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After launching an attractive little toy drone on the Mavic Mini, DJI had to up the ante once again to surprise us with the second-generation Mavic Air.
And it may just have been successful. On paper, this latest machine is beautiful.
- 180 x 97 x 84 mm (folded)
- 183 x 253 x 77 mm (unfolded)
- 570 grams
A couple of ages ago, when the first Mavic Air was released, it didn’t look much like the other Mavics in the DJI product line:
- For the past few years, the manufacturer has been working on the entire range of Mavic consumer drones and that upgrade effort. All drones are starting to look like a family.
- Here Mavic Air 2 is a small version of the Mavic 2 or a larger version of the Mavic Mini.
- Looking at it from the side, bent over, it seems less rounded than the first Mavic Air, with a front that looks like a shark nose.
- The front arms fold out, while the rear arms fold down and out, just like other Mavics. The camera is front-mounted on a three-axis gimbal, directly under the nose.
- Maybe the most significant design change is the placement of the battery. It occupies a large portion of the top of the drone.
- And its exterior makes up the flying machine’s outer surface, with buttons on either side to release it and a power button on top.
- Here are four green LED lights on the button that show you when it’s on or how much power you have left.
All new controller
- Phone held on top
- Much more extensive than the previous Mavic Air controller
- 10km transmission distance
- OcuSync 2.0
- Lightning, Micro USB, and USB-C connectors
In addition to revamping the look of the real drone, DJI has also updated the physical controller:
- It’s no longer a little smartphone-sized control pad that holds your phone to the bottom in a pair of mobile grips.
- In its place, it’s sturdier, better to hold, and has a much more responsive smartphone grip on top.
- This phone grip lifts from the top edge and can be stretched just enough to hold virtually any smartphone currently on the market.
- Here cable to connect to your smartphone is also correctly inserted into that top edge, wrapping around the grip base.
- You also get three cables with the drone, so you can connect your iPhone with the Lightning cable or use a USB Type-C or Micro USB cable with an Android smartphone.
- The controller is roughly the same height as the folded and standing drone and roughly the same width as the iPhone 11 in the images above by the phone loaded on top.
- Using previous controllers, you can unscrew the joysticks and put them away. This new controller has dedicated rubber-lined retention ports on the bottom edge.
- On each side of the Type-C port that it uses to charge the controller’s internal battery. The front also has the usual power, landing, and flight mode switches and buttons.
Long flying power
- 3,500 mAh battery: up to 34 minutes of flight time
- 42.5 mph top speed
- The Wind resistance up to 10.5 m / s and (37.8kmph / 23.5mph)
- APAS 3.0 obstacle avoidance
- ToF sensors below
With its 3,500 mAh battery, the Mavic Air 2 not only promises to have excellent flight time for a small drone:
- It has flight power that matches and exceeds that offered by some of DJI’s larger drones. It can last up to 34 minutes of flight time on a full charge, according to DJI.
- Real-life flight time won’t go that far, of course, but it’s still going to be a lot better than the original 21 minutes of the Mavic Air promised.
- In addition to long battery life, the Mavic Air 2 is equipped with many sensors to avoid obstacles. There are two at the front and two at the back, plus a few different sensors at the bottom.
- Instead of just having cameras to recognize the surface patch from which it took off, the Mavic Air 2 has depth sensors and light to allow it to remember where it took off from.
- Then also measure how far it is from the ground more accurately, even when it’s not very bright outside.
- These sensors combined have allowed DJI to equip the Mavic Air 2 with APAS 3.0 obstacle avoidance.
- That means it can determine a route around obstacles it sees appearing in its flight path instead of stopping and refusing to proceed.
- 48MP 1/2 “sensor (12MP auto)
- 4K video up to 60fps
- 1080p slow motion at 240 fps
In addition to the improved battery and obstacle avoidance, DJI’s latest portable drone also has an improved camera sensor and improved algorithms and image processing:
- It starts with the largest 1/2 “inch CMOS sensor that navigates 48 megapixels.
- We can use all of those pixels if you want, but by default, it uses pixel bonding to convert 48 to 12 megapixels, just like many phone’s current smart people do.
- This sensor uses an AI adjustment algorithm called SmartPhoto and uses three different automatic processing tools.
- 1 is HDR Photos, which combines seven different exposures to create a dynamic photo. Another is Hyperlight.
- Which is designing to capture more light and detail using a similar process when light levels drop.
- There is also Scene RecognitMac Mini – Design, Connectivity, Advantages, and Moreion to increase the blues in the sky and green grass and recognize sunsets, snow, and trees and adjust settings for those.