Well, the one thing that definitely had #TheBuzz going today was the DJI announcement at IFA in Berlin. We had a story the moment the news was available, but it’s worth re-capping here (because you can never have too much news about new drones).
NEW MAVIC PRO
Yes, you saw that right. Nearly one year after the launch of the unbelievably successful Mavic Pro, DJI has announced a new member in the line. The Mavic Pro Platinum is an evolution, rather than a revolution. But we really do like the improvements DJI has made to the existing model.
The Mavic Pro Platinum uses new ESCs (Electronic Speed Controllers) and specially designed propellers to achieve something of a sonic miracle: The new drone is 60 per cent quieter at takeoff and landing than the original. For those of you who’ve compared, the original Mavic Pro is not a noisy drone (and, in fact, is noticeably quieter than the Phantom 4 Pro). So we can’t wait to hear (or barely hear) the Platinum.
Oh yes – the colour. You’ve got that right: It’s platinum. Just not *real* platinum.
The Mavic Pro Platinum is priced at $1099 and $1399 for the Fly More Combo. Our original story in the morning (EDT) urged people who were interested to click “Buy.” Well, those people who took our advice? They’re happy campers – because here’s what the DJI website shows now.
Also worth noting is that you can buy the propellers for the Mavic Pro Platinum and retrofit your Mavic Pro. A set of the props is just $10 US. And though they won’t make things as quiet as the new propeller/ESC combo, there should still be a noticeable reduction in volume. (We’d link to those props, but it would just make you sad – because yes, they’re sold out too.)
SLEEK BLACK PHANTOM PRO 4 “OBSIDIAN”
That was the other big news from DJI: A new Phantom 4 PRO “Obsidian” – a model that comes in but one shade: Black.
The new Obsidian definitely has a really “pro” look that arguably sets it apart from the signature look of the Phantom line (albeit occasionally marked with coloured stripes to identify different models). Yes, there was that one special edition Phoenix model for Chinese New Year – but the rest of them have been basically white. We’re willing to bet the Obsidian will be a little easier for VLOS tracking.
The new Phantom Pro 4 PRO Obsidian retails for $1499 with a standard remote. If you’d like the “+” edition, which comes with a daylight-visible Android-based screen, you’re in for $1799.
Sorry: Already sold out in DJI’s online US store.
Finally, DJI announced some pretty solid new features for the Spark, available in an impending firmware upgrade. They include spherical panorama photo mode, higher resolution still images, and more.
SLICE THAT DRONE
And finally, after a hard day of absorbing details on new products, take time to watch the destruction of an old one. Here, David Windestal takes a rocket-powered Katana and, uh, demolishes an older Phantom. By the way, the drone was in terrible shape and wasn’t working properly, so don’t feel too bad when you see it meet its demise:
The slow-mo that kicks in around the 2:48 mark is sword-tacular. That’ll cheer you up.
Oh. Do *not* try this at home. (Or at anybody else’s, for that matter – unless you happen to be a Ninja with an aerospace degree.)