Smartphone vs Built in Screen on remote controller + 6 best drones with built in screen

One of the most overlooked features of drones nowadays are definitely its controllers. People seem to forget about the main component of actual drone flying. It’s as if they’re so concentrated on their drones that they completely forget about those small devices controlling them. If you are not among those people and you not only want an excellent drone but also a great controller to go alongside with it, then you have come to the right place. I have personally made the list you can see down below with the hope that it will prove to be useful to people looking for a new drone to buy. It showcases the best drones that come with controllers featuring built-in displays for FPV and other purposes. These displays eliminate the need for smartphones (and their weak WiFi powered FPV reception) and allow for a much better FPV experience in the long run. So with that in mind, let’s see which drones with screen on remote controller have made the list!

What’s that screen on your remote used for?

This heavily depends on the type of remote and the quantity of sensors your drone is equipped with. For general usage, screen on your remote is used for telemetry and basic flight information. This basic flight information includes, but is not limited to, battery percentage, current height, current range, FPV settings and many more.

In addition to telemetry, definitely the most awesome feature of these on-remote displays is FPV (first person view). What this essentially allows you is to get a live feed direct from your drone’s camera without sacrificing that much latency or image quality (more on this later on). This is such a popular concept, especially when it is paired up with VR headsets or FPV googles. Both of these accessories provide an insanely immersive experience that will not leave anyone indifferent.

So, what I am basically trying to say here is that a screen on your remote, whether it’s a built-in one or a smartphone/tablet (more info down below), it is definitely worth an upgrade. Without it, you will be limited to looking straight at your drone for directions which can be pretty difficult a times… not to mention it strains your neck if it’s too high up.

Source : Youtube.com

Built-in Displays vs Smartphones/tablets

This is a huge topic nowadays. I am sure all of you are familiar with the fact that many modern-day drones offer FPV. There are two main methods of enjoying FPV (first person view straight from your drone’s camera), through a built-in display (f.e. Upair One) or via smartphone/tablet with a dedicated app that connects to the drone’s camera. There’s also a third option which is VR headsets but they’re on a whole another level!

So, what’s the real difference between the 2? Well, there are several factors involved. The most common one (the one that is mentioned all the time) is the brightness. Built-in displays tend to have higher cd/m2 than smartphones which results in higher brightness and superior visibility in direct sunlight. But, that’s not the only real difference. There’s also the type of connection the FPV feed uses. For instance, the 2 main ones are 2.4 Ghz (typical WiFi frequency that is being used in 90% mid-tier models) and 5.8 Ghz. The latter is used by premium quality drones and works exceptionally in terms of both latency and image quality. Unfortunately, it is also much costlier to produce drones and controllers with such technology so they’re (at the moment) only limited to the highest end drones. On a side note, 5.8 Ghz is also the standard frequency for VR headsets and FPV goggles.

Read more : Drones for beginners / Drones for kids / Indoor drones / Drones with GoPro camera

Photo by DJI.com

DJI CrystalSky

If you are looking for the ultimate display for your remote then you should definitely check out DJI’s CrystalSky. There is a whole review for DJI CrystalSky here so check that out as well. Here, I will just tell you a couple of main information about it. First off, this is a professional grade display for drone piloting. It has an incredible brightness which makes it perfectly usable even in direct sunlight. Most on-remote displays either don’t have any sunlight protection and poor brightness or they rely on sunshades. While the later works solidly, it still ruins the image quality since it’s blocking all sunlight.

And that’s exactly where DJI CrystalSky comes in. The main catch is – they are only usable with the newest lineup of DJI’s drones. So, if you happen to own one of those bad boys and you want the perfect live transmission even during the sunniest of days, then CrystalSky is a no-brainer! You won’t believe how bright it is until you see it for yourself, I guarantee it!

6 Best Drones with screen on remote controller :

 

6. Hubsan H501S

This list starts off with the awesome H501S by Hubsan, a company that’s slowly cementing their spot in drone industry. Other than its great design and excellent build quality, this model also features a highly responsive controller with a 4.3-inch LCD display with 480×272 resolution. It flies via 2.4Ghz network while the FPV feature relies on 5.8Ghz for the ultimate FPV experience.

Moreover, it is outstanding to see a full HD camera on such a cheap drone. What is even better is the fact that it sports brushless motors. We all know that they are much more reliable and more powerful than those conventional brushed ones, which proves the point that Hubsan H501S aims for the big players. But, not only does it have great motors but it also has features to pair up with them. It includes headless mode, automatic return to home, altitude hold, follow me and best of all – GPS.

It is incredibly smooth in air, especially considering its price, and it has pretty decent specifications too. Its battery can hold up to 20 minutes in air and it can reach up to 300 meters with ease. Everything regarding this drone is well-rounded and it definitely is a great mid-tier choice for everyone looking for something new.

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5. Yuneec Q500

Yuneec never ceases to amaze us with awesome models and their Q500 is just that. It falls somewhere in the mid-tier but has both specifications and features that are on par with certain premium models. Does it have any drawbacks? Let’s find out!

Yuneec Q500 is a spectacular drone that will provide you with high quality aerial photos (and videos) time and time again. With its big, clunky controller with a huge LCD display (touchscreen) on the very bottom of it, you will never miss out on any FPV action. In addition to that, Yuneec Q500 also features a great build poised by a beautiful black frame. Moreover, it sports a 12mpx camera capable of recording in 4K resolution at steady 30FPS. Turn down the resolution to full HD and you’ll get slow motion footage at 120FPS.

You can even tamper around with the camera settings such as white balance and light exposure which is something we rarely see with drone cameras. Crazy, right? Well, that’s not all this beauty can do, we haven’t even touched the specifications. Believe it or not, Q5000’s battery can endure more than 25 minutes cruising in midair… and best of all, the drone operating range is no joke either with roughly 800 meters of pure comfort.

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4. Hubsan H109S

Here is another one of Hubsan’s models that proves the point of them being a solid drone manufacturing company, especially in recent time. The H109S X4 Pro is a great looking drone with stellar round of features that will definitely come in handy more often than not. GPS, headless mode, altitude hold, automatic return to home are just some of the more common ones that you will end up using the most.

The only drawback to an otherwise excellent all-around drone is the default camera that is packed alongside it. It can only shoot in full HD resolution and is mounted on a 1-axis gimbal rather than the ever-so-popular 3-axis one. While this will affect the stability of the footage, its overall quality is still pretty good considering everything we have the chance to see on the market nowadays. Probably the best thing about H109S, and the feature that sets it aside from the competition is its touchscreen display located on its dedicated controller. It is quite similar to the one we have seen with Hubsan H501S model, but they do have a couple of differences.

Specifications wise, H109S has a ton of bragging rights since it can go as far as 1,5km away from the controller and can fly around for more than 25 minutes. This makes it an absolute king in its price range. Even the standard version of Phantom 3 isn’t superior when it comes to the specs sheet.

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3. Upair One

If you are on a strict budget but you want a big ass display on your drone’s controller, then Upair One is probably your go-to drone option. With a spectacular 4K camera (it comes in 3 variants, 2K, 2.7K and the most popular one – 4K), this little fella is a great choice for entry level professional photographers. It does a great job as a dedicated aerial platform and will surely find its way into the hands of aerial photographers with small budgets.

When it comes to its specifications, things are looking pretty good. The 5400mAh smart battery can endure more than 20 minutes of flight time, which is more than most of other drones in its price range. The range is not to be taken for granted either. Upair One can travel up to 1km away from its controller and hold on to a silk smooth FPV feed with ease. As I’ve already mentioned in the introductory sentence for this drone, its controller has a HUGE display. We’re talking 7-inches LED display that will give you a solid dose of immersion once you takeoff.

And last but not least, it is important to mention that Upair One has a built-in GPS system which will provide you with a smooth flying experience with no noticeable stutters or anything like that. All things considering, if you are a fan of huge LED FPV displays and minimalistic drone designs, you should definitely check out Upair One!

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2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Dji Phantom 4 is, by far, the most popular consumer grade drone out there. It comes as no surprise since it represents the 4th installment of the Phantom series of drones. These drones pretty much single-handedly brought drones to the mainstream media and put them into a focal point of many events.

When it comes to features, I believe you all know that DJI puts a lot of effort here. In order to keep this paragraph as short and easy to read as possible, I will skip all the usual ones and just mention the all new Obstacle Avoidance System. DJI implemented this into Phantom 4 with various on-board sensors that allow the Phantom 4 to precisely locate itself in its surrounding area and effectively avoid any potential collisions that might occur.

In terms of specifications, it is pretty clear that the Phantom 4 is a proper beast! With up to 7,000 meters (yup, that’s not a typo… This thing can go as far as 7,000 meters without losing connection) and almost half an hour of flight time, it sweeps the floor with all other drones on the market. And lastly, I have to say something about its camera, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t. It sports an amazing 4K camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal stabilization and will produce excellent images or videos every time, that’s for sure!

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1. Yuneec Typhoon H

And last but not least, we have another Yuneec’s drone model on our list. After the amazing Q500, now we have the Typhoon H on display here, an outright premium model that’s going to sweep the market by storm. This hexacopter brags around with its state of the art collision avoidance system. In addition to that, it also features the popular ST16 transmitter with a solid sized LCD display in the very middle. Is that all awesome things Yuneec Typhoon H is capable of offering?

Retractable landing gear, 3-axis gimbal stabilization system, several smart flight modes (and team modes) are just some of the awesome features this drone possesses. The 4K camera is also among them, capable of shooting silk smooth 4k videos with crisp clear quality. Specifications are not to be taken lightly either – roughly 1 mile (1,600 meters) of flight range seems to be quite enough for most casual (or even professional for that matter) uses nowadays. Combined with the industry standard 25 minutes of flight time, Typhoon H proves that great hexacopters do exist.

And lastly, I would like to point out an awesome feature of this drone that is rarely mentioned in reviews – 5 rotor failsafe. It represents the drone’s ability to safely land even if one of its 6 rotors stops in the middle of its flight. This is a seriously advanced system and will definitely save your expensive drone from a total catastrophe if it’s bound to happen…

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Conclusion

Those were the best 6 drones whose controllers have built-in displays for FPV and/or other purposes like OSD or telemetry. Truth be told, there aren’t that many drones with this feature on the market. That’s most likely due to the fact that smartphone powered FPV has become somewhat of a standard. Still, the WiFi reception cannot be compared to 5.8Ghz one, which works seamlessly and without any sort of interference on much longer ranges than WiFi. So with that being said, I would like to thank you for taking your time and reading this article with the hope that it helped you make up your mind and pick out the right drone that will suit all your needs!

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4 comments

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1

I really enjoyed your article, it was extremely informative, so I thought I'd try get your opinion on which one you suggest in my situation, I would like to get one for my son for Christmas who is 9 (almost 10) , so I would like the easiest flying one and the one which is most durable, which out of these would you suggest?

Looking forward to hearing from you

Natasha ( an confused and overwhelmed mother with all the options and not having a clue about this stuff😀)

2

Hi Natasha,
I suggest you to take a look at our Drones for kids article here : http://www.dronesglobe.com/guide/kids/ . I believe Altair AA108 is a great choice for your kid. 🙂

3

The article might or might not be good. But it loses credibility when the author clearly lies to the reader. He says that the Phantom 4 Pro has a range of 7,000 kilometers. THAT IS MORE THAN 4,000 MILES!!! Complete and utter BS. (By the way, I'd love to see how a drone can fly 4,000+ miles within a 25-minute battery life. That means it can fly at about 175 miles per hour!!! Again, BS.

(Note: The author makes a specific point in quoting this figure. He even says, "This is not a typo.")

Well, if you are going to lie, I guess it's a good thing to tell lies that literally every single person on earth knows is a falsehood. I guess some people care about having a reputation for integrity and some people don't care about that.

4

It's a typo. It should say meters instead of kilometers. Now it's fixed, thanks for pointing it out!