​DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 Review

What You Need to Know about the ​DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 In our In-Depth Review

​Overview of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2

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The Phamton 4 Pro+ v2 is one of the most recognizable civil drones that has been made. This latest Version 2 comes in a larger size than its predecessors, but still travels comfortably in its own backpack, which can be purchased only from DJI. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro won our award for the best drone with a camera for 2019.

Other enhancements of the v2 include: lighter props and reduced takeoff weight, wireless integration with DJI Goggles, and bolstered transmission power.

Unlike earlier drones that may have been seen as toys, there is no doubt that the Phantom 4 Pro + v2 and its image – video and still photography – are not kid’s play.

The basic shape of the Phantom has not changed much, but does look a lot smoother with gloss, front-leg coloring, and built-in lights.

DJI Phantom 4 Starter Bundle Includes: DJI Phantom 4 Drone + Controller + Foam Case + 64 GB Memory Card + More
  • Auto takeoff and auto return home with GPS technology, makes controlling easy. App enables monitoring/camera operation easy
  • Capture 4K ultra HD video at 30 fps, supported resolutions include: 12.0MP (4000 x 3000) photos. The f/2.8 lens with a broad field of view delivers crisp, clear images
  • Gimbal stabilization technology, along with a hover function allows you to capture smooth, clean footage while the camera is in the air
  • Use DJI director software with a built-in video editor to add music, text, and more to your videos.

History

The first Phantom was released in 2013 and supported a GoPro. In a very rapid run of product updates, DJI added a camera, 3-axis stabilization, GPS, better control range, 4K camera, collision sensors and support for DJI’s FPV goggles.

The Phantom 4 was retired in April 2017 in favor of the Phantom 4 Pro or the Phantom 4 Advanced.

Notable Features

Version 2 of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ includes many the same features as the original Phantom 4 Pro+ and boasts several enhancements including: improved resolution for on-controller live-view streaming, enhanced connectivity, reduced propeller noise, and more.

Like the original, the Phantom 4 Pro+, Version 2 features a three-axis-stabilized gimbal camera with a 20MP one-inch complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor capable of shooting up to 4K/60 frames per second (fps) video and photo bursts at up to 14 fps. It also uses the Flight Autonomy system, which includes dual rear-vision sensors and infrared sensing for a total of five directions of obstacle sensing and four directions of obstacle avoidance. I will go into this in more detail below.

Note that any accessories of earlier versions of the Phantom are compatible, including batteries and except the remote controller. A range of applications can be downloaded to the Phantom, including social apps. It comes with a 2-year warranty.

OcuSync with 1080/30 Video

The Phantom 4 Pro+ Version 2 uses OcuSync video transmission, which employs time-division multiplexing technology to send the control signal and receive video signal, both at the same time. When the controller is turned on, the OcuSync system scans for the frequency band with the lowest interference and switches to it. OcuSync operates on both 2.4GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands which helps reduce signal interference. In addition, OcuSync can connect to multiple devices at the same time. It can connect to up to two controllers and DJI Goggles at the same time. This wireless system removes the restrictions of wires and allows a reliable connection. Recording footage is captured as JPEG in the same resolution as the recording.

The downlink stream is also able to display video in 1080 fps against 720/30 fps of the previous model. The video screen’s brightness is twice as bright as the majority of smartphones and tablets. The screen is fixed and cannot be removed.

The recording capability of the Phantom 4 Pro+ v2 is an impressive 100 megabits (one million bits) per second (Mbps), up from the 60 Mbps of earlier versions. In addition, it has a generous range of resolutions topping out at Cinema 4K – 4,000 pixels of resolution – at 60 fps. Super slow motion can also be achieved.

The Phantom also works well in low-light situations, allowing the photographer to take videos or photos at night.

The mechanical shutter of the camera is worthwhile for stills when the drone is in motion. Wide shots are an important part of aerial photography and DJI cameras perform adequately – even though this version of the Phantom does not include a zoom camera.

​Unboxing

After pulling out all of the parts for the Holy Stone HS110D, you realize how much they have actually fit into such a small package. Not only is there the drone and the controller, but there are the prop guards, extra landing pads, a phone mount holder (for FPV mode), a charger, and an instruction manual (with the thank you card inside!)

Upon reading over the instruction manual, it was clear that an amateur might have a bit of confusing understanding the landing and takeoff, as they are not very well explained, and some of the diagrams can prove to be misleading. This is a small issue in the grand scheme, and can be overcome quickly with some hands on practice. Aside from the small few mistakes in the manual, it is for the most part, beginner friendly. A new drone pilot would likely be able to figure the drone out without the manual, as it is one of the simpler drones to fly.

​Goggles

DJI Goggles affords the Phantom 4 Pro+ v2 a high quality live camera view. If you enable “Head Tracking,” you are able to move the aircraft simply by turning your head.

Powertrain and Quieter Propellers

DJI fitted new motors and ESCs on the v2 with new propeller profiles. According to DJI materials, these propellers are up to 60 percent quieter than the regular propellers. Older propellers can still be mounted on the new version of the Phantom. The quieter propulsion system results in a significant noise reduction.

Increase in the range of the Anti-Collision Sensors.

The anti-collision sensors on the v2 have an extended detection range of the forward and backward-sensing system to 90 feet instead of 30 feet. This also allows for increased stability in flight.

​Controller

The Phantom 4 Pro v2 features a remote controller with a built-in 5.5 inch 1080 screen. It is a multi-function wireless device that integrates the video downlink system and drone remote control system. The remote controller features a number of camera control functions, such as taking and previewing photos and videos, as well as controlling gimbal motion. The battery level is displayed via LED indicators on the front panel of the remote controller.

The Phantom is powered by a rechargeable battery that has a capacity of 6,000 milliamps sustained for an hour (mAh).

The ultrabright screen increases usability in direct sunlight. The remote controller also has a micro SD card slot, speaker and microphone, as well as an HDMI port. The remote controller’s battery life is up to five hours. This remote controller is not accessible with earlier versions of the Phantom. It also includes an air braking feature.

​Camera & ​Gimbal

The onboard camera uses the CMOS sensor to capture video. You may choose to record the video in either MP4 or MOV format. Available picture shooting modes include burst, continuous, and time-lapse mode. A live preview of what the camera sees can be monitored on the connected mobile device via the DJI GO 4 application.

The gimbal on the Phantom provides stabilization of the camera on all three axis, and this works with the movement in flight so the video is without vibration or shake. Digital stabilization will do at a pinch for Instagram, but not with video you edit into a professional production. The drone needs to lean into the wind, so it is consistently altering its left and right lean and pitch. This means these two axis are the most essential. The yaw or the rudder is also stabilized in the Phantom 4 Pro v2, so the main benefit of this is softening out turns in flight, making a follow-the-subject ride much smoother.

The pilot can control the gimbal by tilting up and down using a control wheel on the remote. But the direction of the camera is determined by what the drone’s front does.

​In-flight Performance

​Flight itself is controlled using two sticks: The left stick pushes the drone in any direction at the same altitude, and the right stick either rotates the craft or moves it up or down. There are also altitude sensors and a compass inside the drone to tell it whether it is level or not, so flying should be the least of the photographer’s concerns. It can fly for about a half-hour, which is longer than other drones.


The Phantom drone is a great obstacle avoider. It can identify obstacles and there is no way that it lands if it is not a safe environment. It also has infrared sensors, which gives it 360-degree obstacle avoidance. The device is also equipped with Failsafe and Return-to-Home (more below), which ensure the safe return of your aircraft to you if the control signal is lost. The Flight controller can save flight data from each flight to the on-board storage device.

​Flight Modes

  • P-Mode (Positioning): P-Mode works best with the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal is strong. The Phantom uses the GPS and obstacle sensing system to stabilize itself automatically, navigating between obstacles or tracking a moving object.
  • S-Mode (Sport): The handling gain values of the Phantom are adjusted to enhance the maneuverability of the Phantom in S-Mode. The maximum flight speed of the Phantom is increased to 20 miles per second in this mode. Obstacle sensing is disabled in S-Mode. This means that the Phantom will not be able to automatically avoid obstacles in its flight path. This demands the pilot to be vigilant and stay clear of nearby obstacles. The Phantom’s maximum speed and braking distance are significantly increased in S-Mode. The pilot should keep in mind that a minimum braking distance of 164 feet is needed in windless conditions.
  • ​A-Mode (Attitude): When neither the GPS or the Obstacle Sensing System are available, the Phantom will only use its barometer for positioning to control the altitude.

The Phantom 4 Pro+ v2 has front LEDs and Aircraft Status indicators. The front LEDs show the orientation of the drone and glow solid red when the aircraft is turned on to indicate the nose of it. The Aircraft Status Indicators communicate the system status of the flight controller.

​Failsafe - Return to Ho​​​​me

The Phantom creates a real-time map of its flight route as it flies. If the Home Point was successfully recorded and the compass is functioning normally, the Failsafe RTH will be automatically activated if the GPS signal is lost for more than three seconds. The Phantom will plan its return trip and retrace its original flight path. It will hover for more than 10 seconds at its current location. When it regains signal connectivity, it will wait for pilot commands. The RTH process may be interrupted and the pilot given control of the Phantom if the remote controller signal connection is re-established.

Obstacle Avoidance & Landing Protection

The Phantom will sense and actively attempt to avoid obstacle. It will decelerate when an obstacle is sensed at 49 feet ahead. It will stop, hover, then start ascending vertically to avoid the obstacle. Eventually, the drone will stop climbing when it is at least 16 feet above the detected obstacle.

Landing protection will activate during an auto landing. It determines whether the ground is good for landing. If so, the Phantom is programmed to land gently. If Landing Protection determines the ground is not suitable for landing the Phantom will hover over the ground waiting for pilot confirmation, until there is a critically low battery warning.

Intelligent Flight Mode

The Phantom 4 Pro+ v2 also features Intelligent Flight Mode, which allows the camera to record vision image data and store it in the flight data record system. It will stop recording when this mode is disabled. Vision system image data is used to improve security and accuracy of data history.

Terrain Follow Mode

The downward vision system used in Terrain Follow Mode to maintain a height above ground between 1 and 10 meters. The mode is designed for use on grassland that is sloped.

Vision Positioning System

The Vision Positioning System (VPS) is typically used indoors when GPS is not available. The performance of your VPS is affected by the surface over which it is flying. The sensors may not be able to accurately measure distances when operating above sound-absorbing materials. Operate the Phantom with great caution in the following situations:

  • Flying over monochrome surfaces – pure black, pure white, pure red, pure green
  • Flying over a highly reflective surface
  • Flying at high speeds
  • Flying over water or transparent surfaces
  • Flying over moving surfaces or objects
  • Flying in an area where the lighting changes frequently or drastically
  • Flying over extremely dark or extremely bright surfaces
  • Flying over surfaces that can absorb sound waves, such as thick carpet
  • Flying over surfaces without clear patterns or textures
  • Flying over surfaces with identical repeating patterns or textures, such as tiles with the same design
  • Flying over inclined surfaces that will deflect sound waves away from the Phantom

Once pre-flight preparation is complete, it is recommended that you use the flight simulator in the DJI Go 4 app to hone your flight skills and practice safe flying. Ensure that all flights are carried out in an open area:

  • ​Do not use the aircraft in severe weather conditions. These include wind speeds exceeding 10 miles per second, snow, rain and fog. The Phantom cannot operate within polar areas.
  • ​Only fly in open areas. Tall structures and large metal buildings may affect the accuracy of the onboard compass and GPS system.
  • ​Avoid obstacles, crowds, high voltage power lines, trees, and bodies of water.
  • ​Minimize interference by avoiding areas with high levels of electromagnetism, including base stations and radio transmission towers
  • ​Aircraft and battery performance is subject to environmental factors such as air density and temperature. Be very careful when flying the Phantom at altitudes greater than 19,685 feet above sea level, as the performance of the battery and aircraft may be affected.


Flying Limits & No Fly Zones

All unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators should abide by all regulations coming from government and regulatory agencies including the International Civil Aviation Organization or ICAO and the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA. For safety reasons, flights are limited by default, which helps users operate the Phantom safely and legally. Flight limitations include height limits, distance limits, and No-Fly Zones.

No-Fly Zones are listed on the DJI official website at http://www.dji.com/flysafe/no-fly.

No-Fly Zones are divided into airports and restricted areas. Airports include major airports and flying fields where manned aircraft operate at low altitudes. Restricted areas include border lines between countries and sensitive areas. The details of No-Fly Zones are outlined below:

  • Airport No-Fly Zones are comprised of take-off restricted zones and restricted altitude zones. Each zone features circles of various sizes.
  • R1 miles (The value of R1 depends on the size and shape of the airport) around the airport is a take-off restricted zone, inside of which take off is restricted.
  • From R1 mile to R1+ 1 mile around the airport the flight altitude is limited to a 15-degree inclination, starting at 65 feet from the edge of the airport and radiating outward. The flight altitude is limited to 1,640 feet at R1+1 mile.
  • When the aircraft enters within 320 feet of No-Fly Zones, a warning message will appear on the DJI Go 4 App


Restricted Areas

  • Restricted areas do not have flight altitude restrictions.
  • R miles around the designated restriction areas is a Take-Off Restricted area. Aircraft cannot take off within this zone.
  • A “warning zone” has been set around a restricted area. When the aircraft approaches any of this zone, a warning message will appear on your application.


Pre-Flight Checklist

  1. Remote controller, intelligent flight battery and mobile device are fully charged.
  2. Propellers are mounted correctly and firmly
  3. Micro SD has been inserted, if necessary
  4. Gimbal is functioning normally
  5. Motors can start and are functioning properly
  6. The DJI GO 4 App is successfully connected to the Phantom
  7. Ensure that the sensors for the Obstacle Sensing System are clean.
  8. Calibrate the compass, if necessary.


So, if you want a top-quality product that takes exceptional professional photos and videos then the Phantom 4 Pro+ v2 is the drone product for you. For success, make sure to follow all the recommendations and guidelines outlined in this article.