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DJI introduces the Phantom 3 Standard, a cheaper model missing some crucial features

DJI introduces the Phantom 3 Standard, a cheaper model missing some crucial features


It's better than the best Phantom 2, but not good enough to be only $200 cheaper than the Phantom 3 Advanced

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The DJI Phantom is our favorite consumer drone, and today the company introduced a new low-end model of the latest generation, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. It's $799, compared to $999 and $1,250 for the Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional, respectively. But unless you're on a budget to the point where $200 is make or break, I would say that this newest offering isn't a sweet deal.

The lower price on the Standard means you don't get access to most of the high-end hardware that's new on the Phantom 3: no downward-facing camera, no LightBridge video downlink, and no ability to connect with the GLONASS satellite positioning system. These are the features that make the Phantom 3 more stable and secure outdoors when it can reach satellites, and allow it to fly more precisely indoors when you don't have a signal. Without the LightBridge, you also can't use the coolest new feature of the Phantom 3: live streaming.

Of course, that's the glass-half-empty version. If you're comparing the Standard to the $699 DJI Vision 2+ you're getting a unit with a nicer camera, better range, and longer battery life. You also get an improved flight controller and an integrated remote that removes the need for an external Wi-Fi range extender. You will also be able to use whatever apps developers create for the Phantom 3 line, although many of those may rely on hardware that the Standard is missing.

So yeah, if you're deciding between a $700–$800 drone, get the Phantom 3 Standard, not the Vision 2+. But if you have $800–$1000 available, you're should splurge on the Phantom 3 Advanced.