Potensic ATOM 4K – GPS drone with 3-axis gimbal & 96 min. flight time
The Potensic ATOM 4K is a further development of the very popular Potensic ATOM SE drone, which was previously one of the best affordable alternatives to high-end drones such as the DJI Mini 3 Pro or DJI Mini 4 Pro. The successor version ATOM 4K now has a genuine mechanical 3-axis gimbal and therefore offers outstandingly stabilised 4K recordings.
Thanks to the excellent workmanship, the numerous assistance systems and the very well written manual, both demanding hobby pilots and absolute beginners will get their money’s worth.
The Potensic ATOM 4K is available either as a standard kit ($319 RRP) or in the Fly More Combo with two additional batteries, a multiple charger and a practical carrying bag ($465 RRP).
Design and weight
Outwardly, the light grey Potensic ATOM 4K is virtually indistinguishable from the SE version, and the dimensions are exactly the same: 3.46 x 5.63 x 2.28 inches (8.8 x 14.3 x 5.8 cm) when folded, and 11.81 x 9.53 x 2.28 inches (30 x 24.2 x 5.8 cm) with the arms outstretched.
Only a few additional air vents on the side of the drone indicate that this is an upgraded version. The weight of the drone is less than 250 grams.
Features and flight characteristics
The Potensic ATOM 4K has a number of features that make it easy to use, especially for beginners. In addition to one-touch (or manual) take-off and landing, altitude hold and headless mode, it also has a beginner mode that limits speed, altitude and range to 100 ft (30 metres).
Thanks to four powerful brushless motors, the Potensic ATOM 4K is not only able to withstand wind speeds of up to force 5, which is equivalent to approximately 23.6 mph (38 km/h), but is also quite fast in other respects.
Thanks to the new SurgeFly flight control system, the drone can be controlled with great agility and precision, reaching speeds of up to 35.8 mph or 16 m/s (57.6 km/h) in Sport mode – an absolute top value! Acceleration from 0 to 35.8 mph in just 2.8 seconds is also impressive. There are two other speed modes to choose from for smooth tracking shots.
The built-in positioning module has access to GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou satellites, providing excellent coverage. This also benefits the Return-to-Home (RTH) mode, which returns the copter to the take-off position or drone landing site at the touch of a button.
In environments without GPS reception, the drone stabilises its flight position using a visual positioning system, which consists of a small camera on the underside that constantly scans the ground to correct the flight position based on the data.
There is also an emergency stop function that can be used to bring the four engines to an immediate halt. This should only be used in an emergency, however, as the drone will fall out of the sky immediately.
Remote control and Potensic Pro app
The controller supplied with the Potensic ATOM 4K has a built-in rechargeable battery (3,000 mAh), which provides approximately 140 minutes of operation.
In addition to the two control joysticks, the on/off button and the RTH button are located on the front of the remote control. You can clip your smartphone (max. 6.69 x 3.94 x 0.33 inches) into the centre of the controller. The two antennas and the photo and video buttons (shoulder buttons) are located on the top.
The FPV live image is shown on the display of your smartphone in 720p. The necessary “Potensic Pro” app is available for free download in the respective app stores for Android and iOS devices. The app gives you all sorts of useful information about your current flight and allows you to adjust various camera settings.
Information includes current altitude, distance, speed and the number of satellites currently connected.
Flight time and range of the Potensic ATOM 4K
The Potensic ATOM 4K’s flight time is up to 32 minutes per battery (7.7V, 2,230mAh). As the drone in the Fly More Combo comes with a whopping three batteries, you can enjoy a total of up to 96 minutes of flight time before the batteries need recharging.
Charging is via the USB charging cable if you opt for the standard kit, or via the multi-charger, which can hold all three batteries at once if you buy the Fly More Combo. The charger will charge all three batteries simultaneously within 120 minutes.
You can check the charge status of the batteries using the four status LEDs on the drone by inserting the batteries into the drone and then pressing the power button.
Thanks to the new PixSync 3.0 transmission method, you can control the Potensic ATOM 4K within a radius of up to 3.73 miles (6 kilometres). The transmission of the drone’s FPV live image also works up to this distance.
Camera and Mechanical Gimbal
The Potensic ATOM 4K camera records video in 4K at up to 30 frames per second and photos at up to 12 megapixels. Thanks to the built-in mechanical 3-axis gimbal, your footage will be superbly stabilised, allowing you to capture the kind of blur-free video you’d only expect from much more expensive camera drones.
The camera can be tilted up to 90° downwards and 20° upwards during flight. In particular, the ability to tilt the camera slightly upwards provides interesting new perspectives when taking photos and videos.
All video resolutions
- 4K with30/25/24 fps
- 2.7K with 30/25/24 fps
- 1080p with 60/50/30/25/24 fps
The built-in camera sensor is a 1/3″ CMOS sensor with a field of view (FOV) of 78°. At f/2.2, the aperture is relatively wide, making it possible to capture images in twilight or even at night. The video bit rate is 50 Mbps, which is lower than top-of-the-range drones, but still delivers a high-quality stream.
The quality of the video is extremely high, thanks to the 3-axis gimbal. The difference is huge, especially when compared to drones without a real mechanical gimbal.
The Potensic ATOM 4K can also take photos in a variety of lighting conditions at up to 12 megapixels. The ISO range of 100 to 6400 allows you to shoot in low light conditions.
Your photos and videos are stored on a maximum 256 GB microSD card (not included) – videos in MP4 format (H.264 codec), photos as JPEG or DNG RAW.
Intelligent flight and recording modes
Thanks to the built-in positioning module, the Potensic ATOM SE also offers the ever-popular Follow Me mode. This works at a distance of approximately 16 to 165 ft (5 to 50 metres) and at a minimum altitude of 16 ft (5 metres). This mode is not available in Sport mode.
Waypoint Flight mode allows you to programme a custom flight path in the app before take-off, and the drone will fly it on its own.
The Circle Flight mode allows the quadcopter to fly a circular path around an object or person while recording video.
Absolute beginners will love the headless mode. Activating this function makes it even easier to control the drone, as it does not matter in which direction the front and back of the copter are pointing when changing direction in this mode. The drone will always fly in the direction you are facing.
However, we recommend that you fly in headless mode for as short a time as possible, and also learn the normal controls, as not all drones have this mode.
The QuickShots of the Potensic ATOM 4K:
- Backwards: The drone flies backwards and upwards.
- Rocket: The drone flies upwards with the camera pointing downwards.
- Circle: The drone circles around the subject, starting from its current position.
- Spiral: The drone rises and circles around the subject.
- Boomerang: The drone flies around the subject in an oval trajectory, ascending as it flies away from the start point and descending as it flies back.
In addition to the beginner mode (limited speed, altitude and range), the Potensic ATOM 4K also has a headless mode for first-time flyers, which makes it even easier to control.
When you activate this function, the current orientation of the front and back of the drone is irrelevant when you give a command to change direction. There is no need to think about orientation in headless mode.
However, we recommend that you use this mode as little as possible, and rather learn the ‘real’ way to fly the drone, as not all multicopters have this mode.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x Potensic ATOM 4K drone
- 1 x battery (7.7 V, 2,230 mAh)
- 1 x remote control
- 1 x USB charging cable
- 3 x data cable (Lightning, microUSB, USB Type-C)
- 4 x spare propellers
- 4 x spare screws
- 1 x screwdriver
- 1 x instruction manual
The Fly More Combo also includes two extra batteries, a multi-charger and a carrying case.
The Potensic ATOM 4K is an exciting 4K camera drone with a mechanical 3-axis gimbal. It records 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and takes photos at up to 12 megapixels.
The mechanical gimbal is what makes the Potensic ATOM 4K so interesting. Rarely found on drones under $500, it makes all the difference when shooting video. True image stabilisation, which is reflected in the quality of the video, is only possible with a mechanical 3-axis gimbal.
In addition to the camera and gimbal, the Potensic ATOM 4K also features a very long control range of up to 3.73 miles (6 kilometres), stable FPV image transmission that also extends to these distances, and an extremely long flight time of up to 32 minutes per battery.
The Fly More Combo includes a carrying case, a handy multi-charger, and two extra batteries to extend the maximum flight time to up to 96 minutes.
Other highlights include various automatic flight and recording modes and a top speed of up to 35.8 mph (57.6 km/h). All in all, the Potensic ATOM 4K is one of the most interesting mini drones with a 4K camera available today and a real bargain!