7 Best Pocket Drones in 2019: Buying Guide for Beginners

7 Best Pocket Drones in 2019: Buying Guide for Beginners

Are you looking for a drone that you can easily bring with you on your trips and adventures? Do you want a quad that is small and portable?

If you say “yes” to any of the questions above, then you are looking for a pocket drone. Pocket drones are what their name entails – they are small and easy to transport that they can fit in your pocket. Most of them are foldable and are very convenient to bring on your next exploit.

There are tons of mini drones and foldable drones in the market, so looking for the best pocket drone can be daunting. Don’t worry, I am here to help. I have compiled the top pocket drones that work. Check out my list below.

1. DJI Spark

Specs

Dimensions: 143 x 143 x 55mm
Flight time/battery life: 16min
Transmission distance: 1.2mi
Speed: Up to 31mph
VPS Range: 98ft
Gimbal: 2 axis
Camera resolution: 12mp
Video resolution: 1080p 30fps
Weight: .66lbs
Camera details: 1/2.3 Sensor Powerful Lens, 1080p resolution
Notable attributes: PalmLaunch, Gesture and TapFly Control, Obstacle Sensing, Subject Tracking from Various Angles

Spark is one of the mini drones from DJI that boasts of asmall size and powerful features. It is so tiny that it can fit in the palm of your hand, so it is ultraportable.

Although this drone is small, you should not underestimate it as it has all the signature technologies and cool stabilized frames that you will find in more expensive DJI models.

Spark only measures 143 x 143 x 55 millimeter and weighs 80 grams. This is very lightweight that you do not have to register it with the FAA.

I understand that you want a portable drone for a purpose and probably it’s for photography! I’m pleased to tell you that this camera drone is more than enough to satisfy you. Spark is the selfie drone from DJI.

It is equipped with high performance camera that enables it to capture amazing images and stabilized videos. It has 2-axis mechanical gimbal and UltraSmooth technology that dramatically reduce shake and rolling shutter effect while keeping the shots stable and detailed.

Spark is versatile and does well in multiple shooting modes. Aside from its impressive camera, this is very easy and safe to fly. So, this is a great option for beginners.

This drone has FlightAutonomy and Return to Home features. It has GPS that enables Spark to fly back to the preset home while sensing obstacles in its path.

Spark’s design and performance are very impressive. I had a wonderful time flying this small but amazing mini drone, so this is highly recommended.

PROS

  • Stable
  • Small and portable
  • Gestures controls
  • Quickshot modes
  • Intuitive controls
  • Smart and reliable
  • Control, edit and share via DJI GO app

CONS

  • No controller
  • Wi-Fi range is limited
  • Shorter flight time compared to other DJI mode

2. DJI Mavic Pro

Specs

Dimensions (folded): 83 x 83 x 198mm
Weight (without gimbal cover): 734g
Camera Resolution: 12mp
Video Resolution: 4K at 30fps
Max Flight Time: 27min
Max Speed: 40mph
Notable Attributes: Portability, Battery Life

Mavic Pro is another foldable drone from DJI with an amazing camera. This is top of the line when it comes to selfie drones.

This is not as small as Spark, but it has a foldable design that enables it to fit into your pocket. With its powerful features and capabilities, this is DJI’s best portable drone to date.

Mavic Pro has a sleek and compact design. It is small but comes with a high degree of complexity that makes it the most sophisticated flying camera drone in the market.

This comes with a stabilized camera that can capture 12mp still photos and shoot footage at 40k at 30fps with maximum 8-second exposure. This camera drone is your perfect buddy if you want to document your adventures and trips.

Mavic Pro allows you to shoot like a pro automatically. It has ActiveTrack that tells the drone who to track. It is also smart enough to recognize gestures command.

Simply raise your arms or wave and Mavic Pro will follow you and take selfies for you. You don’t need your controller or phone to tell it that you want to take a selfie.

That’s not all; if you love taking videos and hate the noise that drones usually make, the Mavic Pro Platinum version comes with enhanced endurance and offers quieter flight.

It can fly up to 30 minutes up in the air and unlike the other drones, is designed with 60{ea2cf71a94ac0ec497812eb0b7c2bc33f9b74ebf28048bb730380b7f1d9c4acc} noise power reduction, so it isn’t as noisy as the others. This is also user-friendly and very durable because it is crash resistant and has an obstacle avoidance feature.

I am very happy with Mavic Pro in terms of its build, design, features, and performance. It’s a perfect pocket drone because you can conveniently bring it with you wherever you go and it delivers awesome photos and videos. I highly recommend this!

PROS

  • Portable
  • Crash-resistant
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Quieter than other drone models
  • Can be controlled via hand gestures
  • Has built-in Active track feature mode
  • Has excellent flight time compared to other DJI models

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Camera doesn’t offer a wide view
  • Not for beginners due to its complex models
  • The bad light may have blue color interferences

3. DJI Mavic Air

Specs

Dimensions (folded): 168 x 83 x 49mm
Dimensions (unfolded): 168 x 184 x 64mm
Weight: 430g
Camera: 12mp
Video Resolution: 4K at 30fps
Max Flight Time: 21min
Max Speed: 68.4kph in Sport mode
Notable Attributes: SmartCapture, Gesture Control, Foldable and Portable, 3-axis gimbal for stability, 3-directional environment sensing, 8 GB of internal storage

Mavic Air is another foldable drone from DJI that includes a high-performance camera. This quad is designed to go with you wherever your adventure leads you because this is ultraportable with high-end flight performance and functionality for limitless exploration.

When you fold this pocket drone, you’ll be impressed at how small it is. It becomes as tall and as wide as your smartphone, so you can easily slide it into your pocket.

This is designed with geometric precision, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it every time you fold it. Its arms fold against its aerodynamic chassis. The magnesium alloy brackets reinforce the seven onboard cameras while the rear vents dissipate heat efficiently and the primary gimbal camera is recessed for better protection.

It has a dedicated controller with foldable design, too. With this drone, you can pack more comfortably to keep up with your on the go lifestyle.

This drone comes with a 3-axis gimbal camera for more stable and consistent shots. It can capture 12mp still photos and record videos at incredible 4K 30fps at a speed of 100Mbps.

If you are into epic high-speed adventures like rappelling or water rafting, this drone will be a great companion to capture that moment. It supports recording 11080p at 120fps slow-motion videos to record your breathtaking exploit.

Also, this drone comes with a new HDR algorithm that helps you obtain the right exposure settings intelligently according to the lighting conditions. When you shoot at overexposed or dark areas, the photo is automatically processed for more natural transitions between highlights and shadows while its DSP acceleration allows for more efficient shooting.

You will love the photos and videos that Mavic Air delivers. Also, you will be impressed at how portable this drone is. This is an excellent drone for your travel adventures.

PROS

  • Foldable
  • Portable
  • Stable
  • Compact and small
  • Better build quality
  • Won’t struggle to fly back home even with strong headwind conditions

CONS

  • Video crop
  • Short battery life
  • Doesn’t support D-Log
  • Poor range and radio signal quality
  • Only slim smartphones fit in the controller

4. GoPro Karma

Specs

Dimension: 11.9 x 17.3 x 5.9in
Flight time: 20min
Range: 3km
Weight: 11.65lb

Karma caught my attention when I was looking for the best GoPro drones in the market. But what makes me love it more is its long flight time. This can fly up to 20 minutes.

This drone is affordable because it doesn’t include a camera. You have to use your own action camera. For GoPro owners who wish to use their cameras for aerial photography, this is the drone to buy.

Karma is compatible with GoPro 4, 5, or 6 camera. Knowing the capabilities of these cameras, you know exactly what you’re getting when it comes to the quality of photos and footage.

This is not large and is foldable, so it is ultraportable. It also comes with a carry case that makes it even more convenient to transport.

Its controller is very easy to use and self-explanatory. So whether you have flown drones before or not, you’ll enjoy this quad.

I had a very enjoyable flying experience with Karma. The takeoff and landing were very smooth, and the photos and videos were amazing.

For GoPro owners who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars for a drone camera, just buy this and you’ll save a lot of money but experience the same fun.

PROS

  • Great stabilization using the Gimbal
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Smooth takeoff, hovering, and landing
  • The integrated screen on the controller is convenient for FPV
  • Fits GoPro Hero4, Hero5, Hero6, and Hero7

CONS

  • Downlink is not very sharp
  • The short controller is hard to hold still

5. Ryze Tello

Specs

Flight time: 13min
Range: 100m
HD Transmission 720P
Smart Switching: 2 antennas
Notable features: Throw & Go, 8D Flips, Bounce Mode, VPS System, Auto Takeoff/Landing, Low Battery Protection, Failsafe Protection

Tello is a lightweight and durable mini drone that is very easy to use. It is high-quality, high-performance and very handy that’s why it’s on my list.

It doesn’t have a foldable design but it is small that it can fit into the palm of your hand. You can conveniently take this with you and fly it whether you’re at a park, in the office or at home. It has intuitive controls which make it very easy to pilot.

It has a 5mp camera that delivers high-resolution photos. This is equipped with a high-quality image processor and electronic image stabilization for consistent clear images. Tello can shoot incredible photos and pro-level videos even if you are not an expert in flying a drone.

The best thing about Tello is its super safe features. Yes, it is small, but it is designed to last because it has software and hardware protection that enables you to fly it safely.

It has Auto Takeoff and Landing, low battery protection, failsafe protection and a vision positioning system for precise hovering. These functionalities also make it so easy for novices to pilot the drone.

Tello is more affordable compared to most brands on my list, but it is as good. This mini drone is highly recommended!

PROS

  • Small and portable
  • Easy to fly
  • Very affordable
  • Super stable
  • Good-quality camera
  • Fantastic flight modes
  • Incredibly responsive

CONS

  • Slow charging time
  • Can’t fly if it is windy
  • No dedicated remote control

6. Zerotech Dobby

Specs

Dimensions (Folded): 135 x 67 x 36.8mm
Dimensions (unfolded): 135 x 145 x 36.8mm
Weight: 7oz
Camera: 13mp
Video resolution: 1080p at 30fps
Flight time: 9min
Range: 100m

Zerotech Dobby is another highly recommended pocket drone. This comes with a foldable design and folds to fit into your pocket. This drone is very easy to carry, so you can bring this along on your next escapade.

Zerotech DOBBY only weighs 199g and is even lighter than your smartphone. Since this is lightweight, you do not need to register this.

DOBBY comes with a built-in camera that captures 4K and produces 1080p videos and 1300p photos. This supports EIS during video shooting and empowers creative shooting like PANO mode and more. You can take your selfie to the next level and shot like a pro with its intelligent flight modes.

This drone is equipped with different modes to make your photos more impressive. You can shoot photos in portrait or landscape with cinematic effect.

It has Target Tracking Shooting too that lets the drone follow the object you set. This is very helpful when you do creative videos. Meanwhile, the Orbit Shooting mode lets the drone orbit the pre-set object in the 360-degree shooting center.

DOBBY lets you do the aerial selfie without a sweat. It is very convenient and easy to fly, and it takes fantastic still photos and videos even if it doesn’t have a gimbal.

Also, this drone is very easy to fly. You can control the drone easily using the Do fun app. You can also shot, preview and share your photos and videos in one go through the app. It has One Key takeoff and landing functions that allow you to pilot the drone with ease. Beginners will surely love this.

I’m very happy with DOBBY due to its design and ease of use. Also, this is very affordable, so if you are in a tight budget and you want a high-performance and high-quality drone, you should consider this.

PROS

  • Very small
  • Easy to control
  • Intelligent flying 
  • Foldable and portable
  • Synchronize photos to your phone
  • App works for both Android and iOS

CONS

  • No remote
  • Not fast or agile
  • Short flight time
  • Expensive for what it offers

7. Holy Stone HS160 Shadow FPV RC Drone

Specs

Size: 7.09 x 7.09 x 1.18in
Weight: 2.925oz
Recording Modes: 1280 x 720P
Transmitter Operation Range: 50-70m
WiFi Transmission Range: about 30m
Flight time: 7-9 min

HS160 is another great pocket drone and compared to most of the items on my list, this is very affordable. You can purchase this amazing and cool quadcopter under $100.

What draws me to this drone is its design. It is very beautiful, elegant and sophisticated. The choice of color and the shape of the body and propellers are perfect. You won’t ever think that this is very affordable.

HS160 has foldable and flexible blades. When you fold it, the drone becomes small and portable. In this shape, the drone is very easy to store or transport. It can even fit in your pocket.

This is equipped with a 720p HD camera for photos and videos. The media are stored in both the app and the mobile album system. This also supports FPV, so you can watch a live video stream or snap wonderful photos with the FPV function.

You can switch to “3D Mode” to experience real-life flight. Try it and you will surely love it. It has Gravity Sensor Mode too that enables the app to follow the direction you move your smartphone.

Also, this is very easy to use because it has Altitude Hold and One Key Start/Landing functions. With just a press of a button, you can control the drone to start the engine, hover or land steadily. These functions are very helpful especially for beginners who don’t have any experience flying drones.

HS160 comes with a spare battery which extends the flight time. Thanks to this you can double your flight time and double the fun, too. Each battery can last up to 9 minutes and with a spare battery, you can fly the drone up to 18 minutes.

I’m very happy with HS160 because it is very affordable, but it is very competitive. It has a decent camera, has all the features that make piloting easy for beginners and it performs well. For those who are in a tight budget and wants a pocket drone under $100, this is highly recommended.

PROS

  • Foldable and portable
  • Has a built-in camera
  • Has spare battery
  • Easy to control

CONS

  • Short flight time
  • Limited control range

Conclusion

The best pocket drones are small enough that they can fit in your pocket, that’s why they are called as such. Most of them are foldable and very convenient to carry, which make them a top choice if you want to bring a camera drone to your trips and adventures.

What’s your favorite pocket drone? Do you have any recommendations? Feel free to share it with us and help other readers decide the best pocket drone to buy.

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