There are currently 5 different versions of the Phantom 4 drone model. Each one has it’s own specs, perks and reasons to get it.
This article is going to give you a full breakdown of each existing Phantom 4 model, what their pros are and help you decide which one to buy. As of 2018, MANY of these models are actually discontinued by DJI, but you can still get them in popular stores like Wal Mart and Best Buy.
The thing to note is that:
All of these models have the exact same frame, are the same exact size and have the same type of controller (except the final version which has a custom one).
Where they differ is when you start to compare their camera, their flight capabilities, sensors and so on…
We’ll begin from ranking the “lowest” tier drone and work our way up to the most high end one.
A) Phantom 4: 80 out of 100 stars.
Despite being the original and technically the least high end model out of the rest, it is a great drone. It has a 12+ MP camera, flies for well over 20 minutes and has incredible range. It only has 2 sensors though (which at the time was actually quite a high end perk).
Now I want to point out that despite saying “lowest tier”, it’s only when you frame it in comparison to the same models in it’s class. This is by NO means a BAD or even GOOD drone, it’s a GREAT drone and it is highly recommended if your budget cannot go beyond into the other ones…
Honestly, if $1,000 is your budget, I’d get the Autel Evo instead of the P4 since it’s more portable and has a better camera. And I also have to say that the original Mavic Pro also shoots better than the regular P4 as well, but I recommend Autel because I think it’s better than the Mavic Pro.
B) Phantom 4 Advanced: 90 out of 100 stars.
The advanced Phantom has a longer flight time than the regular one, a MUCH better camera camera (20 MP) and a bigger ISO range, meaning it can adjust more easily to light changes and produce a better quality image/video.
With an extra 10 points that reflects the higher quality, flight time and other specs, the advanced model is indeed more advanced the regular one before it.
C) Phantom 4 Pro: 95 out of 100 stars.
I personally own one of these and I would say it matches the advanced in every way EXCEPT when you take into consideration how many sensors it has. The advanced has 2, the pro has 5, other than that, the specs in every other area are completely identical. Other than that, it’s the same 20 MP camera and same flight capabilities.
A lot of people debate between this model and the advanced. Again, the only difference is that you have more sensors with this one. Does that make an extra $200 this will cost worth it? Well I say yes because most fliers are either beginners or intermediate and having extra sensors provides more security for your flight, that’s one of the reasons I got this one and not the advanced. Otherwise, you’re looking at the exact same thing in terms of quality imaging and video.
D) P4P +. 95 out of 100 stars too.
The 4th version of these models is the one that comes with the custom controller. This model is the Phantom 4 Pro mixed in with a controller that has a special tablet built into it. This controller is far more bright and easier to set up vs connecting your phone/tablet.
However, I do rate it the same as the model above it because this special tablet does take up a lot of battery life. Also from what I know, this controller cannot fold like the others, meaning it’s harder to pack it and it does take up more space.
5) Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. 95 out of 100 stars.
This is the only one out of the 5 which is still in production by DJI, but when the Phantom 5 comes out, it’s safe to assume this one will also be discontinued.
Anyway, the 2.0 model is literally the exact same thing as the P4P, but with quieter propellers, a 1 minute extra of flight time and a better, more stable connection between the remote and the drone. Learn more here.
One good way to classify these drones and pick the right one for you:
Starting from the first one, each drone following it has more and more perks but understand that after the 1st one (the regular Phantom), you will get the exact same quality of filming, ISO, flight time and speed:
That being a 20 MP camera that shoots in 4K and up to 60 mbps, which is crazy, compared to the 12.4 which is a nearly 2x “downgrade”.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a 12 MP camera. My Mavic has this and I love the imagery, but for an extra few hundred, you WILL get a far higher quality camera and you WILL notice the difference, believe me.
That’s why despite the 1st model on this list being GREAT, it’s still a class lower than the next 3 following it which is why if you’re going to make a choice, I would at the very least consider the advanced or higher, the only difference then would be extra sensors and a customized remote, absent that, the rest is identical.
Also to note is that the battery on EACH model fits in the others, BUT the regular (first) Phantom battery has a shorter flight time, whereas the next 3 models have the same, longer flight time.
But of course, depending on the budget you have, you may consider some of the higher end models a bit too much. If that is the case, I would honestly consider saving the money needed and at the very least, getting an advanced version, especially if you really want to get that better camera.
The comparison chart of all models, simplified:
I didn’t put in the 2.0 model because it’s literally the same as the P4P, with the extra perks of connection and quiet propellers (which can be purchased separately and fit ANY P4 model by the way).
Do any of these models make for a better flight experience?
Well that depends on your skill as a pilot. Like I said before, they all have the same frame and controls so it’s not like you’d have a different experience piloting each model. If you’re into speed, the advanced and above models do fly faster, whether it be in regular or sport mode.
If you’re a good pilot and don’t like flying in risky areas, you would have more “insurance” from a P4P and the plus one after it.
I personally like the insurance of having the sensors on 5 sides and in my experience they work quite well (The Mavic 2 Pro has 6). Certain flights I have require that I turn off one or more of them, otherwise the drone will refuse to fly through it and I won’t be able to get my video/image, but I do consider myself a pretty careful flier in general. Still, having the sensors just in case is a big deal to me personally.
This is after all a very expensive drone to get so if you do play it safe or see yourself as a risky flier, I would consider the P4P or higher.
Otherwise, know that all of these models are a GREAT choice. The Phantom series is one of the best in all of the drone industry.