Ever since its release, the DJI Mavic Air 2 has won many people’s hearts, especially those into professional photography. The 48 MP still photos, 4K/60 fps video quality, and several intelligent flight modes are some of the reasons I love this drone. But today, I will not be talking about the drone’s features. I will be talking about the drone’s battery and everything you need to know about it.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 uses a 3S intelligent battery that lasts 34 minutes. The battery has several advanced features such as auto-discharging, overcharge protection, over-discharging protection, etc. You can charge the batteries using a single-battery charger, a charging hub, or a power bank adapter.
It’s super important to understand your drone’s battery as it’s such a crucial component of the drone. So here I’m going to discuss everything there is to know about the Mavic Air 2 batteries – from charging, discharging, and firmware updates to maintenance tips.
What battery does the DJI Mavic Air 2 use?
The DJI Mavic Air 2 uses a three-cell polymer Lithium-ion battery, also known as LiPo batteries. You have undoubtedly seen these batteries before in most drones and RC devices.
Manufacturers prefer them to other types of batteries since they use a polymer that allows them to be shaped into any design. Also, LiPo batteries can handle more voltage and still maintain a miniature size.
When we talk about a three-cell, it means the battery contains three individual cells in a series arrangement. That’s why it’s abbreviated as 3S. For LiPo batteries, one cell contains a nominal voltage of 3.7V. So, since it’s a 3-cell battery, the DJI Mavic Air 2 Battery should have an 11.1 Voltage. However, DJI claims their battery has an 11.55 V nominal voltage and a 13.2 Limited charge voltage.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 battery also has a 3500mAh capacity, which means that it would last 35 hours while discharging 100 amps every hour. That doesn’t mean it can last that long in the air though – but I’ll discuss how long this battery lasts during a flight in a minute.
How long does a DJI Mavic Air 2 battery last?
According to DJI, the Mavic Air 2 battery should last up to 34 minutes. While this might seem short compared to other electronic devices, it’s quite long in the drone world. To put into context, the DJI Inspire 2, a more expensive drone, lasts for 27 Minutes. The DJI Phantom Series drones range between 23 and 28 minutes, while the Mavic Mini 2 lasts 31 Minutes.
However, many factors affect how long the battery can last on any given flight, including temperature, wind speed, the nature of the battery, flight speed, etc. So, don’t expect the Mavic Air 2 or any other drone to be able to actually fly the number of minutes indicated in the manual. Actual flight times will almost always be several minutes less than advertised.
In terms of the life expectancy of a Mavic 2 battery, the maximum number of charge cycles is 200. This means that the battery can only be charged and discharged around 200 times. After this, the battery will no longer be able to hold a charge.
It’s also common to experience a gradual decline in battery performance as its life goes on. After a lot of charge/discharge cycles, it won’t be able to hold as much charge and will deplete more quickly. For a drone that gets flown a lot, you just need to plan on replacing your batteries every so often.
For more tips on how to extend the lifespan of your batteries, read our article on Everything You Need to Know about LiPo Batteries.
How to charge a DJI Mavic Air 2 battery
There are three ways you can charge a Mavic Air 2 Battery.
Using a single battery charger
Connect the battery directly to the charger, and then plug the charger into a wall outlet. This is the most preferred way to charge the battery, especially when doing it for the first time. I will explain why later in the article.
DJI Mavic Air 2 battery charging hub
If you purchased the Fly More combo, you get three batteries and a charging hub. But you can also buy one separately. Once you’ve connected all the batteries to the hub, you can plug it into a power outlet.
The charging hub places them in a queue/sequence where one battery has to fully charge before it charges the next one. The battery that needs the least charge gets charged first.
Battery power bank adapter
You can also charge the Mavic Air 2’s battery using the power bank adapter that’s also included in the Fly More combo. This power bank adapter has USB ports that allow you to use it with other DJI chargers. This comes in handy when you don’t have the Mavic Air 2’s charger handy.
However, unlike with drones such as the DJI Mini 2, you can’t charge the Mavic Air 2’s battery when it’s in the drone. You have to take out the battery first and then charge it with one of these three listed methods.
How to charge the Mavic Air 2 battery on the go
Currently, there are no portable chargers for the Mavic Air 2 batteries from DJI. But there are a few aftermarket chargers that can help, such as the SMATREE SP160 Portable Charging Station or the Anker Powerhouse. If you’re planning to charge on the field, there are inverter options, as well as the option to build your own charger.
There’s a lot of debate on the effectiveness of these power banks since they may not always achieve the current requirements for charging Mavic Air 2 batteries. Those that do are quite expensive and sometimes take too long to charge one battery.
However, you can charge the Mavic Air 2 batteries using the provided car charger or purchase one separately. Ensure you have an AC output or get a good converter to convert your DC outputs to AC.
The good thing about charging the Mavic Air 2 battery with aftermarket chargers is it has inbuilt protection from overcharging, short-circuits, temperature detection, overcurrent, and balanced charging. However, an important caveat is that if you use any charger that DJI does not provide, you may void any warranties or return policies.
The best and cheapest option for traveling with your drones is purchasing several batteries. But if you’re up for it, you can try the car charger or any other power options to boost the batteries when you want to fly for a longer period.
How long do Mavic Air 2 batteries take to charge?
LiPo batteries don’t charge that fast. So, don’t expect to charge them in minutes and get back to flying in no time. In fact, charging them using fast chargers could damage them. According to the User’s Manual, the Mavic Air 2 battery takes at least 1 hour and 35 minutes to charge fully.
While it is tempting to run errands or handle any other activities away from the house as they charge, you should never leave LiPo batteries unattended while charging. Humidity and high temperatures are some of the issues that affect these batteries.
DJI advises users to ensure the charging temperatures are always between 10 Degrees C and 60 Degrees C (14 to 140 Degrees F). The chemical reaction that results from high humidity or wrong temperatures may cause a fire, and this fire spreads very fast and is very hard to put out.
How to know when the Mavic Air 2 battery is fully charged
Mavic Air 2 batteries have 4 LED indicators that can help you determine if they are fully charged. The LEDs are arranged in a circle, and they start flashing circularly. Below are what they mean according to the manual.
- When one is flashing, and the rest are off, the battery levels are between 0 and 25%.
- When two are blinking, the batteries are between 25%-75% charged.
- Three blinking LEDs mean the batteries are charged up to 75%, and when they are all flashing, it means that the battery has charged more than 75%.
- They will keep flashing until all LEDs are on and stay solidly lit, which shows that the batteries are fully charged.
If you find the LEDs off, but the battery is connected to the charger, this still means that it is fully charged. Just press the power button once, and all the LEDs will light up.
If you’re using a charging hub and find that the second battery has flashing lights, one of the batteries is most likely fully charged. The charging hub places them in a queue where one battery has to fully charge before it charges the next one.
How to remove a Mavic Air 2 battery
As mentioned earlier, you can’t charge the battery while it’s in the drone. So, whether you need to charge it or replace it, here’s how you remove it from the drone.
- Start by unfolding the drone arms. The top/front arms unfold sideways while the lower/back arms unfold downwards.
- The battery has two buttons/buckles, one on each side. After unfolding the drone, press these buttons simultaneously, and the battery will detach from the compartment quite easily.
How to discharge a Mavic Air 2 battery
Knowing how to discharge your battery is as vital as properly charging your battery. To ensure they last longer, LiPo batteries should always discharge to a voltage of at least 3.6 to 3.8 V at each use, or when not in use.
And never discharge to less than 3.0 V since that could damage them permanently. DJI advises users to discharge the batteries until they’re about 30%.
Like with charging, the discharging temperatures should be between 5 Degrees C and 40 Degrees C (41 to 104 Degrees F). Otherwise, you’ll damage your batteries.
Luckily, the Mavic Air 2 has an auto-discharge feature that allows it to automatically discharge when you’re not using the drone. This feature discharges the battery when idle up to 96% within 24 hours and up to about 60% within 5 days.
Another helpful feature is the over-discharge protection, so you don’t have to worry about the batteries automatically discharging below 3.0 V.
NOTE: The battery may be a bit warm when discharging.
What if you need to travel immediately and can’t wait for five days for the batteries to discharge? There are many ways to discharge them. Some users remove the propellers and run the drone with the motors alone. But this will wear out the rotors and might take too long.
One of the methods I find helpful is using a power bank adapter that allows you to charge your smartphone, tablet, or other power banks using the drone’s battery. This will draw down the drone battery to charge up your other devices.
You can also fly the drone outdoors until the battery charge level is at 30%.
How to do a firmware update on a Mavic Air 2 battery?
DJI drones use intelligent batteries, which means they have firmware, making it easier to fix battery issues (more on this later). So, you will need to update your battery periodically, along with your drone. And if you get the FlyMore Combo or purchase other batteries separately, you will need to update all the batteries. Below is how to do it;
- Charge the battery to at least 50%. It would be best if you used a single battery charger. Avoid using the charging hub when doing the update.
- Attach the battery to the drone.
- Switch on the drone and the controller and make sure they are connected.
- On the DJI Fly Ap, go to the main screen. If the battery is not updated, you will get a Firmware update alert at the top right corner.
- Click on that notification, and follow the screen prompts to update your battery. It doesn’t take long. And once it’s complete, you’ll hear a beep, and the drone will reboot itself.
- Once you update one battery, switch off the drone, eject the battery, repeat the process for the other batteries.
Mavic Air 2 battery installation error (Mavic Air 2 battery won’t charge)
Some DJI Mavic Air 2 users have expressed concerns about their batteries failing to activate, especially those who got the Fly More Combo. DJI, and other drone experts, have addressed this issue, and it’s pretty easy to fix. It turns out that the drones are shipped when in hibernation, and you activate them by charging them and using them on the drone.
However, if you charged them with the multi-charger that comes in the Fly More Combo for the first time, the batteries won’t activate. So, the first time you get your batteries, charge them with the single-battery charger. Once you’ve activated them, you can use the multi-charger for future charging.
If the batteries did activate after using the charging hub, but they still can’t charge or work on the drone, and you’re getting a “Battery Malfunction Communication” error, below is how you can fix them.
- Install the battery in the drone.
- Power on the drone and let it run for at least 3 minutes.
- Switch off the drone and remove the battery.
- Let the battery rest for three or more minutes.
- Charge the battery using the single-battery charger.
- Re-insert the battery into the drone and conduct a firmware update.
How to turn off a Mavic Air 2 battery
The Mavic Air 2 battery has a power button at the top. As mentioned earlier, if you want to check the battery levels, press the power button once.
To switch it on or off, press the power button once and release it. Then press a second time, but this time hold for two seconds. The LEDs will go off to show that the battery is switched off.
When to charge your Mavic Air 2 battery
Mavic Air 2 batteries, and most drone batteries, are designed to communicate their data to the controller. So, the app will show you battery levels. Generally, it would be best if you never let the battery get depleted completely. Always recharge the battery before it gets to a 15% charge. The LEDs can also guide you on the amount of charge the batteries contain.
Here’s a guide to what the LED lights on the battery mean:
- When all LEDs have a solid color: more than 88% charge
- Three solid colors and one blinking LED: 75 – 88%
- Three Solid LEDs and one that’s off: 63 – 75%
- Two solid color LEDs, one flashing, and one off: 50 to 63%
- Two solid color LEDS and two off: 38 – 50%
- One solid color LED, one flashing, and two off: 25 – 38%
- One solid color LED and three off: 13 – 25%
- Only one flashing LED: 0 – 13%
Mavic Air 2 low battery warning
Like in most smart devices, the DJI Fly App will display a low battery warning on the screen and a 10-second countdown. If you don’t land the drone or take any action after the countdown, the drone will initiate the Return-to-home feature.
You can cancel the RTH, but if you do, you risk crashing your drone as you fly back. It’s always best to land the drone immediately if you get a low battery warning.
Mavic Air 2 battery weight
Mavic Air 2’s battery makes up much of the drone’s weight since the battery weighs 245 grams while the drone (with battery installed) weighs 570 grams. This means the drone without a battery should weigh about 325 grams. Either way, this is still a manageable weight, and the foldable design makes it even more portable.
Mavic Air 2 battery feels warm
As mentioned earlier, it’s normal for Mavic Air 2 batteries to get warm as they discharge, so there’s nothing to worry about if you do notice this.
However, they may also be warm when you’re charging them in the car or garage. In this case, make sure the temperatures are ideal for charging, and don’t continue charging if the surrounding air temperature is above 140 degrees F.
It’s also best not to charge your batteries immediately after flying. Give them some time to cool down before charging.
Mavic Air 2 battery maintenance tips
- Store the batteries in a cool, dry place.
- Don’t charge the batteries directly after flying. Let them cool down first.
- Don’t charge the batteries when the temperatures are too high or too low.
- Always discharge up to 30%.
- Always fully charge the battery at least one or two times every three months to extend its lifespan.
- Don’t use swollen batteries.
- Always make sure the drone is powered off before removing the battery.
Batteries are an essential part of the drone. And if you don’t handle them carefully, you may need to spend a lot more buying more batteries. Or, even worse, you may damage your drone. I have described all there is to know about the Mavic Air 2’s battery, but don’t forget to check your manual for further care instructions or troubleshooting. Also, follow up on any firmware updates that may help fix any issues with the batteries or the drone.