Manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to design consumer drones that boost your user experience, and foldable drones are one of the results of that fruitful endeavor.
Flying your drone is the fun part, but in reality, owning a drone also entails a lot of transportation, maintenance, storage, and carrying, and foldable drones make all of that easier by increasing portability without having to opt for smaller or cheaper drones that would affect the quality.
This evolution in design has led to sophisticated, compact, and lightweight models and now you get to see the best ones on offer. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, we did take the best models from each price range, so there’s no doubt in our minds you’ll find the best foldable drone for you.
Here’s our top picks:
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What Is a Foldable Drone?
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s break down what foldable drones are.
Simply put, foldable drones are drones that are able to condense into a smaller form than their size during flight. Unlike fixed wing drones where the arms and propellers perpetually spread out around them, foldable models tuck these arms and propellers against the drone’s body, making it smaller and more compact.
Now, this isn’t just a quirky feature, it actually adds a ton of value to your experience.
First, it makes transportation insanely easy. Taking your drone to and from multiple locations is tedious work, but with foldable wings, you’ll always have room to place your drone. It also makes transportation and storage safer, since condensing into a compact size decreases the risk of the wings or propellers snagging on items and breaking off.
Finally, foldable drones give you access to features typically seen in larger more expensive drones, but in a more portable friendly size, like 4K cameras and omnidirectional obstacle sensing.
As you move through the list, consider the budget but also what purpose you want the drone for and what experience level you’re bringing to the table.
The Best Foldable Drones 2022
1. Snaptain A15H – Best Foldable Drone Under $100
- Price: ~$60 — Available on Amazon here
- Dimensions: 11.4 x 7.8 x 3.1 inches
Sometimes you just want something fun and portable on a budget, and the Snaptain A15H does that perfectly.
This is a beginner and kid-friendly foldable drone that comes with tons of great features. It boasts a wide-angle 720 HD camera, smart voice control, and offers three speed modes. It doesn’t have the strongest camera, but it has garnered a lot of attention as a racing drone with its FPV real-time transmission.
Other high points are its 3D flips, headless mode, altitude hold, and GPS sensor.
Through the mobile app, you can draw flight paths for the drone to follow, and it comes with two batteries, totaling 16 minutes of flight time. For range, it reaches about 50 meters, so it’s not long-distance, however, it’s still a capable drone with an intuitive design.
The A15H is best for those looking for a casual option and is perfect for family outings, or those looking to buy their first drone and test the technology.
2. Contixo F22 – Best Foldable Drone Under $200
- Price: ~$140 — Available on Amazon here
- Dimensions: 11.81 x 11.41 x 2.56 inches
- Folded: 5.71 x 3.94 x 2.56 inches
For about $100 more you get quite a few upgrades as we’ll see in the Contixo F22, also known as the Z5 drone.
We’ve advanced to a panning 1080p WIFI-capable HD camera, controllable via the drone’s mobile app, and it supports gesture control which allows you to use hand motions to take photos and record videos.
We also see a lot of upgrades in terms of flight safety, like a smart return to home flight function, automated take-off and landing, GPS-enabled following functions, and even spare propellers included in the standard purchase.
What’s really interesting, though, is the level of performance that you get at this price. Not only just the camera but the 14 minutes of flying time, and the ability to set “waypoints” so your drone can fly to predestined spots automatically.
The F22 is super easy to learn and has just enough features to give you hands-on experience toying with specs often seen in more heavy-weight drones. It’s an excellent beginner option and perfect for those that will maximize on the camera and capture stunning photos.
3. Potensic D88 – Best Foldable Drone Under $300
- Price: ~$270 — Available on Amazon here
- Dimensions: 17.8 x 16.34 x 2.76 inches
- Folded: 7.68 x 4.53 x 2.76 inches
The Potensic D88 truly sets the bar for affordable entry-level drones. Potensic recently had an overhaul of the D88, upgrading the model and package that comes with the drone.
Previously the drone only had one battery included, but now it has two accompanying its 2K HD camera, giving you up to 40 minutes of flying time to capture stunning aerial images.
However, it only has a one-axis gimbal, and for just a bit more you could have access to more elite models that have a 3-axis gimbal. This matters because gimbals affect the camera’s stability and precision when taking photos.
It comes with 5G WIFI transmission that works up to 984ft, smart features like GPS intelligent return and follow me mode, and has up to 1 mile of flying range.
All of this together makes for a fun and seamless piloting experience that’s great for beginners and younger audiences. And as we’ve seen, in the span of $200 we’ve gone from a 720p camera to a 2K HD, 16 minutes flight time to 40, and gained access to loads of smart features, which is why this is one of the best investments for serious beginners.
4. DJI Mavic Mini – Best Small Foldable Drone
- Price: ~$369 — Available on Amazon here
- Dimensions: 159×202×55 mm
- Folded: 140×81×57 mm
Is it even a drone ranking if there isn’t a DJI drone on the list? If you don’t already know, DJI makes up over half the drone market, and while we strive to pay respects to all brands, this is one of those times when the big name is better.
Weighing only 249g, the DJI Mavic mini is by far the best small foldable drone on the market, and honestly the best drone you’ll find under $500.
It comes loaded with features, save for obstacle avoidance, but that still puts it lightyears ahead of its competitors. The Mini has a 2.7K HD camera, a 3-axis gimbal for superb stability, up to 30 minutes of flying time per battery, and a 4km radius.
DJI also just released the Mini 2, which is the same in terms of lightweight portability, but changes the entire game with its 4K HD camera, level 5 wind resistance, 10km video transmission, and an increased flight time of up to 31 minutes.
The Mini 2 is the only drone with a viable 4K camera within this price range, however, it does cost more than the Mini.
The best part of this drone model though is that fact it weighs under 250g, which means you don’t have to register the drone with the FAA before flying it. And this goes for both the Mini and Mini 2.
Because of its price tag, we won’t say it for beginners, however, its intelligent user design makes it a solid choice for less experienced drone pilots. Plus, the fact you get a 2.7K or 4K camera in such a lightweight and affordable drone alone should be enough to convince you this is an ideal drone for dedicated flyers.
5. DJI Air 2S – Best Foldable Drone With 4K HD Camera
- Price: ~$1,300 — Available on Amazon here
- Dimensions: 183×253×77 mm
- Folded: 180×97×77 mm
At this point, we’ve left affordability behind and we’re focusing on power and capabilities when it comes to these high-end drone models.
The DJI Air 2S is a slightly more professional model of the Mavic Mini, making it one of the most elite hobby drones, and offers a nice opportunity as an entry drone into more expensive models.
It jumps up to a 5.4K UHD video and 1-inch image sensor, an impressive flight distance of 7.5 miles, and 4-way obstacle sensing.
It also has a flight time of 30 minutes, a precise GPS module, and several autonomous flight modes.
The real emphasis on this drone though is the camera. Besides enhanced resolution, you’ll get fantastic modes like Spotlight, ActiveTrack, and Point of Interest that allow you to stay focused on a subject while flying and moving around it. You’ll also get wide-angle, sphere, and hyperlapse settings, as well as achieve dynamic photos in nighttime environments.
There’s even been an upgrade in the QuickShots feature, now called MasterShots, that intelligently gets you the best photo possible with the touch of a button.
Needless to say, this is hands down the best foldable drone with a 4K HD camera. But if it feels a little too much, you can still purchase the previous model Mavic Air 2, which is less expensive and doesn’t have as many features, but is still a more powerful drone than the Mini.
6. DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Best Foldable Drone Overall
- Price: Check on Amazon here
- Dimensions: 322×242×84 mm Folded: 214×91×84 mm
Ending our series as the best foldable drone is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Its predecessor made its name as the first mainstream premium foldable drone, and that legacy has carried on to this updated model.
The Mavic 2 actually comes in two styles – the Pro and the Zoom – with Pro focusing on giving you cutting-edge features and you’re standard wants and wishes from a premium drone, whereas the Zoom is primarily for those who want a specialized zooming lens. Because of this, we’re listing the Pro as the best foldable drone as it’s more versatile.
You’ll get all the amazing positioning settings seen in the Air 2S in the professional Hasselblad L1D-20c camera, giving you 20MP aerial shots in extraordinary detail, along with other effects such as asteroid, boomerang, and dolly zoom all supported by its 3-axis gimbal technology.
It also comes with omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, making it one of the consumer markets safest drones, a dual positioning system in both GPS and GLONASS, and reaches speeds of up to 40 mph.
Following the other DJI models, it maintains a flight time of around 30 minutes, gets up to 8km, and has a low-noise design.
The Mavic 2 Pro is reliable, stable, and powerful, so it’ll last you for years to come. It’s also incredibly easy to learn, providing you with an enjoyable experience while capturing state-of-the-art images and videos. Overall, if you’re serious about investing in a foldable drone, then this is the choice for you.