New DJI Smart controller for Mavic 2 – Is it worth the price?

New DJI mavic 2 smart controller- Is it worth it?

The new DJI Smart Controller is made speciffically to improve the experience of flying the Mavic 2 both Pro and Zoom without a hassle.

Now, the price for the new controller might not be something everybody looks forward to, but in this article we will figure out the cons and pros and see if it's worth buying for speciffic types of people.
 
With the New Mavic 2 controller, DJI wanted to create an easier to use, more complete professional solution, but that doesn't mean it's only dedicated to industry use, but consumers can definitely benefit from it too.

 

I know that I sometimes consider setting up the phone and app a hassle myself.
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How is the new Smart controller better?

We have seen DJI making this move once in the past with the Phantom 4 pro plus, where they basically made a transmitter version that already comes with a screen and inbuilt operating system.
This proved to be quite helpful for people who didn't want to have cables hanging around and a much faster startup time.
 
What are the advantages of a dedicated Mavic controller?

No more cables

 

Frankly, having faulty cables has been a problem for me quite a few times and I found myself disconnecting from the remote by mistake just because the cable wasn't set up good. 

Cables can also be a slight downside to the connection speed and quality.

You should look for the following in a drone if you want good image stability:

  • A 2 or preferably 3 axis gimbal is the best possible way to stabilize a camera. It's usually found in more expensive builds.
  • Electronic image stabilization. Drones like Parrot Bebop 2 or even the cheaper Tello have it.
  • Get yourself a GO Pro drone and use a very stable Action cam with electronic or optical image stabilization!

Setup speed and reliability

If you are to ask me, the most important thing is that you probably will get to fly the drone more often just because the overall process got simpler. No cables, no more app issues when connecting and less of a hassle to put it in the air.

 

Just by having this controller you'll save at like 20 seconds from the overall setup time, which doesn't mean a lot, but because it means less friction in the process of getting it in the air, you'll be capturing more shots, that's how humans work, they tend to do things when it's easier.
And taking more shots is exactly what you need to improve your skills and get more experience flying.
 
I don't think those 20 seconds can make a difference when it comes to capturing things, but I can think of a few events where setup speed matters.
 
 Maybe a wedding or some similar events. maybe you're on the beach and a cool ship is passing though, or maybe you want to capture a beautiful sunset just at the right time.
Things can get out of control even more when it comes to reliability.

 

This means there is a possibility that the phone will not connect properly the first time and have to try a few more times, thing that's improbable to happen with the new controller, that's basically dedicated fot just flying the drone.

Another thing you need to worry about is actually charging both the phone and the controller, this new transmitter removes that issue with only one 5000 mAh battery that lasts for 2.5 hours of use.  

Screen brightness and extreme environments

The improved screen brightness is probably the main point you'd want to buy this for in the first place. 

This means you can get out in the sun without starring your eyes out to at least understand what's going on in the frame.

 If you're curious about numbers, this new screen has 1000 cd/m2 while the latest Iphone x has 625cd/m2, which is already one of the highest on the market. So if you have anything less, you're going to suffer a lot in direct sunlight.  

This is probably the biggest annoyance for me when I try to fly the mavic 2 pro on a sunny day. It's such a bad experience that I prefer going around some trees and put myself in the shadow and lose some signal strength than sitting in the sun. But sometimes you just don't have a choice and nowhere to hide.

 

There is the option to put a sunshade on, and that definitely improves how you see the image a lot, but that's yet another thing you have to carry with you and install, which makes it a longer process and therefore adding to the annoyance.
This is a comparison made by the guys at flytpath.
Of course, considering the price DJI sells the controller for, I think it must do more than just removing the sunshade from the equation.
 
Therefore, it also does a better job in more extreme environments, as I've been with my Iphone in about -10 degrees and the battery was dropping very fast and couldn't finish my filming. 
 
This new controller can handle -20 to 40 degrees celsius, which you probably won't reach that easy anyway.

Other apps and livestreaming

The screen on this controller is more than a screen, basically it's another phone, which may be the main reason why dji have made it quite expensive. 

 

You can add third party apps that can help you edit, livestream or do whatever you want, including social apps and such. So it will basically work as a secondary phone, including games.
The Skytalk feature lets you livestream your drone camera view on facebook and instagram or share short videos instantly. 

The controller is also built in with a speaker and microphone so you can talk while doing the livestream if you prefer.  
 So you can also browse facebook when you're bored, and what's best is that your flight won't get interrupted by your mother calling, and if you want to talk to the phone, you have that separately.
Recording the screen is also a welcomed option along with the ability to transfer data from the controller to the phone and back thanks to the goshare app, wifi or bluetooth.

Connecting to a monitor or goggles

Because the new controller comes with a full HDMI slot at the top, you can always stream high quality video to a separate bigger monitor or even connect it to goggles if you want to experience First Person View.
 
This makes for a great option to show other people what you're recording or maybe have somebody else pay attention to the footage while you check the surroundings.
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Unboxing and buttons

The controller comes in the box with the basic pieces it needs for functioning, charging and so on.

  • power brick
  • usb to usb c cable
  • 4 remote sticks
  • manual
  • remote controller
When it comes to the buttons and what's on the actual transmitter, this new device comes, first of all with an android operated system that has a 1080p 5.5 inch screen that's extra bright, as I mentioned before.
 

 

It comes with both the standard buttons and features present on the original controller, as well as some new aditions, especially when it comes to ports for connectivity.

These are the top connectors and dials. As you can see, it has 2 important new features.

  1. Micro Sd – which basically allows you to transfer data from the drone to the transmitter and visualise the actual footage in high quality.
  2. HDMI – as mentioned before, it's perfect for using it with goggles or a separate monitor.

In the front you have as novelties both a back and an “action” button on the far right, that I forgot to add on the image, apparently.

Photo courtesy of Flytpath
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How to link dji smart controller to mavic 2

If you want to link the mavci 2 to the new Smart controller, all that you need to do i turn on the Mavic drone, than press the c1+c2 and the record button at the same time, then press the link button on the mavic, found on the right side.

Every time you want to fly, the controller will directly connect to the drone, without any other processes interfering. That's why using this instead of a smartphone feels so much more as it should be.

Now, if you think all the benefits listed above are worth it, I'm sure you'll enjoy the new controller, because there's clearly no downsides to getting it.

Now, the new controller is probably mostly made for professional use, for people who actually care to save a few minutes and make the most out of certain events.

 

Smart controller

8.5 Total Score
DJI Smart controller - a smartphone in it's own right

The price of the Mavic 2 smart controller is justified when you think that it's basically a capable modern smartphone connected to a fully functional transmitter for the drone. If you need the slight improvements in every aspect, this certainly has no disadvantages at all!

Ease of use
9
How good is the experience
9
Price
6
PROS
  • Much brighter screen than any smartphone
  • Faster boot up time
  • No issues with connection
  • no cables needed
  • HDMI port for monitor or goggles
  • 1080p display
  • better in extreme temperatures
  • it can basically be used as a smartphone and install apps or browse.
CONS
  • it's better in everey way, but you have to pay the price for it

How do you make money with your drone, though?

Okay, so you got your new and fancy drone, but how do you stand out from any dad out there who has the same drone and watched some tutorials online?

I did exactly that and barely had any success. 

But now I’m charging 5x as much as before and even have to refuse clients from time to time.

I even bought about 7 online courses… and I didn’t make much progress.

So how did I finally make it to this level?

If you want the short answer, I learned everything from this guy Alex, who’s making $200 per hour with his drone. And he’s even teaching exactly how to do that.

This is pretty much what you need to know:

how-to-make-money-with-drones

1. Make sure you have a proper drone.

If you have any of the latest DJI Drones, like the Mavic Air 2, for example, you’re ready to start making money.

No need to overthink this, but if it’s any help, check this comparison of the best camera drones compared in 2020.

types of drones

2.Learn how to create the best content to stand out

You won’t stand out from the next dad who bought a DJI drone for Cristmass in the eyes of your clients if you don’t do this.

It’s WAY more important to know what you’re doing than the gear you have.

You’ll need to learn and master the following:

  1.  
  • Flying your drone(to stand out from people with basic drone shots)
  • Preparing for the flight and weather in advance
  • Learn the best drone settings (you need a proper setup template)
  • Create the Video Script (it's way easier if you know what to shoot)
  • Have a set of great cinematic shots you know how to do
  • Know how to edit the video so it stands out
  • Learn how to color grade

This is why you HAVE to invest in a proper way to learn things (instead of watching tutorials here and there).

3.Find clients that pay 5x more than regular

But not so fast.

You won’t make a penny if you don’t know how to find your clients.

I have struggled finding clients even when my videos were getting pretty good.

Until I learned a few tricks and how to find and approach them so they won’t be able to say no.

And what’s best, I learned how to get the price I asked for.

How can you do the same?

I have tested quite a few courses online and watched tons of videos on youtube, but frankly, I have learned more from one single course than from everything else… and all that in like a weekend.

Made back the money from this investment in myself in a single week and then much more.

 

How do I learn all of this? From youtube?

You could simply go online and learn everything in terms of video from youtube, forums, facebook groups etc.

However, let me tell you, it’s the worst way to learn all of this(and the slowest).

You won’t have a Complete Step By step guide on how to do everything.

I found myself frustrated, even after I learned how to do most of the video stuff that I still lacked some knowledge and I didn’t know why my shots weren’t standing out.

I got some general promotion ideas from some articles online, but again… I didn’t have much success and was charging too little for my time.

This is exactly where I learned how to make $200 per hour with my drone (From A to Z)

This course is hold by Alex Harris, who’s an international video creator, director, and drone operator with tons of experience.

And I had a great time stealing his know-how(and greatly profited from it, lol).

I recommend you watch his video presentation bellow and check out the course sales page. It’s quite cheap, considering you’re getting 320+ minutes of everything you need to know, step by step and 80+ minutes on how to actually find the ideal clients for you.

I'm a big drone enthusiast, the owner of DronesGator.com and I also make weekly videos on my drone YouTube channel.

2 Comments
  1. MY DRONE FLEW IN THE LAKE… IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUY A NEW DJI
    MAVIC PRO 2 WITHOUT THE REMOTE?

  2. I recently upgraded from a Mavic Pro to a Mavic Pro 2 with a smart controller. Sadly my range seems to be around 2000 ft before poor communication kicks in and the drone is sent home. I live on a golf course with no obstructions and had no problem with my initial Mavic Pro (using my phone and controller). Has anyone else experienced problems with the Smart Controller?

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