DJI Air 2S versus Mavic Air 2: Worth to upgrade?

All In One vs Up Your Game

DJI Air 2S versus Mavic Air 2

Since the first Air 2S rumors, many DJI fans decided to cancel their Mavic Air 2 order and wait for the new upgraded model. Our DJI Air 2S vs. Mavic Air 2 comparison guide includes features, specs, battery life, range, and camera performance.

The completely redesigned, second-generation Mavic Air was released on April 24, 2020, and to be honest, no one thought that DJI, after only one year (April 15, 2021), will come up with another model of the series.

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The new DJI Air 2S features the same folding design as the older Mavic Air 2. The only visual difference is the extra pair of the obstacle avoidance sensor on the nose of the aircraft. Now, the propellers have orange stripes instead of silver ones.

DJI Air 2S vs Mavic Air 2: In-depth comparison guide

In the table below, I compared the most important specs of both mid-range DJI drones. I highlighted red where the new DJI Air 2S excels and with green where the older Mavic Air 2 still shines.

  DJI AIR 2S Mavic Air 2
Size Folded: 138×81×58 mm
Unfolded: 159×203×56 mm
Folded: 180 × 97 × 74 mm
Unfolded: 183 × 253 × 77 mm
Weight 595 grams 570 grams
Gimbal 3-axis 3-axis
Image sensor size 1″ 1/2″
Megapixel 20MP 48MP
Max Video resolution 5.4k@30fps, 4K@60fps or 1080p@120fps 4K@60fps or 1080p@240fps
Max bit rate 150Mbps 120Mbps
Photo mode RAW + JPG RAW + JPG
HDR Yes Yes
Digital Zoom 2-4x 2-4x
FPV 1080P 720P and 1080P
Communication OcuSync 3.0 OcuSync 2.0
Range 12KM for FCC and 8K for CE 10KM for FCC and 6K for CE
DJI FPV Goggles v2 compatibility No No
Wind resistance 8.5-10.5 m/s (Level 5) 8.5-10.5 m/s (Level 5)
QuickShot modes Dronie, Rocket, Circle, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid Dronie, Rocket, Circle, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid
MasterShots Yes (Portrait, Proximity, and Landscape) No
Hyperlapse Yes Yes
Active tracking Yes, ActiveTrack 4.0 Yes, ActiveTrack 3.0
Point of interest Yes, Point of interest 3.0 Yes, Point of interest 3.0
Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems Yes Yes
Obstacle avoidance Yes, 4-directions Yes, 3-directions
Optical flow sensor Yes Yes
WiFi file transfer No No
Internal Memory 8GB 8GB
Battery 3s/3500 mAh 3s/3500 mAh
Flight time 31 minutes 34 minutes
FAA registration Yes Yes
Release date April 15, 2021 April 24, 2020
Regular price (Standard/Combo) $999/$1,299 $799/$988

Battery life

Many will be disappointed for sure that the Air 2S has 3 minutes less flight time than its older brother. The difference comes probably from the fact that the Air 2S weighs 30 grams more. While the DJI Air2S is advertised with 31 minutes of flight time, the Mavic Air2 with 34 minutes of battery life. Apparently, both are powered by the same type of 3s/3500 mAh LIPO pack.

Flight range

The new DJI Air 2S comes with the latest OcuSync 3.0 communication that provides up to 12KM range in the US (FCC) and 8KM in Europe (CE). By comparison, the Mavic Air 2 adopting OcuSync 2.0 has 10KM-FCC and 6KM-FCC range. Thanks to the new transmission system everyone hopped that the Air 2S will compatible with the DJI FPV Goggles V2 and DJI Motion Controller. Regretfully, is not for the moment!

Camera performance of Air 2 series

Camera performance

The biggest difference between the DJI AIR 2S and the Mavic Air 2, is the camera. In comparison, the 2021 Air drone is equipped with a 20MP/5.4k 1″ sensor camera, the 2020 Air with a 48MP/4K 1/2″ sensor camera. The size of a sensor affects photo/video quality. Larger sensors usually mean better image quality. By comparison, a 108MP phone with a tiny sensor will never provide the same quality as a 20MP full-frame DLSR camera. A larger sensor also provides better low-light performance and the ability to take wider angle images. Max video bitrate was increased from 120 Mbps to 150 Mbps.

Not all the specs of the Air 2S camera have been improved compared to its predecessor. The older Mavic Air 2 has better slow-motion capabilities at FULL HD resolution (1080p@240fps vs 1080p@120fps). 

Other Features

While Air 2 has a 3-direction obstacle avoidance system, the new upgraded Air 2S has 4-direction collision avoidance sensors. The extra sensors will ensure safer autonomous flights such as RTH and ActiveTrack.

Both, feature the same set of QuickShot modes (Dronie, Rocket, Circle, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid), so no improvements on this aspect.

Bottom line

If money counts, you should consider that for the price of the DJI Air 2S, you can buy the older Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo with 3 flight batteries and lots of extra accessories.

On the other hand, if you want to fly for longer distances and to capture higher quality footage, the DJI Air 2S an excellent alternative to the more expensive Mavic 2 Pro.

For the extra $200 you will get better camera performance (1″ vs 1/2″ CMOS Sensor), lots more intelligent features, an improved obstacle sensing system (4-directions vs 3-directions), and a transmission system (12KM vs 10KM).

24 COMMENTS

  1. I have the original Mavic Air (generation I) and I’m thinking that’s time for an upgrade. Can anyone comment on the noise of the Air 2S? The Air 1 is damn noisy…

  2. For anyone with a DJI Air2S, what’s the real flight time? I am wondering about selling my Mavic Air 2 and buying this new edition. The 1-inch sensor makes a huge difference!

  3. I took out my new DJI Air 2s today and well, it was Amazing!! It is fast on up/down movements. I also noticed a better rang. Glad I bought the 2s and looking to sell my Mavic air 2 now.

  4. There is only one thing holding me away from moving from Air 2 to S-edition. Those propellers visible on the screen are pretty annoying. At least 5 of 10 test videos on Air 2S have this issue…

  5. Referring to Air 2S’s compatibility with FPV Goggles V2 and DJI Motion Controller, DJI will include this possibility in future firmware updates.

  6. Air 2S has O3 with four antennas that supports two frequency bands at the same time. It delivers full-HD (1080P) video transmission feeds from more than 7 miles away!

    • Unlike Air 2s 20MP camera, the Mavic Air 2 48MP camera makes 8K Hyperlapse footage possible. In hyper-lapse mode, the quad takes a series of photos using the full 48MP sensor and automatically merges them together to produce the final 8K video.
      Madi

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