Avata — DJI’s first foray into a TinyWhoop-style, cinematic racing drone — just got not one, but two upgrades. DJI today released two products: the DJI Goggles Integra and DJI RC Motion 2. Both are set to offer new ways to interact with the Avata to make flying more immersive and, in theory, easier.
And, the two new products solve two major problems with the initial Avata launch: clunky goggles with a dangling battery pack, and not enough room for individual control in the Motion Controller.
The DJI Avata drone was certainly unique when it launched as a drone flown with FPV goggles as a fresh take on first person view flying. You donned the goggles, thus feeling like you were in the pilot seat of the drone. Avata was designed to be paired with what was then the DJI Motion Controller. It was a device held in one hand (unlike the standard RC controller typically held in two) that resembled the blaster guns used in Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland. As you held it, your hand movements dictated the aircraft’s flight direction.
While it sometimes felt magical as you waved it and the drone replicate the motion, it also sometimes felt awkward, clunky and hard to get used to — especially for folks confident in using standard RC transmitters. Now, the hand movement motion style remains, but most of the issues are fixed and it’s far easier to fly, with more room for person control. And many complaints, including the awkward battery pack, are addressed with this new pair of goggles.
DJI Goggles Integra
DJI Goggles Integra offers an upgraded sort of goggle versus what you’ve been used to, and they cost $499.
The DJI Goggles Integra are, well, more integrated than its predecessor in terms of its physical design. Now, the headband and battery are merged into one, which solves one of my biggest hangups in my initial Avata review where it felt like the battery had no place to go and instead dangled awkwardly.
Now, no more loose connecting cables, which also makes taking the goggles on and off a lot easier. It offers up to two hours of operating time on one charge.
The goggles also feature two advanced HD 1080p Micro-OLED screens, which purport “true-to-life colors, and stunning highlights, and detailed shadows with an impressive brightness of 700 nits.” There’s also ultra-low-latency DJI O3+ video transmission — 30 ms latency, to be exact.
The goggles also have a built-in GPS which allows you to fly without connecting to a smartphone. Other nice features include a 100 Hz refresh rate on the screens and TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification, which should provide a smoother and more comfortable viewing experience.
The DJI Goggles Integra can also interact with the DJI Fly smartphone app to display a real-time camera view to their goggles and smartphone simultaneously.
DJI RC Motion 2
With RC Motion 2, a lot of the challenges with the original motion controller that debuted with the drone got addresses. Some is physical, like a more ergonomic construction. Other features massively enhance flight control, which felt unique and powerful at times, but also frustratingly paralyzing in some flight patterns.
The main difference with the improved DJI RC Motion 2 is an upgraded joystick and accelerator with a reverse function. That better gives you power to dictate multidirectional flight, including vertical, backward, and sideways — also helpful in quickly adjusting the direction or choosing a spot to land.
While the old motion controller felt like a magic wand, it did feel like the powers were left up to another (in this case the controller itself). Now you can take more control, thus getting more precise in the drone’s exact moment, allowing a good pilot to better tackle complex flight maneuvers.
This controller also features an Fn dial lets users quickly adjust the camera’s ISO, shutter, and other parameters without having to interact with the goggles.
There is one big drawback of the RC Motion 2 versus the original Motion controller, and that’s that it does not support virtual flight simulators, such as the DJI Virtual Flight which was heavily touted alongside the initial Avata launch.
How to get your hands on the DJI Goggles Integra and DJI RC Motion 2
Both the DJI Goggles Integra and DJI RC Motion 2 are already available today, sold directly at DJI and through authorized retailers including B&H, Amazon and Adorama.
If you purchase the items individually (say, you already have an Avata and are itching to upgrade), you can grab the DJI Goggles Integra for $499 and the DJI RC Motion 2 for $239.
If you’re brand new to Avata, then you’ll have to choose from one of a few different combo kits. All of them including the Avata (which is the drone itself). But, they vary in terms of what sorts of accessories you get with it.
Upon Avata’s launch, your options were:
- Avata (standalone): $629
- DJI Avata Pro-View Combo with DJI Goggles 2: $1,388
- DJI Avata Fly Smart Combo with DJI FPV Goggles V2: $1,168
- DJI Avata Fly More Kit: $279
With the new DJI Goggles Integra and DJI RC Motion 2, DJI has added two new combos to the mix, which you’ll more than likely want over the original ones, which have the outdated goggles and/or motion controller.
As of now, the two combos to consider are:
- DJI Avata Pro-View Combo with DJI RC Motion 2 (includes DJI Goggles 2, DJI RC Motion 2, and DJI Avata): $1,428
- DJI Avata Explorer Combo (includes DJI Goggles Integra, DJI RC Motion 2, and DJI Avata): $1,278
What do you think of the new DJI Goggles Integra and DJI RC Motion 2? Will they make you more inclined to try out flying the Avata, or convince you to buy one for yourself? Do they solve your hangups with the official Avata — if you had any at all? Leave a comment below!