EDIT: Banggood currently offer 8% off with discount code 8RCHOBBY reducing the price to £458.23 delivered which is a fantastic price but don’t forget to factor in import duty.
It’s been a few months since I started learning how to fly quadcopters using both the Cheerson CX-10 and WLToys V686G. Whilst I still enjoy both these entry level (and entry cost!) models, I’ve begun to look at what could be the next step in continuing the hobby. The V686G is incredibly fun and fantastic value for what it offers but the desire for longer flying times, useable range and better quality video is strong. As ever I feel incomplete without researching a new gadget and I was glad to have received an email from Banggood letting me know they now have stock of the DJI Phantom 3 Standard!
The “Standard” model is the latest entry from DJI in their highly successful Phantom 3 line and borrows many features from its older brothers the “Advanced” and “Professional” whilst simultaneously reducing the price to a very affordable sub £500. DJI had been getting more expensive with each new offering such as the beautiful, but circa £2000, “Inspire 1“. I believe the release of this model is to ensure DJI retain market share from companies such as Wingsland who have started producing low-cost (<£500) quadcopters such as the Scarlet Minivet.
With the Scarlet Minivet now priced at around £400 and only sporting a tiny FPV display and 1080P camera the choice to pay under £100 more for the Standard is easy. Just look at the comparison table below to see why. While I’m at it my opinion is that this version makes the older Advanced model obsolete due to the reduced price. The Advanced has a few features which are missing from the Standard but none that the budding amateur aerial photographer can’t do without, especially as these extra capabilities add around £280 depending on the retailer. Those willing to spend more are likely to turn to the Professional Edition which will future proof their purchase with the inclusion of a 4K camera.
Features found on the Advanced but not the Standard include: 60 frames per second full hd recording, DJI’s Vision Positioning System (allows you to hover in place without GPS signal for example indoors), the ability to add ND filters to the camera to aid photos/videos in overly bright shots, a more complete (but potentially more confusing) controller and a longer range on both control and video transmission. To be frank, with increasing chance of legislation against the use of drones out of visual range, and the fact that the Standard model can still fly up to a kilometer away, this longer range is likely to be limited in its use.
This table is a comparison of the basic differences between the four models mentioned in this review. I haven’t included the Inspire 1 as it doesn’t really fall into the same category in terms of price and features. Likewise I also haven’t included specs that the DJI models share. The information is that taken from the manufacturer’s data sheets and not subject to testing. If I have made any errors or omissions please let me know in the comments. Those looking to research further can find the full DJI comparison table here.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard Edition is a welcome entry into the DJI line up. Few buyers will be concerned that it lacks some features present in its bigger brothers and at the price point it is currently unbeatable. Expect this to sell well in the run up to Christmas! You can pick yours up at Banggood here for the lowest price I could find (from a retailer I trust).