Alright, so DJI just updated their Motion Controller with this: the DJI RC Motion Controller 2. It replaces the original Motion Controller that first shipped with the FPV drone. Gosh, it's been like two years at this point, so we've had this controller around for a while. It was due for an update, and DJI delivered with something that gives us much better control.
DJI Motion Controller 2 video
Now, if you want to replace your original Motion Controller, you can pick up just the RC Motion Controller 2 for $240. It also now replaces the original Motion Controller in all of the DJI Avata combos.
So, you've got the Explorer Combo that comes with the RC Motion 2 as well as the new DJI Integra Goggles that I have on my head. But you can also go with the Pro View option that now comes with the Motion Controller 2 as well as those upgraded goggles that have some different upgrades.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I really wasn't looking for an upgrade to my original Motion Controller. I thought that it gave me everything I needed and it was a lot of fun to fly my drone with.
However, looking at what they've done here with the second generation makes me happy they've released this because it gives us much better, more finite control over the drone that we're flying.
I mean, think about it: the Motion Controller is like a first-generation product. There's not many other drones out there that allow you to fly with a controller by just using your hand and motion, right?
So, we don't really have anything to compare this original Motion Controller to. Hence, I never thought that there was anything that could be better about it.
DJI Motion Controller 2 upgrades
Now, speaking of upgrades, let's take a closer look at these controllers side by side to spot the differences.
The design remains unchanged with the same general button layout, but small improvements have been made to give you more control over your drone.
For example, the accelerator on the back now allows you to fly the drone backwards, whereas previously, you could only fly the drone forwards. We'll definitely check this out more when we get up in the air and start flying.
On the side of the Motion Controller, the record button remains in the same spot, but instead of a tilt slider, we now have a wheel that allows us to change the camera parameters. This is also a clickable button that allows us to access those camera settings quickly.
On the front side of the Motion Controller, the Lock and Mode buttons remain the same with pretty much the same functions. However, the brake button on the original Motion Controller has been swapped out for a full-on joystick. This means that the brake function now moves to the lock button instead.
I'm really happy that they've included this joystick, and you'll see why as we get into our full flight.
Now, as for a couple of miscellaneous points, the power button remains in the same spot. The battery LED indicator on the top remains in the same spot. And you can, of course, charge the Motion Controller 2 with USB-C, just like the first.
So, the DJI Motion Controller 2 is definitely a huge refinement over the original version, as you'll see when we get into our full flight.
But before we do so, I quickly want to mention that if you're going to be flying with the RC Motion Controller 2, you'll want to change the speed settings for the joystick as well as your reverse movement.
When I first started flying with the RC Motion 2, I was really frustrated with how slow the drone was flying when using the joystick, as well as when reversing. But I realized that when you jump into settings, you can actually change the maximum speed in every direction when using the Motion Controller.
So, make sure you jump in there and change those settings before you fly, so that you're able to refine how the drone moves when you're actually using the RC Motion 2.
Putting the DJI Motion Controller 2 to the test
We'll go ahead and start our recording, so now we're recording on both the goggles' SD card and the drone itself.
Now, from here, we will double-press the lock button. This arms our motors, and usually, with the old Motion Controller, we would then hold the lock button, and it would come up to a hover for us. But we can now just go ahead and take off right with the joystick and shoot up.
Now, you'll notice right now my joystick movements are very slow, like it's moving slow forwards, moving slow backwards, up, down, in every direction. But if we go ahead and change over our modes to Sport mode, I now have this thing cruising.
So, I'm just pushing up on the joystick, and we can fly up super fast at 11 miles per hour.
Okay, so let's go ahead and cruise around. I'll tell you what, when I first flew with the Motion Controller on the original FPV drone, like it was my very first flight, I thought to myself, “Oh, this is cool. It's going to be fun to fly with. It's probably not going to give me that finite control that I want.”
But to my surprise, it was one of my favorite ways to fly the FPV drone, just because of how unique and interesting it was. In the same flight, during my very first flight, I started flying around, and I was splitting gaps with the Motion Controller. So, it's very intuitive. There's a bird—man, that was close!
So, the Motion Controller is a ton of fun to fly with. The same general principles are the same here; we just have different ways to control it.
For example, we'll come to a hover here. If I wanted to, I can now fly it backwards by pushing the accelerator forwards.
So now, I'm cruising backwards at 18 miles an hour. But again, we're kind of flying blind here, so in my opinion, I wouldn't be flying backwards unless I absolutely knew there was nothing behind me. I mean, we're in a nice open area here, so flying backwards is no issue.
They also make it really easy to go ahead and stick your finger right in between, so you can either go backwards or forwards by just kind of flicking your finger forwards or backwards.
I'm going to lower the controller a little bit just to get a little bit more comfortable. It looks like we've got a train that's pulled up here, so let's go ahead and cruise around the building, and then we'll go and get nice and close to the train.
Again, just because of how natural it feels, I almost feel like I can get closer to specific objects than I would if I were using the regular controller. It gives you a different level of confidence, I would say. Like, we are cruising—this is a lot of fun!
Also, you'll notice that sometimes it's a little bit jerky when we're actually inside of the remote controller or inside of the goggles, but that'll, of course, get all smoothed out with RockSteady.
It's so much faster, I mean, it's basically double the speed, and it's so much more fun to fly with the Motion Controller just because of that speed that you get. It makes it more of a rush.
Now, let's kind of show off some of the usage of the joystick here. So, for example, if I wanted to come to a hover, right, I could push the joystick up to fly directly upwards, I could push it down to fly directly downwards, or I can move laterally from left to right. So, I can move left and I can move right.
It isn't like a traditional joystick where I'd move forwards, left, right, and whatnot, but instead, you're going to be changing all those directions with the motion of the controller.
And this joystick just gives you movements in the cardinal directions, right?
So, personally, the joystick for me is good to get out of sticky situations.
The same thing with the backward movement of the drone is great because if I get stuck—let's say I want to fly down here, for example, right, and I go and get—we'll move a little bit slower—like if I get into a situation here where I'm just way too close to the building, like, what would I do?
How would I get out of this, right? I mean, I could kind of move up and around, but instead, if I wanted to, I could just go in reverse, back up, move to the right, and then get myself out of it.
So, again, you get much better finite control over the drone using the joystick and using that backward movement.
Now, we, of course, do have the return-to-home feature with the Motion Controller as well. So, the mode button, if we double press that—oops, we actually do the regular one press and then hold—this will give us an RTH (Return-To-Home).
Personally, I enjoy using return home when using the remote controller because I've had some issues with actually landing the drone in the past. You'll see the landing can be a bit finicky when using the DJI Motion Controller.
Now, we're in normal mode right now. This gives us a maximum speed with the Avata of about 17 miles an hour. We'll go ahead and switch over to Sport mode because, again, I love that speed when using the Motion Controller. It makes you feel so much more immersed, I would say.
Yeah, like, usually for me, when flying with the Motion Controller, it's all about having fun. I'm not typically trying to obtain cinematic footage when using the Motion Controller; this is just pure fun for me.
We've got about 44% left remaining on our battery. Look at that bird right there! Let's chase it. I think it's a duck that landed. Flying with the birds here.
And then, again, in this situation right here, I could look all the way up and press on the joystick to fly the drone directly upwards. But instead, I could just stay level with my horizon, use my joystick to fly straight up, use the Motion Controller to move us around, and then go ahead and reorient myself.
So, again, that finite control is really what you get with the DJI Motion Controller 2. The biggest reason to upgrade, if you have the original Motion Controller, is for better control over the actual drone.
Let's go ahead and chase, or surf over, that train one more time, and then I think we'll come back and land.
And, again, you'll kind of see my annoyances with the landing of the RC. It's not just the Motion Controller 2, but the Motion Controller as a whole. It's the way that it's built and used.
However, it does make it a little bit easier with that joystick to come down and land.
Let's try to go on the left side. You do sometimes get that jerky lateral movement from left to right when using the Motion Controller, just as you change your movement. I got a little too close there.
It's really cool, though. I mean, you could give this to somebody who has never flown a drone before, and the Motion Controller is such an intuitive way to fly that they'll pick it right up.
I'm going to do one more lap around. Again, it doesn't have the speed of the DJI FPV Drone.
All right, let's bring it back. We'll land; we're at 22% right now.
All right, it's going to auto-RTH. We'll hit “mode” just so that it stops and bring it on back. Now, with the original Motion Controller, the way to land would be to look all the way down, point there, hold the lock button, and use the accelerator.
But instead, now we can just use our joystick, bring it down, and land. This is so much easier and more intuitive. We'll bring it down and land. Boom!
All right, so the DJI Motion Controller 2, for me, completely upgrades the experience of actually flying with the Motion Controller. Is it worth the upgrade over the original? Maybe that's up to you. If you think all that granular control is worth the extra $240, then go for it.
But, in my opinion, I'm really happy that DJI has replaced the original DJI Motion Controller with the second generation, and I can't wait to see what they do in the future with different ways to control the drone because this is a lot of fun.
Anyway, thank you guys so much for watching. Let me know your thoughts on the DJI Motion Controller 2 in the comments below, and as always, I'll talk to you later. Peace!
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