DJI announced that the new Mavic Air 2 will cost $799 when it ships to US buyers in late May. That’s the same price as the previous Mavic Air model, so the drone stays as DJI’s mid-range option between its more capable Mavic 2 and its smaller, cheaper Mavic Mini.
New In Two
Two and a half years after introducing the first Mavic Air, DJI is announcing its successor: the Mavic Air 2. It comes with a bigger image sensor, ditches Wi-Fi in favor of DJI’s own OcuSync transmission technology, has up to 34 minutes of flight time, and is packaged with a completely redesigned controller.
In terms of the design, the new Mavic Air 2 is slightly bigger and heavier than the prior generation, but still looks like a smaller sibling to the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. All three drones finally share a similar design language — gray housing — and now look more like part of a lineup.
Is Bigger Better?
Compared to its predecessor, the Mavic Air 2 is slightly larger and heavier (570 grams). That’s not a problem at all, because the arms can be quickly folded for easy storage — making it perfect for stowing away in a backpack. Sure, the Mavic Mini can be flown without having to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but the Mavic Air 2 retains the same portability to make it a weekend road warrior. For comparison, the Mavic Mini measures in at 160 x 202 x 55 mm unfolded, while the Mavic Air 2 isn’t that much bigger at 183 x 253 x 77 mm.
Shutterbugs will be especially happy to find a new 48-megapixel high-resolution mode. Looking at a few comparison shots, there’s more detail and sharpness versus its 12-megapixel captures, but dynamic range isn’t as good. However, some of the details in the shadows can be recovered in post using an editor. There’s definitely a case for using the high-resolution mode, especially if you want to crop images later on. Beyond that, I found the 12-megapixel snapshots perfect for social media posts.
The Mavic Air 2 looks like an impressive update to what was already one of our favorite drones, especially considering several features—the 60 fps 4K video and 34 minute flight time—even best those found on the more expensive Mavic 2 Pro.