No more fiddling with connecting the smartphone and flying Mavic 2 in bright sunlight. But is this accessory for everyone?
The new DJI Smart Controller is finally released to the market and is available for purchase in the DJI Store right now. It is very exciting news from my favorite drone manufacturer. Up until now the controllers delivered with the drones was dependent of hooking up a smartphone, tablet or Crystal Sky display for the viewing experience. If you are tired of the process of mounting these parts to the remote controller of and struggle with viewing the display in bright sunlight, this new product will suit you perfectly.
The price is a bit steep, but the features, quality and the ease of use makes up for it if you are a serious drone pilot or just have too much cash in your hands. We will go through the many fantastic features further down. Also remember that only fits the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom photography quads, and drones that use OcuSync 2.0.
DJI Smart Controller is designed to maximize your outdoor aerial experience with its ultra-bright screen, intuitive controls, and portable size.
In short, these are the most amazing specs of the controller:
- Built-in 5.5-inch ultra-bright touch-screen with 1080p resolution.
- Full-HD video transmission.
- Excellent performance in temperatures ranging from -20℃ to 40℃.
- Longer range.
- Long battery life.
- Easy to transfer your video and pictures.
- Customized and app-based system.
- Built-in microphone and speaker.
- Full-size HDMI output port for playback of 4K video.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- 16 GB internal memory + microSD slot for extra memory
- Vibrating when interacted with
The combined screen and controller is a smart move. Now it feels like a complete package. The screen size is the same as for iPhone 7 plus on 5.5 inches. That suits me well, but I know some people prefer to fly with even bigger screens such as iPads.
My iPhone 7 has a brightness of between 600-700 cd/m2. I haven’t been able to measure that myself but rely on information I have researched online. Some phones only have a brightness of 500 cd/m2. The indoor brightness on a sunny day is approximately 100 to 500 cd/m2. Anyway, the display of the Smart Controller is 1000 cd/m2. It is a big difference and perfect for flying in sunny conditions.
Buttons, sticks, and ports
When you unbox the product you will find the controller, charging equipment and control sticks. The sticks need to be mounted on for first-time use. It is optional if you want to remove them after every flight.
The side facing away from you, the back, have a full-sized HDMI port, a full-size USB-A port, and a microSD slot. The backside also has the two buttons for recording video and taking pictures as we are used too and two wheels.
The USB-C port for charing is on the front side. The antennas are stored on the underside of the device between the batteries and are folded up when in use.
The big top face has the screen, the two remote sticks and the rest of the buttons.
Battery life and operating temperatures
The battery life is just incredible and the unit contains a 5000 mAh battery that can work continuously for 2.5 hours. You can also rely on the system to operate perfectly in conditions ranging from -20 to +40 degrees Celsius. I’m more likely to fly in colder conditions, so this is perfect. Did I mention that it was -37,5 degrees at my cabin last winter?
OcuSync 2.0 and video transmission
The new OcuSync 2.0 video transmission technology is available for the newest drones and is capable of transmitting 1080p live video over long distances. The previous technology was called Lightbridge and OcuSync (1). It is perfect for FPV flying and watching crystal clear video. According to DJI, you get this video quality 8 km away, but I supposed these ranges depend on a very clear day with no interference.
The controller automatically switches between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz to reduce interference and keep the image quality high.
Read more about the nitty gritty details of OcuSyns 2.0 in this article.
DJI Smart Control compared to the DJI Crystal Sky screens
Many of you might have the Crystal Sky screens from DJI already. In essence, the features of this new controller are just about the same, just that these new products have the ability to control the drone as well. The CrystalSky screens also have a size range of 5.5″ to 7.85″ and a brightness of 1000 cd/m2.
So if you already have one of these, you might consider not buying the new controller. Remember that the “old” CrystalSky displays are compatible with most of DJI’s drones.
Which drones does DJI Smart Controller fit?
As previously mentioned the new controller only fits Mavic 2 Pro and 2 Zoom and upcoming drones with OcuSync 2.0. It is annoying that older drones like the Mavic Pro and the not so old Air can’t use this new controller.
Now, video time:
DJI’s official product video
Check out the commercial from DJI called “Meet the DJI Smart Controller”. Great stuff.
What’s in the box
When unboxing the DJI Smart Controller you will find the following:
- DJI Smart Controller
- 24 W USB Charger
- USB 3.0 Type-C Cable
- Spare Control Stick (one pair)
The knobs need to be screwed on manually.
Pros and Cons
|Positive +||Negative –|
Where to buy
Check out the price more specs, information about SkyTalk and the apps in the DJI Store and on Amazon.com by clicking the button.
Leave a comment below if you have any comments or constructive criticism. What do you think about this new gadget? And please share if you find it worth to share. 🙂 Thanks