DJI Mavic Pro


The saying goes something like this:  “The best camera is the one you have with you.”  The selling points of the DJI Mavic Pro are that it is a foldable quadcopter that sports a camera capable of recording 4k video at up to 30 frames per second.  It has a 27 minute flight time on a full charge with an advertised 3.7 mile range.  I wanted something small and portable that I could throw in a bag, take on hikes, pack up quickly, and bring on vacations and day trips.  I saved for a long time, so I was willing to spend extra to get the features I wanted.  The Mavic is everything I wanted and more.


What You Get

The Mavic comes in two variations:  The first package includes the drone, the remote, charger, a set of extra propellers, and one battery…it will run you about $1000.  The more expensive version, dubbed the ‘Fly More Combo‘ bumps the cost up to $1300.  The extra $300 investment gives you 2 extra batteries, a smart charging hub that can charge up to 4 batteries, a car charger, an extra set of props, and a travel bag for the drone.  The batteries cost $89 each if you buy them separately.  If you’re going to buy extra batteries, you’re going to want the charging hub as well.  The charging hub is really cool and charges one battery at a time, starting with the least discharged battery before moving onto the next one.  For these reasons alone, I decided to opt for the Fly More Combo.  I’m very pleased with the combo overall, and the only thing I am disappointed with is the bag.  It’s incredibly snug and very difficult to fit just the drone, remote, and 3 batteries in.  For this reason, I decided to purchase an aftermarket bag which I’ll cover later.

The Mavic folds completely down into about the size of a 1 liter bottle of soda.  Even the propellers fold.  The remote folds down into about the size of a video game controller (and it looks like one too).  The remote opens up to hold a phone (up to about 6″) which utilizes DJI’s proprietary app (several aftermarket apps are available as well) to serve as the FPV, as well as complete camera and flight controls.  I feel that the Mavic is extremely well-made.  The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true here.


Customer Support

In addition to the standard warranty, DJI offers a $99 extended warranty called DJI Care Refresh which provides up to two replacements (at a significantly reduced cost) for one year after purchasing.  (This extra $99 was a no-brainer for me because the cost to replace the drone alone is over $800).  With Care Refresh, the first replacement is $79 and the second is $129.  It covers basically everything except damage caused by water OR if the drone is lost.  You shouldn’t be flying in the rain anyway.  If you’re flying over water and it crashes into the water, I’ve read user accounts of DJI still honoring the Care Refresh replacement as long as the drone was retrieved.  People have used fishing rod recovery devices like the Getterback to retrieve drones from water.  For $15 I will gladly pick one up before I fly over lakes or streams.

DJI has basically cornered the drone market.  They release quality products with a yearly upgrade cycle.  The Mavic is currently the only foldable drone on the Market (after recall/failure of the GoPro Karma).  The only negative thing I’ve heard about DJI is that their customer service was poor.  I am pleased to say that my experience with their customer service was overwhelmingly positive.  One of my batteries was defective from day 1 and the drone would not fly with it.  It would not charge and caused the charger error indicator to flash.  I contacted DJI support via chat.  After about 15 min in chat (only 5 min spent waiting), I was assigned a case number and later that day I received a prepaid shipping label to send the battery back to DJI for replacement.  This occurred over the Christmas Holiday and the entire turnaround time for a free replacement was about three weeks, no questions asked.

Flying the Mavic Pro

(I’ll add this later…please check back soon).