The Phantom 2 Quadcopter v2.0 features a number of notable hardware updates over the previous Phantom 2 model from DJI, including more efficient motors, redesigned self-tightening props, a new transmitter (radio controller) with built-in battery and gimbal control dial, and other improvements. The Phantom 2 - for those who aren't familiar - is a quad-rotor UAV aircraft that can be great fun to fly standalone, but more than anything serves as a platform for capturing aerial shots using a GoPro HERO action camera (gimbal and camera available separately). It features a "Smart Battery" with integrated regulation circuitry that provides up to 25 minutes flying time; which is a substantive improvement over the original Phantom's still respectable 14 minutes.
This version of the Phantom 2 is classified - in RC jargon - as "ready-to-fly" (RTF). This means that a pre-bound transmitter (radio controller) is included, and the most of the major assembly - anything involving soldering and special tools - was done at the factory. However, autonomous - that is, computer-assisted - flying still requires a number of pre-flight calibration steps before the aircraft can safely take to the skies. The most important being GPS calibration. GPS provides the most important data the navigation system uses to determine where the quadcopter is in relation to the pilot. Without GPS the aircraft can still provide some correction to maintain stability; but all other assisted flying features - especially those required by beginners - will be unavailable.
Because of the complexity associated with multi-rotor aircraft, the flight control system in the Phantom 2 relies on a GPS-based navigation as well as a sensor gimbal, compass, and other data to maintain flight stability and provide assisted-flying features. While fully manual operation is possible, and can be unlocked using the Assistant Software, most users, especially videographers hoping to get the smoothest possible shoots, will opt for GPS or GPS Attitude flight mode. In GPS Mode the flight control system keeps the quadcopter stable and right-side-up when moving, and holds it in a fixed horizontal and vertical position whenever you release the sticks.
The Phantom 2 features a 5200 mAh "smart" battery system that has been simplified compared to most RC LiPo batteries. The battery slots in without having to connect any DC leads, and features four LED indicators visible on the outside, tail-end of the aircraft helping you keep track of battery levels in flight. Charging is also simplified, with all of the charging circuitry built into the battery itself; there is no more separate balance lead to worry about plugging in. Because of this design, the Phantom 2 battery cannot be charged with all-purpose balance chargers, only chargers made specifically for it.
Note: An optional camera mount or Zenmuse gimbal is required to use a GoPro camera with the Phantom 2 Quadcopter.
Warning: When using an Wi-Fi enabled GoPro, ensure the GoPro's Wi-Fi is turned off as it operates on the same 2.4 GHz frequency as the Phantom 2's transmitter and receiver. If the GoPro's Wi-Fi is left on the transmitter's (radio controller) connection may be broken causing the aircraft to become inoperable. This may result in loss of property or damage to your equipment.