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DJI Phantom 3 Standard

By Tyler Winegarner / May 2, 2016

DJI Phantom 3 Standard


There’s a popular quote about the value of tools: “Good equipment ain’t cheap, and cheap equipment ain’t good.” Neither part of this quote applies to the Phantom 3 Standard.

Just under $500, this model is the entry point in the Phantom lineup. Released a few months after the Professional model, you’d be forgiven for looking at what’s missing. Yes, there are a few features absent, but unless you’re comparing them side-by-side, you may never notice.

The Standard only uses the U.S. GPS satellites for positioning, and drops the visual positioning entirely. Hover stability suffers a little, especially in wind, but the aircraft remains incredibly easy to control. Live video and telemetry is achieved via a Wi-Fi downlink instead of DJI’s Lightbridge technology, and you’ll see some latency and frame drops, especially in a saturated network area. The view is clear enough to set up a shot, but you should hesitate to use the live view alone to navigate through close obstacles. Recorded video footage is stable and clear, even if it loses the 4K resolution.


Aside from its cheap-feeling controller and weak mobile-device clip, everything about the Standard smacks of quality. If you’re on a budget and need a camera in the sky, the Phantom 3 Standard offers incredible value.



Phantom 3 Standard
Price as Tested:$499
Includes:Drone, transmitter, 2 sets of propellers, battery, charger
Range:2500 feet
Battery Life:17.5 minutes
Drone Size:15.5" diagonal (without propellers)
Controller Type:Hybrid: transmitter for control, smartphone or tablet (not included) for live view, telemetry, and mission planning
Carrying Case Included:No
Camera Type:Built-in
Camera Resolution:2.7K

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Why To Buy

If you need a camera in the sky and you’re on a budget, the Phantom 3 offers excellent bang for your buck.

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Pro Tips

The included gimbal locking bracket isn’t stellar. If you have a 3D printer, download and print a better one — Thingiverse has plenty of options.


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