Plain and simple, the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is the most fun I’ve ever had piloting a drone. Its simple controls and fantastic stability can make even a novice drone pilot like myself feel invincible. Paired with the multi-functional DJI Go app, the Phantom 3 Advanced is out of this world. Get yours now for $799 from Drone World.
What struck me most about the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced was just how simple it was to fly. It was one of those “We’re living in the future!” moments, understanding just how much technology is onboard the Phantom 3 Advanced to be able to make flying so intuitive. The Vision Positioning technology on the bottom of the Phantom 3 Advanced uses visual and ultrasonic sensors to scan the ground beneath the drone allowing it to identify its position and move more accurately. With built-in GPS positioning, the Phantom recognizes where it took off from and has a “return to home” button that when pressed, automatically brings the drone back to the point of takeoff and it lands itself.
Not only is the Phantom 3 Advanced easy to fly, it’s also a ton of fun. The control is incredibly responsive, accelerating, stopping, or turning as soon as you tell it to. Plus, with a top speed of around 35MPH, it’s a ton of fun watching the Phantom 3 Advanced zoom past you, banking around obstacles and taking off into the sky. You can also use the DJI Go app to track your drone on a map so you can effectively navigate your neighborhood without seeing your drone or even looking at the video feed! You’ll just want to make sure you’re high enough that there won’t be any obstructions in the way. It’s almost like flying an airplane in a video game.
The Phantom 3 Advanced is equipped with a camera capable of shooting 2.7K resolution video and 12 megapixel photos. 2.7K video has a resolution of 2704×1524. The camera’s quality is outstanding and the 94-degree field of view makes for gorgeous photos and video without any distortion. The camera is mounted to a 3-axis stabilization gimbal that holds the camera steady no matter how you fly. Using the Phantom’s controller, you can also control the pitch of the camera, panning up or down, to frame the best shots.
The camera also streams live 720p video directly to your mobile device while hooked up to the Phantom’s controller so you can get a first person view (FPV) of your flight. When the Phantom is out of sight, it’s an exciting way to navigate your drone, as if you’re flying inside the drone itself. This FPV feed allows you to set up the perfect videos or photos even if you’re 3.1 miles away. The 3.1 mile distance was tested by DJI in perfect conditions without obstacles or interference, but in my neighborhood, I could only get about 1,500 feet away before the video feed started cutting out.
Aiding with its ease of use, the Phantom 3 Advanced remote controller is simple, without a lot of extra, unnecessary buttons. The front of the controller is sparse, with the two flight sticks, power button, return to home button, and the mobile device holster. The front of the controller also houses LED lights that indicate the controller’s power and battery status. The top of the controller is where you’ll find some of the more advanced controls, including a dial to tilt the camera up and down, a record button to start and stop video recordings, a dial to control the camera settings, a playback button, and a flight mode switch. There are also two customizable buttons on the back of the controller that can be set to meet your preferences within the DJI Go app. Unfortunately, there’s no neck strap included with the Phantom, but there is a bar on the back of the controller that could be used to hook up a neck strap if required. Also on the back of the controller are USB and microUSB ports for video output to your mobile device. The controller’s rechargeable batteries are charged using a charge port on the side of the controller.
Speaking of rechargeable batteries, one of my favorite features of the Phantom 3 Advanced, although seemingly minor, is the design of the charging cables. The charging cable plugs into a standard outlet and then splits into two ends, one charges the controller, and the other charges an Intelligent Flight Battery. No need for additional hardware like a charging station, as all you need is this one cable.
Using the DJI Go app is incredibly intuitive, even though the app is so powerful. Not only can you view live HD video while your drone is in flight, but you can also view your past flight records, view and edit videos and photos that were taken with your Phantom, and much more. Within the app, you can swipe to take off or land; you can track your entire flight, tell your Phantom to come back to you, or use one of the Phantom’s intelligent flight modes.
Follow Me mode does exactly what you think it does, it follows you at a height and distance that you manually set to get beautiful following shots with very little work. Course Lock is a mode that allows you to set the aircrafts course relative to it’s current path so that you can get smooth shots along a certain path without worrying about constantly correcting the drone’s direction. With the Waypoints mode, you can use GPS to set multiple waypoints and let your Phantom fly to them automatically while you focus on controlling the camera to capture the perfect shot. Home Lock mode is an interesting mode that keeps the relative control direction facing the location of take off, so you simply pull back on the control stick to bring the aircraft home and forward to fly it farther away, no matter what direction the drone is facing. Finally, Point of Interest mode allows you to set a specific location, be it a building or location, and your Phantom will autonomously circle the point of interest at a set height and radius allowing you to focus on getting the best shot. These intelligent flight modes, while not totally unique to DJI in the drone world, are dead simple to use within the DJI Go app.
We received our Phantom 3 Advanced as a loaned review unit from Drone World. Drone World is an online retailer of DJI equipment and accessories. They also sell their own equipment and accessories that are built specifically to be used with the DJI drone products. Drone World offers exclusive kits that come Ready to Fly (RTF) as well as First Person View (FPV) kits that allow you to fly your Phantom right out of the box. One of their top of the line kits is the Executive Kit, that comes with a remote range extender system, custom Nanuk storage/carrying case, three intelligent flight batteries with a Thor powered triple charger, white carbon props, quick release prop guards, lens filters, 64GB microSD card, phone/tablet sun hood, portable charger, and more. Drone World is also a DJI authorized dealer so all DJI products purchased through Drone World are backed by DJI’s warranty.
Drone World offers a wheeled hard case (pictured above) made especially for the Phantom 3 that has a foam interior precisely cut to safely carry your Phantom 3, up to 6 batteries, controller, and other accessories. The wheeled hard case is watertight, airtight, and crush resistant, making this case a must-have for your drone. As its name states, the wheeled hard case has wheels that are great for traveling and a telescoping tote handle for convenience. It’s also equipped with padlock holes that will accept TSA and other standard padlocks for added security. Drone World sent one of these for use during my review and it made travelling with, setting up, and storing my drone quick and easy. You can keep everything organized in one place while also keeping your investment safe and sound. You can get yours as a $279 add-on to your DJI Phantom 3 Advanced order from Drone World.
Drone World will also soon be carrying the DJI Phantom 4, the worlds most advanced drone. They’ll also have the worlds first P4 modified controller, which will quadruple the signal strength for both safety and performance. The Phantom 4 and modified P4 controller will be available on its own or included in one of Drone World’s many excellent kits.
If you’re looking for a drone for aerial photography or just for having fun, there’s no better drone on the market than DJI’s Phantom 3 Advanced…except for maybe the Phantom 4, but I can’t compare them yet! And if you’re looking to purchase a DJI Phantom drone, Drone World offers great kit options, accessories, and helpful service.
You can purchase the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced from Drone World, starting at $799.
Source: The DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and Drone World Wheeled Hard Case was loaned to Gear Diary by Drone World for this review.
What I Like: Crazy easy flying; Simple controls; Tons of fun; Powerful mobile app; 25 minute flight time per battery; Flies up to 35mph; Can fly up to 3 miles away
What Needs Improvement: In a residential neighborhood, I could only send the Phantom about 1,500 feet away before starting to lose video feed and RC control; I’d prefer not to have to plug my mobile device in to the controller while flying