Price : $760.50
Brand : DJI

DJI – Phantom 4 Quadcopter

Here is what I can say about this incredible machine:

1. Build quality is amazing. The weight is substantial, it is a solid machine. Compared to my Q500, this thing is built like a tank and makes the Q500 feel flimsy and toy-like (and I love my Q500). Smaller than the Q500 this gives me the feeling of I got what I paid for, hands down.

2. The included styrofoam box is pretty amazing. My Q500’s inner is styrofoam as well, but falls apart and leaves flakes of styrofoam on the machine. This is coated with something that makes it hard so it does not flake apart. The latch that locks is solid. Opening the box, it is amazing how compact the package is inside this small case. Compartments for storing two batteries (though one is included), and technically you could hold 3 with 2 in the case slots, and one in the quad. Batteries store on the left side. On the right side compartment for the charger, cables, and the nylon bag of two sets of rotors. The rear is a snug compartment for the controller, and it does fit in snugly. The front slot has the documentation. A very nice free case, compact, solid, and not bad for people that just want to pack the quad from location to location and do not require a more expensive plastic case. More than meets my needs.

3. It took well over and hour for me to unpack this, setup the controller and settings (based on a lot of reviews I read on YouTube), updating the software on both the quad, and the controller (a nice thing is there is an included cable that links your iPad, or Phone to the quad to update, where the Q500 requires you to pull out a cable in the battery compartment, and connect to a computer). You probably could fly this with everything set to the defaults, but you would not be fully utilizing the software.

4. The DJI Go app is complicated. I am using with an iPhone 6+. In comparison to the Q500 settings, the Phantom 4 is way more of a professional device, with far more settings and options to go through. Whereas the Q500, you could literally take out of the box and get flying in about 15 minutes, with this machine you will certainly want to know what all of the settings and controls do before you simply get in the air. My fear was not knowing what everything did in case something went wrong and I had to assume total control in a bad situation. Automation is good, but you need to know how to operate this machine with all those automated functions turned off.

5. The camera- I am on the fence about in comparison to the Q500. I know it is basically the same camera as in the Phantom 3 Professional, with some minor improvements, and I am still tweaking with the camera settings, but I still think the quality of the Q500 4K is slightly better with respect to sharpness and detail. Perhaps when I fully get the settings manually adjusted I will change that statement, but out of the box compared to my Q500 out of the box, the Q500 is a bit clearer.

6. The controller is amazing. It charged fast, and the balance in my hands with the iPhone 6+ is perfect to the point that I feel that I do not need a neck strap for it. Perhaps with something heavy attached like a full sized iPad I could see my arms getting tired holding after a while. Love the tilt of the holder for the phone, and the way this folds up for storage. Tried out the “Return to Home” button a few times, and quad came to land itself literally within inches of where it took off. My Q500 sometimes will get within 10 feet of the home point when doing the same. The Q500 has the screen built in, but honestly, it can’t keep up to the resolution of my attached phone on the Phantom, and there is no lag in transmission like my Q500 has. I flew this machine out as far as I could see it, way farther than my Q500 can go, and there was no lag in either control, and no loss of video signal.

Reaction time from the controller is almost instant, far faster in response time compared to my Q500, even when at a distance. Descent speed seemed about on par with the Q500 when coming down to land from altitude. To get the Q500 to do something like that you need to have the subject holding the controller, or the Wizard so it knows what to lock onto.

The battery- wish it came with 2 like my Q500 did, they are much more expensive. I have had a second one on order from DJI since I ordered the Phantom and still have not received it.
Unlike the Q500 that rotate on and just seem to tighten until you feel like they are on tight enough (you are really never sure), these lock, no questions asked. There are 2 sets included like the Q500.

Compared to my Q500, this thing is built like a tank and makes the Q500 feel flimsy and toy-like (and I love my Q500). Whereas the Q500, you could literally take out of the box and get flying in about 15 minutes, with this machine you will certainly want to know what all of the settings and controls do before you simply get in the air.

Perhaps when I fully get the settings manually adjusted I will change that statement, but out of the box compared to my Q500 out of the box, the Q500 is a bit clearer. The Q500 has the screen built in, but honestly, it can’t keep up to the resolution of my attached phone on the Phantom, and there is no lag in transmission like my Q500 has. If I had anything negative to say about it- it would be that it seems like there are just a ton of updates every time I go to power this thing on, and it appears that it will not fly until everything is updated and checks out- I get that for safety sake, but my Q500 rarely has an update, and never seems to prevent me from starting the machine up if I did not update.

In my opinion, in this price range and feature set, this is THE machine to buy, and sets the standard- not perfect, but really good.

This machine will do the things I have learned to do over time manually, and pull it off with ease and polish given you understand the setup and limits of the hardware. If I had anything negative to say about it- it would be that it seems like there are just a ton of updates every time I go to power this thing on, and it appears that it will not fly until everything is updated and checks out- I get that for safety sake, but my Q500 rarely has an update, and never seems to prevent me from starting the machine up if I did not update.


Hands-On with DJI's Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone!

Update: And here's our final review of the Phantom 4, after a month of testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfS20BG13Aw

We go hands-on with DJI's latest quadcopter, the Phantom 4! The newest Phantom drone improves on last year's model with three big features: much longer battery life, active obstacle and subject tracking, and a high-speed sport mode. We chat with DJI about how these features work and then put the drone in the sky for a test flight!

Shot by Adam Isaak and edited by Norman Chan

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