DJI has unveiled Smart Controller, a new drone controller with a built-in ultra-bright 1000cd/m2 5.5-inch Full HD screen. The display, which is around double the brightness of a smartphone LCD, eliminates the need to use a mobile device when piloting DJI drones.

The Smart Controller's ultra-bright display is designed to be usable in direct sunlight, according to the company. The controller supports drones featuring DJI's OcuSync 2 video transmission system, including the Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro. The Smart Controller's physical controls were optimized for DJI's drones.

Other Smart Controller features include a 2.5-hour battery life, support for operating in temperatures as low as -20C / -4F and as high as 40C / 104F, automatic switching between 2.4Ghz and 5.8GHz wireless connections, transmissions up to 4.9 miles / 8km, detachable control sticks, and an integrated microphone and speaker. The Smart Controller's built-in HDMI port enables video playback at up to 4K/60fps with H.264 and H.265.

At the software level, the controller's customizable Android dashboard includes support for the DJI GO 4 and Pilot apps, as well as SkyTalk for livestreaming and select other third-party apps. With DJI GO-Share, imagery viewed on the Smart Controller can be directly transferred to a tablet or smartphone.

DJI will begin selling its new Smart Controller in early 2019 for $649 USD. Consumers will also have bundle options featuring the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom drones.