DRONES REVIEWS

DJI Mavic Pro: Canvasing the Bluest Skies

Jack Brown
Written by Jack Brown

The DJI Mavic Pro is the perfect compact drone to blaze through the sky and capture the perfect aerial shots from up above. The features allow both beginners and pro-drone users to be able to share an experience that is definitely worthwhile, so all standards and types of drone users will revel in their chance to fly a quad that is both action and power packed.

Be Aware: The drone is an RTF, meaning “ready to fly”, so you will not have to worry about any assembly when you receive and remove it from the box. It’s ready to fly the minute it touches your hands! However, you will need a smartphone to use it, as the drone only works with the DJI GO application. Once you have it installed, create your account, and you’re ready to go.

To watch a thorough tutorial on the setup process and view some flight footage, view this video.

Product specifications:

  • Folds down as small as a bottle of water
  • New OcuSync transmission system
  • ActiveTrack, TapFly and other smart features
  • Obstacle Avoidance combined with sensor redundancy
  • Vision positioning paired with GPS and GLONASS

Check Price on Amazon

Build Specifications

Packaging

Once you receive the DJI Mavic Pro and have begun the process of removing everything from the box, you should expect to find the following.

  • The Mavic Pro Drone
  • Car Charger
  • Main Charger
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Battery to Power Bank Adapter
  • Two Intelligent Batteries
  • Two 8330 Propeller Sets
  • Three Propeller Pairs
  • Remote Controller
  • Shoulder Bag
  • Gimbal Clamp
  • Micro SD Card
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Power Cable
  • RC Cable, Standard Micro USB Connector
  • RC Cable, Lightning Connector
  • Two RC Cable Sliders
  • Three Manuals
  • Two Guideline Booklets

To watch an unboxing tutorial that shows you each component and piece of hardware, as well as an additional test flight, watch this video.

Design & Durability

Designed to fold down to the size of a water bottle, this drone is small enough to take absolutely anywhere without taking up too much space. Depending on the space, it could even be small enough to fit in your pocket! When folded the drone is only the size of 83mmx83mmx198mm, which is incredibly small for such a powerful drone.

DJI has crafted a hinge system that is quite clever, which allows the drone to fold itself up into a compact size. This also helps with the safety of the drone, because you will not have to worry about anything breaking should you drop it or the bag that it’s in.

To go further in depth, the four wings are designed to fold underneath each other and move to the sides of the drone, where the rotors are then folded in half.

DJI Mavic Pro

This flattening design allows the drone to slip all of the most important pieces of hardware along the back and side of itself, which ensures you won’t have to remove the rotors every time you are finished flying, which can be quite a nuisance.

In fact, with the more serious drones that have 4K cameras, or other features and additions that make them such high class pieces of hardware, you have to remove the rotors when you are done, reattach them again when you’re ready to fly, and check the drone over multiple times to ensure everything is stuck in there.

Where durability is concerned, users will never have to worry about a destructive crash landing. One user tested the drone extremely harshly, practically trying to destroy it in the process. You can see the full video where you will be able to witness just how durable and tough this little drone really is.

Camera

The camera in the DJI Mavic Pro stays true to its 4K capabilities. Stabilized by a gimbal system of 3-axis mechanical components, which keeps the camera steady for smooth videos and clear photos, paired with the incredible camera, this DJI masterpiece is definitely the latest and greatest in all drone models and brands.

The shutter speed is 8s-1/8000s which is amazing on its own, with an image maximum size of 4000 x 3000 total. When it comes to still photography modes, you have the following options to play around with and choose from:

  • Single Shoot
  • Burst Shooting at 3/5/7 Frames
  • EV Bias
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing, or AEB, at 3/5 bracketed frames per 0.7
  • Interval

To see what the camera can really do,watch this video.

The recording capabilities for the drone are just as perfect as the photo options, too. While the camera may not come with multiple features, the 4K capability definitely speaks for itself.

Battery & Flight Time

The battery in the drone is really quite something, as it has been regarded as one of the best drone batteries of all time. With a charge life of approximately 27 minutes long, which has never been done before, DJI really stepped their game up. The battery has a capacity of 3830 mAh, a voltage of 11.4 and is a LiPo 3S type.

Watch the video, to learn more about the battery.

Controller

The portable controller, designed through DJI’s new OcuSync transmission technology, is also a great design component that brings a fantastic advantage. The app is something that you will need, but once your account has been created, the controller can become your Houston center.

Like the drone itself, the controller has a very small size, somewhat smaller than an iPhone, so once your phone is added to the mix you’re not holding a bulky object, trying to control it and the drone at the same time.

The controller has a great range, intuitive layout, telemetry data, and even has a compact LCD display to fly your drone without having to use the app. This allows for better flying and gives you additional altitude, distance, and safety.

DJI Mavic Pro Controller

The controller even makes noise and gives you a message of warning should high winds occur, the battery is under 10 minutes run time, or if you are getting too far away from your specified home point, which is identified as yourself.

Overall, the controller has an approximate range of 4.3mi, or 7 kilometers, with HD 720p long range plus HD full 1080p short range video streaming.

For more information on how the controller works watch this video.

Flight Performance

 The flight performance of this drone is really quite amazing. With simple features, a great flying experience, and all around capabilities that make this drone one of the best, it’s no wonder why it’s become one of the biggest best sellers since its initial release.

For starters, it can fly up to a top speed of approximately 40 miles per hour, can keep a clear video going from nearly 7 kilometers away. The smaller motors and rotors mean that pushing this drone to the limit is not a good idea, however.

DJI Mavic Pro

The legs are also of a smaller length, so keeping the clearance to the ground as high as possible is a smart idea. This is because you will not have as much clearance when it comes to taking off and landing, and tall grass should be avoided entirely. The precision hovering capability allows the drone to hover over you when outdoors to ensure that it can target you.

However, you must be in an area that is below satellites, or it will not be able to align properly and will drift around. However, this can generally be dealt with through GPS indoors and out, as long as you can use it from your phone while it is attached to the controller, thanks to the downward and forward vision sensors.

Watch this video to see more on the flight performance expected from the Mavic Pro.

Value for Money & Guarantee

Priced at approximately $1000, you may be wondering whether or not this drone is actually worth it or not. For all that you are getting, the price definitely seems worth it. If you are still unsure, then do some research for yourself to see whether or not it’s something you would want to invest in, which could include watching a video review.

One of the most important aspects when comparing value is the fact that you are getting both the controller and the drone itself in one box, with one purchase. For the majority of drones that incorporate a controller instead of a sole app, you would normally have to purchase the receiver separately.

DJI does offer insurance and a protection warranty. Amazon has the Mavic Pro available in stock, but for approximately the same price, and you would also have to pay shipping and handling more often than not depending on the dealer you are buying it through. Therefore, purchasing and insuring through DJI is the best value for your money.

Unique Features

The Mavic Pro by DJI comes with an abundance of interesting features that ensure a smooth, crystal clear flight. As previously mentioned, the portability and functionality for the retracting legs is no doubt the best feature, or at least one of the best.

DJI Mavic Pro Folded

Drones tapped full of the type of capabilities that are offered by this DJI masterpiece are usually very thorough in design as well, but lack a compact design or capability. The folding arms and propellers are a fantastic example, when it comes to unique features that are difficult or impossible to find elsewhere in a drone.

The Flight Modes, when compared to the DJI’s other line and brand of drones, are more extensive and technologically advanced than ever before. Listed below are the Modes that you will get:

  • Follow Mode
  • Point of Interest
  • Waypoints
  • Course Lock
  • Terrain Follow
  • Gesture Mode

DJI Mavic Pro Video Transmission

The range and flight specs, however, take the cake. The Mavic Pro is equipped with OcySync, the latest and greatest in video transmission from DJI. It allows the drone to stretch the range capability to an additional 4 miles, while also boosting the interference resistance.

This new technology allows shorter ranges to come through better, with the stream footage being able to go up to 1080p resolution wise. You will also be able to download videos and photos at up to 40Mb per second, which has never been done before when you look at past drones.

The Optical Flow and ActiveTrack software are the brains behind the 4K camera capabilities, which aid in the resolution cutbacks that are required for the necessary digital stabilization when it comes to capturing stable, non-shaky videos and photos. This is also thanks to the 3-axis gimbal that are super compact and light.

To learn more about the unique features offered by the Mavic Pro, watch this video.

Similar Models

GoPro KarmaGoPro Carma

The most noticeable similarity between the Karma and the Mavic Pro would definitely have to be that they both have 3-axis gimbals for the purpose of stabilizing videos and photos. Like the Mavic, the Karma comes with a carrying case, folds up, but is twice the weight and size that the Mavic is, which can be an issue for some.

What the Mavic lacks, GoPro Karma picks up when it comes to the detachable camera that can go practically anywhere, but for superior image and video quality, you’re going to want something that does not go anywhere else but on the drone. However, the Karma does include a 3-axis camera stabilizer, just like the Mavic does, which is why it’s such a big competitor.

The Karma is slightly similar to the Mavic when it comes to flight speed, however. The first is able to reach up to 35 miles per hour, while the latter reaches up to 40 miles per hour. While this may not seem like such a huge similarity, it’s definitely one that should be taken into account.

DJI Phantom 4 ProPhantom 4 Pro

DJI is a company that is hands down their biggest competitor, with the Phantom 4 Pro being one of the best quad models to be released from the company aside from the Mavic Pro. While the Phantom is $200 more than the Mavic, some of the similarities may sway you.

For example, they are both micro copters and do feel very fragile, so some users are reluctant to fly when experiencing high winds. However, both hold up extremely well as long as the battery is charged, but the Phantom does tend to drift more when compared to the Mavic Pro.

Watch this video for compassion between DJI Mavic Pro and Phantom 4.

If you are still curious about it, you can watch the full video and see for yourself. When it comes to cameras, the Mavic’s is much smaller than the Phantom’s, but the latter has a camera much like a GoPro would, whereas the Mavic has the type of camera you’d get on an Android phone.

In the DJI Go app, however, you can sharpen the videos and photos from your Mavic Pro’s flights manually and have them coming out great, while the Phantom’s edits generally look distorted. If you enjoy playing around with the quality and tone of your photos and videos, then the Mavic is definitely the better choice.

The Mavic camera does not have a fixed focus, unlike the Phantom, which can be a problem for some. To get around this you will need to tap the area on the image you are trying to focus while in the DJI Go app and play around with it. You will need to manually touch up your photos, as previously stated, but this time it will be to get a better focus instead of for purely editing purposes.

While the Phantom does have simpler features that go a long way, the Mavic is definitely the better choice if you are looking for a drone that operates stronger and a lot longer.

Vantage Robotics Snap

Snap Drone

Though it has been delayed multiple times to further improve the many bugs that continuously pop up, the Vantage Robotics Snap has been called similar in design when it comes to the battery design to DJI’s range, which definitely makes it a worthy competitor. To go further in depth, the battery design with the charge indication capability that makes the battery life visible is one of the biggest similarities.

The Snap is relatively cheaper than the Mavic, coming in at approximately $915 on the price tag, but it also all depends on whether you are purchasing through the manufacturer, Amazon, or from somewhere else. The price tag can be a big factor with certain users, where others may not care about the price and will dish out the extra cash for the best drone on the market, so it’s up to you to decide.

Where gimbal is concerned, however, the Snap only features a 2-axis, whereas the Mavic features a 3-axis. The Snap is a lot bigger, with dimensions of 353mmx317mmx63, but the Mavic is heavier where weight is concerned. The flight time is also minimal when compared, with 20 minutes to 27 minutes being the comparison. The Snap does offer propeller protection, however, whereas the Mavic does not.

Their cameras do offer some similarities, with both being an FOV of approximately 80 degrees. The Snap is capable of an 80-degree FOV, while the Mavic is capable of a 78.8-degree FOV. Their max image resolutions come up the same, both being 4000×3000 pixels with 12MP, which can also be said for the max video resolution with a slight difference.

The Snap has 4096x2160p at 30 frames per second, while the Mavic offers a more toned down version of 4096x2160p at 24 frames per second. The max video bitrates both sit at 60 Mbps though.

Overall, when it comes to the features and camera capabilities, the Snap and the Mavic both have quite a bit of the same things going, which is great for those who are  pickier in regard to what they have to work with when taking pictures and shooting videos during flight.

Overview

Let’s see the Pros and Cons of DJI Mavic Pro.

PROS:

  • Very portable size and design, no larger than an iPhone 6
  • Greater range when compared to some of the competition, such as the DJI Phantom 4 for example
  • Can withstand heavy winds up to 40 miles per hour, which is also its speed range
  • Can break 65 km/h when it sport mode
  • Easily stored through its folding capability
  • Can fly for up to 27 minutes, which is practically a record when compared to other drones, such as the Snap, which can only do 20 minutes maximum

CONS:

  • The field of view is not fantastic when compared to a wide view
  • Certain lighting will cast a blue in some cases
  • The complexity of the model will require you to really know what you’re doing in terms of paying attention to the settings and the features, especially before you plan on flying it
  • Has issues with taking off and landing smoothly because of the smaller legs
  • Extreme winds will prove to be a challenge unless you are an expert flier
  • A smartphone is generally needed to be able to work and use the app to fly properly

Now let’s see the small review of DJI Mavic Pro.

Though there is a steady list of cons, the pros definitely outweigh them. Amateur or beginner fliers should not feel intimidated by the complexity of the DJI Mavic Pro, because once you have all of the necessary skills mastered and down you’ll find that this drone is definitely one of the best. If you are still feeling nervous, DJI offers insurance on their lines of drones, which just adds to the overall value!

About the author
Jack Brown
Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at MyDroneLab.com bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.

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