By James Trew
The similarities between DJI’s and Yuneec’s consumer quadcopters are many. Both have 4K cameras with stabilizing gimbals. Both are “ready to fly,” which mostly means there’s no assembly required; just charge and go. Both are easy for beginners to control, and both offer first-person view (aka FPV), or the ability to see what the camera is seeing in the air in real time, usually via the transmitter/controller. There are other products that offer a similar feature set, but DJI and Yuneec have done a good job packaging them in ways that appeal to new flyers and hobbyists alike.
There are also some significant differences and on paper, at least, many of them are in Yuneec’s favor. Despite being slightly more expensive, the Typhoon offers better value. The $1,299 4K version is available with a carry case (you’ll need to buy one for your Phantom). It also comes with two batteries versus one on the Phantom. Then there’s the transmitter, which has a built-in touchscreen display. This is how you view what the Typhoon’s camera sees (you can also use it to access settings). In contrast, DJI users need a phone to do this, this approach works well, but is one more thing to bring along/charge. The last, and perhaps coolest extra with the Typhoon, is the Steadygrip, a hand-held mount for the 4K camera. Detach it from the drone, clip it to the accessory and you can film smooth video on the ground, too. DJI’s working on a similar product, but it’s not available yet, and won’t ever be in the box of the Phantom 3 (the camera is non-removable).