April 06, 2016

Black vs White – Yuneec's Typhoon H vs DJI’s Phantom 4

Amidst the excitement of Yuneec’s Typhoon H release this year are the whispers and expectations of DJI loyalist that Typhoon Hwill not hold a candle against DJI Phantom 4. Both aerial photography drones are expected to be released this year in a classic battle of black vs white with Yuneec’s Typhoon H only being available in black and DJI Phantom 4 only being available in white.

Yuneec’s greater stability vs Phantom 4’s greater fly power:

Firstly, the Phantom 4 is a quadcopter with 4 rotors and Typhoon H is a hexacopter with 6 rotors. On the pro side, this increases Typhoon’s stability because even if a rotor fails or malfunctions, the Typhoon H can land safely whereas Phantom 4 wouldn’t be able to remain airborne long enough to descend safely. On the con side, Typhoon H’s weight is 1850 grams/4.1 pounds whereas Phantom 4’s weight is 1,380 grams/3 pounds.  As a result, the Phantom 4 has an edge on speed and maximum flight time with a speed of 20.0 m/s (45 mph)  for a maximum flight time of 28 minutes as compared to Typhoon H’s speed of 10.0 m/s or 22 mph with a maximum flight time of 25 minutes. Typhoon H has a much higher maximum flying altitude, nearly double of the Phantom 4. While Typhoon H’s maximum altitude is 1000 meters/3280.84 ft, Phantom 4’s altitude is 500 meters/ 1,640 ft.  It should be kept in mind that maximum flying altitude is defined as the height above sea level that the drone can fly, not the height above the ground which is determined by the operating range. Similar to the maximum flying altitude, Phantom 4’s operating range is significantly greater than the Typhoon H’s operational range with Phantom 4 possessing the capability of flying 5,000 meters (16,404 ft) away from the controller (some test indicate up to 4 miles away) whereas Typhoon H can manage only 1,000 meters (3,281 ft). In the US, recreational drone flight is limited to a ceiling of 400 feet (125 meters) above ground level. If you're flying in an area with more relaxed regulations, you can set the maximum altitude for each UAV from within the app.

Typhoon H is easier to carry:

Typhoon H OEM BackpackTyphon H’s arms can be twisted off and it can be curled into a ball for handy carriage in its hard shell case which is an additional accessories to the basic package or in a large back pack. The Phantom 4 on the other hand does not have this convenience.   The Phantom 4 does not have retractable landing, making it a bit hard to transport. Therefore for the aerial photographer on the move, the Typhoon H may be more handier than a Phantom 4. The additional battery included among the Typhoon H’s accessories but not with Phantom 4 also increase Typhoon’s portability.

Price Range:

On the face of it, Typhoon H is priced at $1299 whereas Phantom H is priced at $1399 giving it a clear price edge. Both have 12 megapixel cameras with max video resolution of 4K but the Typhoon H’s camera allows 360 degree shooting. The Typhoon H also has a hard shell carrying backpack and extra battery, not to mention it does not require a tablet unlike Phantom 4. The extras required for Phantom 4 have a rough price of $350 at least, therefore for people not already possessing the accessories, the cost would be roughly the same. To sum it,  Phantom 4 has a slighter higher flight time, a much higher operating range, maximum altitude, and a higher speed. On the other hand, Typhoon H has the 360 degree shooting feature and the built in tablet. The feature that really sets Typhoon apart however is the add-on option of Intel’s RealSense technology which greatly enhances the hexacopter’s safety. If this security feature works out as advertised, Typhoon H will leave the Phantom 4 inhaling its dust.

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