Our Rating - 90/100
Amazing Value For Money Drone
The Mavic Mini is the DJI’s newest release – and it’s their most compact, lightweight drone to-date.
After everything I learned about its features and performance, I can comfortably say that it might as well be the model that revolutionized foldable video-centric drones as we know them.
DJI Mavic Mini Review
This post was updated on: Saturday, January 1, 2020
DJI’s high-performance models have ranked among the best drones time after time. Innovative features, ease of use, and top-of-the-line cameras are only a few examples of what the brand has to offer in their commercial use drones.
But as many of you already know, one thing that DJI’s drones weren’t known for was pocket-friendly price tags. Their not-so-affordable nature was what often made them less accessible for the average consumer.Well, it seems like that’s all about to change with the brand’s newest release – the DJI Mavic Mini drone.
Transmitter 4 kilometers
Li-ion 2S 2400 mAh
3-Axis Gimbal 2.7K Camera
DJI Mavic Mini at a Glance
The DJI Mavic Mini is a league of its own.
That’s all I’ll say for now.Check out the rest of my DJI Mavic Mini review, and you’ll see that it’s not only one of DJI’s most lightweight and affordable drones but one that makes very few compromises feature and performance-wise, too.
The DJI Mavic Mini’s battery life is undoubtedly going to bring a smile to that face of yours – it boasts 30 minutes of flight time.
Yes, you read that right – half an hour of uninterrupted playtime!
I don’t know about you, but I’d call that a mind-blowing feat for any drone as small as this one.
My real-life experiences were pretty much on point with the „official numbers,“ too, averaging at around 25 to 30 minutes – for those of you who were skeptical about such claims.
Here’s where it gets even better:
Battery-wise, it not only competes with other compact-sized DJI drones – it blows them out of the water. You wouldn’t get a better battery performance even if you opted for the Mavic 2 Pro, which, by the way, costs 3 times more.
Also, it’s insane to think about how lightweight things have gotten:The Li-ion 2S 2400 mAh battery weighs around 100 grams. When I removed it, it instantly felt like the drone dropped half its weight!
Ever since I first laid my eyes on the DJI Mavic Mini, I couldn’t escape the impression that it’s somewhat of a love child of the DJI’s Osmo Pocket and Mavic Air.
It might’ve got its looks and design cues from the Mavic Air, but the camera’s features have „Osmo Pocket“ written all over them:
Housed on the drone’s front is a camera supported by a three-axis motorized gimbal, and fitted with a 1/2.3-inch sensor.
Does that sound like Osmo Pocket, or what?
In a now traditional DJI manner, the camera’s gimbal-mounted for added mechanical stabilization, and an overall improvement in footage quality.
Oh, and the gimbal offers two modes, too – the FPV mode, which takes on the drone’s perspective, and Follow mode, which sticks to the horizon line level.
The DJI Mavic Mini camera’s video-capturing capabilities cap out at a 2.7K Quad HD resolution, with a 30fps frame rate. The alternative here is a 1080p video at 60fps. Moreover, it’s capable of capturing 12MP images, as well.
Here's some demo footage to illustrate my point:
Not everything is rainbows and butterflies, though.
Unfortunately for videographers, there’s no 4K resolution to be seen here. Furthermore, it’s not capable of capturing RAW images – and filming in low-light conditions is pretty much a no-go.
The Mavic Mini ships with a 5.8 GHz remote controller. Although your smartphone plays a vital role controls-wise, it’s pretty much useless without a dedicated controller – and vice versa.
And similar to the drone itself, you have to unfurl it to uncover everything it has to offer.
Sure enough, once you do, it transforms into a joystick-toting, antenna-flicking, phone-holding hunk of plastic.
Granted, connecting your smartphone is a somewhat fiddly process, but I’m willing to let it slide because of the dependable connectivity it brings to the table.
On that note, the fact that it can transmit HD video within a four-kilometer range is nothing short of amazing.
Here’s where the DJI Mavic Mini’s controller takes things a step further:
Powered by a 2600 mAh battery, it has plenty of juice to go around. And by that I mean – it can charge your phone!Of course, the software plays as big of a role in controlling the unit as the physical controller does. The Mavic Mini’s exclusive controller app, the DJI Fly, delivers on its promise, and contributes to a more simplified flying experienced – but more on that in a second.
Now, you’re probably sitting there, wondering:
All these specs aside, what is the DJI Mavic Mini actually like? How does getting it up in the air feel?
The Mavic Mini – in all its featherweight, foldable glory – is a joy to fly, regardless of your piloting skills.
Considering the number of features dedicated to making the process of flying the drone as simple as possible, it shouldn’t come as a surprise:
You’ll find beginner-oriented tutorials within the app to help you get started on your journey, and figure out all the tips and tricks for successful flights and high-quality shots.
Even more so, it will give you three modes of operation – Position, Sports, and CineSmooth – and several of DJI’s pre-programmed QuickShot modes – Rocket, Dronie, Circle, and Helix.
Unintentionally or not, I found myself sticking with the CineSmooth mode. I found that it worked well with the camera’s capabilities, allowing me to get the desired cinematic footage and lingering shots.
Another thing it doesn’t lack is safety-oriented features:The that I should mention is that it doesn’t come with . I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this feature added as a part of a future update, though. Also, I was hoping for a , rather than a one – but I feel like I'm just nitpicky here.
For instance, the integrated altitude limit prevents you from getting carried away, and a return home function kicks in automatically when the battery gets critically low – and ensures that your drone comes home safely.
I had my doubts about its mid-air performance, considering its lightweight frame. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong:
It felt stable and precise at all times, partially due to the downward vision sensors that allow it to detect the ground for safer landings, as well as more stable flights and hovering.
Are there any downsides, though?
The one trade-off that I should mention is that it doesn’t come with object tracking. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this feature added as a part of a future update, though.
I would recommend that you use a tablet compatible with DJI Go 4, the software used to take these stunning images and videos. You can use your phone, if its one of those phablet types!
What Do We Like?
Aesthetically-speaking, it has DJI written all over it – the two shades of grey and the sleek and stealthy design give it a signature Mavic look.
Unfurl it by pivoting its arms, and it reveals a familiar quadcopter design, complete with a stabilized camera shielded by a plastic guard, a Micro USB charging port, and an exposed micro SD card slot.
Fold it up, and it’s barely larger than an average smartphone.
Its compact size isn’t the star of the show here, though – it’s the drone’s total weight of 249 grams. As such, the DJI Mavic Mini is one of the very few video-centric drones that has its weight shaved down enough to stay below the 250-gram line:
Falling a gram short of the official 250-gram limit where additional regulations kick in, it manages to escape FAA registration by a hair’s breadth.
Can you hear the DJI’s design team laughing in the distance?
Also, it’s not every day that you come across a pocket-sized drone that boasts a flight time of 30 minutes – or one that’s equipped with a 2.7K HD camera mounted on a three-axis gimbal, for that matter.
So, yes, it’s worth it, and yes, you should seriously consider getting one.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not going to tug at your sleeve or anything. But considering everything you’ve just read, I don’t see how this is even up for debate?
What Don’t We Like?
For the most part, I was smitten by its featherlight frame and capabilities.
But I’ll be honest with you:
If there are two things I’d hoped to see on the DJI Mini, it’s the object tracking and 4K resolution.
If that’s something you can’t go without, know that these features are present in its larger siblings. So, you’re not entirely out of options here.Also, I was hoping for a USB-C charging port, rather than a Micro USB one – but I feel like I'm just nitpicky here.
Advice to Buyers
As I’ve already pointed out, its minuscule size is its most heavily advertised feature. But the sneaky ability to dodge FAA registration by a single gram is only a part of what makes the DJI Mavic Mini an oh-so-attractive option:
It can compete with DJI’s larger models – despite being their smallest, most lightweight folding drone yet – and is equally accessible for both experienced drone pilots and first-timers.
Plus, it doesn’t cost a small fortune!
Summing it all up...
It’s time to wrap up my DJI Mavic Mini review, but before you go, there’s one more thing I’d like to say:
What you’re looking at here is much more than the DJI’s newest release.
The DJI Mavic Mini is a game-changing, bar-raising, video-centric drone that packs the features and the build quality that DJI’s already known for – but in a much smaller, and far lighter frame than ever before.
Even with the few trade-offs in mind, it’s still miles ahead of the competition – no other FlyCam comes close.
The countdown to November 11 – the official start-of-shipping date – has begun. I’d be sure to place my pre-order in time if I were you!
Last update on 2020-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API