DJI Phantom 4 vs. DJI Phantom 3 Professional


DJI Phantom 4 vs. DJI Phantom 3 Professional

DJI says it is very focused on improving the possibilities for drones in the consumer market. And the company proved this claim with the introduction of yet another model with more exciting features in less than a year, from the date the last model was launched. The not-yet-seen artificial intelligence features of the Phantom 4 (P4) takes the notch higher in the game of drones. 

SET-UP: The Phantom 3 Professional (P3 Pro) is easy to set up as DJI largely considers first-time users. Unlike the P4, the P3 can take a little more time to screw the propellers onto the motors from the way they are packed. The P4 has Self Locking Quick Release features that make the set-up seamless. 

BATTERY LIFE: The battery life of the P4 is at least 25 percent more than that of the P3 Pro. The P4 can go as long as 28 minutes, leaving the P3 Pro with a maximum battery life of 23 minutes. This difference might seem insignificant but considering the short time frame from the release dates, an extra time to fly the device, which is smarter, is definitely a big plus. The battery of the P4 has more connection pins that of the P3 and this innovation helps it to monitor the battery level. The intelligent flight battery of the P4 is 81.3WH 5350mAh, while that of the P3 Pro is 68WH 4480mAh.

RELIABILITY: The P3 is still a reliable model compared with other small flying machine in the consumer drones market, but the P4 is on a higher level. Here is why. The P4 has double compasses, accelerometers and gyros, helping it remain longer in the sky. Also, there are extra sensors that push up its reliability.           

AIRCRAFT FEATURES: The diagonal size of the P4 and the P3 Pro is 350 mm, excluding the propellers. However, the take-off weight for the P3 Pro is 1280 grams, while that of the P4 is 100 grams more. The power rating of the charger of the P4 and P3 Pro is 100W but the P3 Pro comes with remote and flight battery chargers, whereas the P4 has only the flight charger. The propellers can help increase the speed of the P4 by at least 10mph more than the P3 Pro when in Sports Mode. The maximum speed of the P3 Pro is 35mph. 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: The P4 has the very clear distinction of being more intelligent than P3. The P3 Pro does not have any Obstacle Sensing System (OSS) that is likely to increase the lifespan of the drone due to fewer tendencies to crash from collisions. The optical sensor range of the P4 is between 0.7m and 1.5m, while the P3 Pro doesn’t even have this feature. The improved artificial intelligence is the most important difference when comparing the P4 and the P3 Pro. The dual positioning (GPS and GLONASS) and visual positioning modules are present in the P4 and P3 Pro models, but the P4 has slightly better horizontal hover accuracy. 

CAMERA: The maximum image size and filter ring is the same for the P4 and P3 Pro models, but the P4 has better lenses. The P3 has two cameras for video and stabilization. However, the P4 has three extra cameras that give it an edge over other models, making it the preferred choice for dangerous or complex terrains. 

REMOTE CONTROLLER: The P4 has the advantage of having an Intelligent Flight Pause button as both models have dedicated Return Home, Video Recording, Shutter, Flight Mode, Gimbal Dial and 2 Dedicated Customizable buttons. The P4 doesn’t have the Playback button that the P3 has, but they share the same features in video transmission and maximum transmission distance.  

TRACKING: Another major difference between the P4 and P3 Pro is the improved Follow Me feature now called Active Track. With the Active Track, the P4 allows the users to track any subject without using the GPS signal. This is different from the Follow Me feature of the P3 Pro, which uses Machine Learning Algorithms for tracking. There’s also the Tap Fly option only in the P4. This allows the pilot tap the screen of a device, thus allowing the drone to fly in that direction using the OSS to maneuver. 

SUMMARY: The constant additions and revisions by DJI have made DJI the leader in the consumer drone market. The Phantom 4 model is currently the real deal in the drone market. It beats the Phantom 3 Professional hands down, and the $400 price difference is worth it.

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  • Becca Parkinson
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