The DJI Mavic Air 2S is a small quadcopter that comes with higher specs and features than its predecessor the Mavic Air 2.
The camera is better, and so is the handling. You can refer to our earlier review of the DJI Mavic Air 2. One of the most notable differences is in the camera.
For instance, where the Air can take 4K videos at 30FPS, the Air 2S can take 5.4K videos at 30 FPS. It also comes with a bigger 1-inch CMOS sensor for better still photos. The camera takes stills at 20MP whereas the Air has a 12MP lens.
This is a proper upgrade and as usual, upgrades mean more money. Therefore, the high price of the Air 2S might be a downside to some people. Of course, at such a price, you really don’t want to buy this one as your starter drone.
Also, at this time, this drone is not compatible with any DJI VR goggles. Other limitations include lack of automatic transfer of footage from drone storage to your phone storage.
DJI Air 2S Features & Technical Details
First, this is a small, yet foldable drone, which means that it folds even smaller and more compact for easy storage and portability. Also, it comes with high quality split-style blades so it folds with everything intact. When you get to your destination, you just unfold it and fly it.
To get an idea of just how small this quad is, it measures 7.1 by 3.8 by 3.3 inches when it is folded. When you unfold it for flight, it measures 10.0 by 7.2 by 3.0 inches.
Second, the Mavic Air 2S has a weight of 600g. Therefore, you have to register it with the FAA before you can fly it. On the bright side though, the extra weight is good for enhancing the stability of your quadcopter in the air.
Third, this drone has been equipped with brushless motors. Therefore, it can fly long range and the flight performance will not be affected. It also comes with low noise propellers to enable it fly even more quietly.
The fuselage is made of high quality plastic material. If it crashes, the interior electronic parts are likely to come out unscathed. However, this is a safe drone since it has many safety features such as level 5 wind resistance and four-directional obstacle avoidance system.
DJI has been in the forefront in the manufacturing of consumer photography drones. Therefore, their cameras keep getting better with time. This one has a huge sensor that enables you to capture good footage even in low-lit conditions.
This camera has been integrated with a 3-axis mechanical gimbal. Therefore, when the quadcopter vibrates, the gimbal helps to remove all distortion from your footage. Even when the drone slants, your footage is still going to retain proper horizontal and vertical orientation.
This camera can take 5.4K footage at 30 FPS. At 60 FPS, it can capture 4K footage. You will also get a top quality first person view and over a long distance of 7.5 miles. The drone uses Occusync 3.0, which is the FPV technology to beat.
To get your FPV experience, you will need to get the DJI Fly App. It is responsive on android and iOS. The app unlocks many flight functions for you. For instance, you can access the map interface so that you can create a custom flight path.
The live video feed is at a resolution of 1080P.
Battery and Flight time
This quadcopter comes with a smart battery. It has small LED lights that indicate the amount of voltage remaining. You will get 31 minutes of flight time with the battery on a full charge.
DJI also says that you can buy a spare battery easily to prolong your flight time. Each battery comes with its own charging cable and modular design.
This means you can charge it outside the drone, you get the flexibility to charge one battery while using the other. For safety, the batteries have overcharge protection. Always use the provided USB cables for charging.
The remote controller is simple but feature-rich. It has the usual sticks for trimming. On the same note, integrated to the middle of the controller, there is a small switch. This one helps you choose slow, medium or fast/sport mode, when you are flying the quadcopter.
The slow mode in the remote controller is also referred to as Cine Mode and the medium mode is also referred to as Standard Mode. These are the best modes for capturing video in motion because there is no distortion at all. However, the Sport mode is more for speed than video, so you may not be able to make good videos if you fly it in that mode.
This transmitter also comes with a smartphone holder that can fit most of the recent smartphones. Since it does not come with its own screen, you have to use a smartphone unless you want to fly it blindly.
With the inclusion of some automatic flight functions, a pilot with any experience level can fly it. Here are a few of them:
Point of Interest
In this mode, you will get the drone to circle around a point of interest taking footage from all angles. This is a good function for travelers.
Because of the GPS/GLONASS connectivity, you will always know where your Air 2S is. And that is not all because if the battery runs out, the drone comes back home automatically. If there is an interruption in the signal connectivity, the drone comes back home too.
You can create a geofence so that your drone never flies out of the designated area. This is a very important function because at maximum flight range, this drone will be out of your sight. Therefore, you can restrict its flying space to avoid losing it.
Active Track Mode
In this mode, the quadcopter will actively track and follow the designated subject. If you are on an outdoor adventure such as paddle boarding, mountain biking, road trip or any other, use Active Track to have the drone follow you and capture all the action.
4-directional Obstacle Sensors
The DJI Mavic Air 2S is equipped with sensors that can help it avoid obstacles in its path even at high speeds. These are 4-directional sensors meaning that it can avoid obstacles below, above and on either side of it. Again, this feature is good for mavericks that want to fly their drone out of their sight.
Level 5 wind-resistance helps the drone to stay on track, stay easy to trim in low velocity winds. However, it is advisable to fly your aircraft when there is no wind.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
I would buy this drone over again just so I can enjoy its high quality camera. The footage is awesome even when taken in low light thanks to the 1-inch CMOS sensor. Alec L.
I am so impressed with the camera, sturdiness and the long flight range of my Air 2S. However, I am sure I will never fly it out of my sight since I am far too timid for that, but it is good to have it. Bill P.
I paid for this through my teeth but having owned a couple of DJI drones before, I knew I was paying for value. I am not disappointed! Richard D.
DJI Air 2S Pros
- Low noise propellers including two spare ones
- Extra batteries are available for longer flight time
- Hard to crash the quadcopter with the APAS 4.0 obstacle avoidance system
- The MasterShots function allows the drone to choose the best templates for footage and edit it (footage) automatically
- Occusync 3 transmission system ensures there is no signal loss at all
- Long distance flight and long flight time
DJI Air 2S Cons
- Stores footage in its internal storage of 8GB which is too small
- You have to transfer footage from drone to phone storage manually
- Footage editing only works for 1080P resolution
- Not compatible with VR goggles
Who Should Buy the DJI Air 2S Drone?
This drone is a good choice for people who need professional footage. The large sensor adds incredible pop even to footage taken in low-lit conditions. Because of its low weight, long battery time and the Active Track function, the Air 2S is a good choice for travellers.
You will also find a lot of use for the quadcopter if you love to collect footage of your outdoor adventures. If you have a YouTube channel, this drone can help you get proper footage.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Is the DJI Air 2S worth the price that they ask for it? Well, it definitely is, especially for people who want high quality/high resolution footage.
Of course, it has its shortcomings such as not having the ability to transfer footage automatically to the smartphone storage. However, the other functions more than compensate for such.
Do not fly your drone in the wind and avoid flying it out of your sight. Also, read the user manual and most importantly, start on the slow and standard settings before you can try advanced flight modes.