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To fly a quadcopter or any other multi-rotor drone, you need a smart controller. Something that the drone pilot uses to launch, navigate, and land the UAV.
Controllers take many forms, from smartphones to tablets or even gamepad-like controllers. But regardless of how they appear, a smart controller needs to communicate with the drone itself and the two gadgets use radio waves.
Some drone controllers use Wi-Fi to communicate with their aircraft. The signal can be transmitted on the 2.5 GHz spectrum and this is also something that tablets and smartphones can tap into without using accessories.
Since there are an array of smart controllers brought by the smartphone revolution, one brand that stands out is the DJI. Its DJI smart controller is built to maximize drone pilots’ outdoor flying experience with DJI Mavic 2 and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are equipped with OcuSync.
If you want to know more about the DJI Smart Controller, then you’re in the right place.
In this DJI smart controller review, we’ll take out all of the guesswork of the features and specifications of this smart controller and help you decide whether or not it’s worth investing your money on!
The DJI Smart Controller is equipped with a full-HD video transmission system OcuSync 2.0 that allows it to support automatic switching between 5.8 GHz and 2.4 GHz. The OcuSync 2.0 feature reduces the impact of environmental interference on your drone operation, which also equates to better image quality.
The same tech ensures reliable transmission even at long-range distances of up ten km. The smart controller is efficient as it connects immediately to the drone the moment it’s powered on.
That way, you can take off fast and not miss a moment of action, which is important if you want to capture great shots. The DJI smart controller is also portable enough that it’s easy to bring it with you anywhere during your travels!
This 5.5-inch screen of this smart controller displays bright, clear images even during challenging weather conditions. The pre-installed features and intuitive controls of this smart controller, like the DJI Go 4 app and SkyTalk allows you to launch the drone quicker, more conveniently, clearer than ever.
Although it is true that it indeed takes a bit of cash to splash out, there is no doubt that the DJI smart controller is a worthy investment. It is made an add-on for DJI drones, especially the Mavic 2 drones.
It also makes it less of a hassle compared to using the standard controller and smartphone setup.
Battery: 18650 Li-ion (5000 mAh @ 7.2 V)
Charge Type: Supports USB power adapters rated 12 V/2 A
Rated Power: 15 W
Storage Capacity: ROM 16 GB + scalable (microSD)
Charging Time: 2 hours (using a USB power adapter rated 12 V/2 A)
Working Time: 2.5 hours
Video Output Port: HDMI Port
Power Supply Current / Voltage (USB-A port): 5 V/ 900 mA
Operation Temperature Range: -4° to 104° F (-20° to 40° C)
Storage Temperature Range: <1 month: -22° to 140° F (-30° to 60° C)
1-3 months: -22° to 113° F (-30° to 45° C)
3-6 months: -22° to 95° F (-30° to 35° C)
>6 months: -22° to 77° F (-30° to 25° C)
Charging Temperature Range: 41° to 104° F (5° to 40° C)
Dimensions: 177.5 x 121.3 x 40 mm (antennas folded, and the control sticks unmounted)
177.5 x 181 x 60 mm (antennas unfolded, and the control sticks mounted)
Weight: Approx. 630 g
Operation Frequency Range: 2.400-2.4835 GHz, 5.725-5.850 GHz
Max Transmission Distance (unobstructed, free of interference): 10 km (FCC), 6 km (CE), 6 km (SRRC), 6 km (MIC)
Transmitter Power (EIRP): 2.400-2.4835 GHz:
25.5 dBm (FCC), 18.5 dBm (CE), 19 dBm (SRRC), 18.5 dBm (MIC)
25.5 dBm (FCC), 12.5 dBm (CE), 18.5 dBm (SRRC)
DJI promises its consumers that this drone is capable of stable flying operation, not just during good weather but even temperatures ranging from -20°C to 40°C.
Regardless of your DJI drone models, this smart controller has a built-in speaker and microphone for expanded options, like live streaming.
It also features a playback video via the HDMI output port with H.265 or H.264.
1 DJI Smart Controller
Instructions and Quick Start Guide
Extra set of remote sticks
DJI Smart Controller: 12 Months
USB Charger: 12 Months
For more information, you may also check DJI’s after-sales service policies here.
As it is a little more expensive than just opting for a tablet or using your smartphone, DJI smart controller is not the easiest purchase for all.
As such, this smart controller is normally purchased by serious flyers and more commercial drone pilots. This is because it can be considered a premium accessory. For those who also work with drones for professional photography, videography, and search and rescue operations, this controller is best for them.
An Amazon customer reviewed the DJI smart controller. He said that while it’s “very expensive,” he already knew that before buying. “You can buy this controller for convenience. For me, it added stability as well. When using your own mobile device, it can be hit or miss. It’s nice to be able to pull this controller out of your bag and just fly without fiddling with mounting your phone.”
Another praised the smart controller, saying “So much easier than the stock remote. Never again!”
Billy Kyle reviewed, “The DJI Smart Controller is still a great buy here in 2020 and it has transformed my workflow greatly!”
He said that before, he would use his phone to fly his Mavic 2, both the Pro and the Zoom But “with that came a lot of interruptions during [a] flight from phone calls and notifications, my battery constantly dying a lot faster than I wanted it and the screen brightness going down even more.”
Meanwhile, Tech Drone Media did a flight test and concluded, “That was a nice position landing. So, yeah.. I like it very much. It’s an expensive tool, no doubt about that. But it has a high degree of convenience and if you’re using your drone anywhere for semi-professional jobs, then it’s a very nice tool to have.”
A Reddit user said that he just bought Mavic Air 2 with DJI smart controller.
“The pluses are that it has a much, much, much brighter screen than you are likely to have using a phone or tablet (extremely useful on sunny days) and the device is an extremely durable build.
The sticks feel very solid. Battery life is terrific. It’s also a smart idea NOT to be using your phone for flying. I believe the smart controller also signals you with nearby aircraft warnings that the regular controller does not provide.”
However, he also added a downside, “The downside is that the controller won’t really let you use the other drone apps that you might want to use. Downloads are technically possible, but only through the Amazon store.
It’s not compatible with Google (including Google Maps) and no Apple iOS apps will run on it. You will only be able to fly using the DJI app.”
For all the positive factors we can count on, we think you should invest in this DJI smart controller, especially if you enjoy flying drones or take aerial photographs and videos more than just a hobby.
Although it does come at a higher price tag than regular tablets or smartphones, this controller will make your work easier because you don’t need to do anything else, but just press the power button then fly your drone. In short, you won’t need brackets or cords.
Overall, we like the features of this smart controller and surely most DJI pilots will think the same.
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