Phantom 3 Video Latency: iPad Mini 2 vs iPhone 6 vs Nvidia Shield

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Which is the best device to use with the Phantom 3 - the iPad Mini 2, the iPhone 6, or the Nvidia Shield?

I compared the Phantom 3 video lag between these devices using a stopwatch and video camera.


The iPhone 6 and Nvidia Shield were the fastest and smoothest, with almost identical average latency of 263ms and 269ms respectively. All frames I sampled from these two devices were in the 200-300ms latency range. The iPhone 6 was very slightly smoother but the difference wasn't statistically significant.

The iPad Mini 2 was definitely and noticeably the slowest, with an average latency of 297ms. I could tell the difference almost immediately. The latency range was 196-439ms. I put this down to the slower A7 processor used by this device - the iPhone 6 has an A8 inside.

The video quality was otherwise identical between the three devices.

All else being equal, my favorite is the Nvidia Shield, which I picked up refurbished from Tiger Direct for just $230. Comparing the Android with iOS versions of the DJI Pilot app:
  • The maps on the Android version are much more up to date than on the iOS version which seem to be years old.
  • The iOS app has a simulator. It isn't very useful, and no doubt the Android version will have one soon too anyway.
  • The iOS app feels a bit more polished than the Android app. But the good news is, because Android apps are editable, there are more likely to be custom mods available for it.
 
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I reran the iPad Mini 2 test with HW Video Decoding enabled, and the results were much better - essentially as fast as the iPhone 6 (which I had tested with HW Decoding enabled too).

 
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You need to turn on hardware decoding on the Mini2. It will be faster than any android device and the same as the iphone 6.. Or something else is wrong with the mini2. Once the HDMI board is released that will be the lowest latency options right about 180-200ms, depends on monitor.
(nm I just saw your new post)
 
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I'm torn between the two and just flying with my i6 and wife's i6+ when my battery is low.

I was thinking about picking up a mini 2 but then decided to wait on the Nvidia Shield 2 which should be out in June. Like the polished iOS app but am fearful of the hoops Apple might make DJI jump through on future updates and the locked system in general.

Agree that Apple maps are terrible. Agree current simulator isn't very useful in the iOS app. Agree there will be more 3rd party android apps.

Leaning toward Android at the moment.
 
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You need to turn on hardware decoding on the Mini2. It will be faster than any android device and the same as the iphone 6.. Or something else is wrong with the mini2. Once the HDMI board is released that will be the lowest latency options right about 180-200ms, depends on monitor.
(nm I just saw your new post)
Do you know how difficult it will be to install and timing? Sounds like it will be soon, but couple of weeks soon or couple of months soon?
 

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