What Is The Best DJI Drone: Things You Need To Know Before Buying
Mar 14, 2018 11 min read
What do we know about DJI drones so far? Their models equipped with the newest features on the market making the quadrocopters smarter than most of the machines on the market. What the differences between DJI drones and what you need to know before buying one.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
DJI drones are always at the top of their class and Phantom 4 Pro is no exception. Packed with high-end features it has a decent flight time. It fairy called "the iPhone of drones". Dive into details and make sure that the description is truthful.
- Flight time: 30 min
- Maximum range: 4.3 mi/7 km
- Vision system: forward vision system, backward vision system, the downward vision system
- Obstacle sensing: front & rear obstacle avoidance, left & right infrared obstacle avoidance
- 20MP camera
- Video recording resolution: 4K/60P
- Max transmission distance: 4.3 mi / 7 km
- Operating аrequency: 2.4 GHz/5.8 GHz
- Max service ceiling above sea level: 19685 feet (6000 m)
- GPS/Glonass supported
- Storage: up to 128GB micro SD
- LiPo 4S battery with a capacity of 5,870 mAh
- TapFly feature that makes the drone fly by simply tapping on the screen of its remote control
- Thanks to the upgraded 'Return to Home' feature the drone will avoid obstacles on its way
- Flight modes: ATTI, GPS, Visual; Follow-me: behind, in front, circle, side; Tap to fly map navigation; Return to home
|Weight & Dimensions|
|Weight||1388 g / 3 lbs|
|Size||28.95x28.95x19.60 cm / 11.4x11.4x7.72 in|
- 5-direction Obstacle Sensing System (OSS)
- Excellent camera
- Plentiful flight modes
- Long flight time
- Outstanding range
- not as portable as Mavic Pro
Design & Appearance
Construction of Phantom 4 Pro is the adoption of titanium alloy and magnesium alloy. A rigid design and tall landing gear the build quality is great. A camera is placed in the center of the bottom. For easy transportation, you can remove the propellers and even though it is still small enough to be stuffed inside a backpack the Phantom 4 Pro does not have a folding feature. There are sensors located on the drone's legs. Infrared and optical sensors fitted into quadrocopter's right and left sides. Dji offers Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro+. The Pro+ version has a built-in display on its remote control that will cost you extra 300 dollars.
Three sets of dual vision sensors form a 6-camera navigation system that works constantly to calculate the relative speed and distance between the aircraft and an object. The drone is equipped with full multi-directional obstacle avoidance sensors located on four sides and on the bottom to prevent collision so the machine will not bump into things on its way when returns to home or just flying around. Forward and downward sensors also help the device to maneuver providing the safe landing. The new omnidirectional sense-and-avoid system use sensors that alert when you fly too close to an obstacle so the drone can avoid it by itself. However, this option can be turned off.
Flight Performance & Battery
At 3 lbs (1388g) weight the Phantom 4 Pro's battery with a capacity of 5870 mAh can fly for about 30 minutes with the maximum speed of 45 mph/72 km. The drone’s maximum range is 4.3 mi/7 km. The DJI GO 4 app shows battery lifetime and calculates remaining flight times according to a distance traveled and more. The remote controller alerts when the battery runs low on a safe journey back. It takes about 1.5 hours to fully charge the quadrocopter.
FlightAutonomy system is expanded with an additional set of high-resolution stereo vision sensors placed at the rear in addition to the pair placed at the front as well as infrared sensing systems placed on the left and right sides. This network creates a total of 5-direction of obstacle sensing and 4-direction of obstacle avoidance, protecting the Phantom 4 Pro from more obstacles.
The Phantom 4 Pro comes with a remote controller that is part of the magic of this drone. It is responsible and easy to use. The controller has a 6000 mAh LiPo 2S battery, uses a combination of the traditional joysticks, video record, photo capture buttons along with a central focus and auto exposure button and scroll wheels. The maximum operating range is 4.3 mile (7 km). The Pro+ model also has the first DJI remote with a built-in 5.5-inch touchscreen display with a 1080p resolution that is fantastically bright.
The Phantom 4 Pro offers a bunch of flight modes.
With the ActiveTrack feature, you can draw a rectangle target around a person or object to have the camera or drone to follow them by using a touchscreen of the remote controller or on your mobile device.
In the Drow Mode on the touchscreen using your finder, you can draw a route you'd like the drone to go and set the speed you want it to fly with.
The TapFly option allows the quadrocopter to fly to the point you've tapped on the screen.
Terrain Follow mode maintains a certain distance from the ground using its Downward Vision System. Perfect for filming over terrain that varies in elevation.
In the Sport Mode, the drone reaches up to 45 mph/72 km speed.
With the Tripod mode, you can choose a point in space to take a shoot so the drone will be locked in that position. It also limits the speed to 4mph (7kph) providing smooth movements.
In Gesture Mode, advanced computer vision technology allows the Phantom 4 Pro to take instructions through gestures. The subject simply lifts their arms when facing the camera and the aircraft will recognize this movement by locking on and placing the subject in the center of the frame. When ready for a photo, the subject holds their arms out to signal the aircraft. A three-second countdown will begin, making time to strike a pose, allowing moments to be captured without the remote control.
Return To Home Feature
The best part of the features Phantom 4 Pro offers is the newest Return to Home one. When it is activated the drone find its way back home dynamically avoiding any obstacles that might appear along the way and then lands by itself to its precise take-off position, within centimeters. You only need to press a button or slide your finger on the screen.
The brand new Phantom 4 Pro camera has an aerial optimized F2.8 wide-angle lens with a 24mm equivalent focal length. In a 1-inch CMOS sensor (which is bigger than a 1/2.3-inch class that you can see on most drones or flagship smartphones) at 20 MP, the camera can record a 4K video with a standard 3840×2160 resolution or Cinematic 4K of 4096×2160, both at up to 30 frames per second. For creating a slow-mo footage you can scale down the recording to 2.7K, 1080p, and 720p as well. It is the first DJI camera to use a mechanical shutter, eliminating rolling shutter distortion which can occur when taking images of fast-moving subjects or when flying at high speed. It is as powerful as many traditional ground cameras which sounds incredible.
What's in the box
- Aircraft Body
- Transmitter ( without Screen )
- 8 propellers
- Intelligent flight battery
- Battery charger
- Power cable
- Set of English Manuals
- Gimbal clamp
- USB OTG Cable
- Micro USB cable
- 16GB Micro SD Card
- Carrying Case
DJI Mavic Pro
Mavic Pro has been designed as a compact and portable drone. When folded up it's the same size as its mini drone Spark. Pro equipped with the same amount of smart features as it's flagship cousin Phantom. Let's dive deeper and see what Dji offers.
- 27 minutes flight time
- About 1 hour charging time
- 4.3 (7 km) miles long transmission range
- 12 MP camera records video in 4K
- Super-portable design
- Supports Follow Me, ActiveTrack, TapFly and other intelligent features Dji's one of the most expensive dron Phantom has
- Intelligent obstacle avoiding system
- Can fly with a 40mph (65kph) speed
- Stream a live HD video
- Portable remote controller
- 3830 mAh battery
- External Memory: Micro SD card up to 64GB
|Weight & Dimensions|
|Weight||750 g / 1.6 lbs|
|Size when folded (mm/in)||83x83x198 / 3.3x3.3x7.8|
- Decent flight time
- Amazing portable design
- Supports a lot of smart flight features
- Can shoot in cinematic 4K
- Can take selfies only by waving your hand, without a remote controller
- Small remote controller
- Forward obstacle avoidance
- Best value in its price class
- Almost the same size as the DJI Spark when packed away, smaller than the Phantom series.
Build Quality & Design
The folding design plays cool taking the drone to the whole new level. When Mavic Pro's arms have folded the machine easily fits into the smallest of bags. Weighing only 750 g(1.6 lbs) the Mavic measures 3.3 by 3.3 by 7.8 inches (83x83x198 mm) when folded making the drone one of the smallest machines we've seen in the market being this smart. The controller is also portable. Dji designed it in the same way: when it's folded it is about the size of a walkie-talkie. You can control the Pro using the controller poping your smartphone into it. The Mavis pro is incredibly portable about one-sixth of the size of its Phantom brother. Up front, you will find a 4K camera and super compact 3-axis gimbal.
Features of Mavic Pro
The Mavic uses FlightAutonomy technology to detect obstacles up to 49ft (15m) away and allows the Mavic to bypass them or brake to hover, reducing accidents.
ActiveTrack detects a number of common subjects including people, bike riders or vehicles and then creates a variety of shots once you have market your subject on the screen.
Use Mavic’s Gesture Mode to take selfies by only waving your hand. No remote controller needed.
Tripod Mode makes the drone to go slower and sleek which is great for flying indoors in small spaces.
TapFly feature allows Mavic to go to the point you have tapped on the screen. It is a great option for users to whom drones are new.
Return To Home is the feature we've heard a lot of. When the battery runs low Mavic flies back exactly at the same place it started.
The drone gathers information data from both GPS and GLONASS satellites.
Battery & Flight Time Of Mavic Pro
With a 3830 mAh battery, Mavic Pro can fly about the whole 28 minutes which is longer than the most drones flies. In Sport Mode Mavic reaches 40mph (65kph) of speed. In regular mode expect about 27 minutes of flight time per charge (in Sport Mode even less). It takes about an hour to juice up the battery to its full charge. If you want to fly more consider buying additional batteries.
A 1/2.3-inch sensor captures 12 Mp stills and can shoot in cinematic 4K. It also has a super-compact 3-axis gimbal that keeps the camera stable when while flying. The difference os cameras between Pro and Phantom is the field of view (79 degrees pro and 94 - Phantom).
The drone is also equipped with another 4 cameras that were designed for in-flight stability and safety. They help the machine to recognize obstacles in a forward arc preventing collisions so when Mavic 'sees' a wall it'll stop in a few feet from it.
Mavic has the same flight modes as Dji's top-of-the-line Phantom. In Follow Me mode the Pro follows your movements.
Guesting mode as we mention before allows you to control its movements by only waving your hand. Feels like a magic.
In Terrain Follow Mavic uses its Downward Vision System to maintain a certain distance from the ground, to film over terrain that varies in elevation.
The new OcuSync video transmission technology allows streaming a live HD video feed using its camera.
It has a long transmission range – up to 4.3 miles (7km).
What you get in the box with Mavic Pro
- 3 x flight Batteries
- Power Cable
- 5 pairs of propellers
- 3 RC Cables
- Gimbal Cover
- Gimbal Clamp
- 16GB Micro USB Card
- Micro USB Cable
- 4 x RC cable sliders
- Charging hub
- Car Charger
- Battery to power bank adapter
- Shoulder bag
- Set of English Manuals
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
The Mavic Pro Platinum features a sleek design and compact body that is both powerful and alluring. A new and improved 30-minute flight time coupled with 60% noise power reduction makes the Mavic Pro Platinum DJI’s best portable drone yet. When folded the drone measures 3.3x3.3x7.8 inches at weigh about 1.6 pounds.
What's the difference? Mavic Pro vs Mavic Pro Platinum Comparison
- The Platinum drone makes fewer sounds. To achieve the low noise effect Dji had to redesign the props and upgraded the electronic speed controllers making Platinum 60% less noisy.
- The basic model has a 27 minutes flight time while the newest one - 30.
- The most obvious thing is design: Platinum has a chic platinum finish while Pro comes in grey and white colors.
What's the same? Mavic Pro vs Mavic Pro Platinum
- Both models are rated for a maximum range of 7 kilometers.
- The Platinum edition uses exactly the same DJI intelligent 3850 mAh flight batteries.
- They share the same Forward Vision System and Downward Vision System.
- Equipped with the same professional motion camera that captures C4K videos and 12 M pixels RAW or JPEG images.
- Both Mavic Pro and Platinum are extremely portable, have the same size.
- You get the same amount of accessories in the box.
Pros of Mavic Pro Platinum
- Great camera that captures high-quality pictures and 4K video
- Longer flight time than the basic model
- 60% quieter than Mavic Pro
- Smart flight performance
- Many flight modes
- Easy-to-carry design
- Easy to operate when flying
- Has a chic platinum color
Cons of Mavic Pro Platinum
DJI has designed Spark as a mini-drone with a lower price than its other models but equipped it with the same smart features. Let's see what makes tiny Spark worth buying.
- Full HD camera
- Portable design
- Max speed: 31 mph (50 kph)
- Flight time: 16 minutes
- 12 Mp camera with 1/2.3" CMOS sensor
- Image resolution: 3968×2976
- Intelligent PalmControl system
- Obstacle avoiding sensors
|Weight & Dimensions|
|Weight||300 g / 10.6 lbs|
|Dimensions||143×143×55 mm / 5.6×5.6×2.1 in|
- Tons of intelligent flight modes
- Obstacle avoidance
- Tiny size
- Decent flight performance
- Smart features
- Controller-free gesture control
- no 4K camera
- short flight time
What does Spark look like?
DJI makes some of the sturdiest, most well-designed drones in the game. The company offers a variety of colors: Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red and Sunrise Yellow. The angular body holds a camera underneath the front sensor array. The propellers can be folded making the drone even smaller to be able to travel with it in your backpack. Also, the DJI Spark has stubbly feet rather than extended landing gear making it comfortable enough to hold when landing the drone onto your palm. The downside is that its tiny feet make it harder to land on uneven and rocky surfaces. Even though the body is made of plastic it might actually be the toughest drone the company has ever produced. Weighing 300 grams (10.6lbs) with a size of 143 x 143 x 55mm the mini-drone is something you can easily stuff into any bag.
Flight Performance & Battery
DJI rates the Spark’s battery life at 16 minutes but in real life expect about 13 minutes of flight time which is still impressive consider its size and the fact that its competitors last about 9-11 minutes. The Spark is charging through its micro USB port so you can use your portable power bank or plug it into your laptop. Like most small drones the Spark comes with two batteries which means you can get more flight time. It takes about 45 minutes to juice up the battery.
The Spark comes without a remote controller. To control the drone you'll have to download the DJI GO 4 companion app. Yoy can also make the drone move using TapFly mode by tapping anywhere in the images on the screen of your phone and the machine will fly to that location.
Due to its small size not allowing for a bigger Wi-Fi you are getting limited connectivity. If you're flying by phone, its wireless range limits you at 100 meters (328 feet) away and 50 meters (164 feet) high.
You can solve these problems by purchasing a remote controller with an additional $149 price. It will extend the range of the drone to 1.2 miles (2km).
Sport mode lets you fly at up to 31 mph (50 kph).
The main camera is equipped with a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor that can shoot 12-megapixel stills and capture a full HD video in 1080p at 30 frames per second along with taking images with a 3968 x 2976 resolution. Unfortunately, the drone doesn't record in 4K.
Aside from its tiny design, the Spark’s biggest feature is arguably its plethora of intelligent flying modes.
Face Aware function allows the drone to lift off from your hand once it recognizes your face.
The combination of 3D Sensing System and the main camera helps the machine to avoid obstacles on its way.
ActiveTrack follows a subject using the drone's computer vision avoiding obstacles, of course, thanks to its forward-facing proximity sensors.
In the QuickShot mode, the drone will fly vertically at top speed and then spiral out to film the landscape surrounding you or fly a lazy circle around you to capture the good times you’re hopefully having.
Thanks to 2-axis mechanical gimbal and UltraSmooth technology Spark dramatically reduce shake and rolling shutter effect, stabilizing the device to make detailed shoots.
The Spark also gets the Dji Return to Home function when the quadrocopter flies back to the point where it has started.
Controlling a drone with just a wave of our hand is another cool thing. The Spark can be controlled by waving your hand which commands the drone to fly up and away from you. The future is here, huh?
What you get with DJI Spark
- 4 pairs of propellers
- 4 propeller guards
- 2 intelligent flight batteries
- Micro USB cable
- Battery charging hub
- Power cable
- Storage box
- Shoulder bag