DJI has been a dominant player in the drone market. The DJI Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro are the company’s flagship offerings at different price points. People looking to buy their first drone might be wondering whether to buy the Mavic Pro or opt for the Phantom 4 Pro. DJI recently updated the Phantom 4 Pro with Version 2.0 to make it a more lucrative offering. Let’s dive into the DJI Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro to figure out which one is a better buy.
DJI Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro: Design
The Mavic Pro is smaller and easier to carry around. It folds into the size of a small water bottle that you can put into a small bag while traveling. A lot of people prefer the Mavic Pro because it is easier to transport. The Phantom 4 Pro is relatively bulkier, and you’ll have a tough time carrying it around in a bag. It requires specific travel arrangements since it doesn’t fold up like Mavic Pro. It requires its own custom backpack or case to carry it.
Besides size, another factor that plays a role in your purchase decision is the level of noise produced by each drone. The Phantom 4 Pro is notorious for producing a lot of noise. But the recently launched Phantom 4 Pro Version 2.0 has reduced the propeller noise by more than 60% to enable a quieter flying time. The Mavic Pro comes in gray color while the Phantom 4 Pro is available in the bright white color.
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DJI Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro: Hardware specs
Both the Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro are loaded with smart features such as Tap Fly, obstacle avoidance functionality, and Active Track. They are both capable of identifying railings, rocks, and other obstacles while landing. The drones are not going to land unless they feel the area is safe enough for landing.
The Phantom 4 Pro has an edge here, thanks to its infrared sensors and the back camera that give it 360-degree obstacle avoidance. When obstacle avoidance is turned on, it can fly 10mph faster than the Mavic Pro.
Controllers for both the drones have a similar range of 7 kilometers. And both the controllers operate at a 2.4GHz frequency. The Mavic Pro controller fits nicely in the user’s hand. The Phantom 4 controller has a 5.5-inch tablet-like display, a microSD card slot for playing back the footage on the go, an HDMI port, a bright screen, and a focus button integrated into the shutter button.
The built-in screen comes handy, eliminating the need to pull out your smartphone or tablet to fly the drone. The Phantom 4 Pro’s optional controller with an integrated display is a $300 upgrade, so it’s not for everyone.
DJI claims the Phantom 4 Pro offers up to 30 minutes of flight time. By comparison, the Mavic Pro has a maximum flight time of 27 minutes. This isn’t a huge difference. The Mavic Pro comes with LEDs, built-in sensors, and an Intelligent Flight Battery to display the overall status of the battery and the remaining power. The Phantom 4 Pro lacks the LEDs and battery-related sensors that you’ll find on the Mavic.
DJI Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro: Camera capabilities
This is where the Phantom 4 Pro really shines. It features a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor that can shoot in RAW. It supports up to 126GB of SD card and has an aperture of f/2.8 to f/11. The Phantom 4 Pro is capable of recording 4K videos at 60fps. In contrast, the Mavic Pro has a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that pairs with 12-megapixel capabilities. It can shoot 4K videos at 30fps.
The Phantom 4 Pro’s faster image processor, a larger image sensor, mechanical shutter, and full aperture control gives it a clear edge over Mavic Pro. Real-life tests conducted by folks at MyFirstDrone suggest that the Phantom 4 Pro performs much better in low-light conditions. It doesn’t mean the Mavic Pro is terrible, though. The Phantom 4 Pro also has a wider field of view (FOV) than the Mavic Pro.
The original Phantom 4 Pro had an older Lightbridge HD video transmission technology. But the new Phantom 4 Pro Version 2.0 comes with the same OcuSync technology for live-streaming that DJI has used in the Mavic Pro. The OcuSync technology is designed for high-resolution, low-latency video, and it delivers better performance across the board.
DJI Mavic Pro vs Phantom 4 Pro: Price
Price is one of the most important factors while determining which drone to buy. The Mavic Pro has a starting price of $999. You’d also want to buy the DJI Care, which costs $99, and an extra battery ($89) along with a few ND filters. Including the accessories and DJI Care, the total cost is going to be somewhere around $1,200.
The latest Phantom 4 Pro Version 2.0 has a starting price of $1,499. If you want the Phantom 4 Pro+ kit that includes the controller with an integrated display, you’ll have to shell out $1,799. And then there is the cost of DJI Care ($99), the extra battery ($178 per unit), and ND filters ($29 per unit). Depending on what accessories you buy, you may have to shell out close to $2,000 for the Phantom 4 Pro.
The Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro both are capable drones with pretty good cameras and similar flight times. If you are a newbie or you need a drone for casual video recording, there is no point buying the Phantom 4 Pro. You should go for the Mavic Pro, which is more affordable and easier to carry around. The Phantom 4 Pro is more suitable for professionals who want to capture the best possible footage and don’t mind its bulky design.