If you’re a drone enthusiast, you may be looking to upgrade your existing equipment. When browsing new flying devices, one of the options you’re likely to come across is the DJI Phantom 4. The DJI Phantom 4 could potentially be an excellent investment for those pilots who are looking to take their skills to the next level. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Phantom 4.
What Is The DJI Phantom 4 And How Does It Work?
The Phantom 4 is the latest drone release from DJI. You may very well know the Phantom 3, which is another high-selling drone in the DJI product line. We found ourselves very satisfied with the Phantom 3 when we conducted our review. The Phantom 4 seeks to make improvements on the Phantom 3, providing users with more control and an even more intense flying experience.
The Phantom 4 weighs 1380 grams including the battery and propellers. The diagonal size of the unit, excluding the propellers, is 350mm. When in Sport Mode, the maximum ascent speed of the device is six meters per second, while the maximum descent speed is four meters per second. The max speed for the drone is 20 meters per second. The max service ceiling above sea level is ten meters per second.
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DJI made a few notable improvements to the Phantom 4 that stand out. First and foremost, the company changed the remote control for the device. Because pilots can now fly the drone in Sport Mode, there are three new buttons on the remote control. The buttons are easily accessible and help users control the device. The three buttons are:
- P, for Position Mode
- S, for Sport Mode
- A, for Attitude Mode
Position mode is the standard flying mode. When in this mode, users not only have access to normal flight, but to ActiveTrack, TapFly, and Intelligent Flight Modes—more on those in a little bit. Sport Mode allows pilots to reach new speeds, as users are now capable of going as fast as 44 miles per hour. Attitude Mode turns off the satellite stabilization feature, allowing for a potentially smoother ride.
Secondly, DJI improved the propulsion system on the Phantom 4. The company designed new state-of-the-art Push-and-Release Propellers on the device. DJI developed this system with the intent of protecting the propellers whenever there is a drastic change in motor speed, such as when a pilot shifts from Position Mode to Sport Mode. The propulsion propeller system creates a drone that is more agile.
In the Frequently Asked Questions section of their website, DJI elaborates that the propellers on the Phantom 4 are different than the ones on the Phantom 3 because users can install them faster. Additionally, DJI says that the new propellers are more secure than the propellers on the Phantom 3. This tight connection allows for faster braking and more rapid acceleration.
DJI also made improvements to the gimbal system on the Phantom 4. They built the gimbal into the body of the drone directly, instead of having it as a free-standing attachment. DJI says that as a result of making it a part of the shape of the aircraft directly, the gimbal is closer to the drone’s center of gravity, stabilizing the camera more than ever before. The gimbal is also now made of sturdier material.
Not only did DJI improve the gimbal, but they also developed the camera as well. The Phantom 4 reveals a lens that produces an image of much higher quality. There is approximately 35 percent less lens distortion and about 55 percent less chromatic aberration in the Phantom 4 when compared to the Phantom 3 Professional. Pilots can also now film in 1080p FHD slow-mo.
Lastly, the Phantom 4 still utilizes the Intelligent Flight Battery seen in the Phantom 3. When the battery on the device starts to get low, users are made aware, and the drone begins to return to its launch point. Now, with the Phantom 4, the battery lasts longer than ever. DJI says that in calm environments at sea level, the drone will fly for up to 28 minutes.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are two versions of the DJI Phantom 4: the Phantom 4 and the Phantom 4 Pro. Most of this review will focus on the Phantom 4, as opposed to the Pro version. The one big difference between the two is that the Phantom 4 Pro has obstacle-sensing detectors in the rear of the aircraft and not just in the front of the machine
What Makes The DJI Phantom 4 Unique?
DJI Phantom 4 Professional+ Quadcopter
There are a few features on the Phantom 4 that help it stand apart not only from the Phantom 3 but competitor drones as well. One of the unique features of the Phantom 4 is the ActiveTrack feature, which allows the Phantom 4 to track a moving object without needing a separate GPS tracker. Pilots can use the DJI Go App and identify which object they’d like to follow.
Once pilots identify which object they would like to track, the drone will lock into the item and begin monitoring it from a safe distance. This could be especially worthwhile to photographers who are attempting to shoot a moving object. They no longer have to worry about trying to fly their device or jolting the controller and can instead watch the footage roll in on their phone.
The Phantom 4 is also unique because of the TapFly feature, which gives pilots the ability to fly in any direction with the mere tap of a finger. The best part is that pilots do not need a remote control to do so. This works well in conjunction with Obstacle Avoidance, which prompts the drone to avoid an obstacle and slow down automatically.
The Obstacle Avoidance System is also beneficial for those who are looking to take pictures while flying. When the system is active, the drone is continuously scanning for obstacles in front of it. When an obstacle is detected, it will either go around or over the barrier. If need be, the drone will hover in place. Again, when focused on the camera and capturing footage, this is a worthwhile feature to have.
The Obstacle Avoidance System has a broad range of .7 meters to 15 meters. If the drone senses an obstacle, pilots will be alerted via the DJI GO App. Pilots should also note that the Obstacle Avoidance System does not work in all modes. Instead, it only works in ActiveTrack, Normal, and TapFly modes. It also works with all Intelligent Navigation functions.
The system is also in effect whenever the drone is in Return-to-Home mode. If the battery on the drone begins to die, the drone will return to its launch point automatically. While flying back to home base, the drone will utilize the Obstacle Avoidance System. This means that pilots can trust that the drone will fly itself entirely without having to worry about it crashing into other objects.
The Phantom 4 is also unique because it provides users access to Precision Hovering, thanks to its advanced stereo Vision Positioning System. Whereas previous models relied on satellite support to hover, the Phantom 4 does not do so. This makes the drone both safer and more comfortable to fly. Additionally, if a pilot were to slip off the joystick, the drone would hover in place automatically.
If these new design features weren’t already enough, DJI also streamlined the device’s design. The company chose to go with a magnesium skeleton on the Phantom 4. This reduces the weight of the unit while also improving its’ sturdiness. As a result, users will likely find fewer vibrations in the Phantom 4 than they would with other devices. Also, an improved center of gravity helps to:
- Improve the drone’s balance
- Make the drone more agile
- Make the drone more precise and responsive
If customers are interested in the Phantom 4, they should plan to spend much more money than they would if they were purchasing the Phantom 3. There’s no denying that the Phantom 4 is an investment. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is available on the company website for just under $$. The Phantom 4 Advanced is available on the company website for under $$.
DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone, Hobby RC Quadcopter & Multirotor, White, CP.PT.000488
All packages on the DJI website come with everything a pilot should need to get started flying, including the remote control, propellers, a battery charger, and power cable, and the Intelligent Flight Battery. However, if customers find that they need to purchase additional accessories, such as an extra battery, they could also do this on the DJI website directly.
When purchasing from the DJI website directly, customers receive free shipping. Additionally, customers do not necessarily have to pay the entire amount up-front, as some customers could be eligible for Affirm. DJI partnered with Affirm to allow customers to finance their purchase. If available, payments could be as low as $70 per month.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, White without screen
Additionally, customers may be able to find a better deal on the drone when browsing online. For example, Amazon offers the Phantom 4 PRO for a little bit more than $$. Additionally, they provide the Phantom 4 for about seven fifty dollars, although this package does not come with a remote control or battery. A potential customer would be wise to consider all options before making their purchase.
When browsing online, it appears that customers are satisfied with Phantom 4. The product has a 3.8-star rating on Amazon with more than 350 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the product, more than half gave it a five-star rating. Many customers found that the Phantom 4 was easy to fly and that it was very stable when hovering. Customers also seemed to appreciate and approve of the DJI GO App.
Those who were disappointed with the product indicated that there were a lot of software bugs. Some customers complained that they could never properly get the DJI GO App to sync with their device. Others mentioned that there was a bug with the gimbal system that prevented it from calibrating correctly. Enough users complained of software bugs for it to become a concern of ours.
How It Compares
One of the drones that the Phantom 4 is often compared to is DJI Mavic Pro. When comparing the two, the Phantom 4 appears to take the cake. Although the Mavic Pro is known for its photography, we found that the camera quality on the Phantom 4 was significantly better. Not only are the images of higher quality, but the field of vision is narrower as well.
Additionally, it appears that the Phantom 4 provides a much better in-flight experience as well. Many noted that the Phantom 4 stabilizes in the wind much better than the Mavic Pro. However, one noticeable difference that serves as a knock against the Phantom 4 is the fact that it did not do well in high winds, failing to hold its position long enough for quality photos.
What We Think
If you are a pilot who is looking to take your experiences with drones to the next level, we believe that you should consider the Phantom 4. The design features in the Phantom 4 are unlike anything we’ve seen in a consumer-level device. Although you should prepare yourself to break the bank, the Phantom 4 is an investment that could be well worth making.
The feature that stood out to us the most was the Obstacle Avoidance System. We found that while flying, we could pay more attention to the camera and capturing the perfect picture. When using other drones, you must pay significant attention to where you are flying, unless you are in the middle of an open field.
We will admit that we were a bit concerned by the fact that so many customers complained about software bugs and glitches. This could impact the in-flight experience significantly and could be a significant point of concern moving forward. We hope that DJI takes the steps necessary to correct the mistakes and release software updates that help improve the Phantom 4 flying experience.
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Last update on 2021-01-17 at 19:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API