I had the pleasure of getting to review both of these drones. The truth is, both of these drones are truly incredible when you consider how far the technology has come just in the past couple years. Both the DJI Phantom 4 and Yuneec Typhoon H have a lot of similarities — similar price tag, both have collision avoidance, similar camera quality.
But there are some minor differences that could make a big impact in your decision on which one to buy.
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Cost:
- DJI Phantom 4
- Yuneec Typhoon H
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Camera:
Both drones are intended for professional aerial photographers. Both cameras offer 12 megapixel resolution and 4K video resolution. The gimbal on both is incredibly smooth. Both offer a maximum frame rate of 30 frames per second in live view to deliver crisp and clear footage. I shot some footage on the same day at approximately the same time near Drone Girl HQ to show you difference in footage. None of this footage is edited or processed, so you can see exactly how it looks in the camera. (Make sure you watch in HD!)
For me, the video quality is a toss-up. Each photographer may have their own aesthetic preferences, so I’ll let you make that decision for yourself.
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Controller:
DJI’s is controlled through a smartphone or tablet, which you in turn plug into the Phantom controller via USB. DJI’s app to operate the drones is very good, but I hate having to rely on my iPhone. It seems like one more thing to sync, charge and worry about. I’ve never liked that about DJI’s products.
Like past Yuneec products, the Typhoon H has its own controller with a 7-inch monitor inside. This prevents needing to rely on an external device (what if your Android or iOS device experiences a problem) to fly your drone, and prevents having to worry about your phone being charged and having a cable in your way. You can also connect a second remote controller so one person controls the flight while the other controls the camera, like DJI’s Inspire 1. My one qualm with the controller is that, while the huge monitor is nice, it did feel slightly too big.
Winner: Yuneec Typhoon H
- DJI Phantom 4: 28 minutes
- Yuneec Typhoon H: 25 minutes
For me, a 3 minute difference is negligible (if you need that much time, you likely have multiple batteries anyway), but for some use cases, that 3 minutes really could make a huge difference.
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Max flight speed:
- DJI Phantom 4: 44.73 mph (20 m/s)
- Yuneec Typhoon H: 43.5mph (19.4 m/s)
The Phantom can go slightly faster, but you’re likely not racing these, so I don’t think a speed difference matters.
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Airframe and safety:
The Phantom 4 remains true to its traditional “look” with its white body and rounded edges. It’s light and easy to transport with auto-locking and removable propellers.
The Yuneec Typhoon H airframe has a new (large) intelligent designed. The 6 arms provide redundancy in case a motor or propeller goes out, allowing you to fly back to safety with just 5 propellers. It’s big, but each of the arms folds down, so it’s actually quite compact to travel with. The Typhoon H also allows you to flick a switch that lifts the legs up, guaranteeing you won’t get them in your shot (that being said, I never had an issue with Phantom legs accidentally in my shot). The legs lifting also allows your drone to get a full, 360 camera angle. This is particularly useful when wanting to take a selfie, but not feeling comfortable flying nose-in. Just leave your drone in the same position and turn the camera around.
Winner: Yuneec Typhoon H
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Weight:
- DJI Phantom 4: 3.04 pounds
- Yuneec Typhoon H: 4.3 pounds
More than a pound difference is huge. It’s no wonder that the Phantom is faster and has a longer flight time. The Typhoon H did feel heavy to carry in the box for long periods of time, and I’m sure this contributed to it.
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Size
While I declared Yuneec the winner for the airframe design, I still have to knock it on size. The Phantom is much smaller. While size shouldn’t matter to professionals on a film shoot, a regular consumer might not want to pack this on a trip abroad or even tote along to a picnic. I’m a tiny person, so I think smaller is better! There have been multiple instances where I’ll be heading to a picnic and my friends say “bring your drone!” Well, I’ve got both to choose from, and I’ll always opt to bring the Phantom in those instances just because it is more convenient to lug around.
Winner: DJI Phantom 4
DJI Phantom 4 vs. Yuneec Typhoon H Carrying case
I use the same box the Phantom 4 came in as my carrying case. It has a latch that seals it shut. It’s styrofoam so it may not be safe to check into the airport, but for carrying around on film shoots or to the beach for the family picnic, it’s perfect.
The Typhoon case is great for storage, it has a flimsy lid and no handle. Thus, it’s not ideal if you need to walk a long distance with it (walking from my apartment in downtown San Francisco, then down to the MUNI (our subway) and out to Golden Gate Park with this foam case wasn’t really the most comfortable experience.) The Typhoon H backpack is actually already available in the market (sold separately), but has been on backorder, so I’ll review it once it arrives. I’m guessing that should clear up any problems with carrying it around.
Winner: DJI Phantom 4
All in all, it’s hard for me to recommend one over another in a blanket statement. It all comes down to what your needs are, because both are a great product.
I can say this:
I would choose the Yuneec Typhoon H if I were flying in a high-risk area — over a building or crowds — for the purposes of gathering professional video footage. The propeller redundancy, ability to shoot 360-degree video and ease of connecting the controller make me feel so much more confident while flying.
I would choose the Phantom if I wanted something easy to transport in a more day-to-day sense. The carrying case it comes with is light and no larger than a large tote bag, making it pleasant to take with me to the park for a BBQ with friends.
Both are excellent, and it’s exciting to see how drones have become not only easy but safe to fly. The next wave of drones will likely have collision avoidance on all sides, which will be even more important in an airspace that could one day be crowded by drones.