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.

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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.