DJI Goggles 3: Is it worth upgrading for your DJI Mini 4 Pro or Air 3?

DJI officially unveiled its all-new DJI Goggles 3 alongside the launch of the second generation of its Cinewhoop-style drone, the Avata 2.

The Goggles 3 launch was strategically timed to complement the Avata 2 — giving it a marketing boost especially for folks wondering if it’s worth upgrading to the Avata 2 versus the original Avata drone. But the Goggles 3 have a place in the drone cases of far more than just Avata 2 pilots. The DJI Goggles 3 are also compatible with the DJI Air 3 and DJI Mini 4 Pro drones. 

If you’re buying the DJI Avata 2 Fly More Combo, then you don’t need to worry about whether it’s worth buying the DJI Goggles 3. Happily, they’re included with your purchase.

But if you hold the DJI Mini 4 Pro or DJI Air 3 drones, you’ll have to buy the DJI Goggles 3 separately. Those two drones are some of the best camera drones out there. And recently, they got even better, as DJI has opened up avenues for these two camera drones to become FPV drones.

Both the DJI Mini 4 Pro and DJI Air 3 are compatible with the DJI Goggles 2 and the DJI Goggles Integra. And with the launch of the DJI Goggles 3, well, they’re now compatible with those too. So should you buy them? After all, at $500 for a brand new pair of FPV goggles, it’s not exactly cheap. Here’s how you can decide:

Do you even want to fly FPV?

DJI Goggles 3 are only useful if you like that FPV (First-Person View) experience. And sure, it can completely transform your drone piloting. But, it’s not for everyone.

Spending $500 on the Goggles 3 might be overkill if you’re happy with the standard remote controller view. And you might NEED that standard remote controller view if flying solo outdoors.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that someone involved in the drone’s operation maintain visual line of sight (VLOS) with the drone at all times (unless you’ve received a waiver of exemption). If you’re an FPV pilot, that means you’ll need a second visual observer to have eyes on the drone. Folks who prefer flying solo (and who fly outdoors) wouldn’t generally be able to fly.

But if you’re ready to get into FPV flying, then converting an existing drone you might already own (in this case, the DJI Mini 4 Pro or Air 3) can be a smart way to have both a camera drone and an FPV drone. Sure, you’ll need to drop $500 on the goggles. But, that’s a lot cheaper than buying a whole new FPV drone kit.

Which DJI FPV goggles are the best?

Sally French, The Drone Girl, flies the Avata 2 drone while wearing the DJI Goggles 3 using the DJI FPV Controller. (Photo by Sally French)

If you’re committed to buying some sort of DJI Goggles, your next question is: which pair? Besides the DJI Goggles 3, the DJI Mini 4 Pro and DJI Air 3 are also compatible with the DJI Goggles 2 and the DJI Goggles Integra. The latter two are cheaper, but also aren’t quite as good. If money is no object to you, then definitely get the Goggles 3.

That said, use this comparison table to weigh the pros and cons versus the cost. Here’s a breakdown of the three main contenders: DJI Goggles 3, Goggles 2, and Integra.

FeatureDJI Goggles 3DJI Goggles 2DJI Integra
Field of View (FOV)44°51°44°
Antenna DesignFoldableFoldableFoldable
Max Operating Time3 hours2 hours2 hours
Screen Resolution and Max Brightness1080p, 700 nits1080p, 700 nits1080p, 700 nits
Video transmission systemO4 video transmissionO3+ video transmissionO3+ video transmission
Lowest Video Transmission Latency24 ms30 ms30 ms
CompatibilityAvata 2, Mini 4 Pro, Air 3Avata 2, Avata, Mini 4 Pro, Mini 3 Pro, Air 3, Avata 2, Mavic 3 lineAvata 2, Avata, DJI FPV, Mini 4 Pro, Mini 3 Pro, Air 3, Avata 2, Mavic 3 line

Clearly, the DJI Goggles 3 are the most expensive, but are they worth paying $50 more versus the Goggles 2? Even more so, are they worth paying $150 more versus the Integra?

What makes the DJI Goggles 3 better than its predecessors?

DJI Goggles 3 (Photo by Sally French)

The two most similar pairs are the Goggles 3 and 2, which have a similar screen size and screen display performance. So where do the Goggles 3 surpass the 2? The Goggles 3 win out in terms of video transmission. Critically, that means lower latency of just 24 milliseconds when paired with the Avata 2. The integrated battery design also marks a significant improvement.

Both the Goggles 3 and 2 are largely an improvement over the Integra. But, the Goggles 3 tops them both with a better forehead pad design that just makes flying more comfortable. And considering the battery life on the Goggles 3 is three versus two hours, you may just find that you’re flying longer. Alas, that just makes a comfortable design even more critical.

Speaking of comfortable, the Goggles 3 also feature a one-tap defogging feature. That’s great for you hot and sweaty folks, or just people flying outdoors in hot or humid conditions. And optometrists can rejoice; the Goggles 3 have German TüV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification.

The Goggles 3 also stand out with that new Real View PiP feature. Not only is it quite novel,but it also makes for a safer takeoff and landing. And it’s impossible to overlook the new O4 digital transmission system. That means transmission latency as low as 24 ms. It can cover a range of up to 13 km, automatically selecting between the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz bands depending on the signal conditions.

Picking the best pair of DJI Goggles

Given the marginal price difference between the Goggles 3 and Goggles 2, go with the Goggles 3. Upgrades like O4 versus O3, longer battery life (so you don’t have to constantly recharge) and lower latency are well worth it.

That said, frugal folks might find the budget-friendly Integra to be good enough. O3 transmission technology is still impressive.

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