The DJI Air 2S was announced in April 2021 as the new best all-around drone on the market. It combined features from several previous DJI models and delivered new improvements that promised to provide the best consumer drone we’ve seen to date. But is this new drone worth upgrading to, and how well does it actually perform?
We’ve analyzed all of the drone’s features to see how it stacks up against the previous models and if it’s worth purchasing in 2021. Read on to learn everything you need to know before buying the new DJI Air 2S.
Looking For Quick Answers? A Brief Overview Of The DJI Air 2S
Sometimes you’re just looking for quick and concise answers and can’t take the time to read all of the comprehensive information. To help you out in this, here are some of the key features the new DJI Air 2S comes with:
- Starting price $999 (Fly More Combo is $1299)
- 5.4K/30p, 4K/60p, and 1080p/120p video
- 20MP, 1″-type CMOS sensor
- 31-minute flight time
- Four-directional obstacle avoidance sensors
- It weighs in at 20.9 ounces (595 grams)
- Dimensions at 180×97×77 mm folded, 183x253x77mm unfolded
On paper, the features we’ve listed above make the Air 2S one of the most favorable top-end options on the drone market, even when compared to some of the more expensive drones. For more in-depth information and analysis on all of the drone’s essential features, continue reading our thorough review.
DJI Air 2S Weight And Dimensions
Even though the DJI Air 2S doesn’t fall under the Mavic product branch, it features a noticeably similar design as the drones from this series. In terms of size, the DJI Air 2S is surprisingly small and compact.
Its dimensions when unfolded are 183x253x77mm, and 180×97×77 mm when folded. Again, even when it comes to this aspect, the DJI Air 2S is just a couple of millimeters shorter than the DJI Mavic Air 2. It’s small enough to carry in your hand and launch from your palm. Plus, the drone unfolds in just a few seconds.
The DJI Air 2S is a reasonably light drone, weighing just 595 grams or just over 1.3 pounds. This makes it just half the weight of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and around 25 grams heavier than the DJI Air 2. Considering its features, especially its camera, this weight is very impressive and makes this drone very user-friendly and portable.
The DJI Air 2S Controller And App
The DJI Air 2S uses the same controller as the previously-mentioned drones, the basic DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller. This controller is just a joystick and comes without a screen. So, to receive any visual transmission, you’ll have to set up your smartphone or tablet on top of it. It’s important to note that the DJI Smart Controller is sold separately. So, if you want to opt for the whole deal, you’ll have to spend an additional $779 for this controller.
The basic control is enough for most users and is very well-designed. It provides you with all of the necessary operational features you need to fully control the DJI Air 2S. To connect the controller with your mobile or tablet device, you’ll have to download the appropriate app first. All of the DJI apps and software products are directly available on DJI’s site.
The DJI Air 2S features the latest O3 transmission, delivering a super smooth, precise, and reliable image feed. The maximum video transmission is capped at 12 kilometers (a little over 7.4 miles). It comes with four antennas with a 2.4/5.8GHz Dual Frequency. All of these features ensure a polished 1080p transmission even in rough and demanding conditions.
How Well Does It Fare When Flying?
With all the automated modes and the helpful flight features that the DJI Air 2S has, flying this drone comes first nature for both seasoned pilots and beginner drone enthusiasts. The DJI Air 2S utilizes Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems, a software that actively avoids obstacles in four directions. It has upward, forward, downward, and backward obstacle avoidance sensors. Moreover, it can do so at high speeds and complicated scenarios, much more efficiently than the previous DJI models.
The DJI Air 2S doesn’t fail to impress with its flight performance capabilities. The drone is capable of reaching a maximum flight speed of 42mph (19m/s) in sport mode. Even more impressively, it can endure a maximum wind speed of up to 24mph (10.7m/s). Both the top ascent and descent speeds are approximately 13.5 mph (6m/s). The drone also has an excellent maximum flight distance of 11.1 miles (18.5 kilometers).
Although it’s fairly small in terms of size and filled with battery-draining features, the DJI Air 2S can last up to 31 minutes in the air under normal conditions. This is because it’s powered by a high-performing 3500 mAh battery. Overall, the DJI Air 2S performs fantastically in the air.
The only internal feature we weren’t impressed by was the relatively small storage. The drone comes with just 8 GB of internal storage, which is quite small compared to some other similarly-priced drones. That said, this isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, as you can simply buy a microSD card at a small additional cost. A 128 GB or even a 64 GB microSD card will be more than sufficient, and you can buy it directly from DJI’s site when ordering the Air 2S.
Drone speed, controller, and apps don’t really matter if they’re accompanied by poor image quality. The camera is always the make-or-break factor for determining a drone’s quality, especially for medium to high price range models.
Luckily, DJI has always been marked by a reputation for developing fantastic all-around drones. And, when it comes to the new DJI Air 2S drone, they’ve stuck to the same formula. Looking at this drone’s video and photography capabilities, it’s safe to say that this drone can meet the criteria of even the most demanding users.
As we’ve mentioned before, the DJI Air 2S takes up certain features from some previous DJI products. More precisely, when it comes to the camera aspect, this drone has a fixed f/2.8 aperture, just like the Mavic Air 2 Model.
That said, this drone seems to make softer and slightly better-quality images than the Air and Pro models. The drone sports a 20MP 1-inch sensor camera, capable of making some truly stunning shots. The number of pixels aside, the size of the pixels is also quite remarkable, at 2.4μm. Given this, the DJI Air 2S can make 5472×3648 (3:2) and 5472×3078 (16:9) still images.
In terms of the drone’s video shooting capabilities, it delivers equally well. Like most DJI drones, it provides you with several options for filming. You can film 5.4K videos at 30 frames per second. Equally as impressive, the drone provides you with the possibility of filming 4K at 60fps. Lastly, you can shoot in Full HD at up to 120fps. The maximum video bitrate is 150 Mbps.
There’s also a solid zoom feature available. You can zoom up to 4x while filming at higher resolutions and up to 8x in Full HD. You can record videos in both H.264 and H.265. There are also several color formats available. Overall, DJI Air 2S’s filming capabilities rank it very high as one of the best drones for filming on the current consumer market.
The drone also comes equipped with a fantastic gimbal. It uses three-axis stabilization (tilt, roll, pan) to provide a wide and very stable controllable range even for the most technically demanding shots.
DJI’s app includes a number of advanced filming features. Most notably, the FocusTrack feature makes it a breeze for DJI Air 2S to create subject-centered videos without compromising its obstacle avoidance capabilities.
Price And Availability
With all of the above features in mind, we’ve come to the last part of the page – DJI Air 2S’s price and availability. Speaking of the former, DJI Air 2S’s current price is $999 for the basic model and $1,299 for the Fly More Combo. Regarding the drone’s availability, since it came out recently, you might experience a short wait.
So, is this drone worth purchasing? The answer to this is mostly positive but not entirely clear-cut. The DJI Air 2S is undoubtedly a fantastic drone and worth the price it’s coming in at. If you already have a drone slightly below this drone’s quality, like an Air 2, upgrading to the DJI Air 2S is not exactly money well spent.
On the other hand, it’s a high-performing product suitable for both casual drone pilots and professional video editors. Ultimately, your circumstances should guide your decisions. Looking at the sheer features and value for money the DJI Air 2S comes with, it’s certainly one of the best drones to come out in 2021.