Well, we can quit with the rampant speculation of when or even if DJI was planning to launch a drone in 2020. New FCC filings point to a refresh of the DJI Mavic Air. Both the camera drone and controller have been revealed on the FCC database. 

The rumors of the company dropping the ‘Air’ moniker turned out to be wrong as DJI has opted to keep the Mavic Air naming scheme. Personally, dropping ‘Air’ to just ‘Mavic’ would have been confusing to the general public. 

DJI Mavic Air 2 Features

While most of the documents have been granted a confidential order, there are a few things we can say with a certain degree of certainty. One is on the design front. 

When DJI killed off the Spark in favor of the Mavic Mini, we knew going forward; all design elements would follow the Mavic 2 flagship. The folding arms and general ‘Mavic’ look would be something the Air 2 would inherit.

You can look at the current Mavic Air and compare it to the other Mavics and immediately tell it doesn’t fit in. While not confirmed 100 percent, I would be shocked if we didn’t see a Mavic Air 2 based on the current Mavic 2 design. 

However, the older Mavics have been languishing in the 12MP range for far too long. There’s not a need to bump it towards a one-inch sensor. We only have to look at the smartphone industry to see the ever-increasing megapixel count. Will it happen on the Mavic Air 2? I’d give it a coinflip.

Video specs. Nothing is confirmed, but DJI isn’t in the business of downgrading camera drones as new generations release. 4K30p will be on there. Some have rumored it could go as high as 4K60p, but that outstrips the current Mavic 2 Pro. Still, DJI needs to make the jump back towards this mark, and it would signal the Mavic 3 series is right around the corner.

Battery life. The current DJI Mavic Mini can handle 30 minutes of flight time. Expect a small bump for the Mavic Air 2. DJI’s battery technology continues to improve, and the company is not in the business of letting competitors like Autel outflank it. 

Safety. ADS-B is coming. The company’s long-promised AirSense technology will finally be shown off in the upcoming Mavic Air 2. This was promised in the first half of 2019 that any new camera drones released after January 1, 2020, would contain the ADS-B receivers. Outside of that confirmation, rumors have been all over the place on what type of object avoidance the next DJI drone would come standard.

When Will the DJI Mavic Air 2 release?

The million-dollar question. With the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the world, the only answer is we don’t know. What the world looks like in the next few months will dictate release schedules. I’m sure DJI has a target date, but that can and will be moved in conditions warrant it. 

The FCC confidentiality expires on July 8, 2020, so we can expect an announcement before then. 

How Much will the Mavic Air 2 Cost?

The most straightforward pricing strategy is to follow history. The original Mavic Air was sub-$1000. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities for DJI to charge a bit more, but it’s unlikely. The company will want to keep the price level and have it serve as a counter to any emerging competition. 

That wraps what we know about the upcoming DJI Mavic Air 2. Outside of the design overhaul, most updates will center around the camera, battery, and safety. While the FCC confidentiality period expires on July 8, large scale shipping will be dependent on conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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