The Mavic Pro has been the king of the hill for a while. With its 4k camera, powerful features and compact design, it has been no match for a long time. However, the Mavic Air is looking for challenge the champ.
We try to answer one question in this article: which one is better for me. The last two words of that question “for me” are really what matters. Because ultimately it’s all about what you want to do with the drone.
We have selected 13 objective criteria for this article. In each one we will declare a winner so let’s get started, Mavic Pro vs Mavic Air.
1. Size and Weight
Not to be too obvious but for round 1, it’s a total win for the Mavic Air. the Mavic Air is just over half the weight of the Mavic Pro and it is actually about half the size. It’s a much smaller drone when it’s folded down. It’s much more compact. You can put it into a bag and it’s just going to easier to travel with. So in terms of size and weight I have to give it to the Mavic Air.
2. Camera and Gimbal
While the camera and gimble’s are similar on these, they’re both 3 axis gimbal, and they are both 4k cameras. There are a couple things that really favored the Mavic Air. Number one the amount of data that the camera collects. It’s a 100mb on Mavic Pro vs 60mb per second on Mavic Air. It means it’s collecting more data. So you are going to get sharper and criper images with more detailed pictures on Mavic Air.
Secondly, the Mavic air has a top frame rate 1080 of 120 frames per second vs 96 on the Mavic pro. what that means is that instead of 3x slo-mo you can do 4x slo-mo which will capture even more detail. You can always speed up the slow-mo but you can’t do it without deteriorating the quality of the image.
In addition to those things, the camera and gimbal on the Mavic air are better protected. The camera on the Pro are sticking out and need the bubble to keep them protected. when they are in the case or flying without the bubble, they are pretty exposed. whereas the Air has really good protection on the camera and gimbal.
Finally the Air is fix-focused. It means everything is pretty much always in focus, as long as it’s far enough saway from the object it’s shooting at. the Mavic Pro is tap to focus, meaning you have to tap of somewhere on the screen to focus. You can get fancier shots with the Pro with deeper depth of field. Taking images where the foreground is in focus and the background is blurry. But for most of us, we want the picture to be focused at all time. so the Air wins this round, too.
3. Flight Time
for the first time in this comparison the Mavic Pro wins. flight time is 27 minutes vs 21 minutes for the Air. These are the official DJI specs and in real flight test you are going to get less flight time. Wind resistence, speed, temperature all play a role in flight time. regardless you are going to get 25% more flight time with Mavci Pro. so if flight time is important to you, that will be a big win for the Mavic Pro.
4. Flight range
Once again the Mavic Pro comes out on top. OcuSync is way better than enhanced wifi for flight range. it just means with OcuSync on the Pro, you can fly it much further with a clearer signal than the Air with wifi. Enhanced wifi is not bad, but comparing to OcuSync, the range is shorter.
5. Compatibility with DJI goggles.
this is a close round because they are actually both compitible with DJI goggles. The Mavic air requires a cable where as the Mavic Pro can connect via a OcuSync. That’s to me just better edperience. so while you can do both on the goggle I got to give this round to the Mavic Pro. Becasue of it’s ability to connect to the goggle wirelessly. Let me also tell you, flying this drone with the goggle is quite amazing. so if you really want to try something cool than try flying the DJI mavic Pro with the DJI goggles.
Something you should try is fixed-wing mode, which is simulating flying experience of a fixed wing airplane. it’s just a cool immersive and challenging experience. So overall winner, with compatibility with the goggles, wirelessly fixed wing mode with OcuSync goes to Mavic Pro.
6 Internal Storage
This is an easy round, Mavic Air wins. It has 8 gb of internal memory so you don’t need a microSD card. In case your microSD card is full or if you forget to put it in your drone, you can still record video to the internal memory on the Air. the Pro does not have that feature so easy win in round 6.
This is a close one, a real battle back and forth. but in our test and our measurements, the Mavic Pro wins by just a little bit in terms of being quieter than the thematic Air. It wasn’t very much but it was enough to notic on the decibel reader and enough to notice with your ears.
Further more, if you put on the new platinum propellers, the Mavic Pro is much more quieter than the Mavic Air. Hopefully at some point DJI will be coming out with the propellers that are quieter for the Mavic Air as well. at this point if flying stealthily and quietly is important to you, the Mavic Pro is the way to go and Mavic Pro platinum is even better.
this one is also pretty close but the Mavic Air wins out by just a little bit. It can go 41 miles per hour in sport mode where as the Mavic pro can go 40 miles per hour in sport mode. but the one thing aobut flying the Air in sport mode is it’s smaller size actually makes it bit more agile and easy to fly. it just seems to be more responsive so while it’s not a lot faster it feels a lot faster. I’m giving speed to the Mavic Air.
9 Remote control
The Mavic Pro wins because it has a few features that the Mavic Air remote does not have. Number one, it has this LCD screen. It gives you quite a lot of data including speed, battery, etc. if you are flying a drone without your phone, having a screen on your remote control is critical. Also when you rotate the wheel up, it will lighten or darken the screen. so this round goes to Mavic Pro.
10 Flight Mode
this round is also close because even though the Mavic Pro has a lot of cool flight modes, they also added a few to Mavic air that makes it really compelling choice. especially boomerang and asteroid mode. those two flight modes are really interesting. with the big sensor in the front and the hand controller you can do this.
11. obstacle avoidance.
Both of these quadcopter have sensors int he front that allow them to avoid obstacles which is fantastic. both have sensors on the bottom that help them land and identify things when coming down. but the Mavic Pro does not have rear sensors whereas the Mavic Air does so in terms of obstacle avoidance .this is already big advantage for the Air. with the pass mode, Mavic Air is clearly the winner.
12 Gesture Control
Again the Mavic air wins this round. gesture control comes from the sensor in the front that allows you to put your hand up and recognize your face. you can take the drone off the ground and land using your hand. sending it away or taking selfies or videos are also possible. it’s pretty awesome to control it just using your hand without a controller.
Again, the Mavic Air wins this round with around $200 less that the Pro.
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