DJI Phantom 5 is Coming Soon, Isn’t it?

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The DJI Phantom 5 drone rumors and speculation continues…

Its drones have not been out of the spotlight since Frank Wang founded DJI in 2006. No one can buy a good reputation—it’s earned. Well, DJI made its name and continues to excite fans around the world.

There’s nothing a drone enthusiast loves more than a new product launch. What they don’t like, however, are the never-ending rumors, speculation, and fake release dates. Most of these come from unverifiable sources. We saw it with the Mavic 2 and now the same thing with the DJI Phantom 5. This article looks at this speculation to see what’s really going on.

Phantom 5 Production Snags?

We’ve seen rumors that production snags were responsible for delayed announcements. Production hitches, in general, tend to be good news. Longer holdups often signify substantial differences rather than minor upgrades of previous models. The downside to highly anticipated product launches is the potential for an anticlimax. In other words, the hype over-promises, and then under-delivers.

Leading Up to the Phantom 5

The Phantom 3 was released in April 2015. The Phantom 4 was released less than a year later, in March 2016. The release of the Phantom 4 series looked like this:

  • Phantom 4 Pro, released November 2016
  • Phantom 4 Advanced, released April 2017
  • Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian announced in 2017 (IFA trade show)
  • Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 announced in May 2018
  • Phantom 4 RTK released October 2010

Three years on from the release of the first Phantom 4 and we’re still waiting for the P5. Some may even wonder if the Phantom 5 was—or continues to be—nothing more than a marketing ploy. It’s a reasonable assumption when you consider how long these rumors have been circulating. All the same, the Phantom 5 has kept DJI in the news and the conversations alive.

What We Know About the DJI Phantom 5 so Far

The latest chatter on the DJI Phantom 5 is that it’s happening and coming soon. Some suggest that the recent dwindling stocks of the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 are deliberate. The insinuation is that DJI’s making way for its new Phantom 5—unconfirmed, as always. Some online sources are more credible than others, but for now, they’re still speculative.

There’s no leaked release date either. Industry insiders expect to see an announcement toward the end of the first quarter of 2019 or the beginning of Q2. There is also a lot of talk about two Phantom 5 models, namely Advanced and Pro versions. No one knows whether DJI will announce them at the same time even if the rumors are true.

Here’s what we “suspect” we now know about the all-new DJI Phantom 5 drone:

  • A total remodeling of the body
  • Obstacle avoidance on six sides
  • Hasselblad camera sensor and 3x optical zoom lens
  • Phantom 5 Pro version with interchangeable lenses
  • Faster top speed reaching 44 mph (88 km/h)

Here’s what we can be more precise about:

  • It’s going to be a four-rotor quadcopter
  • It will maintain a familiar Phantom look
  • Anticipated costs to range from $1100 to $1500 depending on the model
  • Guaranteed hit with fans of DJI camera quadcopters

Here are a few things on the wish lists of Phantom enthusiasts:

  • Can use cheaper, third-party batteries
  • Tracking system independent of GPS
  • New and interesting flight modes
  • Improved flight time and extended flight range
  • Two transmitting bands, i.e., 2.4 GHz/5.8 GHz
  • Gesture mode technology and palm launch/landing
  • Retractable landing gear

Some or even all the above may materialize in the new Phantom 5. These are the kinds of things people are talking about, and some of them are inevitable. It’s my guess, though, that we’ll see a few surprises as well. Part of us wants to know what those are. Most of us also want the company to reveal a few surprises on the day of release.

Annoying Fixed Landing Gear

There has been a lot of talk about retractable landing gear, but this is less certain. Still, all Phantom pilots would welcome some form of retractable landing equipment. A lot of the competition now uses retractable landing gear as standard. The Yuneec Typhoon H is one, and the Walkera Voyager 4 is another to name two. Will the DJI Phantom 5 follow suit?

It would be a huge benefit if the Phantom 5 came with retractable landing gear. That will be one of its most exciting features if it happens. Retracting legs takes them out of the shot and helps the aerodynamics. The quad’s camera could then spin at 360° without obstructions.

Why Wait for the DJI Phantom 5 Quad?

Why do drone enthusiasts get so excited about new DJI product launches? The answer is simple. With each new release come valuable feature enhancements. These typically result in improved designs and the latest technologies. If there were little or nothing to shout about then the interest wouldn’t exist.

DJI will aim their new Phantom 5 at the prosumer level and serious hobbyist. There’s nothing wrong with other DJI Phantoms of course. Some models are a perfect match for a pilot’s needs and budget.

It’s All About You — Well Almost!

The hard-working teams at DJI collect user feedback over time. They use that data to help create new products or enhance existing models based on user demands. The DJI Phantom 5 will be no different. That’s why some rumors are easier for experts to predict than others.

DJI can’t possibly grant all consumer wishes. For example, we’d all like to see third-party battery capability in the new Phantom 5. It’s not likely to be a feature in the new Phantom 5, though. DJI smart batteries are excellent, but they’re also expensive. That’s because DJI wants to remove 3rd party battery failures as the cause of accidents. It also profits by selling DJI dedicated batteries.

Final Thoughts

There are some out there who think the whole story is hot air. By that I mean they don’t believe there’s a Phantom 5 on the way. They assume DJI has gone as far as it can with its Phantom series. The DJI Spark, the DJI Mavic, and the Inspire have also gone as far as they can, suggest some. They feel that new drones—not new versions of existing models—are the way forward after a point. Others think there’s always room to improvements of popular models.

DJI has never failed to innovate and surprise us with their inventions. Not one of us outside the company has a crystal ball, though, but some are pretty good at guessing.