This DJI Mavic Air review looks at the outstanding features and answers your many questions regarding this new quadcopter. The Mavic Air is another feat of elegant design and new innovative technology from DJI.

This DJI Mavic Air has a weight of less than 16 ounces, is small is size and very sleek.  It folds up neatly and is easy to carry. For it’s size, the Mavic Air is packed with a lot of amazing new technology.

DJI have created a fun quadcopter, which is super easy to fly. It has some exceptional technologies such as smart gesture recognition, 3 axis gimbal, 4k camera, 3 directions of obstacle detection sensing.  The Mavic Air follow me active tracking of people or objects is more advanced than the Spark or Mavic Pro.

The camera and intelligent flight modes allow you to take quick shots from different angles.  The Mavic Air can take 4 different types of Panorama shots and has an intelligent exposure system to help you get the lighting just perfect in your aerial photos.

The Mavic Air flies for 21 minutes with a video transmission of 4 km (2.48 miles).  It’s has a 10 km max flight range without wind and has a max height above sea level of 5 km (3.1 mile) which is totally WOW.

In this Mavic Air review, you will read all about these features and specifications with some terrific Mavic Air videos along the way.

The predecessor to the Mavic Air is the Mavic Pro and it is also an exceptional quadcopter.  It is bigger than the Mavic Air with a longer flight time and has plenty of camera options.  It comes in a few different styles including a Platinum and Alpine white version.  Here is a full Mavic Pro review which will allow you to compare both the Air and Pro.

DJI Mavic Air Review, Specs And FAQs

DJI Mavic Air Review

Mavic Air Review – Features

The Mavic Air introduction took place on January 23rd to much fanfare with thousands connecting online to see this latest release from DJI.  There is so many new design and technology features on this latest DJI quadcopter. This first video is the Mavic Air introductions. After, the video, we have all the information on the Mavic Air features and specifications.

What is the Mavic Air Flight Time?

The Mavic Air has a maximum flight time of 21 minutes at a consistent speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) with no wind. The hovering time for the Mavic Air is 20 minutes without wind.

How Fast Can The Mavic Air Fly?

Mavic Air Max Speed 

68.4 km/h (42.5 mph) flying in Sports mode with the remote controller at close to sea level with no wind
28.8 km/h (17.9 mph) maximum speed in P-Mode
28.8 km/h  (17.9 mph) maximum  speed in WiFi Mode

Mavic Air Max Ascent Speed

4 meters per second (13 feet) in Sports mode using the Remote Controller
1.5 meters per second (5 feet) in P – mode
1 meter per second (3.2 feet) in WiFi mode

Mavic Air Descent Speed

3 meters per second (10 feet) in Sports mode using the Remote Controller
1.5 meters per second in P – mode
1 meter per second in Wi-Fi mode

What Is the Mavic Air Flight Distance?

From DJI, the Mavic Air has a 6.2 mile flight distance (10 km range) with no wind.

What is the Mavic Air Weight?

The Mavic Air takeoff weight is just under 16 ounces (430 grams). This is very light. Also, because of it’s intelligent gyroscope and flight systems, the Mavic Air flies exceptionally smooth even in windy conditions.

Mavic Air Global Navigation Satellite System

The Mavic Air uses both GPS and GLONASS so you pick up many satellites. The dual satellite system also assists with precision flying and safety.

Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level

The Mavic Air max height is 5000 meters (3.1 mile) above sea level.  You can read exactly the full description of max service ceiling here.

Can The Mavic Air Fly In High Winds?

The Mavic Air can withstand wind speeds up to 10 meters per second (33 feet per second).

Is The Mavic Air Waterproof?

Unfortunately the Mavic Air isn’t waterproof so be careful flying over water and also not to fly if it is raining.  It is a good idea not to fly in heavy mist or real heavy fog.  Flying in these conditions would leave visibility almost impossible.

DJI Mavic Air Remote ControllerHow To Fly The Mavic Air?

There are 3 ways to fly the Mavic Air;

  • Dedicated remote controller
  • Smartphone using DJI Go 4 app
  • Smartphone connected to Remote Controller Using DJI Go 4 app

Max Video Transmission Distance

The Mavic Air max video transmission distance is 4 km unobstructed and in line of sight using the Remote Controller and DJI Go 4 app connected.  The area should be clear of electromagnetic interference which will disrupt the video transmission.

Note: Be fully knowledgeable and comply with your countries drone flying rules and regulations.

The max video transmission when you are flying directly from a Smart Phone or Tablet mobile device is as follows;

  • Max height: 50 meters (164 feet)
  • Max distance: 80 meters (262 feet)

Resolution of the Mavic Air’s Video Transmission

720p at 30 frames per second.

Latency of the Mavic Air Video Transmission

The video transmission latency to your mobile device is 170 to 240 milliseconds. However, this is subject to the performance of your mobile device and signal interference.

Frequency Bands During Video Transmission

The DJI GO 4 app chooses a frequency band automatically by default, but users can manually select between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies.

What Are the DJI Mavic Air Bundles Available

You can find tremendous bundles and combos offers in our short DJI Mavic Air short review here.

Mavic Air Obstacle Sensing Reviewed

The Mavic Air can sense objects in 3 directions.  It has Forward, Backward and Downward Vision system which is constantly scanning for obstacles in front and behind the Mavic Air, allowing it to avoid collisions by flying either flying around the obstacle or hovering in front.

FlightAutonomy 2.0 is the name for the DJI integrated system of sensors, algorithms and advanced VIO technology for the Mavic Air to sense it’s surroundings and take action based on what is senses.

In general terms, VIO or Visual Inertial Odometry technology fuses information from a camera and inertial sensors, specifically gyroscopes and accelerometers, to accurately estimate device position without relying on GNSS systems.

Now, the DJI Mavic Air uses advanced VIO technology in its powerful sensor system FlightAutonomy 2.0.  This consists of a primary gimbal camera, forward, backward, downward dual vision sensors, downward infrared sensing system, IMU redundancies and a group of computing cores.

Together, they collect information from the surrounding environment and transmit it to the high performance processor for more precise hovering and better flight performance.

The Downward Vision System helps the Mavic Air to maintain its current location. It can hover in place very precisely.  The Mavic Air Downward Vision System also allows the quadcopter to fly indoors or other environments where their is no GPS signal.

The main hardware components of the Downward Vision System are 2 cameras and also a 3D Infrared module.

Mavic Air APAS System

The Mavic Air has an Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) technology which is totally new.  The Mavic Air APAS system will allow the quadcopter to attempt to bypass obstacles in front of it, while you are flying using the Remote Controller.

In other words, when you are flying forward, the Mavic Air is constantly scanning it’s surroundings for potential obstacles.  If the Mavic Air detects an object or obstacle, it will calculate a safe path around the obstacle without stopping.  This is totally new technology which isn’t on DJI other drones, the Mavic Pro or Spark.

If it is unable to calculate or find a safe path, it will stop and hover in place.

Mavic Air Sensing System Specifications 

Forward Sensing

Precision Measurement Range: 0.5 – 12 meters (1.6 to 39 feet)
Detectable Range: 0.5 – 24 meters (1.6 to 78 feet)
Effective Sensing Speed: ≤ 8 meters per second (26 feet)
Field of View: Horizontal 50°, Vertical ±19°

Backward Sensing

Precision Measurement Range: 0.5 – 10 meters (1.6 to 33 feet)
Detectable Range: 0.5 – 20 meters  (1.6 to 66 feet)
Effective Sensing Speed: ≤ 8 m/s (26 feet)
Field of View: Horizontal 50°, Vertical ±19°

Downward Sensing

Altitude Range: 0.1 – 8 meters (0.3 to 26 feet)
Operating Range: 0.5 – 30 meters (1.6 to 98 feet)

Note: There are many reasons and environments where the environment sensing system won’t work or will not work optimally.  For example, vision sensors won’t sense in darkness or bad light.  Reflective or transparent surfaces will also pose difficulties with the Vision and Infrared sensors.  In the Mavic Air manual, read the section regarding the Mavic Air sensing system.

Obstacle Sensing is fascinating technology and you can read further in this article entitled “Top Collision Avoidance Drones And Obstacle Detection Explained“.

Mavic Air Return To Home Safety Feature

The Return to Home (RTH) function brings the the Mavic Air back to the last recorded home point.  Having the RTH feature gives great confidence to both beginner and professional pilots when flying.   The RTH function is even greater on the Mavic Air compared to other quadcopters on the market.

The are 3 types of Return to Home;

Smart RTH: This is initiated by the Pilot either by tapping ‘H’ in the DJI Go 4 app or by pressing the RTH button on the Remote Controller.

Low Battery RTH: The return to home is triggered when the battery is depleted to a point that may affect the safe return of the Mavic Air.

Failsafe RTH: The Forward Vision system will allow the Mavic Air to create a real time map of it’s route as it flies. If the Home point was successfully recorded, the Failsafe RTH will be automatically activated if the remote control signal is lost for 3 seconds when flying with Remote Controller or 20 seconds if flying with mobile device.

Obstacle Avoidance During RTH

The Mavic Air senses and actively attempts to avoid obstacles during automatic Return To Home.  The Mavic Air RTH obstacle avoidance works as follows:

  1. The Mavic Air slows down when an obstacle is sensed
  2. It will stop and hover, then fly backward and ascends upwards until no obstacle is sensed.
  3. Next the RTH process resumes and the Mavic Air will return to home point a the new altitude.

*Note*: The Vision Sensors wont work properly is bad light or may not work at all.  When you receive you Mavic Air, it is a great idea to read the User Manual especially the sections on the Vision Systems, Intelligent Flight Battery and Return to Home Features.  Read this sections a few times.

Mavic Air Follow Me Review

DJI Mavic Air Follow MeThe Mavic Air ActiveTrack technology can sense up to 16 subjects or persons etc and they become selectable on screen in the DJI Go 4 app.  You then choose the right tracking subject.

With higher tracking precision and broader scenario applications, ActiveTrack follows you even when running, jumping, or cycling.  It can follow people, bicycles, cars and boats etc.

There are 3 Mavic Air follow me modes which are;

Trace Mode: This Mavic Air Trace mode tracks the subject at a constant distance. It follows the subject and keeps it in the frame.

Spotlight Mode: The Mavic Air keeps the camera pointing at the subject during flight.

Profile Mode: The Mavic Air Profile mode locks the subject in the frame at a constant angle and distance from the side.

Note: There is no obstacle detection on the sides of the Mavic Air so flying in profile mode,  you will need to be fully aware of where you are flying.

Mavic Air Autonomous Flight Modes

Points of Interest Waypoints

With Points Of Interest, you select a subject or object and set the circle radius, flight altitude, speed, the the aircraft will fly around the subject according to the parameters.

TapFly Autonomous Flying

If you want to focus on your aerial filming or photography, then choose the Mavic Air TapFly mode in the DJI GO 4 app.

TapFly lets you fly wherever you tap on your mobile device screen in the DJI Go 4 app. TapFly works in Forward, Backward, Free, and Coordinate modes.

Forward: The Mavic Air will fly towards the target using the Forward Vision System sensing obstacles.

Backward: The Mavic Air will fly in the opposite direction of the target using the Backward Vision System sensing obstacles.

Free: The Mavic air will fly toward the target. However you can also use the remote controller to maneuver the orientation of the quadcopter freely.

Coordinate: Tap a specific location in the DJI Go 4 app. The Mavic Air will travel to the point at its current altitude, then hover in place.

You can change the direction while in flight by just tapping another area of the screen where you would like the Mavic Air to fly. You can also adjust flight speed during the TapFly flight.

Mavic Air Gimbal

The Mavic Air camera technology is superb.  The Mavic Air 3 axis gimbal has an angular vibration range which is now reduced to 0.005 degrees.  Most other drone manufacturers can’t even measure the angular vibration range of their camera gimbals. Now, the Mavic Air gimbal is set in a triangular formation with new innovative dampeners for almost perfect gimbal stability.

Mavic Air 4k Camera

The Mavic Air camera shoots video in 4k at 30 frames per second. It also records at 100 Mbps to capture every second in UHD quality.  The camera also supports recording 1080p at 120 frames per second slow motion video.

Can The Mavic Air Take Panorama Shots?

The Mavic Air supports the following panorama modes:

  • Vertical: The camera automatically takes 3 vertical photos. It then stitches them into one panorama
  • Horizontal: The camera will take 9 aerial photos from different angles, stitching them into one panorama
  • 180°: The Mavic Air rotates its body while the camera takes 21 pictures. It then stitches them together in the DJI GO 4 to care 180° panoramas
  • Sphere: The Mavic Air rotates its body while the gimbal camera takes 25 photos. It then stitches them together to create spectacular 32 megapixel spherical panoramas

Mavic Air Camera Intelligent Exposure System 

The DJI Mavic Air uses new HDR photography algorithms which help you obtain the right exposure settings intelligently, according to lighting conditions.

Overexposed or dark areas of photos are processed for a more natural transition between highlights and shadows, while DSP acceleration allows for more efficient shooting.

HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range“.  This Dynamic Range is the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark you can capture in a photo.

Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights tend to wash out to white or the dark areas simply become big black blobs.

It is quite difficult to snap a photo which captures both ends of this spectrum, but with the new DJI HDR algorithms, the camera exposure setting is adjusted intelligently.

Mavic Air Still Shots

The Mavic Air’s on-board camera integrates a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor and an f/2.8 lens with a 35 mm equivalent focal length of 24 mm to shoot high-quality photos and videos.

Mavic Air Sensor And Still Image Size

  • 1/2.3” CMOS
  • Effective Pixels: 12 MP
  • 4:3  4056 x 3040
  • 16:9 4056 x 2280

Mavic Air Lens

  • FOV: 85°
  • 35 mm Format Equivalent: 24 mm
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Shooting Range: 0.5 m to ∞

Here is some spectacular cinematography filmed with the Mavic Air. It is incredible how such a small quadcopter can film so perfectly.

Mavic Air Quickshots

With the Mavic Air, you have a choice of six different QuickShots.  The first 4 listed below were on the DJI Spark quadcopter. The Asteroid and Boomerang quick shots are totally new.  These quick shots allow you to concentrate on capturing the film or photo while the Mavic Air flying autonomously.  The Mavic Air quick shots are as follows;

  • Rocket: Ascend with the camera pointing downward
  • Dronie: Fly backward and upward, with the camera locked on your subject.
  • Circle: Circle around the subject.
  • Helix: Fly upward, spiraling around your subject.
  • Asteroid: In Asteroid quickshot, the Mavic Air flies backward and upward. It takes several photos, then flies to it’s starting point.
  • Boomerang: The Mavic Air flies backward around the subject in an oval path.

Mavic Air Smart Capture And Gesture Recognition

SmartCapture uses both Face Aware and  Palm Control to allow you to take selfies, record videos and control the Mavic Air.

Gesture Launch , Follow And Land

The Mavic Air features a new mode to launch and land the drone.  After take off, you can fly the quadcopter with hand gestures while taking picture or video also using hand gestures.

It uses the vision sensors on the front of the quadcopter and intelligent gesture recognition technology to recognize your hands and take action based on your hand gestures.

It is very simple to set up.

You need to activate FaceAware and PalmControl by choosing the SmartCapture option in the DJI Go 4 app on your phone.

Next, you place the Mavic Air on a flat piece of ground facing you and approximately 1.5 to 3 meters (5 to 10 feet) away from you.  You then face the palm of your hand towards the Mavic Air.

After a second, it will take off and rise to your eye level.  You can then control the Mavic Air with the palm of your hand.

There are gestures to move the Mavic Air away or close to you, take photos using the Peace sign and film by creating a frame using your fingers at chin level.  It’s pretty cool technology.

Another great feature is switching control of the Mavic Air to another person who can then use their hands to control the quadcopter.

Note: SmartCapture only allows the Mavic Air to fly at eye level when it’s 9.8 feet (3 meters) or less away from you. This is to ensure better flight safety and control precision. You can gesture to fly higher or lower when it’s further away from you.

What Is The Max Control Range Of the Mavic Air In SmartCapture?

The Mavic Air SmartCapture control distance is 8.2 to 19.68 feet (2.5 to 6 meters).

Mavic Air Video Resolutions

4K Ultra HD: 3840 × 2160 24/25/30p
2.7K: 2720 × 1530 24/25/30/48/50/60p
FHD: 1920 × 1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
HD: 1280 × 720 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p

How Does the Mavic Air Store Photos And Video?

The Mavic Air has 8 GB of internal storage which will allow you to save photos and videos directly to the quadcopter. You can then export the files through its USB 3.0 Type-C port.

The Mavic Air also has a Micro SD card slot which can take the following recommended cards

16 GB Sandisk Extreme
32 GB Sandisk Extreme V30 A1
64 GB Sandisk Extreme V30 Pro A1
128 GB Sandisk Extreme  V30 Pro A1

Is the Mavic Air Compatible With DJI Goggles?

Yes. the Mavic Air works with the DJI Goggles. These are an excellent accessory and are good value.  Flying using DJI Goggles is a terrific experience and they are great to fly with when their is strong sunlight.

What’s In The Mavic Air Box?

In the standard Mavic Air package, you receive the following;

  • Mavic Air Quadcopter With Propellers x 1
  • Remote Controller  x 1
  • Intelligent Fight Battery x 1
  • Spare Propellers x 2
  • AC Power Adapter x 1
  • AC Power Cable x 1
  • Propeller Guards Set x 1
  • Gimbal Protector x 1
  • USB 3.0 Cable Type C x 1
  • USB Adapter
  • RC Slider Cables x 3
  • Small Carrying Case x 1
  • Pair of Spare Remote Control Sticks x 1
  • Manuals x 5
The best option is the Mavic Air Combo bundle which gives you everything in the below photo.  You receive everything in the above list plus 3 spare batteries (84 minutes total flying time), extra spare propellers, charging hub for all those batteries and a carrying case.
DJI Mavic Air Combo Bundle Review

DJI Mavic Air Review Videos

This first DJI Mavic Air review video delves into its design, flight, gimbal, camera and all its fantastic technologies.

This next review video takes the Mavic Air on location in Bermuda and compares the Mavic Air to the Mavic Pro and also to the Phantom 4 Pro. Terrific video.

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