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DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 4 Which One is Better?

DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 4 – Which One is Better?

In the drone world, there’s no shortage of options. But when it comes to the DJI Phantom series of drones, there are two clear frontrunners: The Phantom 3 and the Phantom 4. And while both have pros and cons, they’re also similar enough that you might wonder if one is better.

In this post, we’ll look at a competitive analysis of DJI Phantom 3 vs. 4 in terms of design, features, performance, and price so that you can make an informed decision about which one to buy!

So, continue reading below to get all the info you need about DJI’s Phantom 3 and 4 series and determine which model best suits your needs.

Comparison of Basic Specs

SpecsDJI Phantom 3 ProDJI Phantom 4
Weight1280-gram1380 grams
Battery Storage4,480 milliamp hours5,350 milliamp hours
Velocity

35 kilometers per hour72 kilometers per hour

Speed16 meters per second20 meters per second
Flight time23 minutes28 minutes
Horizontal Accuracy+/- 1.5 m+/- 0.3 m or +/-1.5 m
PriceLess than 1000 USDMore than 1000 USD

Physical Features

Design

The designs of the DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 4 are different, but they both bear a strong family resemblance that shows they belong to the same drone clan. While the design philosophy behind Phantom 4 may not be revolutionary, it is certainly notable that subtle but significant alterations have been made to DJI’s iconic drone.

The Phantom 4 has a polished magnesium unibody shell and a sturdy yet lightweight design. The Phantom 3 sports a traditional plain appearance with distinctive DJI stripes on the arms. Although Phantom 3 and 4 are made of outer polycarbonate construction, Phantom 4’s plastic seems more premium.

Gimbal

The gimbal is the most apparent difference between Phantom 3 and 4. The P3’s gimbal is outside the body, while on the P4, it is incorporated into its design.

Phantom 4’s centred gimbal makes the centre of gravity closer to the system’s core and produces more steady footage. In addition, the gimbal of the P4 is more aerodynamic and better protected than its predecessor. However, since you have to open it to repair a broken gimbal (as opposed to simply swapping out parts on Phantom 3’s), troubleshooting can be tricky.

Sensor

The Phantom 4, unlike its predecessor, the Phantom 3, has four optical sensors—two of which are directed downward to avoid obstacles and two that face directly forward. This configuration allows the anti-collision and obstacle avoidance systems to scan large areas without getting caught up in objects the drone will encounter in its flight path.

Props

The props on Phantom 4 are different from the ones on Phantom 3—for one thing, they attach to motors differently. Secondly, a new push-and-release mechanism makes them easier to remove/replace than their predecessors’ self-tightening variety.

Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 batteries look different. Phantom 3 batteries weigh about 360 grams, while their larger counterparts—Phantom 4 batteries—weigh around 460 grams.

The Phantom 3 battery has roughly 4,480 milliamp hours of storage capacity, while the Phantom 4 battery contains 5,350 milliamp hours. However—due to the 1000-milliamp hour difference—Phantom 4 batteries are also almost $20 more expensive than their predecessors.

Weight

The weight difference between the two UAVs is only a few hundred grams. The new Phantom 4 weighs 1380 grams, compared to the 1280-gram Phantom 3—100 grams more.

Non-Physical Features

Velocity

Phantom 4 can travel at a maximum speed of 72 kilometres per hour (44.7 miles an hour), while the earlier version could reach a top speed of 35 kilometres per hour (57.6 miles an hour). However, the Phantom works at this speed only in sports mode: it lacks an obstacle avoidance system and is designed to get you moving quickly, so you must be careful when using this mode.

Speed

Phantom 4 drones can fly up to 20 meters per second, compared with Phantom 3’s maximum speed of 16 meters per second. It means that a Phantom 4 drone will travel at speeds of 4 meters per second quicker than the Phantom 3—this makes it an excellent choice for people who want their shots taken in a hurry.

Vision positioning system:

The Phantom 4’s visual positioning system is more advanced than the one used by its predecessor, with larger ultrasonic and infrared sensors (operating up to 10 meters instead of 3). In addition, the horizontal deviation of a Phantom 4 is 30 cm (plus or minus) less than that of the previous generation—which was 150 cm (plus-minus). It translates to an improved ability for this model drone to maintain its position in midair without a signal from GPS satellites.

Flight time:

The maximum flight range is how far each drone can fly before it loses contact with its remote control. Phantom 3 has a flight time of 23 minutes, and Phantom 4 can fly for 28 minutes. It is because Phantom 3 relies on more dated Wifi downlink technology, which has a shorter range.

Video quality:

The only visual difference between Phantom 4 and Phantom 3s is that the lens in Phantom 4 reduces distortion by 36% compared to its predecessor, the 3s—and it also helps reduce chromatic aberration (colour error or inaccuracy) by 56%.

Phantom 3 4k and Phantom 4 have the same capability to capture video in 4K resolution. They both use the same sensor, but while they produce similar results, there is one key difference: The Phantom 3 can only shoot at 60 frames per second, whereas, with its improved version, the Phantom 4 shoots 120 fps (frames per second) at 1080p quality.

Software capabilities:

First, in Phantom 4, you have a tap-to-go feature where you tap on a specific area or object, and the drone will fly to that area avoiding obstacles using the obstacle avoidance system. DJI uses artificial intelligence in newer Phantom 4 drones to optimize flight control over the Phantom 3.

Also, you have a unique feature called tracking a live subject to target a specific human being or a moving thing, which will follow in all different directions. You can make 360 moves around that to have an incredible cinematic view.

Price:

The Phantom 3 costs a lot less than 1000 USD, but the Phantom 4 is much more expensive.

Conclusion:

Well, there you have it! Between the DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 4, we’ve covered a lot of specifics. We hope that this comparison helps you make an informed decision about which drone is suitable for you.

If you’re looking for an easy way to decide which is best, we suggest going with the DJI Phantom 4. It’s more expensive than the Phantom 3 but offers more features and better flight performance. But if you need a new drone but aren’t sure about spending extra money for capabilities you may not use, consider buying the Phantom 3. No matter which Phantom drone you buy—the 3 or 4 version—you’ll have a good time.