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Mavic 2 Smart controller actually worth it? - debate
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PaulArcher
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Hey guys,
I've heard many split oppinions on the new Mavic 2 controller.
Some say that it's better for industrial use, some think it's too expensive and some, think the price is justified.
Here's my overview on it, if you're curious: https://dronesgator.com/mavic-2-smart-controller/

If you don't know yet, the new smart controller improves on all aspects, but the main ones in my oppinion are:
  • screen brightness
  • setup time
  • HDMI output for monitors


What do you think, is the thing worth it for you, and if not, who thinks should buy it?

I personally consider the price to be pretty justified, because in effect, this can actually act as a secondary smartphone in it's own right, but I'm not sure how many people actually need it.
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1-11 00:48
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A CW
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I won't be buying it but that doesn't mean it's not worth it if the product suits your needs more.
1-11 00:50
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raven swe
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I don't want to have to wear my glasses that I needed when I used an iPhone 6 plus, now use a 9.7 iPad which I can see really well, so I'll stick with my 9.7 iPad
1-11 02:39
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PaulArcher
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raven swe Posted at 1-11 02:39
I don't want to have to wear my glasses that I needed when I used an iPhone 6 plus, now use a 9.7 iPad which I can see really well, so I'll stick with my 9.7 iPad

Yes, I do think having an Ipad makes things look quite clear, it's just annoying that it's so big.
1-11 02:54
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nixuspix
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Main restriction is that it is not universal device, matching all DJI devices, like CrystalSky. I use CrystalSky+PolarPro mount+DJI Mounting Bracket and this gives perfect setup, allowing to start up very fast
1-11 03:01
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Charissa
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For what it cost here in South Africa, I can buy a extra 5.5 batteries (and also spend much more time in the air with that, as the 20 sec setup time you talk about.)  Or 2 batteries, and a extra standard controller....
Also, that few seconds either way, would not always guarantee your shot of the ship, or the sunset anyway.

RELIABILITY
Remains to be seen. People with very expensive Crystalsky screens are still reporting reliability problems and software problems, with the Mavic 2,s. New controller will also have to be updated, software and firmware, and as it stand presently, that could definitely not be a positive thing reliability wise. Have not seen one firmware or software update from this site, that did not solve a couple AND introduced a lot more problems.

SCREEN BRIGHTNESS
Would be about the only thing I think that is really a positive thing to have. But again, does it look 100% better, or is it just a improvement over sun screens, and good cellphones? Waiting for reviews.
My smartphone have a 2560 x 1440 display, which is better than 1080. (except for the nits.)

SETUP TIME
That is good and well, but honestly not such a big issue. You have to go through various pre flight checks and things anyway. For the amount, I could buy a good phone, connect it permanently to the standard controller, with a short stable cable, and leave it as is in the bag. Would then just have to connect a sunscreen, IF NEEDED.

LIVE STREAMING, APPS ETC
I won,t and don,t use it. The apps, games, microphone etc, etc, I have on my smartphone, which is working perfectly, and always with me. Even If I do have a Smart controller, I would still carry my phone with me, so that makes it less of a positive thing, and just more of the same. My smartphone have games, apps, a microphone and excellent speaker, everything in a lighter package. Even if I do have a smart controller, I would still have to carry my phone around as well, so nothing to add or want there.

CABLES OR NOT
You still have to charge the controller, and that also means cables, so it is not totally cable free, and you could still break the input ports, so more of the same, no improvement.
HDMI, cool feature, but I can watch my content in HI DEF from my phone as well......so not really a big improvement for me personally. If you do use the HDMI port, for goggles etc, then the whole setup is no longer without cables anyway.
I use short, robust cables anyway, so never in the way.

EXTREME TEMPERATURES
We are blessed with mild to hot temps, no below degrees for us, so nothing to gain there.
SD CARD
I have 128 GB internal on my phone, with a added 128 gb sd card, that is plenty enough. I use 7GB for my cache on the DJI App videos look awesome on the phone and 10.2 inch tablet if I play it back.

Sure it will be of huge benefit to many people, and if it where a LOT cheaper, I might have given it a small thought, but for now, my smartphone does everything and does it very well. Also, with the car charger and a  strong Powerbank, I keep my drone in the air for hours on end without problems.
I also own a Mavic Air, so for owners of older drones, this is a definitive negative point in paying premium price for it. Would be a better contender for me, if it could fly ALL the DJI drones.
My 200 cents worth.
This is way to expensive, and I would rather spend that money on better and more filters, more batteries, and a couple of trips out, to take video and photos.


1-11 03:30
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hallmark007
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I think if you put phone and S/Controller side by side then we might realize that we are being overcharged for both, but much more so on our phone, yes we need it more so phone manufacturers have realized this and charged a very high premium for this, if we break it down we need the phone for taking and making calls so we can buy this for €100 and still get a camera , but we don’t , we get sucked in by the marketing that tells us we need a phone with the best camera something that’s shiny and the more you use it the more it will cost you.

So I can buy a €100 phone a €350 Osmo Pocket (which will do a lot more than camera on phone) and purchase a Smart Controller for €650 all for only €50 euros more than I pay for my new upto date latest fashionable jet black phone, it seems we are trying to fool ourselves here ,  at every hands turn we are in the grips of marketing Guru’s.

We don’t like being told this because when we pay such a high premium for products, we like to think we have got good value and we need the latest and greatest, but do we ?

So for me if you purchased a premium phone at such an exorbitant price, it is no more valuable than this Smart Controller , in fact over the lifetime it probably has a lot less value.
1-11 04:18
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jacksonnai
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Well it was built for the professional drone pilot
1-11 04:24
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Charissa
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hallmark007 Posted at 1-11 04:18
I think if you put phone and S/Controller side by side then we might realize that we are being overcharged for both, but much more so on our phone, yes we need it more so phone manufacturers have realized this and charged a very high premium for this, if we break it down we need the phone for taking and making calls so we can buy this for €100 and still get a camera , but we don’t , we get sucked in by the marketing that tells us we need a phone with the best camera something that’s shiny and the more you use it the more it will cost you.

So I can buy a €100 phone a €350 Osmo Pocket (which will do a lot more than camera on phone) and purchase a Smart Controller for €650 all for only €50 euros more than I pay for my new upto date latest fashionable jet black phone, it seems we are trying to fool ourselves here ,  at every hands turn we are in the grips of marketing Guru’s.

Agree, phones is overpriced. That is why I got myself a "less popular and known" brand phone, which is a hell of a lot better than some of the wayyyy more expensive phones out there. I have friends with Iphones, friends with the latest and greatest Samsungs, and my relative "cheapy" outperforms, them in more areas than one. At worst, it matches it performance wise.

We were all lying around on the beach a week or so back, and playing around with our phones (i read ebooks on mine, and I read a lot, so it is always with me, more because of the books I am reading, than the phone and connection I need.) They were actually gobsmacked when I showed them the features on my phone.
I use mine as a DJI controller, cellphone, Portable library, Gaming machine, Data storage, Occasional photo snapper, occasional video capturer, Remote control for various electronics in and around the house, security system and alarm (connected to my system at home, internet browser, calender and reminder, sosial media connector, to keep connected with friends and family, a VR player with my cheapy goggles,  a alarm clock, a handheld banking and money machine, a good GPS and travel advisor. And a high def video playback machine.
Sure I could mention a million things more, and all for WAY LESS than 600 dollars. Only because mine is a lesser known brand, but a damn good phone anyway.

Sometimes we pay more for the branding and the name, than for better and real quality.
1-11 04:51
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hallmark007
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Charissa Posted at 1-11 04:51
Agree, phones is overpriced. That is why I got myself a "less popular and known" brand phone, which is a hell of a lot better than some of the wayyyy more expensive phones out there. I have friends with Iphones, friends with the latest and greatest Samsungs, and my relative "cheapy" outperforms, them in more areas than one. At worst, it matches it performance wise.

We were all lying around on the beach a week or so back, and playing around with our phones (i read ebooks on mine, and I read a lot, so it is always with me, more because of the books I am reading, than the phone and connection I need.) They were actually gobsmacked when I showed them the features on my phone.

Lots of the things you use it for were things that we used to do in the normal run of the day things to do with no added cost except time, we believe smartphones have made our lives more simple, but in fact they bring many complications to our lives than we realize, there was a time I just arrived home from work, now I send a text to announce my arrival. Lol
It’s a new world and big change for older people, something we seem to have no choice but to get on board and try with our arthritis to run with and I suppose this is why part of me likes that there may be less complications with Smart Controller, or at least some smart marketing guru is in my ear telling me this will make my life a bit easier, same as I was told with the Mobile Phone, and so the circle of life continues.
1-11 05:25
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Oracle Miata
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If it were compatible with the fleet I’ve acquired over the last two years, but honestly they’ve gotten enough of my money and I see no major advantages....
1-11 05:47
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Montfrooij
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Won't be buying it. Unless it will get cheap and I have a matching drone.
1-11 05:52
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nixuspix
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hallmark007 Posted at 1-11 05:25
Lots of the things you use it for were things that we used to do in the normal run of the day things to do with no added cost except time, we believe smartphones have made our lives more simple, but in fact they bring many complications to our lives than we realize, there was a time I just arrived home from work, now I send a text to announce my arrival. Lol
It’s a new world and big change for older people, something we seem to have no choice but to get on board and try with our arthritis to run with and I suppose this is why part of me likes that there may be less complications with Smart Controller, or at least some smart marketing guru is in my ear telling me this will make my life a bit easier, same as I was told with the Mobile Phone, and so the circle of life continues.

The smartphones are one of the greatest inventions of the mankind, to my mind, they do allow us to do much more job in one time unit, than before, and thus we can adequately respond to our days challenges.
The cameras are getting better and better and i even start to use the smartphone with a gimbal to make a videos during my travels, leaving camcorders on the loft, plus all other stuff mentioned above. So universality is a good investment i am paying for, but the smart controller is excellent, but very narrow list of products to be used with. Why only Ocusync 2.0? And the promise to be available to use with fortcoming DJI drones is not serious - does the ocusync development is stopped now forever?
1-11 06:09
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hallmark007
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nixuspix Posted at 1-11 06:09
The smartphones are one of the greatest inventions of the mankind, to my mind, they do allow us to do much more job in one time unit, than before, and thus we can adequately respond to our days challenges.
The cameras are getting better and better and i even start to use the smartphone with a gimbal to make a videos during my travels, leaving camcorders on the loft, plus all other stuff mentioned above. So universality is a good investment i am paying for, but the smart controller is excellent, but very narrow list of products to be used with. Why only Ocusync 2.0? And the promise to be available to use with fortcoming DJI drones is not serious - does the ocusync development is stopped now forever?

I do think it should have been compatible with all Mavic’s , and yes it probably will only have a lifetime of two years before new tech passes it by, but the same can be said for my mobile phone, I’m afraid we are a dream customer for all marketing Gurus.
1-11 06:19
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djiuser_jBXOnzT6p8Z1
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Not for me as I prefer the small form factor of the original R/C ... in line with the small size of the drone but I can see some preferring the integrated solution.
1-11 06:55
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ygor
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Still waiting for reliability and range reports before buying one of these. The screen seems great and HDMI out definitively has its values for some cases but being based on Android and with a history of update lagging for the apps on CS screens, I want to wait a little more.

DJI Goggles RE for instance has serious range issues and no updates after hundreds of reports.

Also, it seems that apart from youtubers, nobody else got its hand on the device.

Let's wait for some reports in the wild before jumping on another bandwagon.
1-11 06:55
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Suren
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I for one am more then happy flying with my iphone 8+ and samsung s9+, if it is a very hot day i will use the samsung as the screen is very bright when set to max on hot days and the bright sun does not affect it. Charissa is right for the price of that RC here we can buy more batteries or even another refurb mavic 1. Not worth the effort to me, I set up fully in under a minute to fly connected and all.
1-11 07:31
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djiuser_PEp4mLwh74c7
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I think about to buy one, because crystalsky makes huge troubles: Lost Map in mapbox, frozen during fly, icons in the edge prevent you to activate, etc. I never have problem with my P4P+
1-11 07:56
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Bob Brown
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I want to see more use and value in it before I can justify the expense. Still doing research but if it supported my Mavic Pro (Occusync v1) then I may say yes. But it doesn't so No.
1-11 08:24
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Bob Brown
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ygor Posted at 1-11 06:55
Still waiting for reliability and range reports before buying one of these. The screen seems great and HDMI out definitively has its values for some cases but being based on Android and with a history of update lagging for the apps on CS screens, I want to wait a little more.

DJI Goggles RE for instance has serious range issues and no updates after hundreds of reports.

I like how you think.
1-11 08:26
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fans1215d7b7
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Bob Brown Posted at 1-11 08:24
I want to see more use and value in it before I can justify the expense. Still doing research but if it supported my Mavic Pro (Occusync v1) then I may say yes. But it doesn't so No.

Occusync V2.0 Only
1-11 13:51
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HereForTheBeer
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for me it doesn't make sense even if i owned the mavic 2 series.     just too expensive and too limited for what it is..  universal controller with a bright display.... that...isn't universal...?  i just dont see the point of it..much less for the price

personally i think DJI should focus on making an affordable crystalsky with a mavic mount that isnt annoying.. maybe $250 for 5.5 and $350 for 7 inch.   doesnt need to resist water, or extreme cold or heat.. just work in general conditions that make sense ..
1-11 15:14
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Kingram
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Why did they leave out the Telemetry ?
1-12 11:22
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DPOV
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No because my iPhone Plus works better.
1-12 13:05
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Lucas775
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Not worth it for me since my 9.7" ipad is still too small for me.
1-12 13:15
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ygor
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Kingram Posted at 1-12 11:22
Why did they leave out the Telemetry ?

I'd think that having the option to either otput the device full screen (with telemetry) or the pure video feed would benefit cases like when you need to live stream a feed on a event where the output video feed would be displayed on a projector or live streamed passing through a video editing bay for live content or something like that where you want the pure video feed without using rtmp leveraging the low output lag from HDMI out...
1-13 11:40
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coyote137
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I would buy if i could easily switch between my mavic 2 pro and mavic 2 zoom without having to re-bind when switching between the 2.

If it had model memory same as my RC Aircraft, helicopter controller I would buy.

Bind once with each mavic and it remembers each 1.
1-13 12:10
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Masterp
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If you like the screen, you can buy the crystalsky monitor. It works not only with mavic 2 but also other DJI drones. On the crystalsky, if the battery dies you can put on a new one.

$600 just buy a controller is just ridiculous. Well, the PRO filmmakers don't care about price.
1-13 12:26
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hallmark007
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Masterp Posted at 1-13 12:26
If you like the screen, you can buy the crystalsky monitor. It works not only with mavic 2 but also other DJI drones. On the crystalsky, if the battery dies you can put on a new one.

$600 just buy a controller is just ridiculous. Well, the PRO filmmakers don't care about price.

So a Crystalsky @$500 and normal RC @ $350 for Mavic 2 total $850 , so maybe good advice is for those who own multiple drones, but for those who own only M2 or multiple M2’s it looks like a bargain. It also has the advantage of working with all drones with Ocusync 2 now and in the future.
1-13 12:53
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Master.
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hallmark007 Posted at 1-13 12:53
So a Crystalsky @$500 and normal RC @ $350 for Mavic 2 total $850 , so maybe good advice is for those who own multiple drones, but for those who own only M2 or multiple M2’s it looks like a bargain. It also has the advantage of working with all drones with Ocusync 2 now and in the future.

You are right but I have to say that if you have multiple drones, it's a better idea to buy the crystalsky. Isn't it annoying to pair your remote every time when you are using another drone? If there is an update like Ocusync 3.0 you will have to update your RC again but you don't have to update if you have CS.

1-13 13:07
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hallmark007
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Master. Posted at 1-13 13:07
You are right but I have to say that if you have multiple drones, it's a better idea to buy the crystalsky. Isn't it annoying to pair your remote every time when you are using another drone? If there is an update like Ocusync 3.0 you will have to update your RC again but you don't have to update if you have CS.

There are pluses and minuses with both, hopefully dji will make it more simple to pair with other drones, Crystalsky is great I own two of them, but having bought the 5.5 for use with the mavics I find using mounts a real pain in both storage and set up, I tend to only use it with my orignal Mavic because dji made a great small mount that can be left on orignal Mavic , but having to buy other mounts for Mavic Air M2 and longer cables just becomes tiresome. I’m disappointed dji did not make similar mount for Air and M2, but hey that’s dji.
1-13 13:17
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Master.
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hallmark007 Posted at 1-13 13:17
There are pluses and minuses with both, hopefully dji will make it more simple to pair with other drones, Crystalsky is great I own two of them, but having bought the 5.5 for use with the mavics I find using mounts a real pain in both storage and set up, I tend to only use it with my orignal Mavic because dji made a great small mount that can be left on orignal Mavic , but having to buy other mounts for Mavic Air M2 and longer cables just becomes tiresome. I’m disappointed dji did not make similar mount for Air and M2, but hey that’s dji.

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.
1-13 13:21
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hallmark007
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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 think by next Christmas it may well be down to that price.
1-13 13:27
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Celsus
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I can see this being packaged as standard with an enhanced version of the Mavic 2 and Phantom 5. Too expensive to justify the additional benefits.
1-15 13:58
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Charissa Posted at 1-11 03:30
For what it cost here in South Africa, I can buy a extra 5.5 batteries (and also spend much more time in the air with that, as the 20 sec setup time you talk about.)  Or 2 batteries, and a extra standard controller....
Also, that few seconds either way, would not always guarantee your shot of the ship, or the sunset anyway.

Charissa,

Well thought out what you have said.

DJI have already it a couple of raw nerves for me and the biggest blunder is not being able to use it across a range of drones.... Most of the controllers look exactly the same but can't be used on different model. Bizarre.


And you are right about the charging issues, as I have mentioned in another thread...


I started with the MA last November, was doing great then the controller would no longer charge.. Sent it in for repair.... Really needed to be able to fly so I end getting Mavic Pro bundle second hand and it works well....


Got my remote back it lasted less than a day... Luckily I have the MP... But regardless I have a 7 day trip planned for Monday coming, I was going to take both drones, but having to take 2 controllers is ridiculous, together with my DSLR camera gear I need a pack horse !

So until they make the new controller multi version why would anyone buy it ? Like you say we all have smartphones and they do just as good a job, I have the Note 8 and it's NIT value is one of the highest, excellent outside.

Would love to see DJI get their act together...
1-16 04:00
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hallmark007 Posted at 1-11 04:18
I think if you put phone and S/Controller side by side then we might realize that we are being overcharged for both, but much more so on our phone, yes we need it more so phone manufacturers have realized this and charged a very high premium for this, if we break it down we need the phone for taking and making calls so we can buy this for €100 and still get a camera , but we don’t , we get sucked in by the marketing that tells us we need a phone with the best camera something that’s shiny and the more you use it the more it will cost you.

So I can buy a €100 phone a €350 Osmo Pocket (which will do a lot more than camera on phone) and purchase a Smart Controller for €650 all for only €50 euros more than I pay for my new upto date latest fashionable jet black phone, it seems we are trying to fool ourselves here ,  at every hands turn we are in the grips of marketing Guru’s.

Mate,

Could not agree more...

The prices for Iphones and Samsung top of the range back home in Aus are in the range $1200 - $1500 !! For a PHONE... And when was the last time we actually used them as a phone ? I could count on one hand for the last 12 months...


But what they do over there is package it with a mobile plan and lock you in for a couple of years... By the time you are out of contract it's probably busted, or battery is shot.. And now you can't even buy replaceable batteries.. We are certainly mugs, that is for sure...


Now I will go and put my $900 phone away
1-16 04:08
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Atlas_Aus Posted at 1-16 04:08
Mate,

Could not agree more...

i fly with last gen phone i purchased second hand, infact im soon planning on getting a note 8, even though i hate Samsung devices as they age like spoiled milk (unless using a custom rom) it has a 1200nit screen and they are dropping in price and they are only last gen..not even old yet.   

  right now i fly with a LG V10 as my current primary device, picked it up for $75 used on ebay from a reseller.. only gripe i have is needed a new battery, but that was easy to fix, $11 battery off amazon.. and back comes off of the phone easily.  
ontop of this this is an additional cost..  $650 thats is the price of the crystal sky. and the occusync controller comes bundled "free" with the drone already.     i dont understand the point of this contorller atleast currently, maybe next year if more occusync 2,0 devices come out and thus get added to support for it it may make more sense...but right now, almost better value to just get standard controller thats included with drone at no extra cost, and a mavmount and crystal sky, same price range and you can use cystalsky with all other drones dji makes, plug it into spark, mavic air, phantom, inspire, mavic pro, mavic 2, enterprise drones...etc etc..
1-16 18:15
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Charissa Posted at 1-11 03:30
For what it cost here in South Africa, I can buy a extra 5.5 batteries (and also spend much more time in the air with that, as the 20 sec setup time you talk about.)  Or 2 batteries, and a extra standard controller....
Also, that few seconds either way, would not always guarantee your shot of the ship, or the sunset anyway.

I agree, no real benefits for me either.
1-16 20:59
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I just got the Crystal Sky for the M2Pro.  I can use it with my Inspire as well.  The Smart Controller wouldn’t  add any value for me.  DJI promised that CS would be able to playback H 265, but ,as of yet it is not the case.  If anyone is on the fence about the Smart Controller, make sure it has all the bells and whistles that DJI is promoting before you buy it.  
1-16 23:19
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*DM*
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HereForTheBeer Posted at 1-16 18:15
i fly with last gen phone i purchased second hand, infact im soon planning on getting a note 8, even though i hate Samsung devices as they age like spoiled milk (unless using a custom rom) it has a 1200nit screen and they are dropping in price and they are only last gen..not even old yet.   

  right now i fly with a LG V10 as my current primary device, picked it up for $75 used on ebay from a reseller.. only gripe i have is needed a new battery, but that was easy to fix, $11 battery off amazon.. and back comes off of the phone easily.  
I use a Note 8 and it is absolutely superb. Over 1000 nits.

I am not a 'fan' of any particular brand by the way and change according to what I require.

Totally recommend it. - I have no qualms in upgrading this  to the 9 in a couple of months.

The only thing I would say is that you can't turn off the controller to phone charging with Android devices afaik.
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