The post is an update of the Chapter 3–3DR Solo vs Phantom 3 Remote Controller, we’ll focus on their Mobile App in the article.
Both 3DR and DJI have done a great job developing apps that elevate the flying and filmmaking experience with their drones. They both are iOS and Android compatible, both provide a live 720p HD view, both allow enhanced camera control, both enable easy content sharing, both include a flight simulator, both give you access to a live GPS view of your flight and both control automated flight modes.
Solo: Get Your Drone code On…
On top of all the overlapping features, the Solo App has been said to be a bit easier to operate right out of the gates, giving first-time users a quicker learning curve. That’s most likely because of its simpler display (with a majority of the flight data appearing on the controller’s built-in LCD screen).
For many drone enthusiasts, the most attractive feature of the Solo App will be its open source DroneKit SDK and web API, which enables users to hack the software and develop new apps. The open platform is backed by the Dronecode Foundation and lets software developers and hobbyists create new apps to add new functionality to your Solo drone, to enhance your flight experience on your device or to even customize how your Solo shares and uploads data to the DroneKit Cloud. This is the software side of 3DR’s “Made for Solo” development program, which hopes to jumpstart small companies while also improving the capabilities of the Solo and drone technology in general. For enthusiastic drone advocates, this could be an attractive company philosophy that is easy to get behind.
Last but not least, the Solo App lets you update all of the Solo’s firmware wirelessly. Compared with the Phantom 3 update process, it’s virtually automatic and gets you flying much sooner after an update becomes available.
Phantom 3: Advanced Settings for Photogs
For the Phantom 3, the big selling point for photographers is the wide variety of advanced camera settings available through the DJI Go App. Being able to quickly change ISO, resolution and frame rate lets you properly tune your camera to match the conditions while you fly. Plus, you can easily stream your flight on YouTube and blow away your loyal fans.
DJI also allows app development with the Go App’s SDK, but it really only lets you create new apps that work with your mobile device, instead of making the entire flight system open.
Overall, the 3DR Solo is a powerful, easy-to-use quadcopter that lets you use your GoPro HERO camera as an eye in the sky to shoot stunning aerial imagery. You can most definitely create the same stunning content as the Phantom 3, but there may be a little more practice, editing or fine tuning involved in the getting the final product.
It is definitely ready to fly right out of the box, but 3DR’s decision to make it an open platform means that it will be eligible for hardware upgrades, software hacks and other improvements as they come down the pipe. You could say the Solo is like Android, and the Phantom 3 is more like Apple, but don’t let that discourage you one way or another.
The Phantom 3 is an all-encompassing and incredibly easy way to capture amazing photo and video from the sky. It has become the most popular choice for beginning and experienced drone pilots because of its combination of simplicity and robust features.
The software upgrades like Intelligent Flight Modes and other functions have proved that DJI is constantly working to improve the user experience in any way possible. In the end, the Phantom 3 will get you from unboxing to stunning imagery quicker, but with that you sacrifice a certain level of camera control and the ability to edit things the way you want (e.g. smaller field of view, etc.). For some particular photographers that may feel limiting, but for most people, the Phantom 3 will not fail to impress.