You intend to take beautiful photos on vacation, but you don’t want to lug around your large drone in your suitcase. Fortunately, you can still take amazing pictures without the help of a bigger drone.
Pocket drones are exactly what their name entails. Some are small enough to ensure portability, while others are completely foldable. Here are some of the best pocket drones to bring on your next excursion.
1. Best Value Foldable Drone:
Holy Stone HS160 Shadow Drone
Once folded, the Holy Stone Hs160 Shadow Drone shrinks down to the size of a large smartphone. This makes it easy to stow inside your purse, suitcase, or pocket. You don’t need a remote control for this drone—simply connect your phone to the drone’s Wi-Fi, and you can control its movement while viewing live 720p footage.
If you want a more immersive experience with your drone, use 3D mode. Attach a VR headset to your phone, and you’ll see the same bird’s-eye view perspective of the drone. You can also switch on Gravity Sensor Mode, which lets you control the drone just by moving your phone. The HS160, with its low price and extensive feature set, is a contender for the best foldable drone available today.
2. Best Budget Pocket Drone:
Potensic D20 Mini Drone
For an affordable pocket drone with a camera, the Potensic D20 Min Drone is a great choice. Instead of operating it from your smartphone, it comes with a controller and plenty of beginner-friendly features. With headless mode, you don’t have to worry about the direction that the front of the drone is facing either.
Since it’s equipped with a camera, expect to see high-quality footage transferred straight to your phone. The HD video, coupled with a convenient size of 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches makes it an great travel companion.
3. Best Foldable Selfie Drone:
DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter
If you’re a drone enthusiast, you’ll definitely want to consider the DJI Mavic Air. Although it’s foldable and small in size, it comes packed with the functionality of a full-featured drone. In addition to shooting videos in 4K, it also snaps 32MP sphere panoramas. Expect a long flight time too, as the DJI Mavic Air has a battery life of 21 minutes.
The drone itself is foldable, and so is the remote control. You can snap your smartphone right into the controller’s frame. That way, you can see live footage as you operate the drone. For selfies, you can control the drone with hand gestures to snap the best pictures of you and your friends.
4. Best Pocket Selfie Drone:
DJI Spark Mini Quadcopter
The DJI Spark Mini isn’t foldable, but its small size of 9.84 x 2.95 x 8.19 inches makes it ideal to use on-the-go. It comes with Palm Control Mode, a feature that allows you to take pictures just by using hand gestures. When you want to take a selfie, control the drone with your palm instead of fiddling with a remote control or your phone.
Not only can you take photos of yourself without using any controls, but you can take photos of the landscape without having to steer the drone. It uses facial recognition to lift off of the palm of your hand—from there, you can continue to control the drone with gestures. If you do decide to control the drone with your phone, the TapFly feature lets you send the drone off in a specific direction just by tapping your phone’s screen.
5. Best Folding Drone for Beginners:
ScharkSpark Drone Guard
The ScharkSpark Drone Guard is made for novices. It’s built with guarded corners that should stay intact after any unexpected crashes. This extra protection comes in handy if you’re not familiar with controlling a drone. Like the Potensic Pocket Drone, the ScharkSpark also comes with headless mode, so you won’t have to think about the drone’s orientation.
This foldable drone camera also makes landing and take-off easy. Instead of dealing with finicky controls, you can take-off and land with a single touch of a button. Similarly, you can press the 3D flip button on your controller to see your drone perform a barrel roll.
6. Best Handheld Drone:
Zerotech Dobby Pocket Selfie Drone
The Dobby Pocket Drone fits into the palm of your hand, folding down to just 5.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches. This easy-to-use drone takes 13MP photos in various photo modes including continuous shooting mode, single shot mode, enhanced mode, and time-delayed mode.
If you want to fly the drone indoors, program the drone to fly at a specific height to avoid hitting the ceiling. Prompt the drone to get off the ground by patting it three times with your hand. When you want to land it, use the Palm Landing feature to make the Dobby drone land right in your palm. The Dobby drone is great at sporting events, weddings, or even to tape a jetskiing adventure as its motion detection tracks people automatically.
7. Best Fold-Up Drone With Voice Control:
Snaptain A15 Foldable Drone
Unlike some of the other drones on this list, the Snaptain A15 Foldable Drone supports voice control, as well as gesture control. When you download the Snaptain Air app to your smartphone, you can control the drone with your voice. The app also allows you to control your drone with a smartphone and access VR mode.
The Snaptain A15 comes with the standard headless tracking, one-button take-off features, and also takes videos in 720p. To shoot a stable photo, use the altitude hold mode to make the drone hover in mid-air.
The Best Pocket Drone for You
Whether you want to take selfies, film an exciting adventure, or see an aerial view of a landscape, you’ll find that you don’t need a big drone to take great photos or videos. A drone that fits inside your pocket suffices for most situations. Not to mention that a pocket drone is way more convenient to travel with.
As you film, you might find that your pocket drone’s battery quickly gets depleted. In this case, it’s time to upgrade. When you’re ready to invest in a bigger drone, take a look at our list of the best full-sized drones for beginners .