In January 2018, DJI unveiled another addition to the Mavic series, the DJI Mavic Air — being smarter, lighter and smaller, it has proven to be a younger brother of sorts to the DJI Mavic Pro. While quite similar on paper, the two drones are significantly different in their ways.
This article will compare the DJI Mavic Air and DJI Mavic Pro over eight parameters.
Aforesaid, Mavic Air is smaller, measuring in at about 6.6 x 3.2 x 1.9 inches, while the Mavic Pro comes in at about 7.7 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches.
With a 3830mAh battery, the heavier Mavic Pro (737 grams vs the Mavic Air’s 430 grams) has a slightly better flight time, clocking about 27 minutes as compared to the Mavic Air’s 21 minutes of flight time, which is supported by a 2375mAh battery.
Being the smaller one of the two, while the DJI Mavic Air slightly loses out on flight time, it flies faster at a maximum speed of 68.4 km/h (in sports mode), which is seriously impressive for a drone this size. The DJI Mavic Pro, however, does not lag too far behind, clocking about 65 km/h (again, in sports mode).
The cameras on both drones are almost entirely identical, the exceptions being the 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) recording capacity of the Mavic Air and the ability to capture video at a higher frame rate in FHD (120 fps).
The DJI Mavic Air also has a marginally less sharp camera (12 megapixels) than the Mavic Pro (12.7 megapixels). The camera on the Mavic Air can also capture still shots in HDR, while the Pro has no such option.
The Mavic Air also has a better FOV (Field of View) at 85° while the Mavic Pro only gets about 78.8°. Apart from these, everything is almost identical between these drones, including the camera gimbal.
The Mavic Air, when folded, is about the size of a smartphone allowing it to slide easily into your pocket. With its included folding controller, you can pop it in your backpack and adventure immediately. The Mavic Pro isn’t much larger but isn’t as portable as the Mavic Air.
Both drones offer an identical range of about 6.92 km laterally and a maximum height ceiling of 5000m under ideal conditions and with a fully charged battery.
With no wind, the DJI Mavic Air can travel a distance of 10 km, and the DJI Mavic Pro can do up to 13 km. Remote controllers for both drones have the same 2970mAh battery.
While the Mavic Air offers 8GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card), the Mavic Pro lags behind. With the Mavic Pro’s internal storage dedicated to flight data, for any external data (photos/videos), you must pop in a microSD card, which can be as big as 128GB.
The most significant difference, however, comes when you look at the price tag. While the Mavic Pro retails at $999, the Mavic Air saves you some money at a retail price of $799 while offering almost the same (if not better) features.
Also, you can buy the Mavic Air in flashy red and black. So if your drone’s look is a concern, DJI has your back.
But which one should you buy?
Both of these drones are awesome. They’re arguably the best drones on the market right now. While either would be a great choice, different models are suited for different pilots.
While the Mavic Air is better suited for beginners — given its improved obstacle detection tech — with its larger frame and a relatively less advanced detection system, the Mavic Pro is better suited for experienced drone pilots.
That said, it’s worth noting that DJI also offers refurbished Mavic Pros at the same 799$ price point that the newly released Air sells. Though getting a refurbished drone might not sound appealing, DJI ensures they fly just as well.
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