Is the new Yuneec Typhoon H the drone we have all been waiting for: the drone that has it all? With a 4K gimbal-stabilized camera, automatic obstacle avoidance, retractable landing gear, and 6 rotor redundancy, it even out-features the premium DJI Inspire 1 2.0 drone and at only 2/3 of the price. But how does it stack up against the new DJI Phantom 4?
“My decision to buy the T-H was that (1) it has a better profile to be seen in the sky because it’s simply bigger and blacker…less chance of loosing sight of it. (2) the integrated 7 inch screen on the controller, and (3) It has the one motor failure redundancy…it ain’t gonna fall out of the sky like a Phantom 4 would given a motor failure.” -FlushVision on YuneecPilots.com
A problem I see facing many people is finding a drone that has all the major features one could want, but without spending $6800+ for a commercial drone like the DJI Matrice 600. Enter the drone company Yuneec. While Yuneec may have only started releasing drones last year, giving DJI a two year head start, the company has been in business since 1989 (DJI wasn’t formed until 2006), and has been closing in on DJI. They are trying to aggressively outcompete DJI on drone features, and the new Yuneec Typhoon H is their latest drone strike on DJI’s marketshare.
With the Typhoon H, you get commercial drone features at a consumer-level price. Right off the bat the Typhoon H features retractable landing gear, which lets you quickly move the camera around without ever having to worry about the landing gear being in the shot. Next it comes equipped with 6 rotors, making it a hexacopter instead of a quadcopter like the Phantom 4 or Inspire 1 drones. This allows for one rotor to stop working while still giving you full control over the drone, allowing you to land safely. While if a rotor were to fail on any quadcopter, it would crash down without any control.
The Yuneec Typhoon H also features ultrasonic-based automatic collision avoidance technology. This detects obstacles within 10ft of the drone and prevents it from flying into them. It is not as advanced as the Phantom 4’s collision avoidance tech, which uses cameras to both sense and move around obstacles (instead of just stopping in front of them). But Yuneec might leapfrog DJI on collision avoidance later this year with the help of Intel… Lastly, the Typhoon H comes with an all-in-one controller with an integrated screen. This could potentially save you hundreds of dollars from buying a tablet for the controller. This also guarantees that the drone will work with everything in the box, with no required accessories.
Typhoon H vs Phantom 4
|Drone Specs||Yuneec Typhoon H||DJI Phantom 4|
|Flight time per battery||~25 mins||~28 mins|
|Max. Flight Speed||19.4 m/s||20 m/s|
|Outdoors Positioning Module||GPS+GLONASS||GPS+GLONASS|
|Vision Positioning Module||Ground sensing with ultrasonic sensors (Position holding without GPS), and automatic obstacle avoidance with ultrasonic sensors (will just stop in front of obstacle)||Vision Positioning System with optical AND ultrasonic sensors (Position holding without GPS), and automatic obstacle avoidance with optical sensors (will move around obstacle)|
|Diagonal Size||520 mm||350 mm (Excluding Propellers)|
|Weight: (Including Battery And Propellers)||1945 g||1380 g|
|Total Pixels||12.4 MP||12.76 MP|
|Max Video Resolutions||4K UHD 30fps||4096x2160p 24/25, 3840x2160p 24/25/30,|
|Lens||FOV 98°, f/2.8, focus at ∞||FOV 94°, f/2.8, focus at ∞|
|Shutter Speed||8s -1/8000s||8s -1/8000s|
|Max Transmission Distance||1600 m||5000 m|
|Max FPV Preview Quality||HD 720P @ 30fps||HD 720P @ 30fps|
|Supported SD Card Types||Micro SD||Micro SD|
|Max capacity: 64 GB||Max capacity: 64 GB|
Yuneec Typhoon H Major Advantages:
- Retractable landing gear
- 6 rotors for safety and redundancy
- Black color (easier to see in sky)
- All-in-one controller with screen, no extra screen needed (save $$$)
- SD card included
- Portable “Wizard Wand” remote included
DJI Phantom 4 Major Advantages:
- Longer range (5km vs 1.6km)
- Follow me mode that can track objects using the camera, rather than just tracking the controller
- Included case (albeit styrofoam)
- Uses an optical ground-sensing system, allowing it to hover in place more precisely (the Typhoon H tends to drift around slightly more)
- Slightly more detailed camera, though with a more narrow view if that is what you prefer
When if comes down to it, both the Typhoon H and Phantom 4 are top-of-the line winners, just with unique tradeoffs. Both have solid collision avoidance technology, with DJI’s being a bit more advanced (for now). If you want the tightest drone experience available with a 5km range, then buy the DJI Phantom 4 and the required accessories. If you don’t mind trading less polish and less range for 6 rotor redundancy, retractable landing gear, and an all-in-one controller that works out of the box, then buy the Yuneec Typhoon H.
Yuneec is working on a version of the Typhoon H that incorporates Intel’s Realsense technology, allowing it to fly backwards while sensing obstacles in its path and simultaneously recording a tracked object behind it. Combined with its retractable landing gear, that would make a Realsense-equiped Typhoon H the most advanced drone that can follow you. It is expected to be released soon.
Intel Realsense demo video: