DJI Mavic Air is shaping up to be the perfect drone for a lot of people who want to fly more than the DJI Spark, but aren’t into that steep DJI Mavic Pro price.
It’s a foldable drone that can record 4K video up to 60 frames per second and stitch together 32-megapixel panorama photos, according to leaks this week.
4K video makes the DJI Mavic Air superior to the Spark, which topped out at a 1080p resolution. It’s the reason a lot of people said, “I’d get the Spark, but…”
DJI looks to do more than just give us another small, foldable drone bumped up to 4K video, however. It’s supposedly going to blend the Spark and Mavic Pro features just enough to be the ‘Goldilocks’ of drones in 2018.
DJI Mavic Air release date
The DJI Mavic Air launch event is scheduled for today, January 23 in New York – and we’ll be there to update this page live as it happens with the breaking news.
The actual Mavic Air release date hasn’t been announced or leaked, but DJI never takes long to begin pre-orders for its new drones and get them into the hands of its customers. You could be testing out the new drone in February.
The popular drone company is also launching another product today, the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, a smartphone camera gimbal we just reviewed. It launches exclusively through the Apple Store today and gets a wider release in February.
DJI could time the DJI Mavic Air launch and the Osmo Mobile 2 wider availability so that you’re more eager to by both the drone and smartphone video stabilizer at the same time.
DJI Mavic Air price
The other great mystery is the DJI Mavic Air price. Most estimates put it at $699 (about £499, AU$877), but technically it could land anywhere in between the Spark and Pro price, given the features we think are likely.
The DJI Mavic Pro costs $999 (about £725 / AU$1,250), while the DJI Spark is $499 (about £360 / AU$625) price tag, depending on where you shop and if you’re looking for accessories, like a highly recommended second battery.
If the Mavic Air price is affordable enough, it could propel DJI – already the top drone company – even further into the mainstream. That’s exactly what DJI wants to do in 2018.
The DJI Mavic Air is going to be extra portable thanks to the fact that new leaks point to a design that brings back rotors attached to foldable arms.
Foldable arms were the highlight of the Mavic Pro, a feature we missed on the smaller Spark. The arms on the Spark were deemed small enough not to need folding (we still would’ve liked to have it become even more compact, though).
The Mavic Air, when folded, appears to be small enough to fit into a small sling bag. Extending the four arms (with four landing gear legs) outward appears to be a little easier than its bigger Pro counterpart, too.
Rumors even go as far as to predict the DJI Mavic Air colors: white, black and red. We’ll see what it looks like later today.
DJI Mavic Air battery life
What’s the catch? Well, the DJI Mavic Air battery life will be shorter than the Pro, with the newest leak pointing to a still-impressive 21-minute fly time.
That’s okay for most people. The Pro can last 27 minutes, while the even more expensive Pro Platinum can hold 30 minutes of battery power. But you pay through the nose for those few extra minutes. The Spark lasts just 16 minutes.
The DJI Mavic Air again may touch on another sweet spot with 21 minutes of battery life, especially if you’re willing to carry a spare for 42 minutes total.
4K video, 32MP photos and sensors
The 4K-capable camera of the DJI Mavic Air remains on the front, according to leaked photos of the drone. It may also have a 3-way gimbal to outmaneuver the 2-way camera stabilization of the Spark, says DroneDJ.
32MP photos are possible, as reported through yesterday’s leak, but don’t get too hyped over this large number. That’s supposed to be for stitched-together panoramic photos – still impressive.
It’s also said to include obstacle-avoidance sensors on the front, bottom, and back of the drone and gesture controls like the Spark. You have the option to fly it without using a controller – but we’ve always found the controller to be best.
More questions about the DJI Mavic Air
We’re eager to go hands on with the DJI Mavic Air and determine if all of the leaks are true, including the very Apple-like name.
More information about the speed, range and price are expected to come today, as those details were not part of the leak but standard for a DJI press conference. That means you still get a chance to be surprised.
Join us later today for more DJI Mavic Air updates as we cover the live event of what may be 2018’s most popular drone among new consumers.