DJI Mavic Air 2 Review
Pros: Consistent color and quality, decent flight time, intelligent flight features
Cons: Gimbal overload errors, small sensor is limiting, subpar following capabilities, jittery ride
Compare to Similar Products
DJI Mavic Air 2
|Price||$800 List||$1,000 List|
$899.00 at Amazon
$425.99 at Amazon
$499.00 at Amazon
$99.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Consistent color and quality, decent flight time, intelligent flight features||Large sensor, compact, high-quality footage, responsive controls||Portable, lightweight, budget-friendly, solid battery life||Portable, decent video||Inexpensive, simple operation, small and light|
|Cons||Gimbal overload errors, small sensor is limiting, subpar following capabilities, jittery ride||Lacks following capabilities, some propellor intrusion||Subpar gimbal stabilization, requires windless conditions, small sensor, low dynamic range||Relatively short battery life, slow||Slightly choppy video, short range|
|Bottom Line||A mostly capable drone that offers consistent color, 4K video, and intelligent flight features but requires regular gimbal calibration||The large sensor, 5K video, user-friendly controls, and fantastic flight performance make this a high-quality, do-it-all drone||A lightweight and reasonably-priced drone with decent video quality for those who want to capture their travels||A well-rounded device, but fails to carve out a niche for itself||Great 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%)|
|Flight Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (10%)|
|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||1.25 lbs||1.31 lbs||0.55 lbs||0.71 lbs||0.18 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 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.
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.
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 34 minutes of flight time, but sadly the flight and ride are inconsistent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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