Foldable drones have two main advantages. Firstly, they make it practical to keep them with you as portability is one of the most hunted features among drone enthusiasts. This means the larger foldable drones can be transported in a backpack, in the trunk of a small car, or even on a motorcycle. The second advantage is that foldable drones are much less fragile during travel. The fragile rotors and other components can be kept safe while folded away, without the need to carry a bulky foam-molded case with you everywhere. It also makes pocket drones into something you’d actually want to stick in your pockets!
Here are the best foldable drones to date.
Top Foldable Drones of 2019
This list would never be complete without a DJI drone on it. 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.
All drones in the DJI Mavic series are foldable drones. This includes the following:
- Mavic Air. The DJI Mavic Air offers many of the benefits of its pricier cousins in the series but in a much smaller package. It is the ideal choice for travelers who don’t want to compromise on picture quality and overall performance when looking for a drone that fits their pocket.
- Mavic Pro. When folded up, the Mavic Pro is 83 x 83 x 198 millimeters in size. That’s positively tiny, making it easy to slip into a backpack or bag. DJI also provided a clear shield for the Mavic Pro’s camera and gimbal, which makes the idea of keeping the drone in a bag comfortable, without worrying of damage or scratches.
- Mavic Pro Platinum. Coming along with its own dedicated remote that’s also quite compact, the Platinum’s folding form factor stows easily in a camera or messenger bag. Flight performance is top-notch, with 4K video to match, and built-in safety features, automated Return to Home, and forward obstacle avoidance. It’s a fantastic choice for most aerial videographers and YouTubers.
- Mavic 2 Pro. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro features a 20 MP camera with a one-inch CMOS sensor. Take aerial shots with a jaw-dropping level of color and detail with the help of the best subject-tracking software we’ve seen—perfect for the frequently traveling photographer of today.
- Mavic 2 Zoom. This premium travel drone packs 2x optical zoom into a foldable flying camera for the first time. It becomes 91 x 84 x 214 millimeters when folded, which is only slightly larger than your smartphone. The Mavic 2 Zoom also has a brand-new Super Resolution feature—an asset when capturing the vivid details your landscape photography deserves.
- Mavic 2 Enterprise. Like the Mavic 2 Pro, the Mavic 2 Enterprise features an ultra-compact and foldable design for portability. The Enterprise also offers advanced modular accessories that extend users’ capabilities during critical operations like firefighting, emergency response, law enforcement, and infrastructure inspections.
The Parrot ANAFI combines 4K HDR video and a lightweight, compact drone all in one, complete with the also foldable Parrot Skycontroller 3. This is great for the traveler who gets value out of a smaller design and increased portability. Plus, it isn’t just the machine itself that is slim and compact with the Parrot Anafi but its case as well. You’ll surely have no trouble taking it on the go. You can launch it from the palm of your hand and enjoy a full flight time of 25 minutes. The camera produces 21 MP still photos of excellent quality and has both a timer and a burst mode. When it comes to raw specs, the ANAFI has a 1/2.4-inch CMOS sensor from Sony, along with a wide-angle f/2.4 ASPH lens.
There is one niche market in which it could excel: bridge inspection. The ability to view vertically and zoom up to 2.8x could prove to be a real game changer. The ANAFI can fly close to the girders, but then it can also view vertically to look at the underside of a bridge or similar structure. This is not something you’ll find in other drones of the same price!
The Breeze is the first of Yuneec’s foldable drones, but it does not disappoint. It has 5 flight modes—Drone Selfie, Follow Me, Orbit, Journey, and Pilot—so you can focus on taking footage with its 13 MP camera. In addition to its super-portable design, the Breeze has an indoor positioning system for capturing smooth, high-quality photos and videos when inside buildings. It also features prop guards to help reduce the risk of damage in case of a collision. Arguably, the most remarkable feature is the Breeze’s camera. This little drone can shoot in 4K at 30 frames per second and even record live video back to your smartphone in the process, allowing you to see what the drone sees in real time.
Yuneec ships each and every Breeze drone with a carrying case, a set of prop guards, and two batteries—each of which will get you about 11 to 12 minutes of flight time. That’s a total of 36 minutes of flight time! If you think about it, all these features aren’t bad for a $500 drone.
While its camera can’t compare with the top models, the Yuneec Mantis Q features voice- and gesture-controlled picture taking. It is also extremely agile and has a top speed of 44 mph. Unlike the DJI Mavic series, which is designed for both consumers and professionals, the Mantis Q is geared more toward the adventurer, traveler, vlogger, or action sports enthusiast. That is not to say that it cannot be used in a commercial niche where the standard 4K camera is more than enough.
When it comes to overall features and utility, the Yuneec Mantis Q is comparable to the popular DJI Spark. Geared more toward a similar market segment with the Spark, the Mantis Q offers face detection, visual tracking, and a simpler 2-axis gimbal. However, the Mavic nor the Spark couldn’t match the Mantis Q’s speed as the latter can fly up to 44 mph in the Sport mode. This is a solid 13 mph faster than its DJI counterparts. Moreover, the Mantis Q boasts a flight time of 33 minutes.
The Dobby’s arms fold out in a pleasingly solid way, collapsing to fit snugly into your cargo pants pocket. Small and reasonably priced, the pint-sized ZeroTech Dobby incorporates facial recognition software, dual GPS, and subject-tracking technology to help you capture images with a minimal amount of manual input. It also allows you to sync to your mobile device with one click. The Dobby can fly to around 300 meters above sea level and can be launched from and land on the palm of your hand. Control is handled via an app on your smartphone, and when outdoors, the Dobby uses GPS to maintain its position with impressive accuracy.
ZeroTech is pitching the Dobby as a selfie drone, and to that end, it’s an eminently portable device weighing only 199 grams. Sadly, flight time leaves a little to be desired. With a capacity of 970 mAh, the Dobby is only good for around five minutes of flight time.
The single most significant feature on the Passport is definitely its foldable design. Literally like a passport, it’s intentionally built to fit inside a backpack or purse, so it’s always with you whenever you need it. Hover itself marketed it as “your self-flying personal photographer.” Specifically designed for taking selfies, the Passport uses face detection technology, which enables it to track your face or body and accompanies you on your journey for a truly smartphone-free flying. The drone is also equipped with a pretty decent little camera. It shoots videos in 4K and photos at 13 megapixels. It even has a built-in flash.
The Passport comes with a variety of autonomous flying/filming modes. In addition to standard ones like Orbit and Follow, it also has a 360 Panorama function you can activate with the touch of a button, as well as a thing called Beast Mode, which lets you turn off the drone’s software-imposed motor limitations for those times when you need to follow really fast objects.
The Passport’s average flight time is at 9 to 10 minutes, but on the plus side, Hover ships two lithium-ion batteries for every purchase.
Don’t Lose Your Drone!
A drone flyaway is a nightmare for drone owners around the world, especially if the drone wasn’t equipped with a GPS tracker. Imagine, you just broke the bank to get your first foldable drone, but the expensive quadcopter decides to just leave on its own. A drone flyaway can happen anytime for various reasons—from strong winds, software glitches, and out-of-range flight to malfunctioning, a drained battery, and many more.
Don’t wait till this happens to your precious foldable drone. Avoid losing your drone at all costs. Now that you know how risky flying a drone is, secure it with a 3G GPS tracker now.