Let us compare. Let us assimilate. Let Us Drone.
You’ve saved up those benjamins, waited patiently, and got your hopes up on January 23’rd when DJI released their latest drone. To your dismay, it was the beloved Mavic line that got the attention. You dig the Mavic Air, but a nonexistent Phantom 5 has been on your wishlist for too long now. Then, you wake up one morning to a notification stating that DJI just released the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. Wait, what? A new Phantom is what you’ve been holding out for, but you didn’t expect the newest addition to have another “4” in the title. So what now; is the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 worth buying, or should you remind yourself that “patience is a virtue” and continue your holding pattern?
To be fair to those of you that are new to DJI, a quick overview of DJI drones is in order. This illustration may be a little out there for some, but bear with me. I look at the Phantom series like a sport utility vehicle. They are versatile, can be used for work or play, and are reasonably priced. The Mavic series is like a coupe; small, relatively inexpensive, and great for the beginner to learn on. This leaves us with the Inspire series being the full-sized pickup truck of DJI’s lineup; generally bought by the professional for its work-related capabilities. They excel strongly in the areas they were designed for and you’ll pay a pretty penny to purchase one. Oh and the Spark? The Spark is basically the Smart car of DJI drones.
What Exactly is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0?
The first Phantom was introduced back in 2013. The Phantom 1 was quick to set up, easy to fly, and it enabled the operator to capture stabilized aerial video. All of this with a reasonable price tag of $679 allowed DJI to gain immense traction amongst hobbyist. Three model generations later we are now into the Phantom 4 series; the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 being the fourth addition to that series. Refer to the image below to check out its specs.
Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, who is your Intended Buyer and how are you Different from your Three Brothers?
A Phantom is great for someone who is looking for a drone capable of reporting for some professional duties, and doesn’t mind sacrificing some portability to get it. Let’s compare the differences between the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Advanced, and Phantom 4.
As displayed in the table below, the P4 comes equipped with a 1/2.3” sensor camera capable of shooting 4K video @30p, whereas the P4 Pro V2.0, P4 Pro, and P4 Advanced have a 1” sensor and are able to shoot 4K video at 60fps and 20 MP stills. The P4 Pro V2.0 and P4 Pro have forward, backward, sides and downward obstacle sensing, leaving the P4 Advanced and P4 with only forward and downward obstacle sensing. Getting an upgrade with its prop’s and ESC’s is the P4 Pro V2.0, reducing the noise by 4dB (or 60%) over the other P4’s. Fortunately, the new aerodynamic propellers are compatible with all P4’s. When it comes to the transmission system, the P4 Pro V2.0 comes equipped with OcuSync, meaning less latency than the rest of the P4’s older Lightbridge technology. It’s also worth noting that OcuSync allows the user to connect with DJI’s Goggles wirelessly (cable required for Lighbridge users). Lastly, the P4 is limited to a control range of 3.1 miles, whereas the others have a quoted range of 4.3 miles.
If I was enjoying a cup of coffee on the patio of my favorite coffee shop and a stranger randomly asked me if they should buy the new Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 or not, my response would be: “hey, I don’t know you and I have no idea how you know I love drones, but since you asked…if it’s your first Phantom, I’d buy the phantom 4 Advanced and throw the new noise reduction props on it. If you’re worried about crashing and prefer to have the extra sensors, I’d buy the Phantom 4 pro and the new props.”
I actually took my own advice and have ordered the new props for my Phantom 4 Advanced. When they arrive I’ll be doing some testing to see just how noticeable the noise reduction is in person. You’ll be happy with whichever Phantom you choose; after all, DJI controls 70% of the consumer drone market share for a reason. If you’d like more info on the Phantom or other DJI drone series, check out my Drone Buyers Guide, and the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can be picked up from the DJI store here. Safe flying!
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