The Phantom 4's image quality inches forward this time—the camera has a new lens that should be sharper around the edge of the captured picture. But it’s a huge leap forward in robotics.
The coolest feature by far is the Obstacle Sensing System, which will hopefully help you avoid a bulk of the tree branches and garage doors that get in your way. The system works using two forward-facing optical cameras that scan for objects the Phantom might run into.
The obstacle-sensing software automatically redirects the Phantom 4 around any object that would disrupt its flight. What’s even cooler is that if the drone senses it can’t fly around an obstacle, it’ll hover in place and wait for your next command, like a floating robotic puppy. When the “return to home” function is activated, the Phantom 4 will avoid obstacles on the way back, too.
The Phantom 4's sharp robotic mind comes in handy with a feature called ActiveTrack, which turns the drone into a smart videographer that follows whatever subject you tell it to. Using the DJI mobile app, simply tap on the subject you want the Phantom 4's camera to stay on, and the drone will always keep that subject centered.
The Phantom 4 also comes with a Sports Mode that lets hit solid speeds of 45 mph, while maintaining nimble ascent and descent rates. It’s supposed to give you a taste of what drone racing could be like, even if you only bought this thing only to shoot video.
- Weight (battery included): 3.04 pounds
- Max flight speed: 44.7 mph (sport mode)
- Max flight/ascent speed: 13.4 mph (ascent), 8.9 mph (descent)
- Flight time: over 28 minutes
- Camera range: up to 3.1 miles
- Obstacle sensing system range: 2.3 feet to 49 feet
- Video positioning system range: 0 to 32.8 feet
- Slow motion video recording resolution: 1920 x 1080 at 120 frames per second
- Battery capacity: 5350 mAh