best foldable drone under $100

Looking for the best foldable drones or the Best Foldable Drone Under $100 for your budget? Well, since the release of the DJI Mavic Pro, foldable drones are probably the most popular types of consumer drones on the market.

Not only do foldable drones look cool but they are super convenient, especially when you are travelling around as they are very compact in their folded form and easy to pack.

Putting together this list was tough because there are so many awesome foldable drones you can buy. Choosing a foldable drone will depend on what you want to do with it, if it’s just to fly for fun, there are a lot of choices for you, I would avoid the expensive drones like DJI and Evo and advise you to look at models from Eachine and Holy Stone. However, I have not included these drones in this list.

If you are looking to use drones for commercial reasons or want to take some professional-level videos and images, then this list is for you.

Best Foldable Drones

#1. DJI Mavic 2

DJI are the number 1 consumer drone brand in the world and the Mavic series is the reason for the huge popularity of foldable drones. The DJI Mavic 2 comes in two versions, the Pro version which has a camera engineered by Hasselblad and the Mavic Zoom which has a camera that can take 48mp still images and has a 4* lossless zoom feature. Both cameras can record 4k video footage at 30fps with a maximum bitrate of 100 Mbps. Other than the camera, everything else is more or less the same, it has a beautiful foldable design with powerful high-quality brushless motors, an intelligent battery that provides a flight time of 31 minutes and 3-way obstacle avoidance system.

Key Features

  • 4k camera
  • 12mp sensor (Zoom)/20mp (Pro)
  • 2*optical zoom
  • HDR support
  • Smart flight modes
  • Omni-directional obstacle avoidance system.
  • 31 minute flight time

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#2. Autel Evo 2

Technically, the Evo 2 should be the no.1 drone on this list, but I just like the overall design of the Mavic 2, hence why I put it as my first choice. The Evo 2 is a beast of a drone, it looks and feels like a drone made for professional use. It is a little bulky when folded up and I am not a huge fan of its orange colour, other than that, this drone is truly amazing. It is the worlds first 8k camera, it can shoot 48mp still images, record video footage in 7.6k resolution, supports HDR and has a 4* lossless zoom function. There is also a version of this drone that comes with an infrared camera, which will great for search and rescue operations and the Evo 2 has the best flight time of any consumer drone at 40 minutes.

Key Features

  • 8k camera
  • 7.6k video resolution
  • 48mp still images
  • Infrared camera
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • 5-way obstacle avoidance system
  • 40 minute flight time

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Best Foldable Drone Under $100

#3. DJI Mavic Pro

It’s been a few years since the release of the DJI Mavic Pro and it still remains one f DJI’s most popular drones. This is the drone that popularised the foldable design and the inspiration for so many other drones including some outright copycats. It’s a beautiful looking drone with its streamlined aerodynamic build and metallic grey colour scheme, it’s very compact and would make a great drone for travel photographers. The HD camera can record 4k videos and shoot still images in 12mp, the camera is stabilised by an advanced gimbal system that will eliminate any kind of distortion from images and videos. It comes with many other advanced features including a robust obstacle avoidance system, 27-minute flight time and several intelligent flight modes.

Key Features

  • UHD 4k camera
  • 12mp 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
  • Advanced gimbal system
  • Obstacle avoidance technology
  • Image tracking capability
  • 7km transmission range
  • 27 minute flight time

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#4. Autel Evo

This is the original Evo, this is one of the best foldable drones that don’t have the name DJI before it. The Evo was supposed to be a direct competitor to the Mavic Pro and although it never really matched the popularity of the Mavic, it still remains a relevant drone in today’s market. Apart from its orange coloured body, the drone has a nice overall look, its built very well and weigh just under 900g. It’s a pretty fast drone reaching a top speed of 44 mph and it is powered by a powerful LiPO battery that provides it with 30 minutes of flight time. The HD camera is probably the best feature of this drone, it can record videos in 4k@60fps and capture still images in 12mp, the camera is supported by a 3-axis gimbal and is compatible with certain ND filters. The remote controller has an OLED screen that displays telemetry data about the drone and you can view the live video feed from the camera in 720p resolution.

Key Features

  • 4k camera
  • 12mp still images
  • Compatible with ND filters
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • Smart flight modes
  • OLED screen on the remote controller
  • 30 minute flight time

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#5. DJI Mavic Air

It’s quite amazing how small this drone is and yet DJI have managed to install the majority of their innovative technology inside this drone. The Mavic Air is one of the lightest drones on this list and when folded up it can easily fit inside a large pocket. This is a great drone to travel with and comes with some amazing features such as the camera that can record in 4k, take images in 12mp and is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal system for distortion-free images and videos. It comes with a couple of safety features like automatic return home function and a 3-way obstacle avoidance system. It has a decent flight time of 21 minutes and a top speed of around 42 mph which is fast for this type of drone.

Key Features

  • Advanced 4k camera
  • 12mp stills
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • 3-way obstacle avoidance system
  • Gesture control mode
  • HDR support
  • 21 minute flight time

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#6. DJI Mavic Mini

If you are looking for a low-cost DJI drone that still comes with many of their innovative features, the Mavic Mini is the drone for you. This is DJI’s only drone that costs less than $500 (if you don’t include the Tello drone), it is a beautiful drone and is so tiny that it fits in the palm of your hands. Its super lightweight for a high-end drone, weighing just under 250g, which means if you live in the UK, Canada or the USA, you will not need to register it (if you just want to fly for fun). The drone comes with a 2.7k camera that can record in 30fps and has a transmission range of around 2.5km. The live video feed is transmitted in 720p quality and it has a very good flight time of 30 minutes. DJI have developed a separate app for this drone and it comes with many features including the ability to edit and share your videos and images.

Key Features

  • 2.7k camera
  • Advanced gimbal for image and video stabilisation
  • 12mp stills
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Smart flight modes
  • Brand new app
  • 30 minute flight time

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#7. Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE

Not many people know that Xiaomi have a few high-end drones in their huge range of electronic products. The Fimi X8 SE is probably the best out of them, and it is a really amazing drone that comes with some stunning features. It is a well-constructed drone with a cool foldable design that is no larger than a medium-sized smartphone when folded up. It’s not very heavy and is very easy to travel with. The drone comes with a lot of features, the main one is its 4k camera that is capable of recording 4k footage at 30fps with a maximum bitrate of 100 Mbps. The camera is supported by an advanced 3-axis mechanical gimbal that will make sure your videos and images are distortion-free. It comes with several intelligent flight modes including active track and waypoint.

Key Features

  • 4k camera
  • 3-axis mechanical gimbal
  • HDR support
  • Image tracking system
  • 8km transmission range
  • Advanced automatic return home features
  • 30 minute flight time

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#8. Hubsan Zino 2

Hubsan are well-known for their low-cost high-quality drones, however, they recently ventured into the more high-end of the drone market with the release of the Zino drone. The Zino 2 is the latest and most advanced drone from Hubsan and it is one of the cheapest 4k foldable drones currently available. The drone comes with some amazing features like dual GPS, smart flight modes and even has a dedicated image processor from Ambarella that will allow you to record super smooth 4k videos and take professional quality still images. Other features include a mechanical gimbal, smart flight modes, 8km transmission range and a flight time of 30 minutes.

Key Features

  • 4k camera
  • 12mp still images
  • Advanced imaging processor from Ambarella
  • GPS+GLONASS
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • 8k transmission range
  • 33 minute flight time

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#9. Parrot Anafi

Parrot at one point used to be the leading manufacturers of consumer drone brands and although they discontinued most of their drones, the Anafi is still supported, and it is definitely their most impressive drone. It has a unique design for a foldable drone, in its folded form it seems longer and more compact than most other drones. It’s also one of the lightest drones on this list, however, despite its weight the drone still holds up well in windy conditions and is easy to fly. It comes with some very impressive features like its 4k HDR camera, long flight time, smart flight modes and a well-developed drone app. The 4k camera is exceptional, it can record stunning aerial footage that is crystal clear and free of any shakiness or jello effect. It has a transmission range of around 4km and can stream live video footage in 720p resolution. The drone is powered by a 2 cell LiPo battery that provides it with a flight time of 25 minutes.

Key Features

  • 4k camera
  • 21mp still images
  • 2.8*lossless zoom
  • HDR support
  • Smart flight modes
  • 3-axis hybrid gimbal
  • 25 minute flight time

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#10. Hubsan Zino Pro

The successor to the original Zino drone, the Zino Pro comes with a few extra upgrades and an all-black colour scheme (which I actually prefer). It’s a very popular drone for a variety of reasons but the main is that it is one of the cheapest 4k drones that you can buy. The drone comes equipped with some useful features likes its powerful brushless motors, 3-axis gimbal system and dual GPS for better flight positioning. It has a dedicated imaging chip from Ambarella and along with the 4k camera you will be able to record ultra-smooth professional-quality videos and images. It also comes a few smart flight modes for hands-free flying and a couple of safety features that will minimise the risk of losing the drone.

Key Features

  • 4k camera
  • 12mp stills
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • Dual GPS
  • Dedicated Ambarella image processor
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • 23 minute flight time

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Types of Drones

Beginner Drones

At the lower end of the drone spectrum are toy drones, like the Parrot Mambo and the Hobbico Dromidia Kodo. These simple and inexpensive drones come in at about $100 and are more focused on fun than features. Their controls are straightforward and easy to learn, and they can be accessed through a smartphone app or included remote control.

The flight times of beginner drones and drones for kids are also more limited – generally less than 10 minutes, or even fewer than five for the very cheap models. Designed to perform some tricks, like midair flips, spare parts are available at fairly low prices if anything goes awry. Some small drones also come with video cameras, though the quality captured tends to be poor. But don’t count them out too soon – getting a cheap drone is a fantastic way to learn to fly before upgrading to a more expensive model. They also won’t cost a fortune to fix or replace in the event of a crash.

Camera Drones

Drones with cameras – like the DJI Mavic Mini, the Parrot Bebop 2, and the GDU Byrd – are specifically designed to capture images, and range in price from $500 to $1,500. Built to provide a steady platform for the lens, which can either be an add-on or built-in, these sophisticated flying machines are more focused on recording high-quality video and still images than performing midair tricks. Because the equipment needed makes them larger and heavier, video drones need to be registered with the FAA.

Video drones often come with gimbals, which is a system designed to pan and tilt the camera – and cushion it from the motors’ vibrations – to cancel out the drone’s motion and keep the lens steady. Gimbals can either come as an electronic system built into the camera, as seen in the Parrot Bebop 2, or as a physical system made of motors and gears, like in the Mavic Air. Either way, the gimbals allow users to direct the camera at whatever angle they like, to capture beautiful pans like those seen in nature documentaries.

Bigger drones need bigger batteries, which often translates to longer flight times. A fully charged battery typically lasts a video drone around 20 minutes, and they can usually be swapped for spares to extend the session. Like toy drones, video drones are also built to be repaired, and replacement parts are generally easily available. Parts are relatively inexpensive as well, with Mavic Air’s replacement rotor blades running about $20. The quality of video these drones capture can vary widely, from the Bebop 2’s decent but sometimes choppy HD video to the Mavic Air’s super-smooth panning shots. While the videos produced by cheaper models like the Bebop 2 will be good enough for most use cases, it’s worth investing in the more sophisticated DJI drones when quality’s the main focus.

From photographing special occasions to surveying construction sites, drones are being used for an ever-expanding range of purposes. In fact, dedicated drone film festivals have popped up in major cities like New York and Berlin to showcase the creative new ways amateur moviemakers are utilizing their flying machines. Not only that, but the more innovative drones – like the Mavic Air – have built-in autonomous flight tech to make journeys on their own. They can even use cameras to detect and avoid obstacles in the way of their flight path. These more advanced drones allow users to play with their device’s autonomy by letting them navigate a predefined course on their own via GPS. Autonomous flight does, however, come with some restrictions – these drones must be registered with the FAA and have to be kept in the pilot’s line of sight at all times. The pilot must also be able to take back control of the drone at any point.

Racing Drones

With the rise of drones came the rise of drone-based competitions – and drone racing might just be the most exciting of all. Racing drones are on the smaller side and designed specifically to offer pilots speed and agility. Users see through their drone’s lens via first-person-view headsets, navigating around a course and trying to beat other fliers. Most racing drones are adapted by hand to shed unnecessary weight or increase motor power. Cheaper models, like the Aerix Black Talon 2.0, start at about $115. Ready-to-fly drones on the higher end of the spectrum, such as the Uvify Draco, can run up to $700.

Drone Safety

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone regulations are the guiding principle behind safe unmanned aircraft flight.

Drones can be an incredibly fun and fruitful new hobby, but they must be flown responsibly. Even a small toy drone can hurt someone if hit by it, and fingers can get injured if caught in the rotor blades. To fight this, some drones have built-in shields to protect the rotors, but even these aren’t foolproof. It’s best to fly any kind of drone, big or small, with proper care and caution. Here’s five quick tips for drone safety:

  • Know the drone. Before the first flight, take the time to read through the instruction manual and get familiar with the controls.
  • Check the drone before flight, looking for any damage to the motors or rotors that could fail in the air.
  • Never fly near people or animals.
  • Fly with caution, particularly when first using a drone or taking a new one for a spin. Always be sure to land before the drone’s battery runs outs.
  • Fly with care. Drones can be noisy, annoying and even scary to those near their flight path. If someone asks to stop flying, be reasonable and courteous.

To learn more about drone safety, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a fantastic resource on all things drone. The AMA can help connect drone enthusiasts with others in the area to share both beginner’s flying techniques, and more advanced tips and tricks. Remote-control flying clubs often meet regularly to discuss and fly drones together. But remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure to update all software and firmware before any takeoff, and read the drone’s manual thoroughly before use. For FAA registration requirements and further information on drone safety, check the FAA website. Additional local jurisdiction requirements may apply, so it’s important to stay informed on the latest drone regulations for the area.

Drones & The Law

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced registration requirements for anyone flying a drone weighing over 250g recreationally. Most drones that fall under the toy category will not have to be registered, while those built for video, racing and autonomous flight likely do. Drone registration can be done via the FAA website – and separate, more stringent requirements are applied to professional drone fliers.

Once registered, the registration number must be displayed on the drone. This can be as simple as a sticker or shipping label placed under the battery, along with the owner’s name and number in case of theft or loss. The FAA also defines restrictions on where drones can be flown. They can’t be flown higher than 400 feet, in restricted airspaces, or over emergency areas, like traffic accidents or wildfires. They’re also banned from flying through national parks and cannot be flown within 5 miles of an airport without informing the air traffic controllers. Federal, state, and local regulations can vary, so check with the organizations directly if unsure.

Drone Accessories & Add-ons

Additional hardware can be added to drones that have ample lift from their propellers and motors. Lift specs can be found via the drone manufacturer’s website. In general, drones built to support external cameras are usually equipped to carry an additional half pound or more of weight above that of the drone on its own. Added weight increases stress on the motors and can affect flight time and stability.

The most popular and useful drone accessory is undoubtedly the spare battery. Drone batteries can provide between 5 and 25 minutes of power in the air per charge but can take an hour or longer to recharge. Fortunately, most drone batteries can simply be replaced with a freshly charged one when the power levels get low. To get the most airtime out of each flying session, users should invest in several spares.

The next most useful accessories for drones are spare propellers and parts. Because occasional mishaps and less-than-perfect landings are an inevitable part of flying drones, they were designed to survive crashes. The exterior components are made from sturdy materials – such as polypropylene foam and carbon fiber – that protect the more sensitive parts, like the CPUs, motors and transmitters. The parts that break the most easily, like the propellers, are the cheapest and easiest to repair or replace. New drones often have extra propellers included, and additional spares are usually available for purchase separately as well. Remember that drones need different propellers to spin clockwise and counterclockwise for stability, so it’s wise to get both kinds of spare propellers.

Depending on use cases, other drone add-ons that may be of interest include LED bands, propeller guards and extra landing gear. For photography drones in particular, various lens filters can be added to alter saturation levels, reduce glare, and more. Getting a quality bag or case specifically designed to carry a drone is an important investment as well. Drone bundles can often be found with a number of accessories. Drone cases should have a foam interior built to fit the device and its accessories and protect them from damage during transit.

Featured Products

Here are some featured Drone products.

1. Holy Stone HS700D FPV GPS Drone with 2K FHD Camera

Main Feature

GPS Assisted Flight

Camera Quality

2K FHD 90°Adjustable Camera

$699.99

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2. DJI Mavic Mini 

Main Feature

249g Ultralight + 30-min Max. Flight Time

Camera Quality

4 km HD Video Transmission

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3. Wingsland S6 (Outdoor Edition) Black Mini Pocket Drone 4K Camera

Main Feature

250g can be easily put into your pocket.

Camera Quality

4K 30P and 1080P 60P HD Video

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4. Hubsan H501A X4 Brushless WIFI Drone GPS and App Compatible

Main Feature

Waypoint function choice the best flight-route.

Camera Quality

Built-in 1080P HD camera

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Things to Consider When Buying a Drone

There is a multitude of options on the market now, with each model excelling in something else. Hence, before you go ahead and buy your drone, decide what are the most important things to consider when buying one.

Purpose

Drone to Learn Flying

When you just wanna try and see if it’s something for you, learn how to fly a drone and have some fun, it may be better to go for a cheap UAS. You can get one for as little as $30 and it will have all the functions you’ll need. It may lack in video quality, or it can get heavy, but you will be able to play with it without worrying as much about crashing. It’s a good idea to start with this and learn the ropes.

Here’s a list of best drones for under 200 dollars in 2020.

Drone for Hiking

You can capture some of the best videos of yourself and your friends, as well as the landscapes, when you go hiking with a quadcopter. The most important things to consider when you buy a drone for hiking are weight, flight time, camera resolution and camera stabilization. It’s also important to make sure it will fit into your drone backpack (yeah, that’s actually a thing now).

With this in mind, we created a list of the best drones for hiking in 2020.

Hiking Drone

Drone for Selfies

It’s no longer uncommon to see someone swapping a selfie stick for a selfie drone. From pocket drones that can take photos of you and your friends to machines that will follow your movement and react to voice commands/ hand gestures, there’s a whole genre of devices built to accommodate the need for us to capture each moment from another perspective.https://6a7216e4485e9de66bead7c4465a0d81.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

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We created a list of best selfie drones in 2020, and there’s even one that doubles as your phone cover so it’s always with you.

Drone Weight

Depending on how you want to use your drone, its weight is probably the most important factor to take into consideration. If you want to take it with you everywhere, heavy UAS will soon prove to be a burden. Lightweight, however, often lack the extra features and have shorter flight times. Hence it’s a trade off you’ll need to consider first.

Important! Many countries regulate the licensing and use of UAV based on their weight. Do consider your contry’s regulations before buying a drone. Many places around the world do not require licensing or registration to use drones under 250 grams.

Flight Time/ Batteries

How long you can fly your drone on each battery will determine how far you can go with it. When the first personal drones come out you had a minute or so to play with. Now there are drones that can fly for 30 minutes non-stop and then you can just swap a spare battery to continue.

Flight time of each battery charge is one of the most important things to check before making a purchase decision. Also, do not forget to see if the batteries can be easily replaced or even if the drone comes with spare ones.

Drone Parts
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Flight/ Control Range

How far you can fly without losing control can make a huge difference in the footage and fun you can get from your drone.

There are 3 main methods of communicating with your drone, which impact it’s control range:

  • Radio
    You’ll need a controller to send and receive the radio waves to and from your drone. Depending on the size of the antenna, the range can extend up to 5 miles.
  • Wi-Fi
    The maximum control range using Wi-Fi signals is about 650 yards (600 meters). It’s often much shorter so you’ll have to see the specs of each drone you consider. The good thing is that with some models you may not need a separate controller to fly your UAS.
  • GPS
    It’s also possible, with some models, to define a flight path that your drone will then follow using Global Positioning System (GPS).

Controller

With the things mentioned above in mind, there is a trade off between flight range and total weight of the equipment you have to carry with you. On one hand, it would be best if we could use your smartphone to fly the drone, so that you don’t have to carry an additional controller, but on the other hand the range would suffer without it.

If you just want the drone for selfies, then lack of controller would be fantastic, but if you want to go far into the sea to capture whales, then you want to be in control at all times and from afar. Consider this before you choose your quadcopter.

Drone Controller
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Camera Resolution

Most people use drones for videos, so you should check if your new drone would capture the world in low resolution, Standard Definition (SD), 720P High Definition (HD), 1080P Full HD (FHD), or 4K. Each one is at least twice better than the one before and something to consider.

It’s also very important to check if the footage is recorded to an SD card in the drone, or sent to your smartphone before getting recorded there. If it’s not built-in, whenever you lose connection, you lose that part of the recording. Whereas, with the on-board SD card you’ll have the full footage at your disposal after retrieving your drone, even if it lost the connection with the controller.

Camera Stabilization

Your drone, if it has any camera stabilization at all which you should check, will either stabilize the recording with software or mechanically.

The best for the job is a 3-axis gimbal. Thanks to which, your videos will be filmed with a steady, cinematic motion that compensates for the shakes and wind movements.

Alternatively, some models compensate for the shaky conditions with built-in software. Not as good as a gimbal but much better than nothing at all.

Drone And Smartphone
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First Person View (FPV)

Check if it’s possible to see through First Person View directly from your drone while flying. While you can control the AUV by looking at it directly, it would be better to sometimes see for yourself if everything you want to record stays within the frame.

Speed

The importance of your drone’s speed becomes crucial when you need to fly in a strong wind. It may not be able to return back to you if you’re standing upwind, and there are places where it would not be possible to retrieve your drone by walking up to it (imagine shooting at sea).

If you just want to use your drone for fun, then speed is important as it’s just more exciting to fly it faster.

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