The History of DJI Phantom
What is a Phantom and what is the difference between all the models?
The Phantom is a drone developed by DJI. You probably already knew this, but what you did not know is that the Phantom already existed since the beginning of 2013.
DJI Phantom 1
The Phantom (also known as the Phantom 1) was the first DJI drone designed specifically for consumers. It was a multirotor that most people could order online, read the manual, and fly without much trouble.
Being one of the first RTF (ready-to-fly) drones that used GPS, it was relatively easy to fly compared to other drones at the time, but he still had some major issues. The battery did not last for 10 minutes, video footage was shaky (it looked like you were falling from the sky), GPS was not always reliable and back then many drone enthusiasts would laugh in your face if you told them you had a Phantom.
DJI Phantom 2
Less than a year after Phantom 1 came out, DJI launched the DJI Phantom 2. It was a big change compared to the Phantom 1, fixing almost all the problems of the previous model. Flight time evolved to about 20 minutes without loading a camera, it had an optional gimbal to get stabilized video images, but the biggest improvement was the ease of usee.
Here are some of the reasons that made Phantom 2 become the most popular drone of 2014.
The battery was completely different from the Phantom 1. You no longer have to worry about reading a manual just to load it, and it simply slid into the Phantom 2 as an iPhone battery .
The Software was another great improvement. One of the coolest features of Phantom 2 when it came out was a feature called Smart Guidance Control (or IOC). The IOC was a feature that made the Phantom 2 ridiculously simple to fly. Basically, any direction you pushed the levers on the controller, it would go there regardless of which direction the Phantom was looking. A lot of security features have also been added, such as flight evaluation and remaining time. This is where the Phantom 2 would automatically go home based on a calculation that looked at how far away you were from home and how much battery you still had.
Many of the Phantom 2 improvements were later used by other drone manufacturers, but that did not stop Phantom 2 from becoming the world’s most popular drone. The Phantom has appeared in commercials, TV shows, races and other sporting events, ice caves, movie sets, the White House lawn and anywhere else you can imagine.
Other versions of Phantom 2?
There were a few different versions of Phantom 2 available: the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and the Phantom 2 Vision Plus. The Phantom 2 was the basic model. It did not come with a camera or anything fancy, just the drone and an optional gimbal. The Phantom 2 Vision came with an integrated 1080p camera and could be controlled by a smartphone, but it did not have a gimbal, so it was not very useful for video. The Phantom 2 Vision Plus was a newer version of the Phantom 2 Vision that provided a 3-axis gimbal, but the quality of the video was not as good as that of a GoPro hero 4.
DJI Phantom 3
The Phantom 3 is the result of what DJI learned from the Phantom series and Inspire 1 to do something that really works majestically.
From the outside, the Phantom 3 design does not look very different from the Phantom 2 Vision Plus, but it has been completely redesigned on the inside with a larger battery, smaller fans and a large motherboard that holds most of the electronics (including Motor speed controllers).
There are two models of Phantom 3, but the only difference between them is that the Phantom 3 Professional can record in 4K, while the Advanced “only” goes up to 1080p. It seems that the DJI will not do Phantoms without integrated cameras, so if you just want something to fly without a camera, the best option would be to buy the Phantom 2, or perhaps a 3DR Solo . Launched in 2013, the Phantom has come a long way, but DJI does not want to stop there.
Seeing how Phantom 3 is selling even more than Phantom 2 (DJI aims to become a billionaire company), there is no doubt that we will still see some very interesting Phantoms in the future.