You could soon ‘unsend’ Facebook Messages, just like Zuck

Messenger fans can rejoice: Facebook will add the possibility to delete messages sent from the recipient’s history. It has been proven that some Facebook executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, are already in a position to do so. Just for testing purposes, of course.

Facebook will introduce a new feature allowing users of its Messenger application to ‘Unsend’, or delete messages already sent. TechCrunch discovered this feature after noting that Mark Zuckerberg and some company executives are already using it.

Several sources report that old Facebook messages from Zuckerberg have disappeared from their Facebook inbox as well as from the “Download Your Information” archive while their responses remain.

androidpit supprimer messages messenger With great power comes great evasion of responsibility. / © Techcrunch

According to Facebook, this possibility had been introduced following hacking by the Japanese manufacturer Sony, but a spokesperson for the social network told Bloomberg that:

“We have discussed this feature several times. And people using our secret message feature in the encrypted version of Messenger have the ability to set a timer—and have their messages automatically deleted. We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner—and we’re sorry that we did not.”

It’s unclear whether Zuckerberg was simply serving as a beta tester for this new feature or whether being caught in the act has made Facebook decide to roll out this executive-level superpower out to all users. Facebook is still playing defense in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and needs to be on its best behavior if it hopes to win back the trust of the public.

Looking forward to a feature to delete Facebook messages? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Firefox’s new add-on could protect your data from Facebook

The Facebook backlash continues with no satisfactory answers from Zuckerberg. Many are questioning whether they should delete Facebook all together. Mozilla announced an add-on today that will apparently help to keep our online activity private. Is this the start of a positive trend, or are companies simply capitalizing on our fears?

A step in the right direction?

Mozilla were among the first companies to announce its pausing of advertising activities following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It’s now introducing a new feature for Firefox, called Facebook Container, that will prevent Facebook from tracking you by isolating your activity outside of the website, thus making it more difficult for it to determine targeted ads and messages. Mozilla explained more in their blog post:

 As a user of the internet, you deserve a voice and should be able to use the internet on your own terms. In light of recent news on how the aggregation of user data can be used in surprising ways, we’ve created an add-on for Firefox called Facebook Container, based on technology we’ve been working on for the last couple of years and accelerated in response to what we see in terms of growing demand for tools that help manage privacy and security

This all sounds great, but it is just a very tiny step in the right direction. It certainly couldn’t have prevented the data harvesting that so many are outraged by, and it doesn’t change the fact that there are still vast amounts of data that are currently in the hands of Cambridge Analytica and other companies that can’t be taken back.

Rivals in the tech world will attempt to exploit Facebook’s weaknesses. Even the cynical can see some benefit in appealing to the privacy-conscious user and striking while the iron is hot.

Ultimately, we can’t expect other companies to step up and clean Facebook’s mess, but it’s nice to see that we have new tools to help us move forward, as the scandal has shaken many users out of complacency. Let’s hope it sticks!

The new Firefox add-on seems like an easy alternative if you need to keep your account and use Facebook’s features for your business, for example, while stopping Facebook from tracking you. It’s undeniable that the social media platform can have huge benefits, but it doesn’t outweigh the concerns for the protection of our data. 

firefox If you cannot delete Facebook, add-ons such as this could be very useful. / © AndroidPIT

While for now, this cannot ease fears over the way our data is being used, but we will hopefully see more and more tools and actions from companies like this in order to take steps to protecting our privacy.

Firefox for Android Beta Install on Google Play

Would you use this add-on? Or do you still think deleting Facebook is the best option?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Shadowgun Legends: could this be our destiny?

Shadowgun Legends has just hit the Play Store and in just a few days, it’s quickly proved itself to be one of the most impressive games on the mobile platform. But Madfinger Games’ slick sci-fi shooter has some serious competition for our attention. In our first impressions of Shadowgun Legends, we’ll see what the futuristic FPS has to offer.

Mobile gamers will probably already be familiar with Madfinger Games, largely thanks to the hit zombie apocalypse shooter Dead Trigger 2, a favorite among the AndroidPIT editorial staff. The latest Madfinger offering, Shadowgun Legends, is another first person shooter but with a sci-fi setting. In fact, a revival of 2011’s Shadowgun. But make no mistake, Shadowgun Legends is thoroughly modern. Check out the trailer below:

Boasting beautiful visuals and smooth gameplay honed by an experienced studio, Shadowgun Legends certainly makes a slick first impression, though it arrives at a time when there’s strong competition for our attention.

Regular readers might be aware that I’ve been getting to grips with PUBG Mobile in order to lay down some wisdom about how to survive and get good at the battle royale shooter, but over the weekend, Shadowgun Legends still managed to steal my attention away from the chicken dinner. Here’s why.

Shadowgun Legends Install on Google Play Dead Trigger 2 – Zombies FPS Survival Shooter Game Install on Google Play

What looks good

Slick presentation

First up, Shadowgun Legends just looks cool.  Not exactly original: think Halo meets Destiny to get an idea of the general aesthetic. More so the latter—arguably, this game is Destiny for mobile. If military sci-fi is your bag, then Legends has you covered. Graphics are slick, stylish and polished to a T, it’s really a feast for the eyes.

Screenshot 20180326 161752 1 A glimpse of the sci-fi setting. / © AndroidPIT (screenshot)

Variety of game modes

It’s rare to find a free-to-play game with meaty single-player content but players who just want to hunker down and avoid interaction with other humans can still find a lot of content to chew on in this game. The single-player campaign has a variety of enemies and challenges and even if some design elements feel over-used, it’s still miles ahead of many free-to-play mobile games.

The co-op dungeon modes might just be the best element of Shadowgun Legends, requiring some co-ordination and puzzle solving in addition to a quick trigger finger. It’s still difficult to chat in-game with your allies, though, but once this is fixed, co-op could well be the most addictive thing in the game.

Naturally, you can throw yourself into competition with other players in duels or squad vs squad. The controls are fluid and make console-style gunplay feel pretty smooth on mobile, which is quite an achievement. 

Screenshot 20180326 165610 1 Plenty of single-player missions if you just want to bust some bots. / © AndroidPIT (screenshot)

But watch out for

‘Just cosmetic’ IAPs

The idea that IAPs in Shadowgun Legends are ‘just cosmetic’ is a major selling (ahem) point of the game, but not strictly true. At the moment, armor and weapon variants can be bought with real money before they’re earned through play, so it’s still technically paying for an advantage.

However, the items (so far) don’t seem to be more powerful then what you can earn through the campaign missions/grinding. For a free-to-play shooter, this is pretty reasonable. Only time will tell whether the game will be balanced in the long term.

Inconvenient loot box system

Paid content in Shadowgun Legends includes certain cosmetic equipment variants but you can also pay for keys to unlock loot crates you pick up during missions. Trouble is, if you don’t unlock them, they’re stuck there, occupying inventory space you need for other loot. Want more inventory space? You can pay for that, too.

This is hopefully a bug that will be fixed in an update, but if you’re playing Shadowgun Legends and don’t want to spend cash on it, be careful what you pick up.

Always online

Yep. Another game that requires you to always be connected to the Internet. Depending on how much time you spend away from Wi-Fi, this may be more or less of a problem. Personally, I always appreciate at least single player content to work offline, for those times I want to play on the go.

All in all, a promising start for a game that raises the standards for graphical polish and co-op action on mobile. Have you tried Shadowgun Legends? What do you think so far?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

$749 OnePlus 6 could disappoint many fans

After the success of the 5T in 2017, OnePlus has a lot to live up to. In line with the trendy new features we’re seeing in this year’s flagships, the rumors about the OnePlus suggest it is going to be comparable to the iPhone X for example, but this comes at a price. Could the brand be losing its niche in the market?

Since the beginning, OnePlus have consistently offered affordable phones, with features and specifications to compete with flagships, which is why it has such a loyal fan base. It seems however, that what some love most about the brand could be coming to an end, with leaked images surfacing on Chinese social network Weido revealing a higher than expected price tag for its upcoming smartphone, and this will undoubtedly be disappointing for some. 

A higher price tag than the 5T

The 5T was released at $ 499 or $ 599 at the end of last year, with modernized design features such as its practically bezel-less display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Now, the brand seems to be working towards an even larger screen, with a 19:9 aspect ratio, at $ 749. 

What explains the price jump?

Taking into account the brands links with Vivo and Oppo, it is all the more likely that the OnePlus 6 will have an in-display fingerprint sensor, making it the first flagship with this technology. Up to now, the rumors have suggested it could also feature a display-notch, 3D facial recognition, and a Snapdragon 845 processor. It could be then, that the increase in price reflects the inclusion of these innovative technologies.

Looking at the image below, further details are revealed showing 8GB of internal storage, and 256GB of RAM. This is unlikely to be a contributing factor to the $ 200 price increase, though.

OP6 price The 6 could be the priciest OnePlus device to date / © Weibo

Yes, this could be the most expensive OnePlus price so far, but if the rumors are true and these new technologies will be implemented, then $ 749 is a reasonable price to pay, especially when you consider the cost of the iPhone X and Galaxy S9+. So long as the brand doesn’t continue to creep closer to that $ 1000 mark, then we can be satisfied. As always, it’s important to treat the leaks with some skepticism though, and wait for the final release when all the details are confirmed. 

If true, do you think this is a bad move by OnePlus? Let us know in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

The OnePlus 6 could use Vivo’s in-display fingerprint reader

The fingerprint reader is one of the most popular features among users. It allows you to unlock your smartphone in an instant, and in some cases can also activate it for other features. The next evolution, a fingerprint reader integrated directly into the screen, could very well be available this year on the OnePlus 6. After all, it’s already a family trait.

The OnePlus 6 is the future flagship killer from the popular Chinese manufacturer. A few months before its presentation, rumors and leaks around the device are multiplying, teasing us with some tantalizing tidbits.

For example, the OnePlus 6 could offer a technology that is almost unprecedented at the moment: a fingerprint reader under the screen. ‘Almost’ unprecedented? That’s because it could inherit this characteristic from a family member.

Indeed, according to our colleagues at Gizchina, the OnePlus 6 would be one of the first consumer smartphones to have this fingerprint reader under the screen. All thanks to Vivo!

If you are not aware, OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo are part of the same commercial group called BBK. One of the brands under the BBK umbrella, Vivo has already announced a smartphone with an integrated fingerprint scanner, the Vivo X21 UD.

Vivo X21 UD The Vivo X21 UD is one of the first smartphones to integrate a reader under the screen. / © Vivo

As you can see, the Vivo X21 UD shares some resemblance with the Oppo R15, another member of the BBK family, but differs in a crucial way: it has a fingerprint reader under the display. 

According to rumors, the OnePlus 6 will not only have the notch but will also have this fingerprint sensor integrated into the screen. That’s a good way to beat Samsung and Apple in the race for innovation.

Now we will probably have to wait until June to find out if the rumor is true. But if this is the case, OnePlus could make a really strong impression with the OnePlus 6 by offering a feature that isn’t present on competing flagships.

Looking forward to the OnePlus 6? What other smartphones do you think will carry the in-display fingerprint sensor this year?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Could the Huawei P20 compete with the Samsung Galaxy S9?

With the absence of HTC, Huawei, LG, and Lenovo, Samsung used the Mobile World Congress as an opportunity to quietly present its new high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and S9+. And let’s just say right away that the South Korean manufacturer shined bright that week, despite the fact that there were no game-changing innovations. Fortunately for us, Huawei will be the first manufacturer to react at the end of the month with the presentation of their new flagships. But will they pose a threat to Samsung’s dominance of the market?

We already wrote about this topic in the weeks leading up to MWC. The Barcelona show was a perfect opportunity for Samsung to showcase itself. The world leader took advantage of the other manufacturers’ absence to show that it was the manufacturer most equipped to compete with Apple’s iPhone in terms of sales. Without really having any novel features, the Galaxy S9 appears nevertheless like one of the best smartphones at the moment.

Huawei is preparing its response

But the competition hasn’t yet had its last word, and it will have some additional time to prepare its response. Huawei will be the first to strike. The brand has invited the press to Paris on March 27 to present its new Huawei P20, which will replace the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus. The event should be important, as the Chinese manufacturer has decided to privately book the Grand Palais for the occasion. This year, the company approached the event knowing that MWC was reserved for Samsung. And to prevent its new smartphones from being overlooked, Huawei decided to postpone its launch.

In addition to a big show, the Chinese manufacturer should present some interesting new features in its flagships. Although last year the manufacturer didn’t present anything especially original, this year could be somewhat different. According to the latest rumors, the new Huawei P20 will come with a notch just like the Essential Phone, iPhone X or other recent smartphones presented at MWC. What a nice way to seduce iPhone fans users as well Android users.

huawei p20 pro winfuture This is what the new Huawei P20 Pro should look like. / © Huawei vía Winfuture

The complete camera package

Year after year, Huawei has perfected its products and built its line with special attention to photography. Their partnership with Leica in their previous versions proved this to be the case. For the first time this year, Huawei will offer three rear photo sensors, and two of them have an f/1.6 aperture. The third sensor has an f/2.4 aperture on its top model, the P20 Pro. It also has the option of having a zoom X3 (with focal lengths of 27 and 80 mm).

The three sensors should be able to capture up to twice as much light as the previous generation and should be accompanied by automatic scene recognition and intelligent parameter management using artificial intelligence.

Nothing to envy (except the image)

The Huawei P20 will have no reason to envy Samsung smartphones in terms of technical features. Under the hood, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro should carry the latest Kirin 970 processor (with artificial intelligence), which is already used on the Mate 10 Pro and the Honor View 10. The more premium version would also offer 6 GB of RAM and a 4000 mAh battery. Huawei’s P series devices should also finally receive certification for water-resistance and dust-resistance.

In the European market, the prices for the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro are somewhat more affordable than the prices for the Galaxy S9 and S9+. The prices in the American market have still not been released, but we can probably expect this trend to follow suit in the US. To give you a general idea, the following European prices for the P20 were revealed:

Converted to US dollars, that’d be around $ 835 for the P20, $ 1,110 for the P20 Pro, and $ 455 for the P20 Lite. Flagships (like the Galaxy S9) tend to be released at lower prices in the US, so we can expect the new Huawei flagships to be somewhat more affordable than these numbers would suggest.

To conclude, the only element that Huawei may still be lacking in comparison to Samsung is the manufacturer’s image. There are still a lot of misconceptions about the manufacturers and Huawei is still regarded as the Chinese manufacturer whose products have a small following and are poorly optimized (not to mention the high DAS). It’s not easy for the company to rid itself of its reputation. Samsung has already been through this in its competition with the iPhone. There’s no reason why Huawei can’t also overcome these issues.

So what do you think? Can the Huawei P20 be a worthy competitor against the Galaxy S9?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Get ready, USA: Xiaomi smartphones could come this year

Xiaomi has plans to bring its smartphones to the United States by early 2019, with some select models potentially arriving later this year. This could open up some interesting options for American Android fans, despite the US government’s unfriendliness to Chinese manufacturers.

The news was first brought to our attention via a report from The Wall Street Journal, in which Xiaomi Chief Executive Officer Lei Jun confirmed the company’s US ambitions.

In China, the Beijing-based OEM lags behind homegrown competitors such as Huawei and OPPO, but considerable success in India has revitalized the brand and the company has set upon its journey to the West, launching its smartphones in select European countries such as Poland and Spain. Now Xiaomi has the lucrative North American market in its sights.

Will Xiaomi have an easy time in the US?

Recent trade tension between the US government and Chinese companies has seen US legislators push back against Huawei and ZTE, citing spying concerns. However, Xiaomi deals exclusively in consumer electronics rather than telecoms equipment, so it may be able to strike deals with US carriers without facing roadblocks from Washington. 

AndroidPIT Xiaomi mi mix 2 2274 The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 maximizes display without resorting to a notch. / © AndroidPIT

From the consumer perspective, the arrival of Xiaomi smartphones puts quite a few interesting options on the table. Here at AndroidPIT, we’ve been impressed by the powerful Xiaomi Mi 6, as well as the Mi MIX and Mi MIX 2, which pioneered near completely bezel-less displays. Now, promising rumors are circulating regarding the upcoming Mi 7.

While the specifics of Xiaomi’s US release plans remain vague for now, it will certainly come as good news to any Android fans stateside who have followed the Chinese OEM’s development with interest, but have been put off by the difficulty of importing one.

What do you think? Would you be tempted by a Xiaomi device once they land in the US?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

WhatsApp could allow users to download their data, thanks to Europe

Fan site WABetaInfo recently unpacked WhatsApp version 2.18.50 (beta), and noticed that, among other tweaks, the new option that enables users to download a copy of the information that WhatsApp has collected on them. Below we see screenshots of how this data download can be done from the Account>Privacy section of the app.

whatsappbetainfo2 Access to your data is simple, if not exactly fast. / © WABetainfo

This is a welcome feature to anyone worried about privacy online. And there are good reasons to be concerned, whether you think you’ve done something wrong or not. Sure, we still may be giving a lot of personal information to WhatsApp, but at least we’ll be able to know what exactly about us the company is keeping track of. This kind of transparency shifts some power over to the side of the user.

Why is WhatsApp is giving users more control?

By now we’re all used to waiving away our privacy to use popular “free” social apps, without knowing much about what data is being collected and what’s done with it. And certainly, tech giants aren’t bending over backwards to reveal the details of their data collection activities to the public. Unless, of course, they are forced to, which looks like the case here.

The new WhatsApp feature, available for now only in beta, anticipates the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a measure by various European Union (EU) authorities intended to strengthen data protection for European citizens, but may have a positive knock-on effect in protecting users in other countries as companies make changes to adapt to the European market regulations.

The GDPR  requires companies to offer the data they collect about users in a portable format. This means that users should not only be able to download the information, but also be able to read, store and export it as they please.

AndroidPIT privacy 1 Highest privacy settings could be enabled by default. / © AndroidPIT

So if you request a report, you can then import it to another service or keep it backed up for your personal records. Upon request, WhatsApp must compile the report within 20 days, upon which the report remains available to the user for 30 days.

How Europe is forcing greater transparency from big tech

Besides the right of users to export data collected about them, the GDPR also demands more transparency from corporations regarding user data overall:

  • Companies are required to be more clear about what kind of data they store and for how long and users should also be able to easily find contact details about the individuals responsible for the data collection.
  • Companies that allow users to customize their privacy settings to start with the highest privacy level enabled by default.
  • Users should be told upfront what kind of data is collected about them and need to give explicit consent to collect and store that data. For children under 13, the parents have to give consent.
  • Users have the right to be forgotten, and can demand their data is deleted under certain circumstances.
  • Violations of the regulations can incur high fines of up to  €1,000,000 ($ 1,250,000) or 2% of yearly revenue.

Should the US follow Europe’s lead?

Although the regulation is intended primarily with the protection of European citizens, its consequences may range much further than Europe, and certainly further than WhatsApp.

Stateside users, and indeed WhatsApp users around the world, may enjoy the benefits of access to their data. As services make changes to comply with GDPR and avoid trouble in the European market, users outside of Europe using the updated version of the app should also be able to download these data reports.

Even if you don’t use WhatsApp, and there are good reasons not to, the GDPR will affect WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, and the other members of that corporate family. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple will also have to adapt to these regulatory changes.

Also other companies, like WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, but also Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other tech companies will need to comply with the new regulations. Not a moment too soon, either, as the next front of data collection, AI-enabled smart home devices, opens up, with Facebook finally entering the market to battle its rivals.

At the moment it’s not certain if American users will also gain the advantages from the EU regulation. If WhatsApp applies the updates universally, then we can thank European strictness for shifting the balance of power ever so slightly more to the side of ordinary users. 

EU flaggs hero Should the US follow the EU’s example? / © Metro

If not, then it may be time to think about applying more pressure to US institutions to consider similar protections for its citizens. Generally, the combination of powerful corporate lobby groups and the idea that citizens should be able to make their fortune however they wish makes US culture distrustful of any government interference with business, although the reverse situation is less frequently addressed.

And yet, in the face of unpopular moves such as the repeal of net neutrality, or the controversial pressure from the US government against Huawei smartphones, it might be worth considering whether US citizens should demand that their government guarantee them similar protections to the GDPR.

After all, the more information a user has about where their data is going and what is being done with that, the freer they are to control their own private lives as well as make intelligent and informed consumer decisions.

What do you think? Should the USA join Europe in demanding more accountability from big tech?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Huawei’s air gestures could be the revolution smartwatches need

Huawei seems to be well on its way to solving the biggest issue with smartwatches: their difficult to interact with displays. A patent filed by the company reveals a new way of interacting with smartwatches that isn’t constrained by small display size. These air gestures could be the revolution that smartwatches desperately need.

As pictured in the patent filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, and spotted by LetsGoDigital, the new gesture input system would have sensors that can scan and recognize gestures on the back of the hand and around or above the display. There are several different ways this could manifest itself, and in terms of ease of interaction, they all sound better than attempting to tap absurdly tiny buttons on the face of a smartwatch display. This could be what the exactly smartwatch market has been waiting for.

air gestures huawei Potential Huawei smartwatch air gestures. / © Huawei

These new input methods include tapping a much wider surface above the display or hand, swiping above the hand, drawing shapes or letters on the back of the hand, or tapping around the sides of the watch in one of four directions to make a selection. And those are just what was explicitly pictured in the patent. Potentially, other gestures like double taps, long presses or multiple fingers at once could be recognized. Pair this with another innovative design concept like touch sensitive bezels, as found by LetsGoDigital in another recent Huawei patent, and you might just have a smartwatch that’s not impossibly frustrating to interact with.

huawei touch bezels Touch sensitive bezels could appear in the next Huawei smartwatch. / © Huawei

As is often the case with truly innovative mobile tech patents, it may never see the light of day. But, if we’re lucky, air gestures could appear in the next Huawei smartwatch. Huawei isn’t alone in this sort of endeavor, though. Even Apple is working on similar new input methods for its devices. TechTastic spotted a patent for what might be a future Apple Pencil that can draw on any surface, including the air, by using some kind of camera or sensor to track its movements.

What new features would you like to see in the Huawei Watch 3, or other upcoming smartwatches? Would air gestures make buying a smartwatch worth it for you?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

DJI Mavic Air: could this be the definitive drone?

DJI showcased its new Mavic Air drone in New York. The third quadcopter in this series is of similar quality to its predecessors and can also fold its arms for better portability. For its size, no competitor offers so much in terms of photo quality.

Release date and price

The DJI Mavic Air can be ordered through the official DJI website and is also available from other retailers. The drone is available in three colors: marengo grey, white and red.

We can buy the Mavic Air in a basic pack with remote control, protections, charger, cover, propeller replacement and a battery from US$ 799 (£769 in the UK). Often, one battery is not enough so there is a more complete pack available with three batteries, charger for four batteries and two propeller replacements from $ 999 (£949 in the UK).

DJI Mavic Air

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 160012 The red model reminds me of a Porsche. / © AndroidPIT

Design and build quality

In essence, it is the same design concept that we’ve seen before with the Mavic but with reduced dimensions and more versatility, making it a bit more like the Spark. Many of its parts such as the ventilation system or the gimbal have had to be redesigned. At a glance, it’s also apparent that attention has been paid to aesthetics, too. The result is one of the most stylish quadcopters on the market without sparing aerodynamics.

Compared to the Mavic Pro, the brand’s best-selling drone, the Mavic Air is 41% lighter and takes up about half the space.

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 141410 Mavic Pro (left), Mavic Air (right). / © AndroidPIT AndroidPIT dji mavick air 140905 Spark (left), Mavic Air (right). / © AndroidPIT

Fully folded, it is very compact and occupies more or less the palm of my hand. It won’t fit in a trouser pocket, but it can realistically be carried in many jacket pockets. In a rucksack it’s one more item, well protected inside its tight box.

With its arms outstretched it occupies just a little more volume than spark but much less than the Mavic Pro, and provides almost the same picture quality as its big brother. 

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 133438AndroidPIT dji mavick air 133444AndroidPIT dji mavic air 07 It fits in the palm of one hand. / © AndroidPIT AndroidPIT dji mavick air 132933 Mavic Air stretches its wings. / © AndroidPIT

Special features

Flight experience

In normal mode the flight is very relaxed and allows you to react without any problem, even to the risks posed by less experienced pilots around you. When controlling it from the phone the maximum distance is 80 m but with the remote control we can reach up to 4 km with line of sight. In sport mode it reaches up to 68 km/h, which makes it faster than the Mavic Pro.

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 155401 Un vuelo de lo más estable. / © AndroidPIT

The Mavic Air can fly up to 5000 m. a. s. l., so you won’t be able to take it to Everest but you could take some shots of Kilimanjaro. With a single battery, Mavic Air can stay in the air for up to 21 minutes, depending on the manufacturer. Of course if wind or other conditions are not ideal the time can be considerably reduced.

Flight control by gestures has been improved compared to that of the Spark. At Mavic Air the response is faster and includes new gestures such as takeoff, landing, pulling away and approaching. It’s better but it’s not perfect either. The recognition is done through the cameras so if the contrast of your palm with the background is not good the drone finds it more difficult to recognize your gestures.

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 155407 It is able to avoid obstacles thanks to its six stabilization cameras. / © AndroidPIT

Flight stability is much better thanks to a new system (VIO) that combines the compass and its cameras to maintain a more stable position.

The assisted flight has also been improved thanks to its 7 built-in cameras (1 main camera and 6 for stabilization). The Mavic Pro is capable of flying and dodging objects, i. e. moving forward and changing its trajectory to avoid a tree or rock but continuing to move forward.

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 133523 The control can be folded down and the levers unscrewed for safe transport. / © AndroidPIT

Camera

The camera is mounted in a new 3-axis Gimbal, as we have already mentioned. On each axis we have a new part to reduce the vibrations that occur during flight from such small drones.

AndroidPIT dji mavic air 00 Spherical photo taken with Mavic Air. / © AndroidPIT

The sensor is a 1/2.3 inch, f/2.8 and 12 MP CMOS, similar to the Mavic Pro. Pictures are saved in both JPG and RAW, even if you shoot the picture in HDR. For video it offers 4K resolution at 30 fps, 2.7k at 60 fps and Full HD at 120 fps. With 120 fps we have the opportunity to take slow motion shots.

For photographs we have a new panoramic function capable of joining 25 photos together to create a spherical photo of up to 32 MP. The drone itself shoots multiple photos and binds them together in a spherical photo. the whole process can take about a minute.

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 133104 Three front cameras, two for positioning and one for capturing the moment. / © AndroidPIT

At Mavic Air we have two new QuickShot modes: boomerang and asteroid. With them we can make videos to show in a panoramic way where we are. Smart capture has also changed. Until now you have marked a rectangle on the screen where the object to be followed was, but Mavic Air is able to recognize objects (cars, boats, etc.) and people. You just have to touch what you want me to follow. Recognition also works with QuickShot modes.

This is the first drone in the series to have 8 GB of internal memory, so forgive you if you forget the microSD card. The data transmission speed rises up to 100 Mbps between drone and smartphone, although they have to be close enough to reach that speed.

AndroidPIT dji mavic air 04 Detail of the new gimbal, similar to the Spark. / © AndroidPIT

Early Verdict

The DJI Mavic Air is the drone with the best balance between portability, quality and price seen so far. It is the smallest drone capable of recording 4K at 30fps and with a panoramic mode capable of offering a snapshot similar to that of a 32 MP camera and fisheye. With the small difference that this flies. I must admit that I’m eager to be able to try it more thoroughly and test it to the limit.

AndroidPIT dji mavick air 132958 A very versatile drone. / © AndroidPIT

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