GPS drones are super fun to fly.
These models come with some amazing autopilot capabilities, high-end cameras to get professional quality shots, and some of the most advanced features available.
This guide reviews the best GPS drones for sale in 2020.
It includes individual reviews of each model and a comprehensive buying guide to help you make the best choice possible.
Let's get started:
Table of the Best GPS Drones
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
20MP / 4K
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
20MP / 4K
Best For Professionals
DJI Mavic Air
12MP / 4K
Best For Traveling
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
12MP / 4K
Best Combo Package
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
12MP / 2.7K
Best Budget Professional Drone
Holy Stone HS100
Best Under $200
Fly Responsibly: If you live in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration requires many drones to be registered. This includes hobby and professional drones. Visit the FAA's drone registration page for more information.
Top GPS Drones - Reviews
1. Best Overall - DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The Mavic 2 Pro is the number one option on this list for many reasons.
This drone includes the Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor. This camera lets you take stunning, colorful aerial shots with fine detail.
The quad comes with a flight time of up to 31 minutes giving pilots much more time for photography and videography than most other models.
With a 44 mph maximum speed and 3-axis gimbal, this drone stays steady for those essential shots. It has 8GB of internal storage and supports SD cards with up to 128GB.
Some other fabulous functions include ActiveTrack 2.0, Low-Noise Design, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, HDR photos, and Adjustable Aperture. It has some of the most cutting-edge technology for great pictures and cinematography.
Personally, one of the things I like most about the Mavic 2 Pro is its ease-of-use, and it offers a lot of control options for your shots.
I was impressed with the camera because of the control over the aperture. Plus, this drone is stylish and looks great too, and it's super fun to fly.
- Autonomous flight mode
- Hasselblad Camera
- Up to 31 minutes of flight time
- 20-megapixel sensor
- ActiveTrack 2.0
- Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing
- It's a larger upfront investment, but the price-to-features ratio is worth it.
2. Best For Professionals - DJI Phantom 4 Pro
The Phantom 4 Pro’s intelligent performance system and formidable imaging system make it essential for any serious photographer.
This amazing drone's sturdy yet light magnesium gimbal is coated with an anti-fingerprint layer, and it’s also electroplated.
The sensor is 1-inch and 20-megapixels with the ability to take 4k/60fps video. The Phantom 4 Pro’s autonomous flight system adds two rear vision sensors and infrared sensing systems that allow for five-direction obstacle sensing and four-direction obstacle avoidance.
Its notable features include Tap Fly that allows you to fly your drone with the tap of your finger and Visual Tracking of a Moving Subject. While it may be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, it has the innovative features that help you fly with ease while taking the best photos and videos.
I personally love how simple the Phantom 4 Pro's autopilot mode is. It allows the pilot to acclimate to drone flying and shooting pictures at the same time.
The picture quality is brilliant, and the upgrades offered are fabulous. Its video equipment is very professional.
- Autonomous flight mode
- Tap Fly
- Visual Tracking of a Moving Subject
- 20-megapixel sensor
- Dual rear vision sensors
- Infrared sensing systems
- Rugged, yet light frame
- Easy to learn how to fly and take photographs at the same time
- Amazing video and picture quality
- The ability to use third-party apps is limited.
- Some people have had problems with WIFI detection.
3. Best For Traveling - DJI Mavic Air
Here we are again with another great DJI drone. The Mavic Air is a cost-efficient model that still includes many extras.
This drone is foldable, making it very portable. It can take 32MP Sphere Panoramas. It also has an immersive FPV and two 1920x1080 HD screens.
It also includes a head tracking feature that allows you to view the world from above. You also get a set of goggles making it an incredible deal.
This drone is an excellent choice for close range videography and is a wonderful overall, reliable machine.
- Googles, I love the goggles
- Autonomous flight
- Dual 1920x1080 HD screens
- Head tracking feature
- Immersive FPV
- Some people may be frustrated by the fact that the goggles connect with a USB cable.
4. Best Combo Package - DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
This Mavic 2 Zoom combo package is packed with almost everything a pilot needs.
The Fly More Combo Kit comes with:
- 2 x Batteries
- 4 x Propellers
- 1 x Car Charger
- 1 x Charging Hub
- 1 x Battery to Power Bank Adapter
- 1 x Shoulder Bag
- 1 x 128GB SanDisk Extreme Micro SD
- 1 x Smatree Waterproof Hard Case
- 1 x PGYTECH ND Filter for Mavic
- 1 x PGYTECH Pad/Tablet Holder
- 1 x 75cm Landing Pad
- 1 x USB 3.0 Micro SD Reader
- 1 x VancityUAV Cleaning kit
Plus all of the DJI manufacturer accessories:
- 1 x Aircraft
- 1 x Remote Controller
- 1 x Intelligent Flight Battery
- 1 x Charger
- 1 x Power Cable
- 3 x Propeller(pair)
- 1 x RC Cable (Lightning Connector)
- 1 x RC Cable (Standard Micro USB Connector)
- 1 x RC Cable (USB Type-C Connector)
- 1 x Gimbal Protector
- 1 x Communication Cable(USB 3.0 Type-C)
- 1 x USB Adapter
- 1 x RC Cable Slider (Large)
- 2 x RC Cable Slider (Small)
- 1 x Spare Control Sticks (Pair)
The drone itself is also a behemoth of technological advancement.
The Mavic 2 Zoom comes with a 2X optical zoom camera, an 8km control distance, omnidirectional obstacle sensing, and a 31-minute flight time.
The Mavic 2 Zoom's camera isn't advertised to be as good as its counterpart (12MP vs 20MP).
However, the Mavic 2 Zoom comes with a "super resolution mode," which gives it the ability to stitch 9 photos together and take super high resolution 48 megapixel still photos.
Also, if the camera is set to 1080p, you can zoom from 24mm to 96mm (4X zoom), take a 360-degree panorama, and render it ready for sharing on social media.
The Mavic 2 Zoom is all about giving pilots added flexibility to be creative with their aerial shots.
- Excellent Fly More Combo Package.
- Stable wind flyer.
- 12MP stills (normal mode).
- 48MP stills (super resolution mode).
- 360-degree panoramas.
- Up to 4X optical zoom.
- 8km control distance.
- 31-minute flight time.
- Omnidirectional obstacle sensing.
- Follow the directions and read the manual thoroughly, as DJI has neglected to advertise many of the Mavic 2 Zoom's more advanced features in their advertising.
5. Best Budget Professional GPS Drone - DJI Phantom 3 Standard
DJI does it again with the Phantom 3. At a very economical price, this drone gives you some impressive features, plus it has a flight time of up to 25 minutes with the intelligent battery included with your purchase.
The 3-axis stabilized, integrated camera allows for 12 MP stills and 2.7K video. A live video feed provides you a 720p HD real-time view of what your camera sees right on your mobile phone. This live-feed is streamed on the free DJI Go app from a drone up to .5 miles away.
The GPS features of this drone help you focus on taking great pictures and video while safely flying. Follow Me, Waypoints, and Point of Interest modes help you achieve advanced perspectives with the camera.
I really like that this drone is anything but standard. It’s the perfect drone for a first-time pilot. It flies as high and fast as other more expensive models as well as taking beautiful photographs.
- Up to 25 minutes of flight time
- Autonomous flight
- 720p HD real-time view on your mobile device
- Multiple autonomous modes
- 12 MP still pictures and 2.7K video
- Firmware updates can be confusing.
6. Best Under $200 - Holy Stone HS100
While not the lowest price, the Holy Stone HS100 does not disappoint with amazing features and modes.
Using GPS, this drone provides accurate details of your drone’s position and includes a Return-to-Home function so that it will automatically return home when its signal is weak, or it's about to be out of range.
This offers great peace of mind that you’ll never lose your drone again.
The Holy Stone HS100 is optimized for a 120-degree field-of-view, 720p FPV (first-person view) WIFI camera with an adjustable 90-degree angle. This means this drone produces stunning, high-quality pictures and videos.
You can even have real-time viewing right on your remote control so you can see just what your drone does. This drone has the perfect camera to capture birds-eye view selfies.
It has a flight time of up to 15 minutes because of the 2500mAH battery that comes included. This economical drone can reach up to 500m away while still allowing you maximum control.
The Follow Me Mode allows the drone to follow you and take pictures or video no matter where you move, within range of course. Other features include Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, and One Key Takeoff and Landing making it easy to operate.
Personally, I love that people of all ages can fly the Holy Stone HS100 easily. It's incredibly responsive and easy to fly.
All of the modes work well making this a very smooth machine to operate.
- The optimized 720p FPV WIFI camera
- Autonomous flight
- Several great modes such as Follow Me Mode, Headless Mode, Altitude Hold, and One Key Take Off and Landing
- Takes beautiful pictures and videos
- Amazing prize for such great features
- Can be more difficult to learn with than other models in this guide.
How Does GPS Work on a Drone?
While the competent pilot flies his or her drone fairly easily with visual tracking, GPS provides excellent features that make flying a drone even simpler. GPS capabilities increase the number of tasks that your drone can handle on its own.
GPS stands for global positioning system, and it’s a navigation system that utilizes radio signals from orbiting satellites to calculate time, position, and speed. It was created in 1973 by the United States military because they needed a precise navigation system for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
This navigation system is the most accurate of all other forms, usually within a few meters of the desired location. Advanced GPS even provides accuracy to within centimeters of a specific area.
What is Autopilot Capability?
Essentially, autopilot allows your drone to fly to waypoints autonomously. Autopilot systems consist of GPS, a flight controller, and any additional equipment needed to keep the UAV stable while its out flying.
I love using drones for excellent photography and video that only aerial dimension can add. The autopilot and GPS features allow you to do this with less likelihood that your drone will crash into objects such as trees or buildings.
Benefits of GPS Drones
GPS drones have several benefits. I, for one, love how they help me fly my drone steadier. With GPS your drone can maintain a position at a fixed location and altitude. Of equal importance, GPS makes a flight log so that you can use it to locate your drone if it crashes.
GPS also helps you avoid flying into objects. Autopilot keeps your drone away from objects and places that it shouldn’t fly such as airports or in restricted airspace.
A drone with autopilot can also fly a predetermined route by using established GPS waypoints that define the course. Drones that have GPS also return home with the push of the home button because they remember the location that they left from.
You can inspect objects, gather aerial images and data, and take videos with quality that blows away other methods. These drones also let you set a designated height so that you don’t fly over 400 feet, generally one of the most challenging things to do when flying manually.
Are GPS Drones Expensive?
GPS drones come in a broad range of prices, from simpler models costing $200 to models with some serious features that can cost $4,000 and more. Just like any other tech gadget that you buy, the more bells and whistles, the more expensive the drone will be.
Luckily, GPS receivers are available to anyone because technology advances have miniaturized their integrated circuits. GPS radio systems broadcast almost anywhere on the planet.
How to Choose a GPS Drone
There are several factors to consider when choosing which GPS drone to purchase. The quality of these features can significantly increase the price, depending on what other features the drone offers.
Camera quality is paramount. Many people use drones to obtain high-quality photos so it's critical to decide what quality of camera you need and balance that with what you can afford.
Flight time is another critical factor to consider. Shorter battery times for drones are no fun, especially depending on the range that you intend to use your drone for. For aerial photography, longer flight times are necessary.
Another important consideration is the range of your drone. Keep in mind that the longer the flight range that your drone has, the less chance you have of losing signal and control. Flight range significantly boosts your photographic and videography possibilities.
Autopilot capability and autonomous flight modes are other essential factors to weigh when choosing the best drone for you. Autopilot capability is vital for aerial photogrammetry, multispectral imaging, and 3D mapping. Drones in autopilot mode can monitor and adjust their positions thousands of times each second.
Autonomous flight modes allow you to set your drone to circle over points of interest, home lock, and course lock. You can also set multiple waypoints for automatic flying that enables you to focus on the camera if your videoing or taking photos.
What types of professional or recreational pilots would benefit most from GPS-enabled drone models?
Professional photographers and videographers would obviously benefit the most from GPS drones. However, bloggers and vloggers would also benefit depending on the topic.
Many urban explorers take extensive pictures and videos for their vlogs and blogs. There is nothing better than aerial perspectives for taking photos and videos of castles and abandoned places, especially those where trespassing is frowned upon.
Professional pilots that offer 3D mapping, multispectral imaging, and aerial photogrammetry also need GPS-enabled drones, as these services require stability and precision.
Event planners could also benefit from these drones. Anyone like a wedding planner that frequently needs to plan destination events could use a GPS drone to take photos circling over a point of interest. Media teams will also benefit from these great drones.
Who Are These Drones Best For?
Most of these drone models are for pilots with businesses involving photography, videography, or imaging or for those pilots that enjoy these activities recreationally.
These models are probably too complicated and expensive for children and teenagers who just want a drone to fly around and do cool things.