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Feb 21, 2018, 05:26 PM
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DJI Mavic Air Unbox and Mini Review

The DJI Mavic Air Unboxing and Review.

DJI Mavic Air Unbox and Initial Walk Though (13 min 54 sec)

Over the last week I have been able to spend some time with the new DJI Mavic Air and wanted to share with you my thought, some info and details on this new model and take a closer look at some of its main features

The Package

It’s clear DJI have put a lot of effort into all aspects of their product releases these days and that includes the packaging too, the boxes are a nice clean white design with simple a picture on the front showing you what you about to see, as you lift the lid your hit with a that nice new product smell and everything is carefully packaged and positioned neatly waiting for you, your first presented with a padded semi ridged protective case that contains the Craft, below this Is the first box of accessories that contains quick release prop guards, a spare set of props and the user guides, below this is the remote and the final box of accessories that contains the battery charger, A USB C Cable and adapter, additional device connection cables and a spare set of control sticks

The Craft

The New Mavic Air shares a lot from recent models from the DJI stable, It has the same basic folding arm design we first seen on the Mavic Pro but the grey square look is gone and replaced with a sleek, smooth flowing body shape that elegant and practical, being smaller than the Pro its incredible what DJI have managed to achieve with the Air and its clear every part of the craft has been carefully designed refined for both atheistic looks and functionality

Looking closely over the body you can see little details jump out like the internal cooling air vents at the rear

Another nice touch is front feet fold under the legs for storage when in the case to allow it to be more compact and easier to carry, It’s clear DJI have gone to great lengths to get this just right

DJI have placed the Micro SD card slot and USB port to the rear of the aircraft behind a little flap, they have also for the first time moved to using a USB C port for transferring files and updating the firmware, for users who are not used to this no need to worry they have included a C cable and adapter in the box to


The Air uses a new DJI Smart Battery that is located underneath, this is a 3S 2375mah pack that slots into the body at the rear then latches in, new sliding latches on each side have red indicators that are covered when its locked in correctly

Like the smart batteries before it is continues to have the power button as part of the pack and had an LED battery meter built in, self discharge feature is still here but the difference with this compared to the Mavic is the self discharge timer has been fixed at 10 days on current firmware


Image stability is handled by a new 3 axis gimbal that like most recent modes performs extremely well, DJI have got making a small gimbals down to a fine art and it’s amazing how compact they have been able to design them and retain the level of stabilisation we expect these days.

The gimbal clamp has been updated and is now super easy to fit even one handed, the Mavic one was a bit of a pain at times but this is much better as it simply slides over the camera into the whole slot and locks in underneath

A really nice additional touch is they have programmed the craft to centre and level the gimbal ready for the clamp when you turn it over making it so much easier when In the field


The camera is a fixed focus 12MP model but the new big feature is 100Mbps recording in UHD, this allows the Mavic Air to retain more detail and the results of that is clear when comparing it to the Mavic Pro footage, less compression artefacts and more fine detail is retained especially in areas with difficult low light background, footage from the Air is crips and holds good detail, you have a lot of video resolutions to choose from including 2.7k 60fps and a new 1080P/720P 120fps modes for slow motion action shots

In stills can choose both JPEG and Raw as well as a the new Panno features, these are located under the photo settings and you can choose from Sphere,180,Vertical and Horizontal, the new 32mb Sphere option allows you to capture amazing 360 images that are stitched onboard the craft and bent in the Go app to produce these orb images of the world around you

Along side this it has all the usual camera options you would expect like ISO and Manual controls, Histogram and over exposed warnings ect that we have seen on all recent models, while the Mavic Air is small it still pack a punch in this area

Another small but big feature to me is DJI have thrown in 8GB of onboard storage so you can still get that shot even if you leave your sd cards on the desk, you access this simply by the USB C port at the rear, In use this internal storage is select by default but you can choose SD card in the camera settings menu, leaving cards at some is something I have done on more than once and this internal storage is a real life saver for me.

Smart Features

Active Track has been improved and can now identify multiple targets, Quick shots now includes Asteroid and Boomerang and these produce to really cool selfie images that can be directly uploaded to social media via the Go app.

Smart Capture expanded on the Mavic Air and it allows you to control the aircraft basic movements and features via hand gestures, you can take off, take stills and video, Track your self or Land all though the movement of your palm, you also still have the older modes like Tapfly, Tripod,Cinematic Mode and POI to use too.


DJI have been updated the safety features to, the Mavic Air still has duel IMU and sensor redundancy it has a new 3 direction 7 camera sensing system that DJI call Flight Autonomy 2.0, it can now sense and avoid obstacles both front and rear when in flight as well as use the downward facing camera and sensors to track the ground and map out its surroundings

Now when looking at Go 4 you see the sensing radar readout is both top and bottom of the screen showing anything that’s in range and warning you of potential danger long before you get close to it, to improve on the ovoidal system DJI have added something called APAS, Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems allows the Mavic Air to automatically plot a path around obstacles with out pilot intervention in normal flight modes when turned still singing you great smooth footage.

The Mavic Air still has all of DJI’s Smart RTH and failsafe options using both the vision sensors and ability to trace the flown route back to the home point.

Another nice safety feature is since the battery has moved to underneath DJI have added a battery lock sensor that prevents the craft from arming if it’s not fitted correctly.

Command and Control

The Mavic Air uses a similar remote to the Spark and Mavic Pro, the first thing you notice however is the sticks are missing

This is because DJI have made them officially removable and when you open the controller arms you find them tucked away inside ready to be fitted, they simply screw in place and if you like me and loose things don’t worry DJI have also included some spares in the box too.

This controller has all the usual main buttons like Shutter,Recording, Pause and RTH, additionally its got 2 new programable function buttons, one located on the front and the other on the rear RH corner.

These can be programmed to a number of options via the DJI Go app just like the buttons on the other models, while this controller may not got all the bells and whistles of the Mavic RC I have to say I did not find my self missing anything really, I programmed the battery info screen on the back button and gimbal reset on the front and everything else was easily accessible via the Go App and I fine with that.

Like the Mavic and Spark the Air can use both a remote controller and a direct device connection for control, for the remote DJI have used what they call Enhanced Wi-fi, this is a 720p HD live link that can give upto 4km range in FCC, I’m in CE and DJI state 2KM and tbh I have found the range and link both stable and offers plenty of range for me on a craft of this size, while it’s not going to give the long range performance we have seen with Ocusync it’s massively better than any Wi-fi link I have used before and is perfect for drone of this size and class in my opinion. In direct Wi-fi mode you are able to connect your phone directly to the crafts Wi-fi but just like the other models your limited to 50m height and 80m in distance from the take off point, this is about the limit of a smartphones Wi-fi range anyway in my experience so is not a real issue.

Flight Performance

In flight the Mavic Air is as you would expect from recent DJI models, super stable and easy to fly, indoors it’s able to offer almost the same levels of position hold as you get with GPS, it’s able to do this because of downward facing cameras and sensors measuring positioning and distance, along side this DJI have added something called Vision compass for situations where the magnetic compass may not be reliable and it does this using the crafts vision sensors.

In GPS flight it holds accurately and movement is precise and follows inputs as expected, Sport mode is surprising rapid and is faster than both the Mavic Pro and Spark the only notable change is in Sport the gimbal is forced into FPV mode to protect it from damage in harsh movements.

Like the Mavic Pro and its larger brothers the Mavic Air is a fantastic craft to fly, with GPS, Duel IMU and Updated Vision system its just super stable, simple and does exactly what you want a craft like this to do.

Included Accessories

As part of the standard package DJI have included a props and prop guards for indoor flying.

The prop guard design is very quick and easy to use, they clip together and then simply clip onto the crafts arms, these can be fitted in a minute and really make using prop guards a no brainer when necessary.


The Mavic Air shares a lot with its older brother and looking at it DJI have taken pretty much everything they learnt from the Mavic and put that into the Air in a smaller more compact platform then tried to improved on it, it’s design is simply outstanding in my opinion as is the build quality, it’s hard not to admire and be astonished at the level of engineering DJI are achieving right now.

The Mavic Air was never meant to be a replacement for the Mavic Pro and while it was not able to take everything from its older brother it’s got what matters in abundance and improves on it and delivers that in a super compact platform, If your looking for the best portable drone in my opinion the Mavic Air is it right now, I find it hard not to say this is the best portable drone ever made at this point.

Price & Packages

The Mavic Air is available in 3 colours and two packages depending on your needs, the Standard Package that comes with one battery and small case costs $799 and the Fly More Package includes 2 extra batteries, charging hub,USB Adapter, extra props and carry bag costs $999 

You Can order the Mavic Air from DJI Now

Please note this is an affiliate link

Filmed on the Mavic Air

Castle (1 min 45 sec)

Please note any links may be affiliate ones.
Last edited by Mad_angler1; Apr 02, 2018 at 08:47 AM.
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