Having a drone basically means having your personal flying camera always at your disposal. Well, technically not always since you can’t carry those bulky drones with you wherever you go… But it’s a completely different story if you own a portable one that can fit in your pocket (a.k.a. pocket drone).
Needless to say, such a compact size eliminates the need for additional or dedicated carrying cases which we are used to seeing with full-sized models.
Drones on this list :
However, there is a catch – most of these pocket-sized drones aren’t really up to the task of capturing great aerial videos. As a matter of fact, most of them suck with their tiny VGA cameras that do no good in terms of quality. Still, there are models with a better quality camera available, but those will set you back a couple of hundred bucks at least… But if you ask me, they are more than worth it!
Look at it this way – you can spend $50 for a pocket drone with a camera that will outright disappoint you with its aerial photography performance. On the other hand, up the price to $200-$300 and you will be able to get yourself an FHD or even 4K capable pocket drone with camera. And trust me, the difference is significant!
With all that in mind, I have come up with a list of the TOP 5 mini pocket drones for everyone’s taste. The price ranges from $100 all the way to $500 so I’m certain there is something for everyone. So, let’s dig straight into the list and check out these 5 awesome pocket drones!
Table: 5 Best Pocket Drones
|5. Baby Elfie||720p||100m||7 min||See price now|
|4. WingsLand S6||4K||100m||10 min||See price now|
|3. Zerotech Dobby||13MP||100m||8 min||See price now|
|2. Hover Camera||4K||20m||8 min||See price now|
|1. DJI Spark||1080p||2000m||15 min||See price now|
5. Baby Elfie – Cheap pocket drone
Starting off with, by far, the cheapest pocket drone on our list – JJRC H37 Baby Elfie. This is an upgrade over the original JJRC H37 Elfie which turned out to be a massively successful pocket drone for JJRC. So, driven by their success, the second version was more than obvious. But, is it a worthy upgrade? How well can it perform? Let’s find out!
First things first, I would like to make one thing clear – JJRC H37 Baby Elfie is a toy-grade cheap pocket drone after all… and as such, it is not meant to outperform any of the below feature drones. As a matter of fact, just compare its price to all of the others and you will realize what I am talking about. So, with that out of our way, let’s see how does Baby Elfie performs! The juice maker is a tiny 1S LiPo battery pack. It’s lightweight but still able to produce roughly 6 to 7 minutes of airtime.
Furthermore, the range is hovering from 50 to 100 meters, depending on the surrounding area. Conclusion – While the airtime isn’t exactly on point with other drones featured below, the operating range actually is.. to an extent. Kudos to JJRC for this, obviously, for making a brilliant pocket drone with a camera!
Camera and Features
As far as the camera is concerned, you obviously cannot expect a 4K-ready sensor or hardware stabilization for such a low price tag. But still, JJRC H37 Baby Elfie delivers a solid image quality thanks to its built-in HD camera. It’s quite the upgrade coming from the original H37 Elfie which sported a petty VGA which produced outright awful results.
Features-wise, some of you might be disappointed due to the lack of GPS. However, to make up for that, Baby Elfie incorporates the basic versions of altitude hold and one key return, both of which can come in handy more often than not.
4. Wingsland S6
Judging by the price Wingsland S6 definitely falls into the category of high-end mini pocket drones. It sports a cool design, brilliant camera and great hardware that moves the boundaries between a pocket and full-sized drones. On the outside, you will be met with an orange/black color scheme which goes easy on the eyes. It’s nothing spectacular though, but will surely turn a few heads its way… Enough with the introduction though, let’s jump straight to action and see what’s this little fella all about!
Performance-wise, Wingsland S6 fairs pretty well against other similarly sized competitors. It’s true! This birdie sports up to 10 minutes of flight time which is somewhat of a standard at this price (and size) point. As far as the operating range concerned, Wingsland S6 operates via an extremely polished and user-friendly app. In terms of numbers though, you will be having roughly 50 to 100 meters at your disposal. Not bad considering this is a smartphone-controller drone after all…
Camera and Features
The key feature of this gorgeous-looking drone is its foldable drone design. Once it’s folded, it easily fits into all sorts of pockets. It’s that small! Furthermore, you will also be happy knowing it sports GPS as well as a bunch of supporting smart flight modes such as follow me, orbit, return to home, altitude hold and more. I’m sure you will all agree with me when I say Wingsland S6 provides great value for the money you’ll end up spending on it.
And finally… the camera! Wingsland S6 features a 4K-ready camera with integrated EIS (electronic image stabilization). So yeah, it offers 4K videos at 30 FPS and FHD videos at 60FPS. They’re smooth and stable, just as you would expect from an EIS powered 4K camera. Do you think WingsLand S6 is the best pocket drone? Share your opinion with us in the comment section!
3. Zerotech Dobby
Zerotech Dobby is an absolutely gorgeous mini pocket drone whose main focus is its foldable design and sleek appearance. But don’t let that fool you – Zerotech Dobby sports great hardware too. It doesn’t fall short in terms of features either. But, let’s take it one thing at a time. Before jumping to the features and all that good stuff, first, we will take a closer look at its performance and see whether or not it suits your needs!
Powered by a quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2 gigs of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, there is no doubt that Zerotech Dobby is a beast. This is further improved by the rest of its hardware as well. Take battery as the perfect example – 970mAh 2S LiPo pack that brings roughly 7 to 9 minutes of airtime. The operating range is not too far off either – up to 100 meters in clear and unobstructed areas. We should also not forget its highly polished DoFun app (works on both Android and iOS mobile platforms) which incorporates sleek GUI and intuitive controls. All A’s in that department for Zerotech Dobby, there is no doubt about that! But, let’s move onto the camera and features…
Camera and Features
The camera (AKA DOBBY Module) offers unparalleled image quality thanks to its 13MPX CMOS sensor. It sports electronic image stabilization (EIS) which smoothens out videos to an admirable degree. Unfortunately, it works only in FHD. How do I mean only? Oh, I forgot to tell you that Zerotech Dobby’s camera is capable of recording in 4K resolution at a solid 30fps. Lower that to 1080p and you will get buttery smooth 60fps. How about that for a pocket-sized drone, hugh?!
Features are nothing short of brilliant either. GPS+GLONASS coverage, level 4 wind resistance and a nicely foldable design that allows it to be carried everywhere you go. Other features include gravity sensor control, voice control, altitude hold, flips, and the ever so popular follow me mode.
2. Hover Camera Passport
Hover Camera Passport makes for an interesting pocked sized drone due to its unconventional design with safety as the primary focus. But, in addition to safety, this little birdie can boast with other awesome characteristics such as GPS and an outstanding camera that’s great for recording aerial videos and taking brilliant drone selfies. With all that in mind, let’s cut the introduction short here and check out the performance of this little fella!
First of all, I would like to get the only downside of Hover Camera Passport out of the way… and that would be its operating range. You see, Hover Camera Passport is one of those smartphone-controlled drones, and I am sure most of you know that this type of drones usually doesn’t have the best range. Unfortunately, though, Hover Camera Passport brings that to the extreme with only 20 meters of operating range.
However, don’t be too disappointed since we are talking about a fully autonomous drone created primarily for the purpose of taking selfies. Let’s face it, the optimal distance for taking the perfect selfie is way less than 20 meters. On the bright side, battery duration is standing great with up to 10 minutes of effective airtime. Plus, the standard Hover Camera Passport package will get you 2 batteries which means you will have up to 20 minutes of total flight time per session.
Camera and Features
Features-wise, Hover Camera Passport incorporates facial (and body) recognition software further supported by multiple filming modes. If I am to be more precise here, this birdie sports orbit, 360 spin and more. In terms of design, it has a fully enclosed carbon fiber body that is lightweight and durable at the same time. Plus, it folds into half meaning it easily fits in your pockets.
And finally, we are approaching the brightest point of Hover Camera Passport – the imaging solution (AKA camera). We are talking about a 13MPX CMOS sensor whose angle is adjustable on-the-fly. We don’t see that very often with mini drones, don’t you agree? Nevertheless, this seems like a great addition! Furthermore, Hover Camera Passport can record videos in 4K and FHK. More precisely, 4K at 30fps and FHD at 60fps.
1. DJI Spark
Finally, we have reached the best mini pocket drone. As if there were any doubts – it’s DJI Spark… a massively successful drone that has struck the market by storm and doesn’t seem like it is getting off the throne anytime soon. This marvelous drone offers the best the current technology has at its disposal and manages to cram a whole plethora of features (as well as insanely powerful hardware) in a ridiculously small package! But, enough with the praises, let’s see this little birdie in action!
Starting off with the basics of performance, it is only logical to check out DJI Spark’s battery. It’s a pretty good one, don’t worry… We are talking about a 3S LiPo pack with 1480mAh. In terms of flight time, you are looking at roughly 15 to 16 minutes, depending on the type of use you’re going for. While it’s not exactly on point with full-sized models, it’s the best airtime you can find with pocket-sized drones. Operating range, when used with the dedicated controller, supposedly goes from 500 to 2000 meters. That is, however, depending on whether you get the FCC or CE compliant version.
Camera and features
If you would like to take selfies or aerial videos with DJI Spark, you will be happy to know it rocks a brilliant FHD ready camera mounted on a 2-axis gimbal. By having a hardware stabilization system onboard, DJI Spark really sets the tone for other high-end mini-drones to come.
Last but not least – features! In addition to the active lineup of DJI GO app which includes a whole bunch of autonomous flight modes, DJI Spark can also boast with gesture control and facial recognition. Of course, it is powered by GPS and has all the sensors you can think of. It’s extremely stable in midair and relatively easy to use, especially if you’re not interested in experimenting with a bunch of adjustments.
All in all, if you’re looking for the best pocket drone money can buy, DJI Spark is the obvious choice!
Pocket Drones FAQ
In other words, what I’m trying to say here is that pocket-sized drones don’t necessarily mean bad performance. There are still plenty of toy grade ones out there, but the high-end market offers several tiny beasts as well.
If you’re aiming for an entry-level selfie drone then JJRC H37 Baby Elfie should be your go-to option.
On the other hand, if you want something more advanced but you’re a complete beginner, Zerotech Dobby is the way to go.
Come to think of it, JJRC H37 Baby Elfie is so easy to use that even children can use it without any difficulties at all. If that’s not enough for you, then I don’t know what is…
What about FPV racing with pocket drones?
As you can see, neither of the 5 pocket drones featured above isn’t an FPV racing drone? But why is that so? Why haven’t I added at least one representative…
What a blasphemy?! Well, to my defense, FPV racing drones can’t really be placed in the same basket as the ones featured above. Even though micro FPV racers (both brushless and brushed) are coming up in the world of drones, there’s a reason why they weren’t featured.
You see, for normal functioning of an FPV racer, the use of FPV goggles (and a dedicated digital transmitter)is an obvious must… and we all know these are quite bulky. So, despite FPV racing drones indeed come in pocket sizes, their accessories don’t… and that’s the reason why we skipped them for the list above.
Pocket drones review
- Flight time