DJI has described the Phantom 4 as a unibody drone that automatically detects and avoids obstacles as well as shoots sharper video in all directions. It is available for pre-order, but it will set you back about $1,399.95, making it $150 more expensive than the last-gen Phantom 3. Nevertheless, if you're fan of consumer drones, it's worth giving this camera-equipped quadcopter a look.
- The best drones 2018: Top rated quadcopters to buy, whatever your budget
- Drone flying in the UK and US: All the rules and regulations explained
DJI's Phantom line of intelligent drones somehow get smarter with each new model, and the Phantom 4 is no exception. It has a new camera lens that allows for sharper quality around the edge of the captured picture. There's also an Obstacle Sensing System that'll help you steer clear of things like trees or low-hanging lines or whatever. It uses two forward-facing optical cameras and two sensors underneath to scan for objects.
It can sense up to 50 feet away and over 30 feet underneath, and then the system uses collected data to automatically movs the Phantom 4 around things in its flightpath. If something can't be avoided, the Phantom 4 will just hover and wait for your next command, such as the “return to home” function. Another cool feature is something called ActiveTrack, which enables the drone to follow and video any subject or object you want.
Just open the DJI mobile app, then tap on whatever it is you want the Phantom 4's camera to follow, and it will keep that subject in its sight. The Phantom 4 also has a Sports Mode that allows it to reach speeds of 45 mph. So, it has a flight time of over 28 minutes, a flight range of over 5 kilometers, is smart enough to adapt to its surroundings (can even sense ground elevation), and is able to distinguish specific objects in its path.
Beyond these fancy tricks, the Phantom 4 has an updated look with unibody that is lighter and sturdier than alumimum. It also has aerodynamic lines, allowing it to reach its top speed without requiring tonnes of power. You can also now see the propeller motors, which improves heat efficiency, and the propellers work with a new screw-less locking mechanism; just screw them on, then push down and unscrew to release them.