I’ve been interested in drones for several years. My first encounter with mobile flying devices began in 2016, when it was sent to me for review Parrot Bebop 2. I really liked not only flying, but also getting photo-video materials from a distant perspective. It quickly turned out that flying drones became not only my passion, but also my job. Every day I deal with filming and editing for the needs of my city’s promotion department. Thus, I undertook to do the appropriate permissions to fly legally and legally.
So far, I was able to review several DJI drones on the pages of the blog. I really like their specification, software and sizes that make transport much easier. The blog landed reviews of Mavic Air, which is my first employee flying vehicle, DJI Spark for novice pilots, DJI Mini 2, which showed that the low weight of the drone can hide great possibilities and my favorite series of Mavic Pro of the first and second generation. Two years ago, I just switched to work on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro with the Smart Controller, significantly improving the control and management of the drone in the air.
For some time now, I have been thinking about buying a private drone. I have thought many times about buying a recently released one Mavic 3 Pro, but its price is a different dimension and the possibilities for the premiere are a bit overcomplicated. So I have two choices left – either the proven Mavic 2 Pro equipment, or more technologically advanced DJI Air 2S. Due to the fact that I have already dealt with the Air series and knowing that this model uses the same 1-inch CMOS sensor as in the 2 Pro, I quickly made the appropriate purchase decision. In today’s review, I would like to introduce you to this device a bit, tell you about its advantages and disadvantages and convince you that it is the best choice between the market price and the quality offered.
Fly More Combo set for advanced players!
Don’t let the above heading fool you. The basic version of the DJI Air 2S drone has the necessary accessories for flying, but that’s it the Fly More Combo set is the most interesting. It includes a number of additional accessories, spare propellers and batteries, a leather transport bag, a mains charger for one and three batteries, cables and ND filters, used to reduce overexposure in very bright scenery. Price difference between the basic version and the kit Fly More Combo is approx PLN 1,400but in my opinion it is a good price, as it enriches our equipment with the possibility of a longer flight and offers additional accessories.
When choosing private flying equipment, I also took into account the first generation of Air 2. It has very similar parameters and a much lower market price (1000 PLN cheaper). Only in the newer model we have the same one 1-inch CMOS sensor what in the professional Mavic 2 Pro, which translates into better image quality. In addition, the improved model has more modern functions, a stronger transmission signal and allows recording in higher resolutions. In my case, the surcharge was well thought out, although some concerns remained. But more on that later …
In terms of its advanced design, the Air 2S has many common elements. First of all, we are dealing here with the same drone unfolding system as the location of proximity sensors, battery drawers or propeller assembly. Only when you look closely you will notice that the Air 2S is not as perfect as its older colleague. This is not surprising as the Air series has always been below the advanced Mavic Pro series. On the other hand, this model has the greatest predisposition to dethrone the king. The manufacturer himself puts it very close to the professional model, and I fully agree with that. Although it is not far away, it is these details that we most desire as users of flying vehicles. I am talking about additional sensors.
The DJI Air 2 drone has 4-way obstacle detection up, down, forward and backward, as well as modern algorithms Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS 4.0) for obstacle avoidance in autonomous modes. Unfortunately, I missed the side sensors here, which have a huge impact during dynamic film recordings, especially in difficult, forested terrain. Fortunately, in the following modes, you can turn off the drone’s sideways flight, thus reducing the risk of damage during the flight.
On the underside of the drone, in addition to the proximity sensors, there is also an LED illuminating diode, also used in a higher-quality model. It allows for an illuminated take-off from a darkened place, identification during the flight (except side LEDs), as well as lighting the landing site. Very useful during air operations in difficult lighting conditions. Upper part without nameplate A tray for intelligent batteries and the aforementioned 1-inch CMOS sensor on the front.
Although the same sensor was used in the Mavic 2 Pro, it is here that we can count on slightly extended movie recording functions. The user has the option to record videos in 4K at up to 60 frames in magical bitrate 151,420 kb / s, and this is just the basis, because this sensor allows you to record movies in 5K at a maximum of 30 frames and high bitrate. Photos? Similarly. Max 20 Mpix f / 2.8.
The device has a built-in internal memory with a capacity 8 GB (7.2 GB is available for the user) and the rest of the data is taken up by the loaded operating system. On the right side it is located space for an additional memory card up to max. 256 GB. In the drone, I use a fast microSDXC Kingston Canvas React Plus card. The manufacturer also adds the DJI control apparatus to the set. This kit allows you to connect the phone to the control equipment, update the firmware and call autonomous modes. The remote control is convenient and easy to use. The pull-out buckle supports phones up to 7.5 inches, but it is also possible to mount the tablet, only with the additional purchase of the appropriate mount. The apparatus allows you to connect an Android or iOS phone using the cables included in the set Lightning, Micro USB and USB-C.
When buying a drone, I also considered the purchase of the Smart Controller control device, which I use on a daily basis at work. It allows you to connect Air 2S and control it from the controller and application level DJI FLY, but at the moment the controller is not working as it should. In the DJI forums and external pilot portals, there are many topics regarding mismatching, poor transmission quality, or disconnection when using this controller. I flew it a bit and in my opinion it is good, although personally I have some reservations about the smooth operation of the application and the range offered. It’s not surprising, since by default it is hardware adapted to the older Mavic management application DJI GO 4 (For drones since P4).
|Gimbal||1 “CMOS 20 Mpix|
|Stabilization||3-axis (tilt, roll, pan)|
|Lens||FOV: 88 °|
|Iris||f / 2.8|
|ISO range (movie)||100-6400 (Auto)
|ISO range (picture)||100-6400 (Auto)
|Photo resolution||5472×3648 (3: 2)
5472×3078 (16: 9)
3328 × 8000 (vertical panorama)
8000 × 6144 (wide panorama)
8192 × 3500 (180-degree panorama)
8192 × 4096 (spherical panorama)
|Movie resolution||5.4K – 24/25/30 fps
4K – 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
2.7K – 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
FullHD – 24/25/30/48/50/60/120 fps
|Write speed||up to 150 Mbps|
|Built-in memory||8 GB|
|Additional memory||microSD up to 256 GB FAT32 / exFAT|
|Transmission system||OcuSync 3.0
|navigation||GPS + GLONASS|
|Flight speed||up to 19 m / s (Sport mode)
up to 15 m / s (Normal mode)
up to 5 m / s (Cine mode)
|Ceiling||up to 5000 m above sea level|
|Flight time||up to 31 minutes|
|Working temperature||from 0 ° C to 40 ° C|
|Dimensions||180 × 97 × 77mm / folded
183 × 253 × 77mm / unfolded
DJI FLY software
For some time now, new DJI drones have been using a separate management application. If someone is not sitting on the topic, he may be surprised, because it is not the second but the fourth control application of the manufacturer. Each model of the series has different software, which very often misleads the new user. The DJI Air 2S drone uses a dedicated DJI FLY application, which we download to the phone / or Smart Controller from the official website of the manufacturer, install and proceed to pairing.
If we have a DJI account, we carry out the process of logging in, approving regulations and updating software, device and control equipment. The DJI FLY app is easy to use, but for someone who used Pro devices, too banal and not very developmental. The main panel has been modestly slimmed down, the number of notifications is minimized and the access to autonomous modes, selection of modes or the option of adjusting recordings parameters is significantly shortened. You get used to it, but not until a few hours of flying.
The application will allow us to select autonomous and safe flight modes, set the maximum altitude and flight distance in relation to the acquired permissions and permits, as well as personalize recording and photography settings in terms of preferences. We can also influence the personal settings of the controller, adjustment of function buttons or RC calibration. From the options level, we can set the film format, color profile, white balance, resolution, and even configure a link to send live image to streaming platforms. Unfortunately, the current version of the software prevents direct image transfer to popular applications.
From what I noticed, the app is developmental and every now and then there is some update coming out to fix connection errors or add minor but significant features. That’s a good thing, because the manufacturer has long forgotten about the relevant updates to the Mavic 2 Pro 🙁
Conditions outside the window and practical tests
After buying the drone, the weather in Poland was not spoiling. Blow, strong winds, low temperatures, snow and rain … briefly – the best conditions for field tests. The manufacturer on its website and in the specification of the device emphasizes that the ideal operating temperature for the device is from 0 ° C to 40 ° C. In lower temperatures (<10 ° C), the gimbal's apparatus will go into standby mode, which can make it difficult to work when the drone is in the air. Fortunately, these values are extremely safe, because you have to take into account that the higher, the cooler. And I was flying at the border of 120 meters, when my fingers on the ground near the steering gear were freezing on the ground.
The same goes for resistance to strong winds, and here the drone coped with its heavier, older brother, responding well to commands. With regard to the length of flights at extreme temperatures, it was sometimes different. During the frost, in normal mode, I was able to fly and record the material in 4K 60 fps a the battery allowed me to fly for about 28 minutes. Another time, on a rather frosty morning and strong winds, he could barely make 18 minutes, shouting to me in the app that he had less than 7% battery left … and he still had to land. I take into account that the summer results will be much better, but at the moment it is not bad at all. In my opinion, it’s a very …