The default for most drone remotes is that you plug in your smartphone to the remote controller for preview. If you want to get fancy, you can even buy a separate iPad to plug in for a larger screen, this way keeping your phone separate.

However, sometimes you want a single unit remote control system that requires cables and connections and has the durability of integrated construction. DJI has just launched the the Smart Controller to make that option available for filmmakers who want a single integrated unit.


Of course, when building a fully integrated unit, DJI is able to focus on making the screen ideal for drone flying, without having to worry about all other functions that phone makers have to worry about. The biggest improvement is 1000cd/m2 brightness (otherwise known as 1000 nits) which is twice as bright as your average cell phone.

This means that you will be able to work with the controller in more diverse lighting environments without a shade. It doesn't offer the 3000 nits you are starting to see in some (much more expensive) field monitors, but 1000 nits should be plenty for all but the most intense lighting situations.

Nofilmschool_dji_smart_controller_1 Credit: dJI

You should be able to share imagery from the drone with other team members through both DJI GO-Share and an HDMI output from the remote control. This is huge since solutions for multiple users to monitor the imagery being captured in real time is a vital step for fully integrating drone capture into current production workflows.

The operator now has a clear view on the remote and you can run HDMI out to a director or client monitor for notes and feedback as you work.


Available now for $695 , with combination packages that include the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom (the two drones it currently supports) coming in the near term.

Tech Specs:

  • 630 grams
  • 1000 cd/m2
  • Supports Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro
  • HDMI Port output
  • -4° to 104° F (-20° to 40° C) temperature range
  • 802.11a/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi with 2×2 MIMO
  • OcuSync Max Distance: 2.400-2.4835 GHz: 8 km (FCC), 4 km (CE), 4 km (SRRC), 4 km (MIC), 5.725-5.850 GHz: 8 km (FCC), 2 km (CE), 5 km (SRRC)
  • Bluetooth 4.2, 2.400-2.4835 GHz
  • 18650 Li-ion (5000 mAh @ 7.2 V) batteries
  • USB power adapters rated 12 V/2 A for charge, 2 hour charge time, 2.5 hour run time
  • 15 W rated power
  • 16 GB + scalable (microSD) Storage