DJI Mavic Pro,Review: the drone for the masses

In September 2016, DJI introduced the Mavic Pro. The goal? Meet the demand of a large group of users who demanded the existence of a drone more portable and versatile than the Phantom 4 – its most popular drone.

To achieve this goal, DJI designed a completely different chassis from other products like the Phantom 4 or Inspire 2. The rotors, for example, are mounted on folding arms; The camera and the gimbal were completely rethought, And the drone’s body was redesigned to make it more compact and efficient.

The result is a drone the size of a water bottle, literally. Carrying the Mavic Pro along with your remote control, a laptop and a DSLR camera in a standard backpack are possible. With the Phantom 4, however, it was impossible.

But the incredible thing about DJI Mavic Pro is not its size. Each month, new drones come to market, presumed to be the smallest on the market, but usually come with poor performance, poor battery life, or terrible image quality. The Mavic Pro, on the other hand, manages to preserve an experience of excellent use in spite of its small size. That’s the incredible thing about this new product.

The Mavic Pro is a drone made for everyone

The DJI Mavic Pro, like models like the Phantom 4, has multiple sensors in its chassis. Thanks to them, the drone makes a 3D map of their environment, which opens up a range of possibilities and ensures their integrity even in the hands of inexperienced people.

The information collected by these sensors and interpreted by the processing units of the Mavic Pro allows you to avoid obstacles and prevent accidents. If it detects a very close element, the Mavic Pro will stop automatically even if the joystick indicates otherwise. Simultaneously, the controller emits progressive alert sounds as it approaches different obstacles. The distance of the nearest obstacle is also shown on the controller screen.

These systems, combined with dual geo-positioning (GPS and GLONASS) and a camera located in the lower part of the chassis, allow the DJI Mavic Pro to be a very independent drone. Some examples of what allows:

  • Return to the takeoff place automatically: Whether you press the dedicated button or the drone detects some kind of problem (low battery, satellite disconnection, etc.), the Mavic Pro is able to return and land autonomously in the same place where it took off. And, moreover, with incredible precision.
  • Landing and assisted take-off: Landing and taking off a drone can become a catastrophe because it requires a great sensitivity in the movement of the joysticks. Fortunately, the Mavic Pro has landed and assisted takeoff, which can be activated by pressing an option on the screen.
  • Great stability in the air: The Mavic Pro, even with high winds, manages to remain stable at all times. That yes: when the winds are opposed to the movement of the drone, the speed of the same one is reduced considerably.
  • Different modes of intelligent flight: These sensors allow the Mavic Pro to incorporate different flight modes, such as permanent people tracking or tripod mode. With these modes, the drone follows a moving subject in different ways while avoiding the obstacles they may encounter on their way.
  • Detection of prohibited places: Using GPS and GLONASS systems, the Mavic Pro checks the area in which it is being used. If you are at an airport or other places where unmanned aircraft flight is prohibited, the Mavic Pro will not allow you to take off and alert the user.

By default, the Mavic Pro limits its speed to avoid incidents. However, with the sports mode active – easily accessible via a button on the right side of the remote – the drone is able to raise its maximum speed to 65 kilometers per hour.

Despite this high speed, the Mavic Pro produces less noise than other previous products of the brand as the Phantom 4. The reason is possibly the lower power of the rotors – which, thanks to the lower weight of the aircraft, does not translate into A slower speed.

The autonomy set by DJI is 27 minutes provided that optimum conditions are maintained. The actual figure, however, is not so accurate. It depends on the speeds you reach, the modes of flights used and even the complexity of the environment you are facing. All these elements make the Mavic Pro’s autonomy – like that of other drones – so volatile. During the days I lived in my backpack, yes, I never endured less than twenty minutes in the air. Briconsejo by Uncle Rivera: buying a second battery for the Mavic Pro is a fantastic decision.

Acquiring a second battery for the Mavic Pro is a very wise decision. Its real autonomy oscillates between 20 and 27 minutes.

The DJI Mavic Pro controller has been built from scratch. It is very compact, but without sacrificing precision and controls. The sticks are sensitive enough to execute movements accurately; Has different buttons (record video, take pictures, adjust exposure, rotate the camera, etc.); And admits, of course, the connection of a smartphone to get a more precise control of the device.

The mechanism of connection of the smartphone, that yes, is very improbable, especially from the esthetic point of view. From the functional point of view, the only improbable aspect is the strength of the connector – Lightning, USB Type-C or micro USB.

Users looking for extreme portability – and do not plan to perform complex flights – can control the Mavic Pro directly from the smartphone. To do this, simply download the DJI Go application and change the connection mode of the drone to Wi-Fi – the switch is under a tab on one of the sides of the aircraft. Of course, in this mode, both the speed and the maximum flight distance are drastically reduced to 14 km / h and 80 meters respectively.

In both take-off and landing, the more compact format of the Mavic Pro can end up hurting the user. The “legs” on which it rises are considerably smaller than those of other models such as the Phantom 4. Taking off the Mavic Pro in tall grass or very rough terrain, therefore, can become a problem. It is one of the unavoidable sacrifices of portability.

The Mavic Pro camera has been redesigned to be more compact than other models of the brand. It has the same sensor as the DJI Phantom 4 (1 / 2.3 “CMOS with 12 megapixels), allowing this drone to get to record video in 4K at 30 FPS. The lenses, on the other hand, are different: f / 22, 28mm and a vision range of 78.8 degrees.

Days after officially presenting the DJI Mavic Pro, several users started reporting various issues with the focus system. The video captured by the drone’s camera was blurry and out of focus. Days later, the mystery was solved: the Mavic Pro allows selective focus, so it is necessary to focus initially when it takes off.

The sensor is the
same as the Phantom 4,
the lenses are not.

Beyond the focus system, the image quality of the DJI Mavic Pro is significantly lower than that of the Phantom 4. The segment of users who purchase this product, fortunately, will not appreciate this subtle difference. The most professional, however, may opt for the image of Phantom 4 – or Phantom 4 Pro, its successor.

To control the camera, DJI incorporates two sliders on the remote controller. One of them allows regulating the exposure and the other the rotation of the camera. In both cases, the answer is perfect, although a greater number of steps are missing in the sliders that allow being more precise with both adjustments.

The image captured by the drone is sent in real time to the controller whenever it is within a radius of seven kilometers. For this, DJI incorporated a series of data transmission systems that allow transferring video in 1080p. This technology allows the experience with the DJI Goggles – the glasses designed by DJI – to be excellent.

Conclusion: DJI Mavic Pro

The Mavic Pro is the drone for everyone. It is the best definition of the product. It’s not the perfect drone – there are alternatives like DJI Inspire 2 or even the Phantom 4 Pro – but it’s the drone you recommend to any standard user looking for a premium experience.

There are several alternatives in the market capable of equating the Mavic Pro in image quality or technical specifications, but none can reach the level that DJI has achieved with its software. Being able to fly autonomously, avoid obstacles without the intervention of the user or transmit real-time video at seven kilometers away are just some examples of what the Mavic Pro can cope with other alternatives in the market.

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Vaibhav Mishra

Fan of new technologies and player since small, I do not move without at least one smartphone in the pocket to always stay connected ... and keep some games at hand.