The Parrot Bebop drones are powerful and affordable machines but how do they stack up against DJI’s Phantom models? We will put each drone to the test, across a range of categories, so that you know precisely what each model can and can’t do. We will award points for each category and tally up the results. This will help us determine an overall winner as well as the best value for money. So, let the battle begin.

Camera Quality

To take high quality still shots you want as many megapixels as you can get. As you can see below, the Phantom 4 Advanced and Pro are the clear winners with 20-megapixel cameras. The Bebop and Bebop 2 come in a distant second place with 14 megapixels.

The Phantom 4 Advanced and Pro are also the best at recording video. They can capture ultra-high definition (4K) footage at 60fps. The Bebop drones come last in this category, as they can only film in 1080p, which is noticeably lower quality than 2.7K and 4K.

ModelMegapixelsFrames per second
Bebop1430fps (1080p)
Bebop 21430fps (1080p)
Phantom 3 Standard1230fps (2.7K)
Phantom 3 4K1230fps (4K)
Phantom 3 Advanced1230fps (2.7K)
Phantom 3 Pro1230fps (4K)
Phantom 41230fps (4K)
Phantom 4 Advanced2060fps (4K)
Phantom 4 Pro2060fps (4K)

+1 for the Phantom 4 Advanced

+1 for the Phantom 4 Pro

Flight Time

Each drones’ maximum flight time is shown below. Just remember this is only achievable under ideal conditions.

ModelMax Flight Time (minutes)
Bebop11
Bebop 225
Phantom 3 Standard25
Phantom 3 4K25
Phantom 3 Advanced23
Phantom 3 Pro23
Phantom 428
Phantom 4 Advanced30
Phantom 4 Pro30

The Phantom 4 Advanced and Pro win this category with 30 minute flight times. The Phantom 4 is the runner-up with 28 minutes. The Bebop 2 is in the middle of the pack with a time of 25 minutes.

The best way to extend flight time is to simply purchase a spare battery. You can then quickly land your drone, replace the dead battery for a charged one, and get back to flying.

+1 for the Phantom 4 Advanced

+1 for the Phantom 4 Pro

Max Speed

When it comes to speed, the Phantom 4 range outflies the rest. These drones can hit a max speed of 45mph. The Bebop 2 is the runner-up with 40mph, closely followed by the Phantom 3 range at 38.5mph.

Unfortunately, the Bebop is far behind the pack with a meager 29mph max speed.

Remember, these speeds can only be reached when flying horizontally with a tailwind.

ModelMax Speed (mph)
Bebop29
Bebop 240
Phantom 3 Standard38.5
Phantom 3 4K38.5
Phantom 3 Advanced38.5
Phantom 3 Pro38.5
Phantom 445
Phantom 4 Advanced45
Phantom 4 Pro45

+1 for the Phantom 4 Advanced

+1 for the Phantom 4 Pro

Flight Distance

A drone’s flight distance is how far it can travel before it can no longer receive commands from its controller. The Phantom 4 Advanced and Pro win yet another category with their 4.3-mile range.

Just remember, it’s illegal in many locations to fly beyond your line of sight, so you probably won’t be hitting these distances anyway. In addition, the further you fly, the greater the chance of a connection dropout occurring and possible loss of, or damage to your drone. That’s why it always pays to be conservative with your flight distance.

ModelMax Flight Distance (miles)
Bebop1.2
Bebop 21.2
Phantom 3 Standard0.6
Phantom 3 4K0.75
Phantom 3 Advanced3.1
Phantom 3 Pro3.1
Phantom 43.1
Phantom 4 Advanced4.3
Phantom 4 Pro4.3

+1 for the Phantom 4 Advanced

+1 for the Phantom 4 Pro

Obstacle Avoidance

To prevent an accidental crash into a tree, some drones come equipped with obstacle detection sensors. These cause the drone to halt its flight should it be on the verge of a collision. The table below shows which drones have these sensors, as well as their directions of operation.

ModelObstacle Avoidance Sensors
BebopNo
Bebop 2No
Phantom 3 StandardNo
Phantom 3 4KNo
Phantom 3 AdvancedNo
Phantom 3 ProNo
Phantom 4Front and bottom.
Phantom 4 AdvancedFront and bottom.
Phantom 4 ProFront, bottom, rear, and sides

The Phantom 4 Pro has the best sensors of the lot. Its system can detect obstacles from every direction. The Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Advanced also have powerful forwards and downwards-facing sensors. Unfortunately, the Bebop range and Phantom 3 range miss out on this technology.

+1 for the Phantom 4 Pro

Vision Positioning

All the drone models, expect the Phantom 3 and Bebop range, have downwards-facing vision positioning sensors. These help the drones accurately determine their position when operating low to the ground. This helps reduce the chance of crashes and allows them to hover in place with minimal displacement. Overall, this is a handy safety feature.

+1 for every drone, expect the Phantom 3 and Bebop range

Portability

If you’re going to be carrying your drone long distances, then you may be concerned about its weight.

ModelWeight (grams)
Bebop400
Bebop 2500
Phantom 3 Standard1216
Phantom 3 4K1280
Phantom 3 Advanced1280
Phantom 3 Pro1280
Phantom 41380
Phantom 4 Advanced1370
Phantom 4 Pro1390

As you can see, the Bebop is the lightest drone: weighing in at 400 grams. It is also the smallest with dimensions of 15 x 12.9 x 3.5 inches. This puts it at around half the size of the Phantom drones.

+1 for the Bebop

Controller Functionality

Phantom controllers are all rather similar. Each one has two steering sticks and multiple buttons to control the drone’s flight and camera. They also include a mount at the top for attaching a smartphone or tablet so that you can view and control the drone’s flight using the DJI App. Just remember, the Phantom 3 has a more dated controller that doesn’t have a mount big enough to fit a smartphone.

The Bebop drones use the Parrot Skycontroller, which functions similar to the Phantom controllers. There is a mount in the center for attaching your device (tablet or smartphone), and then on each side, there is a control stick and buttons.

Overall, all the controllers function pretty similar, and the only significant differences are their transmission ranges (which we have already discussed in the Flight Distance section).

Modes

Each drone has a variety of intelligent flight modes. To set the mode for any Phantom drone, you will need to download the DJI App onto a smartphone or tablet. You will then have access to a range of options, which include:

  • Follow Me: Causes the drone to lock on to its operator and follow their movements.
  • Tapfly: As the name suggests, users simply tap a position on the DJI App, and that’s where the drone will fly.
  • Waypoints: This allows users to create an automated flight path for their drone by setting waypoints.
  • Beginners Mode: Limits speed so that novice flyers can practice safely.
  • Sport Mode: Allows the drone to hit its max speed.

To use the Bebop modes, you will need to download Parrot’s FreeFlight Pro App onto a smartphone or tablet. These modes are mainly designed to help users record footage from a variety of angles. Mode options include:

  • Tornado: Causes the drone to orbit a subject.
  • Parabola: This mode causes the Drone to fly in a semi-circle around a selected subject.
  • Boomerang: Causes the drone to fly away from its operator and then return, just like a boomerang.

Overall, it’s pretty hard to select a winner in this category. It is quite a subjective decision to decide which modes are best, and regardless of which drone you select, you will have many options.

Price

You can see the approximate prices for each drone below. These figures are for standalone drones with a controller. Check Amazon yourself to see the latest deals.

ModelApproximate PriceCheck Current Price
Bebop$200
Bebop 2$400
Phantom 3 Standard$500
Phantom 3 4K$600
Phantom 3 Advanced$700
Phantom 3 Pro$700
Phantom 4$750
Phantom 4 Advanced$1,100
Phantom 4 Pro$1,400

There is also a range of different bundle deals available for each drone. These can include a variety of different accessories. However, some items are a bit superfluous. You should be most interested in spare batteries, charging hubs, SD cards, spare propellers, and perhaps a carry case. Just make sure you scrutinize the inventory list for each bundle so that you know exactly what you’re getting.

The Bebop is noticeably cheaper than the other drones.

+1 for the Bebop

Total Score

You can see the scores for the category winners below.

ModelScore
Bebop2 (Portability, price)
Bebop 20
Phantom 3 Standard0
Phantom 3 4K1 (Vision positioning)
Phantom 3 Advanced1 (Vision positioning)
Phantom 3 Pro1 (Vision positioning)
Phantom 41 (Vision positioning)
Phantom 4 Advanced5 (Camera, speed, range, flight time, vision positioning)
Phantom 4 Pro6 (Camera, speed, range, flight time, obstacle avoidance, vision positioning)

Which Drone is the Most Powerful Overall?

The overall winner is the Phantom 4. It smashes the Bebop drones, as well as the other Phantom models when it comes to camera performance, flight capabilities, and obstacle avoidance. Of course, this is to be expected, as it does cost about 3.5 times as much as the Bebop 2 and 7 times as much as the Bebop.

If you want the best machine possible and are comfortable paying around $1,400, then the Phantom 4 is the ideal choice.

Which Drone is Best for Those on a Budget?

This is a bit of a toss-up between the Phantom 4 and Bebop 2. Now, the Bebop 2 is extremely cheap (at only $400) and may serve as a good first drone for some, as it is portable and has decent flight capabilities. You could go even cheaper and get the $200 original Bebop, however, you would get stuck with an 11 minute flight time and 29mph max speed. These specs really make it feel more like a toy than a drone.

For those not on quite such a tight budget, then we recommend the Phantom 4. At only $750, you are getting a 4K camera, obstacle avoidance capabilities, and solid flight performance.

Conclusion

Overall, the battle between the Bebop and the Phantom range is rather one-sided. The Phantom 4 models are vastly superior machines when it comes to pretty much everything. Of course, this is also reflected by their hefty price tags.

We also reckon the Phantom 3 range outclass the Bebop while being fairly similar in performance to the Bebop 2.