The DJI Mavic Air is a mix between the Mavic Pro and DJI Spark — and it’s absolutely perfect
When the DJI Mavic Pro came out, I thought that DJI had reached peak perfection with a drone. Boy, was I wrong. The DJI Mavic Air is way better than the DJI Mavic Pro.
The DJI Mavic Air combines the best of both worlds of the Mavic Pro and Spark. It’s about the size of a Spark in flight, but folds up like the Mavic Pro to become even smaller. It has the Spark’s nifty gesture control, but it also has the Mavic Pro’s 4K video.
And best of all, while it’s a huge improvement over the Mavic Pro, it’s $799 — less than the price the Mavic Pro was when it launched.
The Mavic Air is incredibly small and nimble. It’s about 8 inches diagonally across, and it weighs less than a pound. It makes the Mavic Pro look kind of huge — which is surprising given how small the Mavic Pro felt when it was announced.
The DJI Mavic Air can fly for just over 20 minutes on one battery. It comes in three colors — white, red or black. There are also sensor improvements, with a sensor that detects objects on both the front AND back of the drone. That’s amazing processing power, given how small this drone is.
DJI also made some improvements to its camera technology with the Mavic Air, including removing the delay in the shutter when it is triggered, and better highlight and lowlight details. The drone also has TapFly and ActiveTrack features, along with improvements such as “TapFly Backward Mode.”
The Mavic Air also comes with two big changes to the RC transmitter. The transmitter doesn’t have a built-in screen like the Mavic Pro does, alerting you of things like battery life, flight modes, etc. It pretty much guarantees that in order to use the Mavic Air, you’ll need to rely on a smartphone app to translate what all the various beeps mean while in flight.
The other major change is that the joysticks on the RC transmitter can actually be removed. At first I was a little surprised by the decision to make the joysticks removable. “Is this REALLY necessary?” I thought. Turns out, it really helps when packing the drone away.
However, those little joysticks can get lost super easily. I’ve already had one small heart attack over losing them — though the easy solution for forgetful folk is to simply never unscrew them.
That being said, I’ll still withhold the title of “perfect” on this drone, because there are some issues I’ve found in my year of flying the Mavic Pro that still haven’t been fixed with the Mavic Air. Namely, the RC transmitter. DJI’s drone design is simply flawless, but it seems that care given to the drone itself has been ignored on the RC transmitter. The spot to hold an iPhone just doesn’t quite fit perfect. It’s clunky to tap the iPhone’s home button when the phone is connected to the transmitter. Most phone cases must also be removed to connect them. Maybe Android users are exempt from the RC transmitter issues (I’ve never used one with a drone!) but the user experience connecting an iPhone to the drone just isn’t quite there — and never improved upon with the Mavic Air.
The DJI Mavic Air is the second drone I’ve ever reviewed that I thought that I’ve truly, 100% fallen in love with. (The first was the Mavic Pro). It’s a drone everyone needs. It’s easy to fly, takes gorgeous images and even more portable than the Mavic Pro.
I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it. Happy flying!
Pre-order your Mavic Air here.
Wow. Lucky you getting your hands on the Mavic Air. I was mighty impressed by the even better gesture controls at the live launch. I totally agree, it comes between the Spark and the Mavic but I love that it has vision sensors at the front and back. Overall, it is going to be a big seller. DJI are really taking over the market.
It’s great to see you get your hands on a Mavic Air. It truly blends in the best features of both Mavic Pro and Mavic Air, but I really hoped that the flight time would be a little more, at least close to that of Mavic Pro. I was really impressed with the new obstacle avoidance system in place as well.
Looking forward to reading and seeing more reviews on the DJI Mavic Air too! We currently have a Spark, but I think we are ready for an upgrade. I love the Mavic Pro too, but just knowing the way we shoot, we don’t like to fly far away, and we love to carry our Spark everywhere, so the Mavic Air seems like the perfect drone for us!
Can the Mavic Air be controlled with 2 rc units at a time like the Mavic Pro?
You smile now,,, until you have an issue that requires DJI Customer Service. Perhaps they’ll take better care of you than they did me. After I cancelled a repair for an intermittent gimbal sticking, they sent my Mavic back unassembled, with a bag of screws, and no gimbal lock or cover. You should do a review of customer service amongst the drone makers.
More than two years have passed. But now I still like to use DJI Mavic Air. It gives me unforgettable images and memories.
Thanks to the author who wrote this article to remind me of a lot of memories