3 best portable & affordable camera drones in 2017

ByJulio Ventura 2017-11-13 5704

Portability has been one of the most sought features in the drone market this year. A light and small quadcopter, easy to carry around in a pocket or backpack! Plus, a good quality camera and FPV transmission as well as a cheap price tag. Today, we take a look at some of the best portable and affordable camera drones on GearBest.

Most Popular Foldable Drone: JJRC H37 Elfie, $31.11 (30% OFF)

Manufactured by the renowned brand JJRC, H37 Elfie focus on two key aspects: portability and lightness. It is one of the most sought camera drones for taking selfies currently on the market.

Size and Weight

H37 Elfie is the ideal camera drone to carry around with you throughout the day. Its arms can be easily folded in manually to the size of your smartphone. When folded, the drone is only 13.5 x 6.5  x 2.5cm. Made to fit perfectly in your pocket. Besides the foldable design, JJRC H37 is also a very light drone, only weighing 73 grams.

Flight time and Control Distance

Regarding specifications the drone averages 7 to 8 minutes of flight time and as a maximum control distance of 50 meters.

Camera and FPV Transmission

FPV camera is low resolution 720P and has a tilting lens which allows different angles of view. Why is this important to mention? Because, as the name suggests, JJRC H37 Elfie is a selfie drone. Therefore, the tilting lens allows you to point the view towards you for those awesome selfie shots (around 15º). The live video is transmitted directly to the smartphone’s screen.

Remote Controller

In order to make JJRC H37 more affordable and fun to the costumer, JJRC has developed an app which allows the pilot to control the aircraft and access its features. Once installed on the smartphone or tablet, it connects to the drone via WiFi and acts just like a normal remote controller.

On top of this, the portable selfie drone comes with a wide variety of fun and useful features. Besides the already mentioned foldable arms functionality, the small quadcopter also features G-Sensor (drone follows smartphone's movement), Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, One Key Return and 360º Eversion.


The Best Flight Time and Control Distance Drone: TIANQU XS809W, $36.99 (28% OFF)

TIANQU XS809W is an affordable portable camera drone inspired on DJI Mavic Pro's beautiful design.

Size and Weight

If you prefer slightly bigger portable camera drones than H37 Elfie, you'll love TIANQU. When folded, TIANQU XS809W is only 17.5 x 13 x 6cm, slightly bigger than our previous model, but still small enough to fit some pockets. Besides, it is still a very light drone despite its size, only weighing 149 grams(without the prop guards).

Flight time and Control Distance

XS809W has the best specifications of any other camera drones on this list. Flight time is slightly above average for a drone within its price range, a surprising 10 minutes, which is really good! It also excels in maximum control distance, around 50 to 100 meters.

Camera and FPV Transmission

TIANQU is available with two different types of camera: a 0.3MP or a 2MP. Both have standard image quality, but enough for taking some fun aerial photos and even recording video. The live video transmission is done via WiFi, from the camera to the pilot’s smartphone device. The camera's tilt angle can be adjusted manually.

Remote Controller

If you like having the option to control your device through a radio controller or smartphone, then you will be very pleased. XS809W offers the two types of control. The pilot can choose using a 2.4GHz 4-channels remote controller or simply a smartphone to pilot the aircraft. The radio controller is user-friendly, light and very intuitive. Every feature and command has its own button. There is also a phone holder on top of the remote, extremely useful for FPV flights.

TIANQU XS809W also comes with an interesting set of features, such as Headless Mode, G-sensor, One Key Return and 360º Eversion, depending on the version you pick it may also feature Altitude Hold (also known as Air Pressure Hold).

The Most Affordable Pocket Drone: DHD D5, $19.99(19% OFF)

If you are looking for a very cheap camera drone to carry around in your pocket, you just found it!

Size and Weight

When folded, DHD D5 is 13.5 x 6.5 x 2.5cm, the same size as JJRC H37 Elfie. Fits right into your pocket, extremely easy to carry around throughout the day. It’s very light, weighing only 76 grams.

Flight time and Control Distance

Regarding specifications, DHD D5 has small control range, mainly because it's an indoor flyer and a very affordable product. Maximum control ranges between 30 and 40 meters. Its flight time is the same for other quadcopters within its category, 8 minutes.

Camera and FPV Transmission

It comes with a simple 0.3MP camera with 480P video resolution. Image quality is decent considering the low price of the drone. Good enough for the occasional photo and video to share on social media. DHD D5 also displays live video sent from the built-in camera, straight to the phone's screen.

Remote Controller

As other camera drones on this guide, DHD D5 also makes use of the pilot’s smartphone or tablet to be controlled. After installing it to download app, available for both Android and i0S, the drone connects via WiFi to the app and acts as a remote controller, also giving easy access to all the features.

DHD D5 is not the most feature-rich quadcopter on our list. However, it still comes the must-have features of any drone, the useful Headless Mode and Altitude Hold.

Here is a brief summary about the above three camera drones' specs:

Folded size

13.5 x 6.5  x 2.5cm

17.5 x 13 x 6cm

13.5 x 6.5 x 2.5cm





Flight time

7 - 8 minutes

About 10 minutes

7 - 8 minutes

Control distance

30 - 50m

50 - 100m

30 - 40m



0.3MP & 2MP

0.3MP / 480P


WiFi app

WiFi app or 2.4GHz radio control

WiFi app

Other features

G-Sensor, Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, One Key Return, 360º Eversion

Headless Mode, G-sensor, One Key Return, 360º Eversion, Altitude Hold

Headless Mode, Altitude Hold


Which One Do You Prefer?

These are the cheap and portable camera drones you can take anywhere, capture your memories in a photo or video and share it on Facebook and Instagram. Once you are done flying, fold the drone, put in your pocket or backpack and you are ready to go! Have a great day fellow drone lover!

 You may also want to read:
 5 best RC camera drones on GearBest
 Single and ready to fly! 4 amazing drones for the Singles' Day
 JJRC H66 X-MAS EGG: best drone gift for Christmas in 2017
 Six factors to consider before buying a drone


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