DJI Mavic Air
The best pocket 4K drone around
From $799 From DJI, dji.com Features 4K video (30fps), 12MP stills, 8GB internal storage, 2,375 mAh battery, 15oz
DJI’s latest drone takes the best bits from the powerful Mavic Pro and the compact and user-friendly Spark. The result is a high-end drone at a relatively low price point. It’s small enough to be placed in a large pocket thanks to its foldable arms, and relatively easy to carry at 15oz. It’s well built too.
Setting up is easy — just install the DJI Go 4 app and follow the on–screen instructions. In use, the Mavic Air belies its small size with a 40mph max flight speed. It’s also pretty loud. Controlling it is easy thanks to the Advanced Pilot Assistance System, which navigates the Mavic Air around obstacles in flight. It’s also stable in gusty cross winds. The Mavic Air features a three–axis gimbal, redesigned to make it more stable than the Mavic Pro. Sideways panning is smooth, but moving the camera up and down is still a bit jerky — it’s best to use Cinematic Mode in app, which slows it down and reduces braking to make it smoother. Where the Mavic Air falters slightly is with its flight range — it’s 2.5 miles compared with 4.3 miles in the Pro. That’s due to it using Wi-Fi to connect to its controller, unlike the Mavic Pro which also uses RF for more range.
With a 4K camera built in, offering an impressive 30fps at a bit rate of 100Mbps, images really pop. Footage is crystal clear, though it doesn’t fair quite as well in low light — the Pro is better here.
A flight time of 21 minutes isn’t bad, we think, but for long stints we’d recommend purchasing the Fly More Combo which gives you three batteries for just $200 extra.
the bottom line. The DJI Mavic Air is a powerful drone in your pocket. Unless you need pro-quality footage, this is the best 4K drone around.
The Mavic Air will easily fit into a pocket once folded, yet it offers amazing 4K video results.