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Best smartphones as dedicated controller screen

uas_gian

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I have been flying the EVO II Pro using an old iPhone 6s I had no better purpose for as second screen to the drone controller. However the screen brightness and battery live of the iPhone 6s are a bit too low. On a sunny day the screen is just bright enough to still see the camera orientation, but it is hard to judge fine details like focal length or under exposure of the image coming from the aircraft. Furthermore after less than 2 hours in the field the iPhone's charge (even when in low power mode) gets under 10% and becomes a reason to abort the drone mission.

So I think I should get a dedicated Android device to only be used for flying drones.

Now the question becomes what model on the market (new or secondhand) has enough battery power when the screen is at maximum brightness to support at least 4 hours of continuous operation? We usually bring eight Li-Po batteries with the EVO II so it can fly up to 4 hours. Should we recharge the first batteries used while using up the others we can get at least two batteries fully recharged so this extends the total operation time with an hour or more. Therefore a dedicated smartphone should be able to last for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably it should last even more at full brightness. The tech companies never advertise battery life when the screen is non-stop at full brightness, therefore this question goes out to you people in the field.

Today by advertised facts the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is said to be having one of the brightest screens, but it comes at a price tag that seems quite overkill for the purpose. Theoretically the smartphone doesn't need an advanced camera nor a powerhouse processor.

Anyone out there in the field has some good or bad experiences with certain smartphones? Is there any last year's model that will work sufficiently?
 
I have been flying the EVO II Pro using an old iPhone 6s I had no better purpose for as second screen to the drone controller. However the screen brightness and battery live of the iPhone 6s are a bit too low. On a sunny day the screen is just bright enough to still see the camera orientation, but it is hard to judge fine details like focal length or under exposure of the image coming from the aircraft. Furthermore after less than 2 hours in the field the iPhone's charge (even when in low power mode) gets under 10% and becomes a reason to abort the drone mission.

So I think I should get a dedicated Android device to only be used for flying drones.

Now the question becomes what model on the market (new or secondhand) has enough battery power when the screen is at maximum brightness to support at least 4 hours of continuous operation? We usually bring eight Li-Po batteries with the EVO II so it can fly up to 4 hours. Should we recharge the first batteries used while using up the others we can get at least two batteries fully recharged so this extends the total operation time with an hour or more. Therefore a dedicated smartphone should be able to last for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably it should last even more at full brightness. The tech companies never advertise battery life when the screen is non-stop at full brightness, therefore this question goes out to you people in the field.

Today by advertised facts the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is said to be having one of the brightest screens, but it comes at a price tag that seems quite overkill for the purpose. Theoretically the smartphone doesn't need an advanced camera nor a powerhouse processor.

Anyone out there in the field has some good or bad experiences with certain smartphones? Is there any last year's model that will work sufficiently?
Yes some of the newer phones advertise bright screens, but because of the power draw the time the phone is at maximum brightness is short. As a example my Galaxy 9+ is rated at 1100+ nits, but in reality that brightness only lasted for maybe 5 min flying my drone in the summer. You can get a used Galaxy tablet and a sun shield or (and yes they cost more) a Tripltek tablet and never worry about brightness again. Since the 8" tablet came out you can find a used 7" Pro tablet for around $400. Put a data only simm card in it ($8 a month) and you don't need to hot spot your phone and you will get 1200 nits all day. I know people think they are heavy and thick (apparently they never used a Crystal Sky 7.8").

The new Tripltek 8" can be used as a smartphone.

In the end it comes down to your needs and budget, everyone is different.

 
I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 based on specs indicating the 1000nits brightness but found the same as @Junior, the brightness didn’t last long (battery was fine but the phone reduces brightness while leaving the setting at full to conserve battery).

I also found my drone (Evo 2 Pro) having issues with stable hover using the Galaxy Note 8. Switched back to my iPhone 7 Plus and the bobbing hover appears to have resolved. With the iPhone 13 release I’ve moved over to my old iPhone 11 Pro as a dedicated controller even though it’s a smaller screen than the Plus I’ve found it easier to see during flight.
 
I have been flying the EVO II Pro using an old iPhone 6s I had no better purpose for as second screen to the drone controller. However the screen brightness and battery live of the iPhone 6s are a bit too low. On a sunny day the screen is just bright enough to still see the camera orientation, but it is hard to judge fine details like focal length or under exposure of the image coming from the aircraft. Furthermore after less than 2 hours in the field the iPhone's charge (even when in low power mode) gets under 10% and becomes a reason to abort the drone mission.

So I think I should get a dedicated Android device to only be used for flying drones.

Now the question becomes what model on the market (new or secondhand) has enough battery power when the screen is at maximum brightness to support at least 4 hours of continuous operation? We usually bring eight Li-Po batteries with the EVO II so it can fly up to 4 hours. Should we recharge the first batteries used while using up the others we can get at least two batteries fully recharged so this extends the total operation time with an hour or more. Therefore a dedicated smartphone should be able to last for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably it should last even more at full brightness. The tech companies never advertise battery life when the screen is non-stop at full brightness, therefore this question goes out to you people in the field.

Today by advertised facts the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is said to be having one of the brightest screens, but it comes at a price tag that seems quite overkill for the purpose. Theoretically the smartphone doesn't need an advanced camera nor a powerhouse processor.

Anyone out there in the field has some good or bad experiences with certain smartphones? Is there any last year's model that will work sufficiently?
Hi uas_gian,
We use Tripltek 7 pros for out evo 2 ,8k and 6 k here in the sun always in Brisbane Queensland Australia. All other devices screens will cut back after a few minutes, not the tripltek pro. Best purchase we ever made for ease of a quick glance at the screen and being able to see what is there in the outside sun light. You will need to modify the cable to stop controler drain but quite easy or disconnect after your flight. Johnno Hennessy Australia.
Keep flying on the green side of the grass.
 
This implies a small issue for being based in Europe. Tripltek has no real European sales representative. Not sure when I will be overseas again to just get one and ship it home in a suitcase either. However I could get my hands on a DJI Clearsky 5.5 Inch unit at a nice discounted price from a local camera gear retailer. It seems to be possible to install Autel's Explorer App on the DJI device as APK installation. However this feels like hacking into a solution without the professional factory support. 🤔
 
Look, the new Tripletek Pro 8" is underwhelming on most all counts but brightness, especially given given its flagship phone price. Give me an AMOLED or OLED screen that is color accurate for the 95% of the rest of the time I'm flying that isn't the middle of the day (when the lighting is poor for photography), anyday. The $500 Google Pixel 4a5G is very bright, and OLED with a 6.2" diagonal. I did have it shut down once or twice due to overheating not while flying a drone, but rather leaving it out on a tripod in 100 deg sun while filming hummingbirds and slow-mo'ing their wingbeats at 1080p 240p. It has exceptionally good battery life, and something N of 600 nits. It's also a really fine smartphone
 
For full sunlight readability there appears to be a sharp panel that works fine in full sun without any backlight.
I have contacted their representative and they do supply eval units, but I don't know anyone who can hack together the electronics for a prototype android device using one.
Seems the perfect product idea for drone community of all brands.
 
i had good results with the Galaxy 7 and 9, super bright. my galaxy 10a still wont download the sky app, so I'm stuck using a iphone 13. just aint very bright , but good enough
 

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