DJI Phantom 4 can avoid obstacles in its path

How crushing to see your pricey new drone fly headfirst into a building. Thankfully, the DJI Phantom 4 can avoid that thanks to its in-built obstacle avoidance.

It features a pair of optical sensors on its front that work like eyes – when it detects an obstacle in its path, it either navigates around it or stops and hovers until you steer it away.

The sensors can see from 0.7 to 15m, so it should have plenty of time to stop even if it’s travelling at speed.

The sensors also work with the drone’s Return-to-Home feature, so you can switch on the mode and not worry about the craft colliding with anything in its way.

It has some other cool features too. The DJI app receives a livestream from the Phantom 4’s camera, for example. Select an object in the view, like a car, and the drone will follow it, keeping it in frame. Which is pretty neat.

Plus you can tap on a location in the video stream, and the drone will fly to it, avoiding objects as it does.

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Read more: DJI Phantom 3 Professional review

It can fly up to 28 minutes on a single charge, which, while still not exactly marathon, is longer than a lot of drones. And it has a new speed mode that gets it up to 45mph, though this does blaze through the battery life.


It doesn’t come cheap. It sells for $1,399, which works out at £1,004. Sadly, the price is one obstacle that there’s no getting around.