dji Phantom 4
DJI Phantom 4
7.9 / 10 Reviewer
Pros
  • Intelligent flight system
  • Good camera
  • Extended flying time
  • Cons
  • Premium price
  • Summary
    DJI Phantom 4 is one of the best drones in the market. It is a drone suitable to people with varying drone flying experience and it is a perfect gift for the holidays.
    Camera
    Battery Life
    Range
    Price
    Easy to Use

    Overview

    Without a doubt, DJI is one of the top drone manufacturers in the world and you probably have seen videos and posts where people are flaunting their drones. DJI Phantom 4 is one of the best drones ever manufactured and it works well for every type of drone pilot, whether professional or a hobbyist plot. You can find this middle- to high-end drone on Amazon or any other e-commerce site. There are different sellers and the price you pay depends on whether you find it on sale or not.

    DJI Phantom 4

    DJI was already producing amazing drones, but the Phantom 4 was the true game changer. It comes with a multitude of features that makes it stand apart from the Phantom 3. It was the first drone to offer obstacle avoidance technology, point of interest, tracking software, among others and the rest of the drone manufacturers have been trying to play catch up.

    Quick Glance

    Quick specs

    • Flight time: 28 minutes
    • Flight range: 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers)
    • Camera: f/2.8 12 megapixel 4K,  2.7K, 1080p and 720p, 120 fps
    • Sensors: Front of the drone
    • Weight: 8.8 pounds
    • Controller: 2.4 – 2.483 GHz transmitter
    • Controller battery: 6000mAh Li-Po 2s
    • Dimensions folded: N/A
    • Dimensions unfolded: 15 x 8.7 x 12.8 inches
    • Battery type/size: 5,350mAh (15.2v) Lithium polymer
    • Battery replaceable: Yes
    • Charge time: 45 minutes
    • GPS positioning: GPS and GLONASS dual positioning module
    • MicroSD support: Up to 64GB
    • Wi-Fi technology: Yes
    • VR support: N/A
    • Special features: Yes

    Pros

    • Intelligent flight support systems
    • 3-axis- u-frame camera stabilization
    • Compatible with Android and iOS tablets and smartphone devices
    • Extended flight time
    • Advanced aerodynamics that helps in ensuring stability
    • Integrated long-range transmission
    • Record video, capture photos and save to your device
    • Obstacle avoidance system

    Cons

    • Only one battery provided
    • 4k is for video only
    • Expensive
    • Obstacle avoidance only works one-way – forward

    In-depth View

    DJI Phantom 4

    DJI Phantom 4 : Packaging

    When you purchase the DJI Phantom 4, you will find a wide range of items including

    • The DJI Phantom 4
    • DJI Controller
    • DJI foam case
    • 1 Li-Po battery
    • 64 GB microSD card
    • microSD card reader
    • Professional cleaning kit
    • Woodlands Hills cleaning cloth
    • 8 rotor blades (4 spares)
    • Battery charger

    DJI Phantom 4 : Design

    The DJI Phantom 4 does not differ much in design from the previous models, and it utilizes a sturdy aerodynamic body that makes it more streamlined, which enables it to withstand 10 mile-an-hour winds. It has bright LED lights, which helps you tell the difference between the front from the back. The drone also has very sturdy rotor blades and brushless motors that give it better performance even when flying in windy conditions. You will be able to fly the drone forwards, backwards, and sideways as well.

    The front side has two sensors, which come in handy for the obstacle avoidance technology. This will make it next to impossible to fly into obstacles in the drone’s flight path. However, the obstacle avoidance technology only works when flying forwards. The DJI Phantom has a maximum speed of up to 44 miles per hour, which is equivalent to 72 kilometers per hour.

    DJI Phantom 4 : Camera

    DJI Phantom 4

    You can be sure that by purchasing a DJI drone, you will get one of the best cameras in the market. The company has continued to improve on their cameras, and the camera in DJI Phantom 4, is better than in its predecessors, DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, Professional and 4K, which are amazing in their own right. The camera mounted on a 3-axis u-frame gimbal and coupled with an altitude hold function that improves camera stabilization for smooth footage and sharper stills. The gimbal allows you to adjust the camera from a straight forward to straight down

    The DJI Phantom 4 uses an Optimized Vision Positioning System that raises the positioning altitude to a maximum of 10 meters. The DJI Phantom 4 comes with a built-in camera that captures live video at 4K, 2.7K, 1080p, and 720p, at 30 frames per second as well as 12 megapixel still pictures. You can also get 120 fps at 1080p for slow-motion effects.

    DJI Phantom 4 : Transmitter

    DJI Phantom 4

    DJI has not made much improvement in the remote controller, but it is one of the premium transmitters in the market. It has a mobile device holder that you can attach your android or iOS tablet or smart phone. The DJI Phantom 4 transmitter has an operating frequency of 2.4 – 2.483 GHz, and it has an unobstructed transmission range of 3.1 miles, which is equivalent to 5 kilometers.

    The optimal temperature range of the transmitter is 32- to 104- Fahrenheit degrees. It uses a 6000mAh Li-Po 2s battery that gives an operating current of 1.2A at 7.4V. The controller connects to the mobile device using a USB type B cable.

    DJI Phantom 4 : DJI Go App

    You can get the DJI GO app from the App store or Google Playstore, and it allows you to control every aspect of drone flight, as well as the camera while recording video and taking still pictures. The app is built for universal compatibility for all drone series under DJI brand, and it is constantly upgraded to improve your flight experience. You only need to hook up your device to the controller launch the app, and enjoy an unrivaled flying experience.

    The app makes DJI Phantom 4 one of the best FPV drones in the market since you can be able to watch a live HD video feed from the camera, adjust the camera setting in real time as the drone flies above without any interruption of the feed. One of the favorite features you will find on the app is the AutoTrack. The feature uses smart image recognition technology, which allows you to select a target and the camera will focus on you. Once the AutoTrack is activated, the drone goes into autonomous flight mode and will fly on its own avoiding objects in its flight path.

    The app has a live view working frequency of 2.4GHz with a live view quality of 720p at 30 frames per second. It is compatible with iOS version 8.0 or later and Android version 4.1.2 or later.

    DJI Phantom 4 : Battery & Flight Time

    DJI Phantom 4

    DJI pushes the boundaries when it comes to battery life and it gives one of the longest flight times in the commercial drone industry. With the improved brushless motors, which reduce friction, you can get up to 28 minutes on a single charge. The DJI Phantom 4 has a Li-Po 4s battery with a capacity of 5350mAh capacity giving a voltage of 15.2v. It gives energy of 81.3Wh and it operates optimally at temperatures of 41- to 104 Fahrenheit degrees.

    It takes between 45 minutes of charge time at a maximum charging power of 100 Watts. However, it is recommended that you buy an extra battery to reduce your downtime while you charge the other one.

    DJI Phantom 4 : Flight Performance

    Thanks to the sturdy rotors, brushless motors, and an aerodynamic body, you get an unmatched flight performance and experience. The DJI Phantom 4 is lightweight and this ensures that there is minimized drag on the drone against the wind. It can take a while before you get used to the joysticks, but once you get the hang of it, flying the DJI Phantom 4 will become second nature. However, you can take advantage of the various autonomous flight modes and you can learn how to control it in the meantime.

    With the extended flight time, you can fly the DJI Phantom 4 up to 2.2 miles away with an uninterrupted live feed. Better yet, you will get a low battery alert on the app, and you can then tap the ‘Return to Home’ button on the controller, which engages the autopilot feature. The drone will retrace its flight path to the take-off location. However, if you are flying at aggressively high speeds, the flight time is reduced to 20 minutes or less. You will love the flight speeds, which stand at 45 mph.

    With the point of interest feature, the DJI Phantom 4 will lock onto a point and then orbit the area in a smooth motion, which allows you to focus on getting the perfect shot. The camera gives 4K quality videos and hi-res stills. This is an amazing drone for flying in dry weather.

    You can use GPS positioning for outdoors, and the controller connects to the drone via Wi-Fi. However, when you crave to fly on rainy days you can fly the DJI Phantom 4 indoors and GLONASS helps in the positioning. The obstacle avoidance system works as well as it does outdoors and you will get an amazing flight performance.

    DJI Phantom 4 : Value for Money and Guarantee

    DJI Phantom 4

    DJI indicates that the Phantom 4 can last for more than 13 years. This is possible due to the systems in place that prevent it from crashing into the objects in its flight path. Should you wish to upgrade to another drone, preferably one from the DJI line of drones, you can easily resell the Phantom 4 at favorable prices.

    It comes with one of the longest warranty periods of up to 12 months. DJI has built a reputation for not only its high quality products, but also for its better than average customer care service. The company representatives will help you out of any sticky situation and you will be back to flying it in no time. The extra rotor blades are one of the value for money aspects of the DJI Phantom 4. Should you not feel as though you are not getting your money’s worth, DJI will be happy to replace the drone.

    Additional Features

    At this point, it might feel like we have covered everything that there is about the DJI Phantom 4, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Here are the additional features you can expect from the DJI Phantom 4.

    Intelligent Flight Modes

    DJI has maintained the intelligent flight modes found in DJI Phantom 3 such as Orbit, Waypoint Navigation, Follow and Track are to be found in the Phantom 4. They still use GPS and GLONASS, and they have not changed much, though they are more accurate in close range. However, you will get the all-new Active Track.

    Sports Mode

    This is an exceptional treat for experienced drone pilots. In Sports Mode, the DJI Phantom 4 can reach astonishing speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, but it will cost you in flight time. However, it enables you to follow high-speed action and capture dynamic chase shots especially during races, or high-speed stunts.

    TapFly

    Apart from the AutoTrack, TapFly has to be the single best new feature of the DJI Phantom 4. This makes the drone handy for beginner drone pilots who are yet to wrap their heads around controlling the drone using the two joysticks on the remote controller. It requires that you have the DJI GO app installed on any of the compatible devices.

    With the feature, you only need to tap anywhere on the live feed on the screen and the drone will fly to that direction. There is negligible lag and the DJI Phantom 4 eases into the turns without jerking and causing blurry images. However, if you need to make a sharp U-turn, you will have to use the joysticks, which allows only a 30-degree turn at a time.

    AutoTrack

    As highlighted above, you will only need to select an object to track such as a car, person, or bike and the Phantom 4 locks in and maintains the subject at the center of the frame. The feature uses the same technology employed in the object avoidance system, but it builds a 3D model for the subject you wish to track as well as the environment. However, this feature works best when the subject is at a maximum distance of 12 feet. You can initiate the Orbit feature while in AutoTrack by holding down the joystick to the left or right, but be sure to watch out for obstacles in the flight path.

    Similar Models

    It is quite hard for any other drone from rival manufacturers to match the functionality of the DJI Phantom 4 but some drones come pretty close in terms of functionality and dynamism. Here is our take of similar drone models to that of DJI Phantom 4.

    Holy Stone HS100

     1  HS100

    The HS100 drone from Holy Stone is similar to the DJI Phantom 4 in look and design, only that it comes in mate black while the Phantom 4 is in mate white. However, it packs an incredible range of features. You can expect to find an acceptable GPS assisted flight that ensures that you get accurate positioning details of the HS100 drone. It also comes with a built-in return to home function, and it will automatically make a beeline to the takeoff location when the signal is weak, or the battery is low.

    The HS100 has an optimized 720p 120-degree FPV FOV Wi-Fi camera that can adjust up to 90-degrees. This means that you can move the camera from facing straight forward to facing straight down. The controller has a smartphone or tablet holder and this will give you a front row seat to whatever the camera is seeing in real time with negligible lag. You can also take HD selfies. The HS100 has a Follow Me mode where it will follow you at any direction you are moving while keeping you at the center of the frame at all times.

    The HS100 uses a 7.4v 2500mAh Li-ion battery that gives a maximum flight time of 15 minutes. It has a 500-meter range between the drone and the controller for an extensive flight performance and experience. You also get Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, One Key Takeoff and Landing, making the HS100 easier to operate. The HS100 has 4 LED lights that come in handy when flying in the dark, so you can track where the drone is at all times.

    The remote controller uses a 2.4GHz frequency and gives unobstructed outdoor live feed at a maximum of 500 meters. It uses a 3.7v 300mAh Li-Po battery. The downside to the HS100 has to be that the 7.4v 2500mAh Li-ion battery takes between 3 to 6 hours to charge to full capacity, and you will need extra batteries if you want to get flight times anywhere close to that of the DJI Phantom 4 drone. However, you will love the Emergency Stop feature; simply hold down the takeoff/landing button for 2 seconds and the HS100 will stop immediately and avoid crashing into objects in its flight path. The HS100 has rotor blade protectors and this ensures that you get the most of the motors and rotor blades.

    2  Contixo F17 RC Quadcopter

    Contixo F17 RC Quadcopter

    It is has MT1806 1800KV BRUSHLESS MOTORS that reduces friction and makes flight easy and reduces heat production. It also has bright LED lights that make it easy to follow the drone when flying it at night. It uses a 2s 7.4v 25c 2100mAh battery that gives it approximately 18 minutes of flight time without the accessories. The battery takes approximately 300 minutes to charge to full capacity.

    The Contixo F17 comes with extra rotor blades and propeller guards to increase the lifespan of the rotor blades and the motors. It has a 4K ultra HD action camera with a gimbal and mounting accessories that supports other action cameras such as GoPro Hero 3, 3plus, and 4. The camera has a 170-degree wide-angle lens that allows you to record 4k quality footage at 30 frames per second, as well as capture hi-res stills at 16 megapixels. It supports Wi-Fi connectivity with up to 8 meters of range allowing you to enjoy FPV in real time. It also supports HDMI to hook up the camera directly to your TV, as well as a USB cable to connect it to your computer. The camera has a rechargeable 1050mAh battery that can record up to 90 minutes of footage at 1080p and 75 minutes at 4k on a single charge, which is more than you require for a single flight.

    The remote controller monitors the charge left in the battery and it will give emit beeps to alert you when the battery is low. It will also give an audible alarm when the signal is weak and when the drone is going out of range.

    Flying Experience – Taking Control/How it Works

    The DJI Phantom 4 gives a truly wonderful flying experience, and with the DJI GO app, you have full control of the drone, the gimbal, and the camera. While shooting at 120 frames per second, you can slow down the footage by up to x4 and you will get perfect slow motion footage of fast moving subjects such as high-speed races, stunts, and sports action.

    The controller has two modes that dictate which joystick operates the throttle. To check the remaining battery charge before flying press the power button once and the LED lights will display the battery level. Hold down the power button to turn on the controller and the status LED light will flash green to indicate that it is linking to the drone.

    The easiest way to connect a mobile device to the controller is to use the provided USB cable. The controller is already linked to the drone when you buy it. However, if you are using a new controller, turn the controller on, attach the mobile device, and launch the DJI GO app. Turn on the drone’s battery and select camera, then click on the remote controller icon, and then tap the ‘Linking RC’ button. The status LED light on the controller will flash blue followed by a beep to indicate that the controller and the drone are ready to be linked.

    There is a linking button on the Phantom 4, and pressing it will begin the linking process, after which the status LED light will flash green to show that the controller and the drone are linked.

    The left joystick when pushed up or down will control the drone’s elevation, and the further away from the center you push the stick, the higher or lower the DJI Phantom will go. Pushing the stick to the right or left controls the rotation of the DJI Phantom 4. The right joystick when pushed up or down changes the drone’s flight angle. When pushed left or right, it will change the sideways flight angle.

    Conclusion

    Without a doubt, DJI Phantom 4 is one of the best drones in the market. It is a drone suitable to people with varying drone flying experience and it is a perfect gift for the holidays. Depending on whom you buy it from, you can have it gift-wrapped before making the delivery. Different sellers will have varying shipping charges. Get the drone today and have fun capturing amazing footage during your vacation or when racing other drones.

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