The DJI Mavic Pro’s portability is all the rage in drones right now – pilots want quadcopters they can pack up and take anywhere. Unfortunately, a compact form factor usually translates to fewer features and abilities. But with DJI’s new Mavic Pro, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition to being one of the most portable drones we’ve ever seen, the DJI Mavic Pro also happens to be one of the most feature-packed drones on the market right now.
The Chinese company is best known for its Phantom range of affordable, easy-to-fly drones, and the DJI Mavic Pro is designed to offer many of the same benefits. So you get decent flight time, long-range remote control, a live video feed of the drone’s viewpoint beamed to your smartphone, and stable 4K video recording – but in a more easily portable package.
Priced at $999, the DJI Mavic Pro weighs just 1.62 lbs (743g) and, when folded down, measures only 3.5 by 3.25 by 8 inches (83 x 83 x 198mm) – more than compact enough to slip into a small bag. It comes with a battery delivering around 27 minutes of flight per charge, plus it has a top speed of some 40mph (65 km/h), a 12MP camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, and a compact remote control that works in tandem with your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
The DJI Mavic Pro is in a whole different league when it comes to portability. Our immediate concern was that its small size would detract from its in-air stability and/or its image quality. But even with that niggling in the back of mind we couldn’t help but be impressed by how neatly the drone and its controller folded down. This is the first 4K drone we’ve seen that feels like it could genuinely be carried all day without any thought. The Phantoms require being lugged around in special, bulky backpacks or cases, but the Mavic Pro will happily fit in the smallest of bags.
The camera is small but fairly powerful on paper: its 1/2.3-inch sensor can capture 12MP stills in JPEG or DNG RAW format, as well as video at a variety of resolutions and frame rates: 4K at 30fps or 1080p at up to 96fps. It’s mounted on a tiny motorized gimbal that, in combination with the drone’s suite of sensors, is able to make near-instant adjustments to keep itself level at all times. You can also set it to a POV mode, which tilts and turns it along with the drone.
It has a long transmission range, too – DJI says up to 4.3 miles (7 km), depending on obstacles and other interference. If you want to use a tablet or a phone too large to fit within the grip, there’s a full-size USB port on the bottom of the controller. Plug your device into there and it’ll work much the same as a phone – albeit much more awkwardly, as you’ll need to prop the screen somewhere while also holding the controller.
DJI constantly rolls out updates to its products, and we have no reason to think the DJI Mavic Pro will be any different. Firmware updates come through on a regular basis, and DJI already has a suite of upgrades, attachments, and accessories in the works. So, assuming you don’t destroy it, the DJI Mavic Pro should last you for quite some time. Should you buy one? Absolutely!
Watch our DJI Mavic Pro unboxing video here: