Meet The New DJI Mavic Air, A High-Tech, Smartphone-Sized, Foldable 4K Drone

DJI unveiled its latest consumer camera drone called the DJI Mavic Air in a live-streamed unveiling event today. The brand new drone basically sits between the DJI Mavic Pro and the DJI Spark in terms of its price and its features. However, the company explained that the ultraportable drone does come with a lot of new upgrades that will make it very easy for beginners to control, while also providing top-end capabilities that professionals will likely find very useful. DJI even called its new Mavic Air its most advanced consumer drone to date.

At the recently concluded Mavic Air Adventure Unfolds unveiling event, DJI explained that they basically wanted to build a fully capable drone that would easily fit into anyone’s pocket. The company’s director then pulled out two smartphone-sized drones from his vest and revealed that the Mavic Air is actually half the size of the Mavic Pro and about 59 percent lighter. Despite its size, DJI revealed that its new product is actually jam-packed with technology, which includes a 3-Axis gimbal and a 12-megapixel camera capable of taking 4K 100Mbps videos at 30 frames per second. The camera system is somewhat similar to the one found on the relatively larger Mavic Pro. The Air’s camera system is a big upgrade from the one on the DJI Spark, which is only capable of taking 1080p HD videos.

During the presentation, DJI also unveiled its new Flightautonomy 2.0 piloting system. The new flight management system includes advanced piloting software that utilizes up to 7 onboard cameras and a number of built-in sensors to build a 3D map around the device during flights. This allows the DJI Mavic Air to actively avoid and go through obstacles without the pilot’s input. Similar to the Spark, the Mavic Air also comes with full gesture controls, active tracking modes, and an improved shooting mode called Smart Capture. DJI also revealed that the Mavic Air would be the fastest drone in its lineup with a top speed of around 42.5 mph, which is slightly faster than the 40 mph top speed of the Mavic Pro.

Without a controller, the Mavic Air can be flown and controlled within a 19-foot radius using hand gestures. That range can then be extended up to 262 feet with the use of a smartphone. Users that opt to purchase the drone’s standalone remote control, which is sold separately, will be able to extend that range up to 2.5-miles. The Mavic Air’s range is double that of the Spark’s 1.2-mile transmission distance with remote control. The DJI Mavic Air is currently priced at $799, right between the $999 DJI Mavic Pro and the $399 DJI Spark.

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