DJI Phantom 4 Pro vs DJI Mavic: What’s the difference?

Are these the two best drones ever? Which is better?

The king of drones has unleashed its latest release in the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Yup, it’s done so right after the unveiling of its new Mavic drone. So surely they’re very different, right?

Indeed there are differences but when it comes to specs they’re actually quite similar - and that’s a good thing. Many advances in the Mavic that made the Phantom 3 look less appealing now appear in the new Phantom 4 Pro.

So which is the drone for you? Here are the key features and differences you need to know between the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and the Mavic.

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro vs DJI Mavic: They both track 

One of the really appealing specs on the drones is Active Track. This allows the pilot to tap and highlight a target on the controller screen and the drone will then follow. 

This can be done side on, as the subject moves along, from behind or the drone can stay on the subject as it flies about in a route it’s told to follow. The great thing about this is that both drones also recognise objects to actively dodge them so you’re always going to get the shot without worry of damage.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro vs DJI Mavic: The Phantom 4 Pro has the better camera

While the DJI Mavic has an impressive camera it’s not as powerful as the Phantom 4 Pro offering.

The Mavic sports a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with effect 12.35-megapixels that snaps in RAW and video up to 4K 4096 x 2160 at 24p.

The Phantom 4 Pro features a full one inch CMOS sensor. This manages a hefty 20-megapixels effective that snaps in RAW and can shoot video at up to 4K 4096 x 2160 in 24/25/30p at 100Mbps. But the key is this supports a whole host of varying formats and qualities to suit any need.

The Mavic has a narrower field of view, no fixed focus so you need to tap the screen to focus on something specific and it also suffers from weaker low-light performance. 

So if you’re all about getting the pro-level shot the name of the drone that’s best is a dead give-away. The gimbal on that is also more advanced so you can expect less shake for a clearer finish. Both feature Gesture Mode that lets you wave to activate the camera so you can take a selfie without the need to actually use the controller.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro vs DJI Mavic: The Phantom 4 Pro flies harder

When it comes to speed and staying power the Phantom 4 Pro takes the lead. It tops out at 45 mph, lasts for 30 minutes on a charge and can hit a height of 6,000 metres.

The Mavic is still fast, hitting 40 mph and lasts a good 27 minutes on a charge and tops out at 5,000 metres. 

Ascent and descent speeds are a little faster on the Phantom 4 Pro. It’s also a bit more powerful so if you want it to carry something like a sign that can be done where the Mavic may struggle. However both have the same level of accuracy when it comes to hovering steady.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro vs DJI Mavic: The Mavic is more portable

When it comes to throwing your drone in a bag and going to explore, the Mavic is the one to have. This folds down into a handheld compact unit that fits in its own safety case and weighs just 734 g.

The Phantom 4 Pro, owing to its fixed size and shape, is less portable. It’s also heavier at 1,388 g.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro vs DJI Mavic: The Mavic price is more affordable

When it comes to spending money both these drones are not for anyone just buying a toy. They are built for serious users that will appreciate it costs a fair bit to get all the features these drones offer.

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is the most expensive of the two at just under £1,600. The DJI Mavic is still pricey but a good chunk less at just under £1,100.

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Luke Edwards

Luke is a former freelance writer for T3 with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others Luke wrote about health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. In his free time, Luke used to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.