DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Mavic Pro Platinum: Which Drone Should You Get?

Hey, this is Andrew from djibestdrones.com and today I’m going to compare DJI Mavic Air and DJI Mavic Pro Platinum as they are my two current favorite drones (sorry Spark!). Both are awesome in their very own rights but let’s see what the differences are and what might be right for you.

Spec Mavic Air Mavic Pro Platinum
Size (L×W×H) 6,6×3,2×1,9 inches (folded); 6,6×7,2×2,5 inches (unfolded) 3,2×3,2×7,7 inches (folded)
Take off Weight 0,96 lbs 1,64 lbs
Camera 1/2.3” CMOS; 12 MP; 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160 24/25/30p) 1/2.3” CMOS; 12.35 MP; Cinema 4K: 4096×2160 24p
Gimbal 3 axis 3 axis
Hover Time ~20 minutes 30 minutes
Range 4,25 miles 4,5 miles; depends on weather conditions
Price $799 (Discount is Here) $1099 (Discount is Here)

Intro

First up let’s go over a few of the key specs that make these drones similar and to what separates them from each other and why should you even be getting one in the first place. What makes these two drones so great both of these drones are in DJ Mavic line and they are super portable 4K capable consumer-level camera drones. Both are capable of awesome photos and videos while not being too complicated or big to use.

The main draw of both drones is the size and the incredible ease of use – they basically fly themselves. These also have the rare feature of having a fully functional three axis mechanical gimbal placing them lightyears ahead of any other portable drone on the market. Seriously, the main competition for DJI these days is DJI themselves as I cannot overstate how good their gimbal is.

Now I’m personally nervous about the gimbal on the Mavic Pro Platinum it’s great in use but I’m always concerned I’m gonna break it. I really like the gimbal in the Mavic Air that they have gotten three actions of stabilization into a much more rugged gimbal. Honestly both of these are just gorgeous pieces of tech that are magnificent in their very own rights.

Now we’re gonna break this down into six major comparisons and those are the ones that I think are the most important for a regular user like some of us.

Camera

Both drones have roughly the same size sensor but they do have different bit rates which do lend a difference. I’m not a pixel peeper so it’s not a huge or even completely noticeable difference. The Mavic Pro Platinum can film in 4K 30 frames per second in 60 megabits per second and the Mavic Air can fill in 4K frames per second in a hundred megabits per second. Basically the higher number of the megabits – the more information is packed into each video. Although something that I have noticed is that the Mavic Air tends to be a little more saturated than the Mavic Platinum but they’re both really good. And both of these cameras can shoot in auto focus.

Connection

For this comparison number two is connection. The Mavic Pro Platinum is connected from the controller to the drone through magic. Like literal technological magic in the form of DJI Ocusync. Basically this boils down to this: you can have an HD downlink over crazy long distances and you can have a rock-solid connection even if you’re in an interference intense zone. It’s a decent piece of technology and the Mavic Air lacks it. The Mavic Air here uses what DJI calls enhanced Wi-Fi which while not as good as Ocusync (I mean let’s be honest nothing on the consumer market is) it’s still a very good connection.

Battery Life

Now this isn’t even really a contest: the Mavic Pro Platinum lasts near forever with a stated 30 minutes of flight time. The air does get 20 minutes of flight time and while this may not sound like a lot (I rarely use my extra battery with the Platinum) I always have to worry about my battery life with the Air. It’s not bad but it is noticeably shorter.

Ease of use

Both drones use the exact same app and both controllers are basically the same with a few exceptions. Like I said earlier, these drones basically fly themselves and both are just so insanely easy to use.

Noise Level

The Mavic Pro Platinum is one of the quietest drones you’re gonna find with both quieter ESC (electronic speed controllers) and a brand new type of propeller that reduces noise – it’s really great! The Mavic Air has roughly the same noise level as the DJI Spark which means it’s about 10 decibels louder than the Platinum and honestly everything I’ve used besides the Platinum just seems loud because the Platinum is that quiet it’s really striking.

Sensors

Both drones have excellent flight assisting sensors: the Mavic Pro Platinum has sensors in the front and the bottom that aid in not running your drone into obstacles when flying it. These are especially helpful in active track mode where you might not have your hands right on the controller or always have direct line-of-sight with your drone if it’s flying like immediately behind you. Something the Air does have way over the Pro Platinum is it has sensors on the front bottom and the back: this is huge if you’re using active track in front of you like I do that keeps it from running into things while flying backwards. That is a huge positive if you’re going to be doing quick shots or a lot of active tracking.

And another huge win for the Mavic Air over the Pro line is it has the ability to actually dodge obstacles: the Platinum will stop when it comes up to a tree which is great but the Air will dodge out of the way of an obstacle and attempt to continue following you and that is insane and I still can’t believe it works.

Conclusions

So which drone should you get? Like I stated in the beginning, it really depends: both drones are fantastic but they fall into subtly different categories even if the categories don’t make sense. Right now they are in separate categories. What makes this so weird is that the Mavic Air has some better features in the camera over the Platinum and I think that’s just because processor power is different under both drones because they were released at different times.

The Mavic Air is a refresh of an older drone whereas the Mavic Pro Platinum will have a new version coming here sometime this autumn in 2018 (DJI Mavic 2 Pro). So if you must have the highest-end cinema resolution out of your drone go with the Mavic Pro Platinum or wait until DJI releases their next drone this year and if you want the cheaper easiest to use most beginner friendly excellent drone that can do literally everything that a consumer could want out of a camera drone get the Mavic Air.