The DJI Air 2S has topped our guide to the best drones in the world since its release last April and could soon get a welcome boost in the form of compatibility with DJI's new RC controller.
According to DJI leaker @OsitaLV (opens in a new tab) on Twitter, the DJI Air 2S bundle with the old Smart Controller “has stopped” and “a new SKU with DJI RC should be close by.” An SKU (stock keeping unit) is the industry term for a specific product or package, suggesting that DJI plans to provide an Air 2S "Fly More Combo" with the DJI RC, rather than just offering it separately.
The DJI RC arrived alongside the DJI Mini 3 Pro in May and is the spiritual successor to the Smart Controller, which landed in 2019. Although the DJI RC's display is not as bright as the Smart Controller's (700 nits, compared to 1000 nits), it's considerably cheaper than this pad, which means it could form a very attractive Air 2S package.
At this time, you can only buy the DJI Air 2S bundled with the basic DJI RC-N1 controller (which uses your phone as a display). Meanwhile, the Smart Controller Pack is currently listed as "out of stock" at DJI stores in the US and UK.
While the Air 2S is compatible with the DJI RC Pro controller that came with the DJI Mavic 3, that platform costs $1199 / £879 / AU$1529, which is more than the cost of the Air 2S.
DJI RC compatibility makes a lot of sense for the mid-range drone and a package combining the two could prove extremely popular with hobby pilots. It's still unclear when that will happen, the leak's promise that "it should be close" means you'd be wise not to buy an Air 2S if you like the sound of the DJI RC controller.
Analysis: The perfect combo?
(Image credit: DJI)
When we tested the DJI Mini 3 Pro with the DJI RC controller, we were impressed with its performance. One of the main benefits of using your smartphone with the DJI RC-N1 is the speed of setup: as our review says, "it offers faster setup as you only need to screw in the joysticks to start flying."
We also found the controls to be "responsive and the connection between drone and controller to be reliable." But perhaps the main reason why the DJI RC could be the perfect partner for the DJI Air 2S is its price: it's $309 / £255 / AU$399 to buy separately, and a bundle with the drone would probably bring it down further. .
This means we could expect a DJI Air 2S and DJI RC 'Fly More' set to cost a similar amount to the apparently discontinued 'Fly More Combo with the Smart Controller', which was most recently priced at €1,499. € / €1,339.
The DJI RC has a few drawbacks, including the lack of a built-in internet connection for downloading maps, and screen brightness, which is lower than many smartphones. This means that regular shooting in bright conditions may not be ideal.
But overall, the DJI RC seems even more suited to the DJI Air 2S than the DJI Mini 3 Pro, so we can't wait to see this bundle arrive for the model that currently tops our guide to the best drones you can buy.