While the author of these lines is accustomed and certified to the remote piloting of professional drones, this impression was confirmed by testing the Mavic Air 2 for two weeks.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 replacement is no longer playing in the same yard at all.
He moves in the air almost as well as a professional drone and delivers images that are close to those of a professional drone. It is therefore difficult to reproach this drone intended for beginners.
It will immediately put them at ease with its anti-collision systems. This arsenal inflates the price, but it does allow you to start without risking the destruction of the drone from the first turns of the propellers.
The amateur of beautiful images will appreciate the programmed evolution modes and quality very close to professional models.
On the design side, had already mentioned, the device takes up the aesthetics of the DJI Mavic Air 2 with the same architecture regarding the folding arms.
It is simply smaller, which allows it to fit in the hand when folded. Its weight of 570 grams does not require to pass the free training on Alphatango.
It is mandatory for recreational drones weighing more than 800 grams. On this point, we’re really staying in the world of the recreational drone…
DJI Mavic: An almost faultless remote control
Its rectangular remote control is compact and the small steering levers can be unscrewed to store on the front side.
Convenient for not damaging them in a bag. The remote control has no visible antenna. It is integrated into the front of the retractable phone holder. This gives access to the connection cable which is plugged in and stored inside.
This system is very practical because it is difficult to lose or forget this essential cable. It is with it that the mobile is connected and the settings and video feedback are available via the DJI Fly application.
The only problem is that the clamp on the holder tends to press the volume or power off buttons on the mobile.
The remote control integrates the new Ocusync 2.0 proprietary wireless link. According to DJI, it remains stable and has a range of 6 km.
A distance that we obviously wouldn’t recommend, even though it’s mandatory to keep the drone’s sight during evolutions. As an example, in conventional activity scenarios, a professional remote pilot will not move the aircraft more than 200 meters away from a non-populated area and 100 meters away from a populated area.
On the height side, it should be remembered that the maximum altitude remains 150 meters and often less near urban areas.
It is better not to tempt the devil, even if the aircraft has a return to the take-off point system.
The maneuverability and stability of a pro UAV is less than 600 grams
During flight tests, the small UAV impressed by its stability despite its low weight. The rotors and stabilizers are doing their job more than correctly, while the UAV remains a marbled rock, maintaining its hovering flight in gusts of wind.
The device is nervous and swift when needed, especially when using the sport mode proposed on the remote control. From a piloting point of view, the DJI Mavic Air 2 does not really differ from a professional UAV.
Similarly, compared to the latter, the model tested was impressed by the speed with which it manages to attach a sufficient number of satellites to ensure its geolocation.
The video feedback via the DJI Fly application is of very good quality and virtually latency-free. Obviously, it is strongly advised not to pilot the UAV via this video feedback.
In addition to being strictly forbidden, it slows down the progress of the drone’s handling. And on this last point, the DJI Mavic Air 2 was really strong.
The device is full of proximity sensors found on professional models. The risk of collision is very limited.
The only thing missing are sensors on the sides and on top of the drone. For a regular user, this absence makes it possible to sneak the UAV between obstacles in a lateral way.
The application is certainly simplified, but it offers most of the automated shooting modes found with other more advanced models.
These QuickShots are six in number and deliver spectacular sequences automatically.
Very gifted in images
For the pictures, here again, the Mavic Air 2 seems to do as well as some pro models. Its optics, equivalent to a 24 mm (f/2.8), houses a Cmos sensor ½.
It is capable of taking 12 or 48-megapixel shots. In our tests, the best results were obtained in 12-megapixel mode. The camera was most impressive for videos.
It can shoot in 4K with 60 frames per second, which is better than the more expensive models.
However, to benefit from the HDR mode, the number of images must be limited to 30 frames per second. The result is very convincing, even without adjustments.
About autonomy, the manufacturer claims that the DJI Mavic Air 2 can stay in the air for up to 34 minutes. A duration is almost impossible to wait without completely draining the battery.
With these drones, it is better not to go below 20% autonomy, for safety, but also to extend the battery life.
During our tests, we respected this rule and the flight time exceeded 25 minutes, which is already very good for a drone in this category.
It is clear that Mavic Air 2 is not cheap with its price of 849 euros. But at this price, the drone outperforms any other leisure model with its anti-collision sensors, its stability, the quality of its images, and its very simple handling for a beginner. It’s so close to professional drones that it could almost be one of them.