There is a new DJI addition to its rosy roster and it is a banger. The Mavic Air drone was the first drone we flew last year, and we were amazed by how DJI managed to create a drone that was so small, so nimble, and so easy to fly, as well as delivering good video at a reasonable price. By introducing the Mavic Mini, DJI has improved upon the Air in almost every aspect. This aircraft is also smaller and easier to fly and stays airborne for a longer period of time than its predecessor.
Despite the Mavic Mini’s inability to shoot a 4K video, the footage it captures is every bit as good, and it should more than satisfy casual fliers. As our pick for the best drone, it has now taken the top spot.
After unpacking, unfolding, activating, flying, fiddling with the settings, using the camera, and watching the rushes, we are astonished not just by the drone’s overall quality and the footage it captures, but also by its remarkable price tag.
- Affordably priced
- A long-lasting battery
- Flying is easy
- Mavic Air has a lower resolution camera
- Wind gusts are more likely to occur
What’s In The Box?
Basic equipment includes a hand controller with a phone cradle, on/off and “return to home” buttons, a smooth gimbal wheel for controlling the elevation of the camera, and shoulder buttons to take photos and videos. As well as the smart flight battery, you get a charger, spare propellers, and control sticks, as well as several different phone cables. Our recommendation would be to spend just £90 more and get the Fly More Combo, which includes a beautiful herringbone carry case, a charger for charging 4 batteries at once, and propeller guards for indoor use.
Drone design was revolutionized by DJI with the folding arms of the original Mavic Pro, making it much more portable. Mavic Mini does not really offer anything new in this regard, since it is essentially a smaller version of the other Mavic drones. The Mini is still too heavy to register with the FAA, however, DJI managed to shave enough weight from it to bring it down to 249 grams – one gram short of the limit. Compared to the DJI Spark, it is even lighter.
The propeller guard adds 25 grams to the Mini’s weight, but that’s OK. Compared to DJI’s other drones, the Mini is extremely small: It fits in the palm of my hand, and it can easily be stuffed into a backpack. However, this does not mean you can fly the Mini anywhere. Even though it doesn’t need to be registered with the FAA, you still must follow the rules as any other drone operator.
A brief note about the drone’s camera since it is arguably its most important component. Although it does not support the same amount of picture and video profiles as the larger Mavics, even the default settings are excellent.
The Mavic Mini’s video and photo quality were excellent for the price. A Mavic Mini can film 1080p video at 60 frames/sec and 2.7K video at 30 frames/sec. Even though it does not shoot in full 4K, the 2.7K resolution is more than adequate for any tablet or phone, and certainly for a computer monitor. The 4K files are so massive that they often consume a lot of hard drive space and cause stuttering on anything but a high-end computer. In any case, at this price, there would have to be some compromise.
Mavic Mini, despite its small size and shape, is extremely stable in flight and extremely fast and nimble in Sport mode. Honestly, I expected it to struggle in a breeze, but its sturdy GPS lock enabled it to remain stationary as long as I kept my fingers off the sticks. The video streaming quality to my phone was also excellent. With a transmission distance of 4km, the Mavic Min is happy to fly for up to 30 minutes on a single charge.
Mavic Mini’s 30-minute estimated battery life is one of its best attributes. A Mavic 2 Pro with the same price tag will take 15 minutes longer than a Mavic Air. According to our testing, this is mostly true, however, if you’re flying it in stronger winds, you’ll find that the drone gives efforts to stay in place, reducing battery life. The DJI Mavic Air 2 has a slightly longer endurance time of 34 minutes.
DJI Fly app was designed specifically for the Mavic Mini. It has an easy-to-use interface that isn’t cluttered with too many submenus. The update also went smoothly and paired with the craft without a hitch. It does not include any video profiles like D-Log, but the standard default settings should suffice for most users. For more advanced settings, you can always switch to manual.
DJI Mavic Mini Price
There are two DJI Mavic Mini configurations available: In the $399 bundle, the drone, a remote control, one battery, extra propellers, and all necessary tools are included. This $499 package includes a drone, a controller, three batteries, a two-way charging hub, the propeller cage, three sets of extra propellers, and a carry case the size of a lunchbox.
Mavic Mini is yet another excellent addition to DJI’s drone line-up and represents what an average drone pilot need. The DJI Mavic Pro is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a top-quality camera drone but did not want to spend a small fortune on it. It is incredibly small and portable, incredibly stable, and reliable in flight, easy to control, and shoots excellent cinematic footage. With a starting price of $399, ease of use, and a half-hour flight time, the Mavic Mini more than meets your expectations.