Here we are, about 6 months after the GDU O2 was first announced. When we first heard about it, people were calling it the “Mavic Killer”. Half a year later, DJI has released the Mavic Air, and we’re hearing plenty of rumors about the Mavic Pro 2.
Thus, the question remains: is the GDU O2 better than the Mavic Pro/Air? All three drones have a 3-axis gimbal with 4k video capability, so what are the differences?
(Also, Alex Assenmacher from WeTalkUAV made a video reviewing the O2 the other day, which was very helpful and I suggest you check it out HERE)
Basically, smart features, battery life, price and range are the main differences. Since the cameras are all pretty good, I won’t go into any details comparing them.
The Mavic Pro comes last in this category, seeing as it’s now about a year and a half old. The GDU improves on the Pro’s features, adding more gestures and introducing quickshots. But ultimately the Mavic Air prevails, with its advanced palm-control and obstacle avoidance.
(If you’re wondering what quickshots are, they are pre-set flight moves that create cinematic clips).
Here’s a chart describing some main features of all three. (Also I’ve never personally flown a GDU O2, so this is taken from other descriptions and reviews).
|Drone||Mavic Pro||GDU O2||Mavic Air|
|Obstacle Avoidance?||Has obstacle detection; but will not avoid obstacles||Obstacle detection; obstacle avoidance in follow-me mode?||Has APAS-- advanced pilot assistance systems, which detect and avoid obstacles.|
|Quickshots?||No||Yes - A few||Yes - More than the O2|
|Gesture mode?||Yes - you can make gestures to take pictures and videos||Yes - Same as the Mavic Pro||Yes - you can use gestures to take pictures and videos, as well as use palm-control to fly the drone.|
|MicroSD Card Slot?||Yes||No||Yes|
As you can see, the Mavic Air wins in almost every category. But smart features aren’t everything, so keep reading.
|27 minutes (more like 20-25 on an average day)|
|GDU O2||20 Minutes (more like 15-20)|
|Mavic Air||21 Minutes (more like 15-20)|
You’ll notice that the Mavic Pro has a huge advantage over the other two. You might wonder, if the Mavic Pro is so much older than the other two, why don’t the others crush it in flight time?
That’s a good question. I think the reason is that the O2 and Mavic Air were made to be less expensive, and also to appeal to less professional consumers. Therefore they didn’t really need to have a large flight time like the Pro.
Moving on then, we come to everybody’s favorite section: Price!
|GDU O2||$732 on Amazon|
|Mavic Air||$800 on Amazon|
|Mavic Pro||$850 on Amazon|
As you can see, the GDU O2 is cheapest at 732, with the Mavic Air in second and the Mavic Pro being the most expensive. You might think that cheaper is always better, so the GDU is your best bet, but I would disagree.
For another $70 bucks you can get the best drone on the market (in our rankings of the Top 10 Drones), which is definitely worth it. Anyways, moving onto the last section: range.
|Mavic Pro||Over 4 miles of range|
|GDU O2||0.6 miles with O2, over 4 miles with O2 Plus|
|Mavic Air||About 2 miles of range|
You might have noticed that the GDU O2 ‘Plus’ gets about the same range as the Mavic Pro! Well, GDU announced the O2 Plus, but they don’t have it for sale or pre-order, so I’m thinking it’s a lost cause.
So we’re left with the standard O2 model, which gets a measly .6 miles. If you’re staying in Line of Sight, this isn’t a huge drawback. However, if you’re a big traveler and you go to countries with looser drone laws, it will make a huge difference to have the extra range that the DJI drones provide.
The difference between the Mavic Pro and Air is that the Air uses an enhanced wi-fi signal. This means that you will connect your phone to the controller, and the controller will connect to the drone, all via wi-fi.
The Mavic Pro, though, uses DJI’s Ocusync transmission. I don’t know all the details, but it’s closer to a radio signal than a wi-fi signal, which gets much better range. Also, your transmission will be much smoother, with less chance of lag.
Honestly, it’s a mystery to me why DJI didn’t incorporate Ocusync into the Mavic Air. Perhaps it was too expensive, but I would pay more for it. Either way, definitely be expecting Ocusync for the Mavic Pro II.
While the GDU O2 is a great drone, it ultimately falls short of the Mavic series. When you consider DJI’s dominance in user-friendliness and ease-of-use, it’s a safer bet to get a DJI drone. That’s the reason why the Mavic Air is #1 on our Top 10 Drones list.
That just about concludes this article. Comment below: which drone you prefer? Do you value Price, range, flight time, or smart features more?
Also, I’m going to start posting news articles more often, so be on the lookout for fresh content.