The best Phantom drone

From bestreviews.com
By
Adam Reeder

Drones are becoming more present in our everyday lives than we could have imagined just a decade ago. Phantom is a line of high-quality drones used for all sorts of purposes. They're durable and have a wide variety of options and features. Whether you want a drone for taking high-quality photos or you're just looking for a fun drone for flying around the park, Phantom has something for you.

If you're ready to buy a Phantom drone, read our useful buying guide to help you make the best choice possible. We even included reviews of some favorites at the end, like our pick for Best of the Best, DJI Phantom 4 Professional+. It's a pricey option but well worth it when you consider all of its extras.

Considerations when choosing Phantom drones

Drone needs

There are a few primary uses for drones, and what you plan to use your drone for will impact what model you choose. If you just want one for recreational flying, pay attention to its indoor/outdoor rating. While smaller drones aren't intended for outdoor use, others are too large to fly indoors safely.

If aerial photography is your drone need, consider whether your drone comes with its own onboard camera, or if it has a specialized gimbal or mount for your smartphone, GoPro, or other camera.

For those who want a drone for surveillance and security, consider one that includes a live HD camera. Flexible camera mounts can also be effective for surveilling with your drone and an additional camera.

Flight range

Phantom drones have a number of different flight ranges. While the shortest flight range of a Phantom drone model is about 1 kilometer, the longest can fly as far as 7 kilometers. Keep in mind, different flight ranges also impact live video transmissions.

Features

Intelligent flight battery

Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 drones include Intelligent Flight batteries. These are designed specifically to address issues of flight distance and security. They provide a warning to the user when energy becomes low.

Phantom 3 drone batteries offer 23 minutes of flight time. This model includes LED lights that warn you of low energy in real time -- so long as you can see the drone.

Phantom 4 drone batteries last for up to 30 minutes of flight time. This model warns you through the DJI GO 4 app when batteries are critically low. This is convenient if your drone is not visible to you at that moment. The app also offers an estimated remaining flight time.

Obstacle detection

Some Phantom drones feature an obstacle detection option. This prevents collision accidents with your drone through an obstacle detection sensor. Although these models cost a little more, they can save you money in the long run by avoiding expensive collision damage.

Multiple navigation modes

Every Phantom drone includes different navigation modes. They all utilize hover flight, waypoint-based flight planning, follow-me function, and points of interest. Phantom 4 drones also include ActiveTrack mode, which incorporates a GPS-based following mode.

4K video

Some Phantom drones incorporate 4K video capabilities. The best of these can handle 4K video at 60 frames per second. 4K is the ultimate in drone video quality, rivaling any smartphone camera you could mount onto a drone.

Price

Most Phantom drones cost between $500 and $1,800. For $500, Phantom drones are from the Phantom 3 series with a 1-kilometer flight range. For $1,200, you can get a Phantom 4 Advanced model with a longer flight range. If you spend $1,800, you can purchase a Phantom 4 Pro+ with video quality up to 4K at 60 frames per second.

FAQ

Q. Can Phantom drones livestream video?

A. Yes, they can. Using the DJI GO or DJI GO 4 apps, footage from your Phantom drone can be livestreamed directly to YouTube.

Q. How long will my Phantom drone last?

A. This is wholly dependent on how you fly your drone. Many Phantom drone users report using their drone for thousands of kilometers of flight time without any major issues.

Phantom drones we recommend

Best of the best: DJI Phantom 4 Professional+

Our take: A premium price tag for a premium Phantom drone. Feature-packed and easy to use.

What we like: Upgraded video camera. Burst photo feature. Remote includes an improved video feed.

What we dislike: Expensive.

Best bang for your buck: DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Our take: 2.7K video for a more affordable price than some of the competition.

What we like: Solid build. Easy-to-use remote. A good drone for beginners who want to start with a more mature drone than less expensive "toy" models.

What we dislike: Battery takes a long time to charge.

Choice 3: DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Our take: A good mid-range Phantom drone for those who want an upgrade from the Phantom 3 Standard.

What we like: Improved obstacle detection. User-friendly controller. 4K video capabilities.

What we dislike: Some users reported that the battery life could be longer.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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