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Reasonably priced Droid phone review/survey for DJI 4.1.3 & NEWER


Well-Known Member
Aug 3, 2018

< feel free to skip to section II for survey criteria if you don't want to read all this >


Section I

I've spent the past few months trying to get my existing Android phones to run the DJI Go app without crashing, and have learned much in the process. It turns out the DJI go App does a poor job of managing it's ram usage, like a barrel of water with a hole in it. Android operating systems will try to mitigate this, but Android 8 (Oreo) is poor at managing ram, so you effectively have 2 holes in the barrel now. Available ram will drop, and once it crosses the critical threshold, Android will struggle to free much needed resources and the DJI Go app will effectively run out of gas and crash. More ram typically buys you more time.

The easiest solution I've found is to use a phone running Android 7, which does a better job managing ram. While watching ram usage in real time, you can see the fight between DJI Go and Android 7. As the ram get used (or leaks out) Android 7 is dumping cups of ram back in the "barrel", but it still slowly drops. Another way to put this would be to take one step forward, and 2 steps back.

I just recently tested 2 new Xioami phones with very respectable specs. The main difference between them was the operating system. Both had 4gb ram, but one ran Android 7, and the other ran Android 8. As with the Samsung flagship S9, the one running Android 8 crashed at 5 minutes, with the next crash happening about 9 minutes later. Typically after a crash when the app reloads, it reloads improperly, and often causes map issues, although I've found the second crash often takes longer than the first. Perhaps you noticed after exiting the DJI Go app on Android 8 some of the free ram is missing. Even if you stop process, ram access is still corrupted by the DJI Go App.

On Android 7, after the app is closed, it appears nearly all of the ram is released.

Without further ado, this is the phone I'm most happy with, and think it offers a lot of BANG FOR THE BUCK.

info: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Redmi 5 Plus) - Full phone specifications

Note: There are different variations of this phone, but the most important thing is to ensure it comes with Android 7, and not Android 8.

This phone runs DGI go with ease, and while running 2 background apps to tax the processor in addition to running DJI go, it was only using 27% CPU capacity. Testing was also done while using the built in phone screen recorder, and caching video locally within the app. Longest individual flight was 25 minutes, swapped a battery and flew for another 20, swapped again and flew for an additional 20 minutes for a total of 65 minutes continuous app running time. It also has a large internal battery, and while plugged into the remote (charging) the phone's battery only drops about 4% with each battery used. This is great, since I rarely have to charge the phone. I just leave it mounted in the remote, and charge the remote as needed.

I've flown this phone for a total of 7 batteries each DJI version, using DJI Go 4.1.3 Boost, 4.1.14, and 4.1.22 It should also do well with the current DJI Go versions, but thats where your feedback will help.

Other phones running Android 7 with 4gb ram and a processor speed above 1.5ghz should also do well. I don't recommend anything below 4gb since the DJI app will still squander memory, and you may end up with a memory induced crash.

If you use a phone with the DJI App running Android 7, 7.1, 7.1.2 and it doesn't crash, I would strongly recommend you don't upgrade to Android 8 (oreo). Once you go to 8, you can never go back if you have issues. If you try to flash your phone to a previous version from 8, you will brick your phone, or at the least cause an endless bootloop. It can only be fixed by very knowledgeable people with the correct software (firehouse).

If you buy a new phone running Android 7, during setup don't setup the wifi, and don't have a sim card installed. You wan't it to stay isolated until setup is complete, and you have time to enter the different settings and disable automatic updates, and ESPECIALLY OPERATING SYSTEM UPDATES! Otherwise the phone may download the new Android 8 update before you even start using it, and if that happens, you're only option may be to return the phone, if that's possible.

Some people say the DJI go app works well on their Android 8 phone, but I have never had such luck, and have tested 6 different fairly new phones running Android 8, thanks to co-workers that let me experiment with their phones.

I'm far from an expert in Android, so I welcome any wisdom from users here. If I stated something in error, and you truly know the subject, please enlighten me, and I will update this post. I want it to be accurate and helpful. This first edition may have errors, but it will get better.


In the interim, I will attempt to compile a list, and would ask that my fellow drone pilots here list their well performing droid phone/tablet, if it meets the following criteria. Any Version of DJI Go you use is acceptable.

This is for Mavic Pilots who use the phone/tablet attached to the remote. Phantom pilots are also welcome to join in.

Survey criteria:

Your ANDROID phone/tablet must run the DJI go App reliably without lag or crashing.
It must cost less than $300 US, and still be available as new (to ensure long service life)
It must have a correctly orientated port on the bottom of the phone, so the short remote cord can be used, unless it is a tablet.
It must have a minimum of 4GB system ram, to ensure moderate service life with future DJI go versions.
If it only runs well with video cache disabled, please state that.

Here is the link to post your phones specs:

Android phone compatibility list- Please read before posting

Conversations should remain in this thread (where you are now), to cut down on clutter and confusion.

Regards, and thank you,

Kevin (Hherbson)
Last edited:
I posted in the wrong thread....
My comment on the cellular carrier is based on the fact that samsung s7's work for 1/2 or more, and not for the rest, so is it compatible or not?
My thought is that maybe the carrier is altering the OS to suit themselves, and maybe those changes are why some work and some dont? Just a theory. Nothing to do with how good the service is, or what is available, since you should fly with the service off. Maybe if your survey included "who is the carrier" A pattern may emerge?
As for Xiaomi You can add Xiaomi A2 lite to the list. Android one phone ,pure Google 8.1
It works beautifully with Go 4.3 while cashing video to SD together with audio.
To be honest I haven't tested it with older apps. Don't Intend for now.
1. this list will have more sense if you include non-working devices too (so possible buyer can look into the list and if he can see the phone is not compatible, he won't buy it)
2. why phones only cheaper than 300? it makes no sense as there are pilots who want to have all-in-one device so they don't hesitate to invest more money ... otherwise you should rename the thread
Get a refurbished iPhone 6s from Apple for a good price or buy a used iPhone and don’t have to deal with this mess
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

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