DJI Mavic users are in for a treat – at CES 2019 the Chinese drone manufacturer launched a new remote controller with a built-in screen for its drones. This new remote controller supports its Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro drones.
The 5.5” screen is built into the controller itself making it more appealing for pilots who might want to fly without having to bring along a phone or tablet. Apart from doing away with the need to pair a Smartphone or tablet to the system which features:
- The screen displays flight video in Full HD resolution. The Smart Controller’s ultra-bright display offers an output of 1000 cd/m2, equivalent to twice the brightness of standard smartphones.
- The controller comes pre-loaded with an Android dashboard that supports the DJI GO 4, and DJI Pilot applications.
- The DJI GO 4 app also has been revamped to include SkyTalk, a feature that allows pilots to livestream the drone’s camera feed to social channels including Facebook, Instagram and WeChat.
- The Smart Controller also features a number of third-party apps to help with editing and data management.
- The DJI Smart Controller offers 2.5 hours of battery life and the ability to operate in temperatures as cold as -4°Fahrenheit and as hot as 104°Fahrenheit.
- Equipped with support for Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, and DJI’s own OcuSync 2.0 video transmission technology, which automatically switches between frequencies to avoid interference and maintain contact with the drone up to 8 kilometers (4.97 miles) away.
For creators on the go, the controller’s sticks can be removed to give it as narrow a profile as possible when being slipped into a bag.
The downside: all that radio tech and screen crammed into a small package requires a big battery — with a 5,000mAh capacity — but DJI says the smart controller only lasts 2.5 hours on a full charge, and it will take two hours to recharge the non-removable battery. This might seem expensive to some given the $650 it costs.
However, given that as of now owners have to connect a mobile phone to a controller in order to access most of the controls of drones and to view live video images for most drones on the market, the Smart Controller makes for a smart and hassle free accessory for drone owners.
A promotional statement at the CES says, “The Smart Controller is DJI’s latest tool to allow anyone to capture incredible perspectives from the sky, and we are excited that CES attendees can experience it first-hand. We invite everyone at CES to try it at our booth, which features our latest innovations in the drone and imaging field and demonstrates how DJI has established itself as a global technology leader.”
The Smart Controller will cost $650 when it goes on sale later this year. DJI will also be offering Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom kits that bundle in the Smart Controller, but pricing on these has not yet been announced.