5 Best Drones with Screen on Controller 2024

Last Update:

We may earn commissions on our links. Learn more

best drones with screen on remote

Almost every consumer drone on the market these days integrates the user’s smartphone to stand in as the live monitor.

This is a move that makes sense in many different ways. For one thing, it allows drone makers to sell their product for less money.

It also makes it easier to keep the software updated through the app store.

There are plenty of situations where one would rather have a solution that was completely self-contained. Some professional drones are shared between multiple users and managing several people who have to install the app and keep it up to date can be a real pain.

Apart from that, having the screen built in means the manufacturer has control over its specifications. That means they can decide what the resolution, sunlight readability and power consumption the screen should have.

In short, despite the additional cost integrated screens tend to provide a more seamless user experience with a more refined execution. That’s not to say all drones that use this setup are equal!

drones with built in screen on controller

In a Hurry? Here are the 4 Best Drones with Built-in Screen on the Remote Controller 2024:

Best Choice for 2024DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC

Best Mid-Range Choice – DJI Air 2S. Buy DJI RC Controller separately.

Best Pro ChoiceAutel Robotics EVO 2 Pro V3.

Runner Up, Best Pro ChoiceDJI Mavic 3 Classic with DJI RC.

Most Important Factors to Consider when Buying a Drone With a Screen on Controller

When diving into the world of drones, especially ones featuring a screen on their controllers, it’s crucial to understand the key features that set one model apart from another.

Below, we lay out each of these factors to help you select the right choice for you needs.

Camera Capabilities

For many enthusiasts, the camera is the centerpiece of their drone experience. Whether you’re capturing stunning aerial shots of landscapes or recording high-speed action from above, the quality of your drone’s camera directly impacts the results.

Consider drones with high-resolution cameras capable of capturing 4K or at least Full HD (1080p) video.

Also consider the camera’s still photo capabilities, stabilization systems, and field of view. Drones with adjustable camera angles provide more flexibility when framing your shots.

Controller Screen Resolution

The controller’s screen is your window to the drone’s perspective, so its quality is obvisouly important. Higher screen resolutions offer clearer, more detailed images, making your flight experience more immersive and your footage more precise.

Screens should be bright enough to view in various lighting conditions, particularly outdoors. Some high-end models even offer sunshades to improve visibility on brighter days.

Flight Time

The flight time refers to the duration a drone can remain airborne on a single charge. This factor is often a trade-off with size and features: larger, more feature-rich drones typically have longer flight times but are less portable.

Most non-professional drones usually can last for 20 to 30 minutes, although some of the newer models can push this up to 40 minutes or more.

Range

The range is the maximum distance the drone can travel from the controller while maintaining a stable connection. Most users won’t require an exceptionally long range, but it’s still an important consideration.

A drone with a larger range gives you more freedom to explore and capture varied footage.

Price

The price of the drone is an obvious consideration. Drone prices can vary widely depending on their features, build quality, brand reputation, and after-sales service.

While high-end models often deliver superior performance and durability, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that perform exceptionally well for their price point.

Pros and Cons of a Drone Controller with Screen

The decision to choose a drone controller with a built-in screen is not a trivial one. They do have some real benefits but they also have a few potential drawbacks. Here’s my take.

Advantages

  1. Live Feed: The number one advantage? You get a live feed from your drone’s camera on your controller screen. This means you see exactly what your drone sees in real-time, giving you better control when youre shooting video or taking photos.
  2. Critical Flight Data: With a screen on your controller, all essential flight information is directly at your fingertips. Think altitude, speed, distance, battery life, and a map of your drone’s current location. It’s like your personal mission control.
  3. Distraction-Free Environment. Unlike the Smartphone, the screen on the controller will not cause any interruptions. 
  4. Freeing Up Your Smartphone: Many drones require a smartphone to display video feed and flight data. Having a built-in screen on your controller eliminates this need, freeing up your phone and saving its battery life.
  5. Designed for Outdoor Use: These screens are generally brighter than your typical phone or tablet display, making them perfect for use under bright outdoor conditions.

Disadvantages

  1. Higher Price: Drone controllers with screens often come with a higher price tag. The extra cost might not be ideal for everyone, especially if you’re just getting started or flying drones as a hobby.
  2. Screen Quality Can Vary: While there are high-quality exceptions, the resolution and quality of screens on some drone controllers might not be as good as the displays on recent smartphones or tablets.
  3. Battery Life: Having a screen on your controller can consume more battery power, potentially reducing the time you can spend flying.
  4. Portability: Controllers equipped with screens can be bulkier, which might impact their portability, especially for those who travel frequently with their drone.

Let’s have a deeper look at some more popular choices for drones with screen on remote and see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

DJI Smart Controller

Specs

Display: 1080p LED display
Screen: 5-inch screen
Connection: 8 km distance

What We Like

  • Transmits full HD video from your drone
  • Automatically switches from 2.4 to 5.8GHz for less interference
  • Connects to the drone as soon as it turns on
  • Control sticks are detachable
  • Compatible With DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mini 2 and Phantom 4 Pro V2.

The DJI Smart Controller is a remote with a screen display built-in that allows you to see what the drone is seeing as it flies.

The bright 1080p LED display makes sure that you can see all the details of the visual so you don’t miss anything, and the 5.5-inch screen gives you a big enough screen to see everything up close.

DJI Smart Controller Features

This smart remote has a connection distance of up to 8km, which allows you to fly your drone a long distance without losing power or control.

It helps to reduce the interference of other drones being flown nearby by switching between 2.4 and 5.8GHz.

With the ability to work in -20 degree Celsius weather, it can be used for most winter months. It can also handle up to +40 degree Celsius weather, which will allow you to use it for most of the year without any damage being done to the remote.

DJI RC – Remote Controller for DJI Drones

A more recent, and budget-friendlier choice for RC Controller is the DJI RC. It is compatible with the DJI Mini 3 series, the Mavic 3 series and the DJI Air 2S.

Pros

  • Lightweight build with a Full-HD screen
  • 4-hour battery life
  • Highly precise control sticks

Cons

  • Screen size may be smaller than some users prefer
  • Initial setup and firmware updates required for certain drones
  • Image quality when using a memory card could be better

So I had the chance to try out this controller the other day when I was flying my DJI Mini 3 Pro.

I was genuinely impressed by its design and performance.

The lightweight body and 5.5-inch full-HD screen with up to 700 nits brightness make it easy to keep track of the drone during flight, even in bright sunlight.

However, I noticed that the screen size might not be large enough for those used to flying with their smartphones or bigger tablet devices.

But I feel like it won’t impact the overall experience much.

When I first received the DJI RC, I had to update the firmware to make it compatible with my DJI Air 2S. While not a significant drawback, it’s worth noting that you may also need to update software to ensure compatibility with your drone model.

DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Pro in flight

Specs

Camera: 4K/60 fps Video

Screen on Controller: DJI RC Controller with 5.5-inch FHD screen, high brightness

Flight time: 34 min

Range: 7.5 miles (around 1 mile with RC controller)

Price: $$

The Mini series from DJI is one of their best-sellers.

The drones in this series are budget friendly and have pretty much all the functionality that an everyday drone enthusiast wants.

DJI Mini 3 Pro is at present the king of the pack. What has improved? Compared to the older model DJI Mini 2, it now sports a better camera and improved obstacle avoidance sensors.

Pros

  • Impressive 4K/60fps video and 48MP photo quality
  • Up to 34 minutes of flight time
  • Tri-directional obstacle sensing for increased safety

Cons

  • Limited compatibility with DJI Mini 2 accessories
  • Be wary when using RTH, the drone may sometimes go wrong.

The DJI Mini 3 Pro exceeds expectations in terms of both portability and performance. Weighing less than 249 grams, you won’t have to worry about registration in your area, and its compact foldable design makes it easy to carry with you on adventures.

The controller’s built-in 5.5-inch HD display shows crisp real-time viewing even under direct sunlight.

DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo with Smart Controller

DJI Air 2S in flight

Specs

Camera: 5.4K Video 1-Inch CMOS Sensor

Screen on Controller: DJI Smart Controller, 5-inch screen, 1080p.  (You may prefer to use it with the DJI RC controller, which is cheaper).

Flight time:  31 min

Range: 7.5 miles

Price: $$$

I highly recommend the DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo with Smart Controller for its outstanding camera quality, intuitive controller, and impressive flight capabilities.

Pros

  • 5.4K video and 4K camera
  • Advanced obstacle sensing in 4 directions
  • 31-minute flight time

Cons

  • No obstacle avoidance on sides
  • Batteries may drain quickly with heavy use

The DJI Air 2S comes with a 1-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing stunning 5.4K video and high-quality 4K images.

The feature that I love the most is the MasterShots feature, which makes capturing professional-looking shots easy and efficient. It is a very forgiving tech, so even if you make mistakes, the footage will end up decent.

In comparison to the DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro, I found that I like the DJI Air 2S camera system better and the obstacle-sensing abilities are improved.

When I first got it, the DJI Air 2S quickly became my favorite drone. It still is. It has a great camera, a responsive controller, and reliable flight capabilities.

DJI Mavic 3 Classic (DJI RC)

Mavic 3 Classic in flight

Specs

Camera: Hasselblad 4/3 CMOS

Screen on Controller: DJI RC Controller with 5.5-inch full-HD screen, high brightness

Flight time: 43-minute flight time

Range: 9.3 miles

Price: $$$

I highly recommend the DJI Mavic 3 Classic if you’re looking for a professional-grade drone with a built-in screen on the controller, exceptional flight time, and advanced features.

Pros

  • Excellent 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera
  • Impressive 46 minutes of flight time
  • 15km HD video transmission range

Cons

  • Pricey

The DJI Mavic 3 Classic’s camera is quite excellent. It has a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera which shoots sharp and professional-quality images and videos.

I also am impressed with the 46-minute flight time and the advanced omnidirectional obstacle detection system of the Classic. Which is quite nice to have on a drone in this price range.

This is a great choice for enthusiasts or professionals who want great to be able to shoot professional-level photos and videos.  

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom with Smart Controller

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom in flight

Specs

Camera: 1/2.3” CMOS 4K Video

Screen on Controller: DJI RC Controller with 5.5-inch full-HD screen, high brightness

Flight time: 31 minutes

Range: 11 miles

Price: $$$$

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom with Smart Controller might be a couple of years old. But it still has impressive optical zoom capabilities, overall solid performance, and pairs well with the Smart Controller.

Pros

  • 2x optical zoom (24–48 mm)
  • 31-minute flight time

Cons

  • 12MP camera sensor could use improvement
  • Price point may be higher compared to other drones

With a max speed of 44 mph and 31 minutes of flight time, you will be able to cover a lot of ground and shoot lots of footage in your session.

This would not be my first choice for 2024, as I feel that there are better options around now. But it is still one of only a few drones available with a built-in screen on the controller. So I wanted to include it.

It still performs well, but not sure how well it matches up to other drones in its price point.

All In Hand – Built-in Screen on Controller

When looking for a drone with a built-in screen on the controller the best option you have right now are the DJI Mini 3 Pro, DJI Air 2S, DJI Mavic 3 Classic, or Autel Robotics EVO 2.

There just are not that many other choices. Smartphones have taken over the controllers, and for most manufacturers making a controller without a screen is a money saver.

But, the good news is that they are great drones, and the DJI RC works beautifully.

FAQ – Drones with Screen On Controller

What are the benefits of a drone with screen on the controller for a beginner?

A drone with a dedicated built-in screen, has several benefits for beginners.

One of the most significant advantages is the elimination of the need to connect your smartphone or tablet to the drone’s remote control.

This reduces the complexity of the setup process while allowing you to focus on learning how to fly the drone.

Drones with screens on the controller also provide real-time video feed, ensuring better situational awareness for the pilot during the flying experience.

Lastly, these drones offer a more immersive and fun to fly experience, as the LCD screen provides live telemetry and a distraction-free environment.

What is the DJI RC Pro and how does it enhance the drone flying experience?

The DJI RC Pro is a high-end drone controller equipped with an ultra-bright LCD screen. It provides a seamless connection with the drone, ensuring a reliable and enjoyable flying experience.

What advantages does a 6K camera bring to aerial photography and videography?

A 6K camera captures ultra-high-resolution images and videos, significantly enhancing the quality of aerial photography and videography. This level of detail allows for stunning clarity and precision in post-production.

How does the Autel Evo 2 compare to other drones in the drone industry?

The Autel Evo 2 is a standout in the drone industry. It’s known for its durability, 6K camera, and advanced flight features. Its controller also includes an LCD screen for real-time telemetry and video feed.

Jesse Young