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DJI Mavic Air 2 Review

A mostly capable drone that offers consistent color, 4K video, and intelligent flight features but requires regular gimbal calibration
DJI Mavic Air 2
The Air 2 is a good option for those who don't mind exchanging some performance issues for a friendlier price.
Credit: Laura Casner
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Price:   $800 List
Pros:  Consistent color and quality, long flight time, intelligent flight features
Cons:  Gimbal overload errors, small sensor is limiting, subpar following capabilities, jittery ride
Manufacturer:   DJI
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 24, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 6
  • Video Quality - 45% 7.8
  • Flight Performance - 35% 8.7
  • Portability - 10% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a medium-sized drone that offers decent video. The consistent color and quality are matched with a 4K resolution, it takes off and lands without a hitch, and the controls are easy to navigate. However, the ride is a little jittery, and the gimbal throws error codes relatively often. The small sensor is limiting, and the subpar following capabilities make it difficult to get action shots of moving subjects unless you are a skilled pilot. On the flip side, the 34-minute flight time is unmatched, and the price is a little friendlier than some of its more capable competitors.

Compare to Similar Products

 
DJI Mavic Air 2
This Product
DJI Mavic Air 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $800 List$1,000 List
$859.00 at Amazon
$500 List
$449.00 at Amazon
$700 List
$680.00 at Amazon
$100 List
$99.00 at Amazon
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Pros Consistent color and quality, long flight time, intelligent flight featuresLarge sensor, compact, high-quality footage, responsive controls, long flight timePortable, lightweight, budget-friendly, solid battery lifePortable, good videoInexpensive, simple operation, small and light
Cons Gimbal overload errors, small sensor is limiting, subpar following capabilities, jittery rideLacks following capabilities, some propellor intrusionSubpar gimbal stabilization, requires windless conditions, small sensor, low dynamic rangeRelatively short battery life, slowSlightly choppy video, short range
Bottom Line A mostly capable drone that offers consistent color, 4K video, and intelligent flight features but requires regular gimbal calibrationBetween the large sensor, 5K video, and user-friendly controls, this high-quality drone is perfect for the prosumerA lightweight and reasonably-priced drone with decent video quality for those who want to capture their travelsA well-rounded device, but fails to carve out a niche for itselfGreat for kids and beginners alike, this is the best entry-level model we have ever tested
Rating Categories DJI Mavic Air 2 DJI Air 2S DJI Mini 2 Parrot Anafi Ryze Tello
Video Quality (45%)
7.8
9.6
7.8
6.2
2.6
Flight Performance (35%)
8.7
9.7
6.2
6.0
5.3
Portability (10%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
10.0
Ease of Use (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Specs DJI Mavic Air 2 DJI Air 2S DJI Mini 2 Parrot Anafi Ryze Tello
Video Resolutions 4k, 2.7k, FHD 5.4K, 4k, 2,7k, FHD 4k, 2.7k, FHD 4K, 1080p 720p
Weight 1.3 lbs 1.3 lbs 0.6 lbs 0.7 lbs 0.2 lbs
Maximum Speed 42.5 mph 42.5 mph 35.8 mph 33 mph 18 mph
Maximum Claimed Flight Time 34 minutes 31 minutes 32 minutes 25 minutes 13 minutes
Diagonal Size (no props) 11.9 in 11.9 in 8.4 in 11.0 in 5.3 in
Video Format MP4, MOV MP4, MOV MP4 MP5 MP4
Maximum Video Bitrate 120 Mbps 150 Mbps 100 Mbps 101 Mbps N/A
Camera Sensor 1/2" CMOS 1" CMOS 1/2.3" CMOS 1/2.4" CMOS N/A

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mavic Air 2 performed respectably across most of our metrics, with the exception of some flight and gimbal issues. While shoveling out the extra cash for an aircraft with fewer issues may be worth it, this is still a good option for someone looking to save some bucks.

Performance Comparison


DJI Mavic Air 2 drones - the air 2 is a good option for those who don't mind exchanging some...
The Air 2 is a good option for those who don't mind exchanging some performance issues for a friendlier price.
Credit: Laura Casner

Video Quality


We pay special attention to image, gimbal stabilization, and propellor intrusion for this metric. The 4k video on the Air 2 offers consistent color and quality, but it is limited by its smaller sensor. The gimbal stabilization is great when it works, but don't be surprised if you receive the dreaded "gimbal overload" message. We received it several times during testing, and it is a well-reported issue. This error can be temporarily resolved by recalibrating the gimbal or updating the firmware, but needless to say, it is very irritating. Propellor intrusion can be avoided by turning off obstacle avoidance and setting the drone to prioritize composition. However, it is very important to ensure that your surroundings are clear when obstacle avoidance is turned off.

DJI Mavic Air 2 drones - unlike other dji drones, the air 2 struggles with consistent gimbal...
Unlike other DJI drones, the Air 2 struggles with consistent gimbal stabilization.
Credit: Laura Casner

Flight Performance


Our tests for this metric include an assessment of intelligent flight, ride, takeoff and landing, and battery life. The intelligent flight works well within the suggested parameters. Return to home is a wonderful feature, and orbit and waypoint work great, but the Mavic Air 2 is still a bit limited by its subpar following capabilities.



The Air 2 ride is somewhat jerky, and the video tends to jump and jitter. It also struggles to take a panorama, which may be due to the continued gimbal errors we experienced. It is very easy to take off and land with this drone and it offers a whopping 34 minutes of flight time, but sadly the flight and ride are inconsistent.

DJI Mavic Air 2 drones - the air 2 does not offer quite as smooth a ride as the other dji...
The Air 2 does not offer quite as smooth a ride as the other DJI drones.
Credit: Laura Casner

Portability


The Mavic Air 2 is a somewhat compact drone at 11.9 inches diagonally. It folds up very nicely and comes with a small protective plastic bubble to keep the gimbal and lens out of harm's way. It weighs 1.25 pounds and fits easily into a backpack or purse. While it does not come with a carry case, DJI sells one separately.

DJI Mavic Air 2 drones - the air 2 is small enough to toss in your backpack, but too big for...
The Air 2 is small enough to toss in your backpack, but too big for your pants pocket.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Use


Ease of use is an important metric for the average drone pilot. Our testing focused on the setup, control interface, ease of learning, video quality, and image or video downloading.

DJI Mavic Air 2 drones - the dji air 2 has a small amount of local storage, everything else...
The DJI Air 2 has a small amount of local storage, everything else is stored on a small SD card.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Mavic Air 2 set up is a breeze. Simply download the app, attach the control to your smartphone or tablet, and you're good to go. The control interface is intuitive, and learning to fly is straightforward. The screen display is realistic and does not lag, meaning you can focus on the fun of flying more than the interface.

DJI Mavic Air 2 drones - the controller connects directly to your smartphone or tablet.
The controller connects directly to your smartphone or tablet.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


The Air 2 is a quality aircraft, but it is not devoid of issues. The gimbal errors are a bummer, and the small sensor is limiting. Though cheaper than many others, it is not what we consider a budget-friendly option. Some higher-quality drones are only slightly more expensive but can offer you a much-improved experience.

Conclusion


DJI is a reputable drone manufacturer, and they do a great job of mainly offering capable products. The Mavic Air 2 has a lot to offer, from high-quality 4K video with consistent color to a 34-minute flight time and intelligent flight sequences. Unfortunately, the gimbal issues and smaller sensor limit the Air 2. It is a little less expensive than DJI's model's with larger sensors, so if your main concern is saving a few hundred bucks, and you don't mind a finicky gimbal, then this could still be a good option.

Hayley Thomas

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