For obvious reasons, DJI had to kibosh its usual big reveal this time, but the company won't let a little thing like a global pandemic stand in the way of an announcement. Just over two years after the unveiling of its lightweight Mavic Air, the drone giant announces the sequel.
When I checked the original shortly after the announcement, most of my complaints focused on the usefulness of the product. It was an impressive piece of technology, but it only takes you so far. This time DJI seems to have fixed at least some of these problems. Including improved battery capacity.
The 21 minutes of the original were among my main frustrations with the product. The company says the drone should be able to reach up to 34 minutes on one charge. We'll take a jaunt system and we'll keep you up to date on how this translates into real life.
I also found a handful of usability bugs the first time. Fortunately, there are some upgrades on the software side, especially a new version of ActiveTrack. The function is said to have improved subject tracking on board, including the ability to move something that is temporarily hidden by an object such as a tree. The "Point of Interest" and "Spotlight" functions have also been updated.
Imaging is the right thing here again. Therefore, the biggest updates are on the image and video front. The new Air can record 4K videos at 60 frames per second. Still images can be captured at up to 49 megapixels, while the triaxial gimbal should help alleviate the drone's tremor. The system can also do 8x slow motion and take photos and videos in HDR. There are also new settings for low light and scene detection functions.
Other improvements on board include improved wireless transmission and improved obstacle avoidance. The latter is particularly useful for beginners, but a welcome addition to any level.
The Mavic Air 2 is available in China today. Worldwide shipping (including the United States) was made significantly more difficult by the COVID-19 crisis. Pre-orders are open today and are expected to ship in mid-May. DJI understandably doesn't seem to be particularly safe at the moment. The system starts at $ 799. There's also a $ 988 version that includes a charging node, three batteries, and a carrying case.
(gallery ids = "1979864,1979865,1979866,1979867,1979868,1979869,1979870,1979871,1979872,1979873,1979874,1979875,1979876,1979877,1979878")