PROS / The drone has a built-in camera and a three-axis, brushless gimbal to keep it steady.
CONS / This drone isn't as simple to fly as others on the market.
VERDICT / The Phantom 2 Vision+ drone is small but sturdy. It is a serious UAV that takes phenomenal photographs from impressive heights.
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ is, without a doubt, the best fully assembled drone we reviewed. With its built-in, stabilized, high-definition camera, a transmitter and GPS positioning, this radio-controlled quadcopter includes everything you need to hit the skies and get great footage. It has a Wi-Fi booster to extend range, so it can fly higher and further than other RC drones. Together these traits make it worthy of the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for the best RC drone.
This drone flies up to 33.5 miles per hour and can remain stable through moderate winds and some rain. However, when dealing with the elements and even during the sunset, you may end up with in less optimal photos and videos. You can fly the quadcopter for 25 minutes on a single charge – one of the longest flying times for consumer drones.
DJI’s drone is powered by a 5200mAh LiPo battery and it has an operating range of 2,000 feet. When the drone flies out of your sight, you can use your iOS and Android screen to see what the camera sees, allowing you to pilot the drone easily. When the battery gets to low or you fly out-of-range, the GPS will send it back to you to land safely.
This personal drone comes ready to fly and requires no assembly at all, just charge the included battery for three hours and you are good to go. The quadcopter is small enough that you can store it in a backpack after removing the rotor blades. It measures just 13.8 x 11.4 x 8.1 inches and weighs around 3 pounds.
Flying the drone is a bit more complex than flying a toy helicopter. It definitely sits on the higher end of the spectrum for consumer-level drones. It is geared toward hobbyists, professionals and aerial filmmakers. Controlling the drone will take some practice, and you’ll definitely want to read the instruction manual and watch some tutorial videos online before taking it for a spin.
Its built-in GPS allows the UAV to maintain its location mid-flight, preventing the drone from drifting off. It also keeps your picture steady, resulting in more clear photos and videos. The built-in camera captures14-megapixel stills and 1080p high-definition video.
The Phantom 2 Vision+ has a three-axis, brushless gimbal which keeps the camera stable, When you turn the drone clockwise, the gimbal will follow suit and also turn the same number of degrees clockwise. This keeps the camera and drone in sync so you can produce smooth and sharp-looking video. If you want to modify the drone for carrying some cargo, it stows a payload of about 300 grams.
The drone pairs with your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet through an app. You can map out your flights beforehand, meaning the aircraft will fly itself to a fixed point you set in advance, hover at the fixed point and then will fly to the next assigned point.
It even has a return-to-home setting, allowing the drone to fly itself back to its starting point in the event that it loses connection with the controller or the batteries die. You will want to avoid using this setting if you take off from a boat, because the GPS is frequently off-point by a couple feet, thus increasing the probability of automatically landing in the water.
Accessories & Supplies
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ has one of the shortest setup times and is quite user-friendly after some practice. This pre-built drone can be less expensive than assembling a similar drone with almost the same specifications and after purchasing the essential accessories like a transmitter, memory card, GPS receiver and others, which are all included with this setup. You also get a transmitter, a transmitter battery, some extra propellers and a clip to attach your smartphone. Not to mention, the drone has a built-in first-person view (FPV) camera which is incredibly expensive and difficult to install using a third-party kit on a custom drone.
Help & Support
DJI has a warranty for its Phantom drones, but its duration depends on the part, which ranges from three months to a year. However, if you crash your drone, you won’t be covered under warranty. If something goes wrong with a part or your drone is malfunctioning for some reason, the manufacturer will take care of it, even if you didn’t purchase the drone directly from DJI. You have telephone, email and online chat available for some help. Also, the manual, the app, updates and software are all available for download online.
Overall, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ is the best consumer drone available. It comes with everything you need to fly, and it performs phenomenally. Plus, it has built-in GPS and a camera that takes incredible photos and high-quality aerial footage.