Browse By

DJI Phantom 4 Unboxing and first-look

Ever since last week’s launch, we have been desperate to get hands-on, for a DJI Phantom 4 unboxing and first-look. The new drone promised to bring some incredible technology and cement the Phantom as the leading consumer quadcopter.

As a leading UK dealer of their products, DJI have kindly provided us a pre-release model ahead of next week’s release, intended for customer education and staff training. As such, please note that there may be a few differences in packaging or configuration compared to the retail drone that we will be supplying.

This blog will concentrate more on the hardware and the presentation of the DJI Phantom 4. If you are looking for more information or for videos of it flying, you can find out more on our product page.

Phantom 4 Outer Packaging

DJI have continued their trend of silk finish white boxes but have opted for a gloss varnish over the craft artwork on the outer box. This has the premium feel required to match the pricetag. Overall its roughly the same dimensions as the outgoing Phantom 3 packaging.

DJI Phantom 4 outer packaging

Some hints of what is in-store inside can be found on the side. Highlights include object avoidance, tapfly, activetrack, sport mode and mode. DJI also touch on the outcomes of their optimisation with the 28 minute flight time.

DJI Phantom 4 packaging detail specifications

A proper rubber handle protrudes from box, this is actually integral to the inner case.

DJI Phantom 4 packaging integral handle

With the box vertical, flipping open the lid reveals the new inner packaging. These inner flaps simply fold out of the way.


DJI Phantom 4 box opened unboxed

Integral Carrying Case

Spending over £1000 on a drone that arrived in an cardboard egg-box never felt right, we commend DJI in their advancements in reusable packaging. With the outer box removed you are left with a polystyrene carry case complete with metal securing latch.

DJI Phantom 4 inner packaging foam carry case

The polystyrene is sealed to prevent flaking and embossed with DJI and Phantom logos as we have tried to depict below.

DJI Phantom 4 foam carry case embossed detail

lift the instruction sticker via the small black tab and then the two halves will swing apart via the plastic hinge at the base.

DJI Phantom 4 opening carry case latch instructions

To us it feels like the insert of the last generation carry case, perhaps DJI will offer a hard outer-shell to offer more robust protection and weatherproofing? Flipping the lid you are greeted by a custom cut polystyrene interior with two distinct spaces for extra batteries alongside the drone, charger, data cables, transmitter, propellers and supporting documentation.

DJI Phantom 4 inside the box

Phantom 4 Unboxing – Contents

The box contains the drone itself, remote controller, propeller pairs x4 in drawstring bag, intelligent flight battery, battery charger, power cable, manuals. It also includes a few accessories including a transportation gimbal clamp, USB OTG cable, Micro USB cable and a 16GB Micro SD card.

DJI Phantom 4 unboxed content wrapped

Everything in the box, laid out still individually sealed.

DJI Phantom 4 unboxed full content

The Phantom 4 comes with the standard documentation, a disclaimer and safety pamphlet, a leaflet on safely using the intelligent battery, an in the box checklist and finally the quick start guide. DJI prefer to host the full manual as a PDF online to ensure it accurately reflects any future updates brought by updated firmware.

DJI Phantom 4 included documentation

Our model being a north american pre-release one, it also included extra multi-lingual manuals and also a document from the FAA.

As ever, the in-the-box checklist in full:

DJI Phantom 4 in the box content list

All-new Phantom 4 Drone

Fresh out of the box, the all-new drone looks like this.

DJI Phantom 4 craft all angles out of box

The Phantom range has  had some big design revisions leading to the refined, aerodynamic, highly polished drone you see before you.

DJI Phantom 4 drone unboxed front

Our chassis had the model designation WM330 and features the new magnesium ‘core’ which reportedly reduces internal vibrations increasing the accuracy of the paired IMU’s.

New gimbal clamp

When transporting the Phantom its important to ensure the gimbal is restrained as to not put undue stress on the hardware. Previous generations of Phantom have had various solutions to this, but this is the most graceful solution by far.


To remove the clamp, rotate it around one of the landing legs, un-clipping it from the opposite leg at the same time.


Then release the opposite leg, freeing the camera from its cup.


Note the grooves in the rubber landing strips for locating the gimbal clamp when re-installing it. Placing it too far forward or back will put undue stress on the gimbal and dampers.


Removed from the craft the gimbal clamp looks like this.


Remember to remove the protective lens film before your first flight, it just peels off as does the plastic film on the upper gimbal motor.


Phantom 4 cables and charger

DJI supply a 4ft USB to mico-usb cable for updating the craft  and a short OTG usb adapter alongside charging hardware.

DJI Phantom 4 included cables

Its a 100w charger running 17.4 volts. Our model came with a USA-spec wall plug, but the power supply unit accepts the common ‘figure-8’ 2-pin connector so a suitable cable was easily sourced.

DJI Phantom 4 revised battery charger

DJI have finally given up on the sprung-pin battery connector that has proved problematic in the past and moved to a new 10-pin design as seen below.

DJI Phantom 4 revised battery connection terminal plug

New Intelligent Flight Battery

On a quest to improve efficiency, balance and just package all that tech into a small frame, DJI have totally redesigned the intelligent flight battery. The 4 cell 15.2V 5350mAh LiPo is shorter and wider than the outgoing 4S Phantom 3 battery. It still acts as the master power switch for the craft, retaining both the power button and the led power level indicators.

DJI Phantom 4 4S intelligent battery details

As seen earlier, the new cell has the connector recessed into a pocket on the bottom of the casing. It also has clips top and bottom that retain it when installed.

DJI Phantom 4 new battery connector bottom
The battery also has ventilation holes between the layers themselves to aid cooling. Its a clever bit of design that will potentially passively cool the battery quicker when out of the craft. Note the message ensuring the ventilation holes are free from obstructions below.

DJI Phantom 4 intelligent battery cooling channels do not cover

Originally we wondered if there was a fan to blow air across the battery in flight but there is little evidence of this inside the craft.

DJI Phantom 4 battery cavity side

In fact the new design appears to be quite tightly packaged with internal reinforcing.

DJI Phantom 4 inside the drone

Installing the battery

The new, wider, slimmer battery slides in the rear of the craft with little resistance compared to the older Phantom craft.

DJI Phantom 4 installing intelligent battery

To remove, simply squeezing the tabs top and bottom before pulling it out.

All-new twist on propellers

Another big change is the migration from threaded props to twist-on ones, working in a similar fashion to those found on the Inspire 1.

DJI Phantom 4 updated propellers included

As with the Phantom 3, the Phantom 4 comes with four pairs of props, giving the owner two full sets.

DJI Phantom 4 new propeller detail

Each of the props comes factory sealed. We suggest leaving the seals on until they are used to differentiate between your new and used propellers.

DJI Phantom 4 new propeller isolated

Fitting Phantom 4 propellers

DJI Phantom 4 new motor detail

As per the warning on the arm stickers, ensure that the propeller is securely installed before flying. Match black ring propellers with motors with black dots.

DJI Phantom 4 new propeller snap on

Match the band around the propeller cap to the motors. The black band on the propeller above should be fitted to the motor with the black dots on its cap shown below. It should not be possible to mismatch the propeller and motors.

DJI Phantom 4 revised propeller mounting to motor

Using one hand to hold the silver motor body in place, put the prop on top of the motor spindle and rotate it (clockwise for silver props, anti-clockwise for black props) around one-sixth of a turn whilst applying a tiny amount of downward pressure. You will feel the prop ‘snap’ into place if it has been done correctly.

DJI Phantom 4 how to mount propellers

Its impossible to get the incorrect propeller to lock-on to the wrong motor. You can test that the props are locked on correctly by turning the propeller from the end of the blade and looking to see if the motor cap rotates.

DJI Phantom 4 propeller fitted

Other revisions to the Phantom 4

The motors have been modified, now in a casing that sits on-top of the chassis instead of deep into it to aid cooling and potentially increase prop. The screw threads have been replaced with a twist-catch design to simplify propeller mounting. The motors splay outwards slightly and also canter backwards/forwards into the centre midpoint of the frame. All of the advancements equate in a craft capable of 44.7mph in sport mode.

DJI Phantom 4 updated motor and propeller mount

The arm design has been simplified with what appear to be air vents where the LEDs used to be. The indicator lights have been reduced to one bright LED, mounted behind a lens beneath each motor. These light up in flight to indicate the orientation of the craft when flying line of sight.

DJI Phantom 4 new arms lights

The changes continue under the belly of the craft. Previously the camera and gimbal have been mounted on anti-vibration mounts, hung from a metal plate on the base of the drone. The basic VPS system of the Phantom 3 was also a separate module screwed into the bottom of the craft.

DJI have now integrated the systems into the composite body, with a pair of down facing cameras complementing the large downward facing ultrasonic mounted directly to the shell. The camera gimbal now appears to hang from a dampened mount hidden inside the craft

DJI Phantom 4 new sensors body underside

DJI have been promoting the obstacle avoidance of this new model. Its abilities for sensing have been expanded by stereo front facing cameras, on the body just above the legs. Their effective range is 2-49 feet (~70cm to 15m) and they can detect any patterned surface (such as foliage) assuming adequate lighting.

DJI Phantom 4 drone ready to fly

The camera gimbal is improved too. The camera axis is now supported on both sides to aid stability and then entire gimbal and camera shell is has been made out of a composite with a matt grey powdercoat finish

DJI Phantom 4 gimbal in action

The combined gimbal-casing has meant the memory card slot and USB port have been relocated into the body of the craft. Its great to see DJI still include a fast 16GB micro SD memory  card to allow you to shoot and film right away. The maximum supported card is currently a 64GB one with Class 10 or UHS-1 rating.

DJI Phantom 4 SD card slot on body

Revised Camera

The Phantom 4 camera has been improved in terms of image quality. The new 8-element lens reduces chromatic aberration by 56% and lens distortion reduced by 36% when put compared to the Phantom 3 Pro.

It is a 20mm ( 35mm equivalent ) f/2.8 lens with a 94° Field Of View and it sits above the 1/2.3” 12MP sensor.

DJI Phantom 4 new lens detail

In stills mode it creates JPEG’s or DNG (RAW) up to 4000×3000px. There are various options for still shooting including single shot, burst shooting, auto exposure bracketing, time-lapse and even HDR if that is your thing. The sensitivity ramps up from 100 all the way to ISO 1600.

In video mode it produces MP4 / MOV files (MPEG – 4 AVC / H.264 codecs)  with a maximum video bitrate of 60Mbps. These can be captured at UHD (4096×2160) 4K @25fps right down to FHD (1920×1080) @120fps. Its worth nothing that the FOV changes at this high frame rate, also that it will shoot @720p but only at a max of 60fps. When filming the ISO can be expanded out to 3200.

Phantom 4 Transmitter – Much of the same

If you have flown a Phantom 3 Adv/Pro or an Inspire 1 you will be familiar with the C1 transmitter bundled with the Phantom 4.

DJI Phantom 4 transmitter controller device holder

Its a twin stick digital transmitter with additional buttons and dials for adjusting flight modes and operating the on-board camera and gimbal.

DJI Phantom 4 transmitter controller handle

The rear features two buttons that are programmable via the app.

DJI Phantom 4 transmitter controller c1 rear base

Pairing the twin antennas with the advanced Lightbridge technology, the transmitter has an effective range of up to 3.1miles (5km) in FCC mode or 2.2miles (3.5km) in UK-friendly CE mode. These figures are best case scenario in an unobstructed area free of interference.

DJI Phantom 4 controller transmitter rear ports

To give you an idea of scale of the transmitter, that’s a 5.8 inch ‘wide’ Nexus 5X Android phone sat in the device holder.

DJI Phantom 4 nexus 5 android transmitter

Below the sticks on the face of the transmitter are the power and return-to-home buttons along with battery indicator LEDs.

DJI Phantom 4 android device in transmitter

Alongside the camera settings (default exposure adjustment) dial is the flight mode switch. Note that DJI now include a sticker referring you to the manual before switching modes.

DJI Phantom 4 transmitter controller mode switch sticker

The C1 does not natively feature a HDMI out, but as with the Phantom 3 transmitter, an additional adapter can be bought to enable this. It does retain the USB plug, used to connect your mobile device to the controller, essential for piloting the craft.

DJI Phantom 4 transmitter controller usb but no hdmi

The transmitter has an internal 6000 mAh 2cell LiPo battery. It is charged via a DC power jack under a rubber cover on the right hand side.

DJI Phantom 4 how to charge transmitter

Phantom 4 – Full contents

Below is the drone, configured and charged ready for flight with all its accessories removed from the box alongside it.

DJI Phantom 4 unboxed full contents

To recap, you are provided the drone & battery, two full sets of props, charger, usb cable and OTG adapter, transmitter and documentation.

DJI Phantom 4 box contents

Ready to fly

DJI Phantom 4 ready to go wide

Now we have finally got ‘hands-on’ with the drone, we feel the Phantom 4 is a huge step forward in terms of materials and build-quality alone!

DJI Phantom 4 ready to fly setup

You can watch videos of the craft in action, see further specs or learn about the cost on our product listing page here.

If you have any specific questions regarding  this  Phantom 4 unboxing, especially pertaining to the hardware or setup, leave us a comment below or call us on 01737 457404 and we will endeavor to help!

Question or comment?