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Not sure if this is on-topic here, as the official guidance seems a bit vague.

Anyways, I've got a relatively simple question. I'm considering purchasing a Phantom 2 Vision+, but am a little unclear about what options there are in terms of controlling it. Their website makes a big deal about being able to set waypoints (using an iPad/mobile app) and have the quadcopter operate as an autonomous drone. And that's useful for certain things, but it seems like it would be more fun to control it directly by remote.

Judging from the video here, it does appear that the quadcopter ships with a remote. But it also looks like you're expected to stick an iPhone/smartphone onto the remote? Is that a requirement or just an optional extra?

Is it possible to fly the quadcopter without using a smartphone/mobile app (using just what's included in the box)?

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  • $\begingroup$ Although the guidance is vague, I think this edges towards off topic: your question is about UAVs and hardware, not directly aviation itself. That said, I'm voting to leave open (or rather, not voting to close) on the basis that there are plenty of questions about equipment on full size aircraft which relate to maintenance, rather than actually flying, and we're not so swamped with questions that we can't separate our Cessna's from our UAVs. This is very much on the borderline, though, and it may be worth starting a discussion post on there? $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 9:34

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I'm pretty sure it works without the smart phone. If I understand correctly, the smart phone app simply relays the imagery from the camera, which can be useful for navigating especially if you do not have a clear line of sight.

Ars Technica ran a piece on this very model, which might interest you.

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Here are your answers:

You can standard control for the P2V+ is via the physical remote it comes with, you can also set waypoints via the app (You may take over control at any time)

To see what you are filming and to start and stop recording among many other features, you will want to have the app on a smartphone connected. Everything you need to do this is included when you buy. You don't have to use the app, but I dont see why not.

Please check out my video for a full review of its features.

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The phone/ipad is used to relay video only and other wise control the camera. You also get some flight information such as distance, elevation, speed relayed to your display. It is not a requirement to use it but if you are never going to use it, why not get a straight Phantom 2, which doesn't have a camera on it. It's much cheaper. The camera system on the Phantom 2 vision+ is very impressive though!

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