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Finally opened my Air 3...

WildcatDave

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Grab a coffee or other caffeinated product, there's a few words that follow...

Former Air 2 and current Mini 3 Pro owner here. I purchased an Air 3 a few weeks ago as I decided it was necessary to have 360 obstacle avoidance and at the time the A3 was the least expensive option in addition to offering some upgrades from my M3P. But smartly (lazily) I kept it sealed for a week and sure enough the Mini 4 Pro got announced. So I decided to wait until it's official release and compare specs to decide if I wanted to return the A3 or keep it. After some deliberation and a few posts on here and help from other people's opinions, I decided the A3 was the way to go for me.

So with only a few days left before I could return it to that famous online retailer, I cracked it open this evening to get everything charged up so I can test run it this weekend. Without even putting the propellers on I knew I made the right choice. The extra camera will be great and the obstacle avoidance will be absolutely splendid. But having a larger drone and the build quality of the A3 immediately made it worth the few extra dollars compared to the M4P. The M3P that I currently have is a decent little drone, performs well and is robust considering how tiny and light it is. But the A3 seems like it's on a completely different level for build quality. Granted, due to its heavier weight, it would probably take equal or even more damage on a crash compared to my M3P; which is like holding a tiny bird with propellers and probably wouldn't cause much of its own damage due to weight if it does "land" unexpectedly.

Though I haven't had the my first DJI drone (my previous Air 2) for over a year, from my recollection the A3 is a bit bigger, a bit heavier and again another notch up on build quality. Unexpectedly the new charging cradle of the fly more combo and batteries are very well designed as well. Locking the batteries in with a release clip and the ability to share charging and all the other features they have are welcome addition. I also forgot how much I missed the ability to check battery charge without having to install it in the drone or the cradle like the M3P. And huge kudos to the engineering team for the new propeller mounting. The push down and click to lock seems extremely solid and is very easy. I don't plan on swapping propellers that often (*crosses fingers), but I always appreciate good engineering design.

DJI really does impress with each version and unlike a lot of other products on the market, they do make it hard to not desire the next version. Granted drones are still in their infancy and so big gains are expected. But for right now upgrades are significant and for someone that shoots commercially easily worth the extra dollars. I will keep the M3P around for a while as a backup and then it will likely go as a gift to my father-in-law, who every time I bring up drones gets excited.

I'm sure I'll have much more to share and chat about once I fire it up this weekend. But those of you that have hung on this long, I don't want to put the last few of you to sleep. Have an enjoyable weekend everybody!
 
One thing I found odd... Why do they ship it with two of the batteries in the charging hub and one installed in the drone? One of the things they list in their battery guidelines is to remove the battery from the drone if it will not be used in short time. So they pack them, they get shipped that way from China, they sit in a warehouse, then they come to my house, then it sits until I mount it in the charging hub, which seems to be outside of their recommendation. Considering that the hub holds three batteries, why don't they ship it with all three of them in the hub?
 
One thing I found odd... Why do they ship it with two of the batteries in the charging hub and one installed in the drone? One of the things they list in their battery guidelines is to remove the battery from the drone if it will not be used in short time. So they pack them, they get shipped that way from China, they sit in a warehouse, then they come to my house, then it sits until I mount it in the charging hub, which seems to be outside of their recommendation. Considering that the hub holds three batteries, why don't they ship it with all three of them in the hub?
Because all drones in all configurations from DJI come with the battery installed. The configuration package is determined later, after the drone is manufactured and tested with the battery inside. With the battery already installed, it can be sold alone as a drone, RC and battery, or in a Fly More kit with any other RC, depending upon the Fly More kit.
 
Also,
Drone and RC2 are not activated : you MUST fully charge your battery before first power up.
This is why the battery can safely be installed in the drone for months (years ?) that way !
 
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