There’s a new DJI product launch set for September 8, 2021 at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. (6 a.m. Pacific Time). Few details have been given other than the event’s name, “Hi Five.” Beyond that, all we have is a link to a “new products” page and a place to enter your email to get digital updates, as well as a logo of the number 5 in a box floating in the clouds.
Here are my three theories of what DJI will reveal at its Hi Five product launch next week:
Could we finally see the launch of a Phantom 5 drone? DJI has largely been focusing its drones on the Mavic line as of late, so the Phantom line is more than ready for a refresh.
It’s been quite a while since the last in the Phantom line, the Phantom 4 (as well as its siblings, including the Phantom 4 Pro), first came out. The Phantom 4 was initially released in March 2016, making huge headway because it was the first consumer drone to have five separate safety sensors for not just detecting obstacles in its path, but autonomously finding a way to navigate around them. At launch, it retailed for $1,399.
DJI then made smaller tweaks and improvements to the initial Phantom 4 by introducing modified versions of the drone including the Phantom 4 Pro. The Phantom 4 Pro, which launched a few months later in November 2016, went for $1,499, which is just $100 more than what its predecessor cost. Then DJI announed the Phantom 4 Advanced in April 2017 as an upgrade to the Phantom 4 drone, improving on its predecessor’s camera with a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor and a mechanical shutter lens.
And even though it’s been about five years since the initial DJI Phantom 4 launched, it’s a beloved drone. Many enterprise drone users still proclaim it to be the reigning king in photogrammetry.
But for many, the Phantom line has fallen out of favor because it feels so bulky relative to the highly-portable Mavic line. DJI has leaned into Mavics not just for casual consumers through products like the Mini 2, but to enterprise users with versions like the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced.
Osmo Mobile 5 (OM 5)
The Osmo Mobile is a 3-axis gimbal for smartphones, which brings that silky smooth look you’re used to on drones to the camera on your phone. Since DJI is currently on the 4th generation of its Osmo Mobile, it’s not unreasonable to think DJI would come out with a 5th generation.
And my friends over at Drone DJ have a very goo theory why it is the OM 5. Just days ago, Drone DJ reported that a new listing from DJI has hit the FCC database with the name DJI OM 5.
It’s likely that, should we see an OM 5, it’ll include a selfie stick of sorts via a built-in extension feature. Going back to the callout of the clouds in the logo, it could be an indicator that the extension feature would allow your smartphone camera to get closer to the clouds than ever.
Osmo Action 5k
And then there’s one more theory that isn’t necessarily the 5th iteration of a product, but actually just the second: a new and improved Osmo Action. With this, the ‘Hi Five’ could stand for 5K.
And 5K could be coming to the DJI Osmo Action, which is the drone maker’s response to GoPro.
Look at the recently-launched DJI Air 2S drone. Revealed earlier this year on April 15, 2021, DJI’s newest iteration of the Air drone stands out for its 1” sensor offering 20-megapixel photos and 5.4K video. That’s the same as what you get in the larger, more-expensive Mavic 2 Pro (but obviously at a far-lower price point), and offers a larger pixel size of 2.4μm.
It’s not unreasonable to think DJI might take that same technology in its drone and put it in an action camera.
The current version of the DJI Osmo Action offers a 4K, 12MP digital camera with two displays and a 145° angle. It works underwater down to 36 feet.
Why the Hi Five DJI product launch matters
Either way, now is a ripe time for DJI to roll out a new product of any sort. With some product launches, the product is available for purchase immediately, while others allow you to be first in line for pre-order. But either way, it likely means there will be a new DJI product on shelves for the 2021 holiday season.
And this could be a big holiday season for drones, as more Americans are skipping holiday travel for a second year in a row (no) thanks to the COVID pandemic. Because of that, some budgets previously devoted to travel, dining and shows have been left untouched, leaving room for things like drones to fill that gap. And for Americans who are traveling, there seems to be an emphasis on socially-distant vacations like RV trips or camping. Unsurprisingly, those are ripe for bringing a drone, because while a drone probably won’t succeed on your trip to Times Square in New York City, it’ll be the perfect piece of equipment to fly in a remote forest.
What product would you like to see DJI debut this month at its Hi Five product launch? Leave a comment here!