If you happened across DJI’s website this week, you can’t have missed the prominent teaser for a new product — or maybe you saw the leak that basically gave the game away. Well, it’s finally official: say hello to the Mavic Air 2.
As the name suggests, it’s a sequel to the 2018’s Mavic Air — a drone I was very taken with. According to the company, the Mavic Air 2 isn’t a simple tune-up, it was redesigned from the ground up with a particular focus on the user experience and not just ramping up the specs. Though we’ll be the judge of that once we get our hands on it.
DJI might be focusing on how much easier the Mavic Air 2 is to fly, but to be fair, the specs definitely weren’t an afterthought. The first number to leap out at you might be the flight time, which DJI claims is a neck-aching 34 minutes — making the Mavic Air 2 the longest flying drone in the company’s lineup. To be clear, 34 minutes might not sound like much, but in the drone world, it’s an eternity. DJI says it was able to achieve this with new electronic speed controllers (ESC), new battery and overall design. Factor in that the Mavic Air 2 also weighs a little more than the original (570g versus 470g) and it’s clear the company has been busy with its R&D.
All that time in the air is fun, but all for naught if the camera isn’t up to scratch. Thankfully there are some solid upgrades here as well. The Mavic Air 2 now has a 1/2” Quad Bayer sensor (up from the original’s 1/2.3”) which still shoots 12-megapixel images, though there is a 48-megapixel mode too (it’s not clear if this is four images stitched together yet). As for video, you’ll be able to shoot in 4K at 60 fps (and 120 mbps) which bests even the Mavic 2, which tops out at 30 fps in 4K. Fans of HDR photos in the original Mavic Air will be pleased to know that you can now shoot video in high dynamic range also, along with a new 8K Hyperlapse mode.