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Smart Controller in-depth review!
1293 21 7-2 16:56
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karlo_m
Captain
Flight distance : 349796 ft
Croatia
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Hello fellow pilots! I got an amazing opportunity to test and review the DJI Smart Controller for two months!

Before it arrived I looked at some of the reviews on YouTube and honestly I wasn't all that excited about trying it out. BOY! Was I WRONG! Reviews on YouTube don't do the controller justice at all! All of them lack some crucial information about the Controller. After I've used it for a few days, I wanted to fly with it day and night! And I still do!

Here's the video review, it is divided into a few parts for easier navigation. It has everything from the unboxing, first impressions, hardware review and the software review. I'm writing the short version of the review below, and I'm highlighting some of the coolest features I found!



Hardware
The controller feels very sturdy in the hands unlike the original controller. Which after using this one, seems really light to use. You can really firmly grip the Smart Controller, almost like the Phantom controllers which I always preferred since I have large hands.
    All the buttons are easily accessible. At first I wasn’t sure about the placement of the flight mode slider, but I have to say, having it right in the middle means you can reach it with either hand when you have to quickly switch to Sport mode to fly away from a flock of seagulls for example.
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    The sticks feel a bit smoother than the original controller, almost like the Phantom controller again, which I also prefer. They don’t pull back with such force which means you can pull off some much more fluid shots.
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That glorious screen
    The 5.5-inch screen, the selling point of the controller. Because of its high resolution, if you’re coming from a lower resolution screen, the UI will look quite small at first until you get used to it. For example, the waveform monitor seemed super small to me, but when you think about it, it makes sense that it doesn’t take up so much of the screen since it’s just a visual aid for exposing your shots. Because everything is much smaller, it feels like you have even more screen real estate for things that matter like actually framing your shots.
One thing I do miss though is the LCD screen from the original controller. Since I’m used to quickly checking my speed or my altitude, it was hard for me to get used to relying only on the information on the screen, especially since the typeface isn’t too readable at a first glance. But I should also mention here that the original controller’s LCD screen is quite bright, and it is often hard to read it when shooting at night because of all the brightness adjusting your eyes need to do.

Apart from that, it’s much easier to frame and compose my shots now because of the size and brightness.

Charge your battery while flying
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The battery lasts for 2 and a half hours of flying, but unlike the original controller which doesn’t have a dedicated charging port, the Smart Controller can be charged while in use, either with a power outlet or with a power bank.
Since the charging time is 2 hours when connected to a 12 volt 2 amp port, this means that you’ll never run out of battery while flying and charging simultaneously.

Connect an external monitor or recorder
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        The I/O ports... An HDMI output can output 4K H264 or H265 video for external recording or monitoring while flying. Since the Mavic 2 Pro is powerful enough camera to be included even on film sets, and since the controller will probably support much more DJI drones in the future (it already supports the DJI Phantom 4 Pro v2.0), having this option is great since you won’t have the director breathing on your neck while you’re trying to fly away from that flock of seagulls.

Transfer data from external storage
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        The USB port can be used for charging your phone or anything else, but since this is basically an amazing Android tablet with flight controls, you can also use it to transfer your data to and from an external storage device.

The Function button
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        And finally the function button. If you press and hold it, all the options it offers will appear. Unfortunately the combinations can’t be changed, but nevertheless, they offer many possibilities. Just hold the function button and press another one to quickly adjust the screen brightness, speaker volume or start a screen record. Here are all the combinations that exist.

Calls don't interrupt your flying
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Another great thing about having the controller overall is the fact that you can keep on flying when your girlfriend calls you to tell you to stop with this nonsense and come to dinner.

Edit your footage straight from the controller
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Since this is in fact an Android tablet, you can download additional apps to your liking. So you can for upload photos or videos straight from your drone to Facebook or Instagram, or upload them to YouTube or Dropbox. You can also download some photo and video editing apps to quickly process your footage before uploading.

Conclusion
To conclude, honestly, this controller really isn’t for everybody. If you’re happy with flying with your smartphone, feel free to do so! This controller is really made for those who are flying often, who need their battery life, who need to be able to quickly get airborne. The build quality is really one of the great things this controller offers, and then we get to the ultra-sharp screen, long battery life and not having to waste your phone battery, and the whole tablet mode.
In fact, this should’ve been named the DJI Pro Controller, the Smart adjective really doesn’t do it justice. As I said, I was pretty skeptical if I’m gonna like it, but it made my life SO MUCH easier for the past two months I’ve used it. I don't want to go back to the original controller! If you’re as skeptical as I was, try to find someone who may have it and try it out for a few days, I’m telling you, you’ll be ordering your copy with my link in the description in a matter of days.

And that's the DJI Smart Controller for ya! Hope you enjoyed this review! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask here or in the comment section on my video!
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7-2 16:56
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Forestjim
First Officer
Flight distance : 3868835 ft
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Australia
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Very in-depth review.
I wouldn't fly without mine
7-2 20:51
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A J
Captain
Flight distance : 8832591 ft
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United Kingdom
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Excellent review
7-3 01:26
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Dronie2
Second Officer
Flight distance : 585759 ft
Spain
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Great review
7-3 01:50
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 1139643 ft
Netherlands
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Very good post!
7-3 02:04
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Woe
Captain
Flight distance : 2943383 ft
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United States
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Awesome review
7-3 05:52
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DJI Gamora
Super Moderator

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Hi, Karlo. Thank you for sharing this very detailed review. This will really help our DJI co-pilots here that currently using the DJI Smart Controller. Thank you for your continued support. Cheers!
7-3 08:25
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Toedles
Second Officer
Flight distance : 5812842 ft
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New Zealand
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As always, a good review. Sadly, I didn’t need it then and I don’t need it now......
7-4 10:13
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ro_flyer
Captain
Flight distance : 4300838 ft
Brazil
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Excellent review
7-4 20:03
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karlo_m
Captain
Flight distance : 349796 ft
Croatia
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Forestjim Posted at 7-2 20:51
Very in-depth review.
I wouldn't fly without mine

Thank you! Yep, I think I’ll buy it for myself after returning the review copy. It is just so much easier!
7-6 03:30
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karlo_m
Captain
Flight distance : 349796 ft
Croatia
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A J Posted at 7-3 01:26
Excellent review

Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!
7-6 03:30
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karlo_m
Captain
Flight distance : 349796 ft
Croatia
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A J Posted at 7-3 01:26
Excellent review

Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!
7-6 03:30
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A J
Captain
Flight distance : 8832591 ft
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United Kingdom
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karlo_m Posted at 7-6 03:30
Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

You're welcome
7-6 03:36
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Robert Ned
lvl.1
Flight distance : 254771 ft
Netherlands
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Since a few months i have the controler, i am very happy with it.
But since a few weeks a have problems by starting it, the blue led is blinking and by connecting with the mavic it says then "control sticks are not centerd"Sticks severl time's centerd but the problem stay's.
Controler is with the latest update.
Sorry for my bad English
7-7 05:40
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David Martin Graff
Captain
Flight distance : 21290831 ft
United States
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Nicely done - thanks again for sharing!
7-7 07:26
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ff22
First Officer
United States
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Robert Ned Posted at 7-7 05:40
Since a few months i have the controler, i am very happy with it.
But since a few weeks a have problems by starting it, the blue led is blinking and by connecting with the mavic it says then "control sticks are not centerd"Sticks severl time's centerd but the problem stay's.
Controler is with the latest update.[view_image][view_image][view_image]

Have you tried to re calibrate the sticks as the prompt suggests?  If you have an still have the problem, you might need to contact DJI for warranty help.  Good luck.

You might want to post a new thread with this info and photos to bring more attention to the problem in its own thread.
7-7 07:49
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arthurbikemad
lvl.4
Flight distance : 49941 ft
United Kingdom
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Nice review, but it has some hard core bugs, mine was sent back and DJI still fail to help people with video feed loss issues while in flight, leads to line of sight landings without video.

These reviews look great but the smart controller has issues.

Video loss while flying.
Poor audio if required.
3rd party apps not supported.
Mine also fails to connect to M2P and M2PZ via select another aircraft.

Maybe in time when DJI fix the bugs I will buy another, meanwhile I am happy to have got my money back.
7-8 01:15
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Robert Ned
lvl.1
Flight distance : 254771 ft
Netherlands
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ff22 Posted at 7-7 07:49
Have you tried to re calibrate the sticks as the prompt suggests?  If you have an still have the problem, you might need to contact DJI for warranty help.  Good luck.

You might want to post a new thread with this info and photos to bring more attention to the problem in its own thread.

Several times.
Yesterday i downgrade the firmware and install the latest again. Looks oke for now.
7-8 08:42
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Kiskassa
lvl.1

Hungary
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Witch type of tablet can control DJI mavic 2 Enterprise dual
7-8 08:49
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djiuser_lpGIyVhfaDJV
lvl.1

Ukraine
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amazing article! thank you)
7-12 10:02
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Darrben
New

United States
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I have the ocusync 2 system on a custom built drone. Can you use the Smart controller with it?
7-12 17:46
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jacksonnai
Captain
Malaysia
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Great review, thanks for sharing your experience
7-16 18:34
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