DJI recently released a new model in the Phantom 4 line called the Phantom 4 Advanced. Half Chrome has all the news on DJI’s latest offering, with a detailed comparison and our own personal thoughts on which Phantom 4 is the best deal right now. In this article, we’ll also cover DJI’s new “Draw” flight mode and the “Plus” series of Phantom 4 upgrades.
Original vs Advanced vs Professional
Phantom 4 Advanced vs Phantom 4 Professional
The new Phantom 4 Advanced retails for $1099. That is a $400 savings compared to the Professional version at $1499. The only real difference between the two drones is the lack of side and rear sensors on the Advanced version.
How important is having side and rear obstacle avoidance? We’d argue that the side and rear sensors may actually be more important than the front sensors. When you fly, you can see what is in front of you using the FPV (first person view) on your connected smart device. Because you can see where you are going, obstacle avoidance on the front of the drone is not always required, as long as you are paying attention to what you are doing.
Capturing cinematic video is not always about flying forward. Frequently we fly sideways or backward to get the shots we want. Many pilots prefer flying backward with Phantom drones because it helps to keep the motors and props out of the view of the camera. For many pilots, having side and rear obstacle avoidance is more important than having forward obstacle avoidance.
One more reason for a more comprehensive obstacle avoidance system is for better automated and semi-automated flight modes, like Return to Home. Activating Return to Home sometimes can be a nerve-racking experience if you don’t have a full obstacle avoidance system to make sure your bird gets home safely.
When you take a look at the rest of the specs, the P4 Pro and the P4 Advanced are identical. The flight time, range and modes are all the same. They even have the same camera. So it comes down to how much you value the 5-direction obstacle avoidance that the Phantom 4 Pro offers. Is it worth $150, or is it something you could do without? If obstacle avoidance isn’t something you think you need then use the extra $150 and get yourself another battery or accessorize your P4.
Phantom 4 Advanced vs the Original Phantom 4
The differences between the Advanced and original versions of the Phantom 4 are a little more evident. The original Phantom 4 is $300 less than the Advanced, and $600 less than the Pro version.
The original P4 has a range of 5 km, a little less than the 7 km range of the other two versions. With a flight time of 28 minutes, the original P4 has just two minutes less time in the air than the Advanced and Pro versions, which both can stay airborne for 30 minutes. The original P4 has the same obstacle avoidance system as the Advanced version, which lacks the side and rear sensors that the Professional has.
The most significant difference between the original P4 and the costlier models is the camera. The camera on the Advanced and Pro models boasts the 1-inch 20 MP sensor that is more capable of capturing footage in low-light situations. The original P4 camera can capture 4K footage at 30 fps, while the Advanced and Pro can capture 4K footage at an impressive 60 fps. Shooting in 4K at 60 fps is the preferred mode for many professional videographers, and that’s not available on the original P4.
What is Actually New on this Drone?
DJI released a new software update with the Phantom 4 Advanced that is intriguing. The update still has intelligent flight modes like TapFly, ActiveTrack, Return to Home and Gesture Mode. DJI has added Draw to the list of flight modes. Now you can use Draw, a new way to create waypoints, for your drone.
What is Draw?
With Draw you will create a path for your Phantom to follow by drawing it on the screen of your connected smart device. The drone will then follow that path at a constant speed and a set altitude. This allows you to focus on controlling the camera for that perfect shot. There are even two draw modes, forward and free. It is likely that the firmware upgrade will add Draw to the Phantom 4 Professional in addition to the P4 Advanced, but the original P4 maybe be left without the upgrade.
In forward Draw mode, the drone follows the path at a constant speed and the camera faces the direction the drone is flying. In free draw mode, the drone follows the same route, but the pilot has the ability control the yaw and speed of the drone.
What is the Advanced+ or Pro+?
DJI sells an upgraded remote with a 5.5″ 1080p touchscreen built into the transmitter. You won’t have to go through the hassle of connecting your phone or tablet. You also won’t have to worry about annoying incoming calls and texts during flight, like you do if you forget to enter airplane mode on your smart device before you take off. The upgraded remote will add an additional $300 to the total cost to your Phantom. Maybe the most important thing about this screen is that it is significantly brighter than your smart device, making it much easier to actually see what you are doing.
Which is the right Phantom 4 for you?
That depends on a few different things. Right now we would recommend either the Phantom 4 Pro or the original Phantom 4. The Phantom 4 Advanced is a spectacular machine and now with its lower price it is probably the best Phantom 4 in terms of value If you are looking to save even more money then we’d recommend the original Phantom 4. DJI has plans to discontinue the original 4, and when that happens we are hoping the price on the Advanced model will drop, giving the buyer a real reason to purchase it.
Upgrade your Phantom 4
Whether you purchase a Phantom 4 Professional, Advanced or the original P4, you’ll want to add a few things to make your flying experience even better. Extra batteries, propellers, and a sunshade to help see your screen are just a few of the must-have accessories for your prized machine. Check out our full list of recommended accessories and upgrades for your Phantom 4 here.
What About the Phantom 5?
These Phantom 4 models are awesome drones, but what is DJI working on behind the scenes? The Phantom 5 is sure to be a spectacular drone when it is released. We’ve got some ideas of what this upcoming drone could be. Check it out here.
How do I get my Phantom 4?
There really are two places we’d recommend you get your DJI Phantom 4, regardless of which version you are buying. We would recommend you either go through DJI directly or that you purchase from Amazon. Amazon sometimes has lower prices than DJI and it has an awesome return policy.
|Check Phantom 4 prices on Amazon|
|Check Phantom 4 prices from DJI|
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