Selfie Drones: 2017 Buyer’s Guide

PICTURE CREDIT: Hover/YouTube
Article © DroneMedia.co.uk

Selfie sticks were always the butt of many jokes, but the appeal of selfies themselves can’t be denied. Now, there’s a new generation of selfie accessories—one that is just as cool and intriguing as it is technologically sophisticated. We are talking about selfie drones, a new breed of drones with a single purpose: to automatically capture the most precious moments your life without you having to worry about pressing the shutter button at the right time and keeping everything in the frame.

How to Buy a Selfie Drone

The selfie drone market is still in its early days, but there are already several interesting products available. To select the best one for you, you should know which specifications make a difference and which are only empty marketing promises.

Battery Life

Most modern drones are powered by Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. They are essentially the same type of battery that powers your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The only difference is in a pouch format. LiPo batteries come in soft packages, making them lighter and more fragile.

A reasonable battery life is around 8-10 minutes. Anything less than that, and you’ll find yourself swapping batteries more often than actually enjoying your favorite activity. And when it comes to swapping batteries, always avoid selfie drones that don’t support this feature. It often takes over an hour to fully charge a single battery, so it’s paramount to carry more than one.

Camera Quality

Some of the best professional drones use cameras that shoot Full Ultra HD 8K video and 3D video at 4K. Luckily for you, video resolution isn’t a big deal when it comes to selfie drones. 1080p or even 720p will likely be more than enough for most customers.

What’s more important is the ability of the camera to cope well with difficult light situations, remain stable even in windy conditions, and capture clear and vivid image.

Smartphone Compatibility

Selfie drones are controlled via smartphones. Most manufacturers support both Android and iOS, but that may not always be the case. Users of Windows Mobile are, unfortunately, usually out of luck. Smaller, less-known Chinese companies are infamous for neglecting to properly optimize and update their software, often completely running the user experience. Established manufacturers with plenty of positive online reviews are your best bet.

Intelligent Software Features

Last but certainly not least is what makes selfie drones the amazing products they are—their intelligent software features. Common features include 360-degree selfie, automated target tracking, hovering, automatic takeoff and landing, fly by shoots, and many others.

It’s features like these that differentiate regular drones from dedicated selfie drones. They allow you to toss the drone into the air, hop on your bike, and leave with a professional-grade footage of your wild stunts and adventures.

Top 3 Best Selfie Drones Currently Available

Now that you know what distinguishes a great selfie drone from a mediocre one, it’s time to look at top 3 best selfie drones currently available on the market.

ZEROTECH Dobby Pocket Selfie Drone

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Dobby is a pocket-sized selfie drone that’s smaller than most modern smartphones because it features foldable arms, allowing you to take it with you everywhere you go. The company behind this selfie drone, ZEROTECH, are no strangers to intelligent drone products. They have been on the market since 2007, developing advanced flight controllers, gimbals, image stabilization systems, rotors, and many other things.

At first sight, Dobby looks and feels like a polished product designed with a great attention to detail. Inside is a powerful quad-core Snapdragon processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 2 GB of memory and 16 GB of built-in storage space. These specifications ensure fast response times, reliable image processing, plenty of supported features.

Speaking of features, Dobby uses GPS and GLONASS dual satellite for outdoor positioning and sonar and optical flow sensors for indoor positioning to capture pictures and video either in a single shot mode or in a burst. Its 4K camera has 75-degree field of view, but its video resolution is limited to 1080p, due to the use of electronic image stabilization technology.

Wingsland S6 Pocket Selfie Drone

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Extraordinary small and extraordinarily versatile. That’s Wingsland S6 in a nutshell. This programmable selfie drone can shoot up to 4K footage at 30 frames per second or full HD footage at 60 frames per second, allowing you to take those mesmerizing slow-motion videos.

Its 3-axis image stabilization system delivers smooth video footage, and its software has been optimized for maximum reliability and ease of use. A single tap on a screen inside the compatible iOS and Android app sends the drone back to your home location, tells it to follow you while automatically avoiding all obstacles, and more.

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Wingsland S6 even has a built-in SOS light and a few nifty add-ons. One of them is a so-called expression board, which can display various images and text so that you can dazzle your loved one with a unique expression of your affection or tell your boss that you’ve had enough in a way that is guaranteed to make you a legend at the company.

The Lily Drone

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Arguably one of the cutest drones ever made, The Lily Drone is a selfie drone with 20-minute flight time and incredibly easy setup procedure. Essentially, all you have to do is throw it in the air and go. The Lily Drone doesn’t require any controller, so you can have both hands free as you climb the impossible mountain, ski down the slopes, or swim in the ocean.

That’s right, The Lily Drone is waterproof and can safely land in water, staying afloat until you retrieve it. Lily records full HD video at 60 frames per second or super-slow-motion video at 120 frames per second. This makes it a great gift for someone who doesn’t know much about drones but has plenty of use for the technology itself.