DJI Mavic Air

The best pocket 4K drone around

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Emily Mina

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.

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