It isn’t quite at par with the Phantom and Inspire drones, but the DJI Mavic Pro is still one of the best and most popular models in the drone market. It has the ultimate mix of features and portability, with its inward-folding arms and streamlined design. With a 4K camera, obstacle sensors, impressive battery life, and top-of-the-line range, the DJI Mavic Pro remains one of the top players in the drone game.
Released in August 2017, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum claims to be an improved version the DJI Mavic Pro. With a price tag that is $100 more expensive, you may be asking is the upgrade worth the additional cost? We break down this clash piece by piece to give you the definitive answer.
Round 1: The Look
The Mavic Pro Platinum comes with a sleek, chrome-like, platinum finish which works perfectly with the gold accents in its propeller arms. The new model also comes with some nice decals on the propeller arms which distinguish it from the old Mavic Pro. The new propellers that come with the Mavic Pro Platinum even have gold tips which further improve the overall look of this drone.
Still, the old DJI Mavic Pro is not a lightweight in the looks division. During the time of its release, the DJI Mavic Pro was one of the best-looking drones available with its sleek gray-black finish and futuristic design.
Does the Platinum version edge out the old Mavic Pro in terms of looks? We say it’s a toss up in this department. Both these drones look great. It really is just a matter of taste.
Round 2: Battery Life
The old DJI Mavic Pro already has an impressive flight time of up to 27 minutes, a cut above many drones available in the same price range. Amazingly, the new Mavic Pro Platinum claims to have improved on this with a flight time of up to 30 minutes. Both drones use the same Intelligent Flight Battery, so what gives?
The answer to that question is two-fold. First, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum comes with brand new 8331 propellers. These propellers have a more aerodynamic design, which will result in lower noise levels (more on that later) and increased flight time.
The second factor that contributes to the longer flight time is the use of Field Oriented Control (FOC) technology in the drone’s Electronic Speed Controller (ESC). The FOC technology uses a sinusoidal wave drive, instead of the older square or trapezoidal wave variety. This results in a more efficient power delivery to the motor, and a better utilized battery.
Obviously, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum wins this round. The additional 3 minutes doesn’t sound much, but when you’re already on a roll capturing those amazing aerial shots, the 3 minutes will be a welcome blessing.
Round 3: Noise Level
The highly advertised advantage of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is the reduction of the noise level: it claims to be 4 decibels quieter than the old DJI Mavic Pro. Is this reduction in noise significant? Based on our tests, this volume difference is easily discernible.
The noise level of drones as they zip around is something that will probably surprise most drone newbies. There’s also the fact that the buzzing sound that drones make can be downright irritating. Any change that reduces the volume of this buzzing sound is a welcome improvement.
The combination of the new propellers and the improved ESC is also responsible for this noise reduction. Not only are square wave motors less efficient than sinusoidal wave motors, they also emit a characteristic and louder buzzing sound. The removal or reduction of this buzzing sound is the major factor that contributed to the decreased noise level of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum.
The 4-decibel reduction corresponds to a 60% noise level reduction for the Mavic Pro Platinum, making it the clear winner for this round. This is a significant reduction in noise, and the people around your drone will thank you for it. This may also be a welcome improvement for professional drone videographers who often have to do some post-processing to remove the unmistakable buzzing sound from their drone footages. It’s also great for wedding photographers who don’t want to interrupt what is happening.
Bonus Round: Trading Spaces
The old DJI Mavic Pro isn’t looking too good at this point, but it may yet have a fighting chance. The new 8331 propellers, released with the Mavic Pro Platinum, are also compatible with the old Mavic Pro model. Will installing the new propellers on the old Mavic Pro place it on the same level as the Mavic Pro Platinum?
The short answer: not quite. The Mavic Pro flies a little quieter with the new propellers, but nowhere near the 4 decibels reduction that the Mavic Pro Platinum reliably delivers. Beyond just the propellers, the upgraded ESC is truly the heart of the improved Mavic Pro Platinum.
There is, of course, a criterion we haven’t quite touched on yet: the price. Is the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum worth the $100 price increase? If you’re currently considering buying a DJI Mavic Pro, then in our opinion, the Mavic Pro Platinum is worth the slightly higher price tag. For a $100 increase, you get a more efficient and quieter motor, better propellers, and the ability to eke out those last 3 minutes of drone flight. If you’re a professional drone photographer, these improvements are sure to make a huge impact on the quality of your work.
Besides, you’re already spending quite an amount for the DJI Mavic Pro. Why not go all the way and buy the best Mavic Pro that’s available? Still, whether you buy the DJI Mavic Pro or the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, we can assure you that you won’t be disappointed with one of the best drones available in the market today.
We have to give props to DJI for the improvements they have made to the Mavic Pro. They could have easily rolled out the Mavic Pro Platinum with a higher-capacity battery, but they took an innovative approach to prolonging battery life. With the upgraded ESC and propellers, DJI made a more future-looking and all-encompassing solution to the issue of short flight times due to limited battery life. We eagerly look forward to the further innovations that DJI can come with to improve the drone flight experience.