The Rivalry between the 4K-capable DJI Phantom 3 and the Yuneec 4K Typhoon heats up
Stephan Jukic – August 18, 2015
While many people recognize the DJI Phantom family of drones, the name Yuneec often draws some blanks. However, despite being less famous than the best-selling Phantom Drone line, the Drones from Yuneec have an enormous amount of value to offer. Some might even argue that they’re every bit as good as their Phantom rivals.
The Yuneec is nonetheless growing more popular in the quadracopter drone world and can be best described as a direct competitive rival of the DJI Phantom. In particular, the Yuneec 4K Typhoon Q500 is the closest in specs and capabilities on the market to the already well-recognized DJI Phantom 3.
Both drones command nearly identical prices, with the Typhoon Q500 selling for slightly more than the Phantom 3’s $1,259 at $1,299 (the 4K camera version of the drone, there is also a $1,100 HD 1080p version). Furthermore, both drones offer very similar design and video capture features.
For starters, both drones are pretty much ready to fly right out of the box. Once in your hands, either can simply be charged and sent off into the sky to capture some truly awesome UHD footage and high-megapixel photo stills of any landscape you point it at. Both drones are also easy to control, to the point where even complete beginners could give them a spin with few likely problems, and both drones offer the excellent feature of first person viewing (FPV), which means the ability to watch a live HD feed of what their onboard cameras are seeing in real time via a transmitter signal to the hand-held controllers for both drones.
Furthemore, while many of the above features are also available in other drone brands, they work at their best and most user-friendly in both the Yuneec and Phantom models.
However, in certain key ways, the Yuneec and Phantom are also quite different, and many of these differences work more towards the Yuneec’s favour.
For starters, the slightly pricier Yuneec comes with more accessories, such as a carry case and two batteries instead of one. The Phantom, on the other hand, has a carry case which is sold separately and comes with only one battery in the box.
Furthermore, the Phantom doesn’t offer a touchscreen on its controller. Instead, you need to have a smartphone with the Phantom app installed to view what your drone’s camera is seeing in the air –something which means a more complicated overall navigation and filming process. The Yuneec Q500, does indeed include a touchscreen display on its controller and the touchscreen can also be used to access drone and video settings.
Finally, one final touch in the Yuneec Typhoon’s favor is the inclusion of a Steadygrip. This is a hand-held mount for the drone’s 4K camera, which you can actually detach from the Typhoon and use for other, ground-based 4K video projects. The built-in gimbal is also there on the Steadygrip to offer full stabilization control.
In total, while the Phantom is definitely the more recognized of the two drone brands and offers plenty of value, it seems that at least in some things, the older brand has a bit of catching up to do if it doesn’t want to lose market share to the Yuneec Typhoon. Apparently, DJI is already working on adding in some new features for its upcoming 4K drone releases but for now, Yuneec is definitely the source of better value and features for your dollars spent.
However, when it comes to aerial navigation, DJI still seems to have an edge over its more feature-rich Yuneec rival. According to trials done by a writer for Engadget, while both drones offer great aerial 4K video, the responsiveness of the Phantom 3 is definitely superior and along with this, the drone also does a superior job of maneuvering in sharp movements while still keeping its camera very steady. However, even here, the Typhoon beat out the Phantom 3 in terms of battery life.
Story by 4k.com