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DJI Phantom 3 Review

9.4 Total Score
The Best!

With three models to choose from, amazing camera functionality, and the absolute joy of controlling one of the most amazing drones available as it zooms through the air, being a pilot doesn’t get any better than this.

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Phantom 3 Full review

For fans of the DJI Phantom, you’ll be excited about the new and improved drone. Same design, same great features, just a whirlwind of improvements that makes drone flying even better. For newbies who are thinking about buying a Phantom 3, you found the best drone on the market that just got better.

It Does What It’s Told

Drones use a GPS to guide themselves to the position you designate for them. That means finding a satellite for navigation. With the Phantom 3, it uses the newer technology of a Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). It’s able to find more satellites faster. Tell it to fly somewhere, and off it goes with a more precise flight pattern and less chance of getting lost somewhere along the way.

If you feel like flying indoors where there are no satellites, it uses a visual positioning system that’s enabled by a camera mounted on the underside of the structure. It focuses its downward facing camera to determine its position in relation to its surroundings. With updated indoor positioning sensors, flying indoors is easier. Less crashing, less damage to the drone, and better footage can be caught on film.

Mega Camera Improvements

There is a 4K camera that can produce 12 megapixel pictures and high definition video. The built-in camera is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal for almost perfect stability. It eliminates the shakiness from videos and blurriness from photos. No matter how the drone is tilted or turned, the gimbal will self-correct so that the camera is constantly level with its target.

When hovering, the video footage is so steady that it rivals video taken from a grounded tripod. Even in mild wind conditions, the Phantom 3 remains steadfast in its position so the photo stills and video have virtually no shakiness.

 

Phantom 3 4k Camera

P3-Advanced-Silver-Front-sm

A major upgrade to the camera is the 94 degree fixed field of view (FOV) with a 120 degree pitch. Yes, it’s a bit narrower than the previous model, but it does away with the fisheye distortion. It also reduces the chances of including the landing gear in the frame.

Live Streaming At Its Finest

Downloading a live video stream from the drone to your phone has been made easier, too. Using LightBridge, which is a video downlink system, now eliminates the need for a cumbersome Wi-Fi extender that had to be clipped onto the transmitter. A smart phone or tablet is not required to fly the quadcopter, but it definitely enhances the functionality of live streaming.

Download the free app, snap in the mobile device, and see in real-time exactly what your drone is seeing. You can live stream your flight directly onto YouTube without overloading your phone’s storage cache.

Improved Battery Life

With an upgraded battery, you can now expect an improved flight time of about 20 – 25 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes to get a full charge. That’s not a bad tradeoff for a nice amount of extra flight time.

The Intelligent Flight Battery is not compatible with the previous models of the Phantom. And the previous model’s batteries are not compatible with this newer model. But, on the plus side, it can now charge the drone battery and the remote transmitter simultaneously.

Ergonomic Transmitter

The remote control transmitter has two joysticks that control going up and down, and left and right. There is no screen, but you can clip in your smart phone. Plug it in via the USB cord, and you’re set. You’ll need to download the free app first.
There’s no need to land to share your videos and photos. Receive, edit, and share your video adventure to any social media platform right from your smart phone while you’re still flying.

It’s compatible with Android and iOS. There’s no excuse not to enjoy flying this drone while streaming crystal clear footage to your phone in real-time or straight to the internet.

Flight Functionality

Taking off and landing are important aspects of flying. With the slight push of a joystick, the Phantom 3 has soft takeoffs and landings as well as the oh-so-wonderful return to home (RTH) feature that turns on the autopilot to navigate it back to its original starting point. If you lose sight of it, just press the RTH button. It returns home better than a boomerang.


DIJ Phantom 3 : Comparison


 

DJI Phantom 3: Standard Model

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

The Standard model is a great starter kit for pilots venturing into aerial photography. It’s user friendly, safe, and makes flying fun with its intelligent flight system that helps you learn how to fly it. The built-in camera offers 2.7K video plus 12 megapixel photo stills. Live high-definition streaming can be viewed from up to one half mile away.

The remote controller is lightweight and built to fit easily into your hand. Your smart phone snaps on and instantly becomes the camera controller. Attach the range extender for an extra half mile of flight distance.

Download the app, and take flight. View live-streaming videos, snap a photo still, change the camera settings, navigate via a live map, and use the radar to track your drone. Speed, distance, altitude, and flights can all be tracked and logged thanks to the new and improved app.

Beginner pilots can have a blast. Fly forward, up, down, or hover in place. The built-in battery is rechargeable. On a full charge, you can expect up to a 25 minute flight time. With the Intelligent Flight Battery capability, you’ll be warned when the battery is low and when it’s time to begin your flight home.

 

DJI Phantom 3: Advanced Model

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

A step up from the Standard model, the Phantom 3 Advanced has all the features of the Standard plus a few extras. The camera has the standard 3-axis gimbal for shake-free results, but it also has enhanced functionality with 1080p high definition recording capability.

This is where the LightBridge comes in. Digital live streaming of 720p gives the pilot the “eye in the sky” view. When flying indoors where there are no satellites, the vision positioning system kicks in. Drones are limited in range when sending live video feed to the transmitter. But with LightBridge, the range is extended significantly. You can fly and receive video now up to approximately three miles away. If you don’t want live video, LightBridge also enables the drone to store it on your smart phone/tablet during flight.

 

DJI Phantom 3: Professional Model

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

With the Professional model comes the highest price tag out of the three, but consider the extensive extras that are attached to that price. They may be worth it. It has all of the bells and whistles of the Standard and Advanced models, but with several other upgrades including auto takeoffs/landings, and a built-in database that outlines where the No Fly Zones are.

The 4K UHD camera is mounted on a fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal for steady 720P high definition recording enhanced by the LightBridge technology that allows live streaming. With a 16GB micro SD card, you’ll have plenty of memory to store your flights to regale your friends with later.

Vision positioning sensors which are high-tech optical and ultrasonic sensors strategically placed on the drone provide for easy, more precision indoor flying that does not require a GPS signal.

 DJI Phantom 3: Wrapping It Up

With the flood of drones on the market, the DJI Phantoms are without a doubt one the best. The precision, stability, and outstanding improvements have put this drone at the top of the list for pilots. With three models to choose from, amazing camera functionality, and the absolute joy of controlling one of the most amazing drones available as it zooms through the air, being a pilot doesn’t get any better than this.

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