Over the previous 2 years or so, DJI has launched some actually progressive drones to the plenty. Overlaying all kinds of budgets, now we have the Mini, Mini SE, Mini 2, Mini 3 Professional, Air 2, Air 2S, and the Mavic 3 Professional.

We are able to’t overlook in regards to the earlier standard drones which are nonetheless doing effectively, though a bit bit older: Encourage 2, Mavic 2 Zoom, Enterprise, and a couple of Professional, Phantom 4 traces, the Spark, and Tello.

That doesn’t even cowl all the drones that DJI has launched because the introduction of the Phantom 1 in 2013.

With all these drones in circulation nonetheless, are you able to fly DJI drones with out a controller?

Probably the most direct reply is: Sure, you may fly some DJI drones with out a controller, whereas MOST DJI drones is not going to permit you to fly them with out a distant controller.

Picture Credit score: Dan Bayne

Why Would You Need to Fly And not using a Distant Controller?

Have you ever ever observed how giant the distant controller is that comes with the Mini 2, Mini 3 Professional, Air 2, Air 2S, and Mavic 3?

Though not as beefy because the Phantom and Encourage line of RCs, they’re nonetheless fairly giant, with a few of them as giant, if not bigger, than the drones they management.

Due to the controller’s dimension, some is likely to be on the lookout for a extra compact and travel-friendly setup for his or her Mini’s, Air’s, and Mavic 3’s.

A compact setup particularly turns out to be useful when contemplating outside actions.

There are fairly a couple of drone operators that fly on seashores and trails and would reasonably not have a bunch of various gadgets to attach, particularly if attempting to movie themselves throughout some kind of exercise, like mountain biking, mountain climbing, or mountaineering.

In these conditions, having a minimal setup with only a drone and smartphone may seem like best.

DJI Drones That Can Fly And not using a Controller

Out of the line-up talked about on the outset of this text, at the moment, there are solely two DJI drones that may fly with out a distant controller:

Ryze Tello

In case you are pretty new to drones and wish to fly with out an RC, then the Tello is likely to be what you’re on the lookout for.

Tello is a really inexpensive entry-level drone that does effectively indoors, resulting from having place maintain expertise.

In case you are seeking to enterprise outside, nevertheless, the Tello won’t be for you.

With a controlling distance of simply 300 ft, a most management peak of 90 ft, and a really gentle airframe and weaker motors, the Tello isn’t one of the best drone for outside flights.

In case you are planning on staying indoors and controlling the Tello with only a smartphone, then you’re good to go.

Tello (Increase Combo)

Ryze Tech Tello Plane, 4 Propellers (Pair), Propeller Guards (Set), 3 Batteries, Micro-USB Cable, Propeller Elimination Instrument, Battery Charging Hub.


  • 3 Batteries
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • 5mp digital camera, 720p stabilized video

  • Fastened digital camera that can not be pointed up or down

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06/18/2022 12:06 am GMT

DJI Spark

Just like the Tello, the DJI Spark can likewise be managed with only a smartphone.

Not like the Tello, the Spark is a extra superior drone and has most of the options you’d count on from costlier drones.

There’s a distant controller included in a few of the many combos on the market on-line.

Along with having the ability to use the Spark with onscreen Smartphone controls (sans the RC), the Spark additionally has gesture controls as effectively, that means you may management the Spark with hand gestures.

The Spark, when being managed from solely a Smartphone, has a variety of about 300+/- ft and a peak of 150 or so ft.

If you must cowl extra distance, utilizing the distant controller will drastically enhance these distances.

The Spark flies effectively, indoors and out of doors, and has most of the options DJI house owners have come to count on or are used to.

Cons Related With Flying And not using a Controller

As will be imagined, when solely utilizing a smartphone to manage a telephone, there are a couple of limitations that may affect the flight expertise.

Flight Management Expertise

When flying a Spark or Tello with out a controller, “digital sticks” are used on the controlling smartphone.

When you’ve ever performed a racing or flying recreation in your telephone that makes use of digital sticks, then you may perceive what the expertise is like for flying a drone.

Just like the smartphone video games performed with digital sticks, flying a drone with digital sticks is fairly inaccurate and cumbersome.

The drone tends to lumber alongside whereas being barely troublesome to manage.

To some, that is nice, as they just like the simplicity of this setup. For others, this methodology of flying is troublesome and, oftentimes, not very pleasurable.

One other draw back is that when flying with the smartphone solely, the vary of the drone itself is proscribed resulting from utilizing a weaker wifi sign than the one the drone’s controller would use.

If utilizing a smartphone-only setup, you’ll discover the Spark and Tello is not going to fly so far as they will with their designated RCs.

Intrusive Notifications

One thing that many drone operators take care of frequently when utilizing a smartphone related to their drone’s distant controller is telephone calls and notifications.

Whereas it is a nuisance that may be handled pretty simply when flying together with an RC, it turns into a bit direr when utilizing solely a smartphone or digital machine to fly a Tello or Spark.

When utilizing solely a sensible machine and a name or textual content is available in, it’s troublesome to manage the drone earlier than the decision or notification is dismissed.

Within the quick time it takes to take action, management will be misplaced, inflicting a security situation.

Useless Smartphone or System

One of many nice issues about utilizing a controller together with a smartphone is that the drone can nonetheless be managed through the RC if the good machine dies, crashes, or turns into unresponsive, even permitting you to provoke RTH (return to dwelling).

If the smartphone or machine used to manage the Tello or Spark dies, and no distant controller is getting used, the drone can now not be operated (though you may be capable of use hand gestures with the Spark nonetheless).

This not solely places a damper on the “enjoyable”, nevertheless it can also trigger an unsafe scenario if the drone is in mid-flight.

Minimal Setup Suggestion

You probably have a more moderen DJI drone and are wanting specifically for a minimal setup for flying on the seaside, on trails, and so forth., however wish to retain your entire distant controller performance, a DJI Sensible Controller, DJI RC Professional, and even DJI RC could also be what you want.

How to Pair the DJI RC Pro Controller with DJI Drone (Step-by-Step Guide)

The DJI line of good controllers lets you function your DJI Drone with an RC that has an built-in display, eliminating the necessity to have your smartphone or different digital good machine related.

The DJI Sensible Controller works with the next DJI Drones:

  • Phantom 4 Professional v2.0
  • Mavic 2 Professional, Zoom, and Enterprise
  • Mini 2
  • Mavic Air 2, Air 2S

The DJI RC Professional is appropriate with:

  • Air 2S
  • Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine

The brand new DJI RC:


There are certainly a few DJI drones that may function with out the usage of a distant controller.

Nonetheless, with all the performance, options, sign energy, and stability constructed into the DJI RCs, flying with out a distant is usually neglected.

In case you are seeking to reduce your setup resulting from time or weight constraints or are simply seeking to carry fewer gadgets, a DJI Sensible Controller could also be precisely what you must accomplish this.


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