Undoubtedly, camera quadcopters have come to stay, and they are becoming more advanced and inexpensive time and time again. Resultantly, the particular needs, budget, and expectations of the users are satisfied by the new models of these devices. For people looking for a quad with a small footprint, this guide provides a review for choosing pocket drones. An excellent drone comes with lots of features and is small enough to be placed inside a decent sized pocket or tiny bag.
Features of a Pocket Drone
A lot of toy drones for kids are small and fit for a pocket. Nevertheless, that is not the focal point at this juncture. Pocketing a small drone makes it susceptible to getting damaged. Therefore, being small is not the most essential quality of a pocketable drone. Miniature models of drones are usually called portable or travel drones by the makers, and a small case is often used to protect them.
These drones are designed to be compact and lightweight. Folding down for storage and portability makes some of them appear smaller than they really are. Nowadays, they come in several options. Although there is a bunch of tech companies producing tiny drones, DJI and GoPro are the leading companies manufacturing foldable drones. Rather than using the traditional folding designs, a few of the latest models are equipped with sliding arms.
The Advantages of Pocket Drone
The advent of the digital camera revolution has brought about an everlasting change into photography and video. Now, drones have taken the method of shooting to the next level. Nowadays, exceptional aerial stills and videos can be taken for awesome footage that was nonexistent some years ago. Using pocketable drones, you do not even need additional baggage space to get this done.
With the introduction of every new upgrade, these smaller drones become even more exceptional. They are capable of flying faster, longer, further and getting recharged quicker. Compared to the earlier models, the newer versions come with more advanced cameras.
The Best Pocket Drone Comparison Table
Holy Stone HS 160
Hover Camera Passport
13MP 4K HD
13MP 4K HD
21MP 4K HDR
WiFi 100 m
7.09 x 7.09 x 1.18 inches
6.7 x 7 x 1.26 inches
5.3 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
7.2 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches
6.7 x 7.0 x 1.2 inches
6.9 x 9.4 x 2.56 inches
*Scroll right on mobile device to see every item
The Best Pocket Drone Reviews
Here comes the world-famous foldable pocket drone from Holy Stone. This wonderful quad is small and ultra-portable because it has flexible blades and a small body. Take a look at the features that have placed it at the top of the best budget list.
Just like other Holy Stone’s drones, HS160 pocketable drone sells like hotcakes. At a bargain price of less than $100, you have a quadcopter with a decent small camera. For anyone testing the waters of ultra-portable drone technology, this drone is a perfect option. Its foldable design ensures that it is just as portable as a smartphone. To top it off, your iOS and Android device can be utilized for operating this exquisite device.
HS160 First Person View (FPV)
Get access to the real-time transmission with the help of the Wi-Fi FPV. You enjoy the same view that the airborne 720P HD camera gets in real-time. Consequently, this device allows you to manage the video or photo you are taking from the sky. Afterward, your aerial footage can be directly saved and stored in the app and mobile album.
How to Fly the Holy Stone HS160 Pocketable Drone
Irrespective of the level you want to fly this portable drone, the process is simple. One-Key takeoff/landing and Altitude Hold are just a few of its beginner-friendly features. It has four low-to-high speed modes that offer pilots confidence at various levels. With the speed control, the needs of novice pilots, intermediates and experts are well taken care of. It comes with a 70-meter range (distance from controller to craft). This range is a lot for such a tiny, lightweight quad.
Since its weight is below three ounces, you should avoid using this drone in the wind. You definitely want to avoid it being blown away or smashed against something. Although this drone is designed for beginners, a headless mode would have been preferable. At a maximum of 9 minutes, the flight time of this quad is typical and short. This fast-charging device has an extra battery.
- Foldable, flexible and portable
- Wi-Fi FPV
- 720 HD Camera
- Four-speed modes
- Altitude Hold feature
- Controlled with apps
- One-key Takeoff/Land feature
- No headless mode
- Too light so not suitable for use in the wind
- Typically short flight time
EACHINE drone is a camera quadcopter that has live video. Suitable for entry-level, it is a foldable selfie-drone that can be kept securely in a large pocket. Since it costs about 50 bucks, your expectations on this drone should not be too much. However, you will get good values for your money. Although its 2.0MP 720P HD camera cannot produce world-class footage, the stills and video quality are good enough for the eyes. So when you need a pocketable drone for photography and video, EACHINE drone is a good choice.
How to Fly EACHINE Selfie Pocket Drone
Even if you have never operated a drone, you won’t have issues with this. Due to its headless mode, you can fly this drone without any concern about its orientation. For instance, irrespective of the direction the quad is facing, the forward button on the controller will make the drone move forward. This is also applicable to its other directional controls. If you own a drone without a headless mode, you will have to master the position first before operating it.
Another amazing feature that beginners will like is the Gravity Sensor mode. All you have to do is to use one hand to hold the controller and move it in any direction to control the quad. In doing so, the quad flies in the exact direction you have moved the remote. This makes flying as simple as ABC for beginners. Other failsafe features of the quad are One-key return-to-home and Altitude hold. A smartphone and the Wi-Fi app can also be used for flying this quadcopter.
Don’t expect too much from the built-in 2.0MP 720 HD Camera. While the quality justifies the price tag, this won’t produce the same topnotch quality images as your smartphone. It is just an entry-level pocketable drone. At just 7 minutes, its flying time can be considered to be average to an extent. If you are buying this device, you should consider adding the price of one or more 3.7V 500mAh batteries to its original price.
- Foldable, pocketable drone
- HD camera
- Gravity sensor mode
- Headless mode
- 1-key return
- Altitude hold
- Controllable with apps
- Average-quality camera
- Short flying time
The Zerotech Dobby Pocket Drone is another pocket drone that has a sleek design. This quad is known for exceptional performance due to its specifications and impressively powerful features. When its software is considered, this mini-drone has overwhelmingly amazing hardware. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, it comes with an Adreno 330 GPU and RAM of 2 gigs. You can easily control it with the DoFun apps which can be used on both iOS and Android devices. Through the app and its awesome GUI, users are in total control of the drone.
The camera functionality of Zerotech is one of the most exceptional among mini-drones. Foremost, facial recognition is featured on its avant-garde HD camera. Also, you can shoot short video alongside target tracking. The images on your mobile device can be monitored in real time. On top of the aforementioned functionalities, all photos taken can be synchronized seamlessly with a single click. The electronic image stabilization (EIS) feature can be used for editing and smoothing out the videos. Dual satellite positioning capability is another feature you are bound to enjoy on this quad. With the aid of the sharing function, you can easily share your HD photos and video with friends and family without much hassle. Without a doubt, a mini-drone can hardly have more exciting capabilities.
- Alongside other features, the quad is equipped with field oriented control (FOC) and 3-way cooling solutions that ensure a stellar and safe flight performance.
- It has an exceptional camera quality as a result of its 13 million pixels and 4K-image acquisition. Consequently, you are assured of high-quality videos and images.
- Through the built-in computer vision and other image transmission systems, the quad uses intelligent flying.
- Using the mini-drone both indoor and outdoor from an aerial angle is completely safe. In view of this, different breathtaking perspectives can be used for capturing even selfies.
- Altitude hold, gravity sensor control, voice control, and level 4 wind resistance are just a few of the impressive features of this drone.
- With all these extraordinary features, this quad can be bought for less than $200. Such a bargain!
- Portable – foldable to the size of a normal smartphone
- Controllable with the app and mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android devices)
- Face recognition
- Gesture control
- 1-key takeoff
- Short flight duration
- No blade guards
- Long charging time
As a result of its unconventional design that focuses on safety, Hover Camera Passport is an exciting pocketable drone. However, apart from safety, the flying bird comes with a few other sensational features like GPS and an excellent camera that is ideal for shooting aerial videos and taking impressive drone selfies. With these features duly considered, we end the introduction; let’s have a review of the performance of this beautiful birdie.
Foremost, let’s quickly talk about the only con of the Hover Camera Passport which is its operating range. The issue here is that this little fella is a smartphone-controlled quad, and you know that smartphone-controlled drones are usually disadvantaged when it comes to operating range. Sadly, Hover Camera Passport is worse in this sense – its operating range is just 20 meters. Very poor!
Nevertheless, let go of your disappointment because this drone is fully autonomous and is primarily designed for capturing wonderful selfies. To be honest, the 20-meter operating range of this drone is clearly above the optimal distance of taking selfies. Another positive thing to consider is the battery duration that is as much as 10 minutes of effective airtime. In addition, the standard package of this drone comes with 2 different batteries; hence, you can take selfies for about 20 minutes for each session. Isn’t that awesome?
Camera and features
When it comes to its features, this mini-drone combines facial and body recognition software with multiple filming modes. In a clear term, Hover Camera Passport dons orbit, 360 spin and so on. Design-wise, its body is fully enclosed with carbon fiber that ensures that it is durable and lightweight simultaneously. Likewise, it is pocketable because it can be folded into half.
Lastly, here comes the most intriguing feature of this little birdie – its avant-garde camera. Imagine a drone with a 13MPX CMOS sensor with adjustable angle even when it is flying. This is a rare spec for mini-drones, right? However, Hover Camera Passport does not stop surprising us here. With this mini-drone, videos can be recorded in 4K and FHK formats. To be more specific, 4K videos can be recorded at 30fps and FHD videos at 60fps. What more do you want in a mini-drone?
- Unconventional design
- Carbon fiber, foldable body
- Full app control with iOS/Android devices
- High average stills and video
- Auto-follow mode
- Gesture control
- 360° panoramic
- Fully protected props add safety
- Fast charging time
- Additional battery
- Short flight time
- A bit expensive
- Flying requires some practice
Are you in need of a pocket drone with great features and a sleek compact design for less than $100? The GoolRC T47 FPV Drone is the ideal product for you. This flying fella is equipped with an excellent camera and several other features. It has an altitude hold mode that makes it a wonderful drone you would love. With this feature that ensures stability, even a first timer can shoot great videos and take exceptional images with ease. A 6-axis gyro stabilization system of the product even offers users more stabilization. The 3D rollover features are other remarkable functions that have a significant effect on the product.
The GoolRC T47 FPV drone is one of the pocketable drones that feature live or real-time transmission of video. Activation of the FPV and selfie mode is possible through Wi-Fi. This drone is sleek, compact and can be folded into your pocket. Although its 7 minutes of airtime for one battery might look unimpressive, it should be noted it comes with two batteries; so you can enjoy as much 14 minutes of airtime with the two batteries. Its 80-meters operating range is noteworthy too. Considering the superb features of this quad, its performance gets the job done satisfactorily.
- If you want to get an eye-catching pocket drone, this is the right product for you. It has a unique color and compact shape that differentiates it from others.
- If you are looking for a product with intuitive controls in a multiple setting, the GoolRC T47 performs exceptionally well. In respect to controls, its versatility ensures that you get total freedom.
- The altitude hold mode of the product allows both novice and veteran users to take stabilized photos and videos. Also, if you want perfect pictures and videos, all you have to do is to tap the beauty mode feature of the drone to improve the appearance of your content.
- The battery of this product has a total charging time of around 70 minutes. As a result of this, you have the choice of deciding your activities.
- Its 30-meter image transmission distance is commendable for a product of its kind.
- Other built-in features of the mini-drone include headless mode, gravity sense control, forward and backward, side-ward flight, left and right, up and down and lots more.
- For a product that costs about $70, this product is a good bargain. So if you want a budget-friendly mini-drone with fantastic features, this is definitely an ideal choice. In addition to the excellent customer service you will get, its after-sale service policy is awesome. Optimal satisfaction is guaranteed for the customers anytime from the manufacturer.
- Most portable drone
- Great operating range
- Exceptional camera
- Might be whisked away by the wind because it is so tiny
- Poor flight time
Parrot has not relented in producing useful, exciting drones with specifications that drone enthusiasts have never anticipated. The Parrot PF728000 ANAFI Drone comes with the combination of 4K HDR video and a lightweight, ultra-compact quad.
This drone is the most perfect, special mini-drone which has a 180⁰ vertical tilt gimbal that is available on the market and is ideal for taking low-angle videos and images. It has a foldable Parrot Skycontroller 3 that can hardly be beaten by any other products.
- Utilizes several flight modes such as Automatic Framing, Video Mode, Automatic Aerial Selfies, Sports Mode, Automated Video Effect, and Flight Plan.
- Slow motion, Geofence, Return to Home, Find My Drone, and Follow Me.
- Camera capabilities – 4K, 4K Cinema, Full HD, export formats, white balance as well as shutter video parameters and photo dimensions
- 180⁰ vertical tilt gimbal
- 21MP still photos and 4K HDR videos at 100Mbps
- Unfolds within 3 seconds
- USB-smart battery with a flight time of about 25 minutes
- Features the Parrot Skycontroller 3
- Comes with a lightweight, ultra-compact carbon frame
- 2.8X lossless zoom to ensure clear visualization of each deal
- Utilizes the A.I-powered FreeFlight 6 app and automatic cinematic shots
- Weight – below one pound
- The wide-angle lens of f/2.4 ASPH and 1/2.4” CMOS Sony Sensor
- Highly resistance to the wind of about 31 mph and has quiet flight performance
- Comes with a 35mm focal length equivalent of 26 to 78 mm for videos and 23 to 69 for photos
- Maximum flight range of as much as 2.5 miles
- Can reach a top speed of about 33 mph
- Self-location is possible due to the presence of dual GPS and GLONASS positioning systems
- Can be used with power banks, maximum of 24W which can charge as much as 60% faster than regular chargers
- Uses quad-core Ambarella image signal processor
- Comes with vision positioning systems and dedicated ISP which is good for hyperlapse and slow-motion videos
- Has all the basic features you need
- Comes at a great price
- Ideal for people that want low-angle shots
- Lightweight of below one pound
- Does not have an extra battery
Things to Consider Before Purchasing A Pocket Drone
Mechanism of Control
Different pocket drones have various types of control systems. You need a drone that is equipped with advanced technology to ensure ease and accuracy of the control. You can also get a better experience if the control system is versatile.
The maximum range of a drone is the distance that the drone can fly before you will not be able to control it. You need to consider this factor to decide whether the range is suitable for your needs or not.
Similarly, the size plays a pivotal role in your consideration for portability. Generally, once pocket drones have been folded, they become smaller and less bulky. Nevertheless, their size is entirely different once they are unfolded. To decide whether the size is suitable for your project or not, you must understand the size in inches.
Without a doubt, the camera specifications must be the focal point of a pocket drone. Ultimately, the need to take unsurpassed aerial video and photos leads most people into purchasing a drone. Therefore, be certain whether a pocket drone that cannot be folded will be inconvenient for you or not. Most users want a product that is comfortably portable.
Although many of the pocket drones available today are lightweight, various products have a wide range of weights. This factor is also instrumental in deciding if it will be easy for you to take the drone around with you in your pocket or not.
POCKET DRONES FAQ
What are the advantages of owning a pocket drone that has a camera?
The major and most obvious advantage of having a pocket is being able to carry it almost anywhere you are going without overloading yourself with additional baggage. Just pick up your drone and position it inside your pocket, and you are ready for action. Contrarily, if you have a full-sized drone, an extra backpack is required primarily for carrying it. Recent technological advancements have made it possible for pocket drones to be equipped with top-notch capabilities….this now leads us to another important question…
Does small size signify poor performance?
A misconception about small-sized drones is that they are often toy-grade products. To be realistic, this misconception used to be true until recent time. More specifically, pocket drones were usually toy-grade products until the birth of the first set of premium selfie drones. Basically, Zerotech Dobby and Wingsland S6 started the production of premium selfie drone before DJI and their Spark model came into existence.
Simply put, what you should understand at this stage is that pocket drones are no more synonymous to poor performance. Though lots of toy-grade drones are still in the market today, the premium market also provides many high-performing small flying birdies.
Do pocket drones and foldable drones refer to the same thing?
This is not always true. Although most pocket-sized drones can be folded, some are not. We still have tons of pocket drones that are not foldable.
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