Typhoon H vs Phantom 4
You’ve likely been wondering which one of these two is better, the Yuneec Typhoon H or the DJI Phantom 4. As have we.
But first, if you haven’t read it yet and are interested in our point of view, click here for our Phantom 4 Review.
Now that the Typhoon H is available to consumers we’re starting to get more questions about it, and people are asking how it compares to the Phantom 4. Which means it’s time to have a face off; Typhoon H vs Phantom 4.
So this time, we’re not comparing DJI products like we did in some other articles (DJI Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4 – which one is better? and DJI phantom 4 vs DJI Inspire One Pro). Instead, we’ll look at two competing models from 2 competing brands, the Yuneec Typhoon H vs Phantom 4.
Although at first glance we it might not seem like an accurate comparison (several people asked us to compare it to the Inspire instead) these 2 machines that have been put on the market to compete for the same market segment. So it only makes sense we compare them to each other.We will try to be as subjective as we possibly can. Clearly already having experience with the Phantom 4, we might be biased. But, we’ll try not to let that show.
As a lot of the comparisons we’ve seen are extremely one sided, either pro Phantom for or pro Typhoon H, We will try to be as subjective as we possibly can. Clearly we already have a lot of experience with the Phantom 4 which might make us biased but we’ll try not to let that show.
We’re also be doing this based on publicly available information as we haven’t bought a Typhoon H (yet). So this will be a meta-study based on date we’ve collected going through forums, reviews, promo material and YouTube videos (a lot of info came from Simon Newton’s extensive YouTube reviews, we suggest you subscribe to his channel) to get as much information as possible and to create a fair comparison for you. Like we already hinted, if this was science we’d call it a meta study.
But you’re not probably not interested in that and likely just want to know which one is better. So let’s get on with it.
(If you’re just looking for a specs comparison, click here)
Let’s start with the packaging. Just like the DJI Phantom 4, the Typhoon H comes in a styrofoam box. The Typhoon HH’s box black. It’s probably a silly thing to mention but somehow it doesn’t look as good to us as the Phantom 4 case. But, aside from that being a personal taste preference, it clearly doesn’t say anything at all about the quality of the product inside that box. In the end, it’s just packaging and it is consistent with the Typhoon H being black.
The advantage of the Phantom box is that it comes with a handle and doubles as a carry case. And although this is a nice touch everybody we know upgraded to either a hard case or a backpack anyway so that’s not really relevant.
What’s inside the box?
Obviously, you’ve got the drone itself, the Typhoon H. There’s also the remote controller (including sunshade) and the charger. Along with the charger comes a 12v car adapter which is a nice touch by Yuneec. There’s also a USB cable and an SD card with the user manual included on the SD card. So unlike the DJI Phantom 4, you don’t have to download the user manual. But then, we all have an internet connection all the time these days so that’s not really an issue. Besides, when downloading you always know you have the latest version so there is something to be said for either method.
The Yuneec Typhoon H comes with 10 props. The 6 you need to fly, and two spares of each prop type. So not a full set of extra props but enough to keep on flying if something happened to one of the propellers. And this one of the points where the Typhoon Hs. It being a hexacopter instead of a quadcopter means that it can still land if it loses a propeller.
The controller looks to be sturdy enough and appears to be fully customizable. It’s also huge! Whether that is a good or a bad thing will probably come down to personal taste and will be hard to judge until you actually hold it. As you probably already know by now, the controller has an Android device build-in. This means so you don’t need a secondary device for fpv (and don’t have to worry about
As you probably already know by now, the controller has an Android device build-in. This means so you don’t need a secondary device for fpv (and don’t have to worry about compatibility). It obviously also means you don’t get to choose.
The build-in device is, currently, not Google certified. This means that you cannot get the Play Store installed. You can, however, load any of the third-party app stores or you can sideload apps. One really nice feature of the controller is that it lets you save different profiles for different usages. This mean you can use one profile for flying fast and aggressive and another for making smooth video, without having to adjust the settings manually every time. Another nice featureof the controller is the built in HDMI out. So there is no need to buy an extra module, something that still annoys us a little bit.
The fpv feed to the controller is 720p and it’s, obviously, not LightBridge. This will limit the range and, likely, the quality. That said, the antenna connectors are standard SMA connectors. That means aftermarket modifications can be done without having to open the controller up. Still, default range and quality will be nowhere near as good as the Phantom’s. While the maximum distance is a major concern for a lot of people in the US we shouldn’t forget that it’s not for many others around the world. In a lot of countries it’s illegal to fly out of sight anyway and if you have to stay within line of sight maximum distance becomes a lot less interesting.
While the maximum distance is a major concern for a lot of people in the US we shouldn’t forget that it’s not for many others around the world. In a lot of countries, it’s illegal to fly out of line of sight anyway. And if you have to stay within line of sight maximum distance becomes a lot less interesting.
Yuneec also supplies a 5400mah battery that delivers about 19.5 minutes of real world flight time until the low battery warning goes off. From that point, it takes 1 hour and 50 minutes to recharge the battery. So the Typhoon H gets less flight time than the DJI Phantom 4 and it takes substantially longer to recharge the battery afterward. This is disappointing and we’ve been wondering if this might be a way for Yuneec to sell rapid chargers later on. On the other hand, this might be why originally there was talk of the Typhoon H coming with 2 batteries instead of one. With a backpack as well for that matter.
It looks like Yuneec has decided to drop these included accessories in order to keep the price lower than the Phantom 4. Although that’s partially understandable we think it would have been a smarter plan to add a second battery and have the price closer to the Phantom 4. EThey might not be able to make any money on the second battery but the extra flight time might have made people care less about the longer recharge time of the battery.
Finally, at least for now, the Typhoon H comes with the wizard. A small handheld remote control that lets you operate the Typhoon by pointing place. We’ll admit, it lookis really cool. If you’ve ever wanted to do magic now is your time. Take that Harry Potter!
Now let’s look at performance.
After watching a lot of videos it appears that GPS hold is less stable than the Phantom’s. In all fairness, it was quite windy in most of the videos we saw so maybe it could do better in less windy conditions. The Typhoon H is quite big so it will catch more wind than the Phantom 4. And the Phantom 4 is very solid when it comes to holding its position. It definitely set a new benchmark that may prove hard to compete with for all other manufacturers.
Despite that, the video footage actually looks to be quite stable. The gimbal is definitely doing its job well. The image quality, at first glance, does not appear to be of the same level as the Phantom 4. We noticed more noise in a DNG file (daylight pic) that Simon Newton made available here than we would have expected. But, it’s hard to judge a camera series image quality by a single image. It could be related to that specific camera. Also, it does require pixel-peeping to tell the difference so for most people the camera will be just fine.
How about the special modes?
When we look at special modes in our Typhoon H vs Phantom 4 comparison the first thing we see is that they both have Follow Me functionality. The Phantom 4 also has ActiveTack and TapFly while the Typhoon H has Curved Cable cam and Orbit
Now let’s put the specs of both machines next to each other:
|Max flight duration:||25 mins||28 mins|
|Battery:||4s 14.8v LiPo||4s 15.2v LiPo|
|Max. flight altitude:||400ft (122m) AGL||400ft (122m) AGL|
|Max. rate of climb:||16 ft/s (5 m/s)||6 m/s (Sport mode)|
|Max. speed: Angle mode||30mph (13.5 m/s)||20 m/s (Sport mode)|
|Max. speed: Follow Me/ActiveTrack||43.5mph (19.4 m/s)||22mph (10 m/s)|
|Dimensions:||20.5” x 18” x 11.6” (520mm x 457mm x 294mm)||8.7” x 15” x 12.8” (221mm x 381 mm x 325 mm)|
|Dimensions (folded):||13.8” x 10.6” x 10” (350mm x 269mm x 254mm)||NA|
|Airframe weight:||3.4lbs (1530g)||3.04 lb (1380 g)|
|Effective pixels:||12.4 Megapixels||12 M|
|Camera lens:||14mm/F2.8||20 mm|
|Field of View:||115°||94°|
|Electronic shutter:||1/30 – 1/8000||8s -1/8000s|
|Video transmission range:||1 mile (1.6km)||FCC Compliant: 3.1 mi ( 5 km );
CE Compliant: 2.2 mi ( 3.5 km )
|Max Video resolution:||4K UHD 30fps||4K UHD 24 / 25p|
|Retractable landing gear||yes||no|
|Number of propellers||6||4|
|Quick release propellers||yes||yes|
|Collision/obstacle avoidance||sonar, Intel Realsense upgradable later||visual|
|Curve Cable Cam||yes||no|
|Dynamic Return to Home||yes||no|
|FPV||yes||3 party device|
|GPS + Glonass||yes||yes|
The Phantom 4 is slightly faster (Yuneec seems to have improved speed considerably since the pre-release versions), smaller, lighter, has a narrow field of view camera (considered a pro by a lot of people), can do longer exposure shots, has Active Track and TapFly, has dual compass and dual IMU and VPS.
The Typhoon H, on the other hand, has retractable landing gear, 6 propellers, use sonar obstacle avoidance (works at night but less effective during the day), has Journey mode for you selfie lovers, Curved Cable Cam, Dynamic RTH, HDMI out, integrated fpv, allows multiple controllers, has a replaceable camera and is modular.
Clearly based on specs they are both great drones that have amazing features. Features that were unheard of just a couple of years ago. For now though we’ re going to say the Phantom is the winner. The better obstacle avoidance, longer flight and shorter recharge time, and the fact that it’s easier to recreate the Typhoon H special modes with the Phantom 4 than the other way around has the Phantom 4 coming out on top for us.
There you have it, Typhoon H vs Phantom 4. We have a winner but not by as big a margin as we expected before we started looking into the Typhoon H. And we do have a disclaimer with this result. Although the Phantom 4’s obstacle avoidance is the better one at the moment it’s far from perfect. If Intel RealSense (when eventually released) does what it promises then it might actually be the one thing that makes the comparison swing the other way. We’ll just have to wait and see. If you’re curious to know how we feel about the question, “DJI Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4 – which one is better?” just click here.
As always, feel free to use the comments to share your opinion with us or let us know if you think we missed anything. Before you leave don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so we can let you know when we release new content. And if you want to read a bit more about the Phantom 4, just click here.
If you are in the US you can get any of the UAVs mentioned in this article directly from Amazon.com: