The new DJI Mavic Air 2 is the successor of the DJI Mavic Air that was launched in 2018. It’s an all-rounder model from DJI that has become people’s favorite. The overall concept of the drone is the same as its predecessor i.e, an easy-to-operate drone with pro-grade features.
However, the DJI Mavic Air 2 has been completely redesigned, as a result, you get a more compact and an inexpensive version of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro – its high-priced sibling.
With a handful of new high-end features and technologies, the Mavic Air 2 isn’t simply a clone of its big brother – DJI says that it’s also their smartest drone yet. From the drone to the app that helps control the flight and camera settings, all aspects of the DJI Mavic Air 2 have been redesigned. Moreover, it also features a new controller.
As for the issues with the design and performance of the Mavic Air, and Mavic 2 Pro models, DJI has addressed them all with the launch of the DJI Mavic Air 2. Now, let’s jump into more details to see what this brand new drone from DJI has to offer.
As mentioned, DJI Mavic Air 2 feels like its predecessor but with a lot of added improvements in areas such as speed, flying time, image quality, and others. Like the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, it features a folding design.
Weighing in at 570g, it’s only over half the weight of the Mavic 2 Pro, making it an extremely powerful and portable drone for both photographers and videographers. On its rear arms, it sits a little low to the ground, meaning you will have to find a flat area with short grass when taking off or landing so that the drone doesn’t skim the grass.
This skimming can make the drone unstable while taking off, or even worse. Therefore, it is recommended to carry a small pad that can provide a safe take-off and landing area in such scenarios.
Unlike all the previous Mavic drones with a folding controller design, the Mavic Air 2’s newly designed controller is larger and unfoldable. It feels like a smaller version of the DJI Smart Controller, but it doesn’t feature a screen.
On the rear of the controller, you will find contoured grips that make it comfortable to hold. It powers up fast and, compared to the older controller, takes little to no time connecting to the aircraft.
Using a telescopic grip, you can easily attach a phone of any size to the top of the controller. The storage area for your chosen phone connector is under the grip.
Apple Lightning, Micro-USB, and USB-C cables all come included in the box, and there are rubberized sections at the bottom of the controller where control sticks are stored. Also, you get two additional spares in the box.
The controller features several direct access controls that include a flight mode switch, Return-to-Home option, Normal and Sport Modes, joysticks for flight control, an FN button, a gimbal control switch, and a few more. This means that you will be using DJI’s new Fly app to access the majority of the camera controls.
DJI Mavic Air 2 in Use
The DJI Mavic Air 2 comes equipped with up-to-date motors, the latest electronic speed controllers, better battery technology, and refined aerodynamics. Consequently, the drone gets improved flying speed of up to 68-kph in ‘Sport’ mode and can stay in the air for an incredible 34 minutes, which is 13 minutes longer than Mavic Air.
Like other DJI drones, it doesn’t take much effort to fly the Mavic Air 2, thanks to the smart and somewhat newly employed technologies. Inclusion of OcuSync 2.0 makes the transmission between the drone and controller far superior to the older Mavic Air.
Despite these new features and upgraded technology that helps the drone stay connected to its controller at up to 10 kilometers, the DJI Mavic Air 2 still sometimes struggles to deliver smooth footage. This problem was also noticed with the Mavic Air and could possibly be resolved as new and updated versions of the app are released in the future.
When it comes to safety, the DJI Mavic Air 2 employs obstacle sensors both on the front and rear, and when activated, they can help avoid collisions.
Sensors along with an auxiliary light are also used on the bottom of the aircraft. These features are inherited from Mavic Pro models and help the drone when landing in low light. Geofencing is another state-of-the-art safety feature that doesn’t allow the drone to fly too close to secure locations like airports and other sensitive locations.
The safety features don’t end here, either. The drone comes loaded with an Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 3.0 and AirSense technology as well. The former reroutes the drone when there are a lot of obstacles in its path and the latter employes ADS-B aviation technology that catches signals from airplanes and helicopters flying close to the drone and shows their location on the screen map.
Sadly, the AirSense technology feature can only be used with the Mavic Air 2 models that are available in North America initially.
Apart from safety features, the DJI Mavic Air 2 also carries numerous specialized features and automated flight modes from pro-grade drones. They help the drone to demonstrate smart capabilities while capturing stills and videos.
These smart features include Hyperlapse (up to 8K), FocusTrack, Circle, Free Movement, WayPoints, and CourseLock. QuickShot smart flight modes that benefit from the ActiveTrack 3.0 (used to identify and follow subjects) are also available and will produce visually fascinating shots with just a single touch of a button.
Lastly, the image quality of the DJI Mavic Air 2 is significantly improved over its predecessor thanks to the latest 12-megapixel 1/2-inch Quad Bayer sensor. Images come out clean at almost all ISO levels, however, noise is quite visible at the highest ISO settings.
For photographers, the ability to capture 48-megapixel photos with the 12-megapixel sensor is a headline grabber, shooting 4K at 60fps in H.265 format is even more exciting for videographers.
How Does the DJI Mavic Air 2 Compare?
Since the release of the new DJI Mavic Air 2, it has become quite difficult for other Mavic drones to compete, and it seems irrelevant to compare it with its predecessor as the drone has been upgraded in every aspect and, most importantly, its price remains unchanged.
From flight time to camera and range to smart features, everything has been significantly upgraded and it’s clearly a win-win for the Mavic Air 2.
|DJI Mavic Air||DJI Mavic Air 2|
|Video||4K 30p||4K 60p|
|Bitrate||100 Mbps||120 Mbps|
|Flying Range||4 KM||10 KM|
|Flight Time||21 min||34 min|
|Follow Me||Yes||Yes (APAS 3.0)|
|App||DJI Go 4||DJI Fly|
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is undoubtedly an amazing drone. As with other drones from DJI, it hovers like a champ, features an enhanced battery capacity, and is loaded with a host of advanced and smart features for capturing aerial photos and videos.
This is the best buy for most people. Although you will have to register it with the FAA, it delivers ten times more in terms of image quality and technological advancements at the cost of some extra weight.
Smart features like the ActiveTrack and QuickShots will do much of the hard work for content creators who will certainly appreciate them. You get professional results and 4K footage at 60fps, which is two times more than the frame rate of the Mavic 2 Pro with almost the same quality.