The DJI Air 2S Looks Like a Serious Upgrade for Hobbyists

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If you’re ready to upgrade to a drone with serious features for a reasonable price, the DJI Air 2S looks like a worthy contender. It’s portable, smart, has a flight time of 31 minutes (with no wind), and a max flight distance of ~11.5 miles with a video transmission range of ~7.5 miles.

DJI Air 2S

When examining the specs of the new DJI Air 2S, the features that stood out to me were its versatile camera and robust flight control. At $999 for the base package, it’s obvious that this drone isn’t meant to be your 5-year-old’s birthday present that they’ll love for a week and then never use again; the drone is geared more towards a prosumer audience.

One thing that makes this drone that much more attractive is its advanced safety features. The drone has four-way directional obstacle sensors, and its autopilot system is the APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) 4.0, which is the most advanced autopilot system on any DJI drone. When used, it can seamlessly maneuver the sky and all its obstacles.

To add to the safety systems, the DJI Air 2S incorporates an AirSense system that allows the drone to detect, evade, and alert drone pilots of nearby airplanes and helicopters transmitting ADS-B signals. The GEO 2.0 geofencing system advises pilots of sensitive areas and automatically helps keep them away from high-risk areas like airports.

DJI Air 2S Drone

An improved RTH (Return to Home) feature can bring the drone back to the launch point if the drone loses contact with the controller or reaches a critically low battery level. Another interesting feature of the Maverick Air 2S drone is its transmission technology.

The DJI Air 2S uses the O3, DJI’s third generation of OcuSync, which allows for an unobstructed 12 km (7.45 miles) range, dual frequencies, and a 50 Mbps bit rate. DJI also upgraded FocusTrack mode, which includes modes such as ActiveTrack 4.0, Spotlight 2.0, and Point of Interest 3.0 that can simulate the movements and control of a professional video operator. The newly incorporated one-inch sensor can record 20-megapixel still images, 5.4K video at 30fps,  4K, 60fps, and 150Mbps. Compared to the DJI Mavic 2, the Air 2S offers a larger pixel size of 2.4 micrometers, showing more detail and capturing more information.

Another feature the Air 2S has to offer is a new digital zoom that allows for 4X zoom at 4K 30fps, 6X zoom at 2.7K 30fps, 4X zoom at 2.7K 60fps, 6X zoom at 1080P 60fps, and 8X zoom at 1080P 30fps. To further enhance footage, DJI has implemented their renowned three-axis gimbal and the users’ choice between recording video in color profiles such as Normal (8 bit), D-Log (10 bit), or HLG (10 bit) to meet their video needs. While keeping regular photo modes such as Timed Photo, AEB, and Panoramas, the Air 2S’s Smart Photo mode can record 20-megapixel videos and choose between HDR, Hyperlight, and Scene Recognition options to create the best version of the image for you.

As explained by DJI, the Air 2S has the most programmed image capture and flight modes of any DJI drone of its size. These options include:

  • MasterShots: Professional-level aerial footage has never been easier. After activating MasterShots, the drone will autonomously plan a flight path, choose from three different image capture modes, including Proximity, Portrait, or Landscape, and start recording classic aerial footage. Pilots can choose different themes, and the DJI Fly app will generate a unique video that’s ready to be shared with the world.
  • FocusTrack: Focus on the scene and let DJI Air 2S do the hard work for you. Select your subject by drawing a square around it on your mobile device, then choose from Point of Interest 3.0, an autonomous flight path around the subject; ActiveTrack 4.0, a tool that seamlessly tracks the subject and keeps it in the frame; or Spotlight 2.0, where the drone movement is controlled by the pilot while it locks the subject into the frame.
  • QuickShots: A staple DJI feature, QuickShot modes include Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang, and Asteroid.
  • Hyperlapse: See the world sped up from the air and in motion with the Hyperlapse option in resolution up to 4K. Content captured in 4K resolution and lower can apply digital stabilization for an added layer of smoothness.

Everything you need to get started is included in the $999 kit, which includes the aircraft, a DJI RC-N1 remote controller, an intelligent flight battery, a battery charger, an AC power cable, three pairs of low-noise propellers, a gimbal protector, a USB Type-C cable, an RC Cable (USB Type-C connector), an RC Cable (Lightning connector), an RC Cable (standard MicroUSB connector), and a pair of spare DJI RC-N1 control sticks.

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DJI Air 2S

The $999 DJI Air 2S Drone Kit.

There’s also an Air 2S Fly More Combo available for $1299, which includes everything in the basic kit plus two extra batteries, a battery charging hub, three sets of extra propellers, a filter set, and a shoulder bag to keep everything safe. If you’re going to spring for the drone, this seems to be the set to get.

DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo

DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo.

If sinking that kind of coin into a drone makes you nervous, consider getting a $99 DJI Care Refresh one-year protection plan for your Air 2S. The plan protects you from the various calamities that can happen to your drone, such as water damage, collisions, flyaway, etc., so you can fly with confidence!

For an additional charge, DJI Care Refresh offers up to two replacement units within one year, including coverage for one flyaway incident. The two-year plan provides three replacement units in two years, including coverage for up to two flyaway incidents and an extension of the original warranty period by one year (extension durations vary by region). Receive your replacement even sooner with DJI Care Refresh Express. DJI Care Refresh also includes exclusive after-sales support and free two-way shipping.

You can learn more about and order the DJI Air 2S here.

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About the Author

Remy Frolow
I'm a high school student from New Jersey; I'm especially interested in music, watches, and car tech.