The Best DJI Drones: The Best of the Best?
When it comes to drones, there’s one name that’s way above the rest – DJI. The Apple of the drone world, the company has been churning out hit after hit, starting with its iconic Phantom drone.
So today, we’re taking a look at some of the best drones you can get from DJI, from beginner to pro. But first, let’s explore what makes DJI so great, and why they’re the ones to beat in the current drone market.
The Best DJI Drones
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This luxury drone is one of the best in the market and comes with a 4-figure price tag.
- Flight Time: 30 minutes
- Range: 7 kilometers
- Camera: 4K resolution at 30 fps; 20 MP stills
- Weight: 1.64 pounds
- Gimbal: 3 Axis
The Mavic 2 Pro is a supercharged improvement of the already well-loved original Mavic drone. And that in itself is no easy feat. DJI did it by cramming it with every advanced technology in its arsenal.
First, let’s clear one thing up. The Mavic 2 actually comes in two versions, the Pro and the Zoom. Both are identical in terms of specs and features, except for the camera.
The Mavic 2 Pro comes equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 1 inch CMOS sensor, while the Mavic 2 Zoom has a smaller 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor with a 24-88 mm optical lens.
Pound for pound, the Mavic 2 Pro’s camera quality beats the Zoom by a wide margin. It’s capable of better photo resolutions, almost like shooting RAW. It also has aperture control, which gives professional photographers massive control over their photo quality.
In fact, the photo quality of the Mavic 2 Pro is so darn incredible, it’s worth getting the drone just for this feature alone. It’s certainly the best image quality you’ll ever get out of a compact, consumer drone.
Since the Mavic 2 Pro is the better of the two, we’ll continue to cover it in this review.
Handling wise, the Mavic 2 Pro is as easy to fly as its predecessor, the Mavic. The new omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system, however, adds a layer of confidence into your flying. The drone will alert you when it’s about to encounter an obstruction, and will even brake automatically if it’s about to crash.
As for intelligent flight modes, the Mavic 2 Pro has a much-improved version of DJI’s visual recognition technology, ActiveTrack. Now ActiveTrack 2.0, it’s much more precise and makes use of the omnidirectional obstacle avoidance sensors nicely.
Build quality is still superb, and flight time is still at the DJI-level range of 30+ minutes.
Overall, the Mavic 2 series, and the Pro, in particular, are one of the most powerful compact drones in the DJI family. Its camera quality is hard to beat, with tight handling and safety features to match.
If you can afford the hefty price tag, this is THE drone to have.
Our top rated mini drone with huge performance in a tiny body. Perfect for…everyone!
- This drone weighs less than 250g
- 12MP camera / 4K video, 4x digital zoom
- 3-axis motorized gimbal for image stability
- 10km range, max altitude of 4km
- Battery life: 31 minutes
DJI just can’t seem to stop releasing incredible drones.
The original Mavic Mini was our best ever value-for-money pick and now DJI have outdone themselves with the Mini 2.
We are blown away with the quality, performance and battery life that you can get with the DJI Mini 2 for a fairly affordable price. No, it’s not cheap, but its price falls far below most top products from competitors.
We’d say it’s now our favorite value-for-money pick by a long way, and it’s perfect for photography, videography, traveling, hobbyists and, well, everyone else too!
Better still, with its weight under 249g, it doesn’t even need to be registered with the FAA or CAA. That means you don’t need to be a registered drone pilot to fly this beauty.
The Mavic Air 2 is a groundbreaking development in the mid-budget range. Almost no other drone compares for the price.
- Flight Time: 34 minutes
- Weight: 1.3lbs / 0.59kg
- Camera: 48MP with 4K/60FPS video
- Range: 10km / 6.2 miles
The DJI Mavic Air 2‘s quality isn’t much of a surprise to anyone that knows the drone space — we’ve been blown away with what this machine is capable of considering it falls way below the $1,000 price tag that is usually required for such a premium product.
Its 34 minutes of flight time is staggering given its size and price, making it one of the biggest battery life drones you’ll find.
The Mavic Air 2 has obstacle detection in three different directions and intelligent tracking, along with DJI’s ActiveTrack technology, to also make this one of the best bang-for-the-buck follow me drones that there are.
With a 48MP 1/2-inch CMOS sensor camera and 4K video supported by a 3-axis gimbal, this is a brilliant option for anyone looking to take premium quality photos and videos without having to spend an arm and a leg.
The Mavic Mini has replaced the hugely popular Spark model and will become one of the most popular drones of all time.
- Flight Time: ~28 minutes
- Charge Time: ~90 minutes
- Range: 3000m / 9842ft
- Remote Controller: WiFi 5.4GHz & 2.4Ghz (included in the set)
- Camera: 3-axis gimbal 2K Camera with 12MP
- Live Video Transmission Range: 2500m / 8200ft
- Weight: 249g / 8.78oz
- Working Temperature: 0°C ~ 40°C
- Rated for indoor and outdoor use
The specs on the DJI Mavic Mini are nothing we haven’t seen before from DJI products, but never in this small of a size.
The full diagonal distance of the drone is just above 8 inches, with the base being even smaller. Generally, even a child could hold the Mavic Mini comfortably in their palm. Landing and takeoff from the palm are also the best way to operate it.
Other features follow the DJI standard. The drone is exceptionally easy to operate and has all of the autonomous features as its larger cousins.
The controller does give more range to your device and has that tactile feel. But, if you want to use the Mavic Mini with just your smartphone, that is possible as well. The DJI Fly app is one of the best drone apps available.
What most people will be interested in is the camera, and that is where this model shines. The 2K camera has a 3-axis gimbal and an 83° FOV angle. As the camera can swivel up to 90°, it will give you a wide range of filming options.
The CMOS chip may only have 1/2.3” (6.17mm by 4.55mm) but comes with 12MP effective pixels. This would make the DJI Mavic Mini one of the best smartphone cameras available, but also the one that flies.
Ability to autonomously follow your face, your friends, and any area you designate will allow you to get some genuinely cinematic shots with your drone.
Professional photographers will see the low ISO capability and low frame rate in 2K, but for most other users, there will be no issues.
The DJI Mavic Mini can become a primary tool of many vloggers, YouTubers, and Instagramers. And, for any experienced drone pilot, they will be a lot of fun and a great experience to fly.
A more efficient and quieter version of the Mavic Pro, though at a small bump in cost.
- Flight Time: 30 minutes
- Range: 7 kilometers
- Camera: 4K resolution at 30 fps; 12 MP stills
- Weight: 1.64 pounds
- Gimbal: 3 Axis
At first glance, the Mavic Pro looks very much like its close sibling, the Mavic Pro – only with a new, more premium paint job. But there a few key differences that make the platinum version worth looking into.
First, it’s one of the more quieter drones in DJI’s lineup. Thanks to the combination of FOC technology and noise cancellation propellers, the Platinum Pro is 60% less noisy than the Mavic Pro.
The noise-canceling flight also leads to more efficiency, making the Platinum Pro capable of longer flight times, up to 3 minutes more. However, some would argue that it’s more economical just to buy a spare battery. At the moment, however, the extra few minutes can prove beneficial.
Apart from this, the Platinum Pro still has the intelligent flight modes, camera quality, and safety features of the original Pro. In fact, they are so similar that their batteries are compatible with each other.
Right off the bat, the same camera is maintained as with the Pro version. The 28mm lens with 78.8-degree FOV can still deliver epic looking landscape shots, while 4K resolution still outputs footage at incredible definition.
The Platinum Pro uses the same GPS and Vision Positioning System, allowing it to maintain a stable position better than most drones in the market.
In DJI fashion, both the Pro and Platinum Pro are a joy to fly, thanks to its flight features and intelligent flight modes. Follow Me Mode uses GPS transmissions (as opposed to the visual recognition of newer DJI drones), but works just as well.
But compared to other GPS-based drones, the Platinum Pro’s obstacle avoidance system is top-notch. Its Forward Vision System makes it hover automatically whenever it encounters any obstruction in front of it.
Overall, the Mavic Platinum Pro is a worthy addition to DJI’s arsenal. It carries on what made Mavic Pro excellent and adds performance features into it.
If this is your first Mavic drone, this is a good pick. However, if you’re a Mavic Pro drone owner looking to upgrade, the small incremental improvements might not be worth it.
Our number one Follow Me drone pick for aspiring videographers and photographers.
- Follow Me Method: visual recognition using DJI ActiveTrack
- Flight Time: 21 minutes
- Camera: 4K video at 30 fps, with support for 32 MB panoramas and HDR photos
- Weight: 15.16 ounces
The Mavic Air is DJI’s take on an ultra-portable, take-anywhere drone. It combines the power of its more powerful older brother, the Mavic, with the portability of the Spark.
For one, it’s exceptionally compact at less than a pound. It folds nicely into a package that you can easily fit into your backpack. And when action calls, simply unpack and launch.
Now let’s talk about this drone’s Follow Me mode. The Mavic Air uses a much-improved version of DJI’s proprietary ActiveTrack technology. It’s capable of actively tracking up to 16 subjects simultaneously, with a higher degree of precision. Even when your target is zipping and zooming around, the Mavic Air seems to be able to lock on to it.
Within ActiveTrack, you have further options on how you want Follow Me to work. For instance, you can try Trace mode, which maintains a fixed distance between the drone and the target.
The cool thing about ActiveTrack is that it also includes obstacle avoidance. If it detects an obstacle while in Follow Me mode, it will change its altitude until it stays clear of the obstruction. After that, it will continue to keep on track and follow the subject.
Overall, the DJI Mavic Air has one of the most advanced Follow Me features in the market. This is on top of its excellent camera quality, durable construction, and tons of flight options.
The Mavic Air is indeed the ultimate travel drone that’s meant to be taken to the roughest of trips, like hiking or mountain climbing.
- Flight Time: 16 minutes
- Charge Time: 52 minutes
- Range: 2 km
- Remote Controller: not included (sold separately)
- Camera: 12 MP camera at 1080p HD resolution.
- Weight: 1.49 pounds
- Rated for indoor and outdoor use
For the ultimate beginner drone, the DJI Spark is one of the finest choices you can make. It comes from one of the best drone manufacturers in the world.
The DJI Spark is the smallest and lightest of DJI’s offerings, and that makes it very easy to fly. It’s quite intuitive with multiple fun ways to control the drone.
The most innovative feature has got to be its hand controls. You can program the DJI Spark to respond to gesture commands, such as putting your palm forward to make it stop. You can also get the drone to launch automatically when it recognizes your face.
With Intelligent Flight Modes, object tracking, and one-tap controls, you’ll be incredibly spoiled when it comes to flying the DJI Spark. We’ll even argue that it’s too easy that it might not teach you fundamental flying skills.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t include a remote controller. You need to shell out separately for that, on top of the already high cost of the drone itself.
In the end, the DJI Spark is truly a top-notch beginner drone — arguably the very best. It marries ridiculously easy flight controls and excellent camera quality in a durable and compact frame.
The only drawback? It’s more costly than cheap beginner drones. But you truly get what you pay for.