Can You Fly DJI Avata without Goggles?

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Can You Fly DJI Avata without Goggles?

DJI’s new Avata drone represents an exciting advancement in easy-to-fly FPV drones. With its cool foldable design and included goggles, the Avata provides an immersive first-person view experience straight out of the box.

But what if you want to fly the Avata without using the dedicated FPV goggles? Is it possible to fly it just by looking at a phone screen instead?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. The DJI Avata requires compatible FPV goggles to fly.

Here’s a more in-depth look at why this is the case and potential workarounds.

Why the Avata needs FPV goggles

Unlike a normal remote control drone, FPV (first-person view) models like the Avata transmits a live video feed from the drone’s camera directly to the pilot’s eyes via video goggles. This gives a true cockpit experience.

The DJI FPV Goggles V2 included with the Avata Combo pack is more than just a video screen. The goggles provide:

  • Low-latency analog video transmission
  • Detailed heads-up display overlaying key flight data
  • Menu access to adjust camera and drone settings
  • Critical alerts like low battery warnings

So the goggles aren’t just receiving a video feed – they’re also sending back key data to control the drone.

Can you connect a mobile phone to the goggles?

While it’s not possible to fly the DJI Avata drone without the goggles, there is a workaround available. You could connect your smartphone or tablet to the goggles using USB-C or HDMI, allowing you to view the same FPV feed being transmitted to the goggles.

However, it’s important to note that this setup only mirrors the video. You still need to power on and connect the goggles to fly the drone and access settings. The phone essentially acts as an external display for the feed.

How to fly DJI Avata with your smartphone?

Gather all tools

To assemble this DIY phone screen mounting solution for the DJI Avata, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • DJI Avata drone
  • DJI FPV Goggles V2
  • DJI Motion Controller
  • Smartphone (iOS or Android)
  • Appropriate phone charging cable (Lightning or USB-C)
  • Phone mount 
  • Small zip ties, velcro strips, or rubber bands for cable management

Once you have gathered all of the necessary equipment, follow these key steps to assemble the DIY phone screen mounting solution for your DJI Avata:

Attach the phone mount to the controller

The first step is to securely fasten your chosen phone mount onto the DJI Motion Controller that will be used to fly the Avata.

Depending on the exact mount type, this may involve clamping, screwing, strapping, or otherwise adhering the mount onto the controller body. The mount should grip tightly once in place to avoid any slipping during flight.

Position the mount such that when you later attach the phone, it will be oriented for a clear forward-facing view of the FPV video feed. Avoid blocking any critical buttons, switches, or gimbals required to operate the controller.

Connect the FPV goggles and power them on

With the mount in place, it’s time to get the goggles connected to the controller. Use the included USB-C cable to connect the DJI FPV Goggles V2 to the USB-C port next to the goggles’ power button.

Make sure to power on the goggles, as they will need to remain active during any flight using the phone screen to transmit controller inputs to the drone.

Connect your phone to the goggles

Now, you need to connect your smartphone to the goggles using the appropriate charging cable for your phone’s model. For iPhone, this is usually Lightning or USB-C for Android devices. Plug your phone’s cable into the video output port on the DJI FPV Goggles V2. This bridges the FPV video feed from the Avata’s camera to your phone’s screen via the goggles.

Neatly manage all connecting cables

To prevent a jumble of tangled wires, it’s essential to neatly arrange the cables connecting your controller, goggles, phone mount, and the phone itself. Use tools like small zip ties, velcro strips, or rubber bands to securely bundle the cables, ensuring they don’t interfere with your hands or the controller sticks.

Mount phone and launch DJI Fly App

The last step is to mount your smartphone onto the holder attached to the controller and boot up the DJI Fly app on your phone. The live FPV video feed from Avata should now be visible on your phone screen!

Once launched, you are ready to take flight while viewing the drone’s camera perspective on the DIY phone screen assembly instead of the FPV goggles.

Tips for flying with a screen

When using this DIY phone screen setup to fly your DJI Avata instead of the FPV goggles, please keep these tips in mind.

Enable horizon steady mode

Be sure to turn on the Horizon Steady setting in your DJI Fly app. This will stabilize and level out the horizon line you see on your phone screen. Since you don’t have an immersive view of the goggles, keeping the horizon steady will give you a more natural flying experience with the fixed screen.

Start slow and work your way up

When first flying the Avata by screen instead of goggles, start cautiously with slower Normal mode flights. Get entirely comfortable controlling the drone from the phone’s perspective before attempting higher speeds or more aggressive maneuvers in Manual or Sport modes. Without the full immersion of FPV goggles, ease your way up gradually.

Allow for slight video lag

Due to the way the phone screen feeds off the goggles rather than a direct low-latency analog signal, expect a small amount of added lag versus flying strictly by goggles. Keep this in mind when flying around obstacles or tight spaces, and be extra cautious with high-speed maneuvers where a fraction of a second matters.

Monitor screen brightness closely

Phone screens can start to dim over the course of a single battery flight as they heat up and drain. To maintain a bright, vivid screen throughout your flight, keep a close eye on brightness and keep flights shorter to stay within peak brightness time. This will make FPV flying by screen easier.

Double check connections before each flight

To avoid losing your FPV feed mid-flight, always confirm that the physical cable connections between the phone, goggles, controller, and drone are fully secured before takeoff. Wiggling loose connectors can cut the video transmission instantly.

Watch out for sun glare

During certain times of the day, bright sunlight can create significant glare on your phone screen, depending on its angle. Test fly at the same general time you plan to fly, and adjust the angle of your screen as needed to reduce glare and sun washout.

Fly in open areas at first

For your initial flights, using the unfamiliar perspective of a phone screen instead of goggles, stick to wide-open areas without trees, structures, or other hazards. As you get comfortable, you can progress to more complex environments. But remove as many variables as possible early on.

Can you fly DJI Avata with third-party goggles?

The DJI Goggles 2 are kind of pricey, so you might not want to pair them with the Avata.

Unfortunately, the DJI Goggles 2, FPV Goggles V2, and DJI Goggles Integra are the only goggles models compatible with the Avata. This is due to the proprietary firmware, software components, and unique functions required to fly the Avata.

Final words

If you’re seeking an alternative to flying the DJI Avata drone without goggles, a mount to attach your smartphone to the DJI FPV Controller 2 is a practical way to try.

It’s worth noting that this setup may not be the most convenient as it requires the goggles to be powered on and connected to your smartphone. However, it can serve as a provisional solution for occasional flights when goggles are not preferred.

Happy and safe flying!

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Written By Richard Hargrave

Hi I'm Richard. Since 2018, I've found my calling in the boundless sky, maneuvering everything from mini quadcopters to remote-controlled planes. Today, my favorite pastime is creating stunning commercial videos with FPV drones. I'm a drone instructor by trade, writer by passion.

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