BEST PICK

Best GPS Drones On The Market: Paving The Way for Smarter Drone Movements

GPS Ready
Jack Brown
Written by Jack Brown

Drones have indeed become the latest talk of the town now. It is one of the favorite gifts for all occasions and people from 8 to 80 are enjoying the adventure provided by drones. Be it the efficient aerial photography options or even the idea of drones delivering packages to doorsteps, more and more people are welcoming the idea of reducing human labor and accepting the GPS drone into their lives.

These drones include the likes of tricopters, quadcopters, hexacopters, octacopters, and others and each of these varieties comes with different specifications and power capacities. Using these devices to their fullest potential can do your flying skills and love for adventure a world of good.

The popularity of the drone is on the rise, however, only a few know the high-end features the drones come equipped with. One of such features is the GPS connectivity. GPS has indeed blessed the drones, making them a lot simpler and more useful keeping track of your drone during its flight mid air. Sounds amazing, no?

Let’s dig a little deeper on GPS drones, presenting before you the best GPS drones in the market – in case you need one!

The best models on the market

3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter

The first product on our list comes from the house of 3D Robotics. This supremely stylish copter is one of the best that you will ever come across. This model is said to be the world’s first smart drone as it is also known as the only drone with a brain. This is entirely powered by a couple of 1 GHz computers, making it a very user friendly product.

Made with world class technologies and ideas, this drone also features a camera gimbal to attach your GoPro and get one of the smoothest experiences of aerial photography. You get wireless live video streaming to ensure that you get a real life experience of being a pilot.

3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter

One of the reasons why this drone comes with enhanced camera functions and response is its Powerful Smart Shot Technology that makes capturing pictures interesting and smooth. Another exciting feature for this drone is the Follow Me module. This facilitates the drone to follow you, maybe on your road trip or just for a selfie wherever you go, hands free. This quadcopter can now be controlled from your phone and you can enjoy all the action.

Lastly, one of the selling points of this device is the GPS autopilot. This ensures that your device is locked in its position for the best results. You can fix up a target and ask the drone to move around it using the GPS autopilot mode to get the best 360 degree shot.

Like this amazing product? Then you can buy it from Amazon.

Walkera TALI H500 GPS Hexacopter

Up next is a super hexacopter that will give you one of the best flight experiences. It has a smooth and stable flight that gives you a whole new adventure. When it comes to power, a hexacopter seems to do far better than a quadcopter. This particular product is an excellent camera drone that will give you some really clear and crisp pictures from mid air. It has a stylish design with 6 arms and a very efficient structure.

But to be honest, you would need some prior experience to fly this drone with all its superior features. But it is easy and convenient to fly nevertheless, with the retractable landing gear that seems to provide great support.

Walkera TALI H500 GPS Hexacopter

What will amaze you the most about this device is its flight time of about 20 to 25 minutes which is pretty impressive. This is obtained on a single charge, thanks to 5400 mAH batteries. The device can fly up to a distance of about 1 km which assures you a pretty good range of action. Another exciting feature of this hexacopter drone is its GPS function. This enables the copter to remain aware of its position of takeoff.

The return to home feature is a consequence of GPS technology. There is also another feature of Position Hold that lets it hover around in its position. The 3 axes gimbal is the key to taking stable and crisp picture, one of the reasons why this model is such a favorite amongst the users.

Like this product? Then you can buy it here.

DJI S1000 Octocopter

When we are talking about drones, we cannot leave out an octocopter, especially if that is as exciting as the DJI S1000 octocopter. This particular product has been designed keeping in mind heavy lifting operations that would allow you to incorporate heavy equipment on the frame and carry it around. This is one of the reasons why this octocopter is most popularly known for its photographic abilities.

Combine this copter with the Zenmus Z15 and use a Canon 5D Mark II to get some of the best aerial shots. The propellers add to the strength of the device, providing immense power for this drone.

DJI S1000 Octocopter

Next, let us talk about its ease of use. Firstly, the drone is portable because of the folding design. Also, since the device is made from carbon fiber, this becomes a lightweight structure that tends to remain stable in air even if there is a rotor lost during its flight. Also, its GPS features allows the device to return safely back to its place of takeoff since it can keep track of this position.

Now, we talk about the setup. This drone has a very easy and convenient installation. It takes about 5 minutes for pre flight preparation time and then it is good to go for a swing. The drone has a total takeoff weight of 11 kg which is quite a lot for drones. Besides, this copter can give a flight time of 15 minutes, which is enough for good aerial shots.

Like this product? Then you can purchase it on Amazon.

DJI Spreading Wings S900 Professional Hexacopter

The next product on our list is yet another master class from the house of DJI, a name well-known in the world of drones. This is very similar in structure to the well-acclaimed DJI S1000, except that this model is made as a hexacopter, with six arms. As DJI products usually are, this drone is well equipped to serve the needs of the enthusiasts of aerial photography.

Combined with the Zenumuse Z15 gimbal, this device can give rise to some of the most stable pictures mid air. Being made from carbon fiber, this can decrease the overall weight of the product. Also, it has foldable arms that make it portable, especially for outdoor use.

DJI Spreading Wings S900 Professional Hexacopter

Coming to the battery life, this GPS drone can work a full 18 minutes for a full charge of the battery. This is pretty impressive for a drone of this size. Why we call this hexacopter an efficient device is because it can work in tandem with a number of sensors to give you the most memorable flight experience. These sensors include the GPS, gyros, barometer and some others.

With features like Intelligent Orientation Control and Return to Home feature, this drone has become one of the top choices for the users. When we talk about hexacopters, this is one of the most reliable products you will come across. It comes packed with improved motors and a more advanced power distribution system. The latter ensures that there are no wires jutting out of the structure during the flight.

Like this great product? Then you can buy it here.

Cheerson CX20

The best is always kept for the last, which is why now we are talking about the grand and classy Cheerson CX20. This is an FPV quadcopter with an efficient camera system. This means that this device can transmit live video feed to get a first person view of your flight. This is as close as it can get to being a real pilot on a quad.

When it comes to the GPS functions, this is one of the most well known drones. Firstly, it has a GPS Return to home feature. This makes sure that the quadcopter returns to its point of takeoff even if you happen to lose control of the device or lose track of the transmitter. Also, the GPS sensor allows the pilot to switch between different flight modes to get the best experience.

Cheerson CX20

Now, when it comes to navigation and movement, there are two particular features that tend to aid the device. Firstly, it is the Intelligent Orientation Control that helps your drone to settle down. Secondly, there are high intensity LED lights attached on the body of the copter that allow you to maneuver it even when it is dark.

Talking about the batteries, the setup works on the 2500 mAh Lithium batteries that take about 2 hours to get charged. Once charged, the drone can fly for a good 15 minutes. With an easy to assemble kit and an open source interface, this device definitely stands out among the rest.

If you interested you can buy it here.

Why do we need GPS connectivity for our drones?

Drones have undoubtedly achieved popularity like never before. The enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals – all are equally excited to try their hands out on drones. With dozens of features that the drones are coming installed with, features are the major factors distinguishing the drones after their price.

In this context, GPS connectivity is one of the most valuable features to have in your drone. Now, more often than not, you might have to shed off a few more dollars to buy GPS drones. But the question is, is that GPS feature worth the extra money for your new copter?

Drone with GPS

Well, to be honest, if your sole motive is flying it indoors or within constricted spaces, then the GPS feature is not one of the necessary ones. On the other hand, if you want to be able to take this device out for a spin, outdoors, in open spaces or on vacations, this is a must have. To help you have a clearer idea of the feature, let us talk about some of the special advantages offered by GPS drones.

Position hold

This is one of the modern features offered by drones with GPS. Before we proceed further, let us know what this option actually means. Flying a drone means always controlling the device from your transmitter. However, sometimes, if you take the drone to say about 7 feet off the ground, you could let it hover on its own and maintain its position right there in mid air.

Flying a drone with hd camera

This means you could let go of your controller and enjoy while the drone works on its own. This feature is especially useful if you are just about learning how to fly these aerial vehicles. You could take a moment and think about which direction you want to go next.

Return to Home

This is the next big advantage offered by GPS drones. As the name suggests, this feature allows you to return to your place of takeoff so that you can get your drone back in case of accidents. Sometimes, it might happen that you lose control over your drone because it goes out of signal or even if the device is working on low battery.

Return to Home

In these situations, the return to home button will help the drone figure its way back to the takeoff point. This is especially useful if you are a newbie in this business and are trying to get your hands set.

Autonomous flight

The next feature we are going to talk about is a really exciting one and is called the autonomous flight. This gives the user the extra thrill of flying an unmanned aircraft. A lot of the new drones come packed with this option, but users might not always understand it. What happens here is that you setup a destination and a track way for your drone’s flight in mid air, using your computer or tablet.

Autonomous flight

Once that is done and set, you can let your drone go free and it will follow the same route while you can sit back and relax or watch the live camera feed from your copter. Or you could also just keep adjusting the camera position instead of the whole drone. This feature attracts a lot of enthusiasts and that is why drones with the option for autonomous flight have become really popular. You can now watch your drone embark on its journey through the air.

Ability to avoid forbidden areas

This particular feature tries to give you a better and smoother flight experience. Usually, it happens that there are a lot of places, like airports, where drones are not really welcome. With the help of the GPS function, you can limit your drone to fly in areas that are safe and avoid the ones where you shouldn’t be flying.

Drone crash

This is done with the Safe Flight Technology, in accordance with GPS. This means that, even in the air, where your only contact with the drone is via the transmitter, it will be able to fly only in the legal and safe places, without causing you any troubles. This is a great advantage of the GPS system.

GPS drones: waypoint GPS navigation

One of the main advantages of the GPS feature in drones is the waypoint navigation. This means that your drone will now be able to work on its own and fly the desired route, once you have correctly setup the upcoming pathway for the device.

GPS Waypoint navigation

It will basically follow a set of pre-planned points that have been configured into the navigational software of the copter. These instructions include the likes of the height to maintain, the speed to fly at, the route to take and the destination to reach. Having said that, let us now find out some of the applications of the drones’ waypoint navigation.

  • Project site surveys. One of the biggest help provided by these GPS drones is the project site surveys. By this method, the drone can be configured to follow a particular pathway and reach the first survey path, take information and photographs and then follow on to the next. These can be used to assess railway tracks, archeological sites and the likes.
  • Helping the environment. Another use of the waypoint navigation feature is its application in conservation of the environment. Some areas might be more adversely affecting the environment by coastal pollution, illegal dumping of wastes and the likes. The drone can help you trace these locations so that possible solutions could be worked out.
  • Agriculture. Agricultural drones are a special type of this device which help improve the agricultural produce of the site. These can help the farmers trace out newer ways of increasing the total crop yield, find out the areas of greater potential and also help reduce crop damage. All of these are carried out by drones with special sensors that work particularly well on agricultural lands.
  • Good delivery. The last and the most innovative use of GPS drones is the process of goods delivery. This is, however a plan for the future with significant work being done to achieve it. When this particular feature is put to use, you would basically be working without a delivery man. For instance, if a few parcels are to be delivered at points A, B and C, the drone can be configured to work in that manner.
    It will trace out the route till A firstly. Then it will move on to B and C. This means a lot of human labor is being eliminated in the process. There are, however, quite a few obstacles to get over. A popular online shopping portal is working towards making use of drones to get their products delivered in the matter of only 30 minutes. But for that drones will have to be built with higher flight times.

We have indeed come across a number of possible uses for drones with GPS. If these can be implemented well, a lot of human work and labor will get sufficiently reduced.

Not sure what model to buy?

There are a number of drones with GPS in the market, each coming with its own set of properties and features. While some facilitate the exclusive autopilot system, some others allow the return to home option. Yes, we have seen the major advantages provided to the users by this GPS technology.

We have also come across a number of products that might be useful for you. Now, a question might arise in your mind, as to which one of these is the most ideal model to purchase and try your hand at flying! The device you buy will depend on your preference and experience. But here are some points to note and work on.

When we talk about drones, one of the strongest varieties is the quadcopter. When it is teamed with twin 1 GHz computers, there is indeed no stopping it. This is what the 3DR Solo quadcopter is all about. It is a power packed device that comes with some of the most stable and efficient camera functions. You could fit in a GoPro and you are good to go. The GPS autopilot adds a new dimension to the concept of aerial photography. Taking a 260 degree view is an easy task now. With the Follow feature and a lot more, this is the ideal GPS quad copter for you.

3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter

On the other hand, if you want a device that gives you efficient performances over a prolonged period of time, the TALI H500 should be your first choice here. It offers a flight time of about 20 to 25 minutes for best results in aerial photography.

TALI H500

GPS technology allows the usage of Position Hold and Return to Home features which help in smoother navigation. The landing gear is another aspect of the device that you can look forward to for better maneuverability. Add to that, the range of 1 km makes this drone a really exciting prospect. If you want some power, go for this hexacopter.

When we talk about efficient flight times, there is another drone that appears in the discussion. This is the DJI S1000. This gives a flight time of about 15 minutes. This is slightly less if you compare it with the TALI H500, but significantly more than other drones. The best aspect of this device is its ability to carry superior cameras which are slightly heavy in structure. This gives aerial photography a new dimension and a lot of enthusiasts are keeping their faith in this model now. The fact that it is portable makes it a real catch for the users.

DJI S1000

On a similar note, we present to you another product from DJI that goes by the name of DJI S900. This is a power packed hexacopter that has been well accepted among the users. For starters, its ability to take clear pictures is a major advantage.

Add to that its foldable and portable design that gives it the perfect structure. With a flight time of 18 minutes with a heavy camera, there is hardly anyone this drone will not impress. If you want safety and reliability, you can count on the DJI S900 for best results.

DJI S900 Spreading Wings Hexacopter

Another drone known for its efficient GPS functions is the Cheerson CX20. It is a stable and sturdy device with good camera options and a number of features for smooth flights including the likes of the autopilot system and the Return to Home feature.

Cheerson CX20

However, if you are a beginner, looking to have some fun with quads, this might not be the ideal product for you since it requires some previous knowledge and experience in flying. On the plus side, there are safe mode flights which can make your job significantly easier. Also, its compatibility with a lot of spare parts makes it an exciting buy!

Pros:

  • The GPS technology gives you an overall controlled experience of flying. You tend to work less on the device’s controls and more on enjoying the flight.
  • If your drone is ever lost due to lack of charge or lose of connectivity, your GPS function will bring it back home.
  • GPS drones are also able to maintain certain pre determined pathways and get out on a ride of its own.
  • A lot of applications in terms of site surveys, agricultural land inspection, and environmental inspection are carried out with the help of GPS drones.

Cons:

  • One of the biggest concerns of GPS drones is their price. You would have to pay a lot more to get your drone to feature the GPS technology.
  • Automatic drones could encounter issues like obstacles on its pathway during its flight and also a low battery life could reduce the total working capacity of GPS drones.

We for sure would have missed some info or the other. Do you want to share something with us, or have certain query? Let us know in the comments.

About the author
Jack Brown
Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at MyDroneLab.com bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.

  • Andrew Miller

    Cheerson CX20 – great model. Cheap, very light, supports lots of customization. From the other side, it is not for beginners. Good experience is a must, landing skids are not very reliable.

  • Thanks for sharing with us your opinion, Andrew.

  • Justin Banks

    Thanks for the explanation of the GPS function on the drones, now I understand. It turns out it’s a great feature for safe flights, especially in towns and cities. I had the tendency to search for cheaper models, but now I understand why you should invest a bit more if you want more than a toy.

  • Definitely Justin. You need to pay a bit higher price for better models.

  • Elliot Giles

    The 3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter is my personal favourite. From the gps point of view, it’s one of the strongest in my opinion. But Solo is the worst drone amongst its competitors in regards to range.

    • True, but since it can follow you pretty good at both slow runs and high speed actions, it doesn’t have to go far away from you, it is where the action is 😉

  • Marvin St. James

    The price of the CHEERSON CX20 is amazing. But this quad is not 100% ready to fly. You will have to do some research. With a few DIYs, you can make the best out of this quad. It’s actually a powerful drone. It’s definitely worth it.

  • Jack Brown

    Actually, I can’t agree with you on this one, Marvin. All you need to do is to attach the propellers, charge the battery, and install the controller batteries and you are ready to fly. This is the case with all the RTF drone models.

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