CNET First Look
DJI's Mavic Air has big features but still fits in a pocketThe compact folding camera drone flies around obstacles, takes sweet selfies and delivers solid video quality.
[MUSIC] This is the MAVIC AIR. DTI's latest drone. It combines features from two of the company's other drones, the entry level SPARK and the higher end MAVIC PRO. It has features all it's own though that we'd like to test out but we can't do it here in the city will all the buildings and people and stuff. So we're gonna go some place really special. New Jersey. Man, it's [BLEEP] cold. [LAUGH]. So here are the basics. The Navigator's 800 bucks. Its arms fold up for easy travel, it has a stabilized 4k camera, can fly for up to 21 minutes and it has obstacle avoidance. With every new drone comes a new camera, so we came out to the Great Falls in Patterson, New Jersey to show just what it can do. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] This one shoots at up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, or you can drop down and shoot at 120 frames per second at 1080p for a nice slow motion video. [MUSIC] Even with the strong winds over the falls the three axis stabalizer kept the camera steady and the video is smooth. And the quality is generally excellent with much better detail than the Spark. And it also comes with two new quick shot modes which are basically really easy ways to take selfies with your drone. The new Asteroid Quickshot combines a tiny planet panorama with a Dronie while the Boomerang gives you a fresh way to do a reveal shot. Those are joined by Rocket, Circle, Dronie and Helix that carry over from the Spark. DJI added gesture controls that originally showed up on the Spark. Those controls allow you to push and pull the drone away from you, take off and land with just your hand, or wave it around and have the drone follow you in a path. It's called SmartCapture, and unlike on the Spark you have to connect the Mavic Air to your phone first in order to switch into the gesture mode. Once you're in there though, you can take off and land just by putting your palm out in front of you We might have to do it on the dirt. No, there it goes. [BLANK_AUDIO] I can move it around, fly it back and forth. It will track My hand as I move. [BLANK_AUDIO] And then if I walk toward it, it'll go away from me. Then, if I want to stop and have it walk back with me, it can do that too. Now if I want to take a photo I just put up the peace sign next to my face. The controls have gotten much better on it, so you can actually just wave your hand back and forth and it will move with your hand. It can push it away from you by getting it to recognize two hands and then slowly separating your hands. It will move away from you. Now if it wanted to go up, [BLANK_AUDIO] I just put my hand up, put it down and then I can start the video rolling just by making a gesture like that in front of my face So now it's recording video, I can walk with it and it will follow me. [BLANK_AUDIO] When you're ready to land all you have to do is put your hand up, get it to recognize you and then slowly lower your hand, and stop. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] But that's not all. The Mavic Air also has sensors on the bottom and back that the Mavic Pro in spark don't have. Those sensors work with a new APA system which stands for Advance Pilot Assistance system which keeps it not only from colliding with objects. But it's able to go over them or around them so that it can keep moving. With the [UNKNOWN] engaged, I'm just gonna fly it toward the waterfall and it should go toward it and up and over it. [NOISE] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] So having something this small, of course it comes in the sacrifice of battery size. It's got a pretty small battery pack. It lasts up to about 21 minutes, but that's under ideal conditions. Cutting into your battery life along with flying fast or high winds Is the temperature, we're flying at about 30 degree temperatures today, and we gather warning on the stream saying it's too cold for your battery, its gonna have to warm up. So, something to keep in mind if you're gonna be flying out in cold terms. Look, if you want a small simple drone for the occaissional selfie or aerial shot Go with the Spark. If you want a 4K camera, on a 3X skimble, longer flight time, greater range, and obstacle avoidance in front and back, get the Maverick Air. [MUSIC].