DJI revealed its latest compact drone, the DJI Mavic Air in New York on 23 January and it looks like it’s going to be a hit.
This tiny, foldable drone reportedly has the performance and image capture that were “once possibly only in larger and more expensive drones,” said Michael Perry, the managing director for DJI in North America, at the launch event.
This new addition the popular drone manufacturer’s offerings is an improvement on the DJI Spark and in fact sits much closer in the range to the Mavic Pro Platinum, except that it’s lighter and more compact. The Mavic Air is about the size of a smartphone.
The Air comes with a 4K camera and has a proper three-axis gimbal to help it produce smooth footage. It also comes with more sensors than other models and instead of just stopping before crashing into an object, it will re-route itself, which will help prevent jerky footage if you accidentally fly the drone to close to an object.
Gesture control is another great feature.
Battery life is nothing to get excited about, DJI says that the Air can fly for about 21 minutes, an improvement on the Spark’s 16 minutes, but 9 minutes less than Mavic Pro Platinum. However, if you buy a couple of extra batteries, you can swop them out and keep flying and the Air is supposed to have better video quality than the Pro Platinum.
The fun-size drone will come in three colors (black, white, and red), and starts at $799 (about R9,545 although it can be pre-ordered from Droneworld for R15,699).
DJI is also selling an Air bundle, which comes with protective bumpers, a remote controller, three batteries, and other accessories, for $999 (about R1,200 – we’re not sure what local importers will charge at this stage but expect it to be closer to the R2,000 mark).
DJI said it will be begin shipping and be in stores on 28 January.