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DJI Phantom 4 Advanced


DJI Phantom 4 Advanced

The DJI Phantom 4 Advanced and Advanced+ drones combine the airframe of the original Phantom 4 with the upgraded camera of the Phantom 4 Pro.


  • Pros

    20MP camera with 1-inch sensor. 100Mbps 4K video at up to 60fps. Automated flight modes. High-performance Sport setting increases top speed. Available with or without integrated tablet.

  • Cons

    Obstacle detection not as robust as Pro model.

  • Bottom Line

    The DJI Phantom 4 Advanced and Advanced+ drones combine the airframe of the original Phantom 4 with the upgraded camera of the Phantom 4 Pro.

By Jim Fisher

DJI has been adding more and more drones to its lineup over the past couple of years without formally discontinuing models. The result is a lot of choice for buyers at almost every price point imaginable, but if you're just starting to search for a drone, all the models can be confusing. The latest members of the family, the Phantom 4 Advanced ($1,349) and the Advanced+ ($1,649) are actually replacing a model, the Phantom 4 ($1,349), which DJI states will be discontinued at the end of April.

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What's New and What's Not

The Phantom 4 Advanced is a mix of two models, the Phantom 4 it replaces, and the Phantom 4 Pro, which remains in the lineup at $1,499. There are no changes to the flight hardware, so if you read our review of the Phantom 4 you'll get a good handle on what to expect in flight.

As for video and imaging quality, the 4 Advanced uses the upgraded camera we first saw on the 4 Pro. It has a much larger image sensor than the cameras used by the Phantom 4 and earlier Phantom 3 drones, which leads to better image and video quality. It also ups the video bit rate to 100Mbps (from 60Mbps), supports 60fps 4K capture (up from 30fps), and has a mechanical shutter to eliminate the rolling shutter effect when shooting stills. For more detail on the camera, read our review of the Phantom 4 Pro.

What you don't get are the additional obstacle avoidance sensors on the Phantom 4 Pro airframe. The Advanced has two forward sensors that will prevent you from flying into something head-on, but it lacks rear and side sensors. It does have the downward-facing Vision Positioning System, which is useful when flying in indoor environments where GPS stabilization isn't available.

To Plus or Not to Plus

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced+ RemoteThe Advanced is also available as the Advanced+ for $1,649. The extra $300 gets you an integrated tablet on the remote control, so you don't have to use your smartphone to run the drone.

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When we tested a similar setup on the Phantom 4 Pro+, we found that there were some deficiencies with DJI's tablet. Its screen is big at 5.5 inches and very bright, but it was slow to load flight logs, and there wasn't an easy way to load map data for a region. When you use your smartphone to fly, map data is loaded from the cellular network. We'll see if DJI has addressed these issues when we get an Advanced+ in for evaluation.

Which Drone to Buy?

The Phantom 4 Advanced offers almost all of the functionality of the pricier Pro, at a slightly lower price point. The big loss is the rear obstacle sensors—if you plan on flying backward, they can save your bacon. The Pro's infrared side sensors, which are also omitted, are more limited in functionality, only working when the drone is set for low-speed operation. They're not a great loss.

In the past we've seen prices fall on DJI drones—the Phantom 4 sells for under $1,000 now, and you won't find a better drone at that price. Its camera sensor is small, but it delivers excellent footage in daylight. The advantages of the better camera in the Advanced and Pro models comes in still imaging and at higher ISO sensitivities. The 4 Pro is still selling at its full retail price, making the Advanced an attractive option if you want to save a little bit of money.

The Phantom 4 Advanced and Advanced+ are available to order now and are shipping at the end of April. We'll deliver our final verdict when we've had a chance to test them.

headshot By Jim Fisher Senior Analyst, Digital Cameras

Senior digital camera analyst for the PCMag consumer electronics reviews team, Jim Fisher is a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he concentrated on documentary video production. Jim's interest in photography really took off when he borrowed his father's Hasselblad 500C and light meter in 2007. He honed his writing skills at retailer B&H Photo, where he wrote thousands upon thousands of product descriptions, blog posts, and reviews. Since then he's shot with hundreds of camera models, ranging from pocket point-and-shoots to medium format… More »

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