When DJI releases a new drone, many questions pop into the minds of drone hobbyists and enthusiasts. One of the most commonly asked questions is how far the drones can fly away from their controller. With the latest release of the DJI Mini 3 Pro, many experiments are online and posted on YouTube. This article has combined the data from recent YouTube experiments to give you an idea of the DJI Mini 3 Pro range.
According to online experiments, the average distance the Mini 3 Pro can travel away from its controller is 2834.5 m for both controller types. The maximum distance was 4900 m in a rural environment, and the shortest was 330 m in an urban environment before losing signal.
DJI does not offer these experiments as part of its spec sheet, so it is important that people buy the latest model drones and fly them to their limits. The more you see people testing the limits of the drone, the more confident you get when flying.
Here is the reported specifications of the aircraft provided by DJI.
Reported DJI Mini 3 Pro range
According to DJI, the maximum flight distance depends on the battery and speed of flight.
For video transmission, the DJI Mini 3 Pro offers a maximum transmission range of 12 km and video quality of up to 1080p to 30 frames per second. The remote control is able to work at 2.4 and 5.8 GHz and will select the best transmission channel automatically to achieve a balance between video quality and transmission distance.
The maximum flight distance for the DJI Mini 3 Pro is:
- 18 km (with Intelligent Flight Battery and measured while flying at 43.2 kph in windless conditions)
- 25 km (with Intelligent Flight Battery Plus  and measured while flying at 43.2 kph in windless conditions)
An important thing to note is that this is not the range the drone can achieve. The distances reported above are the distances the drone can fly on one battery in windless conditions.
If you mistake these distances for the range, you’d be disappointed with the drone.
Another very important point that comes into play (and ultimately ends up limiting the distance) is the transmission range of the remote control.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro comes with the option of two remote controllers, the RC-N1 and the DJI RC.
Both controllers feature Ocusync O3, DJI’s proprietary video transmission system.
The technology is reported to offer a maximum transmission range of 12 km in high definition. However, there have been multiple online reports of the Mini 3 Pro range being much shorter than advertised and nowhere near the 12 km distance.
Each country has different laws and regulations regarding how powerful the transmission can be, so most developed countries will not be able to realise the maximum transmission range of 12 km.
Here is the real-world data from YouTube experiments of the mini 3 Pro range tests; some of the results may surprise you.
Data from YouTubers – Mini 3 Pro Range
I took ten Mini 3 Pro range test videos from various sources. Some YouTube channels are very popular, whilst others have very few subscribers.
I was sure to find drones flown in different parts of the world in varying environments. This includes rural and urban locations, so we could see the difference between the two most commonly flown environments.
Here is the graph summarising the Data I collected from 10 YouTube videos and the numerical data from which the graph is created.
Here is the data from which the graph is created.
|YouTube Channel||Distance RC-N1 (m)||DJI RC (m)||Environment|
|TECH DRONE MEDIA||2798||2849||Rural|
|Tones Drone Adventures||4656||Rural|
|Philly Drone Life||3149||3090||Urban|
|Ken Heron||3836||Highway (not flying)|
In summary, the average distance that every YouTuber was able to achieve was 2834.5 metres away from the remote controller.
Despite the large spread of distances in the videos, there was no difference between the two remote controllers that can operate the Mini 3 Pro. The RC – N1 and the DJI RC both offer the same range on average.
The urban environment resulted in a much shorter range than a rural area. This shorter range is not unexpected due to the types of electromagnetic noise and obstacles in urban environments.
An interesting experiment that Ken Heron ran shows us that the drone can connect up to 3836 m away when not flying and is placed on the back of a car.
Take home points from data
It can be complicated to distil the most important bits of information out of tables and graphs so here is everything you need to notice about the different elements of the graph.
Here are the important take-home points are shown by my study into the Mini 3 Pro range.
No difference in controller average
The Mini 3 Pro comes with two remote control options. The RC – N1 and the DJI RC.
On average, there is no difference between the two remote controllers, with the RC – N1 reaching a maximum distance of 2836 m and the DJI RC reaching a maximum distance of 2833 m.
Urban environments affect the range
The urban environment significantly impacts the range that you can achieve with the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
On average, the urban environment results in a range of 1818 m, whilst a rural environment results in a distance of 3472 m.
Flying your Mini 3 Pro in a rural setting can result in a 90% increase in range, according to my data.
The maximum distance achieved in a rural setting was 4900 m with the RC – N1 remote control. The maximum distance achieved in an urban setting was 3149 m using the same remote control.
The urban environment is much noisier and has many more obstacles and elements in the immediate environment that can disrupt the communication between the drone and the remote control.
Quite a spread depending on the location
One of the most interesting things during my research is that there is a significant spread between the highest and lowest values recorded for the Mini 3 Pro range.
- QC GUY achieved the highest distance in a rural setting with a maximum distance of 4900 m.
- GAVINHR recorded the shortest range in an urban setting of 331 m using the RC – N1 and the DJI RC controllers.
The range seemed to be affected significantly by the environment in which the drone was being flown.
Here is a quick rundown of all the things that affect the DJI Mini 3 Pro range.
Things that affect the range
When you are flying your drone the direct line of sight between the drone and the remote controller will result in the best range and connection distance.
Many different types of environmental obstacles and objects can significantly change a drone’s range.
Direct line of sight
Ensuring that you have a direct line of sight with your drone is not just for keeping your flight legal but will also result in the longest range.
For all of the remote controls the signal between the aircraft and the remote controller is most reliable when the remote control is positioned towards the aircraft.
For both of the remote controllers here are the recommended orientations by DJI:
Trees are a drone pilot’s worst nightmare. You can easily lose connection if there is a tree between your remote control and the drone.
Organic materials such as leaves, bark, and other growing items are perfect for absorbing the signal.
I have found that even the lightest of foliage coverage results in a significant signal loss.
Buildings cannot only get in between your drone and the remote control but also reflect the signals in such a manner that they destructively interfere with each other.
An urban environment can have a very complicated electromagnetic background noise. The background signal can easily confuse your drone connection and result in a much shorter range than in a rural environment.
I regularly fly near the limits of my local airport. I often get warnings about interference from strong aircraft instruments and transmissions.
If you regularly fly near an airport I would recommend staying close to the remote control to ensure that the connection is reliable and strong.
I have found that metallic objects such as large metallic fences, reinforced concrete, and other structures can result in reduced signal strength and connection between the remote control and the drone.
Urban environments are full of these types of structures, so the drone needs to work harder to decipher the signal from the background noise and other interference from metallic objects.
Wifi and Cell Phones
Wi-Fi and cell phones can cause confusion for your drone.
Wi-Fi is now very common in urban environments and our cell phone data can also cause confusion between the drone and the remote control.
Drones are getting better at connecting to the remote control thanks to advances in proprietary connection software such as DJI’s OcuSync technology.
However, urban environments full of extra electromagnetic radiation can cause connection issues.
We have taken a look at the DJI mini 3 Pro range tests presented on the Internet and synthesised the data into common ranges achieved by this drone in real-world environments.
The take-home messages include:
- the remote control type does not have a significant impact on the range
- urban environments can result in a significantly reduced range
- the average distance achieved was 2834.5 m for both controller types
- the shortest distance was 330 m in an urban environment
- when the drone is not flying, it can connect to the remote control up to 3836 m away.