DJI Mavic Pro Review: Portability Meets Power

DJI Mavic Pro Review: Portability Meets Power

November 14, 2016

Mavic held in hand

Powerful, compact, and able to fit in your pocket, the Mavic Pro is DJI's latest, highly anticipated release that can be taken anywhere your journey leads you.

The DJI Mavic Pro features an innovative foldable design that allows the drone to easily fold down to roughly the size of a water bottle. The Mavic also features a 4K camera stabilized by a 3-Axis gimbal, 4 vision sensors, and an incredible 7 km flight range. On top of it all, the Mavic Pro comes with both familiar and brand new intelligent flight modes including Trace, Profile, Spotlight, Tripod, and Gesture. 

As a drone designed to be more compact and powerful than any other drone before it, the DJI Mavic Pro has set the bar as the most advanced consumer drone released on the market to date. 

Compact Design

The Mavic Pro features foldable arms that make the drone extremely portable

The Mavic Pro is designed with ease of use and portability in mind. The drone is built with foldable arms that can be moved into the Mavic's body. Two of the arms can fold towards the sides of the drone, while the other two can fold underneath. According to DJI, the Mavic has been tested to withstand at least 5000 folds. Once the Mavic is completely folded, the drone can be easily stored in a bag or pocket to ensure maximum mobility. 

The Mavic can be folded down to fit in the palm of your hand

The Mavic features quick-release 8.3 inch foldable propellers and motors that are extremely quiet while in flight. The drone is also made with an aerodynamic design in its front and back to reduce air resistance. Additionally, the Mavic's ultralight airframe make the drone weigh in at just 742 grams, or 1.62 lbs. At half the size and weight of any drone released before it, the Mavic Pro is designed to be as transport-friendly as possible to make flying a breeze for pilots of all levels. 

REMOTE CONTROLLER AND TRANSMISSION RANGE

The Mavic Pro comes with an extremely powerful, long-range remote controller that enables the user to easily attach their mobile device for easy set-up and precision control. The remote controller can fit any mobile device between 6.5-8.5mm thick and up to 160mm long without a phone case. 

The controller is designed to give operators the most user-friendly experience possibly when flying their drone. The remote features a built-in LCD telemetry screen display, as well as dedicated buttons for flight modes such as Return-to-Home, and a pause/play button.   The OcuSync video transmission system gives the Mavic Pro a range of up to 7 km with an increased resistance to any interference. At a short range, the Mavic can stream live footage at a resolution of 1080p, and can allow photo and video downloads at 40 MB/s. Users can also easily switch between 1080p and 720p manually.

The controller is designed to give operators the most user-friendly experience possibly when flying their drone. The remote features a built-in LCD telemetry screen display, as well as dedicated buttons for flight modes such as Return-to-Home, and a pause/play button. 

The OcuSync video transmission system gives the Mavic Pro a range of up to 7 km with an increased resistance to any interference. At a short range, the Mavic can stream live footage at a resolution of 1080p, and can allow photo and video downloads at 40 MB/s. Users can also easily switch between 1080p and 720p manually. 

Both the Mavic and its controller are designed to be extremely compact

The Mavic is also equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi, making the drone less likely to experience any interference, and to enable users to download content directly from the Mavic to their mobile device. When using a smartphone through a Wi-Fi connection, the controllable range is 80m with a maximum altitude of 50m. 

A FIRST-CLASS CAMERA

Capturing your vision from the sky has never looked so good. DJI's advanced 3-Axis gimbal and camera unit is the company's smallest built system to date. The camera can take 12 megapixel stills, and 4K video at 30fps, or 1080p video at 96fps. 

The Mavic's 4K camera features a high precision 3-axis gimbal

The Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro are both equipped with the same cameras, but the Mavic's holds a smaller field of view. The focal range of the Mavic is 0.5m to infinite, and can support a 2x digital zoom, but not optical zoom. The camera can also be turned 90 degrees to portrait mode, to capture high resolution panoramas, vertical selfies, or video. When shooting in full auto, users will notice the limitations of the Mavic's smaller sensor, but considering the overall size of the unit, the camera is perfectly built. The camera also performs extremely well in low light, with less noise at a higher ISO. 

The Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro are both equipped with the same cameras, but the Mavic's holds a smaller field of view. The focal range of the Mavic is 0.5m to infinite, and can support a 2x digital zoom, but not optical zoom. The camera can also be turned 90 degrees to portrait mode, to capture high resolution panoramas, vertical selfies, or video. When shooting in full auto, users will notice the limitations of the Mavic's smaller sensor, but considering the overall size of the unit, the camera is perfectly built. The camera also performs extremely well in low light, with less noise at a higher ISO.

The Mavic's 3-Axis gimbal  system ensures that footage is ultra-smooth and shake-free. The gimbal has a controllable range of -90 degree to +30 degrees. Additionally, the Mavic comes with a small, clear dome that can protect the camera and gimbal while the drone is in transit, not to be used during flight. 

PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE

With testing we concluded that the Mavic could fly for up to 27 minutes. The Mavic’s Intelligent Flight Battery can support quick charging at approximately 2C, with a maximum charging power of 100W. As well, the Mavic can fly up to an incredible 40 mph in Sports mode, and can fly up to 500 metres high. 

MAXIMUM STABILITY

Even while flying through windy conditions, the Mavic Pro is surprisingly stable for its size. Compared to the Phantom 4, the Mavic Pro is just as steady, if not more steady, in light to moderate windy conditions. Camera footage is also very stable in light to moderate wind. All of the sensors on the Mavic including the GPS, vision, and ultrasonic sensors work together to collect information of the Mavic's surroundings and hold it in place. According to DJI, the Mavic Pro will fly smoothly and remain stable in winds up to 40 mph. 

OBSTACLE AVOIDANCE

Avoiding any potential crashes with your drone is made easy thanks to the Mavic's comprehensive obstacle avoidance system. Not only does the Mavic's obstacle avoidance system stop the drone from hitting any objects, the system also provides users with information via the controller if the drone is flying to close to an object.

Belly of the DJI Mavic

The Mavic uses a front-facing obstacle avoidance system that can spot and avoid objects 50 feet in front of its path at a maximum speed of 30 km/h. The Mavic's system combines information collected by 2 cameras on the top and bottom of its body, as well as the main camera, dual-band satellite positioning (GPS and GLONASS,) 2 ultrasonic sensors, redundant sensors, and 24 powerful computing cores to make a 3D map that can tell the drone exactly where obstacles may be in its environment. The 24 computing cores also give the Mavic system the ability to detect and react to obstacles faster, even when flying at higher speeds. 

INTELLIGENT FLIGHT MODES

Intelligent Flight modes of the DJI Mavic

All the familiar intelligent flight modes DJI is known for come with the Mavic Pro including Waypoints, Course Lock, Home Lock, Sports Mode, and Point of Interest.

In addition, the Return-To-Home mode has been enhanced. The Mavic will now automatically scan and match up the terrain it detected as its Home Point, and land to achieve precision landing. In testing, we found that Return-To-Home was more precise than the Phantom 4.

The Mavic Pro also comes with brand new flight modes; Trance, Profile, Gesture, Tripod, Spotlight, and Terrain Follow.

In Trace Mode, the drone will follow behind or in front of the users subject, or circle around the object as it moves. In Profile, the Mavic will fly alongside the subject. With Gesture Mode, the Mavic's Vision System will recognize the gestures of the user like a hand wave, and automatically follow the user or take selfies. In Tripod Mode, the Mavic's speed will lower to just 2.2 mph (3.6 km/h) and the controllers stick sensitivity will be tuned down to give operators extra precision and accuracy for framing a shot. According to DJI this mode is good for flying indoors or in tight spaces as the speed is lowered and control is amplified. When flying over varying terrain in Terrain Follow mode, the Mavic will use height information gathered by its ultrasonic system and its downward facing camera to allow users to fly at a consistent height even if the ground levels change. Finally, in Spotlight Mode, the Mavic will keep the camera trained on the subject while the user flies in any direction they choose. 

THE DRONE YOU CAN TAKE ANYWHERE

For its size, the Mavic Pro packs a powerful punch. The Mavic's ability to fold down into such a compact size, combined with all of its new intelligent flight features, long transmission range, comprehensive obstacle avoidance system, stability in the air, and high quality camera, make the Mavic the most advanced drone to ever hit the market. For the price, the Mavic Pro is well worth the investment. Small, capable, and able to be easily transported in your bag or pocket, the DJI Mavic Pro is the perfect drone for anyone looking to take their next aerial shot to new heights.