The new DJI Mavic Air is smaller than Mavic pro and a tad lighter than the Dji spark. It has a much-improved three-axis camera gimble hardware. And has two new intelligent flight modes called (boomerang and asteroid) that are excellent mix cool with a touch functionality. Improved obstacle avoidance sensors that allow the Mavic air to fly around or above obstacles in real time instead of stopping. The price of the Mavic Air starts at $799.99 which positions it squarely between the Dji Spark and the Mavic pro. My only gripe with the Mavic air is the removal of the LCD screen from the remote controller.
Autel has long been nippy at the heels of DJI and, with their CES 2018 announcement of their new Autel Evo drone. This may finally be the drone to give DJI's Mavic pro a run for its money. One stand out feature that immediately got my attention is the included 3.3 inch OLED screen on the remote control that not only streams the drones viewpoint live in 720p resolution. It also provides information about battery life signal strength and host of other useful information. I can't begin counting the number of times that I forgot to charge my tablet or had to use my cell phone and be interrupted by a phone call while I'm flying. The 3.3 inch OLED screen will be readily seen in direct sunlight. However, DJI sells a separate monitor for use with your Mavic pro or Mavic Air called crystal sky. The 5.5-inch monitor will cost you a cool $469.00 and goes up from there if you want a larger monitor. If you're budget conscious, you can easily see why having an included 3.3 inch OLED screen in the remote is such a significant cost saving.
The built-in 2D/3D mapping software is another excellent option for those who are looking to use their drone for modeling or building inspections. Evo can operate for up to 30 minutes on a charge, with a fast recharge time of just over an hour. Top speeds are around 44 mph, with a maximum operating distance of 4.2 miles. Intelligent flight mode options include object tracking, as well as ability to follow drone’s flight path via GPS. Evo also uses advanced obstacle avoidance to maneuver around objects in real-time. Evo has another impressive feature that aerial photographers and videographers are going to love and that's the 1" sensor with an f2.8-f11 aperture lens. This is probably the one feature that has me very interested in possibly buying the Evo over a DJI Phantom Pro 4. All in all, I'm glad that Autel is bringing the fight to DJI and I can't wait for it to be released.
DJI Mavic Pro
- Gimbal-Stabilized 12MP / 4K Camera
- OcuSync Transmission Technology
- Up to 4.3 Mile Control Range
- Up to 27 Minutes Flight Time
- GPS- & Vision Position-Based Navigation
- Flight Autonomy with Obstacle Detection
- DJI GO App-Based Control and Monitoring
- Top Speed of 40 mph in Sport Mode
- ActiveTrack Subject Tracking Modes
- Tap- and Gesture-Based Commands
The DJI Mavic pro game-changing fold-able design makes it a very formidable drone to own. After being on the market for about a year now. It has aged very well and still produces fantastic still and video images that are only surpassed by its big brother the phantom pro 4. I've owned my Mavic pro for about nine- months now, and it pretty much goes everywhere with me. Check my blog article about my DJI Mavic Pro review for more information about this fantastic drone.
So which one should you buy?
The Mavic air is currently available for purchase and If you have been patiently waiting to purchase your very first drone, it will be an excellent choice. But if you're not in a hurry. I suggest that waiting a month or so to see what the Autel Evo has to offer.