When the Phantom first takes off, it sounds like a swarm of bees (VIDEO).
But when it rockets 200 feet into the air at 25 miles per hour, you can’t hear it at all. It’s just a small dot with blinking lights, waiting where you tell it to wait, taking pictures with its camera until you ask it to come back home.
When the chief executive of DJI’s American subsidiary, Colin Guinn, came to Los Angeles to sell film studios on his company’s professional-grade unmanned aerial vehicles, he also let Quartz test-drive the company’s newest product: the Phantom, a remote-controlled quadcopter with a camera mount that you can essentially fly right out of the box. It sold some 2,000 units in the first week after its Jan. 7 debut, according to Guinn.