DJI Mavic Air Review
After owning a 3DR Solo drone and a GoPro Karma (that I still own), I decided to invest in a DJI Mavic Air when the drone came out. For the $800 price tag for the basic package, you get a whole lot of drone capability. I opted for the $1000 "Fly More" package that included extra batteries, a carrying case, extra propellers, and a multi battery charger. Overall both packages are great, and for the price you get a really nice drone, that is easy to carry in a backpack, with the provided case/sling bag, or even in a sweatshirt or jacket pocket since it unfolds and folds for travel.
The size of this drone is actually quite amazing. Folded, the drones footprint is only slightly larger than my old iPhone 7 Plus. Compare that to my GoPro Karma that even folded is over a foot long, and over 8" wide, that requires its own backpack to easily travel with. I really with that the Mavic Air had been on the market when I traveled to Greece and Thailand. While I didn't bring the Karma to Thailand due to its size, and their drone laws, the Mavic Air would have had way more flight time in Greece than I was able to achieve with the Karma, purely due to the size allowing easy launching from way tighter launch zones than I needed.
Although I am not nearly the most experienced pilot with my Mavic Air, and I do need to try out more of the features, I have to say that is has been a phenomenal drone for the price tag. While yes, I paid $1000 for my setup, I did get three batteries, a multi-battery charger, spare blades, a carrying case for all the gear, and the drone. Overall there is great value for the money. I recently used the drone while hiking in New Hampshire to make the video I will attach next to this. It was really my first time using the drone as a way to capture the area where I was, and was really only my fourth or fifth flight, so I did fail at remembering how to setup some of the smart shots, and it wasn't worth fighting at the time, after all I had just hiked a 4000' mountain, and remembered how out of shape I was, the last thing I wanted to do was think.
The Mavic Air setup time was probably around one minute from pulling it out of my bag to getting the propellers spinning on the drone. Part of the time was spent getting my iPhone out of its case so it would fit in the controller, had I really wanted, I could have used the phone itself as a controller, but I am not one to want to do that, especially in the mountains where I could really use the extra range that I would think the controller has to offer, maybe I will edit this later with a comparison of using the controller or your phone. Now from the top of the mountain, I flew over 1500 feet away, and stayed about 150-170ft above the launch point. I would like to point out that there were zero delays in communications, and I could have flown further away, but I forgot to change the settings the drone came with on restrictions. My bad.
So the verdict on the drone is that it is a great piece of machinery and worth the money in my opinion. Its camera capabilities are more than enough for your average consumer, and are used by countless YouTubers across the globe. Now, if you're just starting out, maybe you would want to start with the DJI Spark, but at the same time, with a controller package, the Spark is almost to the price tag of the Mavic Air's basic package. You can also always get propeller guards to help while you are learning your drone as well.