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The 6 Best Foldable Selfie Drone to Buy in 2017 Starting From $50! I Bet Number 5 You Have Never Heard Of Before.

A foldable selfie drone is the new design rage with drones and quadcopters these days. The big two 900 pound gorillas are the DJI Mavic and the GoPro Karma. Both launched their own version of a foldable drone around September 2016. GoPro was first to launch with their Karma drone, a sports foldable quadcopter that is designed like an action camera and build to be taken with you on your trips. A week later DJI came in blazing with their Mavic foldable drone. What they did was squeeze the DJI Phantom 4 into a smaller size package and make it foldable. Fast forward to today and among these two the winner has already been declared by conceding; The GoPro Karma was a HUGE failure.

The Karma was recalled by GoPro only a few weeks after it started selling because it could lose power midflight causing it to crash land.

So should we just end this article here? Hell no! Read on, because there are other foldable selfie drones that you NEED to know about. Did you know that you can get a foldable selfie drone for less than $50 right now? It is true, and you can read all about it right here…

P.S. This is a super long and detailed article, if you just want to know which is the best cheap drone we recommend then click here

What Is A Foldable Selfie Drone?

6 best foldable selfie drones to buy 2017

First let us discuss what makes there drones special from the rest. Obviously, the major selling point of these drones is that they are relatively small and lightweight enough for you to easily put them in a backpack or even your pocket sometimes. This is achieved by making the arms, which hold the rotors foldable inside the body of the drone.

Another thing is how they fly and the way they are controlled. This type of drones allows you to control it using an app you install on your smartphone or tablet, this is meant to make these drones easier to fly and control even by newbie pilots who want to focus on getting a selfie rather than worry about thrust and yaw control.

foldable selfie drone app control

Finally they are mostly autonomous and fly on their own in several predetermined patterns. Meaning you can set the drone to follow you from behind, or focus on your face from the front or even do a flyby around; all of this is done even if you are moving around. The idea is that you simply tell the drone to follow you and you start your adventure. Pretty cool!

So let’s get down to it and see which is the best foldable selfie drone.

What is the Best Foldable Selfie Drone?

Drone Camera Weight Control
Method
Speed Range Rating Price
DJI Mavic Pro
13 MP C4K 743 grams Controller + App 40mph 7000 m 9.5 $$$$
Check Price
ZeroTech Dobby
13 MP 4K 199 grams App Controlled 25mph 100 m 9 $$
Check Price
Hover camera Passport
13 MP 4K 242 grams App Controlled 16mph 20 m 7.5 $$$
Check Price
JJRC H37 Elfie
13 MP 4K 73 grams App Controlled 10mph 40 m 8.5 $
Check Price
7 Hawk4k Folding Drone
720 p 654 grams Wrist Band 16mph 100 m 5 $$$
Check Price
AirDog
- 1980 grams Controller 42mph 250 m 7 $$$$$
Check Price

Best Foldable Selfie Drone Number 1, the DJI Mavic Foldable Drone

dji mavic drone

 

We will start with the big boy of the group. The DJI Mavic is the most interesting drone we have seen from DJI to date. DJI is pushing its drones more and more into the mainstream by making them friendlier, but what makes it so special?

The DJI Mavic is no where near being the smallest camera drone around, mini drones and micro drones are all over the net these days. But normally going small, meant having to sacrifice lots of things mainly the camera quality as well as extra features.

The DJI Mavic changes all of that. Despite being relatively small and very portable it manages to deliver excellent imagery, battery life, and autonomous intelligence matching drones twice its size. This feels like when we first used a laptop and compared it to a desktop computer.

A lot of innovation has been put into this drone by DJI, this is their first drone that is foldable of course and also this is their first drone that can be flown without even using the controller.

 

dji mavic drone In this mode, you switch to WiFi mode and connect your smartphone or tablet to the Mavic. This will of course take away some of the fine grained control that you get with the controller but makes things easier to manager by new pilots.

Another third option is to combine the two modes above, using the controller and your phone at the same time. You see, the DJI Mavic controller has a built in holder for a smartphone and you connect the two with the built in wire within the controller, providing you with live feed to your smartphone and more complex autonomous modes and camera settings. The remote in the meantime will display more fine-grained control.

dji mavic drone

While the exterior of the Mavic is vastly different from other DJI drones, the underlying components and software have a lot in common. For starters, they both have the downward facing optical sensors allowing the drone to stabilize itself and hover midair even when it is a bit windy around. This also gives the Mavic the ability to hold its position indoors where there is no GPS signal.

The camera specs and the gimbal are quite similar to what the Mavic’s big brother, the phantom 4 offers, except in a smaller form factor. The two camera shoot brilliant 4K videos and 12 megapixel stills. The only downside of the Mavic’s camera is that it is not as wide angle as the Phantom 4.

The DJI Mavic also has forward facing sensors giving it the ability to see what is in front of it allowing it to avoid obstacles and prevent crashes. Along with the camera, these sensors are also used for gesture control, simply wave your arms to the Mavic and it will lock on to you then frame your face with your hands and it will shoot a picture of you…So military tech!

Being the first real consumer drone from DJI the logic built in the camera software is different from other DJI drones. All DJI drones have auto focus allowing you to concentrate on flying, the Mavic however requires you to choose your subject first. This is because the concept of the DJI Mavic drone is to be more of a selfie drone rather than a more general drone. So to get the best picture you need to tell the Mavic who is the star of the show and to focus on him.

dji mavic drone

While being small has its advantages, it also means that the Mavic has some disadvantages as well. For a start, its legs are short giving it little ground clearance. True it is not a 4×4 where ground clearance is important but this means that the rotors of the quadcopter can get tangled in tall grass, which the normal DJI Phantom drones would have easily passed over. Also when compared to the DJI Phantom 4 for example, the Mavic’s wind resistance is a bit questionable, meaning it can gets a bit harder to control in stronger winds when compared to the DJI Phantom 4.

Despite its small size, this great little quadcopter has the longest claimed range of any consumer drone of over 4 miles (7 kilometers). It also has an excellent top speed of 40 miles an hour (about 60 KM an hour).

So all in all it is hard to fault the DJI’s latest drone and first real consumer drone the Mavic. True when compared to other drones even at the same price point, the DJI Mavic may not be the fastest, or the toughest or the best drone with a camera, but for its intended target, the average consumer, it is just about perfect. Except for one small thing, price. You see, for its features it is priced quite reasonably, but when you consider this to be a selfie drone for the average consumer, or in other words a toy, it is quite an expensive toy priced at $999.

So maybe this is not for the “average” consumer but more likely for a less demanding pro which can use this great little quadcopter to get pro level videos without spending too much on its bigger brother the DJI Phantom 4.

 

phantom-4-vs-mavic

Pros

  • Small light weight and easy to carry foldable design
  • Has a great camera producing excellent quality images and videos
  • Has all the bells and whistles of its bigger brother the DJI Phantom 4 at a cheaper price

Cons

  • Priced a bit too high for its intended market
  • Small legs means harder to land on soft surfaces and grass
  • Smaller body and smaller motors makes it harder to fly in windy conditions

 

 

Best Foldable Selfie Drone Number 2, ZEROTECH Dobby Selfie Drone

ZEROTECH Dobby selfie drone

 

ZeroTech Dobby Selfie Drone is a small quadcopter that is the first foldable drone to actually start selling. When you first take a look at the Dobby Selfie drone you feel like you are in a futuristic movie with its small size and foldable design. When packed and folded the drone has a small tiny pill-like shape and weighs under half a pound. It is small enough to fit in your pocket. Of course, this is by no means the smallest drone ever, but when compared to those micro drones and Nano drones this is no toy.

Spec wise the Dobby Selfie drone has some nice features considering its price, for a start, it has an HD camera shooting stills at 4K resolution and giving you 1080p HD videos with its 13 MP camera. This camera produces some great quality photos and videos, while not comparable to the quality of the DJI Mavic drone but still way better than front facing cameras in your smart phone. The Dobby is powered by a 2.3 GHz quad core Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2 GB of RAM, which is better than most toy grade quadcopters out there.

ZEROTECH Dobby selfie drone

Being targeted at the average consumers, controlling the Dobby selfie drone is not very hard. For this, you can use an app installed on your smartphone (which luckily is available in English) and it also responds to hand gestures. Getting it airborne in the first place is cool and so high tech, you can either tap it 3 times or you can use your voice to command it to fly. Feels like I am Robocop or something!

Interestingly when you first set up the drone you are not allowed to fly it indoors! Your first few flights you locked into novice mode which means that the drone needs to be flown outdoors with a GPS signal lock. After you have flown for 20 minutes the more advanced indoor mode is enabled, which also enables the dobby to land on your palm as well to take off by voice control.

fateuav-bgizxtzkysy

Despite of its relatively moderate price the Dobby Selfie Drone even has GPS built in so you can use your smartphone with the installed app to draw flight path for the quadcopter to follow allowing you to shoot some sweeping videos of you or other objects. It also has downward facing sensors allowing it to hold its place and hover while taking that great shot.

Flight time of the Dobby is about 9 minutes, which is relatively good of this type of drones, and of course, you can always get an extra battery, which is easily replaceable giving you more flight time.

 

With the latest firmware updates, the drone now has some more advanced features, which were not available when the Dobby Selfie Drone first launched and there are face tracking and target tracking.

ZEROTECH Dobby selfie drone

One downside of the Dobby selfie drone is that the camera does not really have a gimbal. The only control you do have over the camera is by choosing one of the four preset positions, and this needs to be done before flying because you cannot control the camera. Also no gimbal means there is no physical stabilization built in so they depend on electronic image stabilization just like a typical smartphone, which is generally fine for what this drone is intended for.

 

Another negative point of the Dobby Selfie drone is that it does not have an obstacle avoidance system. This means when flying in object tracking mode it can crash into a tree or building so you need to be careful and keep an eye on it.

The ZeroTech Dobby Selfie Drone is an extremely interesting and fun drone to have, it has a good build quality that can take a few bumps and bruises gracefully, and despite not having an English manual the app is indeed in English and the controls in general are not that hard to grasp. The good thing about ZeroTech is the support and continued development of this great little quadcopter in the form of added features with each new firmware release. It is not always that you find a Chinese “toy” manufacturer giving support to their products.

ZEROTECH Dobby selfie drone

All in all this is a great drone to have.

Pros,

  • Extremely small and easy to transport
  • Easy controls and has lots of functions for both novice flyers and more advanced pilots
  • Good price considering the specs and the features

Cons,

  • No gimbal means a bit shaky photage
  • No obstacle avoidance system what so ever.

Best Foldable Selfie Drone Number 3, Hover camera passport

hover-camera-passport

https://gethover.com/

 

Yet another Foldable selfie drone that made a buzz recently is the Hover Camera Passport Selfie Drone. Now this drone has a very unique design, not only the arms are foldable inside like the DJI Mavic drone or the Dobby, but the whole body folds in half just like a book, or a passport in this case.

img_03331

Another great design feature of this selfie drone is that the rotors come fully enclosed within the quadcopter body making it extremely safe to handle the drone even with its flying you can simply grab it midair without fearing for your fingers to get hurt. This also makes is tough and can handle some beating and crashes.

And because this is meant to be used by regular people who have no interest in learning all the tech stuff related to flying a quadcopter this quadcopter does not come with a controller, but like the Dobby it is completely controlled by an App you install on your smartphone.

hover-camera-passport

Now the technical stuff. The specs of the Hover Camera Passport drone are similar to those of the Dobby Selfie Drone; they both have a 13 MP camera that shoots 4K videos. However, the camera in the Passport Drone is meant for selfies and close up photos more than that of the Dobby, this is because of quite limited control range of 60 feet. Another similarity is that both are based on the Snapdragon chipset giving them great processing power to handle all the advanced features they both have.

Where this drone is better than the Dobby is that it does have obstacle avoidance system in the form of built in sonars, which can detect close by objects to prevent the drone from crashing into them. It also has a downward facing camera that takes 100 frames per second allowing it to know exactly where it should hover even when it is indoors with no GPS signal.

Another upside is that the camera on the Passport drone comes with a gimbal, but it is an entry-level one-axis gimbal. It even comes with a built it flash! Which is the first time I have even seen a drone with one.

The Passport drone also has the “typical” advanced flying modes, like a follow me, 360 degrees spin and orbit modes. The follow me will mode will show a yellow square over the person in its view and when double tapping it will switch to green color meaning that the passport quadcopter has locked on that person and will move around to follow him. Of course, fast runs and sudden changes in movement will confuse the drone but it is good enough. Orbit is extremely cool feature where the quadcopter will circle around you even while you are moving.

 

Pros

  • Small tiny unique design that is safe to hold and handle
  • Can be controlled by anyone quite easily
  • Good camera for its price

Cons,

Extremely limited control range

Limited image stabilizer

 

Best Foldable Selfie Drone Number 4, JJRC H37 Elfie Pocket Fold Portable

JJRC H37 elfie selfie foldable drone

 

The Dobby Selfie Drone as we saw earlier is a great little drone. It is small, extremely portable and takes some great selfies. A great recipe for a great drone. However, one thing would prevent some people for buying on, the price. At almost $400, it is not cheap and if you only want a simple toy for selfies, the Dobby can be pricey. This is where the JJRC H37 Elfie Selfie Drone comes in.

Priced at about $50 at the time of writing this article is a simpler cheaper copy of the Dobby Selfie Drone. Of course, at this price point you can expect the Elfie drone to lack the advanced features of the more expensive selfie drones, and it is true. The JJRC H37 or “Elfie” does not have GPS nor does it have a gimbal or an adjustable camera, it even uses brushed motors. All of this of course to cut down the cost.

JJRC H37 elfie selfie foldable drone

Even the camera has had its share of price cuts, unlike the Dobby Drone, the Elfie does not have a 4K video camera and is only limited to a resolution of 0.3 MP.

So is it a bad drone?

Hell no!

Despite all the not so good points mentioned above this is a great little drone that does have a lot of good things going for it, for a start it is very easy to control using your smartphone or tablet, it also has a headless mode which in this case is a very good addition because of its target market. And the standard feature of every selfie drone it can automatically hover midair so you can take that great selfie shot.

More advanced features include what they call a “G-sensor” mode which is basically a follow me mode that uses simpler technology to follow you around rather than photo and facial recognition found in the more advanced selfie drones.

JJRC H37 elfie selfie foldable drone

As mentioned earlier, the Drone is controlled using your smartphone over a WiFi connection. Its flight time is about 10 minutes or less, which is typical of small drones and needs about 45 minutes to fully charge.

In conclusion, it is fun and it does what it was built to do…cheaply. What else can you ask for?!

Pros

  • Extremely cheap drone
  • Small, lightweight, foldable and very portable.
  • Easy to setup and fly. Especially using G-sensor control with headless mode.
  • Tilting camera, and can be flown with the camera pointed toward you using headless mode for those selfie shots.

Cons

  • The JJRC H37 does not come with any directions at all, BUT it is very simple to figure out.
  • Low-resolution camera.
  • There is no microSD card slot on the quadcopter. Video is instead recorded to your phone over WiFi, with the typical lag and freeze issues normally seen with WiFi FPV video.
  • The official “JJRC” app is not very useful with this quadcopter. Some of the features of the JJRC app do not work, most notably G-sensor control. However, the free and very similar app “WiFi-UFO” does work with this perfectly. “WiFi-UFO” is available on Google Play here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lewei.multiple.lewei&hl=en and iTunes here  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wifi-ufo/id977558457?mt=8

 

 

The introduction videos of the three drones discussed above, the Hover Camera Passport, the ZeroTech Dobby Selfie drone, and the JJRC H37 Elfie drone.

 

Best Foldable Selfie Drone Number 5, 7 Hawk4k Folding Drone

7 hawk4k selfie foldable drone

 

We have a new entry of a foldable drone from a company called 7 Senses. The basic principle is the same as other selfie drones in the round up (except for the Elfie of course); foldable arms, small, easy to transport and a decent 4K camera which is mounted using a 3D brushless gimbal giving you great and stable photos and videos. The 7 Hawk4k folding selfie drone also has the typical follow me mode found in all other selfie drones. So by now you should be familiar with what you get when buying this quadcopter.

7 hawk4k selfie foldable drone

Now what is unique about this quadcopter is the inclusion of a watch that you can use to control the 7 Hawk4K Folding drone. The watch is cool, in principal at least, you do feel like James Bond when controlling a camera drone with your watch. However in reality things are a bit different. The watch has a total of 11 buttons some of which have dual functions along with the fact that the small buttons are not very responsive things get a little weird trying to fly this drone, which basically ruins this drone.

Pros,

  • Good camera mounted on a 3D gimbal
  • Has all the necessary flight modes

Cons,

  • The wristband controller is so bad that it is annoying to control.

Best Foldable Selfie Drone Number 6, AirDog – The Autonomous Action Sports Drone

airdog selfie foldable drone

 

Back to the big boys now. The AirDog is a foldable drone that is meant to take selfie videos of action sports. This is quite apparent when you consider that it has five dedicated flight modes each customized for a certain action sport, like surfing, bicycle riding, windsurfing, etc.

The AirDog Drone comes with an AirLeash, which is similar to the smart watch we say with the 7 Hawk4K drone. The AirLeash along with the smart calculations done by the drone allow it to predict your moves, kind of, and to stay on course while you have fun.

airdog selfie foldable drone

While still having the same characteristics of the other selfie drones in this round up, it has foldable design and has the essential follow me mode, but after some examination we can see that the AirDog in reality is in a different league than the other drones discussed here, except may be for the DJI Mavic. For a start it does not come with a built-in camera, you will need to supply your own action camera, also only it takes commands from its own tracker rather than a smartphone, and it is neither small nor light like the others here. Finally, its price reflects all of this “pro grade” direction.

airdog selfie foldable drone

Pros,

Cons,

  • Limited crash avoidance detection
  • Expensive
  • Does not come with a camera or a controller

Which is the Best Foldable Selfie Drone?

This is a hard question to answer, because several of the drones we reviewed in this round up is best in its own niche.

Let’s start with the DJI Mavic Drone. As you can tell I loved it, it has all the features you can wish for in a drone and it can even stand head to head with the larger and more expensive DJI Phantom 4 even with its smaller form factor. So if you have the money then this is the drone to get.

Next we have the ZeroTech Dobby Foldable Selfie Drone, which is another drone that I loved. Priced at almost half the price of the DJI Mavic but with almost all of the advanced features still intact this is a great mid-range selfie drone to buy.

The Hover Camera Passport, on paper should be a better value when compared to the ZeroTech Dobby, but in reality, I just could not get over the fact that its control range is so limited. At this price point, this is unacceptable.

The JJRC H37 Elfie pocket Foldable Drone, yet another drone that I loved. It does not have all the advanced features of the other quadcopters in this round up but it does not need to. It is a flying camera that hovers and follows you around for as low as $50. ‘nuff said!

7 Hawk4K Folding Drone, Spec wise this should be a good drone, unfortunately they ruined it with the counter intuitive wrist band. What a shame.

AirDog Drone, a big and expensive drone that is not really meant to be used by the average consumer.

 

So there you have it, these were the best foldable selfie drones worth buying in 2017.

Now it is back to you, what did you think? Do you agree with my recommendations or did we miss a great drone that we shouldn’t? Please tell us in the comments below and do not forget to share this article on social media.

Gabriel Yee

Gabriel Yee

A passionate drone enthusiast and photographer...Read my story here
Gabriel Yee
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