DJI’s New Mavic Pro Drone Is Compact, Capable, and Can Fly Itself

And it can be yours shortly for a dollar less than a grand. 

byAaron Brown|
DJI’s New Mavic Pro Drone Is Compact, Capable, and Can Fly Itself

Piloting a drone, even a small one, can often be perplexing for beginners. Enter DJI's new Mavic Pro drone, which has the potential to make flying a drone easier than ever—as easy as touching a screen. 

The Mavic Pro, unveiled Tuesday, is a folding drone with autonomous capabilities that's designed to be flown at speeds up to 40 miles per hour and travel as far as 4.3 miles. It can be piloted using either its own new controller or a smartphone. And thanks to its folding design, the new drone can be reduced down to the size of a water bottle. 

With up to 27 minutes of flight time on a single charge, pilots can use the Mavic Pro's three-axis gimbal to take photos and record video from a stable aerial platform—making it ideal for aerial selfies or live-streaming video. While sending video directly to the web, the Mavic Pro's camera records in 1080p resolution; switch to recording mode, and pilots can capture clips in 4K rez at 30 frames per second or at 1080p at 96 fps. Still pictures can be captured with the drone's 12-megapixel camera in RAW format.

When flying autonomously, the drone uses its dual-band satellite navigation system, ultrasonic sensors, and five separate cameras to detect its surroundings and prevent it slamming into any aerial obstacles—albeit only while flying at speeds of less than 22 miles per hour. And not only is the drone is capable of seeing people, cars, animals, boats, bicyclists and other objects, it even has the ability to follow these objects in-flight if its owner so desires.

TL; DR: DJI's Mavic Pro is an easy drone to flym and a hard drone to crash. And if you want to follow your dog, cat, llama, or whatever around, it can do that with all by itself.