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Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Air – For the same $ 799 new drone MUCH superior

DJI launched the Mavic Air 2 drone on April 27, 2020, a model that has specifications worthy of the best drone on the market for those looking for a high quality product for photos and videos, worth less than $ 1000 dollars. In a series of articles, we?ll show you the differences between the new Mavic Air 2 and some other DJI drones, starting with the comparison between the two models "Air": First, from 2018, and the newly launched, on April 27 – both with the same value of $ 799 in the basic version.


O Mavic Air when launched, in 2018, innovated by further improving the compact and foldable concept of the Mavic Pro, but without losing quality, since it brought a 4K camera with a great result in videos and also in photography. In addition, it brought a 12MP sensor, compact design, presence sensors on the front, behind and below, flight autonomy of 21 minutes, 4Km control distance, and title of the first drone in the "Mavic" line with Active Track (technology that makes the drone follow some object defined by the user that later became common in several competing products), and other functionalities.

News

48MP sensor, 4K 60FPS video, 34 minutes of flight and 10Km control distance are highlights

The price for that? $ 799 – very competitive value for a DJI quality drone. But, make no mistake: days before the launch of the new model, interestingly, it cost US $ 919 at the American DJI Store, higher than when launched – something quite unusual for the vast majority of products, regardless of what type it is. Now, of course, this value has already fallen, since the old model has become "outdated" compared to the new one.

Separate articles comparing the new Mavic Air 2 with other DJI viro models coming soon!

The Mavic Air 2 arrives bringing great advances over the first generation, some of them better than more robust and expensive model technologies like those of the Mavic 2 line. Perhaps the only technology that has not advanced much was the number of presence sensors, even with improvement of the technology implemented, remains in the same positions as the first generation Mavic Air, probably not to further cannibalize the sales of the Mavic 2 that will certainly happen.

The first consumer drone with aviation and helicopter security system

In this article, I will list the main changes between the first generation of Mavic Air and the new Mavic Air 2, which also the first consumer drone in the world to bring ADS-B sensors, which detect airplanes and helicopters – a major one has advanced in terms of security, which, in the near future, should be mandatory in drones with GPS. That is if the legislation proposed by the American FAA does not define guidelines very different from security.

REMOTE ID for DRONES – Regulation can change completely


Photos and main specs

We start with some specifications and photos of the two models – first for the Mavic Air 2, and then for the first generation Mavic Air.

Mavic Air 2 (2020) – Download site- Launch price: $ 799 dollars (standard) / $ 988 (Fly More) – 48MP sensor- 4K video 60FPS- Flies for up to 34 minutes- Control distance up to 10Km- Front, rear and bottom sensors – Active Track 3.0- 8K Hyperlapse- Weight of 570 grams- Closed size: 180 x 97 x 84mm- Open size: 183 x 253 x 77mm


Mavic Air (2018) – Download site- Launch price: $ 799 dollars- 12MP sensor- 4K video at 30FPS- Fly for up to 21 minutes- Control distance up to 4Km- Front, rear and bottom sensors- Active Track 1.0- NO MODE Hyperlapse– Weight of 430 grams – Closed size: 168 x 83 x 49mm – Open size: 168 x 184 x 64mm


What has changed?

The Mavic Air 2 has improved in several ways (in everything, in fact), as expected. Autonomy, control distance, transmission quality between drone and smartphone, flight system, etc. I will detail these improvements below:

AirSense – ADS-B Sensors

The Mavic Air 2 is the first DJI drone to bring the technology AirSense, which consists of an ADS-B sensor, used in aircraft such as airplanes and helicopters. Therefore, the drone that brings support will be able to inform the pilot if any aircraft is nearby. DJI used a strategy, launching 2 models: one with and one without the sensor – probably due to the price that this type of novelty adds to the final value of the drone.

Understand how DJI AirSense technology works

In 2019, DJI had announced that every drone over 250 grams launched from 2020 would bring these technologies, but it would be a drastic change and probably, as already noted, something that directly affects the price. Therefore, measuring how such a novelty behaves through different models is a strategy that may be more interesting.

We still don't know when the sensor version hits the market. For now, only the version without this technology is being commercialized.


Camera

The camera of this drone is perhaps the biggest highlight, bringing improvements very important and even unexpected in my view, being the first model in this cost segment with a 48MP sensor. Alis, the first of the Mavic line.

For comparison, the first Air has a 12MP sensor, just like the Mavic 2 Zoom. The Mavic 2 Pro, with its Hasselblad camera, features a 20MP sensor. It is important to make very clear something related to the size of the sensor, something that I always reinforce in my articles and analyzes: if the specification were to guarantee a better product, we would have a multitude of brands on the market delivering excellent products at low prices, but not so simple. So, apparently, although the Mavic Air 2 sensor is much larger than the Mavic 2 Pro, in practice the result will not necessarily be better in all cases. This depends on other specifications and, most of all, on the practical result. We?ll talk more about that soon, in an analysis of the drone and its camera.

The first Mavic to record video at 4K 60 FPS (frames per second)

It is also the first drone in the Mavic line to record video in 4K 60FPS, a very important advance that will please professional users, especially those who need images at a higher speed. The same camera also locks video in slow motion with 240 FPS in FullHD resolution.

And finally, Hyperlapse mode now records videos at 8K. But, I highlight here that the process is done through photos, which are being captured at intervals of time and generate a video at the end – common in all photography devices today.


Flight range

THE flight range went up 21 minutes for 34 minutes, more than 60% – a world of time! Everyone who has a drone knows how much flight autonomy makes a difference. Whoever has a first generation Mavic Air must have autonomy as one of the biggest criticisms, especially in the current scenario with several models reaching 30 minutes or more.

I emphasize here that this metric is a bit liar, since normally the real autonomy is at least a few 10% below what companies "sell" as a maximum achieved. In tests we did with the Mavic Mini in a closed room, it was flying for just under 27 minutes – again, in a closed room, standing still, without force and without any wind, situations that act directly against the time of flight autonomy .


Control distance

THE control distance it was another feature that had a radical change, almost in the same proportion as the flight range. The first generation Mavic Air flew up to 4km away, while the new Mavic Air 2 doubles that and arrives at 10Km – the first Mavic to fly that far.

Such a high increase, in principle, is only possible changing the way the drone communicates with the control. In the Mavic Air launched in 2018, as with the recent Mavic Mini, the connection system limits the control distance, in addition to making the connection more sensitive to interference. That is to say, when flying in urban places, the tendency to happen a lot of connection drop – in my opinion, the biggest problem of Mavic Air.

As the new model reaches 10 km of control distance, DJI probably changed the connection system to the same technology as the Mavic Pro and the Mavic 2 models, but with optimizations. As a result, in addition to enabling the drone to fly further, it has significantly improved connection stability and also the quality of images sent from the camera to the connected smartphone, jumping from 720p to 1080p.


Control

The control it also had a radical change on top of all other smaller controls from DJI. There are two big changes: one where the smartphone is connected and the other in size. We started with the position of the smartphone, which is now on top, unlike all other models in the Mavic and Spark models. With this change, some of the buttons also had to be repositioned, staying at the back of the button to take pictures or start a video, in addition to controlling the camera to go down and up. Also notice that on the upper right front, there is a button that switches between photo and video mode.


Size and weight

O Mavic Air 2 a smaller size Mavic 2 when it comes to appearance, it?s bigger than the first generation Mavic Air – both closed and open. And that is to say, of course, bigger than the Mavic Mini too. In size, it stood in the middle of the Mavic Mini and Mavic 2.

The perfect size and weight drone for the vast majority of users

The weight also increased, jumping from 430 grams to 570 grams. In particular, I see this in a very positive way, because it remains well below the 907 grams of the Mavic 2 Pro, but it has more autonomy. And this weight is greater than that of the first generation Mavic Air, combined with more powerful engines, it will guarantee more efficient flights even in strong wind situations – always a big problem for light drones.


What hasn't changed

I think the only thing that hasn't changed is the number of sensors. The 2018 model and the new one have the sensors in the same positions – front, bottom and back.

Of course, saying that it hasn't changed can be too strong, but I say related to the positions, since the sensor technology may have received improvements, as expected. I also remember that DJI announced earlier this year that its new Livox sensors cost only 5% of competing products. Therefore, it may not have added more as a matter of strategy within its model line, avoiding competition with the Mavic 2 and its sensors in all directions, but a drone that is already losing in several scenarios for the new Air 2 .

One more thing that has not changed, and that was very good in the face of several improvements, the price of the drone: the same $ 799 as when the Mavic Air was launched. Some sites say that this price is US $ 120 below the first generation Mavic Air, but this difference over the price current that this drone costs, more expensive than when advertised for $ 799 – eventually prices change because of promotions, and sometimes, as it happened, they even go up. Fact that, considering the launch price of the first version, both have the same price.


Is it worth the exchange?

There's no way to question. The breakthrough is among the largest ever made within a product line. The new Mavic Air 2 is not only a giant advance over the first generation, but also over the models of the Mavic 2 line – until then, the best for those looking for a drone with the best in technology.

For those looking for a product with high quality in photos and video, it is certainly the best option on the market. Even though, in some scenarios, the Mavic 2 Pro and its Hasselblad camera deliver a better result, in the vast majority of cases the new Mavic Air 2 with its 48MP sensor and 4K 60 FPS video support enables considerable improvements for the more public demanding – at least what is expected.

Logically, as I said, the specifications are impressive, but who really sends the practical result and that is just doing an analysis to prove it. We hope it will happen as soon as possible, if the pandemic helps in the process of sending the drone to our newsroom.

Below, the review I made of Mavic Air here in the Connected World:

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