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Rumours and speculations are finally over and DJI launched their latest Mavic flagship into the orbit – DJI Mavic Air 2 is here. And this machine is a real beast with impressive flight time of 34 minutes, 48 MP photos and HDR capabilities.
While being much cheaper than Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Air 2 actually beats it in several respects. But that comparison can be read here in detail. This one is about Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Mini.
We will take a look at the official specs and actual flight behaviour + the inevitable budget considerations of both drones to decide which one is a better fit for you: DJI Mavic Air 2 or DJI Mavic Mini.
DJI Mavic Mini vs Air 2 – Design
It is easy to recognize both drones as DJI products since they share similar design concept, with higher front arms and lower back arms as the most discerning detail on both quads. Of course, both drones are foldable, which is a conditio sine qua non these days when it comes to intermediate and advanced drones.
The Mavic Air 2 weighs 570g (1.3 pound) which makes it more than twice the weight of the Mavic Mini that comes at the famous 249g benchmark.
There are some subtle changes in the color pallet as well since the new Mavic Air 2 comes in a brand new gray color while Mini is much lighter gray nuanced.
The DJI Mavic Mini comes with a 3-axis gimbal and a 12-megapixel photo resolution and can’t do RAW photos. The maximum video resolution is 2.7k at 30 fps or 1080p (FullHD) at a maximum of 60 frames per second.
Mavic Air 2 feautres a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor capable of 12MP and 48MP photos (JPEG and RAW). When it comes to video, the Mavic Air 2 can shoot up to 4K 60fps at 120 Mpbs. The Mavic Air 2 also can shoot HDR photos and videos, with 4K 30 fps being the max quality level supported. Mavic Air 2 is also capable to shoot in the H.265 HVEC video codec to improve efficiency without any loss in quality.
DJI also introduced some new smart camera features on the new Air 2, called Scene Recognition and Hyperlight.
- Scene Recognition is made for detecting sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees. It then optimizes images with these objects for a stunning final photo.
- Hyperlight is a feature that is drumming around mobile markets – it aims to increase the quality of night shots by taking multiple photos and merging them to reduce the amount of noise (graininess) that’s common in low-light images.
In addition to these new features, the drone also comes with upgraded versions of previous technology found in the Mavic 2 Pro, including Spotlight 2.0, Point of Interest 3.0, and most exciting, ActiveTrack 3.0.
- Spotlight 2.0 – locks onto a target and keeps it in the frame while allowing you to have full control over the drone’s movement.
- Point of Interest 3.0 lets you to set an automated flight path around an object.
- ActiveTrack 3.0 lets the drone to autonomously follow a subject using 3D mapping technology.
The Mavic Air 2 includes the pre-programmed drone maneuvers called Quickshots that capture special video effects. They include Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid.
Controller, flight time & battery
The Mavic Air 2 features a 3500 mAh battery, giving it a maximum flight time of 34 minutes, 4 more than Mavic Mini. Controller on Air 2 is completely redesigned and is now almost twice the size as previous DJI controllers. Instead of two downward-folding arms, which cradled your smartphone between your palms, the controller now has a spring-loaded bracket that extends upward from the top. The controller also has an improved 10km transmission range.
Perhaps the biggest improvement that the new Mavic Air 2 controller brings, though, is support for Ocusync 2.0. OcuSync 2.0 enables 1080p video signal broadcasts from the drone to the controller, and video downloads at 40 Mbps. The latency is 130ms for videos and only 5ms for controller commands. OcuSync 2.0 also allows two controllers to be used together, along with multiple DJI goggles to be used at the same time.
The Mavic Mini remote controller has a battery capacity of 2600 mAh and controller range of 4km. It takes about 120 minutes to fully charge with the DJI 18W USB charger and you can fly around 30 minutes with it.
Both drones use the same app – DJI Fly app.
Final thoughts on Mavic Air 2 vs Mavic Mini
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great leap forward in comparison to Mavic Mini (and first generation of Mavic Air) in nearly every measurable respect, including range, battery life, transmission and controller and image quality. If you’re looking for an intermediate level drone that can shoot 4K video, great stills, it’s certainly worth upgrading to Mavic Air 2.
If you’re a new pilot, you’re probably trying to decide between the Mavic Air 2 and Mavic Mini. The Mini is half the price at $399 / £369 / AU$599 and, unlike the Mavic Air 2, its 249g weight means you don’t have to register it under new guidelines from the FAA (in the US) or CAA (in the UK).
|DJI Mavic Air 2||DJI Mavic Mini|
|Price ($)||Click to see the latest price||Click to see the latest price|
|Max flight time||34 minutes||30 minutes|
|Camera Sensor||1/2″ CMOS||1/2.3″ CMOS|
|Photo modes||12MP & 48 MP||12 MP|
|Photo format||JPEG & DNG (RAW)||JPEG|
|Top video modes||4K 60 fps1080p 240 fps1080p HDR 30 fps||2.7K 30 fps1080p 60 fps|
|Video bitrate||120 Mbps||40 Mbps|
|Video format||MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, H.265/HVEC)||MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)|
|Internal storage||8 GB||N/A|
|Dimensions (unfolded)||183×253×77 mm(7.2x10x3 inches)||160×202×55 mm(6.3x8x2.2 inches)|
|Weight||570 g (1.3 lb.)||249 g (0.5 lb.)|
|Transmission system||OcuSync 2.0||Enhanced Wi-Fi|
|Max range (w/ controller)||10 km (6.2 miles)||4 km (2.5 miles)|
|Battery||3500 mAh||2400 mAh|
|Vision system||Forward, backward & downward||Downward|
|GPS||GPS & GLONASS|
In case you are interested in learning more, check out articles on the best Mavic Mini alternatives or its other direct duels we did like Mini vs Ryze Tello; Mini vs Mavic Air; XIAOMI Fimi X8 vs Mavic Mini and Mavic Mini vs Parrot Anafi.