The DJI Phantom 2 drone is pretty old by technology standards. In fact, it’s no longer in production, though you still should be able to get your hands on one. If you visit the DJI website, they will alert you to this fact and suggest the Phantom 4 or their Mavic 2 as alternatives.
That said, you may still find reasons for wanting the earlier model over the later ones. In this article, we’ll sketch out the features and specifications of the Phantom 2 (including the Vision edition) so you’ll have a better idea of whether those reasons are valid for your situation or whether you really would prefer a newer model.
If you’re in a hurry and simply want to check the pricing and availability (an important point for this quadcopter) of the Phantom 2 at Amazon, you can click the link just below. Otherwise, you can keep scrolling and reading to learn about those details we consider most important to know before making a purchase.
DJI Phantom 2 Drone
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision Includes a Camera
It would really have been silly of DJI to call this drone “Vision” and not include a camera, so they did include an HD camera in this version of the Phantom 2.
There are actually two versions of the Vision – the original Vision and the Vision+. The main difference between the two is the gimbal attached to the bottom that holds the camera. The Vision’s gimbal is the less versatile of the two, as it can only tilt over a range to 60 degrees.
The gimbal on the Vision+ is a three-axis device that gives you the full range of camera motions.
Another benefit of owning a Vision+ is the built-in flight control system called Naza-M. It makes this drone much easier to fly than other versions. You get a compass, GPS, barometric altimeter, inertial sensor, LED flight indicators, and a controller that makes them all work well together.
Assuming you’ll want to see what the drone’s camera sees, you’ll need a smartphone and the Vision app. This will also let you control the camera and its settings, see flight telemetry in real time, and create an autopilot flight plan that can have as many as 16 waypoints.
The Vision has a return-to-home function that’s extremely handy and sadly missing from some other copters.
Flight time for the Phantom 2 Vision (and other editions) is about 20 to 25 minutes. That’s fairly common for craft of this age and price range.
Phantom 2 Drone Comes Later
The (straight) Phantom 2 was released a few months after the Phantom 2 Vision. It does not include a camera. You can add a Zenmuse gimbal that can hold cameras such as the GoPro. (We’re not sure which models of GoPro can be used.)
With the Phantom 2 quadcopter you get Intelligent Orientation Control and a CAN-bus expansion module that lets you add capabilities to your flight system.
The drone weighs 1000 grams including props and DJI’s own 3S LiPo, 5200mAh, 11.1 volt “Smart Battery”. So, you’ll have to involve the FAA before flying this one.
DJI says the maximum speed of the Phantom 2 is 15 meters per second – the equivalent of about 33.5 miles per hour – but adds that flying this fast is not recommended. We assume they mean that such speedy flight is more hazardous, especially for beginners, and will use up the battery power more quickly. If it were just the speed itself that they’re concerned about, they shouldn’t have allowed it to go this fast in the first place.
The 2.4GHz remote control should be able to communicate with your drone up to 1000 meters in an open, unobstructed area. Expect less of a range in more crowded conditions.
Verdict for the DJI Phantom 2 Drone
The Phantom 2 is an aging model. If you want state-of-the-art, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The 3DR Solo generally costs less and can do much the same as the Phantom 2, so that’s another option to consider.
That said, you may be able to find a good deal on a Phantom 2. If you can and if it otherwise does all you need it to, then go for it. You’re sure to enjoy the flight time and pictures you take with a Phantom 2 or Phantom 2 Vision (or Vision+) for a long time to come.