DJI Phantom Quadcopter Review

Last update: May 18, 2015 by daniele

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4.5/5

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DJI Phantom
Wingspan: 350×350 mm
Flying Time: 10-15 minutes
Power Consumption: 3.12W
Take-off Weight: less than 1000g
Max Tilt Angle: 45°
Max Ascent / Descent Speed: ±6m/s
Max Flight Velocity: 10m/s
Battery Type: 11.1V LiPo
Charging Time: 60 minutes
Working Frequency: 2.4GHz
Control Channels: 7 Channels
Communication Distance: 1000m
Camera: GoPro Mount

By Bob Hammell

****Edit: this is a discontinued model. We recommend the DJI Phantom 4 instead. ****

dji phantom quadcopter

DJI quadcopters are arguably the best that are currently available. They provide quadcopter enthusiasts with the means to quickly and easily begin flying almost right out of the box.

The Phantom quadcopter is considered a RTF quad which means ready to fly. When you receive your Phantom, the only assembly that must be done is attaching the landing gear, go pro mount, and the propellers.

The entire assembly of this quad is no more than 15-30 minutes which makes this one of the most convenient quadcopters for anybody, but especially beginners.

There are no instructions included with the Phantom but DJI has a downloadable PDF version of the manual right on their website.

This may sound odd that none are included in the box but DJI backs this up by saying that doing it this way assures that the instructions are constantly up to date.

A really nice thing about the DJI Phantom is that it is designed for easy use with the GoPro camera. This is a great camera to use for aerial photography and video as it is meant to be used for action shots.

The DJI Phantom 2 Vision, which is a brand new quadcopter, actually comes with a camera already attached so if you don’t feel like buying a camera separately, this might be the quadcopter for you although it is slightly more pricey than this Phantom.

Quadcopters are known for their steadiness and ability for great photography no matter what camera you are using but sometimes with the Phantom there are slight vibrations which create a “jello” effect.

 

Click Here to Purchase the DJI Phantom Quadcopter on Amazon

 

There are a few ways to eliminate this unwanted effect such as adding a neutral density filter or using moon gel. Either of these quick, cheap fixes should eliminate the jello effect and create clearer, steadier photography and video.

Sometimes these fixes don’t work and that’s because the vibrations are being caused by unbalanced propellers. Picking up a Prop Balancer is probably a good idea as this should completely eliminate any remaining vibrations along with the jello effect.

One of the additions that you can add to any quadcopter is FPV. When you are flying in FPV and your quadcopter leaves your immediate view, it is sometimes harder to guide your copter back to you and it is easier to lose track of.

I’m sure the last thing that you want is to lose this expensive gadget so thankfully the Phantom comes with a convenient feature called RTH, or Return to Home.

For this function to work, your Phantom must be in GPS mode so that it can detect its exact coordinates during takeoff, but after then it can either be in attitude or GPS mode.

When in flight, if at any point in time your quadcopter loses communication with the transmitter, or remote, the RTH feature will kick in. Your Phantom will automatically turn around and head back to where it locked in its position in the beginning.

The best part about this feature is that it safely lands itself which is a remarkable advancement in quadcopter technology.

dji quadcopter flyingJust a warning, if your Phantom is not connected to at least six satellites, your quadcopter will not return home!

I would highly advise writing your phone number and possibly the word “Reward” somewhere on your quadcopter because unfortunately, it is inevitable that eventually, you will lose your quad.

Something about the Phantom that separates it from other quadcopter helicopters is the NAZA-M flight controller. This is a special feature only offered by DJI which is pretty much the brain of the Phantom and without it, this would just be like any ordinary quadcopter.

When the NAZA GPS, IMU and compass are locked, this quad is incredibly simple to fly and almost completely foolproof. Even in 10-15 mph winds, this quad can easily hover in place with no problems.

The Phantom is decked out with multi-colored LED lights which allows the NAZA brain to communicate different statuses with you. The compass, battery life, and GPS statuses can all be displayed by different colors and sequences of flashing.

The online manual can teach you what the different colors and sequences mean, but it is fairly straightforward and easy to remember.

This RTF quadcopter already comes with a battery and charger but it is nice to have an extra one or two around. A full charged Phantom battery lasts for about 15 minutes which may not seem like a very long time but this is significantly longer than some of the other batteries available.

Be careful not to overcharge your battery though because this will shorten the life of your battery and result in less flight time.

The technology of this quadcopter is particularly impressive especially when looking at the price. Because of the new Phantom 2 Visionjust being released, the price of this quadcopter his drastically dropped but you still get the same advanced technology that DJI products always offer.

This is one of the few products out there that does not compromise quality while still maintaining a reasonable price.

Learning to fly this quadcopter was amazingly easy compared to other RC copters so I was able to have peace of mind that I wouldn’t crash and damage the quad, not to mention my $400 GoPro that was hanging from the bottom!

Quadcopters in general are so fun to play around with and it’s easy for this hobby to form into an addiction.

DJI Phantom Quadcopter Review
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