Meet DJI’s New Smart Controller (Video & Review)

real estate drone photography

DJI recently introduced a new DJI Smart Controller during CES 2019. The new controller helps you to operate your drone directly without using a smartphone.  The controller has other features for the pilot that can improve the drone flying experience.

When you decide to buy this smart controller, there are several great features that you should know. You can also utilize several of our drone buying guides to gain more information about various aspects of drones available on the market.

Significance Of The Smart Controller

With the DJI’s Smart Controller, you no longer rely on your tablet or smartphone to fly your drone. The new device also aims to eliminate the use of multiple components such as a mounting system, Crystal Sky monitor, cables together with the remote controller.

DJI Mavic 2 components

The Smart Controller incorporates multiple components into a single entity that is easy to manage. Indeed, you may be wondering if it is necessary to buy this Smart Controller since you may have a smartphone that can also perform similar functions. While this is a valid argument, you should remember that you use your smartphone for a lot of things. Therefore, it would be unwise to drain its battery when you cannot quickly recharge it.

Your smartphone does not stop receiving text messages, phone calls as well as other notifications while you are operating your drone. When it comes to safety, a smartphone may not be ideal to use while you are flying your drone. It might be dangerous to perform a critical move while at the same time you want to remove the notification on your screen.

Therefore, a smart controller is a stand-alone device that is convenient to use. You do not need to rely on your phone anymore. The Smart Controller can also help to preserve power in your phone such that you can only use it for communication purposes other than flying a drone.

Key Features Of DJI Smart Controller

The Smart Controller features a bright 5.5″ built-in display that allows you to operate your drone without using a smartphone. With this new device, it is no longer necessary to use your mobile device to control the drone. The other advantage is that the controller can get your drone into the air a lot quicker and easier.  

The new DJI Smart Controller can also support automatic switching of frequency between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. The operation helps to ensure reliable long range transmission up to a distance of about eight kilometers. It also helps to prevent environmental interference with the drone that can affect its operations and image quality.

The Smart Controller has an output of a bright display of 1000 cd/m2 which is twice the amount of brightness of a smartphone. The controller can also function correctly in direct sunlight, and its illumination automatically adjusts when the auto mode is enabled. It uses a built-in light sensor to adjust the brightness, or you can manually do it.

You can also use the menu to select options about how you want the screen to behave. In other words, you can customize the controller’s screen to suit your needs.


Credit: DJI Support 

Great Design

The Smart Controller has excellent build quality, and it also has some weight which gives you a sense of satisfaction. You feel that you are operating a large device that is different from a standard remote controller. The Smart Controller consists of durable material that resists weather elements. The controller can operate in extreme temperatures. It also has control buttons that are easy to operate. You can also run the device with gloves, unlike other touch screens.

The Smart Controller also has an HDMI out port, a mic, and speakers as well as playback feature for videos. You cannot find these features on Mavic 2 Zoom or Mavic Pro standard drones. With the port, you can connect directly to a computer and transfer photos or videos.

The other handsome feature of the Smart Controller is the DJI GO Share that enables easy transfer of images to your mobile device. It gives you updates about progress when you are transferring photos or videos to a mobile device.

The DJI Smart Controller also has a long battery life of up to two and a half hours. The controller has two built-in 2500 mAh Li-ion batteries and its charging time is about one hour. You can also charge the controller by connecting it to a USB power supply.

The new device also has internal storage of 16GB, and it also comes with a MicroSD card slot which can accommodate media of up to 128GB. It also has other features like a speaker, microphone as well as Skytalk for live streaming.

What Other Drones Does The Smart Controller Support?

The new DJI smart controller can also support the DJI drones equipped with Ocusync 2.0 technology, which only includes Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom at this moment. That is probably the most significant limitation of the smart controller in that it only supports two types of DJI drones. 

Mavic 2 Pro can be used with smart controller

The Smart Controller consists of integrated features that go beyond flying your drone only. You can also use the new feature to perform other tasks like browsing the web. The other thing that you can do is to post your drone shots to Instagram directly.  

The other exciting feature coming to the Smart Controller in the future involves live streaming. It will enable you to stream live from the drone’s camera directly to services such as Facebook and Instagram. You can always take your followers into the sky, and they will grasp every moment when you are shooting videos or photos.

real estate drone photography

Price And Availability

You can buy the DJISmart Controller in combination with one of the two Mavic drones for an additional cost of $400. Alternatively, you can buy the controller separately for $649, and many people think that it is pricey. The price is high, but professional drone pilots and professional photographers can pay it using it as a business expense. For professionals, this Smart Controller has many advantages allowing the drone to capture the best footage and photographs from the air, which is critical in the real estate field wanting to sell expensive properties.

The other downside of this new device is that it is larger and more burdensome which makes portability a challenge. When you intend to travel long distances shooting, the weight of the controller can pose a problem. The screen can also not appeal to the interests of all the users.