HoverAir X1 review - an impressive camera drone that fits in your pocket

A safe, pocket-sized drone that has the AI smarts to track you with no fiddly controller? It can't work, can it?

HoverAir X1 drone
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Somehow the Hover X1 seems to have re-defined what's needed from a drone for many, answered those needs, and done so with aplomb. It folds elegantly and will fit in a big pocket, the AI does a great job of tracking the subject, and the ability to operate without a controller is like being unshackled. It might not worry top camera drones on video quality or battery life, but that isn't the point.


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    Small and very light

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    Can be operated without a phone

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    2.7K video

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    tilting camera


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    No collision sensors

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    Battery life limited

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    Data stored onboard – no MicroSD slot

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    No GPS

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Until now consumer drones have either been toys or tools for video makers & photographers. In either case, active piloting was expected for the joy or the creativity. The notable exception to this rule, Skydio, with its advanced AI, has just excused itself from the consumer market so it can concentrate on clients with deeper pockets, but where does that leave the dream of a drone which is more 'angel on your shoulder' than all-consuming task?

That dream has been handed on to the HoverAir X1, or HoverCamera X1. (Yes, this is another product born of crowdfunding which seems to have spent some of that process settling on a name.) 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Video resolution2.7K 30fps / 1080P 60fps / 1080P HDR 30fps
Stills4000 x 3000 pixels
Memory32Gb storage built-in
Battery1050 mAh (2S)
Speed7 m/s (15.5 mph)
ModesHover / Zoom Out / Follow / Orbit / Bird's Eye / Dolly Track / Snapshot / Manual
Weight125g (4.4oz)
Dimensions127 x 86 x 31 mm (folded)

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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