Drones have become extremely popular and are used by beginners, amateurs and professional photographers and videographers. There are different types of drones depending on your needs and budget. One type of drone that is experiencing phenomenal growth is foldable drones.
These are fun and handy portable drones that, as the name suggests; fold up into a compact package for easy transportation. GoPro was the first major name to release a foldable drone and market leaders, DJI, followed shortly after with the Mavic. There are now hundreds of different foldable drones on the market.
There are foldable drones to cater to all needs and budgets, ranging from as little as $50 and less to over $ 1000 for the top of the range models. The camera capabilities, flight technology, and communication have improved dramatically from the early drones. Some even now use sliding arm features instead of traditional folding methods!
The cheaper ones obviously don’t have the same quality camera, battery life, and other specs as the more expensive options but still offer lots of entertainment and some surprisingly cool features. Most use your smartphone as a controller making them even more compact and easy to carry.
Now taking a drone with you when going out is a breeze and you have quickly whip it out to shoot a bit of footage or take a quick selfie. You never have to miss an opportunity again.
Foldable Drones Table of Contents
- #1 DJI Mavic Pro
- GoPro Karma with HERO5 Black
- Zerotech Dobby
- Hover Camera P000017 Foldable Self-Flying Camera Drone
- LHI H37 Pocket Drone
- OKPOW Foldable Drone
- TOZO Q1012 X8tw Drone RC Quadcopter
- GoolRC T47 FPV Drone
- Parrot ANAFI
- Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera
- Foldable Drone FAQs
Top 10 Foldable Drones
We scoured the internet reading professional and amateur reviews, comparing technical specs and looking at heaps of feedback from customers that have bought and used the various models. This gave us a very clear idea of what was popular and why. Here are our findings:
DJI Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic Pro would be the Rolls Royce of foldable drones if the Rolls were a million times cooler, could fold and could fly. DJI did not become the market leader in the drone industry by accident.
They achieved that status by making top-quality innovative drones that are a pleasure to fly and produce amazing results. The workmanship and attention to detail are second to none.
The Phantom 4 is considered by many to be the best on the market but the Mavic Pro brings the convenience of a folding drone with little to no sacrifice. It is a truly outstanding piece of equipment. People have spoken with their wallet as well as the numerous positive online reviews. The Mavic is certainly one of the top-selling drones on the market.
True 4K video is easy and the results are professional. Clear, smooth footage is made possible thanks to a range of features including TapFly, Active Track and of course the 3 axis gimbal.
Vision positioning is enhanced by the use of GPS and GL ONASS and you can get precise views and angles both indoors and outdoors.
Safety is optimized through the use of sensor redundancy ad obstacle avoidance technology.
A lot of effort and creativity went into the clever design to create a super compact drone without sacrificing on quality and features. They did not stop at the drone design and the compact foldable controller is a marvel to behold.
GoPro Karma with HERO5 Black
GoPro might be losing a bit of market share recently but they were the action camera pioneers and make top of the range equipment. Put their best camera together with a quality drone and you have a formidable combination in the GoPro Karma.
While your goal is obviously to take aerial footage from a drone, having a GoPro on hand makes this combo highly versatile and there might be times another type of mount might be more suitable and you can take advantage of this.
Footage is exceptionally smooth and of a high quality. The design makes the whole setup light and ultra compact which is what you ant from a folding drone.
This compact foldable quadcopter is marketed as a selfie drone but offers so much more than just that. The Dobby produces 1080p video at 30 fps and 13-megapixel still images. All control is achieved via a smartphone app, available for iOS and Android.
The brains behind the drone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and the Electronic Image Stabilization does wonders to improve video quality. It uses sonic and optical sensors to navigate indoors and GPS outdoors.
Flying can take a bit of getting used to but it is remarkably nimble and stable once you get the hang of it. The user-friendly app and live feed help. It also offers a range automated flight options that are quite useful. Flight time leaves a little to be desired but is enough for most applications and a quick recharge is about 45 minutes.
For the reasonable price point, it is a good little performer.
Hover Camera P000017 Foldable Self-Flying Camera Drone
The phrase “so easy a child could use it” comes to mind. The Hover is nifty, super-simple to operate and heaps of fun to fly. It comes with a number of great features such as facial recognition and tracking as well as a 360-degree orbit mode. The gesture controls are pretty damn fun too.
The Hover is made mostly of carbon fiber making it weigh in at a mere 8.5 ounces. This lets you bypass regulations in most areas.
Again, this drone is controlled by an app, available on iOS or Android although there is also the “owner mode” that lets you control it though gestures once setup.
The camera delivers images at 13MP and 4K video at 30 fps. It uses electronic image stabilization however this only works up to 1080p. Footage is stored on the 32GB internal memory. You can retrieve the data either over Wi-Fi or through the USB port. Battery life is only about 10 minutes but on the plus side, it comes with two batteries.
The Hover is a fun, easy to fly drone that has features and image quality inline with its price.
LHI H37 Pocket Drone
This pocket drone is perfect if you’re looking for a budget option on a foldable drone. For only about $50 USD (at time of writing) you get an 0.3 megapixel HD camera, an altitude hold mode that works better than most, and lots of other good features.
The durable plastic body makes this an especially good choice for beginners who don’t care about the features they’ll get with more expensive drones and who are worried about the drone breaking when it crashes.
OKPOW Foldable Drone
This budget foldable drone is controlled by a smartphone app and flies well in a range of modes, including fpv, headless mode and low or high-speed modes. It features a fun 3D flip function which is entertaining and makes for some great footage. The 2.0MP 120-degree FOV wide-angle HD camera can be tilted to get the perfect angle. Video can be shot at 720P.
Another handy feature is the barometer that will maintain your altitude during flight and also enhances the one-key takeoff and landing. For a low-priced foldable drone, the fly time is not bad and you will get more than 10 minutes in the air. Flight is smooth and steady, helped by the 6-axis flight control system.
TOZO Q1012 X8tw Drone RC Quadcopter
This is a good value for money drone that sells well and has received heaps of positive feedback. Again, it is controlled from a smartphone app, either iOS or Android. Features include one-key takeoff and landing and altitude hold. It is easy and fun to fly and is a perfect choice for a beginner.
The headless security mode is great and new users will be able to enjoy the drone without having to worry all the time. Even if they lose track of the direction, they will not have any problems. Fly time is 5 to 7 minutes and the range is between 80 and 100 meters. The 6-axis gyro makes for smooth flying.
GoolRC T47 FPV Drone
The GoolRC T47 FPV drone is a really good drone that folds up small enough to fit right in your pocket. For less than $100 you get a high quality 2 Megapixel camera, a 6-axis gyro that will keep this drone stable while taking photo or video, and more. Just take a look at these features:
Parrot continues to release useful, interesting drones that always give drone enthusiasts something they never thought they’d need. The Parrot ANAFI combines 4K HDR video and a lightweight, ultra- compact drone all in one.
It’s the most ideal, unique drone with a 180-degree vertical tilt gimbal on the market that’s perfect for low-angle shots.
It comes with the foldable Parrot Skycontroller 3, one of the best.
Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera
Yuneec have been around for some time and have a number of popular drones. The Breeze is their first foldable drone and it does not disappoint.
It has 5 flight modes so you can focus on taking footage with the 13MP 4K camera. The modes are drone selfie, follow me, orbit, journey and pilot. It is compact and affordable. Battery life is reasonable at around 12 minutes.
It has digital image stabilization but this only works on 1080p video. You can get around this by using the flight modes. It is easy and safe to use and great for social sharing. The app is user-friendly and intuitive. It also offers fpv.
Foldable Drone FAQs
1. Are pocket drones and foldable drones the same thing?
Not necessarily. While most pocket drones are foldable not all of them are. There are a few pocket drones that do not fold.
2. How good is the camera on foldable drones?
This really depends on the model and generally, the price. Cameras range from very basic on the cheaper models to top of the range on the more expensive options.
Check the specs of the drone before you decide so that you know what you are getting.
3. What is the flight time on foldable drones?
Again, this really depends on the model and price. The entry level ones will give you less than ten minutes in the air while the more expensive one give close to half an hour.
4. Do foldable drones still have features?
Absolutely. From the entry-level foldable drones to the top of the range you will find a host of exciting features to improve your experience. If you require a specific feature, check first that the drone you are considering has that feature.
Foldable drones are convenient and lots of fun. There is something for everybody and all budgets from the outstanding DJI Mavic and the GoPro Karma to the really affordable models.
If you enjoy drone flying and photography, save yourself the hassle of lugging a massive gadget around and invest in a foldable drone. You will be glad you did.