Mavic Air: a pocket-sized drone

Mavic Air drone
A great drone that weighs less than a pint

The diminutive Mavic Air is packed with top-notch features and is the best all-round drone a hobbyist can buy, says Sarah Moore.

This is Chinese tech company DJI’s best drone yet, says Mark Wilson in Stuff magazine. The Mavic Air has almost pocketable dimensions when folded up, and slips into a backpack faster than it takes to dash into a pub during a downpour. At 430g, it weighs less than a pint too.

With most devices, going smaller usually means cutting features, but that hasn’t happened with the Mavic Pro, says TechRadar. DJI’s newest drone is designed to fly steadily, even in the face of 24mph winds. As for range, you’ll be able to stay connected to the quadcopter up to 4.3 miles away, and a single battery charge gives you up to 27 minutes of flight time.

Importantly, the camera on the Mavic is pretty impressive too, says Drew Prindle on Digital Trends. It shoots in cinematic 4K, snaps 12.7 megapixel stills, and also supports features such as burst-shooting. Its “Gesture” mode allows you to set up and snap a selfie by doing nothing more than standing in front of the camera and waving your arms a bit, and then making a “picture-frame” shape with your fingers, which is “pretty neat”. Another notable feature allows the Mavic to take photos with its downward-facing cameras and sync this information with GPS data so that it can return to that exact spot when activated.

The Mavic Air is also packed to the gills with infrared sensors: two on the front, two on the back, and two more underneath. These give it a “Lionel Messi-like spatial awareness that ensure it’s super-stable when hovering or flying”, says Wilson. The controller’s joysticks allow for greater control than a touchscreen, and you can attach your smartphone to get a live-feed from the camera. And thanks to a new “Advanced Pilot Assistant System”, the drone’s sensors help it automatically fly around obstacles. This is really the best all-round drone hobbyists can buy.

Price: £769. Dimensions: 3.27 X 7.8 X 3.27 inches when folded up. Weight: 430g. Maximum speed: 40mph in sport mode. Range: connectivity up to 4.3 miles. Battery life: up to 27 minutes. Contact: DJI.com.