If you would like to use your tablet as a FPV monitor for your DJI Phantom 4, then you have come to the right place. This article is dedicated solely to that topic. So, in the next couple of lines I’ll do my best to introduce some of the very best tablets for DJI Phantom 4 and DJI Phantom 4 Pro, these tablets can be effectively used to view live FPV footage from your Phantom. In addition to that, I’ll also tell you a bit more about the features you can expect from the DJI GO app as well as certain issues that might occur. Let’s kick things off and start with the important stuff!
HOLY STONE HS150 REVIEW
DJI Phantom 4 comes with a new, improved controller that has a lot of added functionality. Compared to the DJI Mavic Pro controller, you’ll be surprised to see a mount that supports fully fledged tablets as well as smartphones. This, of course, is huge news for people who already own a tablet because they’re going to be able to use it right out of the box. For those of you who don’t own one, you’re going to have a chance to see a lot of details about the best ones on the market.
In terms of software support, unfortunately, things don’t look perfect… at least when it comes to the Android market. You see, the DJI GO app is not fully optimized for some Android devices. This essentially means that you will not be able to download it from the official Google Play Store. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t have it installed. To do this, you will need to download the.apk from a third-party website and force-install it to your device by checking the “Install from Unknown Sources” button in the settings menu of your device. Things are much more promising when it comes to iOS devices. With full GPS support that allows you to change auto land location on-the-fly, you’ll be properly set up right out of the box.
Despite all that, I still don’t think buying an iOS tablet or iPhone just for the sake of having a full DJI GO app right out of the box is the right way to go. If you already have one, then you’re settled—use it, and I can assure you, you’re going to be satisfied with the results. On the other hand, if you don’t own an iOS tablet, I think Nvidia’s Shield K1 tablet is the best way to go.
TABLETS VS SMARTPHONES
The most important answer to this dispute is the size of the screen. Tablets, obviously, have much larger screens than smartphones that allow you to see live feeds with more details. The second thing that works for tablets, too, is that they’re not usually your daily device. This means that you’ll still be able to use your daily (smartphone) device for calls, web surfing, messaging and all that good stuff… while your tablet does all the FPV work.
Now here are a few things that work for smartphones. First of all, all modern smartphones have GPS, cellular data and wireless access, while tablets usually only have 2 of these options. This can be a huge issue, especially if you’re thinking about using all the features of the DJI GO app, such as returning to home location setup and the like. Ideally, you can always create a hotspot between your devices, allowing your tablet to have internet access that will greatly enhance your overall flying experience. So, if you ask me which one is best to use with drones, a tablet or a smartphone… I wouldn’t be able to give you a clear answer because it depends on the specific devices that you have as well as your flight needs.
BEST TABLETS FOR DJI PHANTOM 4
GOOGLE NEXUS 7
Our list starts with a steady Android tablet—Google Nexus 7 by Asus. In its days, this was an absolute beast. But keep in mind that time has taken its toll on this old fella. By the way, I’m talking about the improved, upgraded version that came out in 2013 and not the 2012 brick version.
The 2013 version packs a lot of momentum even for today’s standards, at least when it comes to basic tasks. It has a clean, relatively thin design that will slide comfortably into the DJI P4 controller without any problems. Hardware-wise, it features a 1920 x 1200 display and runs Snapdragon S4Pro chipset with a 1.5 Ghz Quad-core Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU. While GPU is a good bottleneck, you should still not experience any stuttering in the DJI GO app… unless you overburden it with a ton of apps that will use most of its 2 gigs of RAM.
When it comes to using this little fella as your FPV monitor, you’re not going to stumble on any issues. Even though it doesn’t have full support for the DJI GO app, the experience is solid and there’s virtually no stuttering. All in all, if you don’t own a tablet and your smartphone screen size is just too small, then Google Nexus 7 can give you what you need relatively cheaply.
NVIDIA SHIELD K1
When it comes to Android tablets, there’s no doubt that Nvidia’s Shield K1 is the best one out there. Not only because of its spectacular hardware, but also because it features a mini HDMI port.
Hardware wise, Nvidia Shield K1 runs on Cortex A15 @2.2 Ghz with Tegra K1 chipset and ULP GeForce Kepler with 192 cores. In addition, the entire build is spiced up with an IPS LCD capacitive display that features a cozy 1920 x 1800 resolution with a cca 283 pixel density. With a sleek design and a decent battery life (5200mAh), it’s safe to say that Nvidia has created a proper gaming tablet. But, despite the fact that gamers are the primary target audience, I’m sure many people bought Shield K1 for one simple reason – to pair it with their drones and enjoy a smooth FPV experience. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Nvidia Shield K1 is definitely a no-brainer.
Needless to say, it’s an incredibly powerful device that’s going to suit your gaming and drone quests all in one. All in all, if you’re looking for a great all-around tablet for gaming, drone piloting and even casual work, then Nvidia Shield K1 is all you need!
APPLE IPAD 2
And finally, we’ve come to the best DJI Phantom 4 tablet. As you might have guessed from the introductory paragraph, an iOS tablet was destined to take the number 1 spot. That’s because Apple products generally have better performance and GPS connectivity in combination with DJI drones, especially this one.
Apple iPad 2 gives you the most important enhanced features that allow you to change your default home position on-the-fly. In addition, you don’t have to worry about any kind of stuttering since iPad 2 is packed with proper hardware. It might not be on par with Android tablets in terms of raw power, but I’m sure you all know that Apple is doing a much better job with software-hardware optimization. With all that in mind, there’s no doubt that Apple’s iPad 2 is one of the best tablets to pair with DJI’s Phantom 4.
While some of you will have an initial problem with its display (it’s only 768 x 1024), I’m pretty sure you’ll get used to it after a few test flights. All in all, if you opt for an iPad 2, I can assure you that you are making the right decision!
BEST SMARTPHONES FOR DJI PHANTOM 4
IPHONE 7 PLUS
If you’re thinking about a smartphone drone combo, you can’t get any better than one of Apple’s flagships. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the amazing 7 Plus iPhone. It’s the pinnacle of Apple technology and provides users with the ultimate smartphone experience.
Although most pre-release connotations were extremely bad and aimed at its lack of a 3.5mm jack, the iPhone 7 Plus still received praise from a large number of users. It’s true. Accessories are quite expensive, and so is the smartphone itself… but that’s what makes Apple look like. But in the end, you’re going to get exactly what you pay for. Extraordinary design packed in a sturdy metal case where you can find state-of-the-art chipset and all the following hardware.
It’s what’s inside that makes the iPhone 7 Plus a smartphone worthy to combine with drones. Not only does it have a super high quality 5.5-inch full HD display, but it’s also just 7.3mm thick, allowing you to easily mount it on the Phantom 4 DJI controller. Full DJI GO app support is present and the phone’s brightness is more than capable of giving you a great image even in direct sunlight.
If you’re an Android fan, but you don’t want to settle for the mainstream Galaxy flagships, then LG has a go-to model for you. Their latest premium model is called G6 and plans to storm the smartphone market with excellent hardware and stunning display.
We are talking about a 1440p display (1440×2880 to be more precise), a 5.7-inch display with a density of approximately 564 pixels per inch. That being said, if you’re looking for the best FPV monitor screen on your smartphone, it’s safe to say it doesnt get much better off than LG G6. Luckily, the screen isn’t the only LG flagship virtue. It also comes with an IP68 waterproof certificate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 back panel and runs on the latest Android 7 Nougat.
As far as performance is concerned, there is nothing to worry about here since LG G6 runs on the Snapdragon 821 chipset and the powerful Adreno 530 GPU. The DJI GO app works without any issues, and you can be sure that there won’t be any weird stuttering while browsing menus or enjoying live feed. So, with that in mind, if you’re thinking about going with a LG G6, I really don’t see why you shouldn’t.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S8
Even though LG G6 made a lot of effort to create a great alternative to Samsung’s premium models, Galaxy S8 had other plans. You see, this aesthetically pleasing 5.8-inch smartphone with an edge-to-edge display and a ground-breaking 1440×2960 resolution (yup, slightly better than LG G6) simply swept away all competitors.
Despite Samsung’s recent explosive issues (batteries were a huge issue on their Note model), customers still recognized the sheer quality of their next generation flagship. With such powerful hardware inside, there’s no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S8 can run the DJI GO app in full glory without any frame drops or other trivial issues.
It fits into the dedicated smartphone/tablet tray of the Phantom 4 DJI controller with ease, so there’s no worry in that department. But, there’s a small issue that you should know about – considering that this model has an edge-to-edge display, those clips that hold it in place might bother some of you. In the long run, it’s not a big deal, but those of you who are perfectionists won’t be able to look past it.