We’ve seen the FCC filing, so we know that a DJI Air 2S is one its way sometime before long. This will be a successor to the incredibly popular Mavic Air 2 (which happens to be one of my favourite drones). So what could be improved?
When I finally got my hands on a Mavic Air 2 loaner unit, I thought the thing was amazing. I wrote about my impressions here, and yes, I was impressed. The performance was fantastic, it was quite quick and nimble, and it had a really incredible flight time. Oh yes, plus that 48 megapixel camera. All in all, I thought DJI had really hit this one out of the park. Great size, great performance, and a really reasonable price.
So what’s next?
DJI Air 2S
We’re going to miss the Mavic name, but the next iteration – at least based on the FCC filing – will be called the DJI Air 2S. Since it’s not an Air 3, we’re expecting some additional features and improvements but not an entirely reconfigured product. Think of Apple and its “S” designation on some phones.
So, what might improve?
DJI has a ton of expertise in battery management, resulting in really impressive flight times on its recent generation of drones. The Mavic Air 2, if you’re not gunning it, can stay in the air for 34 minutes – which is really pretty amazing. So if DJI were to somehow increase flying time, we’d expect it to be pretty incremental, maybe a few more minutes.
However, given that the original already had such an impressive flight time, it’s kinda hard to picture this being a priority for a new and improved model. We certainly didn’t hear any complaints about flight times.
To a certain extent, the same goes for the camera. The original has a 48 MP sensor with 4K, 60fps video. We’ve seen a lot of great stills and videos produced by this machine, so it’s not like the camera was a slouch. It’s possible that OcuSync 3.0 will be baked into the next version instead of 2.0. The original is also capable of video transmission at 1080p, 30 fps for up to 10 kilometres, so it’s not like that really needs a bump (especially with VLOS regulations).
It would be great if the new product were compatible with V2 Goggles, but we’re told by a source in China close to DJI this is not a current priority. We can only hope.
This is one area where we feel the successor could improve. The original was great with Quick Shots, those programmed moves to produce short cinematic videos. It did a great job of locking on the target, providing the target wasn’t moving much.
But in terms of actually tracking a moving subject on the ground, we found the Mavic Air 2 would frequently lose its lock. Given the amazing performance of the Skydio 2 in this regard, we’d think this would be a great area for DJI to focus on for improving the drone.
The Mavic Air 2 really is a fantastic drone. It’s quite fast, very responsive, and the controller is a great improvement over the older fold-out style model. It has a very good camera, excellent flight times and incredible transmission range. So it’s not like we ever looked at the product and thought: This could be a whole lot better.
But if they could nail down the tracking function and obstacle avoidance to the point where it could reliably follow a mountain biker through the woods, that would be fantastic. We’ll keep our fingers crossed on some sort of V2 Goggles capability, but based on what we’ve heard think this is unlikely.
By the way, the existing Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo is currently on sale at Amazon. DJI doesn’t permit retailers to discount the price except during promotions, or when a product is going to be replaced. Right now, it’s a pretty great deal. But we know a lot of people at this stage will prefer to wait it out and see what the new version offers.
What about you? Do you own a Mavic Air 2? If so, where do you think DJI could improve this unit? Let us know in the comments.
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