Whatever happened to the Samsung camera drone phone?

Samsung Fakes
A phone with a built-in drone... too good to be true? (Image credit: Mobile TG / @TechnicalGuruji)

For a little while now, there have been rumors that Samsung is working on a drone. Not just any drone, either; one that pops out of a phone. PrimeNewsly is reporting a launch date has been set for India and TikTokers are circulating videos, so is it finally true?

Well, we know Samsung has form when it comes to drones and phones. The spectacular launch event for the recent Samsung Galaxy S24 phone featuring a Spielberg-style UFO made up of drones hovering over Canary Wharf in East London certainly puts the words phone and drone in the same sentence. This rumor, however, puts them in the same box. Can that possibly be true (and what is the real evidence)?

The rumored Samsung smartphone has a drone that pops out of the end of the handset! (Image credit: Mobile TG / @TechnicalGuruji)

On the one hand, there are pictures, and specifications. Plus there is more than one source talking about a 2024 launch. That's pretty exciting. The idea of having a camera not much bigger than a large bee that could pop out of the end of your phone and get jsut the right angle for a selfie is amazing. Almost too good to be true.

Getting even more too good to be true as we realise that not one of the images we've seen is the same as the other. They're grabs from YouTube videos which don't even have very convincing Samsung logos on them. They do mention a load of specs that sound broadly convincing because they're similar to existing devices – except for the drone – but so are most phones.

It also doesn't help that a 'Vivo' drone phone that looks the same has been circulated by the same channel, Mobile TG, and another, which is clearly keen to use it's 'imagination' (I'm going on the auto-translate). Out of journalistic completeness here are the YouTube links; they definitely note the 'imagination' involved in the Hindi – Trakin Abhi and  Vivo.

Samsung's London launch event for the S24 involved a huge drone display. (Image credit: Taylor Herring)

Why this rumor doesn't fly…

Where this really falls down, though, is the physics. The simulated images of drones are all smaller than most kids' toy drones, not seeming to have much space for optics or battery storage. They would no doubt be blown away and lost by even the lightest gust and I couldn't imagine anything that size – even if it worked as a quadcopter – having more than about 90 seconds of power.

Even if that wasn't the issue, imagine the legal issues of hundreds of little remotely controlled cameras flying around phone owners. This doesn't seem like something a company like Samsung – established in a reasonably healthy global position right now – would be especially keen to expose itself to.

In the reactions to one of the excited TikToker's postings, a yawning emoticon notes the simulated video was first circulated in 2016 – some might be too young to remember it on that platform but personally I don't think it's any more true this time. 

My final reason? A drone that'll cope in even mild wind and weigh less than a phone is still going to be a good bit bigger by current tech standards if the amazing Hover Air X1 is a reasonable standard and, for now, I think it is! 

If you want to get started with drones, the Hover Air X1 is great, but we've got some other great drones for beginners and best camera drones.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook