I got my Mavic Pro about three weeks ago as of the date of this post. Upon arrival I was stunned at the small compact size of the Mavic Pro and was thrilled to use my new Dragon. Taking it out of the box and setting it up was so simple and easy until I got to the part where you connect your phone to the controller.
With the Phantom for it’s really quite easy. You take the wire that comes out of the top of the controller plug it into your phone and put your phone into the holder on top of the controller and clamp it down so that your phone is tight. Upon your first impression with the Mavic prose controller, you would think the same exact thing. Actually, you would think it’s even easier and more streamlined connect your phone. Well, technically that is true and ideally it is really easy to connect your phone and get the flying, but I would say it more depends on exactly which phone you have because it wasn’t that easy with my phone.
Prior to getting my Mavic Pro, I had just upgraded to the new iPhone 7+. As you may or may not know, the iPhone 7+ has a dual camera lens set up on the back. Also, with being an iPhone plus it is much larger than the regular iPhone. The way the Mavic pros plug is set up inside of the two handles that extend from the controller is a bit awkward even with a regular phone nevertheless with the iPhone plus. It’s very difficult to plug in your phone because the plug itself is located in the middle of two rubberized grips. Also, while on the topic of the rubberized grips, there is zero leeway in regards to being able to handle a case on the iPhone 7+. On my iPhone I have the genuine Apple branded leather case. So my case is about as minimalistic and thin as you can get while still protecting your phone. On the Phantom for controller, you can see that it would not be able to accommodate a very thick or large case on your phone, but my minimalistic case works just fine. On the Mavic prose controller, there is zero room to use your phone with even the thinnest case. So my first real issue with the controller is that I have to take my phone out of the case. This is a real problem for me and honestly it’s quite scary. Most of the time I’m flying my drones or at least when I’m getting them set up I am standing over concrete or a hard surface. So now I am juggling my drones controller, my unprotected iPhone 7+, and the case that I just took off. The chances that I will eventually drop my brand-new iPhone are pretty likely in this scenario.
So let’s say that you can get over the fact that you have to take your phone out of its case in order to use it with the Mavic Pro, my next issues are the fact that the rubberized grippers on the controller one cover up the home button almost entirely on the iPhone and to cover up the sensor on the front of the iPhone which lets the phone know whether it is dark or light outside. So it’s something that I’ve had to get use to and it’s almost like a checklist to go down before I put my phone into the controller but first I have to make sure that I’m inside the DJI go app and did to the app and ready to go and then to I need to go into settings and turn off auto brightness because once I put my phone into the cradle holders on the Mavic prose controller and that sensor is covered on the front of the phone my phone thinks it’s dark outside and lowers the brightness all the way down. It’s already hard enough to see your phone screen even on full brightness sometimes when you’re in direct sunlight, so once your phone’s brightness is turned all the way down it’s impossible to see your screen. So these are two major oversights that DJI did not consider with most iPhone users as this should affect most iPhones.
Along the same line another issue that I have is that the rubberized grippers do accommodate for one camera on the back of the iPhone, but they do not accommodate for the dual lens that is on the new iPhone 7+. So when you put your iPhone 7+ into the Mavic prose controller the grips actually have to squeeze over the second lens. As I mentioned, there’s not much room for even a fan case on your phone. So these rubberized grippers inside the cradle on the controller squeeze very tightly on the second lens of my iPhone 7+. That makes me extremely nervous! So much so that I’m hesitant to use my iPhone 7+ at all with the Mavic Pro and have started to use my older iPhone instead.
So lastly my final beef with the Mavic Pro controller is that it does not except tablets, namely the iPad. One of the main reasons I purchased a new iPad not long ago was to use it with my Phantom for. Obviously I would also like to use this tablet with the mafic Pro. I will say that I understand the design concept of the mafic Pro has compact portability as the number one priority. With that said as the consumer I would like to make the choice whether or not to use a big or small device to control the drone rather than DJI making that choice for me. It would be nice if they could make a screw in receptacle on the top of the Mavic Pro controller in which you can connect the same type of folding panel receptacle that was on the top of the Phantom for controller. This would allow you to use the compact cradle with the extension arms on the bottom of the controller or if you choose, to use a less compact larger screen on the top of the controller on the mafic Pro.
With all of these complaints stated, I absolutely love the Mavic pro and think that the design is genius in terms of how compact it is yet powerful and almost fully featured. I just wish they would’ve thought of these little details or could accommodate them in some sort of aftermarket excess three that doesn’t involve me looking up mods and potentially damaging my controller to properly retrofit it. Maybe I’ll be eating my words soon and I truly hope that I am!