DJI Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 Review: An Even Better Drone
We think it is safe to say that the original DJI Phantom Pro 4 to this day still stands its ground as one of the best high-end drones in the market. With a camera able to capture 4k video, an intelligent flight system, above average flight time, and a sleek professional look, the Phantom Pro 4 made huge waves in the industry back when it was first launched. For this very reason, the prospect of an improved version, the Phantom Pro 4 v2.0, made us so excited for what DJI had in store.
Is the new and improved version of the Phantom Pro 4 worth it? Read on and find out.
The Version 2.0 of the DJI Phantom Pro 4 boasts 3 new features:
1. Improved rotor blades
Similar to the Mavic Pro Platinum, the upgraded Phantom Pro 4 comes with a set of improved propellers. The new 9455S propellers look radically different, with thicker blades and tapered tips that go off at an angle. The shape of these propellers promotes better aerodynamics, thereby providing better lift, less resistance, and less noise.
Another neat thing about the new propellers is that they are backwards compatible. This means that you can use them with your old Phantom Pro 4 or Phantom Pro Advanced to get noise reduction, although this reduction may not be as pronounced as what you will observe with the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. The V2.0 bundle comes with 2 sets of these upgraded propellers.
2. Upgraded ESC
The Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 shares another similarity with the Mavic Pro Platinum. It comes with an upgraded Electronic Speed Controller (ESC), which is basically responsible for controlling the rotation of its motor using a series of alternating magnetic pulses. Instead of the square wave drives of the motors of the original Phantom Pro 4, the motors of the V2.0 are controlled by a sinusoidal signal. This upgraded ESC ensures a smoother motor rotation, free from the inefficiency and noise of the stuttering pattern provided by the square wave signal.
3. Upgrade to controller with OcuSync technology
The new Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 comes with a brand new remote controller that communicates via OcuSync technology. An upgrade to the Light Bridge, OcuSync has been shown to deliver less latency, resulting in smoother and faster video reception. DJI also says that OcuSync has a greater transmission distance, reaching up to 7 km or 4.3 miles.
Another neat thing about the OcuSync is the fact it is designed to be used with the DJI FPV Goggles. FPV flight is pretty much the ultimate experience for drone pilots, and the OcuSync technology makes it butter smooth and infinitely more immersive.
The standard controller that comes with the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 has a built-in clamp contraption to hold your phone or tablet. You also have the option of buying the Plus Version, which its own built-in LED screen. The monitor has a built-in Android system and is pre-loaded with the DJI GO app. The best thing about the Plus Version of the remote controller is that you no longer need to worry about whether your phone has enough charge for the flight, or whether the app has been updated.
What do all these upgrades mean?
The upgrades made to the V2.0 may seem quite minor compared to the already top-of-the -line features of the original Phantom Pro 4. What are the benefits of the upgrades that DJI has made to one of their best drones?
1. Less noise
One of the selling points of the newly redesigned propellers is that they decrease drag, thereby reducing the level of noise of the drone while in flight. Noise reduction is not just about the propellers, though. The sinusoidal signal of the new ESC also contributes to reducing the noise level by making the motor run with a smoother profile, instead of the stop-start pattern of the old motor.
How significant is the noise reduction? Some users have reported that the new drone model is up to 60% quieter than the original Phantom Pro 4. This might be a great advantage for certain situations, such as when you are shooting drone videos in an intimate setting such as a wedding.
You may also buy the new propellers separately and use them with your original Phantom Pro 4. Making the propellers backwards compatible is a great move for DJI, and we commend them for being inclusive of all users, old and new alike. You are going to get some noise reduction by using the redesigned propellers with your old drone, but it will not be as pronounced since it lacks the benefits of an upgraded ESC.
2. More stable flight
The drones under the Phantom Pro line have a reputation for being very stable. The combinations of its powerful motors, engineered propellers, well-balanced frame, and intelligent flight system deliver stable flight even in windy or otherwise non-ideal conditions. With the V2.0, we can only imagine that the stability of the Phantom Pro 4 has been even improved. Stability is one of the key advantages of the Phantom Pro drones, and the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 will probably not buck the trend in that aspect.
3. Longer battery life
A huge advantage of the more efficient motors and more aerodynamic propellers is the fact that it contributes to a longer battery life. Instead of burdening the Phantom Pro 4 V.20 with more powerful batteries, DJI chose to go the smarter route and found smart engineering solutions to extending battery life.
The original Phantom Pro 4 already had a stellar battery life of about 30 minutes, but the V2.0 improves on that with an additional 2 or 3 minutes. This length of time may seem very short, but experience drone users know that a few seconds worth of extra flight may be just what is needed to capture that perfect drone photo or video.
4. Wider transmission range
As already mentioned, the OcuSyn technology boasts of allowing for a greater transmission range compared to the LightBridge. This ability does require a bit more power from the remote controller, but the ranges that can be reached by the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 have surprised even highly experienced drone users. Aside from battery life, distance is pretty much the name of the game in the drone world. The upgraded Phantom Pro 4 certainly delivers in that aspect.
Is the V2.0 worth it?
One thing that needs to be said about the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 is that it is quite expensive. After all, the Phantom Pro drones are some of the most premium drones produced by DJI. In terms of flight stability, camera quality, battery life, and usability, the original Phantom Pro 4 still remains in the top of the list a long time after its initial release. If you are looking for a truly professional drone experience, then you will not go wrong with the Phantom 4 drones.
The V2.0 is slightly more expensive than its predecessor. We agree that the updates are great and that they foretell great things for the future of drones, but we are not so sure that it is worth it to upgrade to the V2.0 if you already have a Phantom Pro 4. At best, the upgrades provide a marginal improvement to the drone flight experience.
For those of you buying a new Phantom 4 drone, then you will not be disappointed with the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. There is a reason that DJI has stayed at the top of the game, and that is the superior quality and consistency of its drone products. In addition, DJI has great after-sales service.
Even considering all of the other high-end drones out in the market today, we still consider the original DJI Phantom Pro 4 as one of the best options. With its remarkable flight stability, and its high quality camera, the Phantom Pro 4 truly feels a step beyond being merely a hobby drone. We think it will remain as one of the top choices for people who want to use drones for a professional service.
With the release of the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0, DJI even further improves on one of their best drones. The upgrades may seem marginal, but we like the direction that DJI is going in terms of innovation and finding creative solutions. A longer battery life has always been the ultimate dream for drone enthusiasts, and we are glad to know that DJI is working on the problem.
An upgrade to the V2.0 may not be practical if you already own the original Phantom Pro 4. We feel that the upgrades add very little to the experience, and you might be better off just waiting for the eventual release of the Phantom Pro 5. However, if you are yet to purchase that professional level drone that you have always wanted, then we can recommend the Phantom Pro 4 V2.0 with confidence.