The DJI Phantom FC40 is one of the cool looking products from the Phantom line. It has everything you could ever hope, and you can say that is perfect for everyone. It’s very easy to fly, so, if you are a beginner you won’t have any problems at this chapter. This is due to its amazing flight features that will help guide your actions.
Also, if you are experienced in drones you won’t get bored with it. It will also guarantee you some nice aerial shots and lots of other amazing things. But these we’ll discover as we move through the article.
- Complete quadcopter, video camera, and a remote transmitter, pre-tuned by the factory and ready in minutes!
- Integrated video camera with 720p HD video recording on a micro SD card and live first-person view (FPV) Wi-Fi streaming.
- The FC40 incorporates a 5.8 GHz control connection that won’t interfere with the Wi-Fi streaming.
- New self-tightening propellers, means extra security and no worrying about lost prop nuts.
- Advanced GPS features such as return-to-home.
The most amazing thing this quadcopter has to offer is the HD smart camera which takes very nice videos! Even more, it will connect with your smartphone through Wi-Fi so you can easily see what your drone is recording. You can also control the camera angle with the help of a free app.
The FC40 is not a ready to fly quadcopter (RTF) even though most people say that. With a ready to fly a drone, you just get it out of the box, charge it and then you can start having fun. With this one, you have to do some work first but it’s very simple so even a beginner will handle it.
In the package you will find:
- 1 x Phantom FC40 body
- HD camera and mount
- 2 x propellers pairs
- Remote control transmitter
- Balance charger
- Cables, screws and other connectivity elements
- Phone mount (you have to attach it to the transmitter)
- Landing gear
Here you have a video with the unboxing of the Phantom FC40.
Now, about the work, I said you have to do. You will only have to mount the propellers, the landing gear and install the camera.
It’s not hard at all, especially if you read the manual carefully or watch a good video above, one in which you see exactly what to do.
Design and durability
About the body; this one is just like any other Phantom drone: elegant, stylish and very durable. You also get in the package some red stickers so you can put them on the front. This way you can easily figure it out if you are going backward or forward. Or you could just put them where you want and make your own personalized drone.
DJI Phantom FC40 is not so big so you can easily put it in a bag or a backpack and go wherever you want with it. I like the fact that the Phantom’s body looks so good that you will say is even more expensive than it really is. Its design and features make it very easy to fly.
The part that I love the most is the fact that you can easily attach your phone to the transmitter. You don’t have to buy anything in addition since you have a really nice phone mount that will help you out a lot.
Important fact: The drone measures 18.9 x 13.4 x 4.7 inches and it weighs 6.7 pounds.
The camera and all the features that it brings to the table are the main attraction with this drone. The best part is that you can either use the integrated HD camera, which is already installed on the FC40FC40, or you can attach another one, is up to you.
But let’s talk about what this little thing can do!
With this camera, you can make high-quality videos and the cool part is that it links with any Android or iOS smartphone through Wi-Fi. Next, with the help of a free app, you get to control the camera angle and also pause or restart the recording. If you don’t like the camera that you get with the drone, you can buy any GoPro that connects through Wi-Fi or any camera that is compatible with a GoPro mount.
The fact that the camera uses Wi-Fi is pretty cool but there are a few problems as well. People that flew this drone, say that once the drone gets further away, the video that you see in FPV gets laggy. However, the video that remains on the SD card will be a smooth 30 fps video without any lag. So you don’t have to worry about this little problem.
As I said earlier, the camera is pretty much the main attraction and the main reason why you would buy the drone. If that doesn’t attract you, you will just have to keep the drone’s body and buy another camera or simply just buy another drone.
Battery and flight time
The camera is pretty light so it won’t take much from the DJI Phantom FC40’s battery life. Another nice thing is that the camera has its own battery so it won’t consume at all the big battery while recording or taking pictures.
The battery that comes in the package with the drone is a 2200 mAh Li-Po battery that will give 10-12 minutes of flight. Of course you can buy another one or just buy the upgraded version. This one is a 5200 mAh Li-Po battery with which you can get up to 25 minutes of flight. If you like this camera then you can remain with this battery but if you want to change it with a GoPro then you will really need a better one.
The transmitter is very easy to use even if you are a beginner. Even more, if you already have another Phantom, then you know exactly how to use it. Transmitters are very similar with the Phantom products.
DJI Phantom FC40 has an ON and OFF button and a LED light that show you when it’s turned on. There are throttle sticks, with which you control the drone’s moves, and 2 switches.
One is for Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) which you can use when you are used to basic flight, and the second one is for mode control – GPS mode and ATTI mode (attitude mode). It also has an antenna, carrying handle, neck strap attachment, power indicator, micro-USB port and a potentiometer for compliance version configuration.
The operating frequency of the transmitter is 5.728 GHz – 5.85 GHz and the communication distance with the drone is about 500 meters. Don’t forget that the transmitter needs batteries so you will have to buy 4 AA batteries before starting the flight.
The link between the controller and the done is already done so when you will start it, you will hear a beeping sound. That’s when you know you are ready to start. Also, don’t forget that you can attach your smartphone to the controller so you can enjoy amazing FPV flights.
The switches at the top of the transmitter will help you switch flight modes. Let’s see exactly what those are and what they can do:
- ATTI: this mode will help you shoot nice videos because it maintains the drone at a specific altitude. However, keep in mind that it will not maintain the longitudinal position as well. If you are shooting a video and you let it fly in this mode you will get a very smooth final result. If you are trying to fly it yourself it will not be that smooth. This is probably one of the first modes people use when flying the Phantom FC40.
- GPS flight mode: with this, the drone will maintain a fixed position after you release the switches. The position will not be affected by the wind. Even if the wind is stronger, the drone will fix its position going back to normal whenever that is needed.
- Manual mode: This mode is a little bit risky if you are a beginner but you can make some nice tricks with it. Whenever you feel that you are losing control over the drone you can always fix the position automatically by switching back to ATTI.
You can enter all these modes with the switch on the right. The switch on left does “course-lock” or “home-lock” but these two only work in GPS mode. With the home lock position, if you pull the right joystick down, the drone will come towards you and if you pull it up the drone will go away. It doesn’t count which way the drone is facing because these moves will happen anyway. Course-lock remembers the direction that the drone flew in and it will re-orientate the sticks.
If you don’t have any experience in flying a quadcopter then you don’t have to worry about it. With the available flight modes everything will be easy-peasy. The drone has a very stable flight and it can also hover so the videos that you are recording are stable as well.
According to people who have tested it, the Phantom FC40 has the following flight performances:
- Flight speed: 10 m/s
- Maximum time in flight: 15 minutes or 25 minutes with a better battery
- Hover accuracy: 0.8 m vertical, 2.5 m horizontal
- Maximum altitude reached: 395 meters
Below is a video with the Phantom FC40 in flight.
Value for money and guarantee
You can buy these quadcopters online and it will cost between $525 and $843. About the guarantee, you will find different opinions depending from seller to seller. Also, people who have bought it mentioned you can find sellers that will waterproof the drone for you but, of course, the price will go up.
- Of course the main thing to discuss here is the FC40’s camera. It comes with a GoPro mount so if you want something better you can change it with a GoPro.
- The camera has its own built-in battery so it will not consume the drone’s battery when you shoot videos. Also, it links with your smartphone through Wi-Fi so you can enjoy a FPV flight.
- In the package you find a smartphone holder which you can attach to the transmitter so it will be very easy to see in FPV and control the camera’s angle.
- When you get the drone out of its package you have to mount the propellers. Well this is very easy because they are self-tightening propellers and it won’t be that easy to lose them during a flight.
- It has GPS, IOC and ATTI modes that will help you during flight and while shooting a video.
Similar models or main competitors
The main competitors for the Phantom FC40 are the, of course, the other Phantom products. Not only that the products are very similar but the difference is usually measured in money and cool features. Now let’s see the main competitors form Phantom and other companies.
Phantom 2 has the same body as the FC40. It also has self-tightening propellers so you don’t lose anything while you fly, but these are bigger. This is perfect if you want a bigger camera. This model is equipped with the DJI’s Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal camera mount so the fact that it has bigger propellers it will really help you out because this camera mount is for a heavy camera.
The battery that the Phantom 2 has it will provide you with 25 minutes of flight. At the FC40 you get that time of flight only if you buy another battery of the same type or you buy the upgraded version.
Just like FC40, Phantom 2 also has amazing features like GPS, FPV, and interesting modes that will help you fly the drone as you like or if you. Also, if you are a beginner the modes will come in handy. If you want to find out more about this model, we suggest checking out our in-depth DJI Phantom 2 review.
So the main difference between these two is the camera you can use. There is also the flight time difference but that can be arranged with the FC40.
Like this product? Then you can check its price on Amazon.
Autel Robotics X-Star Drone
Autel Robotics X-Star Drone has some amazing features like dual GPS and GLONASS navigation system. It also has smart-flight options like follow, orbit and waypoints that are perfect for you if you are a beginner. It even has a beginner mode that will limit the drone’s range and speed.
It uses a 4K HD camera that shoots crystal clear videos and, just like the camera from Phantom FC40, it links through Wi-Fi with your smartphone so you can see in first-person-view everything the drone is recording.
You also get a smartphone holder but it can get bigger so you can have room for your tablet.
It is very easy to learn how to fly and you have functions like hover, take off and land, auto-pilot or automatically return home only by touching one button on the remote controller just like the functions you find on Phantom FC40.
The camera is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal so it prevents the camera from moving while in flight so you get stable and clear videos.
With this drone you get up to 25 minutes of flight while with the FC40 you get only 12 but this can be fixed with a better battery.
If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.
Walkera QRX350 PRO
Walkera qrx350 pro uses a GPS control system so it has a better flight than other Walkera products and also the camera records smoother videos.
It uses an iLook camera with a G-2D gimbal that is linked to a transmitter where you can see in FPV what the camera is recording. At the Phantom FC40 you need a smartphone to see in FPV but here the transmitter has its own screen.
It also has awesome functions like hover, return home and failsafe that will protect your drone from getting lost. Just like the FC40, the QRX350PRO can’t carry that much of a load but it is able to sustain a lightweight camera like a GoPro or iLook. You can get more familiar with this drone from Walkera, in our QR X350 Pro review, where you can actually find out all the important features and characteristics of this model.
Without payload the drone can reach up to 25 minutes of flight and with a camera up to 15 minutes depending on how much you use it. Here the Phantom FC40 is taking the lead because the camera doesn’t use the drone’s battery since it has its own built-in battery.
Like this product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
Let’s see some of the pros and cons that this drone has:
- It has a free app that you can use for better videos
- The camera has its own built-in battery so it doesn’t take the power from the drone’s battery
- The body is pretty strong so it’s not affected by minor crashes
- The propellers are self-tightening so they won’t come off by themselves
- You have a smartphone holder included in the package which you can attach it to the transmitter
- The drone is very stable and if you use the modes you will get even stable videos than flying it yourself
- The battery lasts only for 12 minutes and if you want a longer flight time you will have to buy another one
- The mobile app doesn’t indicate the battery level
- The price could be lower
- If the drone is too far the video you see in FPV can get laggy
The Phantom FC40 is an awesome drone but, of course, not everyone has to like it. We l share different opinions but of what I see, most people really like this product (probably why it has so many positive reviews). People really have fun using it and they are really pleased with the results they get after looking at the videos they’ve just recorded.
This quadcopter is powerful and the camera is very good so I think is a good price for what it can do. So if you liked it check it out and after you’ve bought it share your opinions and experiences with us in comments.