Phantom 4 vs Yuneec Typhoon H (compared side by side)
On the question of what's the most affordable aerial video platform these days… there's no denying that these two have the top spots.
The Dji Phantom 3 and the Yuneec q500 4k are still amazing devices that have quite a few cheaper alternatives.
But if you're interested in the latest obstacle avoidance technology and look to get more serious without a huge investment keep on reading.
I will try to be as unbiased as possible, as I love both of them as much. But I have to give credits where credits are due.
The battle is between a compact and technology rich quadcopter from a very popular manufacturer(DJI) and an incredibly versatile and stable hexacopter from another very respected company( Yuneec).
Don't get scared by the apparent size. The Yuneec gets much smaller when carried thanks to it's retractable legs.
Advantages and disadvantages
There is no doubt this can be a difficult choice for many people. I have taken into consideration all the aspects of both drones, and for my speciffic needs, I have reached a conclusion at the end of the article.
However, you need to see the pluses and minuses of each and take a decision for yourself. Therefore I present you with what I consider to be the main points for both drones:
DJI Phantom 4
Yuneec Typhoon H
How do the cameras compare?
Both models come with a 4k 12 mp camera that has become the standard these days.
They're both very high quality, but in terms of sensors, most people would agree that the Phantom 4 has the upper hand with it's sony exmor sensor that delivers a slightly improved image.
The difference can be subjective so I'll let you decide for yourself by showing you some actual footage below.
Is the phantom 4 camera actually better than the Typhoon H
However, I'd always pic the Phantom 4 thanks to the better sensor and light adjustment.
In the pictures bellow you'll see that the phantom 4 has better low light performance, however in some pictures, the Yuneec is sharper than the Phantom 4 and in others the opposite is true.
Tom did an excelent job comparing these two drone cameras. As you can see in the example bellow, there's a few noticeable differences:
- the colors are more varied and more accurate on the phantom 4
- the overall image is sharper on the phantom 4 (as you can see in the water fountain)
- another indicator of sharpness is the window detail at the dome on the building.
I would say the Phantom 4 has the advantage when it comes to camera specs, as the higher bitrate will mean a clearer and sharper image. Otherwise, both cameras are pretty much the same.
Both DJI Phantom and Typhoon have various shooting styles, including Dlog to improve the Dynamic range and better post processing color editing.
How long does the battery last
Typhoon H uses a 4-cell battery (one more compared to the yuneec q500 model that has 3 cells) at 5400 mAh that according to yuneec will last for 28 minutes of flight time.
From my personal experience, it is to be expected that the actual flight time is under 25 minutes, and I'm being conservative here.
The 4 cell battery has more power, a feat much needed when you're dealing with 6 rotors on a drone.
The battery for the Phantom 4 is also a 4 cell 5350 mAh, but the fact it only has 4 rotors helps a lot with the flight time, as it can go more than 25 minutes (and up to even half an hour if you hover it in one place… not like anyone ever does this).
Smart battery VS standard?
The main difference between the two batteries is that the DJI drone uses a smart battery while the Typhoon drone uses a standard one.
But don't rush to any conclusions, as smart doesn't always mean better. In my opinion, although there is a small performance advantage, the higher cost of the smart battery isn’t worth it, with a battery charger you will never have issues charging your drone, and it will also save you a lot of money if you plan on buying more batteries
Both the typhoon H and the Phantom 4 have quick release propellers, a feature that will probably become the staple of more advanced drones from now on.
The quick release props are exactly what they sound: propellers that you don't have to screw to install every time and easily snap on and off. And don't worry, these are totally safe .
The advantage of the H in this case is the hexacopter build that allows it to safely return on the ground even if one of the propellers were damaged or one motor failed.
Design And build
The Yuneec Typhoon H has the great advantage of:
- a full 360 degree rotating camera
- and retractable legs
Which in turn means more freedom in taking the right shot and full rotation capability with no stopping whatsoever.
This is perfect for panoramic shots or the times you want the drone to fly at certain waypoints while you control the camera for a very calculated and precise shot (sometimes I feel like I'm talking about some sniper business).
The build for the Typhoon H is pretty sturdy, even though the foldable design may trick you into thinking otherwise.
The arms are made out of carbon fiber, a pretty solid one for that matter. Although the folding joints for the arms are from plastic, they're solid enough and they're definitely not cheaply made, so I'd say this will safely pass the test of time.
The close up details look pretty good, but compared to the Phantom 4 they look cheaper.That's mostly because typhoon is mostly made out of plastic while the P4 uses some magnesium alloy and aluminum.
Is typhoon H a good DJI inspire alternative?
The portability of the Yuneec drone (thanks to the foldable design) is not something that can be easily ignored.
Just consider for a moment that it pretty much has a similar build as the Insipre does(I'm talking about the longer 360 rotating camera) and yet the legs use almost no space when it's stored, so it can safely be transported saving you the hustle of removing the camera just by snapping the legs towards the camera and making it into a way more compact package.
Not only that, but the camera can spin around endlessly on the Yuneec drone, yet the inspire is limited to one and a half turns. These being said, Typhoon H is a great cheaper alternative to the Inspire from DJI, but it does lack a few features and the camera quality is less overall.
But how does the size of the Typhoon compare to the P4?
On the left you have a photo next to one another and on the right you have a pretty table that shows not only the exact dimensions folded and unfolded but also most of the characteristics for each drone.
There is no doubt in my mind that everyone will think the Phantom 4 is small in comparison to the Yuneec, even if it can fold, it's still more of a hassle to carry around.
Collision avoidance sistems
The Typhoon H comes with a front facing sonar detector that does a really good job. But we've all been promised that sweet, sweet, real sense 360 degree collision avoidance technology that we've seen go viral on the internet:
We have finally received the real sense technology module in the summer of 2016 and many people are excited for it, even though you have to pay additional money for it. The basic package doesn't come included with the real sense module but it can be later added.
However if you want to buy the whole incredible package ( Including all the things you could possibly need) you have to take out a little more out of your pocket.
Drones like the new Mavic Air have this already implemented, and even bettery, I'd say. Yes, you heard that right!
The typhoon also has a pretty nice modular design that allows not only the incorporation of the optional real sense technology but also other cool personalized feats that will be developed in time. So this might prove to be a very timely platform that will stand the test of time.
Is the Phantom 4 avoidance technology any good?
The Phantom 4 smart avoidance and detection technology is pretty damn good by itself and works great if you don't plan on flying backwards too much.
The incorporated system comes with 2 forward facing cameras that can optically detect distance from certain objects and even recognize the subject and follow it. Here's a video showing a real life case where a disaster was avoided in time, while the drone was travelling at high speed.
Underneath the drone there's the already known sonar system that was present on the Phantom 3 advanced and pro versions, but this time there's also another set of cameras that improve the indoor and low level flying steadiness and become a part of the obstacle avoidance technology.
This means the area where the P4 can detect objects also extends downwards.
The field of view is 30º horizontal and 60º vertical and it can detect objects at 15 m distance, while also showing a visual cue on the transmitter regarding the object you want to detect.
Now, for the realsense on the typhooon H
The intel RealSense module for the Yuneec H will be covering everything 360 degrees around it.
This will be a considerable advantage compared to the P4, as many shots are done with the drone flying backwards(helps with taking the props out of the video). This full 360 detection works in conjunction with the ability of the camera to move 360 degrees without any obstacles and make for a great video platform.
Transmitters and flying modes
The DJI controller looks very similar to the previous versions( see phantom 3) yet it has some unique features that are worth being mentioned.
It doesn't come with an included screen like the Typhoon, so you'll have to connect it either to and android or an Iphone.
The connection works very well most of the time, however some people were complaining that sometimes you have to try a few times until it gets connected.
Typhoon H transmitter - is it any good?
The controller for the typhoon has a more integrated aproach to the design, something we've seen present in the previous models like the q500.
The build with the integrated screen running android is still there, but this time the looks differ a whole lot.
The main advantage of the Typhoon h is that you don't have to get a separate device that must also be charged separately, but you basically have a built-in android tablet (and quite a well functioning one) inside the remote.
In my opinion, the Typhoon controller looks more professional and has a better feel than the one on the Phantom 4, but to each its own.
Big plus: the yuneec transmitter features a full sized HDMI out port, so if you want to see the image on a bigger external screen, you can do that live, directly from the HDMI port, something you won't find on the DJI Phantom 4(although there's a separate module for this which can be bought for the dji craft).
Other Drones In the same price range
Bellow you can check my top drones in the same price category.
Please use the “Add to compare” button and then press on the icon on the right to compare them.
So, which one is better?
My personal choice would be the Phantom 4 from DJI because of all the reasons mentioned before.
I'll let you decide for yourself by giving you some other insight into the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Here's a 7 minute video review made by AuthenTech on youtube that will offer a bit more insight to the matter.
Below that I also made a short list of the strong points of each of the drones. Leave a comment below if you made it this far, I appreciate it!
Overall, when we put the advantages and disadvantages of both on paper, there's not a real clear difference. You must pick what you're interested in most, depending on where you're going to use it!