DJI’s New Phantom 4 (Almost) Flies Itself

That’s one smart drone

DJI has officially announced their newest drone, the Phantom 4, and with it, the company hasn’t just upgraded the speed (it can now go as fast as 72kmh) and range (it now has a higher 28-minute flying time) of their newest flying camera – they’ve upgraded its smarts too. It’s now capable of avoiding obstacles in front without the intervention of the operator, can track people, cars and really any object you choose and can almost fly itself.

Yes, the Phantom 4 is smart – like, really, really smart. The new flying camera has had a major upgrade in its sensors, and aside from its main 4K capable camera that’s stabilized in an all new gimbal, the Phantom 4 has two additional front facing cameras that’s used for its Obstacle Sensing System. The cameras spot objects that’s right in front of it and changes course like a wizard so it doesn’t hit whatever it’s flying at. If that’s impossible, it stops and hovers, hopefully before hitting a wall.

Phantom 4 track

Another new feature for the drone is object tracking and following. The tech itself isn’t that new – some commercial drones can already do that, though that requires the person (or object) being tracked to have a GPS or location device. The difference with the Phantom 4 is that it can track onto almost any object that the operator wants by simply selecting the object that needs to be tracked. The Phantom 4 is smart enough to keep that object or person in view, all the while being aware of its surroundings and avoiding any obstacles along the way.


An extension of this feature is TapFly. The operator simply has to pick a spot in the video stream, tap on it and the Phantom 4 will fly to that location by itself, again avoiding any obstacles along the way. It’s an awesome new feature that allows more novice pilots can fly to sketchier locations that they previously couldn’t because they were too scared to try.


The new Phantom 4 will be priced at $1,399 at launch, or around Php 66K.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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