enough, a secondary camera that features hybrid zoom.
Although folded, DJI’s Mavic 3 is essentially the same as the Mavic 2.
However, the improved video shooting capabilities make the Mavic 3 a significant upgrade from its world-renowned predecessor.
If your primary goal is capturing high-quality photos and videos, then Mavic 3 is the best drone available on the market - and by a wide margin. And even though you might not require footage this good, this long-range drone is super fun to fly.
Like all DJI Mavic models, the Mavic 3 features a folding design, making it smaller and compact.
When unfolded, this drone measures 347.5 x 283 x 107.7 mm - and merely 221 x 96.3 x 90.3 when folded. Plus, the Mavic 3 weighs less than 900 grams.
Flight time has been increased due to several improvements in the Mavic 3 design and the new battery.
For one, the drone’s shape and propeller arms have been streamlined to reduce drag by around 35%.
As for the new battery, Mavic 3 features one with a capacity of 5000mAh, which can provide up to 46 minutes of flight. Oh, and it can reach speeds of around 67.5 km/h while we’re at it.
The jewel in DJI’s crown is the drone's dual Hasselblad camera.
The primary camera features a 20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor.
This camera offers an adjustable f/2.8 to f/11 aperture and manual focus ranging from 1m to - well, infinity.
The second camera features a ½’’ CMOS sensor with an equivalent 162mm focal length, a 28x hybrid zoom, and f/4.4 aperture.
Image quality from Mavic 3’s primary camera for stills and video is absolutely stunning, with just a tiny amount of sharpness falling off the frame’s edges when viewing stills. However, the “fall-off” level is minuscule - and you’d have to look for it.
The second camera is much more limited - and only shoots images in JPEG and standard video at 4k 30fps. Still, this camera offers basic functionality with the ability to view distant scenes with ease.
DJI’s Mavic 3 feels much more agile and responsive in flight than its predecessor, too. Even the controls feel more sensitive in both modes - Normal and Sport.
There’s also the Hyperlapse mode, used to create time-lapse and hyper-lapse videos alongside single shot, panoramic modes, and timed shots for stills.
One interesting safety-related feature is Mavic 3’s positioning algorithm, designed to improve its hovering precision with less drifting.
Of course, this feature is more than welcome. However, it’s virtually impossible to see an actual difference between the Mavic 3 and previous models when the drone is hovering.
2. DJI Mavic Mini 2 - Best Budget Drone
If you’re looking for a cheaper DJI drone alternative, the Mavic Mini 2 is a “pocket Hercules” packing an abundance of high-quality features that you won’t find in its price range.
Both beginner and advanced camera drone pilots will have a thrill seeing this drone taking flight into the air.
The DJI Mavic Mini 2 is a foldable camera drone that is no bigger than a smartphone and will easily fit into a small bag or large pocket.
It only weighs 249 grams, making it portable enough to bring along on all your travels and adventures.
Despite its small stature, DJI did not compromise on features with this drone.
You won’t have to panic over a short flight time when piloting this drone; 31 minutes is what you get when this remarkable quadcopter takes flight on a full charge. A heck of a bargain at this price if you ask me!
You can credit this to the intelligent 2400mAh battery it is fitted with. It will also take just under 5 hours to fully recharge the empty battery, which is quite an impressive time by industry standards.
The Mavic Mini 2 boasts an amazing control range of 10km, which I’m not even sure a hobbyist drone pilot will need to fly to.
It can reach a maximum flying speed of around 35 mph, showing you just how much quality to can expect from this diminutive quadcopter.
This drone shoots high-resolution 4K HD videos and takes aerial photography stills at 12MP. A 3-axis gimbal fitted on the camera makes for an ultra-smooth flight performance that results in stable images and high-quality footage.
The package includes a dedicated controller with an ergonomically compact design that will fit naturally into your palms.
There is a clamp where you can attach an Android or IOS smartphone and use the phone screen to view the HD drone footage for up to 10 km!
Whether you’re are an experienced drone pilot, or just trying to wrap your head around flying this air vehicle, you shouldn’t have a tough time operating the Mavic Mini 2.
The controls are relatively user-friendly, plus the intuitive DJI Flight App comes with simple tap controls, as well as a beginner’s Flight Tutorial.
Your investment is also protected with a range of safety features, including propeller guards that prevent damage to the blades while keeping your fingers away from injury.
GPS and advanced vision sensors work to guarantee precision flight and a stable hover while the camera remains meticulous at all times.
The only negative you’ll find on the DJI Mavic Mini 2 is that there is no object detection feature. Luckily, this does not come close to being a deal-breaker, especially when you consider the GPS and vision system that provide precision control.
3. DJI Air 2S - Value-For-Money Pick
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"Best Value for Money Spent"
DJI’s Air 2S was a very careful but deliberate pick. The drone itself comes in just under $1000. But doubling down and getting the complete Fly More combo gives you an immense return on investment.
Does the “S” moniker really make a difference compared to the Air 2?
We’re talking about DJI; of course, it does.
Let’s look at the most crucial thing and the main reason you’re here - the range.
DJI’s Mavic Air 2 has a 10 kilometer (6.2 miles) transmission range and an estimated 34-minute flight time. The Air 2S has a shorter flight time, clocking in at around 31 minutes. But the range?
You’re getting 12 kilometers - or 7.4 miles. That’s a 20% increase in range with the Air 2S, at the cost of a few minutes of flight.
Next, we’ll look at obstacle detection:
The Air 2 came with very generous three-sided obstacle sensors, only lacking an upward-facing one. DJI has added the missing piece to the Air 2S, providing even more coverage and security than before. It came in extra handy when recording in forests and cluttered outdoors.
You won’t often run into a situation where you need an upward-facing sensor - but you’ll be glad to have the extra bit of security, given the investment.
With that out of the way, let’s talk cameras.
The Air 2 comes with the lovely ½ inch CMOS sensor and can capture 4K footage at 60 fps and 1080p footage at 240 fps. That’s commendable indeed.
But the Air 2S?
All of that - plus the whopping 5.4K at 30 fps. They’ve also upgraded the sensor to the full one inch. The new, larger CMOS sensor provides even more detail and higher quality in lower-light environments. The 20MP sensor also does wonders for still shots.
As for the zoom, you can zoom up to 8x while recording in 1080p with 30 fps.
Of course, the zoom options become limited as you increase video quality. At 4K 30 fps, you’ll only be able to zoom up to 4x.
DJI’s Air 2S provides a 22 mm focal length with a fixed aperture of f/2.8. It has very solid ISO options, ranging from 100-1600 for videos and 100-12,800 ISO for stills.
As you would expect for such a camera, the sharpness of detail starts falling off right near the edges - but that’s something only an experienced eye would notice, and it doesn’t distract from the quality.
Air 2S’ ISO handling is even better than Mavic 2 Pro’s in many ways.
You can rely on Air 2S’ AirSense to let you know of any company while in the air. You can see all nearby planes, helicopters, and the like within DJI’s Fly App.
And if you’re worried about entering restricted or no-fly zones, the built-in geofencing system will keep the drone in check.
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4. Ruko F11 - Super Budget Pick
This drone allows you to squeeze your budget even further but still provides you with a variety of top-quality features that you won’t find in other drones under $500. It surely gives the DJI Mavic Mini a run for its money!
While most of its peers will give you a flight time of just about 20 minutes, the F11 Pro triples this with an industry-leading flight time of 60 minutes.
It comes with two batteries and you get 30 minutes of flight time from each. This means you’ll have more than enough time enjoying this drone and its features once it takes flight.
You can thank the high capacity 22500mAh intelligent battery for this. And to ensure that your flying time will not be cut short, the drone is fitted with powerful brushless motors that do not overheat.
The F11 Pro has a compact rectangular design that you can conveniently fold and stash in your backpack when you want to travel.
Its folding propeller arms ensure that you don’t even have to remove the propellers for quick and easy folding.
However, the drone weighs in at around 520g, which is more than the 250g FAA limit required to fly drones.
This means you’ll have to register your drone with the FAA before you can fly it.
The drone’s powerful brushless motors allow it to reach a maximum hovering height of 120 meters while its 2.4GHz transmitter ensures that you can control the drone to a flight range of 1219 meters without losing the signal.
The F11 Pro boasts an impressive 4K camera that can be adjusted over 90 degrees using the remote controller.
It has a 120-degree field of view and can capture ultra HD pictures and videos with vivid details. The footage is clear with amazing color resolution, just what you need for your aerial photography.
The drone also offers 5GHz FPV capabilities, which allow you to share real time videos on your smartphone with a transmission range of 500 meters. But first, you must download the Ruko app to do this.
The transmitter is as stylish as the drone and will fit snugly into your palms.
Its lightweight design also ensures that you won’t feel fatigued from holding it through the entire flight time. And a smartphone holder safely attaches your phone to the controller for the FPV experience.
We can’t leave out the numerous intelligent flight modes offered by this remarkable drone.
You’ll also enjoy flight functions like GPS, high and low-speed modes, headless mode, one key landing, and takeoff, Follow Me, etc. all of which make flying easier for beginner pilots while making things interesting for advanced users.
5. DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro - Best Upgrade Pick
Completely outshining the predecessor's overall stability, duration, flight range, and even the quality of the video resolution, the Mini 3 offers numerous upgrades and additions over its predecessor, exceptional for a drone priced under $800.
Straight to the point - the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus can pull off an incredible maximum flight time of 47 minutes. Even the entry-level battery outshines the Mavic Mini 2, with a 34-minute maximum flight time!
With the Mavic’s Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery, you can effortlessly travel and control the drone a maximum of 18km distance.
But, if you decide to upgrade your drone with an Intelligent Flight Battery Plus - you can extend the range to 25km, as long as the conditions are optimal.
Even the maximum hovering time is not something to joke around! With the entry-level battery, you’ll have up to 30 minutes of hovering time.
On the other hand, the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus pushes that further to approximately 40 minutes of hovering time.
The bread and butter of this drone is its camera performance. It can smoothly capture pictures at a 4K HD resolution with a 48MP, 1/1.3” CMOS sensor, resting on a three-axis mechanical gimbal that rotates to portrait orientation - the first time on a DJI drone.
The camera uses a 24mm F1.7 fixed-aperture lens that can deliver an 82.1° FOV.
One of the fan-favorite features is the Slow Motion video recording. The Mavic Mini 3 Pro comes with this feature, capable of Slow Motion recording videos at 1080p 120fps.
Furthermore, the Mavic Mini 3 Pro offers Timed Shots, Burst Mode, and D-Cinelike Color mode that provides you with more flexibility and color possibilities when editing.
When all things are considered, the Mavic Mini 3 Pro feels phenomenal once you start using it.
As soon as you decide to fly it, you’ll find out that locking the GPS signal takes less than a minute.
When comparing the Mavic Mini 3 Pro to its predecessors, the noise it produces is hardly there, whereas all other Mavics struggled to achieve this feat.
When it comes to the safety features of this quadcopter, you won’t have to worry about losing this drone at any point of the flight. The Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS 4.0) will detect any incoming terrain with special sensors.
Moreover, as soon as the battery drops low, the return-home feature will kick in, resulting in the return of your quadcopter in no time.
The Mavic Mini 3 Pro can be used by all people, both amateurs and professional photographers, as the intuitive UI allows both parties to fully enjoy the camera’s capabilities.
What drone has the longest flight time that you can buy on Amazon?
The best long flight time drone that you can order on Amazon is the DJI Mavic Pro 2. DJI went out of their way to create a remarkable quadcopter that can offer you as much as 31 minutes of flight time. This is easily the longest flight time you can get in the industry.
Not to mention an unbeatable set of features on the drone that makes for an exciting and fun piloting experience. However, you can always go for the Hubsan H501S if you’re on a budget but still keen to have drones with the longest flight time!
How long can a drone stay up in the air?
Drones will usually hover longer than they can fly. This is because hovering doesn’t involve running the motors and this conserves battery life, ensuring that you have more time in the air. This will end up adding a few minutes to the standard drone flight time, which is around 20- 25 minutes.
However, the drone flight time will also be determined by the type of drone you are buying. Usually, entry-level drones selling at an affordable price will give you anything from 5-10 minutes of flight time.
On the other hand, the best drones for consumers with the longest flight times will offer an average of 25 minutes of flight time, but come with a hefty price tag
Which drone has the longest range in this review?
The drones we’ve reviewed above offer impressive flight times. However, the DJI Mavic Pro 2 takes the day with its 31 minutes of playtime. Apart from that, you also get a set of high-end specs that any advanced drone pilot will tip their hat to!
Why are drones' flight time so short?
Short flight time is something that most drone enthusiasts dread when shopping for a quadcopter. But have you ever wondered why this is so? Well, this all boils down to the amount of energy needed to fly a drone.
See, the blades of a drone are very short and have to rotate at a high RPM to generate enough lift. This requires a lot of energy which leads to a lot of heat build-up in the drone battery pack. This also means that it will easily deplete the energy stored, the reason why drones have short flight times.
If you want to extend your drone flight time, make sure that you fly the quadcopter in calm conditions with very little obstacles in the atmosphere. Also, you may want to ensure that the fewest features are running for the longest flight time.
How far can a drone fly?
A high-end consumer drone can have a range of roughly 2.5 to 4.5 miles (4 to 8 kilometers), whereas a toy drone may only have a range of 20 to 100 yards. A common range for mid-level consumer drones is between 400 meters to three kilometers, or 0.25 to 1.5 miles.
Drone manufacturers have made the most of technological advancements to extend the flight time of consumer quadcopters to appeal to consumer preferences.
The above review provides you with one of the best long flight time drones that you can opt for if you want to spend more time flying your quadcopter.
Depending on your budget and your level of experience, you will be lucky to own any of the above listed drone with longest flight time.
Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API This article contains affiliate links which for which the owner of the site may receive a commision.