- Up to 4K at 30fps
- Excellent stabilization
- Great obstacle avoidance technology
- Tiny, compact design with few downloads
- Extremely easy to use
- Battery life isn’t great – you will need two batteries
- Not the most durable design
- Expensive aftermarket parts
The DJI Mavic Pro is the best all-around consumer level drone you can buy.
The DJI MAVIC Pro has to be the overall best consumer-level drone on the market right now. It’s compact and ultra-portable, shoots video up to 4K at 30 frames per second, has great obstacle avoidance technology, and is crazy easy to use. If you can afford $1,000 for a drone, the MAVIC is pretty hard to beat.
With that being said, there are some downsides to this drone. First, the battery life is still just average. It’s supposed to be 27 minutes of flight time on a single charge, however, in really it ends up being in the 20-minute range. Bottom line: you’ll end up buying a second battery, which makes the price tag from the get-go $1,100 before shipping and tax. The other downside with the MAVIC is that because it’s so responsive often times when you change directions that movement will show up in your footage. It’s best to keep the flight path smooth.
In any case, the gimbal aboard the MAVIC is pretty great. Other than those jarring movements, the footage is smooth and clear. The 4K shots look gorgeous, although sometimes the camera tends to over saturate your image. Honestly, the GoPro HERO5 Black with the GoPro Karma drone shoots better video, but I still don’t think you’ll be complaining much with the MAVIC.
And the really neat thing with the MAVIC is that you have a number of settings and modes to select. You can have it navigate around certain terrain; you can have it follow a subject (ActiveTrack); you can have it react to various gestures; you can make it orbit around a subject. It’s all fairly simple to use and works great. A lot of our decent action shots we have to attribute to the preset modes on the MAVIC. Additionally, if you keep the standard settings on, it’s virtually crash-proof. The sensors are crazy helpful and make it nearly impossible to fly in small spaces. Switch to sport mode, however, and then you’re humming. We actually were showing off the MAVIC to a news anchor in our office and smashed it into the wall 5 minutes before we went on air. It was hilarious. Moral of the story: don’t switch to sport mode inside a building. Also, yes, we repaired the drone and it’s good to go. We just swapped out the blades and it was like new.
Moving on to the remote, it’s pretty neat. It’s compact and utilizes your phone as a viewing window. Of course, that means you need your phone if you want to preview shots, but nonetheless it’s super easy to setup. We get all sorts of signal problems with our Karma, but almost none with the MAVIC, even at the far out distances. You can also control the drone without your phone, but it’s definitely better via the phone/remote combo.
All-in-all, if you get the MAVIC you’ll probably love it. The Phantom 4 Pro does have a better camera and a few more features, but it’s hard to imagine a consumer needing more than this. Really awesome drone.