Can you believe it? DJI launch a new drone ‘Phantom 4 Pro (& Pro Plus)’ – A comparison with others

Can you believe it????   After the surprise announcement of the DJI Mavic Pro less than 2 months ago, which has not even been properly released yet, DJI have surprised us again with the announcement of the new DJI Phantom 4 Pro –  These come in 2 models Pro and Pro Plus.  We’ll discuss the details below.

 

phantom4-pro


We published a comprehensive review comparing the best drones available, namely the DJI Phantom 4 and the newer DJI Mavic Pro and the Go Pro Karma, just a few weeks ago.  Please click here to view this.  We concluded the DJI Mavic Pro and  GoPro Karma were good alternatives for the market leader, the Phantom 4; in fact our winner was the Mavic Pro for many reasons.   Just last week, we published another article because both vendors are having issues with the release of these newer editions (Mavic Pro and the Karma),  with one having production issue and the other being recalled.   Click here to view this.

In a surprise twist, DJI has announced the ‘New Phantom 4 Pro’.   An update to the Phantom 4 was always on the cards, but we really didn’t expect it to be this soon.  There is also a Pro Plus Model.  I  don’t think DJI has tackling the delicate balance between keeping existing customers happy and attracting new ones.  However, there is a big rapidly increasing drone market out there.

We believe that the only difference between the Pro and Pro Plus models is that the Pro Plus remote control comes with an integrated screen, whist the standard one doesn’t.

Lets do a quick review of the new Phantom 4 Pro (& Pro Plus) against our previously reviewed drones, these are:  the existing  Phantom 4,  Mavic Pro and the Go Pro Karma. We will try and summarise our reassessment and winning outcome.  For maximum benefit, its highly recommended and intended to be read with our previous review on drones which can be found  here .

 

The New Phantom 4 has the following new additions:-

  • Never Camera featuring a 1″ CMOS 20MP sensor –  This is much better than all the other models which are at 12 MP and 1/2.3″ .  The new sensor is about 4 x times bigger,  with about 1.5x more megapixels, making it much better at taking stills, and its low light performance is also significantly improved.   It is also capable of doing 60 fps at 4k with a 100Mbps bitrate at H.265 compression.  It also has a mechanical shutter which eliminates rolling shutter distortion that occurs when taking fast moving subjects   or when flying at high speed and a mechanical focus.   The winner in this category is The new Phantom 4 Pro.

camera-phantom4-pro

  • Remote controller transmission distance:  The remote controller now has a max transmission of 7km.  This is an increase from the 5km in the previous Phantom 4.  This now makes the transmission on par with the Mavic Pro.  Winner in this category is jointly Mavic Pro / Phantom 4 Pro.
  •  Remote Control transmission frequency.  This RC now has the ability to automatically switch between 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz to ensures optimum range, reduce interference and image lag.  Winner: Phantom 4 Pro.
  • Integrated Screen (on Pro Plus Version).  The new Phantom 4 Pro Plus version has extremely bright, vivid built in screen, and so there is no need for an additional mobile device. This shares the same advantage as the Karma, as it also has a built in screen.   The standard Phantom 4 Pro version does not come with the integrated screen, and is a a few hundred quid cheaper. However, as we had described in our earlier review, this is either an advantage or disadvantage dependant on user preference.  We’re not sure about whether the Phantom has WiFi capability, as this is not confirmed and so the Mavic Pro would still have an edge over this in this respect.  mobile-device-phantom4-pro
  • Five Direction Obstacle Sensing – Both the old Phantom 4 and the Mavic Pro features obstacle sensing and avoidance using forward, side and downwards sensor.  The new phantom 4 Pro has expanded this  an additional set of high resolution stereo vision sensors at the rear in addition to the front pair and side IR sensors, creating 5 directions of obstacle sensing and 4 directions of obstacle avoidance, making flying easier.  So in terms of flight autonomy.  The winner is Phantom 4 Pro,
  • Active Track / Tap Fly / Way point Drawing / Return to Home.  There are some new features on this model including a new technology that allows the users to draw route on the screen whilst locking the altitude, lock in speed and direction.  Tapfly allows the user to tap on the screen to smoothly adjust the direction of flight whilst avoiding obstacles.  It can also allow tilting the gimbal without changing the direction of flight.   Active Track is already featured on both the Phantom 4 and the Mavic Pro that allows the drone to recognise and follow moving objects.  The Phantom 4 Pro uses newer algorithms to enable it to recognise more objects, vehicles, animals, and will adjust flight dynamics accordingly.   All these automation features allows the user to focus on the shots without worrying about flying.  This drone probably has the most automation features than all of the other reviewed drones.   The winner is the Phantom 4 Pro with Mavic Pro as runner up.active-track-phantom4-pro
  • way-points-phantom4-pro
  • Gesture Control –  Like the Mavic Pro, the Phantom 4 Pro now also has gesture control to  allow users to fly without the remote.  Great for selfies.  Winners: Joint Phantom 4 Pro and the Mavic Pro.
  • gesture-phantom4-pro
  • Battery life increased. This has been increased from 28 mins to 30mins.  Winner: Phantom 4 Pro

 

See table with additional column containing information about the new Phantom 4 Pro.

DJI Phantom 4 DJI Mavic Pro Go Pro Karma DJI Phantom 4 Pro

/Pro Plus

Winning Order
Aircraft Weight 1380 g 743 g (with gimbal cover) 1006 g 1388g

(Marginally heavier than Phantom 4)

Mavic Pro

Karma

Phantom 4

Phantom 4 Pro

Foldable No Yes Yes No Mavic Pro/Karma
Aircraft

Size

(excluding propellers)

Fixed

Diagonal 350mm

H = 193mm

 

Folded:

L = 198mm,

W = 83mm

H = 83mm

 

Unfolded:

Diagonal 335mm

 

 

Folded:

L = 365mm

W = 224mm

H = 90mm

 

Unfolded:

L = 303mm

W = 411mm

H = 117mm

 

 

Same as Phantom 4

Diagonal 350mm

 

Mavic Pro

Karma

Phantom 4 / Phantom 4 Pro

Max Speed 20 m/s

72km/h

(45mph)

17.88 m/s

64km/h

(40mph)

15 m/s

54km/h

(35mph)

20 m/s

72km/h

(45mph)

Phantom 4 / Phantom 4 Pro

Mavic Pro

Karma

Max wind conditions 10m/s

36km/h

(22mph)

10m/s

36km/h

(22mph)

10m/s

36km/h

(22mph)

Same
Max ceiling 6000m 5000m 4500m 6000m Phantom 4 / Phantom 4 Pro

Mavic Pro

Karma

Max transmission distance on Remote Control 5km 7km

 

 

3km 7km Mavic Pro / Phantom 4 Pro

Phantom 4

Karma

Max transmission distance on Wifi mode No wifi mode available Wifi only mode

80m(Distance),

50m(Height)

Note: max speed limited to 14km/hr

No wifi mode available No confirmed wifi Mavic Pro

 

Fly time 28 mins 27 mins 20 mins 30 mins Phantom 4 Pro

Phantom 4

Mavic Pro

Karma

 

Removable Camera No No Yes (not included)

Compatible Cameras:

Hero 5 Black / Session

Hero 4 Black / Silver

No Karma

 

Gimbal/ Stabilisation 3 axis Gimbal 3 axis gimbal 3 axis gimbal 3 axis Gimbal Same
Removable Gimbal No No Yes  – Removable (included) No Karma
Electronic Stabilisation No No Depends on camera.

Hero 5 – Yes

Karma
Camera Range of Motion Pitch -90 to +30 degrees -90 to +30 (pitch )

0 or 90 degrees (roll)

-90 to 0 degrees (pitch) Pitch -90 to +30 degrees Phantom 4 / Phantom 4 Pro Mavic

Karma

Camera Spec 1 / 2.3” CMOS  4K, 12MP 1 / 2.3” CMOS  4K, 12MP Depends on camera

Hero 5:  4k, 12MP

1’’ CMOS; Effective pixels: 20M Winner Phantom 4 Pro

 

Depends on what camera is used with Karma

If Hero 4,

Then all seem to be 12MP, 4K

Lens / Field of View FOV 94 degree,

20 mm (35mm format eqiv) , f/2.8,

focus at infinity

FOV 7 8.8 degrees,

28mm (35mm format eqiv), f2.2

Distortion < 1.5%

Focus 0.5m – Infinity

Depends on camera

Wide angle

GoPro 5 has linear FOV correction

FOV   84° degrees

8.8 mm / 24 mm (35 mm format equivalent),
f/2.8 – f/11.
auto focus at 1 m – ∞

Winner: Phantom 4 Pro

 

Depends on what camera is used with Karma

 

FOV on Phantom is larger than Mavic Pro making it better for landscape photography.

 

Can you see propellers when travelling at fast speeds YES – Sometimes Hardly No Karma,

Mavic Pro

Phantom 4

Camera Modes

ISO Range

TBC TBC Depends on Camera.

 

 

 

 

 

Video: 100 – 3200 (Auto); 100 – 6400 (Manual)
Photo: 100 – 3200 (Auto); 100- 12800 (Manual)
Phantom 4 Pro
Forward Vision System

Obstacle sensory range

0.7m – 15m

 

Detectable range

15m – 30m

 

Operating Environment:  Surfaces with a clear pattern and adequate lighting (> 15 lux)

Forward Vision System Precision measurement range:

0.7m – 15m

 

Detectable range

15m – 30m

 

Operating Environment:  Surfaces with a clear pattern and adequate lighting (> 15 lux)

N/A Phantom 4 Pro

Mavic / Phantom 4

Downward Vision system

 (altitude and range)

0-10m Downward Vision system  0.3-13m N/A Mavic

Phantom 4

Satellite positioning GPS/GLONASS GPS/GLONASS YES GPS/GLONASS Same
Return to Home Feature Yes Yes Yes Yes Same
Operating freq 2.4 GHz to 2.483 GHz 2.4 GHz to 2.483 GHz

& Wifi

2.4 GHz 2.400 GHz – 2.483 GHz

5.725 GHz – 5.825 GHz

 

Unsure about wifi?

Phantom 4 Pro  (dual freq switch)

Mavic Pro  (wifi)

Phantom 4

Karma

Controller weight Controller without mobile device

X g (TBC)

Controller without mobile device

Y g (TBC)

Controller comes with screen.

 

Screen Size (127mm)

Resol 720P

Battery life 4 hours

Weight 625g

Phantom 4 Pro Plus version comes with a built in screen.  Unsure if this is replacebale
Mobile Device mountability Mobile Device Mountable (phone size  – YES

Tablet Mountable – YES

Mobile Device Mountable (phone size  – YES

Tablet Mountable – NO

Mobile Device Mountable (phone size  – NO

Tablet Mountable – NO

 

However the Karma controller has a built in screen

Phantom 4,

Mavic Pro

 

Obstacle Avoidance Yes Yes No Yes Mavic Pro

Phantom 4

Active tracking

Follow Feature

Yes Yes No Yes  

Mavic Pro

Phantom 4

Picture / Selfie

 without controller

No Yes

With Gesture Control

No YES Phantom 4 Pro / Mavic Pro
Wifi mode without controller NO,

But can connect Phone, Tablet using cable

Yes. You can pair with smartphone.

There is a Switch that enables you connect via tablet/mobile and fly without the controller

NO Not confirmed Mavic Pro
Automation features Good More intelligent flight modes than the Phantom 4. Limited Phantom 4 Pro

Mavic Pro

Phantom 4

Karma

Obstacle avoidance Yes Yes No Yes Phantom Pro 4

Mavic Pro / Phantom 4

Visual Positioning System Yes Yes No Yes Phantom 4 Pro

Mavic Pro / Phantom 4

Battery Weight / Capacity / Energy 462g

5350mAh

 

LiPo 3S

240g

3830 mAh

545g

5100mAh

 

LiPo 2S

6000mAh

Depends
Battery Voltage / Energy 15.2V

81.3 Wh

11.4V

43.6 Wh

14.8 V

75 Wh

TBC Depends
Charger 17.4V

100W

13.05V,

50W

TBC 17.4V

100W

 

Depends
Carry Case Large Small –

Can be carried in a small bag.

MediumBackpack case available Large Mavic Pro

Karma

Phantom 4 / Phantom 4 Pro

Indicative price £1200, but is likely to be reduced in coming weeks £1000 £750 without camera

But does come with the removable gimbal

Around £1500

Pro Plus version around £1800

Mavic Pro

Karma

Phantom 4 Phantom 4 Pro

Phantom 4 Pro Plus

 

 

Conclusion:- The official DJI Phantom 4 replacement, the Phantom 4 Pro (& Pro Plus) is excellent.  Its new camera is far superior and capable of taking breathtaking stills and video and would easily be described as ‘best in class’.   The existing Phantom 4 already comes with a lot of automation  features, the Mavic Pro comes with even more, and now with the new Phantom 4 pro there are even more new and improved automation features, making the Phantom 4 Pro a very capable drone with exceptional quality.  Although, in our opinion, this is probably one of the best drones out there, for us the size and portability are still important issues, and the trade offs  between convenience of Mavic Pro and additional capability/quality of the new Phantom 4 Pro, makes it a lot  harder.

 

However for us as Travel Bloggers on the move with kids, for the reasons previously explained in the last review,  our winner is still the DJI Mavic Pro!!  From all the drones we have reviewed, the Mavic Pro is the most compact, lightest and easiest to carry.   Its remote controller is also smaller with the largest transmission range.   It can even be controlled via WiFi without the need of a controller.  This feature still give it a massive advantage, especially when we plan to travel lite with the minimum amount of luggage.

mavic-main mavic-folded mavic-controller

Let us know what you think.  Hope you have enjoyed our review.

Please comment and like this page as the feedback is important to us.

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Nisbah

I am a traveller, mother and blogger. We love to go on adventures (big and small, near and far) and strive to show our children how amazing and beautiful the world is! I caught the travel bug many moons ago and despite having three little adventurers, I still suffer from "itchy" feet. We love the great outdoors and one another. Come and join the fun :)

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