DJI has announced a new drone in the Phantom 4 lineup.
The Phantom 4 Advanced will take the place of the regular old Phantom 4, which will be discontinued on April 30th when the new version launches. The new drone will cost $1,349 – $50 less than the original Phantom 4’s starting price.
The Phantom 4 Advanced will borrow a bunch of features from the Phantom 4 Pro, which remains on sale for $1,499.
Most notably, the new drone will take the same 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor that the Pro has. This will let the drone capture 4K video at 60fps. It will also get the intelligent flight modes that the Phantom 4 Pro has which let you pre-program your drone to fly certain routes or follow you around.
What won’t it have? The Phantom 4 Advanced will still only have forward and downwards obstacle avoidance, unlike the Pro version’s backwards and side obstacle avoidance.
But besides that, there’s really not that big of a difference between the two.
It’s one of those things where it would make total sense to save $150 and get the advanced model (and maybe buy an extra battery with the savings). But it also kind of makes total sense to just spend an extra $150 and get the best of the best – especially when you’re already spending so much on a drone.
Essentially this new model makes it even more difficult to decide what to buy.
DJI has always approached their product lineup in this way, especially for the Phantom series. None of them are really that different (except for the old budget-conscious 3 series), and always end up being pretty similarly priced. If DJI ever reduced the Phantom 4 line to just one version not many people would probably care or notice.
Just look at GoPro – the company once sold six different cameras at once – and all of them essentially did the same thing. This led to confusion which probably hurt GoPro’s sales numbers in the long run. Now the company only sells 3 cameras in two body styles.
So DJI, just listen to GoPro CEO Nick Woodman: “When you give consumers too many choices, you confuse them, and they may end up buying nothing.”
What DJI should have done is forgotten about this new advanced version and left the Phantom 4 on sale at a newly reduced price. Anyone who wanted the better camera would have just paid a few hundred dollars more for the Pro, and the majority of customers would be thrilled they are now able to get a Phantom 4. while saving a bunch of money in the process.
And to make your decision even more difficult, DJI will still sell the regular Phantom 4 for 3 more weeks for $1,199. So you essentially have 3 very, very similar drones to pick from all within a $300 price range. Good luck.