The DJI Inspire 1 is one of the more expensive drones out there in the market today . It is priced at about $2900, which is almost $1500 more than the new DJI Phantom 4, which is $1400 dollars. This price difference is quite large, and may influence your buying decision in more ways than you think. Both drones are priced above the average prices of drones, and caution must be exercised. Depending on what you plan on using the drone for, you should be able to make an informed choice. Which drone is better overall? That may not even be possible to guess, but we can try. Check out the DJI Phantom 4 vs DJI Inspire 1 comparison below and take what information you can from it!
Both of the drones come with four rotors and are classified as RC quadcopters. They have both been designed to be used by people who are professionals in the field of aerial photography and video. For this purpose, they both come with built-in cameras and are not compatible with external cameras. Both drones are great for shooting action video and high quality stills as well. The Inspire 1 drone is made out of a carbon fiber frame for lightness. This is necessary because of its size. The Phantom 4, on the other hand, is built out of a lightweight magnesium alloy. On both drones, the rotors and propellers are made out of the same carbon fiber as the Inspire’s frame is. The Inspire 1 is available in two colors: black and white, whereas the Phantom 4 is only available in white.
The range of the controller for the DJI Inspire 1 is about the same as the Phantom 4 – 5000m or 5km. A payload capacity is not something people think about, but it can be very useful. The Inspire 1 can carry a high extra payload (up to 1.7kg) whereas the Phantom 4 is made more for speed and lift, and can only carry an extra 460g. Considering the industry average payload for a drone is about 800g, the Phantom 4 is actually way below this.
The Inspire 1 RC drone is also faster than the Phantom 4, even though it is bigger. Both drones are faster by far than the industry average of about 15m/s. However, the Inspire 1 zooms to the top at a top speed of 49mph, and the Phantom 4 clocks in at second place with a 45mph max speed. However, the Phantom 4 can reach greater heights, with a maximum altitude of about 6000m or 6km in the air. The Inspire 1 is lower, at 4500m or 4.5km.
Both drones have a Vision Positioning System or VPS. This is a new technology that allows drones to fly indoors or in an obstacle filled environment and still hold their position. It takes away the need of GPS constantly, especially in areas with a lot of interference with a satellite signal. A camera and distance sensors are used instead. The Inspire 1 has a VPS capable of holding its height at about 5m above the floor, and the Phantom 4 can hold it at 10m. The range at which the VPS is effective is about 250cm for the Inspire 1, and 10m again for the Phantom 4. This is primarily because of the more recent technology incorporated into the Phantom.
When it comes to flight features, the two drones are very similar. They both come RTF, and have follow me and return home capabilities. They can land automatically and can follow a preset flight plan. Both drones can hover in place and track a target. The Phantom 4 quadcopter does have one feature the Inspire 1 doesn’t, which is a collision avoidance system that uses 4 optical sensors to avoid obstacles in the environment.
The controllers for both are a combination of a classic physical controller with the capability to hold a smartphone or tablet. The official DJI app needs to be downloaded on the device. This is the DJI Pilot for the Inspire 1 and the DJI GO for the Phantom 4. The power of transmission for the Phantom 4 controller is slightly higher than for the Inspire 1 RC quad rotor, but the other features and specifications are exactly the same.
Size and Weight
The DJI Inspire 1 is a lot bigger than the Phantom 4. The carbon fiber body has a wingspan of 560mm, which is a lot more than the 300mm of the Phantom 4. The Inspire 1 also weighs more, even though it is reduced because of the carbon fiber frame. It weighs in at 2935g, which is a lot more than the Phantom 4 and its 1380g weight.
Camera and Gimbal
Both drones come with a built-in camera, and neither of them have support for an external camera. Both of the cameras have a still picture resolution of 12MP, and a video recording resolution of 4K UHD. The gimbal for the Phantom 4 is built into the body of the drone and cannot be removed or replaced without a manufacturer. The Inspire 1 supports the customized DJI Zenmuse X3 gimbal for more stable photo and video capture . The FOV of both lenses is 94 degrees, and both have a focal length of 20mm. The camera on the Inspire 1 can, however, be rotated 360 degrees on the horizontal plane. The Phantom 4 is limited, as it allows for 120 degrees of vertical movement and not much horizontal movement.
The sensor on the Inspire 1 is a Sony EXMORE CMOS sensor with a 1/2.3” rating. On the Phantom 4, it is a generic, company made 1/2.3” size. Both cameras support microSD card storage in the body of the drone. The Inspire 1 also has a mini HDMI output port and USB out. The Phantom 4 has neither of these. The Phantom 4 does have HDR image capture, but the rest of the features the camera is capable of are exactly the same for both the drones. Video recording is also nearly the same, with the exception of one. The Phantom 4 quadcopter can record at UHD Cinema 4K as well (4096x2160p). This is not a feature the Inspire 1 is capable of.
The battery on the DJI Phantom 4 is better than that of the Inspire 1. It has a capacity of 5350mAh whereas the Inspire 1 battery is 4500mAh. The battery on the Phantom 4 weighs 460g and the one on the Inspire 1 weighs 570g. On the Phantom 4, it is a Li-Po 4S, but is a Li-Po 6S on the Inspire 1. The power of the battery on the Phantom is 15V, and the charger voltage is 17.4V. On the Inspire 1, the battery power is 22V and the charger is 26.3V. This makes the flight time on the Phantom 4 a whopping 28 minutes. The Inspire 1 provides 18 minutes of fast flying time.
DJI Phantom 4 vs DJI Inspire 1 Pro/Raw
The Inspire 1 Pro is a $4500 professional quadcopter. The flight time is 15 minutes, still less than the 28 minutes of the Phantom 4. The operating range has been buffed to the same as the Phantom – 5km. The camera is a lot better than that of the Phantom 4. It is a 16MP camera, while the Phantom 4 is 12MP. Payload on the Inspire 1 Pro is reduced to 630g which is still more than the Phantom 4’s 460g payload.
In terms of speed, the Phantom 4 is now faster than the 18m/s of the Inspire 1 Pro. The altitude of the Inspire is drastically lower, at 4500m maximum to the Phantom’s 6000m. However, the altitude of the Inspire 1 Pro is set to 120m above the takeoff point by default. This can be changed. In terms of features, they are the same with the exception of the collision avoidance system on the Phantom 4.
The Inspire 1 Pro is external camera compatible, and supports the DJI Zenmuse X5 gimbal as well. It has a lower (72 degree) FOV than the Phantom 4, and the drones have the same range of movement. Aperture size is lower at f/1.7.
Both drones now use the DJI GO app to control them. The battery on the Inspire 1 Pro is a Li-Po 6S battery as well. The flight time is still lower than the Phantom because of the heavier Inspire 1 Pro/Raw drone.
The Inspire 1 isn’t a drone for the casual flyer. With a price tag ranging from $2500 to $4500, you will be sinking a ton of money into the purchase of this drone. For the professional photographer or videographer, this is the drone to use though. The Pro variant of the Inspire 1 is perfect for a lot of situations, except where the altitude comes into play. The Phantom 4, on the other hand, is very much a multifunctional drone. It is cheap, easy to use, and has some pretty great features. The only problem is the lack of customization in terms of the camera. The Inspire drones are strictly for the professionals.