The DJI Smart Controller takes drone flying to new heights

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How do you take a great drone like the
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and make it greater? That's the question DJI hopes to answer with the brand new
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.

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This remote control builds on OcuSync 2.0, the system DJI's newest drones use to transmit video in HD. As long as the drone you're using, whether it's the
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, the
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, or the
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, uses OcuSync 2.0, the DJI Smart Controller is compatible.

The controller comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p screen with 1000 nits of brightness, which means it'll be usable even in direct sunlight. You'll also be able to automatically switch between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz Wi-Fi channels so you can always stay connected even as the signal changes. The environment won't have nearly as big of an impact on image quality this way, and you'll be able to transmit up to eight kilometers away. Another reason the environment won't have such an impact is the controller's ability to withstand both hot and cold temperatures with an operating range of -20 degrees Celsius to +40 degrees.

Connect to your drone within seconds of turning it on so you won't have to wait to take off. When something is unfolding in front of you, there's nothing more frustrating than waiting for your devices to load and prepare before recording. Also, the control sticks are integrated into the design and removable, so you can pack this thing up tightly in a backpack without damaging the gear. The 5000mAh battery has support for Quick Charge 2.0 and will work for up to 2.5 hours. You'll definitely want a
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to give the battery a boost as fast as possible.

Android is powering the system behind the controller, so you'll have access to a variety of third party apps for sharing and editing your videos. You'll also be able to use the DJI GO 4 app, which gives you easy ways to share your media or transfer to a different mobile device. One neat option is the ability to live stream. Since the controller has a built-in mic and speaker, you can use SkyTalk to share your drone's view directly on a platform like Instagram and talk over it from your position.

The DJI Smart Controller is available on its own through
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for $649. You can also buy the
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for just $400 extra ($1,899 total).

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