If you’re looking for a solid, affordable camera drone whether you’re an amateur or a pro, then the DJI Phantom 3 Standard in its current price range is perfect.
- Ready to fly
- Easily operated
- Solid upgrade from the Phantom 2
- Excellent companion app
- Clear and steady video
- No GLONASS satellite system
- May need to upgrade firmware out of the box
- Pricey for a mid-range drone without a 4K camera
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone Full Review
A camera drone billed as the best beginner quadcopter for its price and specs, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is ready-to-fly and fully capable of capturing astonishing 2.7K-resolution videos with its built-in camera. Released with the other Phantom 3s in DJI’s lineup, this is the one that’s by far the least expensive and beginner-friendly model. Being less expensive, though, doesn’t mean that it lacks all the great features that can be found on its larger siblings. It retains the Intelligent flight modes that are included in all the higher end models of the brand, as well as Automatic Flight Assistant to make it as user-friendly as ever. The Phantom 3 is a powerhouse for its price range; unparalleled functionality with the simplest of learning curves, all wrapped in a very accessible price point.
A great starter drone for both the hobbyist and budding pro alike, the Phantom 3 Standard is an excellent addition to DJI’s already impressive Phantom lineup of quadcopters and drones.
- Maximum flight time of 25 minutes
- Removable 4480 mAh intelligent flight battery
- Built-in GPS for assisted flight modes
- Max transmission distance of 1000m
- Max service ceiling of 6,000m above sea level (software limits it to 120m from takeoff point)
- Max speeds: 5m/s ascent, 3m/s descent, 16m/s max speed (with no wind and ATTI mode enabled)
- Gimbal-mounted camera for different angles; pitch of -90 to 30 degrees
- 12 MP camera for still shots
- Video recording up to 2.7K (2704x1520p) at either 24/25/30 frames per second; Full HD (1920x1080p) also supported at 24/25/30 fps, as well as HD (1280x720p) for full 60 fps
- Supports file formats of .jpeg and .dng for photos; .mp4, .mov for videos
- Live view available from companion phone app, with quality up to 720p at 30fps
The Phantom 3 Standard is basically designed as a ready-to-fly, easily operated quadcopter with drone capabilities. It’s a step up for DJI from its Phantom 2 series in almost every way, with the most exceptional being its recording capabilities. The Phantom 3 Standard can shoot up to 2.7K videos at 30fps, which already brings crystal clear viewing to the next level. The remote was also improved, with the Phantom 2 Vision+ being much bulkier than this model. It can also keep up a max flight time of 25 minutes, which is surprisingly better than most other models.
It has its own companion app for your smartphone which you connect into the remote, the DJI Go app. It allows for greater control over all aspects of your flight, being that it is effectively a router. The app is compatible with most Android and iOS devices, so connecting it should be pretty easy. It also allows a live feed view with its powerful transmission of 2.4 GHz. All of the camera settings and controls including the gimbal is intuitively operated through the app. The HUD is excellent and has all the useful facts in monitoring your flight, from flight time remaining, GPS positioning, signal strength and others.
The camera is very good, capturing fully optimizable stills from its 12 MP camera. Mostly though, you will end up appreciating its video recording quality more. Sporting one of the higher video resolutions (second only to drones sporting 4K UHD resolutions) clocking at 2.7K, video clips captured are definitely smoother and crystal clear. The quality is beyond excellent and sports plenty of detail. There is also a live-stream video option compatible with YouTube, so all your fans can watch.
Being much less expensive than its siblings gives the Phantom 3 Standard some disadvantages as well. It lacks the GLONASS satellite system found in the Advanced and Professional models and is stuck using only the GPS. It’s also without the Visual Positioning System which makes using the latter models easier to handle indoors. The mere size of it, coupled with that integral feature missing, means that you will rarely end up using this inside your house, unless you want to compromise the drone itself.
There is also a need to update the firmware once you take it out of the box, so it’s not as ready as it claims. Add that to the fact that sometimes there is no notification that there is a software update, and basically it turns from easy to intermediate levels.
The price can also prove to be trouble. Even though it’s currently being sold on almost all DJI-approved affiliated stores on sale, it’s still pretty pricey for a mid-range. You can even consider it lower high-range, which describes it better. Typically, on sale at around $800, most shops have slashed about half of that to bring its price to a more reasonable $450. But then again, if the price spikes up, then it might be good to consider looking for a cheaper model because it effectively becomes a high-range product as well.
The Advanced and Professional models also carry on their controllers DJI’s Lightbridge technology which helps for a better image and video transition between the sky and ground. Instead, it only uses a Wi-Fi range extender, so there is potential for some delay or even loss of signal in the video downlink. This also effectively cuts down the transmission range to 1000m.
Occasionally, the camera will also catch some parts of the drone while shooting. This is very rare though and more likely due to gimbal movement and placement.
If you’re looking for a solid drone whether you’re an amateur or a pro, then this drone in its current price range is perfect. It’s easily the best in said price range, and for the most part the 2.7K video resolution is a steal at the price. If it moves up to its original price, however, there are other solid options available which won’t put a hole in your wallet. However, for its current price, you’ll find no better quality drone.