As a sign that progress in the drone field is extremely rapid and that competition is becoming equally fierce, DJI has unveiled its latest Phantom 4 UAV under a year after the Phantom 3 debuted.
The market is, of course, also becoming increasingly crowded, as manufacturers like DJI seek to segment it and fill every possible niche with a slightly different variant.
The new Phantom 4 though does seem to genuinely put a certain amount of clear blue air between previous generations and its own base model, notably ramping up the degree of on-board intelligence in particular and powering a brace of new features with it as a result.
These include an Obstacle Sensing System, which features two forward-facing optical sensors that scan for obstacles and automatically direct the aircraft around them wherever possible; ActiveTrack which allows users to select an object on screen via the accompanying app which the drone camera will then automatically track; and TapFly which, in a similar fashion, allows users to double tap on a destination and the drone will head for it on an optimal flight path, navigating itself around any obstacles in the way.
For advanced pilots that can eschew such frivolities, a new Sport Mode takes top speed up to 45mph and is a nod to the increasingly popular sport of drone racing.
The Phantom 4 camera, meanwhile, now includes improved optics for better corner sharpness and reduced chromatic aberration; the classic Phantom form factor has been redesigned to be more aerodynamic and features a redesigned, repositioned and improved gimball; and flight time has been extended to 28 minutes.
Also extended has been the price. The Phantom 3 cost £899 when it was launched, the Phantom 4 is going to be £1229.
More details in the press release after the break…