The guide x-rays the best phones for drone flying money can buy now.

You’d find on our list the best Android and iOS phones for drone flying without any latency and connection problems.

Our top picks are compatible with DJI Mavic Air 2, DJI Mavic  2 Pro, DJI Mavic Mini, DJI Mavic Mini 2, DJI Inspire 2 and more. These phones work great with the DJI Fly app.

From Samsung to Apple, we look at the best phones for drone flying without issues.

Best Phones for Drone Flying at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Editors’ Choice)    Check Price on Amazon
2 Apple iPhone 12 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy S20 Check Price on Amazon
4 OnePlus 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Sony Xperia 1   Check Price on Amazon
6 LG G8 ThinQ   Check Price on Amazon
7 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
8 Google Pixel 4a Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy S20+   Check Price on Amazon

 

 

1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Editors’ Choice)

best phones for drone flying

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Right now, our absolute favourite phone is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which also leads our list of the best phones for drone flying. The Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra is the best Android phone for drone flying.

A big part of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s appeal is its display. It delivers a stunning picture quality with its 120Hz refresh rate. The screen is very bright, too. You won’t have problems viewing drone images and videos, outdoors in real time.

Its build quality is reassuringly good.

The S21 Ultra is super fast thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset tucked inside it. With the impressive chipset and 12GB or 16GB of RAM tucked inside the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the smartphone truly delivers.

Weighing in at 0.50 pound (227g), the S21 Ultra isn’t the lightest smartphone in its class. It’s slightly heavier than the Apple iPhone 12 Pro (189g) and OnePlus 8 Pro (199 g).

Meanwhile, the phone comes in two major colours: Phantom Black and the attention-seeking Phantom Silver. There are other colours, nonetheless, including Phantom Brown, Phantom Titanium and Phantom Navy.

Another feature worth highlighting is the phone’s cameras. They are outstanding. The rear holds a 108MP (wide) main camera, 12MP (ultra wide) camera, 10MP (telephoto) lens with 3x zoom technology, and another 10MP telephoto lens, this time with a 10x zoom unlike the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max which manages 2.5x optical zoom. The S21 Ultra’s 40MP selfie camera is excellent as well.

If you want plenty of storage, the Samsung S21 Ultra is a good choice. Samsung has made available three storage variants on the S21 Ultra: 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB. The base model ships with 12GB of RAM. Need more RAM? Well, there is a 16GB RAM variant which costs even more.

The Samsung S21 Ultra isn’t without faults (what smartphone is?). However, the downsides are few and far between. You won’t find a microSD card slot. Also missing on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a charger in the box. — you won’t find this on most smartphones like the Xiaomi Mi 11 and iPhone 12 Pro right now.

With the 5000 mAh battery tucked inside the S21 Ultra, you may likely get an all-day battery performance, however, this depends on usage. Other smartphones like the Asus ROG Phone 5 have moved past the 24-hour battery life and are racing towards a 3-day mark.

Given its solid specs and impressive performance chops, the Samsung S21 Ultra remains our Editors’ Choice for the best phone for drone flying without a hitch.

PROS

  • Impressive AMOLED display
  • Super fast performance
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Fantastic pen integration
  • Very good cameras
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Expensive
  • No microSD card slot

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Key Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz display, 1440 x 3200 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
OS: Android 11
RAM: 12GB/16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Front Cameras: 40MP
Rear Cameras: 108MP, 10MP, 10MP, 12MP
Size: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 0.50 pound (227 g)
Battery: 5000 mAh

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2. Apple iPhone 12 Pro

best phones for drone flying

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Another outstanding phone for drone flying worthy of note is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro. It is the best iPhone for drone flying.  The iPhone 12 Pro is for those who are already invested in the Apple ecosystem.

Images on the iPhone 12 Pro’s OLED screen look quite impressive and colourful. And it’s bright enough to make viewing drone images, gaming, watching videos, browsing and social networking a pure joy.

Spec-wise, the iPhone 12 Pro sports the A14 Bionic chip which was first introduced in the 2020 iPad Air and iPhone 12. The smartphone is powered by Apple’s iOS 14 operating system.

The phone doesn’t really offer users many RAM choices as others (we’re looking at you, the Samsung S21 Ultra) in the same price range. However, it has a generous amount of storage. The iPhone 12 Pro comes with three storage options: 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. All configurations of the iPhone 12 Pro feature the same 6GB of RAM.

The A14 Bionic chip (which is slightly better in performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888) and 6GB of RAM inside the iPhone 12 Pro make it a very fast smartphone and an excellent proposition for drone flying.

What’s new with the iPhone 12 Pro? The 5G feature and Apple’s MagSafe tech. The 5G guarantees very fast data speeds. Apple’s MagSafe technology is a magnetic technology which creates a new ecosystem of accessories for easy attachment and faster wireless charging.

Camera selection on the iPhone 12 Pro is generous. The incredible cameras are one of the outstanding qualities of the iPhone 12 Pro. There are three camera setups on the rear: a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, a 12-megapixel main camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. On the front, is a 12-megapixel selfie camera.

One aspect that won’t bother everybody, but still bears mentioning, is that the iPhone 12 Pro has an IP68 rating just like the iPhone 11 range. An IP68 rating means your device is protected against harmful ingress of static water at up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.

It has an impressive 2815 mAh battery. It is impressive because it can last up to 48 hours if you use it for light tasks.

The biggest bummer is that you don’t get a charger in the box. Still, as good as a smartphone as it is, it’s prohibitively expensive. However, the iPhone 12 Pro truly delivers.

Overall, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro is worthy of the name and price tag. It remains the best iPhone for drone flying and one of the best phones for drone flying without a problem.

PROS

  • Beautiful Super Retina XDR OLED screen
  • Impressive camera
  • Outstanding performance
  • Fast 5G connection
  • Ample colour options
  • Water resistant
  • Decent battery life

CONS

  • No charger in the box
  • Pricey

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, 1170 x 2532 pixels
Chipset: Apple A14 Bionic
OS: iOS 14.1, upgradable to iOS 14.4
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Front Cameras: 12MP
Rear Cameras: 12MP, 12MP, 12MP
Size:  146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm
Weight: 0.42 pound (189 g)
Battery: 2815 mAh

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3. Samsung Galaxy S20

best phones for drone flying

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 is one of the best phones for drone flying worth mentioning.

The S20 Plus’ display has a good refresh rate (120Hz) and guarantees vibrant and colourful colours on your screen while viewing drone videos as its display is one of the best you can find on a smartphone.

Packed with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and 8GB/12GB of RAM, viewing drone images on the S20 is seamless.

It has enough storage (128GB) to store your videos, images and other media.

Elsewhere, you’d be pleased with the balanced profile of the sound from the Samsung Galaxy S20. Bass and treble tones are rendered correctly.

The Galaxy S20 speakers deliver a sizable kick. Its speakers pump out sound that is loud, clean and rich. What you get from the audio quality helps you appreciate good sound. You can adjust the sound using different Dobly modes.

You need not be anxious about the battery performance of the S20, as the phone has an impressive battery life.

The biggest drawback here – and it’s not unique to Samsung – is the absence of a headphone jack. However, Samsung is bundling AKG headphones in the box that use USB Type-C.

The minor drawback aside, drone flying on the Samsung S20 is irresistible.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is one of the best phones for drone flying and is worth considering.

PROS

  • Class-leading audio
  • Cutting-edge camera
  • USB-C earbuds in the box
  • Very good battery life

CONS

  • Pricey, but worth it
  • Absence of 3.5mm headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy S20 Key Specifications

Display: 6.2-inch, 1440 × 3200 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
OS: Android 10
RAM: 8GB/12GB
Storage: 128 GB
Front Cameras: 10 MP
Rear Cameras: 12 MP, 64 MP, 12 MP
Size: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm
Weight: 0.36 pound (163 g)
Battery: 4000 mAh

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4. OnePlus 8 Pro

best phones for drone flying

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Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset, the OnePlus 8 Pro has all the bells and whistles of a top-tier phone.

It pairs 2GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. There is also a 12GB RAM model with 256GB of storage. Out of the box, the OnePlus 8 Pro is built on an Oxygen OS 10 operating system, which is a tweaked version if Android 10.

Elsewhere, the phone has an IP68 rating, as well as a fast wireless charging feature.

The OnePlus 8 Pro’s camera is better than what you’ll find on its predecessor, the OnePlus 7 Pro. The rear of the OnePlus 8 Pro holds a 48-megapixel ultrawide sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens for 3x optical zoom, and a 5-megapixel colour filter lens. The OnePlus 8 Pro’s predecessor manages a 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor. You’ll find a 16-megapixel selfie camera on the OnePlus 8 Pro.

So, what’s really new with the OnePlus 8 Pro’s camera? Only the colour filter camera. Images captured on the OnePlus 8 Pro show the right balance of colour, with lots of detail. Exposure is excellent, as well. The OnePlus 8 Pro’s zoom power is pretty good.

As far as video capabilities go, you can record 4K video at 30 or 60fps.

One place where the OnePlus 8 Pro shines is battery life. OnePlus packed in a reasonable 4510 mAh of battery capacity into the OnePlus 8 Pro’s chassis. Roughly speaking, you should get a day and a half’s use from the OnePlus 8 Pro.

We recommend the OnePlus 8 Pro as one of the best phones for drone flying without a hitch.

PROS

  • Better screen quality
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Excellent cameras
  • Super fast performance
  • Wireless charging
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Same front-facing camera
  • Colour filter camera could be better
  • MEMC Motion smoothing could be improved

OnePlus 8 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.78 inches, Fluid AMOLED, 3168 x 1440 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
OS: Android 10
RAM: 8GB/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Front Camera: 16MP
Rear Cameras: 8MP, 48MP, 5MP
Size: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 0.44 pound (199 g)
Battery: 4510 mAh

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5. Sony Xperia 1

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Like the OnePlus 8 Pro, the Sony Xperia 1 has decent internals for drone flying without any latency and connection problems.

The Sony Xperia 1 pairs Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. The processor and RAM combo make it an extremely fast smartphone.

You’d find two speakers on the Sony Xperia 1 – one on the front, another on the bottom. As far as sound goes, what comes out of Xperia 1’s speakers is actually impressive.

One notable feature here is the dynamic vibration, which makes the Xperia 1 vibrate in time with a sound.

However, there are some trade-offs. You won’t find a headphone jack on the Sony Xperia 1. Battery life is average.

The trade-offs aside, the Sony Xperia 1 is still one of the best phones for drone flying. So if you need a decent phone with good specs for drone flying, the Sony Xperia 1 should be near the top of your list.

PROS

  • Excellent audio
  • Fast performance
  • High-quality display

CONS

  • No headphone jack
  • Average battery life

Sony Xperia 1 Key Specifications

Display: 6.5 inches, OLED, 1644 x 3840 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
OS: Android 9 Pie, upgradable to Android 10
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 64GB/128GB
Front Camera: 8 MP
Rear Cameras: 12 MP, 12 MP, 12 MP
Size: 167 x 72 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 0.37 pound (178 g)
Battery: 3330 mAh

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6. LG G8 ThinQ

best phones for drone flying

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The LG G8 ThinQ’s design looks very much like the G7. The phone’s OLED 3120 x 1440 pixel resolution display is beautiful with brilliant colour accuracy.

It has a very fast processing speed thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor tucked inside it. The phone boasts 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

On another front, the G8’s cameras are impressive and you’ll love the AI CAM feature which makes correct suggestions regarding camera settings suitable for your location.

You won’t find the typical earpiece most smartphones parade on the LG G8. Instead the phone uses a Crystal Sound OLED technology with sound coming from display.

When you use the speakerphone during calls, sound comes from the display and speaker located at the bottom of the phone.

The L8 ThinQ has a fingerprint sensor which is responsive.

Elsewhere the LG G8 has a hybrid SIM/microSD slot. The bottom holds a headphone jack, and a USB-C charging port.

The phone’s overall performance is solid that’s why it made our list of the best phones for drone flying.

PROS

  • Brilliant screen quality
  • Super fast performance
  • Good audio
  • Impressive cameras

CONS

  • Requires a bit of getting used to
  • Same old design

LG G8 ThinQ Key Specifications

Display: 6.1-inch, P-OLED dispaly 3120 x 1440 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
OS: Android 9
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Front Camera: 8MP
Rear Cameras: 12MP, 12MP, 16MP
Size: 151.9 x 71.8 x 8.4 mm
Weight: 0.37 pound (167 g)
Battery: 3500 mAh

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Notable Mentions

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Google Pixel 4a, and Samsung Galaxy S20+ are very good phones for drone flying you should consider.

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

best android phones for drone flying

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PROS

  • Very good screen quality
  • Well-suited for gaming
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Excellent Pen performance
  • Outstanding battery life

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Large

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Key Specifications

Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED display, 14440 x 3088 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
OS: Android 10, upgradable to Android 11
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB
Front Cameras: 10MP
Rear Cameras: 108MP, 12MP, 12MP
Size: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 0.46 pound (208 g)
Battery: 4500 mAh

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8. Google Pixel 4a

best phones for drone flying

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PROS

  • Beautiful OLED screen
  • Class-leading cameras
  • Good performance
  • Ample storage
  • Decent battery life
  • Simple design
  • Affordable

CONS

  • No microSD card slot
  • Limited colour variants
  • Not water resistant

Google Pixel 4a Key Specifications

Display: 5.81-inch OLED display, 2340 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G
OS: Android 10, upgradable to Android 11
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Front Cameras: 8MP
Rear Cameras: 12.2MP
Size: 144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 0.32 pound (143 g)
Battery: 3140 mAh

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9. Samsung Galaxy S20+

best phones for drone flying

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PROS

  • Class-leading camera
  • Cutting-edge display
  • Outstanding performance
  • Sleek design
  • Very good battery life

CONS

  • Expensive, but worth it
  • Absence of 3.5mm headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy S20+ Key Specifications

Display: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display 1440 × 3200 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
OS: Android 10
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128GB
Front Cameras: 10 MP
Rear Cameras: 12 MP, 64 MP, 12 MP
Size: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 0.36 pound (163 g)
Battery: 4000 mAh

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No. Item  
1 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Editors’ Choice)    Check Price on Amazon
2 Apple iPhone 12 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy S20 Check Price on Amazon
4 OnePlus 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Sony Xperia 1   Check Price on Amazon
6 LG G8 ThinQ   Check Price on Amazon
7 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
8 Google Pixel 4a Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy S20+   Check Price on Amazon

 

 

Bottom Line

The best phones for drone flying we’ve recommended have excellent internals for enhancing your drone flying experience. Our picks are well-suited for flying drones without problems. These smartphones are worth considering.