phantom 3 vs phantom 4

Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4: Which one is better?

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The DJI Phantom Series is a very popular drone series and it is designed for the professionals and power consumers. DJI is one of the best drone companies on the market. Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 are very popular drones from this series and both drones offer a great variety of features and specs. Choosing between the Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 can be very tricky as both drones are really good. That’s why we will discuss the different aspects of Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 which will help you understand which drone is better for you. Let’s get started. I hope that you find this blog on the Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4 helpful in making your decision.

Phantom 3 drone flying
By Andri Koolme on Flickr

The Design

The Design of Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 are very similar as both drones belong to the same series. The design of Phantom 3 was already very good so DJI didn’t change it much with the Phantom 4 which was a good decision. However, the company did some minor changes in the shape to make it more aerodynamic. The overall shape is very similar. Both drones come with the four propellers on the top and the camera below the drones. 

However, there is a major difference in the weights of both drones. Phantom 3 weighs 1280 grams and Phantom 4 is a bit heavier and it weighs 1380 grams. This is because Phantom 4 comes with a bigger battery. 

Ease of Use

The Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 are designed very similarly and both drones are very easy to use but when it comes to ease of use, Phantom 4 has an edge over the Phantom 3.

Phantom 3 comes with the controller but it uses your smartphones to show the video. However, the Phantom 4 controller comes with its own screen which is a great feature. This feature maybe not a big deal for some people but when it comes to the actual use, this makes a huge difference.

Battery Life

Phantom 4 drone comes with the 5350 mAh battery and Phantom 3 comes with the 4480 mAh Battery. Both drones come with a similar 100W flight battery charger which you can use to charge the batteries.

As the Phantom 4 comes with the bigger battery, it offers the flight time of 28 minutes which is 5 minutes more than what Phantom 3 offers. In terms of battery life, 5 minutes is a very significant difference. If you want a drone with the bigger battery then Phantom 4 is a clear option here. 

Phantom 4 drone flying

Outdoor Performance

When it comes to outdoor performance, both drones are really good. As they are designed for the professionals, both drones come with the GPS + GLONASS Dual Positioning module which helps you find the location of your drone. The max transmission distance of both drones is also very similar and they can provide seamless video transmission for up to 3500 meters. Overall, Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 are ideal for outdoor use.

Indoor Performance

Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 are big drones and they are designed to be used outside. However, if you have good drone flying skills then you can easily fly them inside without any issue. We would not recommend using it inside if you don’t have sufficient experience of flying drones in such crowded areas.

Camera Performance

When it comes to camera quality, Phantom 4 offers much better performance than the Phantom 3. If we take a look at the video performance, Phantom 4 offers the 4k video recording at 24 FPS with the maximum video bitrate of 60 Mbps. On the other hand, Phantom 4 only offers the 2.7k video recording at 24 FPS with a video bitrate of 40 Mbps. If you want to capture the 4K Videos then Phantom 4 is a clear option for you. 

Similarly, when it comes to photo quality, the Phantom 4 also offers much better performance. Both drones come with the 12-megapixel sensors and their ISO Range is also similar which is 100 to 1600. However, Phantom 4 Camera comes with the HDR Support which means your photos will be more colorful and clearer. 

Overall, Phantom 4 offers better camera performance than the Phantom 3. However, if the features such as 4K video recording & HDR are not deal-breaker for you then you can also go for the Phantom 3.

Speed 

The Phantom 3 comes with a maximum flight speed of only 16 m/s. While the Phantom 4 comes with the maximum flight speed of 20 m/s, thanks to its improved design. However, the speed difference isn’t huge and it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for you.

Features

The Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 use the same DJI Go Mobile app and both drones also share many similar features. Following features are available in both drones,

  • Follow Me
  • Point of Interest
  • Waypoints
  • Course Lock
  • Home Lock

However, the Phantom 4 comes with the two very handy new features.

  • Tap Fly: It is a very handy mode which allows you to fly your Phantom 4 with the taps. Double-tap will fly the drone and the new Obstacle Sensing System will protect your drone from crashing. You can bring the drone back with another tap.
  • ActiveTrack: ActiveTrack is a very useful feature that allows you to effortlessly track the moving subjects. All you have to do is to Turn on the Moving POI and circle around the subject and that’s it. Phantom 4 will start to follow the subject without any further equipment.

Pricing

The Price Difference between both drones is also very steep. The price of Phantom 4 starts at £1999.95 and it goes up if you add additional Bundles. Phantom 3 was launched with a price tag of around £1200 but now you can get it around £479 in used condition, making it still one of the best drones under 1000. It’s clear that if you want an affordable professional drone then Phantom 3 is a good choice for you. However, if you want the latest and greatest then Phantom 4 is an ideal option for you.

Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4 – Bottom Line

Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 are very powerful drones and both drones offer top of the line performance. Apparently, both drones have the same looks and features but some minor differences make the Phantom 4 better than the Phantom 3. The inclusion of 4k recording, HDR, bigger battery and improved speed make Phantom 4 an ideal choice for those who want the best professional drone. However, if you are looking for a more affordable option the Phantom 3 is an ideal option for you. Let us know which drone is better for you, in the comment section below.

Further Reading

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