Over the years, DJI became the most reputable consumer drone manufacturer. In order to cover all market segments, they recently announced the Mavic Air. As price tag, this travel-friendly drone is located between the Mavic Pro and the DJI Spark. Everything would have been very smooth for DJI if Walkera would not have announced their Peri, an ultra compact drone with 4K camera and 3 axis gimbal.
My plan is to reveal all the pros and cons of each drone in order to help you make the right choice if you want to buy one. Of course, besides the raw specs, there is a personal preferance for one or the other drone brand. Many DJI fans say that once you fly a DJI you will forget any other brand.
We’ll start by taking a look at the price, specs and features of each drone. I know that, probably due to the lack of 4K camera, the little Spark shouldn’t be listed here.
DJI Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro vs Spark vs Walkera Peri comparison table
|Model name||Mavic Air||Mavic Pro||DJI Spark||Walkera Peri|
|Max control range||4 Km||7 Km||2 Km with RC||1 Km|
|Battery capacity||3s, 2375 mAh||3s, 3830 mAh||3s, 1480 mAh||2s, 2500mAh|
|Flight autonomy||21 minutes||27 minutes||16 minutes||15 minutes|
|Max flight speed||68.4 km/h||64 km/h||50 km/h||36 km/h|
|Max video resolution||4096×2160 @ 30fps||4096×2160 @ 24fps||1920×1080 @ 30fps||3840 x 2160 @ 30 fps|
|Real-time image transmission||720p@30fps||1080p@30fps||720p@30fps||1080p@30fps|
|Intelligent flight modes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Mavic Air being the most recently launched, I will compare it against all its contenders.
DJI Mavic Air vs Mavic Pro
Surely, the biggest advantage of the Air version over the Pro edition is the much friendly price tag ($799 vs $999), smaller size and upgraded camera. Mavic Air is also slightly faster than the Mavic Pro.
While both quadcopters have micro SD card slot, the Mavic Pro supports a 64GB maximum and allows to store only about 150 minutes of 4k footage. The Mavic Air accepts up to 128GB micro SD cards and it also has 8GB of internal storage.
In contrast, Mavic Pro has its own advantages compared to Mavic Air. It has about 6 minutes longer flight autonomy and almost double control and FPV range. BTW, according to DJI’s specs, Mavic Pro Platinum offers up to 9 minutes longer flight time compared to Mavic Air.
While Mavic Pro features up to 1080p@30fps wireless video transmission, the Mavic Air only 720p@30fps.
DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Spark
Announcement of Mavic Air was almost instantly followed by price drop of the DJI Spark. While the Mavic Air is advertised for $799, you can buy the little Spark for $399 (without RC).
Of course, the big difference in price is reflected in the specifications. Mavic Air has longer flight time and faster flight speed compared to DJI Spark.
Certainly, if you are into aerial filming, the camera’s video resolution is very important for you. In addition to the 4K video recording, Mavic Air brings 3-axis mechanical gimbal. Compared to the above, the Spark’s 2-axis gimbal and Full HD camera are only basic gears.
DJI Mavic Air vs Walkera Peri
Walkera announced their Peri drone about two weeks before the worldwide launch of Mavic Air. Firstly, I though that it would be a direct competitor for the DJI Spark 2, but equipped with 4K camera can be a cheaper alternative for the Mavic Air too.
Regarding both, flight time and flight range, the Peri is bellow the Air’s specs. While the Walkera Peri is advertised with 1KM control range, the Mavic Air has up to 4 KM flight range. According to the manufacturer’s specs, Air can stay in the air about 6 minutes more compared to Peri. Flight speed of Mavic Air is also about double of what Peri has.
While we’ll have to wait for the first Mavic Air hands-on reviews, the raw specs shows that is on top of DJI Spark and Walkera Peri in a lot of areas. It’s even faster and smarter than the much expensive Mavic Pro.
IMHO, if you don’t need the extended flight time and range of the Pro edition, you can’t go wrong with the Mavic Air. You can also save $200, which you can later invest in couple of spare batteries or drone insurance.
Image credits to DJI and Walkera