In a recent article, I created a very broad comparison between all of the current drones Yuneec puts out with their DJI “counterparts”, aka those whose price, specs and size match with each other best.
I did promise that I would go into greater detail about the specific comparisons I was doing and today is the day it happens…
I will begin with 2 of the most popular models from both brands:
- The Typhoon H from Yuneec.
- And the Phantom 4 from DJI. In addition, since I own the pro version, I will add snippets of the comparison here since the pro is superior to the regular Phantom 4 drone.
The reason I am comparing them is because:
- Size wise, they are similar, although Yuneec’s is a little bit bigger.
- Camera wise, the specs are also similar.
- Price wise, there is also close similarity as the P4 is about $1,000, the P4P is $1,500 and the Typhoon H is $799-$1,200.
The question I will ask is which of these models will be best for the following:
- Which is better for filming and taking pictures?
- Which one possesses the better flight capabilities?
- Which one is safer?
- Which is the superior model in terms of overall benefits?
And basically, which model is the better one to get…
Now as a spoiler, I have already rated these drones as follows:
Typhoon H: 70 out of 100 stars.
Regular Phantom 4: 80 out of 100 stars.
Phantom 4 Pro (P4P): 90 out of 100 stars.
While there is a similar score between the regular Phantom and Yuneec’s model, the P4P is a clear stand out and much more superior to both models. However, the majority of this comparison will not focus on the Pro, but on the regular P4.
Anyway, let us begin…
When it comes to the camera, the winner is…Phantom (regular).
Now here’s the funny thing, both these drones have the same stats on paper when it comes to camera specs:
Both cameras are 12.4 mp and shoot up to 4k at 30 fps.
However a simple YouTube search where you can find a plethora of comparisons to these models shows that the P4 model in most cases/circumstances (different lighting, locations) has a sharper image/video and by that I mean it is better able to catch the details of what is being shot at close range and at a distance. This is the most distinct difference between the cameras of these models despite the same specs being shown on paper…
However, the camera quality is part of the factor…
When it comes to the gimbal, the Typhoon H wins, by a big margin.
It has a 360 axis gimbal, meaning it can rotate completely, including up and down. This allows you to potentially shoot more professional images and videos. The Phantom does not have this. And in addition…
One of the drawbacks of the Phantom series, and by that I mean ALL of the versions of it is that they have these “stands” as I call them on which the drone is able to land. These things keep the model safe, you can catch it with your hands and it’s quite sturdy.
However, the issue this presents is when you start trying to film things in a speedy mode or turn the model too quickly. What ends up happening is that the camera will show the propellers and/or those stands which can make the final footage look unprofessional. Now of course the solution to this is to fly slow and turn slower, but still, I hope they make these stands retractable. This is something Yuneec got right with the Typhoon.
If you want to get this out of the DJI brand (currently), you have 4 options: The Mavic Pro, Spark and the Inspire 1 & 2.
Convenience (set up): Equal.
While there’s more props to set up on the Typhoon, the perk is that it’s controller is integrated with the app so you don’t need to connect your phone or download an app, everything is on the remote.
For DJI however, it is not the case and there is a requirement to connect a phone to the controller. I personally don’t mind this, but the app has been known to crash and cause problems before, so in that sense, the Typhoon will have less problems.
The sturdiness factor. Phantom 4 wins by a little…
The P4 is more dense from my experience. Now the camera itself is more exposed and subject to breaking in the event of a crash but the body of the P4 in my opinion is more resilient, meaning if it hits something, it has less chance of breaking apart.
Which is less likely to crash? P4.
Now this is an interesting take because there is 1 scenario in which the Typhoon wins by a lot, but it is something that is rare to happen. I’ll explain it in a moment, but first, the general overview of why I feel the P4 is safer to fly…
There are 2 sensors on both models. On the P4, it is on the front and bottom. On the Typhoon H, there are 2 on the back.
When you use the smart flight features of both drones, both models get about the same rating. They can return to you on auto pilot, they can follow you around, but the P4 is smarter in this regard and here is a scenario in which this is proven true:
Suppose you have the drone follow you around, but there are obstacles in the way. The P4, as long as the obstacles are in front of it will avoid them and continue to follow you.
The Typhoon H will not see this and will have a more likely chance of crashing. This scenario can be seen here.
Now obviously, to avoid any scenario like this, have the drone/s follow you in an open area, but any intermediate flier will note that circumstances change and the places where you have a chance to catch a great shot can also change, sometimes a risky video/picture presents itself and it is hard not to take that shot. In that case, I will say the P4 will have less chances of crashing.
But there is again, one circumstance in which the Typhoon H is safer…
There is a really cool, unique feature on this hexacopter (and I use that term here for a reason) and it’s that it can fly with 5 propellers if one breaks. I have however seen 1 YouTube video where this was tested and it didn’t actually happen. Perhaps the drone crashed too hard against the tree (this was on purpose) and it didn’t work out…
Now if you’re in a circumstance where a tight shot is being filmed, should this drone crash into a wall or tree, it has a better chance of “surviving” and continuing to fly because if one propeller breaks, the others take over and keep it in the air. If this were to happen with the P4, it’s going down, period.
Now if you’re a DJI fan, one solution to match this perk and protect the P4 is to buy propeller guards.
But overall, the P4 has smarter, better sensors and in my opinion better flight capabilities, therefore making it safer to fly in my opinion.
Now another issue is that the Typhoon H also appears to “drift” more in the air, while the P4 is FAR more stable, we’re talking just sitting in the same spot in the air for as long as the battery allows it. Should you try to let the Typhoon H drift, you may find yourself readjusting it from moving in an unwanted direction, and that means left/right, and up and down (it can end up hitting a tree or the ground, you won’t have that problem with the P4 if it remains in the air and has GPS connection).
Which can fly longer? The P4, but only for a min or two, despite the advertised time on both models being 25 minutes.
Which can fly farther? Without a doubt, the P4, 7-8 km to Typhoon H’s 1-2 km.
Which has more fly modes? P4, but the other also has it’s own range of options.
Which one looks cooler? It’s a preference I suppose…
For most people, the Typhoon is a clear winner here, but looks are honestly not the biggest factor when it comes to drones, at least not in my opinion. While the Typhoon initially caught my eye over the Phantom drones I saw, research led me towards the P4 (the pro one) in the end.
If you’re going to buy a $1,000 drone or something in that range, you’re probably looking for something that has the quality matching the price, not looks that match the price. Look to the above comparisons for which would be better…
Customer service in case something happens.
Yuneec wins, by a lot, I see a lot of people mention this.
Overall, which one do I prefer?
I think it’s obvious at this point that the P4 is my choice, specifically the P4P. Now I did mention I would focus the majority of this comparison on the regular P4, but here is a quick note on the P4P and how it matches against the Yuneec drone:
And that’s why I rated it 95 stars and the Typhoon H 75 stars. Now if you want to compare it to the other DJI models, I’d say the Typhoon H matches well against the Phantom 3 series and is either slightly better than most of them (there are 4) or equal to it, but once you bring in the P4 series, the gap widens.
And especially when you put in the most advanced version of the P4 (the pro), there is a huge gap in quality, especially 2 particular things: Flight capabilities (Safety) and camera quality (it’s way better).
My personal choice and recommendation will be the P4 and if you can afford it, get the P4P, as it’s next level above the regular P4.
Now I’m not trying to bash Yuneec and I appreciate their models as much as I do DJI’s, but you really are looking at a higher quality camera and overall drone with the regular P4 than you are with the other. Yes, there are certain areas where the Yuneec model holds great advantage (360 gimbal and being able to fly on 5 propellers), but that’s 2 advantage out of many factors where most go in favor of the P4.
When it comes to range, a better camera quality, a better/safer flight, the P4 wins, either by a slight or big margin and that makes it a better rated model in my opinion.