The DJI Phantom 4 is the basic model of the Phantom 4 drone series. The P4 is no longer manufactured by DJI as of April 30, 2017, so we HIGHLY recommend upgrading to the new DJI Mavic Pro which starts at $749.
The release of a new Phantom brings a host of new features, wonders, and...questions. What is ActiveTrack? What is TapFly? Do I need to update my DJI app? How do I update my firmware. Don't fret: Drone World has you covered with a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) answered below.
1. What is ActiveTrack?
ActiveTrack allows an aircraft to track a moving subject without a separate GPS tracker. Simply tap on the mobile device screen inside the DJI GO app to select the subject to be tracked. The aircraft will lock on the subject and start tracking it automatically from a safe distance.
2. What is TapFly?
TapFly means you can fly in any direction with a tap of the finger, without a remote controller. With Obstacle Avoidance turned on, the aircraft will automatically avoid obstacles, slow down or hover when required, provided that the scene is bright enough ( < 300 lux) or too bright ( > 10,000 lux).
3. What is the Phantom 4 Obstacle Sensing System?
The Phantom 4 is equipped with an Obstacle Sensing System that constantly scans for obstacles in front of it, allowing it to avoid collisions by going around, over or hovering.
4. Why does the Phantom 4 have a composite core?
The advanced composite core embedded into the aircraft greatly increases rigidity, minimizing unwanted vibrations. This ensures the precision and performance of the inertial measurement unit (IMU). The weight of the aircraft is also reduced through this composite.
5. What changes were made to the Phantom 4 remote?
The Phantom 4 introduces a Sport mode, accessible through a new trio of modes, P, S and A.P (Position) mode is the standard mode, giving access to normal flight as well as Intelligent Flight Modes, ActiveTrack and TapFly.S (Sport) Mode unlocks maximum flight speeds of up to 44mph (72kmh)A (Attitude) Mode remains the same and removes satellite stabilization in flight. It allows the Phantom to move more smoothly and naturally.The ‘Playback’ button on the top right of the remote controller has been changed into a ‘Pause’ button that lets you put the Phantom into hover during any Intelligent Flight Mode, ActiveTrack or TapFly with a tap.
6. What improvements have been made to the Phantom 4 Vision Positioning Unit?
The Vision Positioning System now uses four sensors to increase hovering accuracy and reliability, creating a more controlled flying experience. Its sonar system has been improved and now functions from up to 10 meters off the ground. In ideal situations, these combine to give the Phantom 4 Vision Positioning System a vertical hover accuracy of +/- 0.1 m and a horizontal hover accuracy of +/- 0.3 m.
7. What is the effective range of the Obstacle Sensing System on Phantom 4?
The effective range of the Obstacle Sensing System is 0.7 to 15 meters. Although the DJI GO app will indicate when there are obstacles present, pilots should always be paying attention to the aircraft during flight.
8. Does Obstacle Sensing System work in all modes?
The Obstacle Sensing System can be enabled in ActiveTrack, TapFly, Normal mode and all Intelligent Navigation functions.
9. What are the major improvements in the Phantom 4 propulsion system?
The motor on the Phantom 4 is designed to work with the latest Push-and-Release Propellers. With this locking mechanism, propellers can withstand drastic changes of motor speed, allowing the aircraft to be more agile and more responsive to the pilot command.
10. How long does the Phantom 4 using the new Intelligent Battery?
At sea level in calm environments when flying in Atti mode, the Phantom 4 can achieve 28 minute flight times. This will vary due to different flight patterns, weather conditions and altitudes.
11. What are the major differences between the Phantom 4 propellers and the Phantom 3 ones?
The new Push-and-Release propellers are faster to install and more secure than the Self Tightening propellers used previously. This security allows them to handle faster acceleration and harder braking.
12. What makes the Phantom 4 gimbal better?
The gimbal and camera system is integrated into the body, bringing it closer to the aircraft’s center of gravity. It is also made of a rigid and strong composite material
13. What makes the Phantom 4 camera better?
The Phantom 4 camera has been improved in terms of image quality. Chromatic aberration has been reduced by 56% and lens distortion had been reduced by 36% compared to Phantom 3 Professional. In addition to lens improvements, camera firmware has been tweaked to enable the camera to capture 120fps video in full 1080p FHD (the camera’s field of view will be reconfigured to 47° when recording in this mode) for smooth slow motion. The camera is also used for ActiveTrack and TapFly modes.
14. Why add a redundant IMU and compass to the Phantom 4?
A redundant IMU and compass enhances system reliability. The Phantom 4 can constantly compare data received from both IMUs and then navigate itself using the most accurate data. The same is true of the redundant compasses.
15. What are the highlights of the Phantom 4 remote control and live feed?
The Phantom 4’s remote control and live feed is based on DJI Lightbridge technology, providing effective control range of up to 3.1mi (5km) in unobstructed areas that are free from interference. Its HD live feed gives you an exact view of your flight, perfect for composing shots.
16. Does the Phantom 4 have Return-to-Home?
Yes. It also has Smart Return Home which engages the Obstacle Sensing System during return to home flight. If the aircraft sees an obstacle on its way back, it will intelligently avoid it as it comes home.
17. What’s the purpose of the Sport Mode?
Giving a top speed of 44.7mph (72Kph), Sport mode can be used for fun, letting you fly faster than ever, or to get to your shoot location while the light is perfect.
18. What’s the horizontal speed of Phantom 4 in Atti Mode?
The horizontal speed of the Phantom 4 in Atti mode is 44.7mph (72kph).
19. What is the difference between Sport Mode and Atti Mode?
Though Phantom 4 can fly up to 44.7mph in both Sport Mode and Atti Mode, Phantom 4 will use GPS/Glonass and its Vision Positioning System to achieve precision while hovering. In Atti Mode, GPS and Vision Positioning System will not function to aid the aircraft in terms of hovering or navigation.
20. In ActiveTrack, how do you untrack the subject? What happens to the aircraft after you stop tracking?
Tap the Stop button on the left of the screen or pull the pitch stick backward for 3 seconds to exit ActiveTrack. After exiting, the aircraft will hover in place. At this point you may choose to start a new mission or bring the aircraft back to the Home Point.
21. How small an object can the Obstacle Sensing System see?
The minimum pixel size that the Obstacle Sensing system can see is 500 pixels.
22. What is ActiveTrack’s minimum altitude?
ActiveTrack will work down to 9ft (3m) above the ground.
23. Does Drone World offer any upgrades on the Phantom 4?
24. Does the Phantom 4 really reach 3.1 miles?
Your mileage may vary. DJI reached 3.1 miles in optimal conditions. From what we've gathered, typical signal range is 1 to 1.5 miles with the factory remote.
25. How much farther does the Range Extender reach?
The Phantom 4 Range Extender typically hits past 4 miles and maxes out at 5 in our tests in normal conditions.
The Phantom 4 is a marvel to behold, but has since been surpassed by the newer Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ models. With the debut of the Mavic Pro in November 2016, DJI flexed its muscles and demonstrated why it continues to be the top drone maker in the world year after year. To learn more about how these drones stack up to one another, visit our Phantom vs Mavic Pro comparison page.