DJI Phantom 4 Drone Review

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DJI Phantom 4 Drone Review 2019 – is the DJI Phantom 4 quadcopter worth the money? Review of features, pricing, flight duration, battery, camera and more.

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DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone, Hobby RC Quadcopter & Multirotor, White, CP.PT.000488
  • Camera with 1-inch 20MP sensor the onboard camera has been redesigned to use a 1-inch Megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • Five-directions of obstacle sensing. Please refer the Instructional Video and the User Manual before use.
  • More powerful video processing supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate
  • Note: Refer the Instructional Video and the User Manual before use which is highly recommended.
  • Max Flight Time Approx. 30 minutes
DJI Phantom 4 Starter Bundle Includes: DJI Phantom 4 Drone + Controller + Foam Case + 64 GB Memory Card + More
  • Auto takeoff and auto return home with GPS technology, makes controlling easy. App enables monitoring/camera operation easy
  • Capture 4K ultra HD video at 30 fps, supported resolutions include: 12.0MP (4000 x 3000) photos. The f/2.8 lens with a broad field of view delivers crisp, clear images
  • Gimbal stabilization technology, along with a hover function allows you to capture smooth, clean footage while the camera is in the air
  • Use DJI director software with a built-in video editor to add music, text, and more to your videos.

Designed to appeal to hobbyists and professionals alike, DJI’s Phantom line of drones has earned itself quite the healthy legion of fans over the years. This can be attributed largely to the level of refinement that goes into their manufacturer. It also helps that the company keeps their products updated with the latest in drone technology.

This all becomes apparent the minute you take a look at the latest iteration of the series, the DJI Phantom 4 Drone. Coming less than a year after the release of the Phantom 3, it features a number of enhancements in both form and function. Now that you’re interested, why not take a look at the features it boasts of?

Features

A common consensus among enthusiasts is that the Phantom 3 ushered in the birth of the camera drone. From that perspective, it’s fair to say that the Phantom 4 is more of an evolved version of its predecessor — it still carries most of the features found on the latter. Having said that, though, it’s worth highlighting that DJI have introduced a number of enhancements in key areas.

So here’s what you can expect to find on the Phantom 4:

-Advanced optics: Although the camera remains pretty much the same as that on the Phantom 3, it sports a host of upgrades in capability. The refresh rate takes a leap from 60 to 120 frames per second. More resolutions (3840 X 2160, and 2704 X 1520) are also provided alongside the standard 4K option.

-Active Camera Stabilization: This is an advanced 3-axis gimbal that cancels out the camera’s vibrations and movements in flight.

-OSS: Short for obstacle sensing system, this relies on 2 forward-facing optical sensors to help the drone detect obstacles and navigate around them.

-Automatic Flight Positioning System: Like the name suggests, this employs GPS technology to make the drone more user-friendly.

-Intelligent flight modes: For photographers, the ActiveTrack mode makes the drone follow a pre-assigned subject with the camera trained on them. The TapFly mode, on the other hand, sets the Phantom 4 on a course towards a point selected by the user in the camera’s field ov view. You can also command it to come towards you by selecting the ‘Home Lock’ mode.

-Sport Mode: Besides making it nimbler than its predecessor, DJI have also equipped the Phantom 4 with superior controls for better handling.

Performance

As a linear upgrade of the Phantom 3, the DJI Phantom 4 takes care of most (if not all) of the former’s shortcomings. On the surface, it does away with the old plastic body and replaces it with one made of a magnesium alloy. This is informed not by the need to improve aesthetics, but rather provide a more robust housing for the other improvements.

Specifically, the Phantom 4 sports a superior battery, motor, set of propellers and camera lens. Little wonder, then, that it thoroughly outperforms its predecessor. Simply put, it’s faster, sturdier, stabler and more responsive to controls than the Phantom 3.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before the Phantom 4 was itself outdone. As the newest releases in the line, the Phantom 4 Pro and Advanced are a step above the standard model. Not only do they pack multi-directional sensors for better obstacle avoidance, but they’re also quicker and nimbler as well.

So, where does this leave the Phantom 4? It’s a great drone, but nowhere near as good as the latest in the line. Think of it as the perfect compromise in specs and price.

Listing of PROS & CONS

Pros

-Solid: The Phantom 4, despite having the intelligence to navigate past objects, is still sturdy enough to sustain the occasional crash. It’s also designed to minimize vibrations during flight.

-User-friendly: From the on-board sensors to the remote and mobile app, everything on the quadcopter contributes to a safer, more interesting experience on the users’s part.

-Fun: The sport mode will more than take care of recreational users. For photography enthusiasts, on the other hand, there’s a ton of fun to be had from the improved shooting capabilities.

-Battery life: The onboard battery provides enough juice to keep the DJI Phantom 4 Drone flying for up to 28 minutes.

-Superb carrying case: Provided as part of the standard package, this provides enough room for the drone, charger, propellers, remote, and 2 spare batteries.

Cons

-The OSS under-delivers: The quadcopter isn’t as crash-proof as the manufacturer would have you think. For starters, the OSS only works while the device is in forward flight. It’s also incapable of detecting small objects as well.

-Inflexible: Unlike most of its competitors, the Phantom for doesn’t allow for upgrades, not least because the key components (camera and landing gear) are undetachable.

Opinions and Feedback

For the most part, the Phantom 4 has earned praise from reviewers and buyers alike. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that it was the first to market with a functional collision avoidance mechanism. Opinions also concur that it introduced the world to the concept of autonomous drone flight. As one source puts it, these features make the Phantom 4 worthy of every penny in its price tag.

And don’t think that the more mundane elements have gone unnoticed. The battery, for instance, has been roundly commended for the range and flight time it provides. Users were also pleased with the fact that the included carrying case is ‘quite useful.’

On the flip side, it has been bemoaned that some of the features don’t work as advertised (sic). One particular individual expressed his frustrations at the inability of the camera gimbal to calibrate above 70 percent. Another has criticized the fact that the controller still needs to be paired to a phone/tablet in order to work.

Overall, there’s no doubt that the DJI Phantom 4 represents a monumental leap in the progression of quadcopters. With a streamlined design, intelligent flight modes, and OSS feature, it could actually be the one drone anyone can pilot. And while some elements did not entirely live up to the hype, they’ve paved way for better automation in the Phantom’s future iterations.

 
Product
DJI Phantom 4 Drone
Version
4.0
Type
Quadcopter Drone
Product Author
DJI
Reviewed by

on October 13, 2018
Rating
Price
749
Summary
Based upon feedback submitted by over 450 customers the DJI Phantom 4 Drone has received a 4 out of 5 star rating. We discuss why in this review article.

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