PHANTOM 3 VS PHANTOM 4 Drone comparison

Are you comparing drone Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4 quality, performance & price?  Drones don’t come cheap. So, before you purchase a drone, it is very important for you to do thorough research. If you are thinking of buying a DJI drone like Phantom 3 Pro Quadcopter or the Phantom 4 Quadcopter, you have the opportunity to know the difference between the two so that you can make your judgment on which one to go for.

Flight Performance

When it comes to flight performance, the two are not the same. The flight range for Phantom 3 is almost 1 mile. But the flight range for Phantom 4 is 3 miles. The difference is clear. The gap is due to the improved technology of the Phantom 4. For flight time, Phantom 3 can fly for about 23 minutes, while Phantom 4 will fly for about 28 minutes maximum. Regarding their top speeds, the Phantom 3 top speed is 35.8 mph, while that Phantom 4 is 53 mph.

Phantom 4 is fitted with an Intelligent Flight battery. The Intelligent Flight battery allows the Phantom 4 to fly farther than the Phantom 3. This is the reason Phantom 4 is able to fly for a maximum of 28 minutes, compared to Phantom 3’s 23 minutes. The signal of the Phantom 4 is also stronger than that of the Phantom 3. With 28 minutes maximum flight time and 3 miles range, the Phantom 4 is able to reach new heights and farther distances that the Phantom 3 can never reach. This is a big plus for Phantom 4. Phantom 4 is the clear winner in these areas.

phantom 4

phantom 4

Camera Quality

When it comes to camera quality, the Phantom 4 has a bit of an upper hand. The camera shots of both drones are very impressive.  The maximum image size and filter are the same. The newly improved camera lenses of Phantom 4 produce sharper and clearer pictures. The Phantom 4 camera and its gimbal look much like that of the Phantom 3 but Phantom 4 has got a support link that is well mounted on the drone which makes for a firmer camera-built. The software feedback is faster when it comes to the interaction between the camera and the pilot.

The Phantom 4 has the capacity to film at 120 fps in 1080 resolution. The Phantom 3 is not capable of doing this. The video recording of the Phantom 4 is far sharper than that of the Phantom 3.  When it comes to megapixels, Phantom 4 has got 12.4 megapixels; while Phantom 3 has 12 megapixels. Notice that the difference between the two is .4 megapixels. The .4 megapixels difference is not just for the fun of it. It shows up in the picture output of the Phantom 4. The Phantom 4 delivers better clearer video too than the Phantom 3. Phantom 4 beats Phantom 3 in these areas even if it is with a slight difference.

Obstacle Avoidance Safety Feature

There is a remarkable improvement here when it comes to the obstacle avoidance safety feature. Phantom 4 is able to detect any kind of obstructions even from a distance of 50 meters. This makes it possible for users not to crash into obstacles. This is a great feature that beginners and professionals would find very useful. Phantom 3 does not have an obstacle avoidance safety feature. To take it higher, Phantom 4 has got obstacle detectors on the sides of the drone. Phantom 4 carries the day because of its obstacle avoidance safety features.

Tracking Capability

Phantom 4 has an improved tracking capacity with its Follow Me feature which has been renamed Active Track. The Active Track allows the tracking of a subject without using the GPS signals. This is not the same as the Phantom 3 Pro which uses a Follow Me feature that is based on the Machine Learning Algorithms (MLA) technology. The Phantom 4 also has a new feature called Tap Fly. The Tap Fly feature allows a pilot to tap the device screen, and the drone will fly to that particular direction. The Phantom 4 is declared the winner because of its Active Track and Tap Fly features.

Easy Setup and Flying

Sending Phantom 4 to any location is very easy and simple too. Phantom 4 has got an improved Vision Positioning System which allows it to fly conveniently. Phantom 4 can land on surfaces that are not level without any problems. It has dual GPS/GLONASS navigation systems that are assisted by more than 30 satellites that help to ascertain the location of the Phantom 4 drone anywhere in the world. This is different from the Phantom 3 that is assisted by 20 satellites. Phantom 4 is also very easy to set up. Repairs and disassembling of the Phantom 4 is no problem at all. The propellers can be set up within 30 seconds while it takes more than 2 minutes to setup Phantom 3.


Flight Speed

When it comes to flight speed, Phantom 4 is faster than Phantom 3. Phantom 4 is able to accelerate faster due to its more efficient and effective motors that are more powerful than that of the Phantom 3. Phantom 4 also has a superior battery. There is also the Sports mode. The combination of the Sports mode and the very easy to install Phantom 4 propellers allow the drone to maximize its optimum potentials. This helps to send a lot of power to the motors thereby giving the Phantom 4 the force to lift itself very easily and fly at top speed.

Flight Modes

The two drones have a variety of intelligent flight modes. These flight modes can easily be operated after installing the DJI app. The flight modes are:

Follow Me – This instructs the drone to follow the operator.

  • Waypoints – This gives the users the advantage to set the waypoints. This makes the flight of the drone to be automated.
  • Course Lock – This makes the controls of the drone to operate in tandem with the direction of the flight.
  • Point of interest – This could be used for the purpose of selecting an object or person. This will make the drone to just fly in circles over the head of the operator without stopping.

Phantom 4 got upgraded with new flight modes that make it beat Phantom 3 hands down. These new flight modes are:

  • Tap Fly – This flight mode is very interesting. With this mode, you can just tap a point with the help of the DJI app and the drone will fly to the exact direction you tapped.
  • Active Track – This flight mode is most useful for photographers. The drone will just follow a subject. It will follow the subject at the center of the drone’s camera frame.

Battery Life

For Phantom 4, the battery is a big deal. The battery capacity is 5,350 mAh and its battery energy is 81.3 WH. For Phantom 3, the battery capacity is 4480 mAh and its battery energy is 68 WH. There is a big difference. There is 870 mAh difference in battery capacity; and 13.3 WH difference in terms of battery energy. This is why the Phantom 4 can fly for extra minutes. So, when it comes to battery life, Phantom 4 leads. DJI

Reliability & Redundancy

No doubt, Phantom 3 is still very much a good consumer drone, but the Phantom 4 has taken the game to a whole new level. Phantom 4 has two accelerometers. It also has two compasses too. These two important features help the Phantom 4 to remain very stable when flying in the air. If it happens that these two features fail, it would impact negatively on the drone which may make it drop from the sky. This is the main reason for extra sensors so that there would be more redundancy. The good news is that the Phantom 4 flight computer uses these two extra sensors to obtain very accurate information; thereby making the Phantom 4 drone to be very stable when it is in the air.

Specs Comparison PHANTOM 3 VS PHANTOM 4

Phantom 4
Phantom 3
4k Ultra HD
4k Ultra HD
Internal Mount 3 Axis
3 Axis
Top Speed
53 mph
35.8 mph
Signal Range
3 miles
1 mile
Flight Time
28 minutes
 23 minutes
Battery Capacity
5,350 mAh
4480 mAh
Obstacle Avoidance
Flight Sensor (Indoor)
30 – 50 feet
6 – 10 feet
Camera Control
Remote App
Remote App
Video Transmission System
DJI Lightbridge Video Download, 5 km range
DJI Lightbridge Video Download, 5 km range
Battery Charger
100 Watts
100 Watts
Optical Sensor
No Sensor
Outdoor Positioning Module
GPS & GLONASS Dual Positioning Module
GPS & GLONASS Dual Positioning Module
Maximum Image Size
4000 x 3000
4000 x 3000
Maximum Video Bitrate
60 Mbps
40 Mbps
Weight (Battery & propellers included)
1380 grams
1280 grams
Battery Energy
81.3 Wh
68 Wh

There is no doubt Phantom 4 is far better than Phantom 3 because of its new features. But, you can not completely dismiss Phantom 3. If you are looking for a budget drone, Phantom 3 will be your best bet. If your reason for purchasing a drone is for the purpose of land surveying or taking still images, Phantom 3 can still serve you well. If you want to fly higher and take photographs from impossible angles that Phantom 3 is not capable of, Phantom 4 will do the job for you very creditably. If you want to do video capturing, Phantom 3 will still deliver.


When it comes to flight performance, Phantom 4 is well-preferred over Phantom 3. When it comes to obstacle avoidance, Phantom 4 should be your choice. Phantom 3 does not have an obstacle avoidance feature. If you go for Phantom 3, the drone may crash after hitting an obstacle; and this means you have lost money. However, if you want a drone that can accomplish basic tasks, you can still go for Phantom 3, but you must fly at a low range. Phantom 4 is worth spending the extra cash on because of its advanced technology like the Tap Fly, Active Track, and the Intelligent Flight battery.

For battery capacity, you would want to choose Phantom 4 over and above Phantom 3. With a battery capacity of 5,350 mAh and battery energy of 81.3 WH compared to Phantom 3’s battery capacity of 4,480 mAh and battery energy of 68 WH, it is obvious, Phantom 4 is the preferred choice.

Phantom 4 flies at approximately 45 mph which is about 20 meters per second while Phantom 3 flies at approximately 35.8 mph which is at about 15 meters per second.

Decision makes:

The camera is a big plus for Phantom 4. The newly designed lens of Phantom 4 increases picture sharpness which results in better picture quality; a quality the Phantom 3 does not possess.

When it comes to video, the Phantom 4 delivers a very clean and clear video; Phantom 4 delivers 4k video at 30 fps and Full HD at 120 fps which is able to capture slow motion. Phantom 3 cannot capture slow motion. Hope our comparison of P Phantom helped you to find the best drone.

With our analysis, we are sure now in a better position to make your choice. Good luck to you!

Leave a Reply