META-REVIEW: Complete list of Phantom 4 features & what people are saying about it

msinger

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META-REVIEW: Complete list of Phantom 4 features & what people are saying about it

Phantom 4 features

Accessories
  • Comes packed in gray styrofoam carrying case [Verge]
  • Carrying case is good for storage, but not durable enough for traveling [Romeo]
  • Carrying case layout is very efficient & does not leave much extra room [Romeo]
  • Carrying case can hold 3 batteries (one stored in the Phantom) [msinger]
  • A smart device (up to size of an iPad Mini) can be stored in front of carrying case [Romeo]
  • Battery charger is a 100W charger running 17.4V [RC Geeks]
  • Battery charger uses a new 10-pin design [RC Geeks]

Battery
  • New battery is shorter and wider [Romeo]
  • Battery snaps into place snugly and detaches easily [Verge]
  • P3 battery (4 cell 4480mAh, 15.2V, 68Wh) vs P4 battery (4 cell 5350mAh, 15.2V, 81.3Wh) [Romeo]
  • Battery has ventilation holes between the layers to aid cooling [RC Geeks]
  • White battery charger connects to bottom of battery [Romeo]
  • Battery life averaged 25 minutes [Verge]
  • DJI advertises 28 min flight time, but got 31 min on one flight [Romeo]
  • Takes 70+ minutes to fully charge [Romeo]
  • RC can be charged at the same time as the Phantom battery [Verge]

Camera
  • Camera glass improved for sharper image around edges & less chromatic aberrations [Romeo]
  • 8-element lens reduces chromatic aberration by 56% & lens distortion reduced by 36% [RC Geeks]
  • Camera has 20mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens with a 94° Field Of View and it sits above the 1/2.3” 12MP sensor [RC Geeks]
  • Can shoot video in 1080p at 120 frames per second [Romeo]
  • P4 uses same camera sensor from P3 [Eric]
  • New camera lens supposed to yield sharper images & better colors [Eric]
  • Camera uses same sensor, but has better glass lens and can do 1080/120fps [Eric]
  • Incredibly smooth footage [Verge]

DJI GO
  • New icon added to left side of DJI GO app to access flight modes [Romeo]
  • Colored bars displayed at top of DJI GO app to show how close are to an object [Romeo]
  • DJI GO now shows an object detection visual indicator [Eric]

Flight Modes
  • Includes same intelligent flight modes as P3 (POI, Follow Me, Waypoints, Home Lock, Course Lock) [Verge]
  • Intelligent Flight Modes renamed to Smart modes [Eric]
  • New autonomous flight features (ActiveTrack & TapFly) [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack = lock onto target and keep in frame [Verge]
  • TapFly = tap on the screen and P4 flies in that direction [Verge]
  • Obstacle avoidance when P4 is moving forward [Verge]

Performance
  • 22 MPH top speed when object avoidance is enabled [Verge]
  • 35 MPH top speed in normal flight mode [Verge]
  • 45 MPH top speed in Sport mode [Verge]
  • DJI claims 5 times more stable than P3 [Verge]
  • Extra stability due to dual IMU & downward facing cameras & sonar sensors [Verge]
  • Much more stable than P3 [Romeo]
  • Improved hovering capabilities up to 10m above ground [Romeo]
  • Horizontal hover deviation decreased from +- 1.5m to +- 0.3m [Romeo]
  • Tilts forward up to 45 degrees when in Sport mode [Romeo]
  • Can identify current positions more accurately & hover in place more precisely [Romeo]
  • Increased reliability with dual IMU & compasses [Romeo]
  • VPS works up to 10m from the ground [Romeo]
  • Increased max ascent and descent speed in Sport mode [Eric]
  • Can detect objects that are up to 15 meters (49.2 feet) away [Eric]
  • Holds exact position within 1-2 inches in moderate wind [Verge]
  • Offers more robust feature set than Inspire 1 & can match its speed [Verge]

Phantom
  • Aggressive & attractive design [Verge]
  • Glossy plastic exterior [Verge]
  • Thinner more aerodynamic body [Verge]
  • Belly is gray plastic [Verge]
  • Motors have prop locking mechanism [Verge]
  • New props push on and lock for easier installing [Romeo]
  • Looks more aerodynamic & slightly more aggressive feel [Romeo]
  • Glossy finish gives classy & sporty appeal [Romeo]
  • About 100g heaver than P3 [Romeo]
  • 2 downward facing monocular cameras & 2 ultrasonic sensors [Romeo]
  • Front facing optical sensors create depth map to calculate distance of objects [Romeo]
  • Redesign gimbal lock attaches to landing gear [Romeo]
  • Grooves in rubber landing strip are used to position the gimbal lock [RC Geeks]
  • Vision Positioning System upgrade from 3 to 4 sensors [Romeo]
  • Motors are higher to help keep props out of your shot [Romeo]
  • Micro SD card slot moved to side body for easier access [Romeo]
  • Gimbal integrated into body & moved to center of gravity [Romeo]
  • Retains similar basic Phantom design [Eric]
  • Top of P4 is extremely plain with a too-clean look like a de-badged car [Eric]
  • Bottom of P4 is sleek making P4 look and feel extremely polished [Eric]
  • New cleanly mounted 3-axis gimbal using 2 motors to control pitch [Eric]
  • Front of P4 has 2 stereo vision cameras to detect & avoid obstacles [Eric]
  • 2 front-facing cameras & 2 downward-facing cameras for subject tracking & object detection / avoidance [Eric]
  • Camera sensors field of view: 60º vertical, 30º horizontal [Eric]
  • 100 grams (0.22 lbs) heavier [Eric]
  • Composite bottom for structural integrity [Eric]
  • Micro-SD card and micro-USB port moved to body from gimbal plate [Eric]
  • Motors same propulsion specs but pushed out of the mount, which allows for better cooling [Eric]
  • Grills for cooling vents on bottom of arms [Eric]
  • Redundancy: dual IMUs and dual compasses [Eric]
  • New quick release props [Eric]
  • Latches at end of each arm are for snap-on prop guards [Eric]
  • Arms contain air vents in location where LEDs were normally placed [RC Geeks]

Remote Controller
  • Glossy plastic exterior [Verge]
  • Same RC & Lightbridge connection as P3 [Verge]
  • RC P-F-A switch changed to P-S-A ("S" is for Sport mode) [Romeo]
  • RC play button changed to pause to easily pause autonomous flights [Romeo]
  • RC device holder upgraded to Inspire 1 metal mount [Romeo]

─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────


Findings after flying the Phantom 4

Camera
  • Video stream extremely clear & lag free [Verge]
  • Video team thought video footage looked more raw (which will allow more flexibility when editing) [Verge]

Flight Modes

  • TapFly does not work when too low to the ground [Verge]
  • When using TapFly, P4 will flight to max distance setting in DJI GO app [Romeo]
  • ActiveTrack would often say subject is too small or far away when trying to lock on [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack worked best when 10-12 feet from target [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack lost person when crossing paths with person wearing same colors [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack lost person when wandering into a group of people [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack could easily orbit person by holding stick to left/right [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack gets lost in direct sunlight, large shadows, clothes that match surroundings [Romeo]
  • When using ActiveTrack, P4 will not auto adjust altitude if subjects is walking up stairs [Romeo]
  • Object avoidance is disabled when flying in Sport mode [Romeo]
  • Obstacle avoidance will navigate around obstacles in emergency RTH [Eric]

General
  • Great for both amateurs & pros who want to take complex/dangerous shots [Verge]
  • Best overall drone in terms of reliable flight, beautiful footage, and build quality [Verge]
  • New pilots will be able to easily start flying [Romeo]
  • Much harder to crash than P3 [Eric]
  • Good for documenting yourself doing an activity in outdoor environment with no obstacles [Eric]

Performance
  • On RTH, always landed within a few inches of takeoff position [Verge]
  • Autonomous flight eases into turn to produce smooth footage [Verge]
  • Breaking distance greatly increases when flying in Sport mode [Romeo]
  • Very stable when flying indoors [Romeo]
  • Cannot make tight turns while flying with autonomously [Verge]
  • Obstacle avoidance is sometimes too cautious and refuses to fly desired route [Verge]


─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────


Notes
  • HDMI output module from P3 is compatible with P4 [Romeo]
  • P3 ND filters fit P4 [Romeo]
  • Prop guards might obstruct vision sensors [Eric]
  • New autonomous flight modes are not foolproof, so don't rely on them [Eric]
  • Phantom 4 will not be supported by 3rd party apps (e.g. Litchi & Autopilot) for some time after launch [Eric]

─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────


Where to buy a Phantom 4

The Phantom 4 can be purchased from DJI, Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, and other DJI dealers.


─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────


Review Sources

The following reviews were used to compile the information above:

Eric Cheng: drone.farm/phantom-4-announce
RC Geeks: www.rcgeeks.co.uk/blog/dji-phantom-4-unboxing-and-first-look
Romeo Durscher: www.visual-aerials.com/phantom4.html
The Verge: www.theverge.com/2016/3/10/11193354/dji-phantom-4-drone-review

Know of a good review that's not listed above? Please comment below so I can include it in this meta-review.
 
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Great information, thanks, MSinger!
 
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Great information, thanks, MSinger!
The new P4 manual has this to say about the camera sensor:

Camera and Gimbal: With the Phantom 4, you’re shooting 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and capturing 12 megapixel photos that look crisper and cleaner than ever. An enhanced sensor gives you greater clarity, lower noise, and better pictures than any previous flying camera.

Anyone know if this is true?
 
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The new P4 manual has this to say about the camera sensor:

Camera and Gimbal: With the Phantom 4, you’re shooting 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and capturing 12 megapixel photos that look crisper and cleaner than ever. An enhanced sensor gives you greater clarity, lower noise, and better pictures than any previous flying camera.

Anyone know if this is true?
I wouldn't give too much weight to what the leaked manual says. Until DJI posts it, it is not official.
 
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Thank you for the detailed information msinger. Although I'm not looking to purchase a P4 I find the details informative. I'm quite satisfied with my P3As but if they came out with one that would measure current AGL I would find that useful, especially where I live. A product like that I would jump on. Thanks again for all your work on this forum as you are the staple of it.
 
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Thanks for the info.
Really highlights all the upgrades and differences from previous models...really amazing that its only a small bit more expensive than the P3P was up until the recent price drop.
 

msinger

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Yep -- the changes are pretty impressive once they are all listed out.
 
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What exactly is meant when they say that the p4 is 5x more stable? What are they referring to by stability here?
 

msinger

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They are referring to stability while hovering.
 

msinger

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Right. Ideally, your Phantom should not move at all while hovering in the air. That's not a possibility though given that it's a flying machine. So, the closer it is to not moving while hovering, the more stable it will be perceived to be.
 
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Question - it says RTH always landed within a few inches of takeoff. So is this with VPS on? Was thinking if it is that accurate it might take a picture(s) and then reference that to land?? No idea but it must capture a picture someplace/time to be able to do that. Unless it was just a coincidence. Anybody know?
 
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None of my Phantoms have ever been that precise in their RTH positioning & usually come back to within a 3-10' radius of the take off point. I never let it auto-land & land myself tweaking the touch down spot. I doubt the P4 takes an actual photo for reference because at the moment the Home Point is set it's on the ground & the VPS cameras are probably too close to the ground for a useful reference image.

Question - it says RTH always landed within a few inches of takeoff. So is this with VPS on? Was thinking if it is that accurate it might take a picture(s) and then reference that to land?? No idea but it must capture a picture someplace/time to be able to do that. Unless it was just a coincidence. Anybody know?
 

alokbhargava

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None of my Phantoms have ever been that precise in their RTH positioning & usually come back to within a 3-10' radius of the take off point. I never let it auto-land & land myself tweaking the touch down spot. I doubt the P4 takes an actual photo for reference because at the moment the Home Point is set it's on the ground & the VPS cameras are probably too close to the ground for a useful reference image.
Pictures of static objects such as buildings, trees etc can be taken but it would be too risky to take a pic of the home point and try to match graphics before landings as objects at the home point might move and will have fly away situation :).
 
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I just find it rather strange that it can be that accurate landing RTH and was questioning how it is done. Could be that the reporting was not correct but they said it was numerous times. And when you read about how accurate it is in hoovering I thought "well maybe." Guess we will find out soon enough if this is really the case.
 
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META-REVIEW: Complete list of Phantom 4 features & what people are saying about it

Phantom 4 features

Accessories
  • Comes packed in gray styrofoam carrying case [Verge]
  • Carrying case is good for storage, but not durable enough for traveling [Romeo]
  • Carrying case layout is very efficient & does not leave much extra room [Romeo]
  • Carrying case can hold 3 batteries (one stored in the Phantom) [msinger]
  • A smart device (up to size of an iPad Mini) can be stored in front of carrying case [Romeo]
  • Battery charger is a 100W charger running 17.4V [RC Geeks]
  • Battery charger uses a new 10-pin design [RC Geeks]

Battery
  • New battery is shorter and wider [Romeo]
  • Battery snaps into place snugly and detaches easily [Verge]
  • P3 battery (4 cell 4480mAh, 15.2V, 68Wh) vs P4 battery (4 cell 5350mAh, 15.2V, 81.3Wh) [Romeo]
  • Battery has ventilation holes between the layers to aid cooling [RC Geeks]
  • White battery charger connects to bottom of battery [Romeo]
  • Battery life averaged 25 minutes [Verge]
  • DJI advertises 28 min flight time, but got 31 min on one flight [Romeo]
  • Takes 70+ minutes to fully charge [Romeo]
  • RC can be charged at the same time as the Phantom battery [Verge]

Camera
  • Camera glass improved for sharper image around edges & less chromatic aberrations [Romeo]
  • 8-element lens reduces chromatic aberration by 56% & lens distortion reduced by 36% [RC Geeks]
  • Camera has 20mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens with a 94° Field Of View and it sits above the 1/2.3” 12MP sensor [RC Geeks]
  • Can shoot video in 1080p at 120 frames per second [Romeo]
  • P4 uses same camera sensor from P3 [Eric]
  • New camera lens supposed to yield sharper images & better colors [Eric]
  • Camera uses same sensor, but has better glass lens and can do 1080/120fps [Eric]
  • Incredibly smooth footage [Verge]

DJI GO
  • New icon added to left side of DJI GO app to access flight modes [Romeo]
  • Colored bars displayed at top of DJI GO app to show how close are to an object [Romeo]
  • DJI GO now shows an object detection visual indicator [Eric]

Flight Modes
  • Includes same intelligent flight modes as P3 (POI, Follow Me, Waypoints, Home Lock, Course Lock) [Verge]
  • Intelligent Flight Modes renamed to Smart modes [Eric]
  • New autonomous flight features (ActiveTrack & TapFly) [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack = lock onto target and keep in frame [Verge]
  • TapFly = tap on the screen and P4 flies in that direction [Verge]
  • Obstacle avoidance when P4 is moving forward [Verge]

Performance
  • 22 MPH top speed when object avoidance is enabled [Verge]
  • 35 MPH top speed in normal flight mode [Verge]
  • 45 MPH top speed in Sport mode [Verge]
  • DJI claims 5 times more stable than P3 [Verge]
  • Extra stability due to dual IMU & downward facing cameras & sonar sensors [Verge]
  • Much more stable than P3 [Romeo]
  • Improved hovering capabilities up to 10m above ground [Romeo]
  • Horizontal hover deviation decreased from +- 1.5m to +- 0.3m [Romeo]
  • Tilts forward up to 45 degrees when in Sport mode [Romeo]
  • Can identify current positions more accurately & hover in place more precisely [Romeo]
  • Increased reliability with dual IMU & compasses [Romeo]
  • VPS works up to 10m from the ground [Romeo]
  • Increased max ascent and descent speed in Sport mode [Eric]
  • Can detecy objects that are up to 15 meters (49.2 feet) away [Eric]
  • Holds exact position within 1-2 inches in moderate wind [Verge]
  • Offers more robust feature set than Inspire 1 & can match its speed [Verge]

Phantom
  • Aggressive & attractive design [Verge]
  • Glossy plastic exterior [Verge]
  • Thinner more aerodynamic body [Verge]
  • Belly is gray plastic [Verge]
  • Motors have prop locking mechanism [Verge]
  • New props push on and lock for easier installing [Romeo]
  • Looks more aerodynamic & slightly more aggressive feel [Romeo]
  • Glossy finish gives classy & sporty appeal [Romeo]
  • About 100g heaver than P3 [Romeo]
  • 2 downward facing monocular cameras & 2 ultrasonic sensors [Romeo]
  • Front facing optical sensors create depth map to calculate distance of objects [Romeo]
  • Redesign gimbal lock attaches to landing gear [Romeo]
  • Grooves in rubber landing strip are used to position the gimbal lock [RC Geeks]
  • Vision Positioning System upgrade from 3 to 4 sensors [Romeo]
  • Motors are higher to help keep props out of your shot [Romeo]
  • Micro SD card slot moved to side body for easier access [Romeo]
  • Gimbal integrated into body & moved to center of gravity [Romeo]
  • Retains similar basic Phantom design [Eric]
  • Top of P4 is extremely plain with a too-clean look like a de-badged car [Eric]
  • Bottom of P4 is sleek making P4 look and feel extremely polished [Eric]
  • New cleanly mounted 3-axis gimbal using 2 motors to control pitch [Eric]
  • Front of P4 has 2 stereo vision cameras to detect & avoid obstacles [Eric]
  • 2 front-facing cameras & 2 downward-facing cameras for subject tracking & object detection / avoidance [Eric]
  • Camera sensors field of view: 60º vertical, 30º horizontal [Eric]
  • 100 grams (0.22 lbs) heavier [Eric]
  • Composite bottom for structural integrity [Eric]
  • Micro-SD card and micro-USB port moved to body from gimbal plate [Eric]
  • Motors same propulsion specs but pushed out of the mount, which allows for better cooling [Eric]
  • Grills for cooling vents on bottom of arms [Eric]
  • Redundancy: dual IMUs and dual compasses [Eric]
  • New quick release props [Eric]
  • Latches at end of each arm are for snap-on prop guards [Eric]
  • Arms contain air vents in location where LEDs were normally placed [RC Geeks]

Remote Controller
  • Glossy plastic exterior [Verge]
  • Same RC & Lightbridge connection as P3 [Verge]
  • RC P-F-A switch changed to P-S-A ("S" is for Sport mode) [Romeo]
  • RC play button changed to pause to easily pause autonomous flights [Romeo]
  • RC device holder upgraded to Inspire 1 metal mount [Romeo]

[H][/H]


Findings after flying the Phantom 4

Camera
  • Video stream extremely clear & lag free [Verge]
  • Video team thought video footage looked more raw (which will allow more flexibility when editing) [Verge]

Flight Modes

  • TapFly does not work when too low to the ground [Verge]
  • When using TapFly, P4 will flight to max distance setting in DJI GO app [Romeo]
  • ActiveTrack would often say subject is too small or far away when trying to lock on [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack worked best when 10-12 feet from target [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack lost person when crossing paths with person wearing same colors [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack lost person when wandering into a group of people [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack could easily orbit person by holding stick to left/right [Verge]
  • ActiveTrack gets lost in direct sunlight, large shadows, clothes that match surroundings [Romeo]
  • When using ActiveTrack, P4 will not auto adjust altitude if subjects is walking up stairs [Romeo]
  • Object avoidance is disabled when flying in Sport mode [Romeo]
  • Obstacle avoidance will navigate around obstacles in emergency RTH [Eric]

General
  • Great for both amateurs & pros who want to take complex/dangerous shots [Verge]
  • Best overall drone in terms of reliable flight, beautiful footage, and build quality [Verge]
  • New pilots will be able to easily start flying [Romeo]
  • Much harder to crash than P3 [Eric]
  • Good for documenting yourself doing an activity in outdoor environment with no obstacles [Eric]

Performance
  • On RTH, always landed within a few inches of takeoff position [Verge]
  • Autonomous flight eases into turn to produce smooth footage [Verge]
  • Breaking distance greatly increases when flying in Sport mode [Romeo]
  • Very stable when flying indoors [Romeo]
  • Cannot make tight turns while flying with autonomously [Verge]
  • Obstacle avoidance is sometimes too cautious and refuses to fly desired route [Verge]


[H][/H]


Notes
  • HDMI output module from P3 is compatible with P4 [Romeo]
  • P3 ND filters fit P4 [Romeo]
  • Prop guards might obstruct vision sensors [Eric]
  • New autonomous flight modes are not foolproof, so don't rely on them [Eric]
  • Phantom 4 will not be supported by 3rd party apps (e.g. Litchi & Autopilot) for some time after launch [Eric]

[H][/H]


Where to buy a Phantom 4

The Phantom 4 can currently only be purchased from DJI or Apple.


[H][/H]


Review Sources

The following reviews were used to compile the information above:

Eric Cheng: drone.farm/phantom-4-announce
RC Geeks: www.rcgeeks.co.uk/blog/dji-phantom-4-unboxing-and-first-look
Romeo Durscher: www.visual-aerials.com/phantom4.html
The Verge: www.theverge.com/2016/3/10/11193354/dji-phantom-4-drone-review

Know of a good review that's not listed above? Please comment below so I can include it in this meta-review.


What is "normal flight mode" and can gps and vps be enabled and still able to reach speeds of 35mph in "normal flight mode"? I know OA would have to be disabled as it says it only works up to 22mph. I hope these are not dumb ?s I am new to the Phantom life and plan on filming with friends that run P3 just hoping to be able to keep up without being in "sport mode" Thanks for all the great info!
 
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GPS & VPS can be enabled at any speed but collision avoidance enabled limits speed to 22 mph. With only a ~50' CA range the speed has to be limited to give it time to react. We'll find out soon when the app releases. I'm going to Tap Fly mine straight into the side of the house but be standing there to snatch it if need be! :eek:

What is "normal flight mode" and can gps and vps be enabled and still able to reach speeds of 35mph in "normal flight mode"? I know OA would have to be disabled as it says it only works up to 22mph. I hope these are not dumb ?s I am new to the Phantom life and plan on filming with friends that run P3 just hoping to be able to keep up without being in "sport mode" Thanks for all the great info!
 
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Thanks. I should have been clearer as well. Looking at the P3 Advanced as a comparison.
 

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