Last update on November 9th, 2023 at 07:54 am
With the DJI RC Motion 2 radio control, DJI offers an update of the DJI Motion Controller, a motion controller released in 2021 with its first FPV drone. The latter offered a new flying experience, but it also had its limits. So, what is this new version worth? What are the differences with the first controller? Should I buy it? All the answers in this article.
DJI RC Motion 2: a look at its features
Let’s start with a quick look at the features of this new controller:
|Weight||About 170 grams|
|Operating frequencies||2.4000 to 2.4835 GHz |
5.725 to 5.850 GHz
|Transmitter power (EIRP)||2.4000 to 2.4835 GHz: |
< 30 dBm (FCC)
< 20 dBm (CE/SRRC/MIC)
5.725 to 5.850 GHz:
< 30 dBm (FCC)
< 23 dBm (SRRC)
< 14 dBm (CE)
|Max. transmission distance||10 km (FCC) |
6 km (CE/SRRC/MIC)
|Autonomy||About 5 hours|
As you can see from the chart above, on paper, the DJI RC Motion 2 is almost identical to its predecessor, the DJI Motion Controller. The only (slight) difference is their weight: the DJI RC Motion 2 weighs 170 grams, against 167 grams for the first version.
For the rest, nothing changes: same operating frequencies, same transmission power, same maximum transmission distance (10km FCC and 6km CE) and same autonomy of approximately 5 hours.
DJI RC Motion 2 vs DJI Motion Controller: what’s new?
The DJI RC Motion 2 has the same design as its predecessor. The handle is identical, and at first sight, if you place them side by side, the general layout of the buttons seems unchanged and you will notice especially the change of color of the Lock button which is no longer red but orange.
There are the same power and record buttons on the sides of the controller, the same battery charge indicator on top, and the same USB-C charging connector under its protective cover at the base. Similarly, the Mode and Lock buttons remain unchanged (except for the color of the Lock button) although their functions have changed slightly. We will come back to this.
But if you pay a little more attention, you’ll notice that other buttons have changed, certainly with the aim of offering new features and better control.
Here are the 3 new features of this new DJI RC Motion 2 :
- the rear trigger, which acts as a gas pedal when pressed, now also works the other way around: you can push it (away from you) to move the drone backwards, a movement that was simply impossible with the first version of the controller.
- a mini Joystick replaces the large Stop button on the front panel. This new joystick will allow you to move the drone on the horizontal and vertical axes, more or less quickly according to the given inclination: go up, go down, move the drone laterally on the left and on the right. This movement is independent of the one you give to the drone with your wrist via the controller’s viewfinder.
- a “FN” wheel replaces the cursor on the left side. This wheel is also a clickable button: one press displays different camera settings on the screen, no need to interrupt the flight. If you hold it down and rotate it, you can adjust the camera’s tilt.
The large Stop button has been replaced by a mini joystick, the braking function has been moved to the Lock button. As before, the latter allows you to start the drone, take off, land, and activate the emergency braking. It now also has a new function: the complete stop of the motors in case of four consecutive presses.
Finally, if the Mode button still allows you to switch between Normal and Sport flight modes, it now also allows you to initiate an automatic return to start point (RTH).
DJI RC Motion 2: full test with DJI Avata
Take-off, forward… and reverse
If you have already used the DJI Motion Controller first of the name, you will quickly find your marks. The operation is the same, with just a few additional functions. If you are a novice, don’t worry, you will quickly get the hang of it, the handling is very intuitive.
Two presses on the Lock button, the motors start. A long press on the same button and the drone hovers at 1.2 meters from the ground as with the previous controller, but you can now also make the drone go up vertically by pushing the new mini joystick up.
We now press the throttle trigger and the drone goes forward. The controller is equipped with a gyroscope, just point the viewfinder in the desired direction to steer. Going a little too fast? Just let go of the throttle and the drone stops and hovers.
This is the perfect time to test the new feature: flying backwards. The index finger in the notch of the trigger, we push it outwards, and the drone flies backwards. Note that since there is only one camera pointed at the front of the drone, we have no visibility of what is behind, so we must be careful that there are no obstacles when maneuvering like this.
Using the new joystick
The addition of the joystick is a real plus. It adds movements that were simply impossible to achieve with the first controller. It allows to really exploit all the possible movements of the drone.
In hovering flight, it allows to perform linear movements: you push the joystick upwards, the drone goes up vertically. Downwards, the drone descends. To the left and right, the drone moves laterally in the requested direction. We benefit from a much more precise control of the drone, and added to the possibility of flying backwards, it is also much easier to get out of tricky situations in which we feel stuck.
But the joystick also allows you to perform new movements in flight, when you combine wrist movements while using the joystick simultaneously. We can, for example, turn around a subject while keeping it in the center of our field of vision. To do this, you’ll have to play with the inclination of your wrist while manipulating the joystick with your thumb, so it will take some practice before you get a good coordination.
For the landing, several options are available to us. We can of course launch an RTH (Return To Home) by pressing and holding the Mode button, which allows the drone to return automatically to the starting point without any manipulation on our part. This is a very convenient feature to avoid having to bring the drone back manually. You can also make it go to the landing point and hold the Lock button to make the drone land by itself.
With the new DJI RC Motion 2, a third option is available, once again thanks to the addition of the joystick. Once the drone is above its landing point, you just have to lower the joystick and keep it down until the engines stop, and that’s it.
⚙️ Slow reverse and joystick: adjustment tips
One thing we noticed is that, by default, reverse flight is extremely slow. DJI certainly wanted to minimize the risks, since you can’t see where you’re backing up and if there are any obstacles. But this is also the case with the movements made with the joystick, both in Normal and in Sport mode.
Fortunately, this can be easily fixed by going to the settings and changing the maximum speeds in all directions. Note in passing that there is a separate setting for Normal and Sport modes.
DJI RC Motion 2 : compatibility
The DJI RC Motion 2 is used in combination with a DJI FPV helmet. On this side, no worries, it is compatible with all the helmets of the manufacturer, namely :
- the DJI FPV Goggles V2 helmet released with the DJI FPV drone
- the DJI Goggles 2 headset released at the same time as the DJI Avata drone
- the new DJI Googles Integra headset
On the drone side, the DJI RC Motion 2 is compatible with the DJI Avata, a 100% FPV oriented drone from DJI. On the other hand, it is strangely not usable with the first FPV drone of the firm, namely the DJI FPV. It’s a pity, it would have been interesting to be able to test it with this drone which has the advantage to be much faster than the Avata and to offer incredible sensations.
However, since the release of version 1.10 of the DJI Fly application, the RC Motion 2 is also compatible with the DJI Mini 3 Pro drone as well as all drones in the Mavic 3 range.
In summary, here is the list of drones compatible with the controller:
- DJI Avata
- DJI Mini 3 Pro
- DJI Mavic 3
- DJI Mavic 3 Cine
- DJI Mavic 3 Classic
- DJI Mavic 3 Pro
- DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine
DJI RC Motion 2: the price
The DJI RC Motion 2 is available on its own, on the DJI website, for 179€.
It is also available as a package with DJI FPV headsets:
- with the DJI Goggles Integra headset in the DJI Goggles Integra Motion Bundle for 759€.
- with the DJI Goggles 2 headset in the DJI Goggles 2 Motion Bundle for 949€.
It is also worth noting thatthe DJI RC Motion 2 replaces the DJI Motion Controller, the previous version of the controller, in all DJI Avata drone packages where it is included.
Conclusion DJI RC Motion 2: should you buy it?
As we have seen, the DJI RC Motion 2 is a real improvement over its predecessor the DJI Motion Controller. The additions of the joystick and reverse flight give access to a whole new range of in-flight movements, give better control of the drone, and thus offer a much more complete experience.
So, should we get it?
If you have a DJI Avata with the first motion controller, for us, upgrading to the new DJI RC Motion 2 is definitely worth it. You will get a much better control of your drone and you will have even more fun.
If you have a DJI Mini 3 Pro or a DJI Mavic 3, this purchase is already more optional. The experience will be nice because it allows you to get an FPV effect with a classic shooting drone, but these drones do not have the same capabilities in terms of handling and responsiveness in flight, and therefore the fun will not be as great as with the DJI Avata.