Inspire 2 vs. Inspire 1
For the last decade DJI has established itself as the dominating force in commercial drone technology, demonstrating tremendous success with their Inspire, Phantom, and Mavic series drones. In November 2016 they unveiled the next edition of their Inspire series, the DJI Inspire 2, a follow-up to the DJI Inspire 1, which first sold in November 2014 .
The DJI Inspire 1 was positioned by DJI to appeal to the middle ground of consumers - between the average drone fan and a Hollywood filmmaker. Between the release of the Inspire 1 and Inspire 2, DJI has introduced numerous drones that are less expensive while offering many of the popular features of the Inspire 1 (both Phantom and Mavic series drones). The DJI Inspire 2 takes drone pilots to dizzying new heights, both figuratively and literally. It is remarkably fast, responsive, and all around a major improvement over its predecessor. (Discover all DJI Inspire 1 Accesssories)
Learn more about the DJI Inspire 2 in this in-depth review:
Let’s explore just how the Inspire 2 bests the Inspire 1:
Inspire 1: $1999
Inspire 2: $2999
The DJI Inspire series is marked by high quality all around, boasting industry leading materials, specs, and features. It comes as no surprise then that they are the highest priced consumer drones, with the Inspire 1 fetching a $1999 price tag, and the Inspire 2 costing a cool $2999.
The Inspire 1 V2.0 Everything You Need Kit is priced at $2,737 and comes with: a second remote controller for dual operators to control flight and camera functions, a spare intelligent flight battery, a battery heater to ensure safe and reliable flights in lower temperatures, a battery charging hub for charging four batteries at once, a remote controller monitor hood to shield the tablet from direct sunlight, and two pairs of quick-releas propellers (one pair of clockwise and one pair counter-clockwise). Flying with the extra controller allows for even better photography and videography, as one pilot controls the Inspire and gets it into position and the other manuevers the camera to capture the best shot. (All DJI Inspire 2 batteries and battery chargers are available here)
Inspire 2 Premium Combo buyers receive their own set of valuable upgrades: the Zemuse X5S and Cinema DNG & Apple ProRes Activation Key, which provide Inspire 2 owners full access to the CineCore 2.0 image processing system, making it capable of capturing 5.2K 30fps CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes video as well as 4K 60fps using H.264 and 4K 30fps using H.265 (both at 100Mbps).
For amateur drone fans, the larger price tag may be a deterrent, but otherwise the $2,999 figure is perfectly fair given the slew of features and improvements to the new model.
Flight Time (Battery Performance)
Inspire 1: 18 minutes
Inspire 2: 27 minutes
Inspire 1 operating temperature: 14°-104° Fahrenheit
Inspire 2 operating temperature: -4°-104° Fahrenheit
As expected, the Inspire 2 can fly for a longer period of time, reaching 27 minutes of flight compared to 18 minutes for the Inspire 1. Important to note here is that DJI offers two different sized batteries for the Inspire 1: a 4500 mAh unit that provides 18 minutes of flight time, and a 5700 mAh battery that provides 22 minutes. Additionally, the Inspire 2 utilizes dual battery redundancy, a useful features that allows the drones to pull power from both batteries, but run off one in case of failure. (If this happens, it will force the drone into landing mode, but that is 100% better than having an Inspire 2 fall helplessly from the sky!)
Another neat advantage the Inspire 2 has over the Inspire 1 is the cold weather performance. Say you're flying early in the morning, or even on a cool evening, but your batteries are too cold to function. If you fly an Inspire 1, you have no choice but to wait for warmer conditions, while the Inspire 2 includes a battery warming function that brings them up the required operating temperature. This difference is reflected in the operating temperature for each drone - Inspire 1: 14°-104° Fahrenheit and Inspire 2: -4°-104° Fahrenheit. (you read that right, that's negative 4!)
The Inspire 2 utilizes 2 onboard batteries that can be hot-swapped to maximize flight time. This provides it with 9 more minutes of flight time, a welcome addition for any drone pilot.
Inspire 1: 6.27 pounds
Inspire 2: 7.58 pounds
Looking at both drones, it's not easy to recognize how they differ in size and weight, especially because the differences are slight. The Inspire 2 is slightly bigger and slightly heavier than its Inspire 1 counterpart, weighing in at a stout 7.58 pounds, with the Inspire 1 tipping the scale at 6.27 pounds. In terms of size, the diagonal distance of the Inspire 2 is just 1 inch more than the Inspire 1, at 23.8 inches. Finally, perhaps the most noticeable difference in these two drones is their color. DJI has opted for a metallic finish for the Inspire 2, which photographers and videographers will appreciate over the stark white color of the Inspire 1, as it helps to minimize reflection in sunlight.
Speed and Range
Inspire 1 Top Speed: 49 mph
Inspire 2 Top Speed: 65 mph
Inspire 1 Range: 3.1 miles
Inspire 2 Range: 4.3 miles
When choosing between the Inspire 2 or Inspire 1, speed is a huge component, as the Inspire 2 really shows its muscles, vastly improving upon the 49mph top speed of the Inspire 1 with a blistering 65 mph. 65 mph is an impressive top speed, and will aford filmmakers unprecented action sequences as they zoom around their subject. DJI also improved on the range, boosting the 3.1 mile flight capability to 4.3 miles. Once again, DJI has taken their original iteration and made dramatic improvements, to the joy of all DJI fans worldwide.
Inspire 1: None
Inspire 2: 360°
Plain and simply (not to mention surprisingly), the Inspire 1 does not have any kind of obstacle avoidance. DJI stepped up its game with the Inspire 2, offering 360° obstacle avoidance for complete protection from any collision. Its Forward Vision System is capable of sensing objects up to 30 meters away while traveling up to 34 mph. Upward facing infrared sensors on the Inspire 2 sense obstacles within a 5 meter range. Plus, sensors on the underside of the Inspire 2 provide terrain detection. Both drones can hover in place without GPS thanks to DJI's Vision Positioning System (which also allows pilots to take off and land at the press of a button). It's unfortunate that the Inspire 1 doesn't utilize any obstacle sensing technology, the result of which is a drone that is not as safe and could be poorly suited for new drone pilots.
Inspire 1: Not Compatible
Inspire 2: Compatible
This category is a simple one to understand: the Inspire 2 is compatible with the transformative DJI Goggles, while the Inspire 1 is not, unfortunately. DJI Goggles give pilots a truly transformative experience, putting them inside the Inspire 2 for a flight that is absolutely breathtaking. Imbued with Head Tracking Technology, the DJI Goggles will turn in the direction the pilot turns their head, providing complete control over the aircraft's movement. A USB cable connects the Inspire 2 to the DJI Goggles, which operate up to the same transmission distance of the drone. If experiencing FPV flight is important to you, this compatibility is a huge factor when picking the Inspire 2 or the Inspire 1.
Although DJI thought ahead when designing the Inspire 1 by creating a gimbal capable of changing cameras, the Inspire 1 does not have an FPV camera like the newer model. The FPV camera allows for the pilot to see where they are flying while simultaneously relying on a camera operator to capture all the photos and videos.
|Inspire 1 (X3)||Inspire 2 (X5S)|
|Film Rate||12.76 MP,||20.8 MP, 5.2K at 30 FPS & 4K at 60 FPS|
|Video Formats||MOV, MP4||RAW, ProRes, MOV, MP4|
Both the Inspire 1 and Inspire 2 feature the standard intelligent flight modes synonymous with DJI Drones:
|Follow Me - Aircraft follows you and captures your every move from a unique aerial perspective.|
|Course Lock - Controls are set relative to your aircraft's current path. Fly in a set direction while soaring alongside moving objects or fixed objects.|
|Waypoints - Set multiple GPS points, or Waypoints, and the aircraft will automatically fly to them while you focus on controlling the camera.|
|Home Lock - fix your controls to be relative to the Home Pilot. Easily pull back on the control stick to bring the aircraft back home, or push forward to fly farther away, no matter which way it is facing.|
|Point of Interest - Set a specific building, object or location as the Point of Interest and the aircraft will continuously circle around it while you record the perfect photos and video.|
New to the Inspire 2 is Spotlight Pro, a powerful tracking mode that allows even single pilots to capture complex, dramatic imagery. Visual tracking algorithms lock onto a subject during flight, regardless of the aircraft's direction. The result: jaw-dropping photos that would have once required a dedicated camera operator. The design is so intricate that if the gimbal nears its rotation limits, the Inspire 2 will rotate itself in the same direction without affecting flight control. Spotlight is marked by two shooting modes: a) Quick Mode - Simple. Select an object to begin tracking, b) Composition - select the subject and tracking position. When the subject enters the preset tracking position, press the shortcut to begin tracking. (Spotlight Pro is available in TapFly, Waypoint, and Point of Interest)
One other new feature is QuickSpin, DJI's solution to not including continuous panning. When activated, QuickSpin rotates the aircraft 360°, working seamlessly with GPS, ATTI, Sport, and all Intelligent Flight Modes.
Ultimately, the DJI Inspire 2 blows all competition out the water. It really isn’t a fair fight. It crushes the competition with a combination of blinding speed, an assortment of great features, and beefy battery life. Plus, compatibility with DJI Goggles and a sleek new color result in the Inspire 2 cementing its place as the ultimate commercial drone. DJI has taken all of the wonderful features of their Inspire 1 and capitalized on them, making the Inspire 2 a truly valuable upgrade, in every sense of the word.