8 Best Pocket Drones of 2019

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DJI has just released the Mavic Mini last week. See all of the specs here.

Camera quadcopters are here to stay, and they’re getting better and cheaper all the time. That means new models that meet the specific needs, budget, and expectations of users. This guide reviews 7 pocket drone choices for those who want a quad with a small footprint. A quality drone is tiny enough to fit into a decent sized pocket or small bag yet big on features.

Budget
budget-Pocket-Drone-Choice
Holy Stone FPV HS160
4.6/5.0
7–9 minutes max flying time
230 ft. (70M) max range
720P HD Camera, latitude Hold and one-key Takeoff/Land.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-Pocket-Drone-Choice
Parrot Anafi Ultra
4.5/5.0
24 minutes max flying time
2.5 mi (4km) max range
Geofence virtual perimeter and Follow Me & Find Me include.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-pick-Pocket-Drone-Choice
DJI Mavic Air Foldable
4.8/5.0
21 minutes max flying time
2.4 miles(4km) max range
High-quality stabilized camera and obstacle avoidance (front & rear)
Check Amazon

This guide looks at a few slightly larger foldable drones too. These won’t fit into a pocket, and they’re not suitable for indoor flights. They’re still small enough to make excellent traveling quadcopters.





About this Guide

Not all foldable, pocket drones are equal. They have different builds, designs, capabilities, and price tags. This guide looks at seven of the best pocket drones around right now. These are models that have earned their reputation and continue to get favorable feedback. I put this list together based on personal thoughts, the opinions of industry experts, and real user reviews.

The guide shows three select models first. These are Best Budget, Best Value, and Top Pick, in that order. The pocketable/portable UAVs after that are by price starting with the least expensive first.

8 Best Pocket Drone Choices Comparison Table

This table below lists the pocketable drones as they appear on this page:

Make and ModelDimensionsWeightPrice
Holy Stone HS160 Shadow Pocketable Drone2.6 x 5.5 x 1.2″2.88 oz.Check Price
Parrot Anafi Ultra Foldable Camera Drone9.4 x 6.9 x 2.6″10.9 oz.Check Price
DJI Mavic Air Foldable Camera Quadcopter7.2 x 6.6 x 2.5″15.16 oz.Check Price
EACHINE RC Foldable Selfie Pocket Drone5.8 x 2.6 x 1.3″3.04 oz.Check Price
ZEROTECH Pocket Selfie FPV 4K Camera Quad6 x 3 x 3″7 oz.Check Price
Hover Camera Passport Drone w/ 4k Video10.3 x 10.3 x 4″8 oz.Check Price
DJI – Mavic Pro Pocket Camera Quadcopter11.4 x 7.1 x 9.4″26.24 oz.Check Price
GoPro Karma Foldable Quad w/ HERO5 Black11.9 x 17.3 x 5.9″35.5 ozCheck Price

1. Holy Stone FPV HS160 Pocketable Drone

Holy Stone FPV HS160 Pocketable DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5.0

Meet Holy Stone’s most popular foldable pocket drone. Its tiny body and flexible blades make this adorable quad small and ultra-portable. Let’s see why else it makes the best budget pick.

  • Best feature 1: Foldable, flexible palm-sized design
  • Best feature 2: 720P HD Camera w/ 6-axis gyro
  • Plus points: WiFi FPV, altitude hold, 1-key start/land, 4 speeds, app control
  • Minus points: Not good in the wind, no headless mode, short flight time

Most of Holy Stone’s models sell well, and their HS160 pocketable drone is no exception. For less than 100 bucks you get a competent little camera quadcopter. It’s an excellent choice for anyone dipping their toe into ultra-portable drone technology. The foldable structure makes it as easy to carry as a regular smartphone. Best of all is that you can use your iOS or Android device to fly this beauty.

HS160 First Person View (FPV)

The WiFi FPV gives you access to real-time transmission. That means you see what the airborne 720P HD camera sees in real time. FPV gives you control over what you film or snap from the sky above. You can then save and store your aerial footage directly to the app and mobile album.

Flying the Holy Stone HS160 Pocketable Drone

This portable little drone is simple to fly at any level. Its beginner-friendly features include Altitude Hold and One-Key takeoff and landing. The four low-to-high speed modes are also reassuring for pilots at different levels. The speed control caters to novice pilots, intermediates, and experts. The range (distance from controller to craft) is around 70 meters. That’s plenty for a small, lightweight quad.

The Not So Good

You need to keep the HS160 out of the wind as it weighs less than three ounces. The last thing you want is a gust to come along and whisk it away or smash it against something hard. It’s a beginner-friendly quadcopter, but it would’ve been even better with a headless mode. The flight time is also short—though typical—at 9-minutes max. There’s a bonus battery, though, and charging is fast.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 2.6 x 5.5 x 1.2″
Product Weight: 2.88 oz.
Camera: 720P HD
Max Flying time: 7–9 minutes
Max Range: 230 ft. (70M)
Battery: 2 x 3.7V 500mAh
Charging time: 50–70 minutes
The Pros
Foldable, flexible palm-sized
720P HD Camera
WiFi FPV
Altitude Hold
One-key Takeoff/Land
Four speeds
App control
The Cons
Not good in the wind (too light)
No headless mode
Shortish flight time

2. Parrot Anafi Ultra-Compact Foldable Drone

Parrot Anafi Ultra-Compact Foldable DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5.0

The best Value slot goes to the Parrot Anafi ultra-compact foldable quadcopter. It’s not quite pocketable, but it’s light and easily fits into a small bag which makes it a superb travel drone.

  • Best feature 1: Ultra-compact, lightweight, foldable
  • Best feature 2: Geofence virtual perimeter
  • Plus points: Robust build, return-to-home, follow-me, find-me, slow-motion video
  • Minus points: Follow-me an extra cost, no obstacle avoidance

The Parrot Anafi is a good-looking, lightweight camera drone with a unique portable design. The USB-C charging system is another welcome feature that lets you charge on-the-go. It’s also an easy-to-use quad thanks to the FreeFlight 6 app and smartphone control.

Aerial Photography and Video-Ready

There’s good news for aerial photographers and videographers. Parrot’s Anafi comes equipped with 21-megapixel stabilized camera with 4K HDR video capability. You also get a 2.8X lossless digital zoom and a gimbal with a 180-degree tilt. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants to upgrade from toy-grade camera quads to something more serious.

You’re in luck if slow motion video is your thing. The slow-motion function automatically records slow-motion videos while Hyperlapse accelerates them. There’s also a Follow-Me option for capturing action without having to pilot the craft. It’s creative filming at its best.

Flying Parrot’s Anafi

Flying this puppy couldn’t be easier, and there are a bunch of safety features to boot. The Geofence virtual perimeter is incredible. Geofence lets the pilot decide on their virtual boundaries. What that does is prevent the drone from flying outside of the selected area. How cool is that? You can then concentrate on the flying, knowing the quad won’t suddenly drift out of range or get lost.

Other failsafe features include Return to Home and Find My Drone. The Find My Drone is handy if you happen to crash or misplace the quad. There are two find-me options available. You can make the drone bleep if it’s within earshot. If it’s not, you can find its location on the map.

The Not So Good

One gripe is that the Follow Me mode is an add-on extra cost. More drone makers are doing this, and it’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because the price of a drone is less without certain features. It’s also good because you have a choice to upgrade features without buying another model. It’s bad because the makers should perhaps include these things in the price, especially with costlier models.

The drone doesn’t have any obstacle avoidance system. That means it’s not an ideal beginner quadcopter. After all, newbie pilots WILL experience crashes and collisions as they learn.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 2.6″
Product Weight: 10.9 oz.
Camera: 21MP 4K HDR w/ gimbal
Max Flying time: 24 minutes
Max Range: 2.5 mi (4km) with Parrot Skycontroller
Battery: USB-C smart battery
Charging time: Depends on charger and cable used
The Pros
Ultra-compact, lightweight
Foldable design
Robust build
Geofence virtual perimeter
Return to Home
Follow Me & Find Me
Slow motion video
The Cons
Follow Me activation extra cost
No obstacle avoidance

3. DJI Mavic Air Foldable Camera Quadcopter

DJI Mavic Air Foldable Camera QuadcopterView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5.0

There’s no such thing as the “perfect drone.” That said, the DJI Mavic Air is as close to perfection as it gets for a pocket quadcopter. And the lightweight, foldable design makes it easy to take anywhere.

  • Best feature 1: Lightweight, compact foldable design
  • Best feature 2: 12MP 3-axis 4K camera w/ gimbal
  • Plus points: Dedicated controller, smartphone control, gesture control, obstacle avoidance
  • Minus points: Average battery life, noisy

The Mavic Air is as small as some toy drones, but it’s no kid’s plaything. It’s a quad capable of shooting 4k video and 12MP stills from a 3-axis stabilizing gimbal. That’s quite a feat for a model of its size, and there’s more. It can stitch 21 photos together to produce spectacular 180° panoramas. There’s also an option to stitch 25 photos together and create breathtaking 32MP spherical panoramas.

Flying the DJI Mavic Air

Piloting the Mavic Air couldn’t be easier, and you have three ways to do it. There’s the dedicated foldable controller that has a clamp to accommodate a regular smartphone. Attaching a smartphone displays lots of useful flight stats and a live feed onto the screen. You can also fly this little bird on restricted flights using only a smartphone. Finally, there are the impressive hand gesture controls.

DJI’s SmartCapture gesture control never fails to impress, but it’s no gimmick. Hand motions offer a truly interactive way to connect the pilot with his or her drone. Gesture control does restrict flights to within proximity though. That’s because the quad needs to see your commands to follow them. You can launch, land, take photos (think selfie and group shots) and record video with hand gestures.

Another welcome feature to the Mavic Pro is its near-perfect front and rear obstacle avoidance system. There’s so much to like and explore with this lovable little camera quadcopter. Some enthusiasts think the Air is like all the best bits of the Spark and Mavic Pro rolled into one. They do have a point.

The Not So Good

The flight time is a low average of 18–21 minutes at best. That’s one of the few areas it falls behind the Mavic Pro which boasts closer to 30 minutes. Another shared criticism is the racket this small quadcopter makes. The noise can be irritating when you fly it close by and low using hand gestures.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 7.2 x 6.6 x 2.5″
Product Weight: 15.16 oz. (430g)
Camera: 12MP 4k camera w/ gimbal
Max Flying time: 21 minutes
Max Range: 2.4 miles (4 km)
Battery: 11.55V 2375 mAh Li-polymer
Charging time: 60 minutes
The Pros
Lightweight, compact, foldable
High-quality stabilized camera
Easy to fly
Dedicated controller
Smartphone control
Gesture control
Obstacle avoidance (front & rear)
The Cons
Average battery life
Noisy for a small drone

4. EACHINE RC Foldable Selfie Pocket Drone

EACHINE RC Foldable Selfie Pocket DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5.0

Next up is the affordable EACHINE camera quadcopter with live video. It’s a great entry-level foldable selfie-drone that fits snugly into a large pocket.

  • Best feature 1: Foldable pocket quad
  • Best feature 2: 2.0MP 720P HD Camera w/ six-axis gyro stabilization
  • Plus points: Headless mode, gravity sensor mode, altitude hold, 1-key return, app control
  • Minus points: Average consumer grade camera, short flying time

This portable little drone costs around 50 dollars. You can’t expect miracles in this price category, but there’s plenty of bang for your buck. The 2.0MP 720P HD camera won’t win any cinematic awards, but the stills and video quality are perfectly viewable. It’s a drone to consider if you want to dabble with pocket-sized aerial photography and videography.

Flying the EACHINE Selfie Pocket Drone

First-time flyers shouldn’t have any problem flying this beauty. The headless mode means you don’t have to worry about the quad’s orientation as you fly it. For example, forward on the controller means forward regardless of which way the craft faces. It’s the same with all the directional controls. You need to know the position (front/back) of a drone that DOESN’T have a headless mode.

The Gravity Sensor mode is another favorite feature for new pilots. What you do is hold the controller in one hand and move it to direct the quadcopter. It then flies in whatever direction you point the remote. Flying doesn’t get any easier than this for first-timers. Altitude hold and one-key return-to-home are other failsafe features. You can also fly the EACHINE using a smartphone and the WiFi app.

The Not So Good

Have realistic expectations for the built-in 2.0MP 720P HD camera. It’s perfect for the price, but it’s not going to be the same crisp quality as your smartphone. It’s an entry-level pocket quad after all. The short 7-minute flying time is on the low side of average. You may want to factor one or more 3.7V 500mAh batteries in with the price if you decide to buy this little bird.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 5.8 x 2.6 x 1.3″
Product Weight: 3.04 oz.
Camera: 2.0MP 720P HD
Max Flying time: 7 minutes
Max Range: 98 ft. (30m)
Battery: 3.7V 500MAH Battery
Charging time: 70 minutes
The Pros
Foldable pocket quad
Included HD camera
Headless mode
Gravity sensor mode
Altitude hold
1-key return
Full app control
The Cons
Average camera
Short flying time

5. ZEROTECH Pocket Selfie FPV 4K Camera Quad

ZEROTECH Pocket Selfie FPV 4K Camera QuadView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.1/5.0

This is the ZEROTECH Dobby camera quadcopter. It’s another pocket-sized selfie drone with FPV. The ZEROTECH comes with a quality 13MP HD 4K camera with 1080P video recording.

  • Best feature 1: Folds down to the size of a regular smartphone
  • Best feature 2: App and smartphone control
  • Plus points: Voice enabled, gesture control, face recognition, auto-follow, 1-key take off
  • Minus points: No blade guards, short flight time

TheZEROTECH Dobby fits neatly into a large pocket when not in use. It’s about the same size as a regular smartphone with its arms tucked safely away. It only weighs around seven ounces, and that includes the battery. The quad is perfect for novices thanks to the flyer-friendly features. The Do.Fun APP includes a Beginner’s Manual to help new users find their way around.

The intuitive app works with any modern smartphone. You can then take control of the ZEROTECH Dobby camera quad and fly into the sky with a couple of screen taps.

Flying the ZEROTECH Dobby

Some call this drone the flying pet. It can take off and land in the palm of your hand whenever you command it. There’s even voice-enabled take-off if you prefer verbal authority. The ‘wake up’ feature is also kind of cute. All you do is give the drone three gentle taps to wake it up. It then takes off 3-seconds after the last tap. And the one-key flip aerial acrobatics finish the show in a stable hover.

Gesture control is great fun that never fails to amaze no matter how often you use it. There’s so much to love about this pocket selfie drone and lots of things to explore. Alas, it’s not without a few critics (see below), but then what flying robot is?

The Not So Good

The biggest complaint with this drone is the missing blade guards. The propellers are quite exposed and vulnerable to break. There are no spare props in the box either, so you may want to order extras if you buy this quad. The flight time is short at 7-minutes max, and charging is long at around 2-hours. The model doesn’t come with a bonus battery, so that’s another cost to consider.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 3″
Product Weight: 7 oz.
Camera: 4K HD
Max Flying time: 7 minutes
Max Range: 328 ft. (100m)
Battery: 7.6V LiPo 2S 970mAh
Charging time: 120 minutes
The Pros
Portable. Folds down to the size of a regular smartphone
App and smartphone control (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod)
Gesture control
Face recognition
Auto-follow
1-key take off
Voice-enabled
The Cons
No blade guards
Short flight time
Long charging time

6. Hover Camera Passport Drone w/ 4K Video

Hover Camera Passport Drone w/ 4K VideoView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5.0

The Hover Camera Passport Self-Flying Drone doesn’t look like anything else on this page. It doesn’t even resemble a regular drone—not in the traditional sense. Appearance can be deceptive, though.

  • Best feature 1: Tough, carbon fiber foldable cage, unique design
  • Best feature 2: 13MP camera w/ UHD 4k video
  • Plus points: Well-protected props, app control, gesture control, auto-follow, 360° panoramic
  • Minus points: Takes some practice, price

This foldable little drone only weighs half a pound and folds down to the size of a small book. It’s well-protected in every sense of the word. It has a strong carbon fiber cage that guards the electronics and keeps the propellers out of harm’s way. The design alone makes it safe and very user-friendly. The box includes a bonus battery, charger, US adapter, manual, and a smart carry case.

Flying the Hover Camera Passport

Hover Camera Passport has a 13MP camera that’s capable of shooting 4K UHD video. You can fly this unusual yet capable little drone in two ways. One is via hand gesture control in Owner’s Mode. The other way is by using any regular iOS or Android smartphone and the company’s app.

You have to scan your face so that the app recognizes you for the Owner Mode to work. That’s all there is to it. The drone then acknowledges your features and finds, records, and follows you wherever you go. A quick gesture to the camera and it shoots incredible solos or group selfies from above. The beauty of face and body detection is that the drone becomes your definitive hands-free camera.

Any drone that follows takes lightweight traveling to a new level. Whether you’re jogging, cycling, rock climbing, or whatever else—there it is. It’s always with you, ready to shoot stills or capture video.

The Not So Good

This drone is a cinch to fly for advanced beginners and above. However, first time pilots may find it takes some practice. It’s great fun once you master it, but it’s not so easy for newbies to control. And the 10-minute flying time is on the short side for a quadcopter at this price. There is a bonus battery included, but you still have the hassle of landing to swap them over.

The good news is the super-quick charging time that only takes around 30 minutes. That’s fast.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.3 x 4″
Product Weight: 8 oz. (0.5lbs.)
Camera: 13MP camera w/ UHD 4k video
Max Flying time: 10 minutes
Max Range: 60 ft. (18m)
Battery: 1360mAh LiPo
Charging time: 30+ minutes
The Pros
Unique design
Carbon fiber foldable cage
High average video and stills
Full iOS/Android app control
Gesture control
Well-protected props add safety
Auto-follow mode
360° panoramic
Bonus battery
Fast charging time
The Cons
Takes some practice to fly
Shortish flight time
Price

7. DJI – Mavic Pro Pocket Camera Quadcopter

DJI - Mavic Pro Pocket Camera QuadcopterView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5.0

The DJI Mavic Prop is a favorite, high-quality camera quadcopter. It’s beautifully made, lightweight, and folds down to fit into a decent sized pocket. It even has a pocket-sized remote controller.

  • Best feature 1: Compact, foldable pocket design
  • Best feature 2: 12mp 4k camera w/ 3-axis mechanical stabilization
  • Plus points: Gesture control, TapFly, long flying time, long range, obstacle avoidance
  • Minus points: Fixed camera, price

DJI is a leading drone company that has way more fans than critics. The DJI Mavic Pro isn’t a cheap pocket-sized camera quadcopter, but it’s excellent value. It flies as good as it looks too.

Up & Away with the DJI Mavic Pro

Gesture control is more widespread now than it used to be, but it’s no less impressive. Using one’s hands to control this cheeky-looking bird is practical as well as magical. You can get the Mavic to face you and then tell it when to take the shot. Selfies will never be the same again, folks. The drone is beginner-friendly too, and its TapFly feature couldn’t be more straightforward.

As the name suggests, TapFly mode involves simple taps to fly the quad. All you do is tap the map on the screen and the Mavic cruises to its destination. That means you don’t have to focus your attention on piloting the craft. Now you’re free to focus on capturing amazing stills and breathtaking videos with the 12MP 4k camera.

Worry-Free Flying

DJI’s Mavic Pro also has obstacle avoidance (OA). The FlightAutonomy technology does a great job at sensing obstacles as far away as 15 meters (49 ft.). Reducing the risk of accidents and collisions is always welcome, especially with costlier models like the Mavic Pro. Its obstacle avoidance system evades accidents either by bypassing the obstructions of by braking to hover.

The Not So Good

The main gripe with the DJI Mavic Pro pocket quad is its camera. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but it’s fixed. There are a couple of reasons why detachable cameras are favorable. One is the option to remove the camera and gimbal when you only want to fly for fun. Reducing the payload makes quads more agile and gives them a little extra flying time.

Some people also like to add a camera of their choice to a drone. You can’t do that with the Mavic Pro, or even upgrade the one it already has. The other disadvantage of this capable flying robot is its price. At around 800+ dollars (at the time of writing), it’s too expensive for a lot of hobbyists.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 11.4 x 7.1 x 9.4″
Product Weight: 1.64 lbs. (26.24 oz.)
Camera: 12mp 4k
Max Flying time: 27 minutes
Max Range: 4.3mi (7km)
Battery: DJI Intelligent Flight Battery
Charging time: 90 minutes
The Pros
Compact, foldable pocket design
Gesture control
TapFly (ideal for beginners)
Long flying time
Long range
12MP 4k camera
Obstacle avoidance
The Cons
Fixed camera (cannot remove)
Price

8. GoPro Karma Foldable Quadcopter w/ HERO5 Black

GoPro Karma Foldable Quadcopter w/ HERO5 BlackView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5.0

The final pick is the GoPro Karma quadcopter with HERO5 Black action camera. This isn’t a pocket-sized drone, but it is compact and portable. It also comes with a lightweight custom carry case.

  • Best feature 1: Foldable design with lightweight case
  • Best feature 2: Aerial, handheld, or body-mounted shooting options
  • Plus points: Quality build, Karma Controller w/ touch display, easy to fly, Karma Stabilizer
  • Minus points: Not pocketable, average flight time, price

GoPro has been leaders in action camera technology, but they missed the boat with flying quads. To say the GoPro Karma got off to a bad start is an understatement. The company learned from those early mistakes and made some significant updates. Today, their foldable Karma quad with HERO5 Black has a better reputation and sells well.

The GoPro Karma is unique in that it has handheld and body applications as well as aerial. The ultra-steady Karma Grip is perfect for producing professional handheld footage. The grip also works with the built-in shoulder mount found on the Karma Case (included). These things offer versatility not found with other camera quads. The Karma pack also contains extras you don’t get with other drones.

Here’s a quick glance of what’s in the box of a new product:

  • 1 x Karma quadcopter drone
  • 1 x HERO5 Black
  • 1 x frame (HERO5 Black)
  • 1 x Karma Controller w/ touch display
  • 1 x Karma Stabilizer
  • 1 x Karma Grip
  • 1 x Karma Harness (HERO5 Black)
  • 1 x Karma battery charger
  • 1 x Karma battery
  • 6 propellers
  • 1 x Karma Mounting Ring
  • 1 x USB-C Cable
  • 1 x Karma Case

Flying the GoPro Karma Camera Quad

The build quality and smart finish make a great first impression. The game-style remote controller is equally as impressive with its bright, integrated touchscreen display. The smooth controller functions make flying this puppy effortless and fun. It wasn’t always this easy, but it is now. Even newbie pilots find the smart yet straightforward controller a breeze to use.

Another welcome upgrade of the controller is its improved brightness for outdoor use. The Ultra-clear screen is perfect for flying in First Person View or FPV. There’s also a built-in tutorial and flight simulator designed to build the confidence of new users. The simple one-button takeoff/landing is a godsend. Skilled pilots exploit the range of smart controls so they can focus on aerial stills and video.

The Not So Good

This drone is not as light, small, or as portable as other models on the page so it only just made it. The karma stabilizer gives it an extra point. The body, hand, and aerial capability make it a brilliant travel drone too. The 20-minute flight time isn’t bad either, but it’s less than some rivals. The cost of this versatile camera quad is quite high too, but then the box does include a lot of extras (see above).

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 11.9 x 17.3 x 5.9″
Product Weight: 35.5oz. (2.2 lbs.)
Camera: GoPro HERO5 Black
Max Flying time: 20 minutes
Max Range: 3289 ft. (1km)
Battery: 14.8V 5100mAh
Charging time: 1+ hour
The Pros
Foldable quad w/ lightweight case
Aerial, handheld, and body-mounted shooting/filming
Quality build
Easy to fly at beginner level
Karma Stabilizer
Karma Controller + touch display
The Cons
Not pocketable
Price
0/50 ratings