How Long Do Drones Last?

Electronics & Computers

​Toy drones only fly for a few minutes. They are light, flimsy, and come with weak batteries, which are also all the features that allow them to remain expensive. If you want to operate your drone for more than 10 minutes, then you need a professional set-up, right? Not necessarily.

A long-lasting drone doesn’t need to cost a few thousand dollars and come with all the bells and whistles. In our opinion, you can tell a lot about a drone’s longevity based on its flight time.

You can get half an hour (in ideal conditions) out of one charge when you choose the right drone. These drones three things in common: they’re light and aerodynamic, they offer efficient motors, and they use high-quality lithium batteries. These components also allow the drone to last for a long time even with heavy use.

Do you need to buy the most expensive drone on the market to get all these things? Not anymore because the top drone producers now offer a wide range of stock that combines lighter features with the battery life we love.

​Comparison Table

How We Chose Our Drones

White drone displayed on the table

​Image Source: ​Unsplash

How long do drones last? It depends on the make, model, and battery, so that’s what we looked at as we sorted through our long-list of drones.

The products that made it to the short list are those with a design that offer an extended battery life (around or greater than 25 minutes).

We relied heavily on specs and flight time to ensure we found the drones with the best construction and the best battery life so that you can invest in and get to know one drone throughout the years.

How Long Do Drones Last? 6 Drones with Extended Battery Life

Man testing How Long Do Drones Last

​Image Source: Pixabay

Want to fly for a minimum of 25 minutes? Take on your expedition with one of these high-performance drones that operates for 25 minutes or longer in ideal conditions.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter with Fly More Combo, 3 Batteries,...
  • Sold By DJI Authorized Dealer. SanDisk 128GB Micro SD, Smatree Water Waterproof Hard Carrying Case, 30-inch Landing Pad,...
  • 3 x DJI Original Mavic 2 Batteries in Total, DJI Original Fly More Kit, PGYTECH Filter and Pad Holder
  • Up to 31 Minutes Flight Time, 44 mph Max Speed, 2 lbs Takeoff Weight, 3-axis Gimbal for Steady Shots, 8GB Internal...

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom boasts an extended flight time of 31 minutes and can cross five miles on a single charge, which makes it one of the longest flying drones on the market.

A DJI Mavic 2 Zoom offers so much more than battery life—even though 31 minutes is already superior to almost everything else on the market. It combines the best-loved features of the unbeatable DJI Mavic 2 Pro with more consideration for your budget.

If there was a reason to buy the Mavic 2 Zoom besides half an hour of flight time, then it is the camera included. The Mavic 2 Zoom features a 2x optical zoom camera with a video transmission distance of eight kilometers with still retaining full 1080p HD.

While the Mavic 2 Pro Hasselblad camera is arguably better, but the two drones are otherwise identical. In essence, the Mavic 2 Zoom camera is smaller and more symmetrical, and you sacrifice the sensor size compared to the Pro. However, you do get a zoom lens whereas the Pro offers a fixed lens.

The zoom lens means you can take on different shots and exercise more creative freedom when in the field.

We also like the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom because it comes in incredible combo packs. You can pick up as many as three batteries with the drone, which means you can put together 90 minutes of flying fun when you bring three fully-charged batteries out with you.

Parrot Bebop 2 - Red
  • Enhanced 14 megapixel fish-eye lens offers 1080p video recording and image capture
  • 25 minutes of flight time thanks to a powerful 2700 mAh battery
  • Equipped with powerful motors for flight in greater altitudes

The Parrot Bebop 2 is a lightweight drone that brings 25 minutes of flight time to the table. Weighing in at only 500 grams, it is a small and efficient and packs a 2700 mAh battery that keeps it flying but does not weigh it down.

What specs does it offer? You’ll get:

  • ​14-megapixel camera featuring a fish-eye lens (4906 x 3072 pixels)
  • ​16 meter-per-second max horizontal speed
  • ​Six meter-per-second max upward speed
  • ​Full HD 1080p video with 3-axis control (1920 x 1080p and 30 fps)
  • ​Parrot digital stabilization
  • ​2700 mAh battery
  • ​GPS
  • ​8 GB flash storage
  • ​WIFI Connectivity
  • ​300-meter signal range

We like the Parrot Bebop 2 because it offers bundles that compare to the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. If you pick up the Fly Longer pack, you can get three batteries that offer 75 minutes of flight time. It’s the cumulative flight time that shows just how long a few extras of extra time add to your experience.

However, we also like the Cockpitglasses that create an AR/VR experience and allow you to experience your drone like never before. Parrot offers apps and AR experiences that generally impress us, and we recommend the apps available for piloting and learning.

Blade Chroma 4K Camera Drone Bundle with Flight Case & Second Flight...
  • Captures smooth, steady aerial video in stunning 4K definition
  • No-distortion camera lens eliminates fisheye effect
  • Easy to fly - no experience necessary

The Blade Chroma offers a long-lasting 6300 mAH LiPo flight battery that provides 30 minutes of approximate flight time with full 4K video.

We like this drone because unlike others, it is relatively compact and is easy to pack down and take on the road.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, then this drone offers just enough features without being overkill. It includes following and tracking capabilities for making cool videos, but it does require supervision. Unlike DJI products, it doesn’t come with autonomous flight features.

At the same time, the all-in-one controller makes operating the drone easy and fun. Unlike many drones, it doesn’t force you to use a controller and a smartphone for live views. You get both in one with the ST10+ controller.

​Other specs include:

  • ​Stabilized CGO3 4K camera
  • ​5.8GHz video link
  • ​Video link range of 1,970 feet
  • ​GPS
  • ​780Kv Brushless Outrunner Motor
  • ​2.9-pound flying weight (no FAA registration required)

If you worry about the autonomy, all you need to do is turn on your adjustable flight boundaries. You’ll keep your altitude and distance in check even under challenging conditions. Plus, there is a return home function called Safe Landings, which sends the drone back to the start point and lands automatically.

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus Hexacopter with ST16S Smart Controller, 1-Inch...
  • Capture 4K Video and 20MP Photos. 360-Degree Image and Video Capture. 3-Axis Sensor-Driven Image Stabilization
  • Up to 1 Mile 2.4/5.8 GHz Wi-Fi Range. Flight Controller with 7" Touch Screen.
  • Up to 30 Minutes of Flight Time.

The Yuneec Typhon H is a small drone with a considerable emphasis on advanced photography and videography. Like the Blade Chroma, it offers 4K video quality but also includes a 12-megapixel camera. However, it provides a slightly shorter flight time of 25 minutes, which is still a very decent range.

Don’t worry about the loss of two to five minutes of flight time compared to other drones. The Typhoon H is a professional grade drone with flawless execution

Unlike some of the other drones in this price range, the Yuneec Typhoon H doesn’t require an expert pilot at the helm. It offers several protections for those who are getting used to advanced drones or who fly in less than ideal conditions. Its protective measures include GPS stabilized flight control, eight flight modes, auto take-off and landing, and a five-rotor fail-safe.

It also includes several features that you won’t find in price-comparable DJI drones like the Phantom line. The Orbit Me feature allows you to set up a circular flight path that keeps the camera on you, so you don’t need to fiddle endlessly and waste precious battery time.

You can also use Journey mode to send it out 150 feet for the most epic selfie. If you don’t want to be the center of attention, set it to the point of Interest mode to choose a subject and allow the drone to train its camera and trajectory around it without direction from you. You can also carefully program a route for the drone using the Curve Cable-Cam.

One of our favorite features is the sonar collision prevention installed into the drone.

The DJI Mavic Pro is one of DJI’s biggest sellers, and with 27 minutes of flight time, it has one of the best batteries in the game.

In ideal flight conditions, you can fly further, faster, and for longer than most other drones. It offers a transmission range of 4.3 miles (when unobstructed) with a total flight range per charge of eight miles. 

It all happens because DJI provides it with an unparalleled motor. Even though the Mavic is smaller than the other premium models, like the Phantom 4, the reduction in size aids the high-efficiency motors to help it run longer even without a huge battery.

Other reasons to buy the DJI Mavic Pro include any reason you would otherwise buy DJI. You’ll get pure 4K video with 30 frames-per-second. Unlike other drones, DJI doesn’t add image stabilization, so every second of the footage appears in true 4K. 

You might worry about your videos without the stabilizing software, but the camera benefits from 3-axis gimbal that physically stabilizes the camera with epic precision even if flying conditions get in the way.

The camera also boasts 12-megapixels, which is on-par for drones of this type and on our list.

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The 3DR Solo differs from every other drone on the list because it isn’t feature-heavy. It’s a companion piece designed to complement an entirely different product. The 3DR matches the needs of the GoPro HERO with essential features like fight stability, GPS, and autonomous flying enabled by the twin computer flight control system.

If you want to attach a GoPro, then you’ll need to buy another piece, the Solo Gimbal, which works with either the HERO3+ or the HERO4 camera.

Because the drone is light on features, it is incredibly robust. 3DR makes products for construction sites and surveying, so you know it’s not a toy. It offers comparable but slightly better specs to the DJI Phantom 3 Standard, which comes at a far different price range.

The attractive minimalist design also allows it to be fast and easy to fly. Even though the design is sleek, it is a huge drone. It runs 19 inches across, and it weighs 3.35 pounds when you operate it with the gimbal and camera. You’ll need to register it with the FAA because it exceeds the minimum weight by 0.5 pounds.

What’s the battery life like? You get 20-22 minutes of flight time on a single charge from a 14.7v 5200-mAh battery. Not bad for a heavy-duty work drone.

Note: You can no longer buy the 3DR Solo consumer product directly from 3DR. It now only sells the worksite and commercial models. However, these are still available from retailers, and the warranty still stands on new products.

How to Extend Your Drone’s Battery Life

Flying white drone in the woods

​Image Source: Pixabay

Are you headed out on an adventure and think you’ll need more time than even two or three batteries will allow?

As we all know, the flight time provided by drone manufacturers doesn’t reflect actual flight time but ideal flight time—what you get when you fly in perfect conditions.

You’ll always get the most out of your battery when you don’t try to fly into the wind, but is there anything else you can do? Yes.

In addition to avoiding windy conditions, keep away from cold days. A cold battery struggles to release the charge it holds, so make sure it is stored in an insulated case and don’t leave spare batteries on the ground next to you.

Lightweight drones put less stress on the motor and thus the battery, so removing added parts to the drone is a good way to offload baggage and improve battery life. Taking off propeller guards removes a few grams or ounces, which makes a significant difference.

Another tip for extending battery life is to care for the battery properly. Charge it before you go out rather than the week before. Store it in a dark space that doesn’t experience temperature fluctuations. When using the battery, don’t rum it into the ground. You won’t have an opportunity to do this on any of the drones listed above, but it stands for cheaper drones or third-party batteries.

Finally, don’t be afraid to invest in more batteries. All lithium batteries die over time, and a brand new one will be like a hot shower for your drone.

​Featured Image Source: Pixabay

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