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Mavic 2 Smart controller actually worth it? - debate
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17607 119 2019-1-11
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Sunstone
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I have bought it.

Have watched / read lot of 'Is it worth it' articles. Its a lot of cash but for me it is worth it.

I quickly got fed up of the faff of making sure my bundles of devices were all charged before heading out to fly.

Receiving phonecalls and various other notifications was quite irritating while flying. Although these can be ignored easily it was occasionally difficult not to respond to important ones at times. So having a dedicated device strictly for my M2P is spot on. Having to handle just the two devices is great. Being able to free up my phone is ideal. The SRC having a decent battery life is great too. The bright screen screen is brill. The simplicity of an all-in-one unit (look no cables!) is perfect. No faff. Just switch on and go(4).

I only hope (and pray) that DJI give this the support in the future that it deserves.

Yes, I note that they're not off to the best of starts in failing to release the latest version of Go4 alongside the iOS version. Im quite willing to look past this one, but I hope we're not weeks and months down the line before we see it as that would be very much dis-respectful to us their customers who have paid not only a premium for their latest accessory but also a level of trust in DJI too. So Fingers crossed!!
2019-1-29
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NyVetteGuy
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Master. Posted at 1-13 13:21
Yeah, that's the problem. Everything you buy from DJI has to pay a "DJI tax"! if the new RC is less than 500 I think it will be a great consideration.

I don’t mind paying any “tax” for premium products. The Smart Controller is premium priced but just doesn’t work right.

Terrible out of box experience. Will be looking to return mine.
2019-1-29
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IcannotThinkOfAName
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NyVetteGuy Posted at 1-29 05:21
I don’t mind paying any “tax” for premium products. The Smart Controller is premium priced but just doesn’t work right.

Terrible out of box experience. Will be looking to return mine.

There is not even ground station pro on it.
2019-1-29
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Flyingcougar
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I received my M2Z in mid January and was a little disappointed when the SC came out a few days later. I probably would have purchased the package with it, but it worked out for the best. I found a new iPad mini 128GB for $300 and it works great for me.
2019-2-10
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Lucas775
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Not for me as I have multiple drones and I like the bigger monitor.
2019-3-7
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Stan1915
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I jumped in just to see what all the hype was about.  I already have a 5.5 and 7.85 CS that I use for my MP1 and P4P but I was having a hard time getting something that felt comfortable with the M2P.  I've tried all the mounts that I have for my other drones but just wanted something more compact and easier.  The bundle of cables in the cases proved to be frustrating.  I use GoProfessional cases with all my drones and when they came out with the smart controller I called them to see about a case.  They told me it was in development so I ordered the controller through @Advexure and was lucky enough to get it on their initial shipment.  I really like everything that it does.  I read about the trouble every one was having activating and upgrading but I never had those problems.  I have not seen any problems with it all.  Granted that does not mean that I won't but everything so far has been nothing but positive.  They did not initially send out an upgrade when android came out, but it was shortly after.  We have all been waiting on upgrades for our CS for almost a year now.  For how I fly that has not been a problem and I've had no issues with functions that I use on my Mavics or Phantom 4.  There is just something about the SC that just makes it seem better than using my CS or iPad.
2019-3-7
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Lucas775
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Still not for me.  Just my opinion.
2019-3-13
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ff22
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It was worth it for me yesterday.  I did a short hike into a snowy, icy pond.  I used the fly-more bag for the drone, batteries and SC and placed that all in my day pack.  Pulled out the drone, attached my lanyard to the SC controller powered things up and was off and flying.  In bright sun, no problems seeing it.  No cables, no mounting bracket.

Fun day and finally got to fly someplace scenic.

https://kuula.co/post/7Yyvg
2019-3-21
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AnzacJack
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NyVetteGuy Posted at 1-29 05:21
I don’t mind paying any “tax” for premium products. The Smart Controller is premium priced but just doesn’t work right.

Terrible out of box experience. Will be looking to return mine.

would you like to outline your experience?
2019-3-29
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Nigelpugh7
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Well we like it so much we bought one, actually a Mavic 2 Pro and the smart controller bundle.

Sadly that first SC developed a fault and had to be returned.

We got our new replacement Sc yesterday.

We do love it though, it’s just so easy to use, and the feature list is actually pretty amazing.
2019-3-30
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Twirlip
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So, I currently have a Mavic Pro, which I've been flying with a 5.5" CrystalSky for well over a year.  I'm considering upgrading to the Mavic 2 Pro, so the question becomes whether to get a regular controller and use it with CrystalSky, or else go to the new Smart Controller.

For me, price isn't so much the concern-- it's more about reliability and usability.  Just looking at how the controller is designed, it seems to me that it would be more usable (which would be good) but I'm concerned about it being less reliable (which would be bad).

More usable:  No two ways about it, using a regular Mavic controller plus the CrystalSky is just... kinda awkward.  It's doable-- I use a DIY "mount" consisting of some fuzzy Velcro strips stuck onto the controller's "phone arms", with corresponding Velcro strips on the back of the CS, and it works well enough-- but it means I have to juggle two different items when setting up, *and* have to futz around with a cable connecting them.  The idea of a single brick with detachable control sticks is appealing.  Also, the absolutely asinine fact that the CrystalSky can't work with any of the Mavic charging equipment means that I have to lug around an Inspire charger with its massive brick, which is less portable than I'd like.

However... I really am concerned about reliability.  My experience has been that the basic controller is ironclad reliable (it's pretty simple, there's less to go wrong with it)-- whereas the DJI Go software running on the CrystalSky has been known to crash, on occasion.  There have been a few times when the CS crashed while in mid-flight, which was a bit nerve-wracking... but I still had a functioning *controller* (even without the video feed), with full info on drone health, battery level, distance from me, bearing, the "fly home" button, etc.  So, as long as I kept my wits about me and didn't panic, I had that rock-solid-reliable controller to get the drone back to me with, even if the CS was having a tummy-ache.

From looking at the Smart Controller, though... it looks as though the Android app is the *only* information display on that thing.  I'm really worried about "what happens if it crashes while I'm in mid-flight".  Do I have any recourse?  Does the "fly home now" button still work?  Do the control sticks still work?  Will I be flying completely blind, or is there still some status indicator on the device somewhere that isn't dependent on the correct functioning of the Android OS and app?

*That's* what makes me nervous-- that a software glitch on the (presumed not super reliable) Android controller could end up making me lose my drone.

So... what sort of experience have folks had with that?

(Also, just to confirm-- CrystalSky now works with Mavic 2?  When it first came out it didn't, they said "coming soon"; so they've gotten that working now?)
2019-3-30
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hallmark007
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Twirlip Posted at 3-30 11:03
So, I currently have a Mavic Pro, which I've been flying with a 5.5" CrystalSky for well over a year.  I'm considering upgrading to the Mavic 2 Pro, so the question becomes whether to get a regular controller and use it with CrystalSky, or else go to the new Smart Controller.

For me, price isn't so much the concern-- it's more about reliability and usability.  Just looking at how the controller is designed, it seems to me that it would be more usable (which would be good) but I'm concerned about it being less reliable (which would be bad).

If money is no problem, then get drone with smart controller, I was using Crystalsky with RC but bought a SC and I have to say it’s incredible, it’s a lot more than a RC and solves many problems.

As long as dji keep it updated, and hopefully they will release SDK and we will be able to operate litchi and then it will be perfect .
2019-3-30
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ff22
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Twirlip Posted at 3-30 11:03
So, I currently have a Mavic Pro, which I've been flying with a 5.5" CrystalSky for well over a year.  I'm considering upgrading to the Mavic 2 Pro, so the question becomes whether to get a regular controller and use it with CrystalSky, or else go to the new Smart Controller.

For me, price isn't so much the concern-- it's more about reliability and usability.  Just looking at how the controller is designed, it seems to me that it would be more usable (which would be good) but I'm concerned about it being less reliable (which would be bad).

I used a tablet and find the SC much more convenient.

You do raise an important issue.  From what I've read (I have not experimented myself), the Controller functions continue to work even if the app does implode.  That is the RTH and sticks still control the drone.  BUT there is no other display information while the app is down for the count - until it is restarted.

I am not sure if anyone has reported, a complete lock-up which would require Powering Down and then back up.  In that case, obviously, you have no control other than the automatic pre-sets when connection is lost - either Hover or RTH.  

You might try formulating a new Thread which asks about app crash or total device lockup.  

2019-3-31
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ro_flyer
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I have it, bought the combo M2Z+SC, loving it so far.... Love the fact that I don't need to use bulky mounts, dangling cables, and that I can be ready to fly in less than a minute.
2019-4-7
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AlphaFlightNW
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The controller is worth it to some people who would need faster turnaround, ie time it takes to get in the air and the time it takes to teardown, and several special niche uses. I want to get it, but the 2 things that would make the sale would be 1. Dual remote operation: since I would like to train people and also have a "camera man" to assist, much like the inspire and higher level aircraft, and 2 Multi Bind, or basically having multiple aircraft bound to the same remote, much like some hobbyist rc transmitters can, as that would allow me to bind both of my aircraft to the one remote and be able to fly one aircraft, land, then immediatly be able to take off with my other aircraft, all without having the hassle of binding the remote every time. Dont know how (or when) it would be implemented, but these quality of life things are what keeps me from grabbing one.
2019-4-12
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Sky Cam
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In a rescue action, it is not important what it costs, it is important how long you need for the setup. Time is everything and can save lives.
2019-4-12
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Sky Cam
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In a rescue action, it is not important what it costs, it is important how long you need for the setup. Time is everything and can save lives.
2019-4-12
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hallmark007
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AlphaFlightNW Posted at 4-12 18:52
The controller is worth it to some people who would need faster turnaround, ie time it takes to get in the air and the time it takes to teardown, and several special niche uses. I want to get it, but the 2 things that would make the sale would be 1. Dual remote operation: since I would like to train people and also have a "camera man" to assist, much like the inspire and higher level aircraft, and 2 Multi Bind, or basically having multiple aircraft bound to the same remote, much like some hobbyist rc transmitters can, as that would allow me to bind both of my aircraft to the one remote and be able to fly one aircraft, land, then immediatly be able to take off with my other aircraft, all without having the hassle of binding the remote every time. Dont know how (or when) it would be implemented, but these quality of life things are what keeps me from grabbing one.

I think myself the SRC is worth the money, I can only compare price to what is already out there.

1/ RC we buy for our Mavic costs around €350 of the total cost of package, a lot of people like to use mini iPad or other device tablet to fly so a further cost of maybe €50 for a mount and a very conservative €150 for a device, so in total for a good setup using normal controller €550.

So is SRC worth paying an extra €150 to have one Yes very much so and a whole lot besides.

Those of us early adopters to M2 are in a bit of a quandary because we paid for a RC which new purchasers don’t have the extra expense, in other words it feels if we purchase we will have paid on the double, and for that reason it seems much more expensive.

However to you other point regarding dual remotes, this is where we may start to feel say less bad about our purchase.
Dual RC is available on Mavic Pro and I have used it several times and it’s a pretty useful tool, with M2 dji have promised dual RC and I believe we will see this, it came to Mavic Pro 18 months after its release, so we are not out of time yet, I think in the next tranche of beta testing we may see dual remotes being tested and hopefully this time we might see more features added, not sure if it’s possible but separate control of camera would be huge, so here’s hoping .

So is it to expensive “ for what it is” No,  “is it worth having” Yes and I include all in that .
2019-4-12
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AlphaFlightNW
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hallmark007 Posted at 4-12 23:49
I think myself the SRC is worth the money, I can only compare price to what is already out there.

1/ RC we buy for our Mavic costs around €350 of the total cost of package, a lot of people like to use mini iPad or other device tablet to fly so a further cost of maybe €50 for a mount and a very conservative €150 for a device, so in total for a good setup using normal controller €550.

I agree, it is a useful tool to have, I only pointed out two things that would make me grab one sooner rather than later.
2019-4-13
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Nigelpugh7
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Well we have two Crystal sky’s for our Inspire 2 aircraft. They are very good. But we have had some noticeable crashes whilst on jobs too. Mostly just dji go 4 restarting.

And we loved our previous original Mavic Pro, great tool for smaller jobs.

So we decided that we wanted the new Mavic 2 Pro and bought it as the bundle with the smart controller.

Sadly our first one had firmware issues and had to be sent back, the smart controller that is!

So we now have the new replacement and still,love it.

The ease of use and convenience is brilliant.

And to have hdmi our to play back the captures onto the clients screens or projectors is a god send too.

That’ and the screen brightness would,be enough, but it has other major advantages too.

So for us it was well worth the purchase.
2019-4-15
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Paul_W
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Don't buy it. It runs on Android and suffers from not being supported like IOS based equivalents. Example being....last time I checked Hyperlapse Waypoints and task saving still does not work on the smart controller. So why spend more ( like I did ) when you don't get everything compared to running the standard controller with an iPhone.
2019-4-15
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HereForTheBeer
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Paul_W Posted at 4-15 07:39
Don't buy it. It runs on Android and suffers from not being supported like IOS based equivalents. Example being....last time I checked Hyperlapse Waypoints and task saving still does not work on the smart controller. So why spend more ( like I did ) when you don't get everything compared to running the standard controller with an iPhone.

there is that argument which is completely valid argument to make.  for me its about value for money, if i can get an iPad pro, much more powerful device i can even edit video on it ..or the cost of the smart controller i rather do that.

however i can see the point of a $650-$750 smart controller, and that is mission critical work where you can't deal with a phone freezing up in the cold or overheating in the sun.  as well it is also an investment, likely that DJI will be moving more next gen products to Occusync 2. no reason why inspire 3 wont see occusync change over same with Matrice series on next generation.  lightbridge is too expensive and no longer offers anything over occusync 2.     and $750 is cheap for reliability in the field.  and if i had contracts that are  very limited window, like i have to 3D mapping before a hurricane hits.. $750 controller design to always work is a worthwhile investment to maintain trust and contract cuz my ipad or my iPhone may fail me when i need it the most, may even cost me the drone if they fail while doing something important and it crashes.
2019-8-31
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JohnDG
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Bought it, because .  ...

1. Had some issues with the cable when flying my mavic 1. The cable came out a bit and the screen of my gsm went b/w

2. The controller covered a bit of the brightness sensor of my phone. And the screen was not bright enough in hard sunlight.

3. Time to set up the controller.

So ... the smart controller solved those issues for me.

And yes, I find the price high, althou the comfort of it justifies the price.
And I set up the original controller as a 2nd one.
2019-9-1
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MJRH
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I brought my SC as part of a bundle with my M2Z, really pleased with it.  The screen brightness helps and having a dedicated device is useful and does speed up set up.  As a side point, it is also comfortable to hold and feels both solid and balanced.
2019-9-5
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AntDX316
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The Smart Auto switching is dangerously garbage (massive cut-outs) compared to the Standard Controller but the experience due to the screen not dimming in the summer sunlight is Better.

I can rapidly get in the air though.
2019-9-5
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On Point
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Hi all, I purchased the m2 dual for use of the thermal option. However I’m seeing a lot of video tutorials on this isotherm feature and it cannot be found in the Smart Controller which runs on the dji pilot app...yet the dji go 4 app seems to have it. Can someone help me find this isotherm...
2019-9-5
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On Point
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I purchased the m2 dual for use of the thermal option. However I’m seeing a lot of video tutorials on this isotherm feature and it cannot be found in the Smart Controller which runs on the dji pilot app...yet the dji go 4 app seems to have it. Can someone help me find this isotherm...
2019-9-5
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AntDX316
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On Point Posted at 9-5 19:59
I purchased the m2 dual for use of the thermal option. However I’m seeing a lot of video tutorials on this isotherm feature and it cannot be found in the Smart Controller which runs on the dji pilot app...yet the dji go 4 app seems to have it. Can someone help me find this isotherm...

Maybe the Smart Controllers processor cannot handle it.
2019-9-5
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gnirtS
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AlphaFlightNW Posted at 4-12 18:52
The controller is worth it to some people who would need faster turnaround, ie time it takes to get in the air and the time it takes to teardown, and several special niche uses. I want to get it, but the 2 things that would make the sale would be 1. Dual remote operation: since I would like to train people and also have a "camera man" to assist, much like the inspire and higher level aircraft, and 2 Multi Bind, or basically having multiple aircraft bound to the same remote, much like some hobbyist rc transmitters can, as that would allow me to bind both of my aircraft to the one remote and be able to fly one aircraft, land, then immediatly be able to take off with my other aircraft, all without having the hassle of binding the remote every time. Dont know how (or when) it would be implemented, but these quality of life things are what keeps me from grabbing one.

The SC supports dual linking of multiple drones off one controller.  Theres a menu option.
I *think* it supports multi remote as well but never checked.

Biggest pro for me is the bright screen - i can actually see it in sunlight which no mobile device allows.
Next is the fast setup time.
Biggest con - lack of telemetry.  If the app craps out i want to have raw data readout to fly it back with.  I do wish the screen was brighter too.
2019-9-9
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DAFlys
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I might have considered it if it took a sim card and there wasn't lots of reports of the range being lower.   Also I like the ease of being able to download photos straight to my phone and post them online,   the smart controller would add another step for me there.
2019-9-9
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gnirtS
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It wont take a SIM card (i guess SC2 will) but it will take a USB 4g modem stick which works fine if you need that (or just tether off phone).
As for posting online, its easy, download google photos or whatever you want as normal then again just use tethering/wifi or a USB 4G stick.
That or you can bluetooth the files across to the phone.

Its really not much hardship hitting 1 button to tether on your phone.
2019-9-9
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SupCarlos
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I too was wondering this, i think its too bulky for my taste, and the benefits do not outweight the pros.
2019-9-9
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M Stuart K
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PaulArcher Posted at 1-11 02:54
Yes, I do think having an Ipad makes things look quite clear, it's just annoying that it's so big.

An ipad is not as bright as an iphone either!
2019-9-12
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TVOD
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Hi had the SC since day 1 of its launch, yes it is easier to use than a phone and controller setup, i found the sticks a bit to sensitive so i now use longer sticks, i live in the northern hemisphere and find that the screen in bright sunshine still hard to see  sometimes depending where the sun is positioned. the support with things like firmware is dire, there is a thread all about a beta test of a firmware and to all accounts when beta testers have tried to communicate with the devs at DJI they have had no reply.When i first got the SC i didn't really have many issues other than precision return to home, after the firmware update that fixed that the SC had many issues like the video output from the drone would black out now and again and worst of all it does not know the time unless it is connected to the internet, my microwave oven knows the time off day even when it is unplugged and plugged back in again. So until they fix these issues will refer to SC as the DC (dumb controller) because something that can't tell the time of day without help is a Dumb,£560 and it can't tell the f%^&*ing TIME!
2019-9-30
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Oracle Miata
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TVOD Posted at 9-30 00:10
Hi had the SC since day 1 of its launch, yes it is easier to use than a phone and controller setup, i found the sticks a bit to sensitive so i now use longer sticks, i live in the northern hemisphere and find that the screen in bright sunshine still hard to see  sometimes depending where the sun is positioned. the support with things like firmware is dire, there is a thread all about a beta test of a firmware and to all accounts when beta testers have tried to communicate with the devs at DJI they have had no reply.When i first got the SC i didn't really have many issues other than precision return to home, after the firmware update that fixed that the SC had many issues like the video output from the drone would black out now and again and worst of all it does not know the time unless it is connected to the internet, my microwave oven knows the time off day even when it is unplugged and plugged back in again. So until they fix these issues will refer to SC as the DC (dumb controller) because something that can't tell the time of day without help is a Dumb,£560 and it can't tell the f%^&*ing TIME!

I have an old VCR that can be unplugged for a month, and it keeps the time...
2019-9-30
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akozc
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There are arguable pros and cons ,
Yes its princely , yes the screen too small, using outdated Android version,  GO4  updates comes late and if your vision is not good and used to large screen definitely not for u,
But yes very easy to set up , less than  a minute you are ready to take off , no connection cable , holders hustle and bustle, very bright screen that can literary kill the sun rays,
Wider range of operation temperature.

finally  long battery life no adroid charging controller or controller charging android messages.
2019-10-1
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AntDX316
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I was using the standard controller to screen record so I had to rebind the Standard and using it w/ the Note 10 the Smart Controller is not worth it but of course if you are in insane heat in the summer the screen will dim down so much you have to dip into some shade (Note 9).  With the Smart Controller, I didn't have to go into shade at all.  If can afford it, it's better but the frequency selection cut-outs are brutal on the Smart Controller.  On the standard, I do not get the same grey outs as I do on the Smart Controller.
2019-10-1
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akozc
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One more cons about SC , its would be my nightmare if the SC lost the connection totally ( blackouts)and you dont know how to bring back to  home your drone , Conventional controller has telemetric screen that can at least still asist you to navigate  your drone distance and altitude.
2019-10-2
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akozc
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TVOD Posted at 9-30 00:10
Hi had the SC since day 1 of its launch, yes it is easier to use than a phone and controller setup, i found the sticks a bit to sensitive so i now use longer sticks, i live in the northern hemisphere and find that the screen in bright sunshine still hard to see  sometimes depending where the sun is positioned. the support with things like firmware is dire, there is a thread all about a beta test of a firmware and to all accounts when beta testers have tried to communicate with the devs at DJI they have had no reply.When i first got the SC i didn't really have many issues other than precision return to home, after the firmware update that fixed that the SC had many issues like the video output from the drone would black out now and again and worst of all it does not know the time unless it is connected to the internet, my microwave oven knows the time off day even when it is unplugged and plugged back in again. So until they fix these issues will refer to SC as the DC (dumb controller) because something that can't tell the time of day without help is a Dumb,£560 and it can't tell the f%^&*ing TIME!

your microwave Owen crack me up
2019-10-3
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akozc
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Twirlip Posted at 3-30 11:03
So, I currently have a Mavic Pro, which I've been flying with a 5.5" CrystalSky for well over a year.  I'm considering upgrading to the Mavic 2 Pro, so the question becomes whether to get a regular controller and use it with CrystalSky, or else go to the new Smart Controller.

For me, price isn't so much the concern-- it's more about reliability and usability.  Just looking at how the controller is designed, it seems to me that it would be more usable (which would be good) but I'm concerned about it being less reliable (which would be bad).

I do agree A to Z, specially blackout issue which never happened but no grantee will not be happened. there should be some firmware update which allows autoactivating  the "emergency  RTH case"
2019-10-3
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