DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, has unveiled its latest product: The Phantom 4.
Heralded as the world’s smartest consumer drone, the Phantom 4 has received some pretty major upgrades from its previous version, the Phantom 3.
DJI says the Phantom 4 is so smart it can automatically detect and avoid obstacles, preventing potential collisions with trees, low lying cables and buildings.
The Obstacle Sensing System uses two optical cameras on the front of the device and two underneath which constantly scan for objects. Capable of sending obstacles in its flight path from up to 15 metres away and 10 metres underneath, the Phantom 4 simply flies around anything that appears in its flight path.
If an object is unable to be avoided, the Phantom 4 will stop and hover in mid-air until instructed what to do next, such as return home.
Perhaps most impressive of all, the Phantom 4 includes a new feature called Active Track which enables it to follow and video a subject of your choice. Selecting the subject is simple, just tap on the screen and the Phantom 4 will follow the subject until you tell it to stop.
Other new features include an improved 12MP camera capable of shooting 4K at up to 120 frames per second, as well as a new lock propeller system which should make switching propellers easier and eliminates the need to use any kind of wrench or other tool.
The new Tap Fly feature ensures that the Phantom 4 is easier to fly than any other DJI drone and probably the easiest drone to fly on the market today. Just select Go on your smartphone and tell it which direction you want it to go and the drone will do the rest. Select another direction and off it goes, you don’t even need to learn how to properly fly the thing, which might not be such a good thing!
In terms of looks, the Phantom 4 introduces a completely sleek new design. In addition, the gimbal has been redesigned and the motors have been raised all of which help to improve flight performance and efficiency.
Inside, DJI has added a 5,250mAh battery which is enough for 28 minutes of flight time, compared to the 21 minute flight time of the Phantom 3.
The new model has a top speed of 45 miles per hour when in sport mode and is capable of flying to maximum height of just over 10 metres.
The DJI Phantom 4 is one sale now from DJI.com with shipping due to start on March 15th.
DJI has also signed up to an exclusive agreement with Apple, meaning it will also be on sale in Apple stores.
However, whether you could legally fly one of these things in Thailand remains to be seen.
Whilst lots of people do these types of devices, it had previously been announced that the government was set to ban the use of drones/quadcopters/ UAVs (call them what you will) in Thailand.
With that being said, how strictly potential rules related to the flying of drones are enforced is anyone’s guess.
It’s probably not a good idea to fly one next to Suvarnabhumi airport or in the centre of Bangkok. But out in the country or on a secluded beach with no one else around you might be OK.
If in doubt, check with the local authorities.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.