After a tortuous amount of teasing, we finally have a new DJI drone to be excited about. Rather than launching a big, high-end drone, the company has decided to shrink things down significantly, revealing the Mavic Mini to the world.
It’s a folding machine unlike any other we’ve seen so far, but it’s not just a diminutive size that’s impressive. The mini weighs in at an incredible 249g. For now, that slides under the registration requirement of many aviation authorities, including the FAA. At the same time, this little machine has a spec sheet that belies both its price and size.
Big Specs for a Little Drone
DJI have dabbled in smaller drones before. The DJI Tello wasn’t actually a DJI hardware product, but it did pack DJI software, making it arguably the best entry-level drone for the money. Apart from the Tello, The DJI Spark weighs 300g, which doesn’t seem like a big difference, but proportionally it’s massive. The specifications and price of the Mavic Mini also make the Spark effectively obsolete. It’s unclear whether a Spark 2 is still coming or whether the Mini is indeed the drone everyone thought would be the Spark 2, but right now you can be pretty confident in buying this newer drone over the Spark.
So let’s look at those specs. The camera has a proper 3-axis gimbal and sports a 2.7K sensor. HD video transmission works up to 4km away and this little guy will fly up to 30 mins. These are the sorts of numbers we’re used to seeing on bigger, much more expensive drones.
It’s got precision hovering abilities by combining a special sensor with machine vision trickery. There’s no mention of obstacle avoidance in the marketing bumpf we’ve seen, but it’s doubtful that this little Mavic will sport the comprehensive spatial awareness of the Mavic 2 Pro.
A New Form of Control
For the Mini, DJI have thrown a lot of effort into making it easy for anyone to fly. The manual controller is welcome as always, but the DJI Fly app has seen significant revision, as well as simplified editing. This Mavic is designed to help a generation og vloggers, bloggers, YouTubers and other content creators to get cinematic aerial footage with a minimum of experience and skill.
Priced to Kill
At a base price of $399 combined with those specs and possible the best portability of any proper drone, I expect DJI to sell a ton of these Mavi Minis. However, I don’t think it will be long before aviation authorities close the weight loophole, since you can cause just as much mischief with this Mavic Mini as you can with a drone weighing only 50g more.
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