It’s becoming more clear that selfies are evolving into an irreplaceable part of our daily lives. Whether we like it or not, selfies are extremely popular and a lot more people know about them today than was the case a couple of years ago. Driven by the power of popular media (just like drones), to this day, selfies continue to grow in popularity… So, for all of you who would like to take things up a notch in your selfie game – meet selfie drones – the biggest thing that happened to selfies… since selfies!
What are selfie drones?
Before answering that question, first, we must tell you what a selfie is… although I’m pretty sure most of you are well familiar with the terminology. Selfie is basically a self-portrait shot which is usually taken with various types of smartphones. Most frequently, selfies are taken during special occasions, involving special people and captured from various angles. Occasionally, they even involve plenty of people in one shot. That’s the so-called group selfie.
What separates selfie drones from standard ones?
The most basic of concepts hiding behind selfie drones is a good camera. By good, I mean 4K and FHD which are considered as standard at the moment. Additionally, another very important aspect is general size. The smaller the drone, the better it will suit the “selfie nation”. You’d be surprised to find out how much selfie drones are smaller than their standard counterparts. Moreover, the ability to fold is a smooth touch too, and it’s becoming more popular these days. As a matter of fact, there are plenty models on this list which are foldable. Needless to say, this gives them even smaller size during transport… and I’m sure there’s a lot of you who want portability from their next drone.
Most important traits selfie drones possess
In addition to size, portability and a camera which outputs decent quality images, there are few other traits that an ideal selfie drone needs to have. Sure, your drone is small enough, has a solid camera and can fold… but is it easy to fly around and can it take smooth aerial footage? Well, if it has the following traits then it might just be the perfect one!
Obviously, image stabilization is of crucial importance for a good selfie drone experience. Typically, a good image stabilization cannot go without a hardware gimbal stabilization system. Luckily, there’s a lot of drones featuring it nowadays… Unfortunately, cheaper selfie drones don’t. Don’t get me wrong though – they can still capture awesome selfies, but you will notice some jello and shakiness in aerial videos.
Altitude hold is another very important feature for a selfie drone. For those of you who don’t know what it does – altitude hold basically allows precise hovering on a constant height without needing to hold the throttle manually. This will give you a much more relaxed flying experience and, obviously, allow you to engage better in taking that perfect selfie.
Advanced drone features for selfie lovers
In terms of extra features which tend to be somewhat useful to selfie lovers, you’ll be surprised to see a whole bunch of them available. Realistically speaking, there’s a ton of smart flight modes that can be used for taking awesome selfies or aerial videos. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the best of the bunch!
- Follow Me
Follow me mode is useful for both selfies and aerial footage. When engaging in an activity, simply turn on this mode and your drone will follow you anywhere you go. Of course, you can take pictures or start recording at any given time.
- Selfie Mode
Certain drones have a feature called Selfie Mode. What this does is essentially provides you with the optimal angle for a shot and giving a few software gimmicks to beautify images. Furthermore, there are models out there which combine Selfie Mode with facial recognition software for even better results.
- Cable Cam Mode
Cable Cam mode is another version of autonomous flights. This one lets you adjust heights of flying and set up a linear pathway that drone is going to follow accurately. You can even set up linear “patrol” and snap perfect selfies at all the right times.
Orbit mode is rather self-explanatory – by turning it on and selecting a target, your drone will start to hover around the object/person. With a little imagination and plenty of battery life, orbit mode could be your gateway to the perfect aerial selfie shot!
DJI selfie models such as Mavic Pro and Spark are equipped with a special feature called ActiveTrack. It relies on their specialized recognition software that allows the drone to follow designated objects (cars, bikes or similar) or people with a plethora of customizability available. Needless to say, ActiveTrack performs greatly in terms of selfies – it’s the perfect combination!
8 Best Selfie Drones
Now we are going to start off with the list since most of you were eagerly expecting it…
8. ROVA Flying Selfie
First in line of awesome selfie drone is Flying Selfie by ROVA. It is nicely poised with solid specifications, great camera, and interesting design. Speaking of design, the first thing you will notice about this one is its PC fan-shaped design. With 4 propellers/motors spread across in all 4 corners and a sturdy frame completely surrounding them, it’s safe to say ROVA Flying Selfie is a highly durable model! But is durability all it has to offer?
Well, judging by its awesome camera, I’d say things are pretty far from that. It sports a 12MPX sensor with both software and hardware image stabilization included. The sensor even incorporates a miniature flash and can record FHD videos in smooth 60fps. Feature-wise, this little birdie possesses obstacle avoidance and the already-mentioned prop guards which fully enclose its propellers and motors. So, if you’re looking for a great aerial selfie camera, ROVA Flying Selfie looks (and performs) surprisingly well.
Specifications aren’t too far off either. ROVA Flying Selfie can endure roughly 8 minutes of airtime. At first, that could seem like a downside. In reality though, average selfie drone has roughly 8-10 minutes airtime, making ROVA Flying Selfie right at the margins. The range is solid too – roughly 30 meters is more than enough for a perfect shot! Lastly – ROVA Flying Selfie comes with an extra battery to double your airtime as well as a mini carrying case for easier transportation.
7. Wingsland S6
The drone that’s made it onto the 7th spot is made by Winsland and its respective name is S6 (Outdoor Edition). This miniature drone comes in 5 color options and features EIS 3-axis digital stabilization system which ensures buttery smooth aerial footage clear of jello, shakiness and all those nasty things. Combined with a fully fledged 4K camera and a wide array of accessories and features, Wingsland S6 represents an aggressive stance at the mid-tier selfie drone market. How well does it perform? Well, let’s see…
I’d like to continue on with the camera. You see, this little fella features a built-in sensor that can capture 4K in 30fps and 1080p in 60fps. What’s even better is the fact Wingsland S6 incorporates GPS+GLONASS which give more weight to the camera – you’ll get the benefits of features such as altitude hold, course lock and return to home. Needless to say, they’ll provide you with intuitive controlling and free up your mind so you can better concentrate on taking actual selfies.
When it comes to the specifications, Wingsland S6 doesn’t fail to deliver. If you opt for this drone, you can rest assured to get at least 7 (maximum 10) minutes of airtime and cca 30 to 50 meters of operating range. All in all, Wingsland S6’s biggest virtue is undoubtedly its 4K camera with 3-axis gimbal. For people who want only the best selfies at an incredibly cheap price – Wingsland S6 should seem like a great option.
6. Zerotech Dobby
At the moment, Zerotech Dobby is on a massive sale. More precisely, you can get this little fella for slightly over $250 which is a proper bargain. What you’ll be getting for that money is an excellent selfie drone with a stylish design and excellent camera!
Zerotech Dobby has had a successful marketing campaign and is no ranking up in sales. What people love about it is its exceptional ease of use, amazing camera (capable of capturing 4K aerial footage of course) and mobility. Yes, Zerotech Dobby is a miniature, foldable drone that packs all of its hardware in a ridiculously small size factor. It’s easy to carry, set up and operate – 3 in 1! As a matter of fact, you can easily place Zerotech Dobby in your pocket and casually carry it around with you everywhere you go.
In terms of features, Zerotech Dobby comes equipped with GPS, altitude hold, and automatic return to take off location. Moreover, it also features optic flow and ultra sonic positioning sensors for indoor flying. Specifications-wise, Zerotech Dobby can fly for up to 10 minutes and go as far as 100 meters from your smartphone. Yes – this is a smartphone-controlled drone. Surprisingly though, it keeps steady and is a breeze to control with intuitive and responsive controlling schematics. So, with everything taken into consideration, I believe Zerotech Dobby is a solid choice for all selfie lovers out there, especially now that it is on a massive sale and you can get it for roughly 2 thirds of its original price.
5. Yuneec Breeze
Here we have a drone that looks kind of like Zerotech Dobby. I mean, they’re not identical but sport the same glossy white finish with outstanding 4K cameras. One thing that Yuneec Breeze lacks is definitely foldability. While Zerotech Dobby is a pocketable model, Yuneece Breeze is not due to the fact its propellers cannot retract inside (or underneath) the body. Other than that, Yuneec Breeze looks absolutely solid, which is why we are going to take a more in-depth approach to it!
With a uniformed body that seems sturdy and breathes quality upon being touched, Yuneec justifies its reputation as a trustworthy drone brand. They released several high-end models in recent years, including Typhoon H and Q500, both of which are ranking greatly among their competitors. Considering Yuneec Breeze sports a 13MPX camera capable of 4K, indoor positioning system, several smart flight modes (including selfie, orbit, follow me and more) and instant social media sharing, it seems as though Breeze won’t fall behind its bigger brothers anytime soon.
Specifications only confirm my initial statement – Yuneec Breeze is bound to deliver! It can automatically return to its take off location or with just one button press… but more importantly, Zerotech Dobby has decent specifications which run the show. I’m talking about roughly 12 minutes of flying time and cca 80 meters of operating range. They’re not too shabby at all. Come to think of it, you won’t be able to get your hands on anything better at this price range and within this size factor.
4. XIRO Xplorer Mini
XIRO Xplorer Mini, as its name implies, is a mini drone with foldable propeller arms and a uniquely shaped (and aggressively looking) design. Starting off with the good things, it’s noteworthy to state that it comes with an extra battery (2 in total) and a small carrying pouch. If you’re not the biggest fan of pouches, you can always put this birdie into your pocket and be on your way!
XIRO Xplorer Mini is not exactly a successor to XIRO Xplorer series of drones. It’s quite the contrary actually – while XIRO Xplorer G and V versions are fully fledged drones meant for casual aerial photography, XIRO Xplorer Mini is aimed at true selfie lovers and all who feel that way. With a 13mpx FHD camera with wide angle 190-degree lens, XIRO Xplorer Mini can provide with seamless selfies time and time again. FPV transmission is present as well, but, unfortunately, works over WiFi with the help of dedicated Android and iOS apps.
Dual satellite positioning systems (GPS and GLONASS) make up for extra stability and offer a wide array of additional features among which are follow me mode, low power/lost connection failsafe, and auto return to home. XIRO Xplorer Mini is powered by a smart 1650mAh LiPo battery which offers approximately 15 minutes of juice. Last but not least – this little birdie flies up to 100 meters away from your smartphone. Keep in mind this number is actually pretty solid considering it works via WiFi and not 2.4Ghz. All in all, it’s pretty clear XIRO Xplorer Mini isn’t a direct competitor to XIRO Xplorer V and G. Instead, it focuses on the selfie drones market where it enjoys decent popularity. And it’s all justified if you ask me!
3. GeniusIdea Follow
At the 3rd spot, we have a brand new drone that most of you probably haven’t even heard about yet. It’s made by GeniusIdea and it’s called Follow. A pretty interesting name if you ask me. But, more important than its name, today we are going to be focusing on this drone’s performance and value for money. So, without any further adue, let’s jump straight to business and see what’s this interesting little drone all about!
Weighing in at just 270 grams, GeniusIdea Follow drone seems too lightweight to be taken seriously. However, with solid specifications and an innovative twist to the tale, it might just be a worthy competitor for the very top of selfie drones market. Why is that? Well, first of all, you need to know that this is a fully flexible drone. Not foldable – flexible. It is made out of unique material which twists and bends at will. Obviously, this gives GeniusIdea Follow an insanely good look in terms of durability as it’s virtually unbreakable. Heck, even its propellers are bendable.
Second of all, GeniusIdea Follow incorporates a 4K camera along with a second one (lower quality, used for position hold) that’s built into the bottom portion of the drone. Some of its most handy features include Follow Me, facial recognition software, position hold, and much more. Specifications aren’t to be taken for granted either. Believe it or not, GeniusIdea Follow sports up to 20 minutes of battery life once you put in 2 Lithium batteries inside. Yup, this thing works with standardized Lithium Ion batteries (these ones are a great choice) that can be bought for ridiculously cheap. Finally, operating range hovers around 100 and 150 meters. Not too shabby in that department either, don’t you agree?
2. DJI Spark
Runner up for the best selfie drone at the moment is DJI Spark… Although it’s arguable which one out of these 2 should’ve taken the title. Both of them are made by DJI but sport drastically different prices. In terms of value for money, I’d go out on a limb and say that DJI Spark seems a bit better in my opinion, just because of its price. Still, I placed it second out of pure respect for DJI Mavic Pro and what exactly it represents – and that’s class A performance in a tiny package. But, enough about DJI Mavic Pro, let’s talk a bit about its little brother – DJI Spark.
Starting off with the camera, you’ll be happy to know DJI spark incorporates a 12MPX 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with a 2-axis mechanical gimbal that takes good care of any stabilization issues that might occur. Moving forward to specifications, DJI Spark runs on a 1480mAh intelligent battery running on 11.4V. Obviously, we’re talking about a 3S LiPo worth 16.87 Wh. Considering it only weighs around 0.2lbs (95 grams), it’s quite surprising to see it powering Spark up to 16 minutes per charge. In terms of range, here’s the deal – by default, DJI Spark is a smartphone-controlled model which doesn’t have the greatest range. On the other hand, if you get the dedicated controller too, expect around 2 kilometers.
When it comes to features, DJI Spark is second to none as well. As I’ve mentioned before, it takes advantage of DJI GO app which allows a huge set of features at its disposal. But, in addition to ActiveTrack, TapFly and all others, DJI Sparks comes with 2 specialized ones. I’m talking about PalmControl and PalmTouch. They allow you to control DJI Spark without using a smartphone or its dedicated controller. It can be tricky at first, but once you master it, you’ll love it! So, with everything said taken into consideration, DJI Spark is an amazing all around drone… and clearly the best in terms of size/performance ration. I couldn’t recommend it more!
1. DJI Mavic Pro
Just like I stated above, DJI Mavic Pro is, at the moment, the most powerful selfie drone on the market. With unparalleled performance and amazing size, it’s taking the drone market by storm! Are you doubting its quality? Well, in the next couple of paragraphs I’ll show you why exactly are you terribly wrong!
First things first, DJI Mavic Pro sports an incredibly powerful 4K camera with 3-axis gimbal stabilization system (remember, DJI Spark only has 2-axis one) for ensuring optimal image and video stability. In terms of image quality, you can rest assured you’re getting a top flight solution as this camera is as good as those which come on full sized premium drones. That goes for features too. DJI Mavic Pro comes with full support for DJI GO app meaning it has access to a wide array of smart features. They include Follow Me, ActiveTrack, Altitude Hold, One Key Return To Home, TapFly, and plenty more. Most of them are powered by GPS and others by built-in proprietary sensors made by DJI (obstacle avoidance for example).
Needless to say, all these smart features make DJI Mavic Pro a breeze to control. Even though it is primarily targeted at professional photographers, beginners can still take advantage of its advanced features because of highly intuitive GUI of DJI GO app. Specifications are nothing short of brilliant, if I am to be completely honest here. DJI Mavic Pro has roughly the same numbers as DJI Phantom 4 Pro. It’s true! You can expect up to 27 minutes of battery life and, thanks to OcuSync technology, roughly 7 kilometers of range on this bad boy. Best of all, it’s miniature, foldable and can be packed in a pinch. For a real selfie master – DJI Mavic Pro is the way to go! There is no doubt about it…
In the end, I really don’t know what is there left to be said about these miniature foldable birdies. I’ve tried my best to keep as objective as possible even though I’m a huge fan of easy-to-transport drones with unparalleled performance… And that’s pretty much the perfect way to describe selfie drones.
Finally, I’d also like to thank you for reading this article with the hope that it helped you with your decision-making. Until next time…