Specta Air Drone

What is the Cogito Specta Air Drone? Is it really the DJI Air 3?

Someone from Cogito reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their new flagship model the Specta Air. They sent me a few specs and a few pictures and immediately I was intrigued. This drone looked identical to the DJI Air 3 and the specs were eerily similar as well. I figured there was some mistake (intentionally perhaps) but why not get my hands on this drone and see for myself?

Full Review of the Cogito Specta Air

Nearly everything about the Specta Air is identical to the DJI Air 3. They have the same 46 minute flight time, 20km (12.4 mile) range, 4K camera, omnidirectional obstacle avoidance. The apps are the same and save a few newer features that the Air 3 has the flight modes and interface are also the same. We even took this drone apart to look inside. They are the same drone, in and out.

Is this really a conspiracy?

DJI Fly vs Specta Fly App

Specta Air vs DJI Air 3 | Comparing Features

Teardown of the Specta Air

Is the Specta Air really the DJI Air 3?

Yes, and no. Hardware and software are nearly identical. They perform the same. The Specta isn’t a cheap knock off. It is the Air 3, but it is built in Malaysia and sold by Cogito. The Specta is $1199 but includes the Specta RC (DJI RC2) with the included screen. The Air 3 is $1099 but adding the DJI RC2 would add an extra $255.

Specta Air Drone next to the DJI Air 3
Specta Air Drone (left) next to the DJI Air 3

The Specta Air arrived and to my amusement, it was in almost every way identical to my DJI Air 3. Same size, same color, same camera, same battery, same lens cover, you name it. The drones are even within 2 grams of each other.

Specta Air Drone next to the DJI Air 3

There were not DJI logos on the Specta of course, and all of the literature was Cogito or Speca branded. Powering on the drone and the included remote had a very DJI feel to it as well. The software on the drone seems to be a forked version of the DJI software.

Specta Air Drone next to the DJI Air 3

What is the Specta Air drone?

So the question remains, what is this drone? Is it a copy? Is it a rebrand? Is it some DJI shell company trying to avoid some upcoming ban? The answer is I do not know. This drone isn’t compatible with my Air remote or vice versa. Cogito claims not to be affiliated with DJI.Specta Air Drone

Is it a copy? Not likely. These drones are far too similar in both hardware and software for this to be the case.

Specta Air Drone runs it's own but similar software to DJI.
The Specta Air Drone runs its own but similar software to DJI.

Is it a rebrand? Perhaps. Rebranding drones is quite common. There are plenty of manufacturers like MJX or SJRC that make entry-level drones and rebadge and tweak them slightly. Companies then sell them as their own products on Amazon or Banggood.

Here is a common example of a rebrand. I’ve flown 4 different versions of this drone. Holy Stone, TripleFine, Veenix, and SJRC.

Holy Stone is probably the most popular company to use this tactic. DJI has never done this and it would be odd for them to start now.

Is it some shell company of DJI to avoid the ban? Also not probable. While they do pop up from time to time on lists it isn’t likely to be banned commercially. If this was the case Cogito would also likely get banned as well.

Is DJI outsourcing their manufacturing and that manufacturer decided to sell drones to another company? Perhaps. Again that would be odd. I’ll continue to try and gather more data, so check back.

How does the Specta Air compare to the DJI Air 3?

It is the DJI Air 3, inside and out. The DJI Air 3 is a fantastic drone and the Specta Air is as well. Aside from some small firware differences these two drones are identical in terms of performance. We tested the cameras, obstacle avoidance, range, top speed, flight time. None of these proved to have any real differences. The Specta Air is an excellent drone, on par with DJI.

This is the Specta Air drone from Cotigo
This is the Specta Air drone from Cogito, NOT the DJI Air 3.

First Look at the Specta Air

Cogito just launched its website and is working on a Specta Mini that will launch in April. It is an intriguing option and alternative to the DJI Air 3. Currently, the Specta Air is $1199. That includes the drone, one battery, 3 sets of props, a charging cable, and a remote with a built-in screen. Check out the Amazon listing below for more details.

Check out the Specta AirCheck out the DJI Air 3

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