The DJI Phantom 3 is a premium drone that can take care of most serious jobs while still providing a good flight for hobbyists. Some pilots even say that they can control it up to around 0.75mi without losing contact.
There’s been a good deal of buzz about it, perhaps because of the wide range of tasks that it’s suited for. As such, we wanted to not only provide a review of all the features it has to offer, but also make recommendations based on the opinions of other users as well as whether it’s worth the price.
DJI Phantom 3 Drone Main Specs
|Camera Resolution||12 Megapixels|
|Weight||1280g with battery|
|Ideal for (Indoor/Outdoor/Both)||indoor & outdoor|
|Flight Time||25 minutes|
|Control Type||Twin-axis controllers with the DJI Pilot app|
|Amazon Rating||4.5 stars|
|Our Rating||4 stars|
The new Phantom 3 drone’s camera can take stunning 4K video while remaining stable due to the new GPS system. Users can control the camera through their phone while the drone is in flight, which frees up the hand they might always want to keep on the controller.
Flying the DJI Phantom 3 Drone
Unlike previous DJI Phantom drones, the Phantom 3 can do many things without a solid GPS signal. You can make the drone take off, land and hover in place by using what the company calls Visual Positioning System technology. Users of the DJI Pro Inspire series of drones already know how to use this advanced positioning equipment, but even beginners should be able to use a small screen to control the drone without much practice.
You should be able to fly the Phantom 3 inside and outside without much difference. A newly engineered 3-axis stabilization gimbal helps to keep the drone straight and aloft even when there might be heavy winds that could otherwise disrupt a flight.
The self-tightening carbon fiber propellers are lightweight enough that they don’t influence the flight at all. Many users say that these are a major improvement over the older stock propellers that DJI offered, and they provide more control as well as lifting power despite not being physically much larger.
DJI Phantom 3 Drone Remote Control & Accessories
The remote controller is very heavy, but this because it offers a place to store a tablet or smartphone you can use for camera operation as well as DJI’s patented Visual Positioning System. It also uses a hefty 6000 mAh LiPo 2S rechargeable battery, which gives you much more flight time than a pair of AA dry-cell batteries would. It even features USB video output ports.
Different Phantom 3 kits come with different products, but most should include:
- 12 Megapixel digital camera
- 4x carbon fiber propellers
- Hard case
- Remote controller
- Micro-USB cable
- Power cables
- Remote controller battery
- DJI drone battery
- 57W charger
You’ll need to fully charge your batteries before flying, which usually takes a while. The special charger they include is much more powerful than a standard wall cube, so this shouldn’t take nearly as long as it would for other models.
DJI Phantom 3 Drone – Our Verdict
What We Like
DJI’s flight app works with iOS and Android phones, and it gives you the ability to see what your drone sees even before you download the video. You can transfer a live video feed with DJI Lightbridge technology or a specially-designed Wi-Fi link. You should be able to control all of the camera and flight settings from the mobile app as well.
The Phantom 3 offers a beginner’s mode to teach new pilots how to fly in a limited safe area, which is something of a special bonus because most people wouldn’t consider this a beginner’s drone.
What We Don’t Like
The sheer number of Phantom 3 kits is extremely confusing. Some of them come with a microSDHC card for storing video while others don’t. A few only include the Lightbridge video uplink system while some ship with a downgraded camera. When you buy a Phantom drone, make sure that you’re actually purchasing the kit you were looking for.
What Users Say
A customer reviewing the product stressed the fact that the DJI Phantom 3 can essentially fly itself. It starts to hover on its own as soon as you release the controls, and it can even take off automatically. That makes it ideal for younger pilots in spite of the price tag according to his review.
Another user said that it’s a well-made UAV that he enjoys flying. However, he remarked that the documentation is poorly written and he had to use the Internet as well as trial and error to figure out the best way to fly it. A third user loved the UAV but reminds users that, because of its size, you’re going to have to register it with the FAA.
While the DJI Phantom 3 is an excellent drone that can essentially fly itself, the different kit configurations might confuse many buyers. It needs to be registered with the FAA, but this should be a formality for most users. Even though it’s marketed toward experienced pilots, we’d recommend it for those who are learning to fly as well because of the advanced autopilot options.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any experience flying the Phantom 3.