DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 2

After comparing how these two drones perform, our winner of DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 2 is the Phantom 3 series.

The main difference between DJI Phantom 3 and Phantom 2 is the design: DJI Phantom 3 is slimmer.

The design and the new propellers make the drone lighter than its counterpart. Also, Phantom 3 has a better camera and a more extended WiFi connection range.

DJI Phantom 3 and Phantom 2 have the same performance and durability. The former is more expensive than the latter. 

DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 2: Key Features Comparison

Below are the metrics of the two DJI Phantom models at a glance.

DJI Phantom 3
DJI Phantom 2
Flight range
Battery Life
Camera Quality
Speed and maneuverability
Obstacle Avoidance
Ease of Use
Value for money

DJI Phantom 3 and Phantom 2 are great for your photography and videography due to their excellent performance. Both take care of your pocket as they are highly durable.

If you want a drone for recreational purposes, grab a DJI Phantom 3 Standard and Phantom 2, and you’ll be good to go! The models also do well in real estate photography as entry-level drones.

However, our choice mode, DJI Phantom 3, has a higher edge because of its manageable, more advanced camera and extended operating range.

The series has professional and Advanced models that’ll take your aerial shooting to a higher level.

Keep reading as we explore the features of  DJI Phantom 3 and Phantom 2.

DJI Phantom 3 vs. Phantom 2: Features Drill Down

The two DJI Phantom models have similarities and differences. To expound on these factors, we’ll go deeper to understand their metrics.

They include flight range, battery life, camera quality, obstacle avoidance, Speed and maneuverability, ease of use, and value for money.

Read on.

Flight Range

A drone’s flight range or signal transmission distance depends on local regulations and environmental conditions. The DJI Phantom series range is between 0.62 miles (1km) and 3.1 miles (5km) in an obstacle-free space.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard has the lowest range in the series, at 0.62 miles (1km). It’s great for starter and intermediate pilots who require a ready-to-fly aerial drone with Intelligent Flight modes at an affordable cost.

The second in the series is the DJI Phantom 3 4K with a 0.75 miles (1.2k) range. The quadcopter is ideal for high-quality UHD 4K aerial photography and videography.

Phantom 3 SE comes third with a range of 2.5 miles (4km). The average model of the Phantom series is suitable for beginners and experienced drone fliers who need high-quality videos.

The Advanced and Professional models of DJI Phantom have similar flight ranges, at 3.1 miles (5km).

The range suits commercial aerial videographers requiring high-quality UHD 4K video capabilities.

However, the Advanced model is better if you want an extended range and live HD view.

DJI Phantom 2 has an equivalent flight range to the Phantom 3 Standard at 0.62 miles (1km). Hence, the two can serve beginner drone pilots with good-quality photographs and videos without breaking the bank.

Winner: DJI Phantom 3

Battery Life

Like the range metric, environmental conditions affect battery life. Also, your drone’s flight modes determine the longevity of the battery. A fully-charged intelligent Flight Battery lasts for up to 25 minutes.

There aren’t any improvements on the DJI Phantom 3 series regarding battery life. Although the series has a powerful, intelligent battery to prolong flight time, it doesn’t exceed the 25-minute cap.

All the DJI Phantom 3 series models have a battery capacity of 4480 mAh. However, the Standard, SE, and 4K models have a 25-minute flight time, while the Professional and Advanced ones fly up to 23 minutes.

DJI Phantom 2 battery capacity is 5200 mAh, flying up to 25 minutes when fully charged.

If you want to learn more about battery life and how to maintain it then make sure to read my other in-depth guide here.

Winner: Tie

Camera Quality

The DJI Phantom series models have similar cameras, shooting 12-megapixel (4000 x 3000p)  photos.

However, they provide varying maximum video resolutions, bit rates, and frame rates.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard has footage of 2.7K (1520p) at 24fps or 30fps (frames per second) with a 40Mbps bit rate.

The Advanced model also has a 2.7K at 30fps footage. Phantom SE and Pro have a maximum video resolution of 4K up to 30 fps.

Their 4K counterpart has DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) 4K at 24 fps and UHD 4K at 30 fps.

On the other hand, DJI Phantom 2 has a built-in FPV (first-person view) camera. It’s a 14-megapixel wireless HD camera with a 140-degree view angle and a fixed f/2.8 aperture. The camera gives an average of 2592 x 1944 pixels.

Winner: DJI Phantom 3

Speed and Maneuverability

All the DJI Phantom models are impressively fast, with the same maximum speed of 16 m/s (ATTI mode).

Also, they have a similar Max Ascent Speed of 5 m/s, which is reasonably quick.

However, the 3 m/s Max Descent Speed may be slow, especially when you need an emergency descent.

The DJI Phantom 3s have a flying wind speed of 10 mph and can stretch to 35-40 mph. The downside of pushing the limits is compromised video quality and control.

DJI Phantom 2’s speed differs insignificantly from its Phantom 3 equivalent. It has a maximum speed of 15m/s, while the Ascent and Descent speeds are 6m/s and 2m/s, respectively.

The two DJI Phantom versions have a GPS that enhances easy maneuverability and safe home return. Hence, they’re ideal for starter photographers and videographers due to their easy control.

Winner: Both

Obstacle Avoidance 

The DJI company ensures its drones come with an impressive obstacle avoidance system.

Thus, DJI Phantom 3 drones, except the Phantom 3 Standard, have a sophisticated system of sensors to stabilize the drone in flight, but only the advanced versions like the SE have obstacle avoidance.

The DJI Phantom 2 lacks both the obstacle avoidance and vision sensors.

Winner: Phantom 3

Ease of Use

DJI has made it easy for beginners and professionals with their intuitive and user-friendly drones.

The device’s remote controller allows you to easily maneuver in any direction, adjust altitude, and perform advanced flight maneuvers.

GPS and the vision sensors in the more advanced versions also makes it easy to use the drone as it gives confidence to newbies and experts.

With a single button push, the return-home feature automatically brings your device to the takeoff point.

DJI Phantom Ascent and Descent speeds are incredibly responsive, allowing you to accelerate and decelerate accordingly.

You can use the camera view on your tablet or smartphone to view your drone at far distances and navigate safely.

Winner: Both

Value for Money

The two DJI Phantom series offer value for money. Although DJI Phantom 3 models have a higher edge in some metrics like flight range and camera capability, the two series are equal in all the others.

Also, the drones accommodate beginners and professionals alike. They offer high-quality shots with minimal or no safety risk.

If you’re a commercial aerial photographer/videographer, DJI Phantom 3 Pro and Advanced give maximum value for your money.

Similarly, a DJI Phantom Standard and DJI Phantom 2 are worth it if you want a drone for recreational purposes.

Winner: Both


Comparing DJI Phantom 3 Vs. Phantom 2 reveals that the two DJI series are excellent drones for pilots of all levels of expertise.

The significant difference between their features is the battery life and camera quality.

Also, they have a physical variation in which the design of the Phantom 3 is slimmer and lightweight.

DJI Phantom 3 has various models you can choose from according to your objective. From beginners to professionals, the series gives you exceptional results and is easy to use.

DJI Phantom 2 is also great for good-quality shots for starters and intermediate users.


Yes, DJI Phantom Standard is worth it. You won’t find a better drone model for its price. It provides safety, reliability, and stability features that every drone pilot seeks.

Also, it has automated flight modes similar to the ones in more expensive models.

Its 2.7K videos are great, while the 3-axis gimbal produces smooth photos and videos.

You can’t use a Phantom 3 battery on a Phantom 2. The new model DJI Intelligent Flight Battery  (4480mAh, 15.2V LiPo 4S) is specially designed for the Phantom 3 series and won’t fit in a Phantom 2.

You must also charge your respective battery with a DJI-approved adapter. Don’t leave the battery unattended when charging.

Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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