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DJI Phantom 4

By Matt Stultz / Apr 22, 2016

DJI Phantom 4

DJI has been building a reputation as THE name in consumer camera drone aircraft. Balancing both affordability and cutting edge, there is a DJI drone for almost everyone. The Phantom 4 is not just the newest arrival in the DJI line of products, it feels like an important evolution for the field.

Sensational Sensors

The real standouts on the Phantom 4 are its sensors. Two distance sensors and five cameras, including two above the landing gear, couple with a dedicated processor to detect obstacles in its flight path. This works in all flight modes except the high-speed “Sport” setting. We were skeptical, but it performs well, and is ideal for autonomous flights or when using the new person-following function to help prevent collisions with trees, buildings, or other obstructions along the way. It’s just for forward-moving flight, though — the other sides are still blind.

Setup is easy; the new clip-on propeller mounts are brilliant, and the compact styrofoam case is great for transport. The included controller feels comfortable, and advanced functions are easy to navigate on your smartphone or tablet with the DJI app.


Advanced pilots and newcomers alike will find the Phantom 4 to be a great flyer and well deserving of its next-gen reputation.

Phantom 4
Price as Tested:$1399
Includes:Drone, transmitter, 2 sets of propellers, battery and charger, Lightning and microUSB interface cables, carrying case
Range:5500 feet
Battery Life:19 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:Yes, Compact foam case with latch and handle
Camera Type:Built-in
Camera Resolution:4K

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Why To Buy

The myriad of sensors on the Phantom 4 makes flying not only fun but also less stressful. Now losing communications has a much higher possibility of a safe outcome and recovery.

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Pro Tips

The Phantom 4 provides numerous flying modes. Consider your flight goal before taking off ­— following a target or flying a specific course might be easier with assisted modes instead of free flight.


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