Drones are no longer a “new” technology/gadget that people rave about as was the case about 5 years ago. They have simply become fully absorbed into our everyday lives because many people now own one or several of these amazing tech.
We have all seen different types of drones in reality or on TV with different shapes, sizes, with aggressive, subtle and practical designs. Drones for photography and racing have become pretty much regular gadgets for hobbyists and enthusiasts, just like smartphones and gadgets that have found a purpose.
With different types of drones in the market, one type of drone that seems to be catching the attention of drone enthusiasts is foldable drones. They are handy and fun drones that are portable.
The name of this category of drones already gives away the key feature: they fold into a small and compact size for easy storage and transportation. GoPro and DJI can be considered as the pioneers of foldable drones, but now there are more than a dozen different brands offering foldable drones in a variety of specifications. Now you can get a foldable drone with a camera and foldable selfie drone.
If you are looking for the best foldable drone in 2019, you have come to the right spot. We are going to be reviewing 5 of the best that you can find on the market.
What Exactly Are Foldable Drones?
For the most part, foldable drones are not so different from drones that you are probably already familiar with; the only obvious difference is that foldable drones have motor arms that can be folded to the side of the drone when not in use.
This foldable design makes them the best in terms of ease of storage and transportation. Foldable drones are also usually compact in size, and there are many models that can fit in your pocket.
When you consider the fact that the arms are foldable, you will realize that the folding drones are very practical in design. However, there is a misconception that foldable drone has fewer features than the larger non-foldable drones due to their compact size.
Do Folding Drones Have Many Features?
Yes, they do! You are definitely going to find many foldable drones with many features while shopping. In fact, some foldable camera drones come with some of the best cameras that allow you to capture professional grade photos and videos. DJI is a brand that has proven that foldable drones too can be feature packed, and they have been able to demonstrate this with the Mavic 2 drone.
How To Choose The Best Foldable Drone?
Choosing the best foldable drone is a similar task as choosing the best drone. You are going to be looking for pretty much the same features as you would if you were shopping for a regular non-foldable drone.
You will be looking for features that will give you the most value or that are the most applicable to what you need a foldable drone for. There is a foldable drone for everyone in the market, from very affordable ones to the professional ones that will cost you an arm and a leg.
Look out for features such as flight time, weight, charging time, camera quality, practicality, and other features that will give you a fantastic flying experience.
Advantages of Foldable Drones
It may not come as a surprise to find that there are more selfie drones in the foldable drone category than any other foldable drone (based on application). It makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider how much the world loves to take pictures of themselves with their smartphones.
Drone manufacturers saw this new lifestyle trend as an opportunity to create drones that can actually take better selfies. Selfie sticks were great and all, but imagine how fun it will be if you did not have to elect someone to operate the stick.
The drone takes off your palm as you and your friends and family gather together to take selfies from different angles. Selfie drones are usually fitted with software that is capable of recognizing gestures and faces.
The main reason why selfies became really popular is that people always have their smartphones on them and it was easy to pull them out and take selfies in a flash.
It would be very awkward carrying regular drones in your pocket, they wouldn’t even fit, and they don’t make practical sense to be used as selfie drones. This is where foldable drones come in handy.
Foldable drones have two key advantages. Firstly, they make it easy to keep them with you wherever you go. Small foldable drones can fit in your pocket, while the bigger foldable drones can easily fit in your backpack.
The second advantage of foldable drones is that their folding arms make them less prone to damage during travel. The rotors and other components on the arms are tucked away nicely and away without the use of a fully padded carry case.
Are Foldable Drones Durable?
I can understand if people think that foldable drones are not as durable as the non-foldable types, the foldable arms could be a good reason why some people arrive at this. There is absolutely no reason why foldable drones are not as durable as the non-foldable types.
So to answer the question- yes, foldable drones are durable. It all boils down to the manufacturers and what type of materials they choose to build foldable drones with.
5 Best Foldable Drones
1. Goolsky VISUO XS809S WiFi FPV Drone 720P
This foldable drone has a striking shark design that gives it an aggressive appearance. The Visuo XS809S is packed with some very nice features that make it exciting and fun to fly. At about 160g this drone is the definition of lightweight, and it is also portable as expected. This foldable drone is equipped with a 2MP 720P camera, which is good enough for amateur photography.
This is definitely a better camera than the VGA types that come with “toy drones”. For selfies, this drone offers decent quality photographs. In addition, it comes with FPV Wi-Fi capabilities that let you view in real time, giving you an exciting view when flying the drone.
Another feature that we are excited about is the upgraded flight time. The Visuo has a maximum flight time reaching 20 minutes, giving a reasonable amount of time to capture fantastic selfies and fly the drone. Also, the altitude hold function is a great feature that every solid drone should have, it makes it possible to take still pictures while in flight, or for stable flights.
- Average 2MP 720p camera quality capable of shooting at 30 fps.
- The unique aggressive shark design is exciting and fun.
- Extremely lightweight and portable.
- Altitude hold function for stable flight and pictures.
- Reasonable flight time reaching a maximum of 20 minutes.
- Excellent battery life.
- Sometimes the battery pops out when the drone bumps into.
- Takes about 2 hours to recharge the battery.
2. VISUO XS816 4k Drone with Camera Live Video
At first glance, the TEEGGI looks a lot like DJI Mavic Pro, but it is no match for the later when it comes to advanced features. Why should it anyway? The price tag of the Mavic Pro is more than ten times higher than the TEEGGI. Now that we have gotten the obvious out of the way, we can now look at the Machine TEEGGI for the fantastic and affordable drone that it is.
With an altitude and headless mode functions, flying the TEEGGI is a very easy task. Gone are the days when you worried about the orientation of your drone, but now that certain advancements have been made in the drone industry, affordable drones like the TEEGGI can now boast of more features. Now you can fly your drone at a specific altitude and get it to return home with just a press of a bottom.
The build quality of the E58 is quite impressive, though built with plastic material, it does feel quite durable when you handle it. The great thing about this drone is how the arms fold and remain flush and in position at the sides of the drone’s body.
When it comes down to flight time and battery capacity, the TEEGGI does not really impress. You get only 20 minutes of flight time from a 900 mAh battery. A piece of solid advice will be to purchase extra batteries just so you enjoy a longer flight time. The TEEGGI can be controlled using a transmitter or via a smartphone app. Also, it is equipped with a 0 3MP and 2MP camera can shoot straight forward or at 0-90 degrees. The onboard micro-SD allows you to store images directly.
- It has an impressive design.
- It is extremely easy to fly.
- HD camera and Wi-Fi FPV capability.
- Onboard Micro SD.
- The motors come with connectors so are easy to replace.
- Unimpressive flight time.
- Does not fly well in slightly windy conditions.
3. HOLY STONE HS160 SHADOW
The Holy Stone Shadow is generally impressive but not exceptional. This is not a bad thing especially when you consider the price of this folding drone. The Shadow is without the bells and whistles and of the more expensive drones, but it does offer some standard features that you can always expect to find on drones within its price range.
The flight performance of this drone is just good enough for beginner drone pilots and people who just want to fly a drone at their front lawn and are not looking for anything extraordinary. It offers stable flights and is quite easier to control compared to some other drones in its category. However, it is not perfect – it does not have a hover feature, this might be a bad thing for people looking to take selfies.
This drone is fitted with a battery that can only give a total flight time of 8 minutes, but there is an extra battery that can add another 8 minutes of flight time. The camera quality is good enough given its price range. You get a video that is clear enough, but not as clear as the 720P HD camera on the Eachine E58.
- It comes with a spare battery for increased flight time.
- Quite stable flight, it is also easy to control.
- It has one key start and landing function, which is great for beginner pilots.
- It is compatible with VR headsets.
- It is a great value folding drone for its price.
- The video downlink experiences a lot of lag.
- It does not have a headless function.
4, Atoyscasa FPV RC Drone with 120° FOV 720P HD
The Atoyscasa is another fantastic drone that is incredibly affordable. It looks very impressive in flight as well as when folded. It is very compact and folds into a smaller size that can fit into your pocket or small bag. This lightweight foldable drone has Wi-Fi FPV real-time transmission that gives you a direct and lives feed of what the camera spots. The 720P HD camera does a great job with aerial photography, it produced some nice images when we put it to test.
Like most drones, this foldable drone is fitted with 6-axis gyro which ensures that the drone flies with great stability. For beginners and kids who want to have a go at flying this drone, they will find it incredibly easy to control. The inclusion of one button take off and landing is always a great feature to have in beginner drones.
You can fly this drone at 3 different speeds, with higher speeds giving the drone better stability in windy conditions. If you are looking for some excitement, you can perform a 3D flip with this drone pretty easily. One feature that we like is the altitude and optical flow function which enables the drone to hover at its current height with great stability.
- It can be controlled over a distance of 100-120 m.
- It has a fantastic design and builds quality.
- It is reasonably stable while in flight.
- It is very small and extremely portable when folded.
- It has both altitude hold and headless mode functions.
- The camera quality is not as impressive as we expected.
- It could get knocked down by the slightest wind.
5. SPACEKEY FPV WI-FI DRONE
The DC-014 is no doubt one of the best affordable foldable drones out there. You can refer to it as a smart foldable drone that is great for both indoor and outdoor flying. It very durable, thanks to the flexible PA plastic material that is used on the airfoil and the fuselage, so you do not need to worry about a few crashes.
The DC-014 is no doubt a brilliantly designed drone that manages to squeeze in a few necessary features under it’s hood. You get an FPV view and a 120° wide-angle lens that is capable of gathering as much detail as possible in both close-up and panoramas. It offers a decent picture quality for those who are relatively new to flying camera drones.
Beginners can control the DC-014 quad quite easily using any smartphone with the Spacekeys drone app installed in it. You can perform 360° flips and rolls whenever you want. On the downside, this drone does not offer much in terms of flight time, even though it is better than the Atoyscasa Drone. Who does not want to fly a drone for more than 15 minutes on a single battery? That will definitely be nice.
- List ElementThe 720p camera shoots decent quality images and videos at 30fps.
- It is fitted with LED lights for flying at night.
- Impressive build quality that can withstand a few crashes.
- Low battery alarm.
- This drone does not have a hover function.
Now that you have gone through the review of the best 5 Foldable Drone on the market, you might be curious to know which is our winner.
The Teegi Visuo XS809S is our clear winner. It checks all the boxes that make up the perfect foldable drone. The Teegi Visuo XS809S is compact and portable, creates fantastic selfies, and is very stable. The image quality is very impressive, and it comes with a variety of autonomous features. If shoots professional quality HD videos and high-resolution images. We recommend this selfie drone for those who are not restricted by a tight budget. It is worth every penny invested and is a perfect way to capture selfies and videos of those memorable moments.