Is Phantom 3 SE worth buying?

According to DJI this drone is aimed at both novices and experienced drone pilots. Id that really the case? Is this drone worth the 650 euro price tag that it carries?

In this model we are promised a 4K camera, four kilometers range, Vision system giving us stable hover and 25 minutes flight time.

How is it in real life?

Let’s start with the camera – yes, it does record 4K but the sensor is only ⅔ of an inch and 12 megapixels which means means that our photos will be good but not fantastic. It just means that a certain amount of detail will not be picked up by the sensor. For comparison it’s nearest rival, the Phantom 3 Standard has a 2.7K 12 megapixel camera so it’s already an upgrade.

4 kilometer range – only when flying in large, open areas with little to no interference from other WiFi networks, otherwise the range may be limited to as little as 500 meters.

Vision system – yes, it’s there but only under the drone, which means no obstacle avoidance but you do have the option of automatic take-off and landing. The Phantom 3 Standard does not have any Vision sensors.

25 minutes of flight time – this figure needs to be taken with a grain of salt, it seems to have been obtained in windless conditions, with help from a very patient pilot. In real life I have been able to get between 18 – 22 minutes of flight time.

So is Phantom 3SE worth the 650 euro?

That depends, if you are completely new to drones I would recommend getting something lighter and smaller to start with, this way you get to learn flying without all the sophisticated electronics, this helps if you get into trouble with your expensive drone and for example lose GPS signal. It will also mean less damage if you hit something or someone. There are different brands to choose from but the most know are Syma, Hubsan and JJRC.

If you have some experience and want to progress to a bigger unit with more capabilities the Phantom 3 SE is a good choice. If you are OK with the ⅔ inch sensor,only downward Vision sensors and WiFi controls you won’t be disappointed. The Phantom 3 SE offers all the great features of a DJI drone for a really good price.

If you want to earn money with this drone I don’t have good news though. This is a consumer unit, not really suitable for professional work. If you are looking for professional results you will have to fork out more than the 650 euro. I would recommend getting the Phantom 4 Pro for a y kind of paid work. You will pay almost 3 times more for the P4P but the results will be worth it.

You can purchase the P 3SE directly from DJI’s website or through a network of resellers. I have bought mine before it became available in Europe through, a chinese website. They have covered all taxes and customs and I had it delivered in 2 weeks. I have also paid about €200 less than the current, official price.

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