Both Phoenix and RealFlight are Windows software, although I use both of them on a Mac using Parallels. This works reasonably well provided that I’m careful to avoid running any other CPU intensive software at the same time. Even then both software packages exhibit occasional slow-downs during which the visuals and audio can “stutter”. Of the two, Phoenix seems less vulnerable to this.
RealFlight comes with its own dedicated controller, whereas Phoenix comes with a cable that will connect to most common controllers including Spektrum. If your controller isn’t supported, you can buy a cable that will work with other controller types.
I prefer the Phoenix approach as it lets you fly with the same controller that you fly your aircraft with, which helps you get accustomed to the feel of it.
Phoenix also comes with a better selection of models, including popular brands like eFlite and Align T-Rex. More recent versions of RealFlight may now come with a better selection, but when I bought it (version 4.5) I didn’t recognize any of the brands it supported out of the box.
One thing RealFlight can do that Phoenix cannot is to offer a wider variety of viewing angles, in particular a “cockpit” view. This is probably not especially useful for most people, unless you need to practice FPV flying (something I could see myself getting into sooner or later).
And price? At the time of writing RealFlight is $199.98 and Phoenix is $129.99. The price difference may be partially explained by the need for RealFlight to bundle its own controller. Still, I think Phoenix wins on pricing.
Conclusion? Phoenix is the better option in almost every way. Click HERE to find it on Amazon