The Phantom 4 is HERE!
Posted on February 26 2016
Well.. Almost! DJI is expected to announce it on March 1, 2016
Drone enthusiasts and professionals around the world are buzzing about the still unannounced Phantom 4 from DJI. From supposed leaked images to expected features based on recent patent filings, everyone is excited for DJI's announcement on March 1, 2016.
This photo of the mystery Phantom 4 surfaced quite a while ago.. in tech time anyway. It was more like a month and a half ago. Which is, of course, an eternity for an update on technological devices but basically yesterday for DJI. Since then, more photos have hit the web. Some of which have emoji "stickers" covering discernible details, leaving much to the imagination.
Not much can be seen in this picture, even if the emoji stickers weren't there, but what we can see is good news. The difficult to remove smart battery of the Phantom 3 with tiny gripping area appears to be a thing of the past. This looks to be a much easier grasp battery, which is great to hear for those who use multiple batteries quickly when they are out flying. Hopefully they come with those stickers, too.
This screenshot from a teaser video released by DJI February 24, 2016 shows a vent design very similar to that in the first photo above. So it appears to be very likely that the original Phantom 4 "leaked image" may actually be an early prototype of the Phantom 4 expected to be announced on March 1st.
Every pilot has their own opinion of what features would be most helpful or coolest to have. Object avoidance happens to be one that almost every pilot agrees on, and may very well be a feature on the Phantom 4. Retractable landing gear and a 360 degree range of motion in the gimbal may not be as highly requested as object avoidance, but it's up there; and is quite likely a feature. Target tracking and longer battery life seem to be among the front-runners of requests as well. Most of these are items that can be presumed to be a part of the Phantom 4, just from Patent filings since October of 2015.
October 15, 2015: Proximity Sensing Systems and Methods
October 22, 2015: Transformable Aerial Vehicle
November 12, 2015: Apparatus, systems, and methods for detecting projectile hits on a surface
January 7, 2016: Impact protection apparatus
January 28, 2016: Transformable Aerial Vehicle*
February 4, 2016: Systems and methods for target tracking
February 11, 2016: Multi-zone battery exchange system
February 11, 2016: Systems and methods for UAV Battery exchange
February 11, 2016: Systems and methods for UAV battery power backup
Judging from these patent applications, the Phantom 4 is going to address quite a few of the requests of end users.
DJI's "New Model" is expected to be in the $1500 and up range, targeted towards "enthusiasts." Enthusiasts, professionals, and hobbyists alike can all agree: we're excited to see the Phantom 4.. And we all hope they come with these sweet sticker kits.
DJI's announcement on March 1, 2016 is expected to be the full announcement of the Phantom 4.