DJI unveils pocket-sized Mavic Air drone, ships January 28 for $799

DJI officially unveiled its latest consumer drone, the Mavic Air, at an event today in New York City. The Mavic Air is made up of a blend of enhanced specs that have already proven popular with owners of DJI’s Mavic Pro and the smaller, more affordable Spark drone. According to DJI’s website, the Mavic Air is priced at $799 and has an estimated ship date of January 28. The Mavic Air will also be available for purchase in select retail stores starting January 28.

Photos of the drone started leaking online yesterday, but today DJI executive Michael Perry revealed some previously unconfirmed specs, including the drone’s speed and range. The Mavic Air can go up to 68.4 kilometers per hour and has 2.5 mile flight range. Users can control the Mavic Air at a range of up to 19 feet using DJI’s smart capture technology, 262 feet using the smartphone app, and 2.5 miles with the remote control. The Mavic Air has a 21-minute flight time.

Like the Mavic Pro, the pocket-sized Mavic Air comes with foldable legs. The Mavic Air also comes with improved photo and video capabilities, with a three-way gimbal instead of the Spark’s two-way, and a camera capable of 32-megapixel panorama shots and capturing 4K video at 24 or 30 frames per second. According to Perry, the three-way gimbal has been given a new layout to provide multiple dimensions of vibration reduction, and the Mavic Air is “the smallest drone of its size to feature a three-axis gimbal.”

Perry also touted the Mavic Air’s portability, calling it “the smallest footprint of any drone we’ve created so far.” The Mavic Air is half the size of the Mavic Pro and weighs 41 percent less.

“It empowers creativity for outdoor photographers, travelers, and adventurers who want to capture new perspectives on the go,” Perry said at the event.

The Mavic Air is available in three colors: black, white, and red.

Other features to note: the Mavic Air has 8GB of internal storage, and a redesigned ventilation system to keep it from overheating.

The Mavic Air adds another drone on the lower end of DJIs price range as the Chinese drone maker seeks to increase its already mammoth share of the consumer drone market. The company had an estimated $2.7 billion in sales in 2017 and has a global market share of 70 percent.

The release of the Mavic Air comes just weeks after GoPro announced it would be exiting the drone business. Although GoPro’s drone business had been struggling for a while, this decision leaves DJI with one less potential competitor in the future.

More to follow.

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