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Aftermarket Batteries $95 USD

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Tenly, Apr 20, 2016.

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  1. Tenly

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    So - I found a Phantom Advanced/Professional battery for sale on Amazon today for $119 Canadian ($95 US) and very nearly pulled the trigger on it. It has the exact same capacity as the DJI OEM battery.

    (In case you don't want to read this whole message - this post is a suggestion to "DO NOT BUY" at the current time )

    The company marketing the battery is called "Upstart" and their website goes into great detail about how the quality of their batteries is as good as or better than the quality of the OEM batteries. They also mention that their warrant/guarantee is better than the OEM equivalent.

    There were no reviews for the item and I thought I might order one and take it to my technician friend for a tear-down and quality/cell analysis - but before i finished shopping, I stumbled upon another listing for this battery - in a 2-pack this time (for the same price x 2) but there was a user review attached to this listing. The user gave the battery a single star and said that DJI's latest firmware update prevents this battery from being used at all. It is now a $95 paperweight.

    I know that many of the more skittish members will reply to this thread with their "advice" and "wisdom" and they will tell you to NEVER buy after market components - especially a battery. And they will use fear-mongering tactics to convince you that they are right and they will claim that saving $50 on a battery will crash your $1000 drone. Of course, these people couldn't be more wrong - but whatevs - they are free to waste their money paying for a name while we smarter consumers will research the actual quality of the products and then pay the lowest price for the best quality.

    Don't misunderstand me. A lot of aftermarket stuff is in fact, total crap. But not all of it, all the time. Some aftermarket items can and do exceed the quality of the equivalent OEM part - but it requires research and sometimes patience to find these products - but when you do find one - it's nice to save a few dollars and feel smug knowing you paid less for a superior item!

    In any case - even though this battery seemed like it might have potential to be such a product - if DJI is going to make it impossible via firmware to operate a phantom with an aftermarket battery - I guess we're out of luck.

    The purpose of this message is to advise anyone that might be considering purchasing an Upstart after-market battery that they may want to hold off on that decisions until there is evidence that the Phantom firmware will allow it to be used.

    I emailed the company and I will post their reply here if they answer.

    For now - DO NOT BUY the Upstart Phantom 3 Adv/Pro replacement battery.
     
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  2. msinger

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    For just a few bucks more (currently $113), you can buy OEM DJI batteries here on Amazon. The price of OEM batteries is getting so low that it really does not make sense to try to use knock-off batteries anymore.
     
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  3. Tenly

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    Unless the knock-offs turn out to be better quality...

    The cheapest DJI batteries available in Canada right now are $188. A $119 price is a significant savings - if quality is identical. You can get 3 for the price of 2 DJI's - but again - it's only a deal if the quality/reliability etc is the same or better (and if the firmware allows them to be used!)
     
  4. msinger

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    The props and battery are the most vital accessories on your Phantom. I wouldn't trust knock-offs for either on mine.
     
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  5. Suntana

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    Buy away


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  6. Tenly

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    Your $113 price equals about $143 Canadian dollars - so I'm not sure why we're still paying $188. Until recently it was $195.
     
  7. Tenly

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    That's certainly your prerogative - but by doing a little bit of research to determine quality levels of third-party products, I've saved literally thousands of dollars over the last 20 years and (knock on wood) NEVER had a problem!

    That's not to say that you can just go and buy the cheapest thing out there. You still have to use your brain and do some research - but the premise that the OEM always produces the best, most reliable part possible is wrong more often than it is right!

    This isn't a money-saving example - but it is an example of a third party producing something better than an OEM - Autopilot and Litchi vs DJI Go. I haven't done the research yet, but I'd also be willing to bet that there are some 3rd party lenses out there that are better quality than the DJI supplied camera lens.
     
  8. msinger

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    Very nice :)

    To be clear though, I was only referring to P3 batteries and props. I've done a lot of research and those third party P3 accessories aren't faring too well at this point in time.
     
  9. Tenly

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    Fair enough if you've done the research. But your initial reply made it sound like you weren't even prepared to look at aftermarket props or batteries - regardless of quality.

    Anyhow / the whole point of this post was to try and save people from wasting their money on this particular battery - which looks like it might be a quality product - because it just plain doesn't work with the latest firmware.
     
  10. msinger

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    I'm fully prepared and ready to consider all accessories on the market. Researching and learning about new accessories, tips, etc. is what I enjoy doing.

    With that said though, I prefer to recommend products that are known to work -- and covered by DJI's warranty. There's nothing quite like watching your $1,200 quadcopter drop like a rock out of the sky all to save a few bucks. In the end, that math just doesn't work out sometimes.

    This seems to be the case for all knock-off batteries right now. It seems DJI has recently changed something that rendered them useless.
     
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  11. JonnyRobinson

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    Thats a real bummer that we have to pay so much more here in Canada EH. As soon as you click Canada, the shipping price goes sky high. I got lucky a couple of weeks ago when someone from the city I am in was selling 5 new OEM DJI batteries. He had them listed both on Ebay and Kijiji. He has had quite a presence on Ebay and owns quite a bit of commercial property in the city so I took a chance and went with it. I bought two for three hundred. I was a bit Leary but both work fine.
     
  12. LuvMyTJ

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    I completely agree with you on this. OEM for these items always! Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 12.22.12 AM☀️ copy 2.png
     
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  13. Tenly

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    Nice score! I wish I had seen that. I check Kijiji once a week or so. I just sold my extra P3A via Kijiji - I like it way more than Craigslist or EBay. I'm trying to find a crashed P3P so I can buy their gimbal and turn my advanced into a professional....
     
  14. Tenly

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    So maybe you can answer this.... How do third party batteries manage to work at all? The DJI batteries are intelligent and actually run firmware. I don't think it's possible for knock-offs to clone that intelligence - so what do we lose by having a dumb battery Instead of an intelligent one? What feature/function does the DJI firmware enable? Temperature sending? Low battery return to home?
     
  15. alokbhargava

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    My only concern is that DJI action to stop using third party batteries has created monopoly, killed the competition. This is not a fair business action.
     
  16. m0j0

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    I believe DJI did this to create a monopoly. I think it s about money. As with any product there is money to be made after purchase. Th only real money maker after purchase that can be controlled by firmware is the battery. Low-and-behold after market batteries don't work.
     
  17. Tenly

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    If DJI really did this intentionally to eliminate competition - then they'll be forced to undo it. There are laws against this practice. If there weren't - every manufacturer that makes a device that takes a battery would do the same thing - phone manufacturers, laptops makers, car manufacturers, flashlight makers, smoke alarms, cameras, GPS, etc, etc....

    They don't - because they can't.
     
  18. WetDog

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    What precise law in what country are they breaking?Companies make non interchangeable parts all of the time.

    As a manufacturer, you are not obligated to open your product to competition.
     
  19. Helraiser

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    The quad came with a Panasonic 16GB memory card. Betcha there'd be an uproar if DJI said we could only buy Panasonic 16GB cards, even though the quad can handle up to 64GB in other brands.

    It is what it is - DJI being dicks!

    I wish I could jailbreak my quad's firmware to allow after market stuff :)
     
  20. Tenly

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    The US...? I don't know the precise law - but it was all over the news a few months ago regarding the iPhone Home button and independent repair shops installing after market versions of it. It was suggested that Apple wanted to disallow the use of anything other than their proprietary home button - but there were a bunch of posts explaining that it was not legal and one law firm even began work on a class action suit before it was clarified that that was not Apples stance after all...

    But if it's NOT against the law - at least as far as batteries are concerned - wouldn't we be seeing a lot more companies forcing you to buy their own branded batteries? Like Apple for phones and HP for laptops...? But we don't. There are after market batteries available for pretty much everything.
     
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