Today DJI is officially launching the Mavic Mini drone, the smallest and lightest folding drone the company has ever created. With its legs tucked underneath, the Mini is shorter than a Samsung Galaxy S10+ and weighs only 74 grams more. Starting at $399, it targets drone newcomers and veterans alike with its bag and pocket-friendly foldable design, decent camera and video-recording capabilities, and a streamlined companion app that offers quick shortcuts for creating cinema-like shots and videos.
Although some details about the Mavic Mini got leaked ahead of its official debut, there is enough new information to get excited about. The Mini's foremost characteristic is its diminutive size and weight. When folded, it measures 140 mm x 82 mm x 57 mm (L x W x H) and has a takeoff weight of only 249 grams, allowing it to be flown recreationally without registering with the FAA (for commercial use, you'll still have to register it).
The Mini can be controlled from up to 4 km away (roughly 2.5 miles) and stay in flight for up to 30 minutes. It comes equipped with both a GPS receiver and downward visual sensors for stable hovering and safer landing. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with an obstacle-avoidance system like ActiveTrack, which is present in DJI's more expensive models. DJI lists the full specs of the Mavic Mini on its website.
The Mavic Mini's photo and video capabilities slot in between the $919 Mavic Air and the $500 DJI Spark, though the latter is no longer available for purchase. Although the Mini has the same 1/2.3" CMOS sensor found on both the Mavic Air and DJI Spark that allows for 12MP pictures, the Mini can only capture up to 2.7K videos at 30FPS — the Air can shoot as high as 4K at 30FPS, whereas the Spark tops out at 1080P and 30FPS. Considering many people share photos and videos on social media that are mostly viewed on small screens, the Mini's picture and video capabilities seem sufficient.
In order to soften the learning curve of piloting a drone and make content creation easier for beginners, DJI is introducing a new mobile companion app for the Mavic Mini called DJI Fly. Compared to the more feature-rich (and complex) DJI Go app, DJI Fly eschews a lot of the former's clutter and focuses instead on making the capture process as easy as possible through its QuickShots feature. The app provides four pre-programmed flight maneuvers, named Dronie, Rocket, Circle, and Helix. Each mode offers a different and interesting way of capturing a scene with just a tap of the screen as demonstrated in the video below.
The Mavic Mini is available for preorder today, and it is expected to ship on November 11th. The standard "Everyday FlyCam" package costs $399, and includes the Mavic Mini, remote controller, one battery, and one set of extra propellers. The $499 "Fly More Combo" includes all the parts from the standard package and adds a 360-degree propeller cage (guard), a two-way charging hub, two more batteries, two more sets of spare propellers, and a carrying case.