DJI just announced the Mavic Mini, an entry-level drone that’s designed for anybody and everybody. It’s essentially a smaller and cheaper version of DJI’s other foldable drones, like the Mavic Pro, Mavic Air and Mavic 2. The Mavic Mini costs $399 and it’s available for preorder right now. Shipping will begin on November 11.
So, how small is “mini”? The Mavic Mini is roughly the same size as the company’s DJI Spark, which was released in 2017, but the difference is that the Mavic Mini is foldable, just like every other drone DJI’s Mavic line. And the kicker is that because the Mavic Mini weighs just 249 grams, it’s actually small enough not need FAA registration, which is one big hassle you don’t have to worry about.
Of course, the Mavic Mini is more than just a foldable version of the Spark as it steals many more of the high-end abilities of the Mavic line. The Mavic Mini has a three-axis gimbal to help it shoot extra smooth video, which the Spark lacks. It uses DJI’s all-new Fly app, which is designed to help new drone pilots learn how to fly and shoot with ease.
The Mavic Mini also has a significantly better camera than the Spark. It can shoot 2.7K video at 30 frames per second (roughly 40-percent high quality than the Spark’s 1080p video) or 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second. It can also take 12-megapixel still photos. It has a 30-minute flight time but only comes with one battery. For an extra $100 – totaling at $499 – you can buy the “Fly More Combo” pack which gives you two extra batteries, propeller guards, extra sets of propellers, and a few other accessories.
There are tradeoffs with the Mavic Mini. It obviously can’t shoot 4K video like it’s larger Mavic brethren, and also doesn’t have object avoidance (which the Spark actually has). This means that even though the Mavic Mini is more portable and shoots solid video and photos, beginner pilots are going to have to be extra careful when flying around things like trees, people, homes and buildings.