DJI has released two new drones onto the public after the recent DJI Mavic launch, but which one is better? They are priced differently, with the Phantom 4 Pro coming in at $1,499 and the DJI Inspire 2 costing $3,000. It would seem that there have to be significant advances offered in the Inspire 2 to make it worth the massive difference.
We’re going to compare them on a point by point basis for those of you who want to know what features set them apart.
After all, while the Inspire 2 may be the more technologically advanced and fully featured drone, you may not need all the extra bells and whistles it has to offer. Looking at a detailed comparison between the two can help you make a more informed decision and use your money in a way that’s going to make you happier in the end.
Round 1: Navigation
The Phantom 4 Pro comes fitted with five sensors, allowing it to “see” obstacles around it fairly well. If you fly in the obstacle avoidance mode, then you won’t have to worry about hitting much of anything. The sensors will do a lot of the work for you, automatically steering it out of harm’s way and protecting your investment. The Phantom may be much cheaper than the Inspire 2, but it is still a costly drone, and you want to safeguard it. Thankfully, the obstacle avoidance option makes that easy, so long as you remember to turn it on.
The Phantom 4 Pro is designed not to be lost our get out of your control. It will warn you when it is close to getting out of range, and if it doesn’t manage to escape the range of your controller, it will return to the last position it was receiving signal and wait there, hovering, until you give it a new command.
It also comes with a return home feature that lets you bring it right back to where you are, with the touch of a button. This feature works for up to 984 feet.
The Inspire 2 comes with built in sensors on the front, top and bottom, allowing it to detect obstacles as you approach them. You may not use those top sensors very often, but if you are flying it indoors, in an enclosed space, you’ll be glad you have them to keep you from hitting the ceiling.
Round 2: Speed
The Phantom 4 Pro can reach speed of up to 45 miles per hour when flying unassisted. If you want the obstacle avoidance setting to be turned on, however, you should expect a speed closer to 31 miles per hour. That is a significant improvement over the last model’s speed.
The Inspire 2 can move at a blistering 67 miles per hour, which means it’s faster than about any city traffic other than taxi cabs. It takes only 5 seconds to reach 50 miles per hour. It was previously announced that it would reach that same speed in 4 seconds, but that’s been shown to not be the case now. If that’s really a deal breaker for you and you already ordered yours, then you can get a full refund from the manufacturer. It ascends at 23 feet per second and descends at 30 feet per second.
Round 3: Camera
The Phantom 4 Pro comes with a 4k camera that can shoot in 30 or 60 frames per second for the best picture quality available. There’s also an SD slot on the camera so that you can record and transfer videos you have taken.
The screen is built into the controller and is brighter and better connected than it has ever been. There are very few performance and latency problems with this model and the way it connects to the camera, making for a very clear, very reliable picture that truly justifies the price point.
The Inspire 2’s camera shoots in 4k and 5.2k, for a sophistic and technologically advanced video streaming experience unlike any other. Like the Phantom 4 Pro, it also has an SD slot, so it’s simple enough to take your videos with you on the go. The difference is the Inspire has two slots for added capabilities. It actually comes with two cameras. The first one is the cinematography camera, which allows you to take expansive views of the drone’s surroundings.
Those are the shots you’re going for with a drone flying up in the sky, but you also want to be able to look out where you are going. The smaller, first person camera mounted on the drone’s front allows you to do that. It can be independently controlled and its video feed shows up independently in on the controller’s screen. You never have to worry about accidently running into something because you were too busy looking at beautiful sites through the main camera.
There are two separate controllers, so you can have two people operating the drone at once, which is really the best way to go. One person can be taking the video and concentrating on getting the best shots, while the other can watch out for obstacles and ensure the drone doesn’t get destroyed.
If you’re spending $3,000 on a drone, you definitely want to make sure that you protect your investment.
You can easily swap out the lenses on the Inspire 2, which makes it simple to get just the right shot every time. You may want to change out the lenses for different times of day so that the sunlight won’t affect your shots. People who don’t take a lot of pictures may not have much use for the lens swapping ability, but it’s there if you want to make use of it.
Round 4: Control
The two drones have very similar control setups. They are made by the same company, so its seems obvious that they will use what works well across both drones. There are some minor differences, of course, but these are mostly superficial, and the overall controller design is going to be easy to get used to no matter which one you have used before. People can go from the Phantom to the Inspire and back against without much problem and without having to feel like they need to relearn everything.
Both drones come with a lock on feature. This lets you pick a post you want to hover around, and then the drone will start circling until you tell it to stop. This can be great to scare away intruders or to get a full view of a certain object. The lock on capability also allows the camera to track an object while the drone flies in another direction. That’s ideal for tracking pursuit craft or for maintaining focus while continuing on a flight path.
The control is very similar on both of these, and they have a lot of shared features. That’s not to say they are basically one and the same drone, because they aren’t, but when it comes to control, they match up pretty evenly.
Round 5: Design
The Phantom 4 Pro is really easy to set up. The propellers clip onto the motor, which means you can set it up in just a few minutes. If you’re one of those people who wants to get their drone up and flying moments after the box comes in the mail, then this one is for you.
The DJI Inspire 2 looks very similar to its previous model. That one was excellent, so there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken, but several key upgrades were made on the new model. These are mostly small changes that make it more efficient and ensure it handles better. It has a new, harder outer body, thanks to the magnesium allow it is constructed out of now.
The DJI Inspire 2’s battery life is up to 27 minutes now. It also comes with backup redundancy batteries to ensure that if the first battery fails while it is in flight, the drone won’t drop to the ground and smash into a million pieces. Another new improvement is a self-heating battery, which ensures that you can take it out into freezing temperatures and still fly it around, not worrying about whether the battery will give out.
Both drones are very lightweight in their designs. You can pack them up in a carrying case and take them with you wherever you go, making it no hassle to transport them. Because of their light weight, however, you do need to be careful about putting them out in harsh weather. High winds can really tear them apart, as will any flying debris. They can stand up to moderate winds, but at a certain point, the wind may become too strong for them to fight back and your drone can become damaged.
Should You Buy the DJI Phantom 4 PRO?
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between these two drones. For many people, there’s not going to be enough extra stuff on the DJI Inspire 2 to warrant paying double the price of the Phantom 4 Pro. Obviously, if you are working with a budget, the Phantom is going to seem like the more appealing choice. After all, it’s not a cheap drone that will only last you for a short while before you need to replace it. It’s cutting edge, but with some substantial downgrades from the Inspire 2.
Still, you can’t go wrong with either one of these. They both have some great features, and they are both going to make just about any drone enthusiast happy. The Inspire 2 certainly has more going for it. The addition of the first person camera, the extra SD slot, the faster acceleration and other features make it a stand out drone and one of the best out there.
Whether it’s worth it for the additional cost will be up to you. Do you really need another SD slot? Is that second camera going to benefit you enough to warrant the higher price? The DJI Inspire 2 is definitely the better drone, but it’s cost is going to turn away a lot of buyers who aren’t prepared to shell out that much money for a drone.
For our money, the DJI Inspire 2 is worth its price tag. The real game changer is the way it allows two people to control it at once, ensuring that you can get a great video from it while still watching out for obstacles. The drone is designed for people who want to take high end videos and move at incredible speeds. Remember, its top speed puts it about 20 miles per hour above the Phantom 4 Pro.
This is not the drone for the average consumer. It is intended for a small sector of the drone population. If you don’t think you are going to be using the video streaming all that much, then you should definitely go with a cheaper drone that fits your desired feature set a little better.
The Phantom is designed more for the average drone user.
Its return home technology and obstacle avoidance features ensure that your investment will be protected. It has failsafe after failsafe built into it to make sure it doesn’t get lost or fall out of the sky. The DJI Inspire 2 has that to some degree with infrared sensors and backup batteries, but we think the Phantom does a better job of it.
In conclusion, you just need to decide what you want your drone to do. If you are okay with a drone that tops out at 45mph but will likely be flown at 31 or slower for most of the time you are using it (for safety reasons), then you should be just fine with the Phantom. If you need something for state-of-the-art video streaming and capture, then you can’t do better than the DJI Inspire 2. We imagine most people will just look at the price difference and decide that there’s no way they are paying an extra $1,500 for some upgrades.
DJI Inspire 2 is not available for market at the time of writing this post.