The search for a selfie drone is more complicated than you might think, especially because finding the best one out there must mean that it’s good for more than just taking some photos of yourself and your friends.
This is why in this article we’ll go through the best selfie drones for every use case, from the best camera ones to the most portable or foldable bunch. And even more, find out together what exactly you might be looking for (even if you don’t yet know).
You might be wondering how do selfie drones even work? Are these different drones from any other camera quadcopter and what functions must they have?
Long story short, selfie drones can be categorized as a portable drone that can take quality photos (and preferably video) in selfie mode without having to know advanced quadcopter controls.
This being said, there’s a mix of drones that have both simple and advanced functions, so eventually what we’ll focus on is the camera, portability and flight functions.
Most drones you can buy are going to take worse photos and videos than your smartphone (especially if you have a high end one). That is because a drone is much more than just a camera, it has to fit within its price: the build, motors, mainboard and sometimes even a motorized gimbal.
However, there are many things you can do with a drone that you can’t do with a selfie stick. So what we’ll focus on this top list article will be quadcopters that can go above and beyond just taking a selfie of you at arm's length.
There’s so many types of drones out there that there’s no easy way to answer this.
A typical selfie drone is controlled exclusively by smartphone. This means you’ll see the live feed in the app after you connect to the drone wifi and control the movement with the virtual sticks on the screen.
However, for more advanced drones, there’s usually a controller involved too that makes the flight experience way more precise and dramatically increases the range from a few meters to kilometers.
There’s even some selfie drones that you don’t need an app for, which you just throw in the air and do everything by themselves.
However, the simpler the controlling process is, the worse the results and the more limited that drone becomes, so I recommend not to shy away from physical controllers, since they open a new world of possibilities.
What to know about a selfie drone controls
Since a selfie drone is usually made for facing yourself, it must come with headless mode where the controls are basically inverted, so when you press forward, the drone will move away from you, in front of you. This will make much more sense while you try it and it’s quite great to have this as a system for beginners.
In this section we’ll take a look, as promised, at my top 10 selfie drones, in no particular order (besides the first). Each of these could fit a specific role and has unique features for the price.
The DJI Mini 2 is all the rage lately, and for a good reason. It’s pretty much the best camera drone you can buy that’s under 250 grams and also doubles as an outstanding selfie drone.
It cannot be controlled just by phone yet, so there is a slight delay to setup the controller, but quite brief.
I personally keep this as my main camera drone since it comes with a stunning 4k camera, 3 axis stabilized gimbal and incredible specs like a 10km real range and 31 minutes of flight time.
This is more than just a drone that can take 4k photos of you and your friends, it has some complex flight modes like auto return to home, circle around a subject and record and more.
One flight function that could suit this as a selfie drone is the “drone mode” that records a video with the drone flying away and up from you and capturing a unique perspective shot.
What’s more, it comes with powerful brushless motors and I compared the wind resistance of the DJi mini 2 vs the Mavic Air 2 in a video and it handled itself very well.
The Zerotech Dobby is one of the most popular selfie drones to this day for the fact that it fits the standard pocket foldable drone format most people are looking for.
It can be controlled exclusively through a smartphone and what’s best comes with tracking capability.
It comes with both GPS as well as ultrasonic sensors below the drone to keep both the position and its height steady.
One annoying thing about it is that you need to choose the camera angle beforehand, without the ability to adjust it while in flight.
In terms of range, since it uses wifi transmission instead of Bluetooth it can reach about 50m and even over 100m with some wifi range extender, which is quite great for a phone controlled drone.
In terms of selfie capability, the drone can take multiple photo modes, including burst mode, timing, selfie.
It also has a few flight modes, one of which is called “target tracking” where you draw a box on the screen around the subject and it will follow it around.
I think the DJI Tello is the best selfie drone under $100 to this day. I have personally tested and reviewed it on youtube and I must say it takes some of the best photos I’ve seen from such a cheap drone.
The video is also pretty great, even though only HD in 720p, it is electronically stabilized footage, something you just don’t see in this price range.
The battery life is also pretty competitive, since it can fly over 10 minutes and the range can also be increased with the use of a wifi range extender.
It does have some interesting flight modes, but they’re pretty basic compared to the Dobby for example.
One interesting thing is that it can actually take 4k photos believe it or not, but not 4k video.
It can also be controlled by phone and also by using a bluetooth controller (but you’ll need to buy one aftermarket).
The Tello is a very stable flying selfie drone also thanks to the bottom facing sensors and its altitude hold.
The holy stone HS510 is a solid foldable drone with no image stabilization but with other features like GPS and a weight below 250 grams that make it more than just a selfie drone.
The specs say 4k video resolution, but I wouldn’t hold it accountable to even compare to a DJI Mini 2, especially since it doesn’t come with EIS.
The battery however is pretty great at 16 minutes of flight time and the range is also considerably longer than what other selfie drones might provide. And this is mainly because it doesn’t come with a phone controlling option, but rather a controller. The wifi range from the drone to the phone is indeed around 300m, but the drone itself can fly even farther, which makes it great since it’s harder to lose it.
And even if you do, since it comes with GPS, it also has a return to home function.
The parrot anafi is already miles ahead of what you’d expect from a selfie drone, but I included it on this list, even though it could just as well be one of the best camera drones you can buy for that price.
Just like the DJI Mini 2 it comes with a controller that’s connected to your phone where you see the live feed. Of course you’ll be able to take regular selfies and photos in 4k at any time, but you’ll do this in style, since everything is stabilized by a 2 axis mechanical gimbal and EIS.
One thing that makes this drone special is the fact that it can rais its camera up, so it’s even better for taking super creative selfies, from under a bridge for example, or while you’re somewhere high up.
The flight time is also quite great, at 25 minutes in the air and the 4km range and I would say the specs and image quality is well on par with DJI.
Another thing that makes the Parrot Anafi an actual great selfie drone is the ability to control it just by using your phone, without the actual controller. Being foldable, you’ll find it’s quite portable too, even though not quite as much as a regular pocket drone for sure.
Yet another professional drone that can be used as a selfie drone and way more.
If you have any idea that you might want to start making money with your drone, this is pretty much the best thing you can right now.
It’s the most capable drone overall on this list, including super accurate advanced tracking, smart flight modes, including dronie (which is a selfie with a drone) and much more.
It operates great in wind (probably the best on this list) and can support down to -10° Celsius.
The Air 2 also comes with 8 gb of internal storage, in case you forget your card at home and want to take some photos and videos on the fly. This drone can also shoot RAW photos, so you have that extra editing freedom in post processing.
A big difference with this drone is that it is surrounded by obstacle detection sensors and cameras that allow it to stop or avoid objects when tracking you.
As I said, this is the most advanced drone on this list, and for that reason it comes with the steepest price, but well worth it, if you plan to use it as a travel drone and shoot with it frequently.
Ok, this seems to be a selfie drone made with Xiaomi that surprised me a lot when I saw the online reviews and especially the footage by quadcopter 101. It can be found on amazon for quite a good price considering it’s a high quality GPS drone with brushless motors.
The folding design is quite unique also and even though the 1080p camera might seem low in comparison to the 4k everyone brags about, it’s a really good 1080p camera.
As a standard selfie drone, it is controlled by using your phone and the included app. Just like the Dobby, it only has a 10 minute battery life, and from what I could see, only banggood as spare batteries for this.
It’s a nice selfie drone with an outstanding build quality and quite a capable camera. If you find it for the right price It’s definitely worth getting it.
The Yuneec Breeze is quite a controversy, as even though it’s a great drone, considering its current price it doesn’t stand a chance compared to the DJI Mini 2.
Its redeeming quality is that it was built as a selfie drone, and if that’s what you’re looking for, then this is in fact a great choice.
The footage is crisp and high quality, and the Image stabilization is also top notch, but compared to a 3 axis gimbal, a bit lagging.
It comes with 5 flight modes: orbit, follow me, selfie, pilot and travel they all work pretty great, and compared to the DJI Mini, it also has follow me, which can be a plus for some people.
The Breeze also comes with positioning sensors besides the GPS, so it can maintain its altitude and position even better.
However where it lacks most is that it doesn’t come with an optional controller. It works great as an advanced selfie drone and if you want to shoot things at 100m from you at most. But to turn it into a real drone, you need an advanced controller to increase its range to at least 1km.
I personally tried and reviewed this drone a while back, and let me tell you it’s the funniest thing you can get for like under $20 or so. It has a decent camera actually and it’s literally pocket size, as in way smaller than an iPhone 5 even.
The motors pop up by the press of a button and you control it with your phone like expected. It’s a great indoors selfie drone for people on a really low budget or who just want to experience flight for the first time.
A pretty solid selfie drone for a very low price (under $100) and it has a very unique form factor (looking almost like a tiny remote for your TV).
I had a pleasant experience with it and would recommend for people on low budgets to at least try it, that is only if you can find it a bit under $100.
In this section we're looking for a few of the frequently asked questions as well as the main specs you should look for when searching a selfie drone.
Camera Stabilization - While usually you may find electronic image stabilization in smaller, slimmer drones, there’s also gimbal stabilization in some quadcopters, which is superior. However, any type of stabilization is better than none.
This is the most important factor in any camera drone, since no matter how stable it flies, there will always be shaking and jello, and even with a 4k camera you can’t turn that into something great (maybe in post processing).
Flight time - flight time is greatly influenced by the size of a drone, as the bigger a drone is, usually the longer it can fly. Look for at least 10 minutes of flight time if you can.
GPS or positioning sensors - This is essential for any selfie drone to have, so it doesn’t just get carried by the wind when having your hands off the controls to take a photo. A good selfie drone should feel like a solid camera that you can fix wherever you want in the air.
Selfie drones can definitely follow you around if they have the required software. You can do that by selecting the subject on your phone screen by drawing a box around it.
The algorithm will then constantly process the image to find that figure and keep it in frame permanently.
There’s also a follow mode that uses just the phone GPS. Check out my article, if you want to find out more about follow me in general and my best drones with it
Yes there are for sure waterproof drones that can take selfies, but not necessarily made specifically for taking selfies. I made an article on waterproof drones that also contains a few great quadcopters which might fit your bill.
Selfie drones can be found in many places, but I recommend buying them from either Amazon or Banggood, which is a chinese site specialised in drones. Choose Amazon for the faster shipping and return, and choose banggood for the 2 week shipping and cheaper pricing.
The picture quality of a selfie drone greatly differs depending on the price you pay for it. 4k seems to be the new standard, but don’t get distracted by specs, just have a look at some footage on youtube and you’ll know if you like it right away.
Do people really take selfies with drones?
Good question in fact. Usually selfies aren’t the main preoccupation of anyone who has a drone. People tend to think they want to take a lot of selfies, but since you can’t really see your face well from afar, it all ends up being the same shot as with a selfie stick if you want to capture facial expressions.
You can of course get creative with photos and maybe orient the camera downward for a birds eye view and make it look cool.
Although there was a viral video online a while ago with a phone that flew with just 2 motors on the side, it ended up being debunked by a popular debunking youtuber. But yes, there are ways to make your phone fly with a drone, just not ready made and commercially available.
The best selfie drone is any on this list that fits you best, but my personal choice would be the DJI Mini 2.
In conclusion, selfie drones are a short term investment if you don’t think about the other implications of owning a drone and invest in something that can do more than just take some pictures of yourself.
Owning such a pocket drone is a great deal of fun if you manage to follow this guide properly and pick something that can be used for a multitude of purposes.
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