Best Foldable Drones For Enthusiasts & Professionals

With the announcement of DJI Mavic Pro, DJI’s first folding drone, the drone market has just gotten itself a brand-new niche. Foldable quadcopters are on the rise, led by the almighty Mavic Pro who set the standards for premium foldable drones with camera. Despite that, there are many others that are now available, but just a few can be worthy of Mavic’s performance.

Foldable drone with camera.

Table of contents

So with that being said, we would like to take you through the best foldable drone that you can buy at the moment. For the sake of keeping this article short and understandable, we decided only to feature the best of the best portable drones, meaning that you won’t find any cheap Chinese models on this list. So, without further adue, let’s jump straight to business!

 

FOLDABLE DRONES: Scroll down to

 

Foldable Drones for Enthusiasts

Let’s be realistic here – foldable drones take up a massive portion of the market. Ever since DJI Mavic Pro came onto the scene, foldable drones have been all the craze. They’re small, portable, and usually pack quite the punch in the performance department. They are available at all price tiers these days, so let’s start off with budget-friendly models primarily meant for enthusiasts.

Table: 5 Best Foldable Drones for Enthusiasts

ImageNameCameraRangeFlight TimeBest Offer
Snaptain-A15_table5. Snaptain A15720p50m10minSee best offer
potensic-d88-table4. Potensic D881080p1.5km18minSee best offer
3. HStone HS7201080p0.8km23minSee best offer
ruko-f11_table2. Ruko F114K0.6km25minSee best offer
DJI-Mavic-Mini-table1. DJI Mavic Mini2.7K4km30minSee best offer

 

5. Snaptain A15

Snaptain-A15_web

Snaptain A15 is the first of the foldable drones we’re going to talk about today. It’s pretty cheap, coming in at just around $100, yet possesses a fair dose of entertainment for the entire family. It doesn’t have any extraordinary features, but it still a well-configured drone that’ll sweep your children off their feet!

Camera and Features

At this price point, it’s not really about the camera quality, it’s about whether or not a particular drone has a camera in the first place. Luckily, Snaptain A15 does have one, but it’s the lowly 720p HD camera that can’t really shoot decent aerial footage. On the bright side, it’s good for FPV, which is always a huge plus in this price tier.

As far as the features are concerned, you can’t expect this fella to have GPS, precise altitude hold, reliable failsafe and all that sort of stuff. If you want a drone packing such features, you’ll have to spend a lot more. Gravity sensor, 3D flips, headless mode and somewhat precise one key return and altitude hold are the main talking points in the features department.

Specifications

Specs-wise, we’re looking at a capable little bugger. Snaptain A15 won’t win any speed races, but is definitely a very nimble flyer. Plus, it can fly around for up to ten minutes, which is quite the feat for such a small and affordable model. Unfortunately, the range isn’t the greatest. We’re talking around 50ish meters, making Snaptain A15 nothing more but a backyard flyer.

 

 

4. Potensic D88

potensic-d88-with-transmitter

No worries, guys – Snaptain A15 is by far the cheapest (read worst) model on this list. The next entry, Potensic D88, is bringing forth a ton of advanced features and hardware, but costs significantly more than the Snaptain’s affordable champion. That said, let’s see if Potensic D88 is worth the price tag!

Camera and Features

The trend of drone manufacturers labeling extended 1080p cameras as 2K is moving on. I don’t need to be the one to remind you it’s still the same old 1080p resolution just with a bit of extra space on the sides. As far as D88’s camera goes, it’s nothing to write home about. The stabilization is solid at best, but you can’t really expect professional-grade stabilization at such an affordable price point.

Bonus points for Potensic D88 due to its FPV support and range which extends to 200 to 300 meters. Talking about the features, this little bugger will amaze you with its stability, courtesy of its optical flow positioning and ultrasonic altitude sensors.

Specifications

The specs of this bad boy sure will surprise you. Even though we’re not talking about massive specs, like those on premium models, Potensic D88’s numbers ought to surprise you. For instance, it can fly for as long as 17 minutes. Better yet, it can reach almost 1.5 kilometers, which is absolutely spectacular considering the price tag.

 

 

3. Holy Stone HS720

Holy Stone HS720 with Transmitter

Foldable drone with camera.

We’re upping the price tag yet again, this time to roughly $300. The name is HS720 and it’s yet another entry in Holy Stone’s highly diverse lineup of drones. HS720 is compact, foldable, features powerful brushless motors and a DJi-like controller and case. It’s a great overall package, one that’ll amaze both beginners and drone enthusiasts!

Camera and Features

For starters, Holy Stone HS720 features a solid 2K camera. Once again, it’s just a wider 1080p resolution, nothing more and nothing less. The stabilization isn’t the greatest and that’s definitely the biggest downside of this little bugger. If it had a proper 3-axis gimbal in there, HS720 would actually go into the “foldable drones for professionals” category, that’s for sure!

Features-wise, it’s packed with GPS, auto return to home, long-range FPV, downward positioning sensor and two night lights. The accuracy of its auto return to home and failsafe systems is remarkable, just as much as the actual flight precision and stability. HS720 is a breeze to fly and you should definitely look into it if you’re looking for capable foldable drones on the cheap!

Specifications

Holy Stone is not one of those high-end drone manufacturers that’s able to incorporate state of the art hardware into their models. Despite that, they’ve made a solid job with HS720, one of their best-performing models. We’re talking roughly 800 meters of range and 25ish minutes of flight time, which is absolutely splendid for $300.

 

 

2. Ruko F11

ruko-f11_with-transmitter

Ruko F11 is the next in line of our magnificent foldable drones list. It sports a unique, boxy central body, looking all rugged and industrial, paired together with a decent camera, great battery, and potent brushless motors. On paper, everything seems great, right? Let’s see can Ruko F11 hold up to the standards in practice too!

Camera and Features

Ruko F11 does a fine job in the features department too. It boasts with strong GPS signal which is of crucial importance for the rest of F11’s feature set. That includes auto return to home, TapFly, headless mode, one key takeoff/landing, and long-range FPV transmission.

The camera will surprise you too. It’s labeled as a 4K sensor but can’t record videos in full resolution, only in 2.7K. Still images are 4K and they look absolutely great. The footage, despite the fact 2.7K is an okay resolution for today’s standards, doesn’t look too good with all the shakiness and vibration coming in from the flight.

Specifications

As stated above, Ruko F11’s FPV transmission can reach as far as 500 meters, and that’s on a good day with a clear line of sight. Operating range, however, extends over 1 kilometer, which makes Ruko F11 much more than your typical backyard flyer. Combine that with more than 25 minutes of flight time and you got yourself a great all-around package, with the only problem being somewhat lackluster image stabilization.

 

 

1. DJI Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic Mini with Transmitter

Let’s be realistic here for a moment – DJI Mavic Mini is the best budget-friendly foldable drone out there. That said, it’s definitely the best foldable drone for beginners and enthusiasts too. Heck, the provided platform can even do certain commercial tasks too. This little bugger is small, fast, versatile, and on the cheap side. Let’s take a closer look!

Camera and Features

DJI Mavic Mini excels when it comes to the features. Basically, this thing has everything you could wish for except obstacle avoidance. I mean, realistically, that’s not really an issue at this price point since none of the competitors come even close to DJI Mavic Mini’s feature set, let alone do they have obstacle avoidance.

The camera is another thing DJI Mavic Mini excels at. This miniature foldable drone packs quite the punch with a hefty 2.7K camera. That, on its own, wouldn’t mean a lot since this is a mini drone having to deal with stabilization. Luckily, the folk over at DJI implemented a fully-fledged motorized gimbal here, ensuring the footage stability no matter your driving habits nor the weather conditions.

Specifications

Specifications of DJI Mavic Mini are outright supreme. We’re talking about one of the longest-flying drones out there, capable of enduring close to half an hour per full battery. Come to think of it, only a handful of mainstream drones can boast with such numbers… and a special plus of the Mavic Mini is the fact it weighs below the FAA registration limit. Last but not least, this little fella has quite the reach too, spreading out to roughly 4 kilometers.

 

Foldable Drones for Professionals

Now that we’re all done with foldable quadcopters for enthusiasts, it’s time to say a few words about the big boys too. Foldable drones for professionals are coming right up, featuring five top-tier models that offer excellent performance but go for hefty price tags.

Table: 5 Best Foldable Drones For Professionals

ImageNameCameraRangeFlight TimeBest Offer
hubsan-zino-table5. Hubsan Zino4K4km22minSee best offer
4. DJI Mavic Air4K4km20minSee best offer
Parrot Anafi Table3. Parrot Anafi4K4km25minSee best offer
autel-robotics-evo-table2. Autel EVO4K7km30minSee best offer
dji-mavic-2-pro-table1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro4K8km26minSee best offer

 

5. Hubsan Zino

Hubsan Zino with Transmitter

I’m sure some of you will say Hubsan Zino doesn’t belong to this list. It’s much cheaper than others below it and would be a much better fit above in the enthusiasts models. However, even though its specifications aren’t on the level of DJI Mavic Mini, it does have a few caveats that make it more viable for professional purposes.

Camera and Features

The reason why Hubsan Zino is viable for both commercial and casual purposes is its brilliant 4K camera. Yep, you’ve read that correctly – this $400 foldable drone sports a 4K camera. Plus, it’s mounted on a 3-axis gimbal for increased stability, allowing Zino the versatility it needs to conquer the market.

Features are pretty impressive too, featuring a mess of the most important ones with a few extra ones added in the mix. We’re talking panoramic camera shots, line flight, image tracking, two failsafes, and auto return to home. Of course, some of the more advanced features are powered by GPS, ensuring the utmost in-flight stability. Zino is pretty much all you need for your professional work.

Specifications

As mentioned earlier, Hubsan Zino’s specifications can’t go toe to toe with models like DJI Mavic Mini, at least when it comes to the battery duration which is arguably the most important factor. You see, Hubsan Zino can only fly as long as 20ish minutes. Perhaps slightly more than that, if you’re lucky. To finish on a brighter note – it can reach just as much as DJI Mavic Mini, 4 kilometers.

 

 

4. DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air With Transmitter

DJI Mavic Air was the second foldable drone by DJI, following the massive success of the original DJI Mavic Pro. It came to the market with a much cheaper price tag, even sporting a version without the dedicated controller. Obviously, the budget-friendly aspect did a world of good for the Mavic Air, establishing it as one of the most purchased middle-of-the-pack foldable drones out there.

Camera and Features

Of course, the affordable price tag isn’t the only thing drawing customers in. DJI Mavic Air has many awesome things going for it. For instance, it sports a 4K camera with HDR capabilities, backward and forward obstacle sensors, as well as pinpoint accurate GPS module.

Other features include several failsafe layers, altitude hold, follow me, and a bunch of autonomous flight modes focusing on camera-based gimmicks. QuickShots are leading the charge, bringing forth several outstanding ways to capture aerial footage, some of which ought to improve your social media stats!

Specifications

When we take a look at DJI Mavic Air’s specs, it becomes clear it’s a relatively old model. With just 20ish minutes of flight time, there are much cheaper drones out there that can fly longer. However, they can’t do the stuff DJI Mavic Air can, that’s for sure! Lastly – the range of this beauty is capped at around 4 kilometers, which has become the industry standard, really.

 

 

3. Parrot Anafi

parrot-anafi-with-transmitter

Parrot doesn’t make a ton of drones like DJI. All they have are a few solid models, with the newest one, Anafi, leading the charge in terms of pricing and performance. It’s a special little bugger, there’s no doubt about that, characterized by a unique camera concept that you’ll either hate or love.

Camera and Features

What’s there to hate and love about this bugger, you ask. Well, let’s start with the aforementioned unique concept – Anafi’s camera. Typically, drones that posses 3-axis gimbal allow the camera to rotate to a certain degree. In terms of verticality, they usually point all the way down and straight forward. Anafi’s 4K HDR camera, however, has full 180 degrees of freedom, meaning it can move all the way up and all the way down.

Combine that with a whole bunch of safety and reliability features, including GPS, failsafe systems, and auto return to home, and Parrot Anafi already seems like a great package. Add to that lossless zoom, a set of automatic camera shots, the infamous Dolly Zoom, and the aforementioned camera freedom, and you’ll realize why many professionals choose Parrot Anafi as their go-to foldable aerial platform.

Specifications

If you though Anafi’s camera and features are awesome, wait till you hear about its hardware and performance. Obviously, Parrot Anafi is a foldable drone; otherwise, it would not be a part of this list. On top of that, it sports brushless motors for extra power efficiency, allowing it to reach roughly 25 minutes of flight per charge. The range won’t disappoint you either, maxing out at around 4 kilometers, just like DJI’s Mavic Air and Mavic Mini.

 

 

2. Autel Robotics EVO

Autel Robotics EVO with Transmitter

Autel Robotics EVO is the second-best foldable drone that’s currently available on the market. It’s gorgeous, fast, has a great camera, and isn’t afraid to go toe to toe with the likes of DJI in the features department. It’s one well-polished package, that’s for sure… and its popularity ensured AR make an upgraded version dubbed as EVO 2. Heck, they made three upgraded versions, but more on that in our AR EVO 2 Preview!

Camera and Features

There are no bad remarks about EVO’s camera. It’s brilliant, packing the usual 4K resolution with a massive sensor and great processing power running everything in the background. Of course, the stabilization is near-perfect too, courtesy of a sophisticated 3-axis gimbal ensuring buttery smoothness of EVO’s footage.

Last but not least, this orange beast is great in the features department too. Autel Robotics EVO has GNSS support, both GPS and GLONASS, multidirectional obstacle avoidance, and the usual stuff like failsafe, auto return to home, altitude hold and supporting photography flight modes.

Specifications

Specifications-wise, there’s really no separating this bad boy from the likes of DJI Mavic 2 Pro and other premium foldable drones out there. With 7 kilometers of transmission and 30 minutes of flight time, this orange beauty is second to none. It’s powerful, accurate, and reliable… plus, it’s cheaper than DJI’s products; what more could you want from it?

 

 

1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

dji-mavic-2-pro-with-transmitter

Best foldable drone with camera.

And now the real powerhouse among all other best foldable drones – DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro. The original Mavic Pro was the first extremely popular premium foldable 4K drone on the market, and as such, it has already found its way into thousands of homes worldwide. The second-generation Mavic Pro will try to do to the same thing, that’s for sure!  In contrast to all other best portable drones (except AR EVO and Parrot Anafi), DJI Mavic 2 Pro retains all characteristics we would expect from full-sized flagships… and that’s pretty much the main reason behind its enormous popularity.

Camera and Features

Without a doubt, Mavic Pro is the best travel drone with a whole set of interesting smart features among which are ActiveTrack and TapFly. In addition to them, the Mavic 2 Pro is also equipped with dual positioning systems, both GPS and GLONASS. They ensure the optimal stability of your drone no matter the scenarios under which it’s operating.

Omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system is also very important, especially for a drone of such a small size factor which is going to be used both indoor and outdoor. It helps it maneuver around objects in your home, which means you will not have to worry about it crashing against your chandelier or anything like that. Lastly, this thing packs a professional-grade 4K HDR camera that’ll do an amazing job with everything you throw at it!

Specifications

DJI always takes great care of their drone’s specification and that’s exactly the case with Mavic 2 Pro. It can fly for more than 30 minutes which makes it an absolute champion in the foldable drones’ market. Its top speed is surprisingly fast. This little fella can reach up to 40mph, making it by far the fastest drone on this list. Combine all of that with close to 8km of range and you will understand why it has such a huge price tag to its name.

 

 

Best Foldable drones: FAQ

What was the first popular foldable drone?

Even though there are several drones that came out before DJI Mavic Pro, it’s still a safe statement that it was the first popular folding drone to hit the shelves. Before Mavic Pro, foldable drones were nowhere near their current popularity. Why was that so?

Well, the most likely culprit is the fact DJI took a completely different approach to folding drones with Mavic Pro… just like they always do when entering a brand new niche. Instead of opting for a medium-tier model with mediocre (read slightly above average) performance, the went on and released an outright beast. I will go out on a limb here and say that there are only a few full-sized quadcopters capable of delivering better performance DJI Mavic Pro.

Obviously, customers loved the idea of having an extremely portable drone with such monstrous performance and imaging capability. So, DJI Mavic Pro became an instant hit and is still a highly appreciated upper bracket model.

 

What are the benefits of having a foldable drone?

Well, the obvious benefit is clearly their compact form. This is what makes them incredibly mobile and travel-friendly. Let’s take DJI Mavic Pro as an example: its exact proportions in the folded form are as follows 83mm x 83mm x 198mm. Combine this with the fact that it weighs only 1.64 pounds (0.74 kg) and you’ll begin to understand why they’re becoming more and more popular.

Now that we have discussed the main benefit, let’s take a second to talk about the main drawback. Without any doubt, the main drawback of such miniature drones is their inability to hover steadily in the air. With that being said, their low weight is a double-edged sword: it’s making them easier to carry around but also makes the task of keeping a steady hover in midair much more difficult to withstand. DJI Mavic Pro has battled this issue with extremely powerful motors that are able to achieve exceptional hovering ability despite the low weight. Unfortunately, this is not the case with most other models as they fail to do a good job during stronger winds.

 

Which foldable drone has the longest flight time?

There is one thing we need to make clear before heading into the next couple of frequently asked questions – Yes, DJI Mavic Pro is a monstrous foldable drone just like we already mentioned above. In terms of raw performance, there are only a dozen other commercially available drones that can be put into the same basket with it.

That’s why it comes as absolutely no surprise to see DJI Mavic Pro as the foldable drone with the longest flight time. It’s true – DJI Mavic Pro can fly as long as 27 minutes, even 30 if you opt for the all-new DJI Mavic Pro Platinum version. These numbers are pointing a bit to the extreme since other competitors are nowhere near that… Luckily for Mavic Pro, the same goes for flight range too…

 

Which foldable quadcopter has the longest flight range?
DJI’s OcuSync transmission technology is a big factor in their newest flagships’ success. OcuSync manages to deliver smooth video (1080p in close distance and 720p far away) and does so at ideally 150-170ms latency. Furthermore, the biggest trait is a whopping 7 kilometers of maximum range (4.3 miles).

That’s due to its smart transmission handing. You see, OcuSync scans the area and decides whether to use 20Mhz, 10Mhz or 1.4Mhz mode. In mid-flight, if the transmission system notices any interference it will make the switch again, retaining the best possible results (in terms of both video quality and operating range.

Which foldable quadcopter has the best camera?
Don’t worry guys, DJI Mavic Pro isn’t the winner of this category too. Despite its brilliant 4K ready camera and that miniature 3-axis gimbal attached to it, there’s a bulkier drone capable of carrying the 2 newest GoPro cameras – Hero 5 and Hero 6. True, Hero 6 is not officially supported straight from the launch since there are some issues. As reported, you will have to insert in the Gimbal while it’s switched off and switch it on shortly before the flight. But despite that, AirDog ADII is surely the best folding drone as far as the cameras are concerned.
Do any of these folding drones have Follow Me feature?
If the lack of Follow Me feature is a deal-breaker for you, then I am sure you will be happy to know there are several models below that incorporate it. This time around, I am not just referring to the 2 big dogs but others, such as Zerotech Dobby too. If you are not strictly bound to a foldable drone, perhaps a compact one with Follow Me feature would suit your needs as well. If that’s really the case then I warmly recommend checking out the second list too.
Do any of these folding drones have collision avoidance systems?
Yes, several models on the list featured below possess some sort of an obstacle/collision avoidance system. Mainly, I am referring to DJI Mavic Pro and AirDog ADII which are the obvious leaders in the foldable drones niche. Each incorporates different obstacle avoidance mechanisms but they both do an equally good job with actual avoiding crashes.

However, if you are interested in a drone purely for its ability to fly autonomously and avoid any obstacles that come its way, then I suppose you want a single model to go with. So, which one of these 2 is superior. Honestly, I’d go for the AirDog ADII since it seems to be better at fully autonomous flying and obstacle avoiding simultaneously.

Are any of these drones beginner-friendly?
Yes, most of these drones listed below are beginner-friendly. As a matter of fact, pretty much all of them are beginner-friendly which comes as no surprise since the majority of them are primarily meant to be selfie drones… and believe it or not selfie drones are often purchased by beginners… thus being beginner-friendly is a highly positive trait in this niche.

But what does beginner-friendly mean? Well, mainly, this reflects the general ease of flying that the drone delivers. GPS and Altitude hold features greatly help with this as they stabilize the drone even further and allow beginners to fully grasp on the controls in a safe environment.

Are any of these drones waterproof?
It is kind of hard to imagine a fully waterproof, even with the current state of technology we have today. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few high tier waterproof out there, but only one of them falls into the foldable category… sort of. And nope, it’s not DJI Mavic Pro! It’s AirDog ADII. This highly sophisticated drone aimed at athletes may not be waterproof, but still provides some sort of a waterproof experience thanks to its dedicated AirLeash controller. You see, the drone itself is not waterproof but the AirLeash is. This means you can easily go in the water and splash it across the device (even submerging it won’t do any damage) without worrying about it stopping working or anything like that. So, realistically speaking here, if you plan on using your foldable drone near/in water, then there is no other option but to go for AirDog ADII!
What is the best foldable selfie drone?
Instead of going for the premium model DJI Mavic Pro (which is an unparalleled foldable selfie drone by all means), perhaps it would be a better idea to give you a less expensive option. The perfect model would then be the Hover Camera. With its extremely safe design and compact size in folded form, it serves as a great example of what a medium-tier selfie drone needs to be. It sports a brilliant camera and incorporates face recognition as well as autonomous flight modes. So, what are you waiting for – if you want to take awesome selfies with a foldable drone, then you have 2 options – DJI Mavic Pro (high-end model) and Hover camera (mid-end model)
What is the best foldable sports drone?
As far as outdoor sports are concerned, I am afraid you will be tied to only one great option in terms of foldable drones. As I’ve already stated above, AirDog ADII is primarily targeted at athletes due to its sophisticated (sports-oriented) autonomous flight mode and convenient handsfree controller – AirLeash. Plus, AirLeash is completely waterproof meaning fans of water sports won’t have to worry about controlling their drone while in water. It’s as simple as that!
How to unfold a foldable drone?
This is a question we have been getting a lot lately. And, to be completely honest with you guys, the answer is pretty much straightforward. There’s no nuclear science behind unfolding a foldable drone.

In most cases, you will simply have to open up the prop arms from underneath the drone’s body (or inside of it, with some drones) and push them outward until you hear them snapping into position. The only “difficult” part would be the correct pattern of unfolding. Some drones require unfolding of front arms before the back ones, and others vice versa. All in all, it’s a very straightforward procedure so there is no need to stress about it.

Are foldable drones durable?
Like I just explained above, these drones sport a mechanism that allows their arms to be folded inward towards their centerpieces. We are talking about simple yet very effective little contraptions that work very well in terms of reducing drones’ size.

However, since the folding mechanism relies on micromechanical parts, many people are wondering if they’re the weak links of foldable drones. While these mechanisms could be weak links during high-speed crashes, in reality, they are actually quite robust. Especially with high-end models such as DJI Mavic Pro and GoPro Karma whose manufacturers did not cut expenses with weaker snapping mechanisms.

 

FOLDABLE DRONES WITH CAMERA ARE IDEAL FOR THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE

If you would like to get a foldable drone but you are not sure whether you’ll be satisfied with it… here’s a quick overview of which types of people will find folding drones as ideal options.

 

JOCKS

Nowadays, jocks are known for being detail-oriented and tech-savvy. That’s why it comes as no surprise that jocks are investing more and more into foldable quadcopters. They can capture awesome moments from their training sessions completely autonomously.

Warmups before the game, half-time preparations, and even post-game celebrations – those are just some of the reasons why foldable drones would be great for jocks. But, professional jocks aren’t the only type of people who can greatly benefit from collapsible drones.

Take AirDog ADII as the perfect example. Thanks to its foldable design it makes for a good travel buddy… thanks to its great camera it serves as a great aerial photo platform… and thanks to its waterproof controller it allows its users the benefits of handsfree commands in the water.

TRAVELERS

I am pretty sure that this paragraph does not need much explaining – travelers are the primary target audience for most foldable drones out there. As I’ve already mentioned above, collapsible drones are the best travel companions and, combined with extra batteries, can capture amazing moments from all of your favorite destinations.

Just think about it – having your own personal aerial photography platform that you can take with you on your travels…. and plus, it’s foldable which makes it the best travel buddy in the world.

Additionally, if you opt for one of those high-end models, you will also have hardware stabilization onboard which will make up for professional-grade footage of all adventures you set out on. It’s a magical little tech gadget, I tell ya…

STUDENTS

Lastly, we have students… the poorest suns of guns among us all. Students are not known for spending too much money on tech gadgets. Let’s be realistic here, with student loans, college expenses, ridiculously high booze prices for this time of the year, it’s safe to say that students don’t really have anything left in their budgets.

Let’s put that aside – theoretically speaking, if college students could afford top-flight folding drones, I reckon they’d be the obvious choice. Want to take an awesome aerial video of that outdoor party you’re going on Friday? No problems! Want to take a sneak peek into the ladies’ dorm at 2 AM after an alcohol-heavy night out? No problems! Whatever might be the occasion, folding drones are there for all you students out there!

 

ARE FOLDABLE DRONES THE FUTURE OF COMMERCIAL DRONES?

This is a damn fine question and a rather interesting one as well. With that taken into play, it’s not surprising to find out that foldable drones could, in fact, be the future of commercial drone usage. I’m sure many of you already know there are huge plans for completely autonomous delivery systems powered by drones. There’s a huge issue that comes into play – storage.

If we are talking about an autonomous delivery system that covers the entire USA, we’re talking miles and miles of storage facilities. This, of course, could be tackled with a simple solution – collapsible drones. If they’d use drones that could fold to form at least 30% of their current size and become stackable with each other, there’s no doubt they could really become the future of commercial drones.

 

CONCLUSION

With the end of our best foldable drone list, we would just like to thank you for taking the time to read it. It was a pleasure bringing you these awesome 7 drones and we hope you will visit our website again soon if you happen to have any more drone-related inquiries. Until then, happy piloting!

 

Drones hidden on February 2020 Update

Best Foldable Drones

10. Baby Elfie

JJRC H37 Baby ElfieJJRC is a well-respected portable drone brand that deals only in toy-grade pocket sized drones. Even though they have been enjoying a fair share of the success of the last year or two, it seems as though they will have to get used to a whole lot more of it.

That’s all thanks to their upgraded JJRC H37 model bearing the name Baby Elfie. In order to get a more detailed picture of this foldable drone with a camera, let’s take a closer look at it and see what’s it all about!

Performance

This easy to use portable drone delivers quite the bang for your bucks as far as performance is concerned. There have been a few major upgrades in contrast to the original model, making baby Elfie a proper champion. Even though the biggest upgrade is definitely the camera, it’s safe to say the size and flying stability are there as well.

Numbers are straight on point too, JJRC h37 Baby Elfie can reach as far as 100 meters and its battery holds on for approximately 6-7 minutes. FPV range goes up to around 30 meters, concluding our numbers-game for today.

Camera

Baby Elfie sports a miniature built-in HD camera. You can easily tilt it to adjust the angle which makes for great little selfie-setup addition. The general quality is solid, not too shabby by no means. For selfie purposes, I’d say Baby Elfie’s camera is more than good. There’s little to no blur problems since we are talking about a highly stable portable drone. Plus, thanks to WiFi FPV you are able to set up the scene just the way you want!

 

9. GDU Byrd Premium 1.0

At the 9th spot, we have a brilliant folding drone that doesn’t agree to any compromises. First things first, it is slightly bigger than other models. Don’t worry though, those extra few inches in size allow it to carry bigger payloads and provide a more stable flight than the competition.

But, in addition to that, is there anything else GDU Byrd Premium 1.0 excels at? Well, let’s take a closer look and see…

Camera

GDU Byrd Premium 1.0 incorporates a brilliant imaging solution that will leave you astonished. That’s because this birdie comes with a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer as well as a dedicated 12MPX camera. It is capable of recording in 4K UHD resolution at 30fps. Drop that down to 1080p and you will be able to enjoy buttery smooth 60fps.

The CMOS sensor is made by Sony and you will be happy to know that it can gather a solid amount of light thanks to its 94-degree wide-angle lens. Lastly, the distortion is minimal and I’m sure you will be satisfied with the overall image quality.

Performance

Even though this foldable drone with camera is not exactly on par with the most advanced folding drone DJI Mavic Pro, it is not that far off from it either. Believe it or not, GDU Byrd Premium 1.0 portable drone can reach up to 1 kilometer away from its stylish controller. When it comes to the flight time, I’m sure you will be left speechless – this best foldable drone can fly around for up to half an hour. Well, more precisely, 25 to 30 minutes… and that’s as good as the Mavic.

However, operating range is nowhere near OcuSync’s numbers… but don’t let that discourage you – GDU Byrd Premium 1.0 is a brilliant drone and well worthy of your attention!

 

8. Hawk4K

hawk4k with foldable arms2 spots from the top, (when it comes to this side of the market), we have the Hawk4K by 7 (yup, that’s the actual name of the company behind this portable drone). It has a great matte black design with red decals underneath the brushless motors. It costs half the money you’d pay for the Mavic Pro, but believe it or not, it’s not half as bad!

It also possesses a 4K camera which is not that surprising. What is surprising is its dedicated smartwatch controller that comes with the packaging.

Features

Other than that, it is also important to add that it features a 2D/3D gimbal for optimal image stability as well as its own dedicated smartphone apps (works with both Android and iOS devices which is always a plus). Another thing worth mentioning is that this little fella can be quite tricky to control as its smartwatch controller has a bit of a steep learning curve.

Some users have reported difficulties with their watch controller but mostly because they are used to the classical 2-joystick ones. If you are an experienced drone pilot then this might be something that will be bothering you. If that really is the case, don’t be disappointed. We are sure you will get a grasp on the controls sooner or later.

Final words on Hawk4K

To summarize, I believe I have to tell you a sentence or two about the general performance this little fella shows. Well, the Hawk 4K is a great foldable drone 4k with great design and awesome selfie camera. Even though it is not nearly as powerful as a Mavic Pro, it is still definitely worth the price. I’d even dare to say it offers the best bang for your bucks at this price point.

 

7. Wingsland S6

wingsland s6 foldable droneWingsland is a relatively new brand on the market, but so far they’ve created 2 great models. Minivet and S6 have gained lots of positive feedback and are generally quite decent portable drones. The latter drone is foldable meaning that it is the focal point of this paragraph. So, let’s see what exactly does it have to offer and is it really worth a whole bunch of money!?

Camera

For an affordable price, you’ll get a foldable drone with 4K camera with EIS 3-axis stabilization system for improved stability of your aerial shots. As was the case with all previous drones on this list, the S6 is also mainly used for selfies, allowing you to take the Instagram crown with your awesome aerial pics.

It has some interesting features such as beautifying your shots, cutting videos, adding music and even emojis to your shots and videos. The design is on point as well, being made out of high-quality materials but keeping the simplistic looks similar to those of Zerotech Dobby.

Features

First of all, Wingsland S6 is a GPS-powered drone which means it is capable of autonomous flying. More precisely, I am referring to Return to home, orbit, follow me and Altitude Hold. However, there are several other features such as Course Lock and Home Lock which will add an extra bit of functionality to this tiny little fella.

Performance

The controlling distance ranges around 120 meters and its battery can endure roughly 10 minutes of flight time. Neither of those is bad for a selfie drone and we are sure that the potential buyers will notice that. All things considered, Wingsland S6 seems to be a great drone and definitely has a bright future ahead of itself.

 

6. Zerotech Dobby

Dobby by Zerotech is an insanely popular miniature folding drone that serves the same purpose as Yuneec’s Breeze – for taking the perfect aerial selfie. It takes its role one step further with dual satellite positioning systems, allowing it to seamlessly fly through the air with ease.

It does not come with a controller meaning all features and functions are controlled by your smartphone.

Camera

Considering the fact we are talking about a “selfie drone”, the camera is a big part of the package. Of course, it has a high def 13Mpx camera with some interesting features such as facial recognition, target tracking, and auto follow drone mode. Zerotech Dobby allows you to synchronize your photos and videos to your phone with one click, making those boring PC connections and syncs a thing of the past.

In terms of resolutions, Zerotech Dobby can capture 4K images… but when it comes to videos, the highest resolution is full HD. Some might have an issue with that but I am personally OK with it. What’s important to me is good video quality, and Zerotech Dobby is able to deliver in that department.

Specifications

And finally, the specs sheet isn’t that amazing, but we really doubt that will make potential buyers steer away from it. With roughly 100 meters of flight range (you really don’t need more than that for selfies) and cca 10 minutes of flight time, Dobby has more than enough to become your personal selfie elf… uhm, I mean drone… Or should I call it one of the best portable drones?

 

5. XIRO Xplorer Mini

xiro xplorer mini drone for travelingThe smaller brother of normal Xplorer version, this little fella is poised with beautiful design and a fine bunch of accessories that come along with it. It sports a sleek-looking matte black finish with a couple of well-placed yellow accents which, together, make up for an incredibly nice-looking appearance.

Camera

On the front side, you will see a small camera lens, and believe it or not, it is quite a good one. You can shoot 13mpx images and capture breathtaking full HD videos at 30 fps. Xplorer Mini has FPV capability as well, allowing you to use your smartphone as an FPV monitor in 720p.

Features

When it comes to the features, the Xplorer Mini is not to be taken for granted since it incorporates a wide variety of them. One-click social media sharing, 190-degree camera lens, one-click takeoff and land, dual GPS/GLONASS positioning modules and even smart flight modes such as auto return home, failsafe connection protection and low battery protection.

Specifications

Starting off with the operating range, XIRO Xplorer Mini immediately implies that it’s nowhere near an exploration-ready as its predecessors. It can only reach up to 100 meters and that’s in a clear and unobstructed area. Realistically, you will be getting around 80 most of the time. Furthermore, with roughly 15 minutes of flight duration (thanks to a 1650mAh LiPo battery) and bonus accessories such as an extra battery and professional hard case, it comes as no surprise that the Xiro Xplorer Mini is gaining so much popularity nowadays. What do you guys think – is XIRO Xplorer Mini a worthy successor to XIRO Xplorer G and V?

 

4. Hover Camera

The wooden medal goes to Hover Camera Passport, a unique design best foldable drone primarily targeted at, you’ve guessed it, selfie lovers. Yes, it’s true – Hover Camera is an astonishing technological feat that incorporates a user-friendly controlling scheme, a highly crash-proof body, and a great camera for capturing selfies at any given time.

So, for all you selfie lovers out there, I’m certain this drone will seem like a great choice! With that said, let’s take a closer look and see what does it bring to the table!

Performance

Starting off with the performance, it needs to be said that this portable drone features both facial recognition and gesture modes which just goes to show we are not dealing with a mere toy-grade model. Furthermore, it also sports GPS as well as Altitude Hold (but that’s something Hover in its name wildly suggests) and even Orbit and Follow Me. So, as far as features are concerned, Hover Camera is pairing pretty good with the competition.

In terms of specifications, this birdie weighs in at just 242 grams making it extremely lightweight… but safe too, thanks to fully enclosed propellers. Flight time goes around the 10-minute mark, but if you plan on recording in 4K, expect a minute or two less. Lastly, the suggested operating distance is up to 20 meters. However, I’ve noticed Hover Camera goes well beyond 30… but that’s not a range well-suitable for selfies.

Camera

Hover Camera Passport features a sleek tiltable 13MPX camera that can do an amazing job as far as selfies and selfie videos are concerned. Especially when combined with one of the above-mentioned features such as Follow me and Orbit. It can record in 4K at 30fps and outputs the files in well known MP4 format. On the other hand, images are saved as JPEG and last but not least, Hover Camera Passport supports up to 32G storage capacity.

 

3. AirDog ADII

AirDog ADII is the newest drone on this list. After a massively successful Kickstarter campaign and a long preorder shipping period, it is just a matter of days before it gets released on Amazon. But, what does the second generation of AirDog feature?

Does it have well-placed improvements in contrast to the original model? Well, I suppose we can only find out by dissecting it and seeing what’s it all about!

Performance

Given the fact AirDog ADII is a specialized sports drone aimed primarily at athletes, it is not surprising at all to see it achieving up to 70km/h top speed. What’s even better is the fact that it also incorporates plenty of various sports mode that comes with preset configurations to provide the optimal performance for each sport you’re into.

Take that into consideration and you will forgive AirDog ADII for having only 150 meters of operating range. On the bright side, the battery is pretty neat considering this birdie sports a big ass 3-axis stabilizer and a full-sized action camera. We are talking about roughly 15 minutes of airtime which is bound to provide you with enough room to go crazy with your aerial videos.

Camera

As I just stated above, AirDog ADII sports a full-sized 3-axis gimbal with official support for GoPro Hero 5 Black… the same goes for GoPro Karma as well. However, with the recent release of GoPro Hero 6, you will be happy to know that AirDog ADII will support it. As a matter of fact, it supports it right now but there are some minor bugs that will all be taken care of in the next update.

So, with that out of our way, let’s make a quick summary – AirDog ADII seems like it has received several well-placed upgrades that make it stand out as a specialized sports drone. It’s foldable, intuitive and features great software (and we shouldn’t forget about the camera either).. all of which allow it to perform great as a dedicated sports recording aerial platform.

 

2. GoPro Karma

gopro_karma_webGoPro might not be the oldest company in the drone world, but their Karma model makes one hell of an entry statement. It has a great build quality followed by exceptional hardware that’s nicely packed into a relatively small package. Still, don’t expect it to be smaller than DJI Mavic Pro – that best portable drone falls into a whole different category of small.

Camera

Despite that, GoPro Karma is still an excellent choice for people looking for a travel-friendly option that can take breathtaking aerial footage. That’s pretty much what Karma is all about. It comes with a Hero5 Black Edition action camera and we all know just what a powerhouse it really is.

Of course, the connection is made through a dedicated 3-axis gimbal which, of course, supports the all-new GoPro Hero 6 as well. Undoubtedly, GoPro Karma is the best mainstream aerial photography platform out there and a great alternative to Zenmuse powered DJI flagships.

Performance

With roughly 2 kilometers of operating range (10 Long range drones list), cca 20 minutes of flight time and a price that’s a bit higher than that of Mavic, it’s safe to say Karma cannot pair well with it. On the other hand, Karma delivers a different experience together with its Karma Grip and Stabilizer combo which offers a solid dose of versatility not directly connected to aerial photography. So, if photo versatility is what you are looking for, then GoPro Karma is an excellent choice ! Overall, Karma is one of the best foldable drones with camera.

 

1. DJI Mavic Pro

dji mavic best foldable surveillanceAnd now the real powerhouse among all other foldable drones – DJI’s Mavic Pro. It’s the first extremely popular premium foldable drone 4K on the market, and as such, it has already found its way into thousands of homes worldwide. When folded, this little fella is no bigger than a bottle of water, making it easy to carry around anywhere you go.

In contrast to all other best portable drones (except perhaps GoPro Karma and AirDog ADII), DJI Mavic Pro retains all characteristics we would expect from full-sized flagships. And that’s pretty much the main reason behind its enormous popularity.

Features

Without a doubt, Mavic Pro is the best travel drone with a whole set of interesting smart features among which are ActiveTrack and TapFly. In addition to them, the Mavic Pro is also equipped with dual positioning systems, both GPS and GLONASS. They ensure the optimal stability of your drone no matter the scenarios under which it’s operating.

The obstacle avoidance system is also very important, especially for a drone of such a small size factor which is going to be used both indoor and outdoor. It helps it maneuver around objects in your home, which means you will not have to worry about it crashing against your chandelier or anything like that.

Specifications

DJI always takes great care of their drone’s specification and that’s exactly the case with Mavic Pro. It can fly for more than 25 minutes which makes it an absolute champion in the foldable drones’ market. Its top speed is surprisingly fast. This little fella can reach up to 40mph, making it by far the fastest drone on this list. Combine all of that with a crystal clear 4K camera and roughly 7km range and you will understand why it has such a huge price tag to its name.

 

Compact & Portable Drones

Now that you’ve seen the creme de la creme of the drones niche, it’s time to take a slightly broader approach to the matter at hand. Since most of you want a folding drone due to a travel-friendly design, perhaps you might consider one of these compact drones.

They are all relatively compact (some more, some less) but are able to provide great flying and recording experience. Let’s start off with 2 budget-friendly options that will let you in on what this niche is all about!

 

5. Altair AA108

The 5th spot belongs to Altair AA108, a highly underrated drone that you definitely need to know about! It’s been released just recently but seems to be lacking attention it’s worthy of. But, it’s time to right a wrong right now, so here’s everything you need to know about Altair AA108 – a highly compact toy grade drone with no competition in sight!

Camera

It is always nice to see such a cheap and tiny drone bearing a camera. And not just any camera – this is not one of those cheap VGA ones that are swarming the toy-grade market. Nope – this is a micro 120-degree CMOS sensor that is capable of recording in 720p at 30 frames per second.

It’s also capable of gathering a lot of light with graining being the only issue in low light conditions. For selfies, this camera is more than solid… plus it possesses a WiFi FPV system which will enable you to get that perfect angle!

Performance

In terms of performance, Altair AA108 is absolutely stellar considering its dirt-cheap price tag. You see, this tiny drone is equipped with a 1S LiPo battery which is capable of providing up to 10 minutes of flight time. With all similarly priced competitors barely touching 7 or 8, the makers of Altair AA108 can be proud of their achievement. The operating range is often a weak point of these toy-grade drones, but I am happy to inform you that this is not the case with Altair AA108.

Believe it or not, its FPV range (20-25 meters) is slightly shorter than the average operating range of drones in this price tier. The operating range, on the other hand, goes all the way to 100 meters… and that’s absolutely brilliant!

 

4. MJX Bugs 2W

First off, you need to know that there are 2 versions of MJX Bugs 2 available on the market – Bugs 2W and Bugs 2C. Both are relatively portable drones. The former is going to be in the focus of this since it’s the superior version that incorporates an FPV capable Full HD built-in camera. So, with that said, we might as well kick this explanation off by telling you everything you need to know about this camera.

Camera

Like I’ve said above, MJX Bugs 2W sports a built-in Full HD camera. Don’t expect professional-grade quality though – there is no stabilization present (software or hardware) so some shakiness and blurs are to be expected from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, this camera is not bad by any means – as a matter of fact, it’s actually the best specimen in this price range… but if you’re looking for a drone with image stabilization, look elsewhere.

Performance

Starting off with the battery, MJX Bugs 2W sports a 2S 1800mAh LiPo pack. Unfortunately, it cannot hold 3S batteries like its spiritual predecessor MJX Bugs 3 – if you try doing that you will end up destroying the ESC boards. With that out of our way, let’s talk about numbers. Flight duration goes anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes, depending on how you’re using it. The operating range has received a solid boost with official specifications claiming it can go all the way up to 1 kilometer. However, I cannot testify for that since I’ve barely gone past 500 meters… after which I couldn’t see it anymore so I returned it back home.

Features

The main thing in the features department is GPS. Yup, MJX Bugs 2W is among the cheapest GPS drones available on the market. Furthermore, you should also know that it incorporates several supporting features such as telemetry, RTH (return to home), altitude hold and the already mentioned FPV.

 

3. Yuneec Breeze

yuneec breeze droneI’m sure you are all familiar with Yuneec since they are one of the leading brands in the drone industry. Their first entry into the foldable market seems like a good one, so I reckoned to include it in this list and take a closer look at it! So, here it goes…

Camera

A couple of months ago the folk over at Yuneec have released their first-ever foldable drone – Breeze. Yuneec paid good attention to the manufacturing process and have implemented a set of solid features into, what seems to be, an excellent choice for people who are looking specifically for a foldable drone. The Breeze is equipped with a 13Mpx 4K camera capable of recording breathtaking aerial videos and crystal-clear shots.

Performance

Yuneec Breeze is incredibly easy to use and has 5 automated flight modes: orbit, follow me, drone selfie, pilot, and journey. Its relatively small size enables it to be flown both indoor and outdoor. This is not only due to its small size but also due to its positioning sensors which allow it to hold its position steady no matter where it’s currently flying. Its battery can hold it in the air for roughly 12 minutes which should be more than enough for you to take that perfect aerial selfie.

Last but not least, operating range hovers from 80 to 100 meters, making it clear on all bells that Yuneec Breeze is a selfie-oriented mini portable drone.

Final words on Yuneec Breeze

So, with everything above taken into consideration, I believe most of you realize what a good job Yuneec did with Breeze. It might not be as perfect as certain high-end models (Mavic Pro, I’m looking at you), it doesn’t cost as much so it’s a good alternative nevertheless.

 

2. Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer

parrot-bebop-2The runner-up spot goes to Parrot Bebop 2. More precisely, the Adventurer package which is mainly targeted at… you’ve guessed it – adventurers. There’s a whole bunch of things going on inside the box. In addition to the Parrot Bebop 2 itself, you will not only get the Skycontroller 2 but CockpitGlasses as well.

Last but not least, Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer package will provide you with a specialized carrying backpack that fits all accessories inside and takes good care of them in terms of shock protection.

Camera

As far as the camera is concerned, I’m sure we can all agree that Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer is nothing short of brilliant. As some of you already know, this gorgeous drone sports as Full HD capable camera with electronic image stabilization (EIS from now on). EIS effectively removes all jitters, vibration, and shakiness from videos and nicely smoothens out your images. So, if camera quality is of utmost importance to you, then Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer is a solid option!

Performance

After you read the next couple of sentences I am sure you will agree with me that Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer is one of the better performing drones across both of these lists. Starting off with operating range, SkyController is able to boost it all the way up to 2 kilometers. Neat, huh? Flight duration is pretty good too. You can expect anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes which is quite good when compared to other similar models. Flying speed is good too, going all the way up to 65 km/h.

Features-wise, this birdie is equipped with GPS and several supporting features including one key return home. However, you will have to pay a couple of bucks to unlock Waypoints.

 

1. DJI Spark – best portable drone?

Finally, we have yet another awesome miniature drone made by DJI. Even though it is not foldable, DJI Spark is still a highly compact little drone that can easily fit into any kind of backpack you have lying around. It’s a lot smaller than DJI even without the folding capability but still retains awesome performance, especially when compared to similarly priced models.

So, with all that being taken into consideration, let’s take a close up shot of DJI Spark and see why exactly is it the number 1 spot on this list!

Camera

The first thing that needs to be stated about DJI Spark is the amazing miniature camera. We are talking about a Full HD capable 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with 12MPX. It captures images in 4K resolution (3968 x 2976) and Full HD videos at 30fps. Best of all, it is mounted on an even smaller 2-axis gimbal.

Needless to say, the hardware stabilization mechanism does a world of good with image/video smoothness… Almost to the point of a professional-grade aerial photo platform.

Performance

Performance is always a strong point to all DJI drones, and nothing different can be said about Spark. Despite its small size, this little birdie is more than capable when it takes off in the air. In sports mode, this drone can achieve up to 30 miles per hour which is quite the feat if you ask me. But that’s not where the fun ends.

If you get the DJI Spark Fly More Combo, you will get the dedicated DJI Spark controller which will boost the range up to 1 kilometer. Lastly, thanks to a 1480mAh 3S LiPo battery found inside, DJI Spark can fly for approximately 15 minutes.

Features

Features are not to be taken for granted either. This best portable drone is equipped with a vision system, 3D sensing system and a whole plethora of features, including the popular ActiveTrack and TapFly. There’s is also a couple of new ones – PalmLaunch and PalmControl which will provide you with a handsfree gesture experience.

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When will people stop telling us that really trying to home with non-GPS copters will work? It definitely does not the same as with, in most cases, headless mode with these sheep machines.
I wonder how many people crashed a drone believing that.
Secondly , the yuneec breeze is not foldable. Bad job guys