DJI Mavic Mini within the take a look at: A weekend with a budget drone from DJI

RRP $ 399.00

“DJI’s Mavic Mini is a relaxed return to fundamentals, however I do not need to dwell with that.”


  • Simple to fly

  • Steady, dependable manners

  • Extraordinarily mild and compact

  • Spectacular battery life

  • No FAA registration required


  • No impediment avoidance

  • No 4K video

  • lackluster video transmission system

I took DJI’s Mavic mini drone for a weekend journey to rural japanese Oregon. There I stayed in a small mattress and breakfast and used it as my base of operations whereas I went on a sequence of flight assessments.

My time with the Mavic Mini displays my time on this rustic lodge. Refreshingly easy and simple – however not one thing I need to maintain onto. This is why.

Again to fundamentals

The Mavic Mini is the lightest drone within the Mavic line. This not solely applies to weight, but additionally to gear and value. It is the household’s most cost-effective, scaled-down drone.

Most of it was within the identify of weight. DJI has gone to nice lengths to get the Mavic Mini beneath 250 grams, as drones beneath this weight restrict don’t must be registered with the FAA previous to flight.

It is the distinction between retreating to Jap Oregon, like I did, and touring to Japan. Japan is nice. It is a fantastic place to go to. However to get there you need to take an costly 10-hour flight with customs controls on each ends. Flying the Mavic is as simple as driving to a mattress and breakfast and paying the modest nightly charge.

Digital tendencies

Nonetheless, this ease brings its personal issues. DJI had reduce out some notable options that had been current in earlier (and heavier) Mavic drones.

The Mavic Mini doesn’t include an impediment avoidance system. It additionally lacks DJI’s object monitoring, gesture recognition, and auto-follow modes – all compute-intensive duties that not solely require a quicker processor with extra strong cooling.

Different options compromise to cut back the value. The Mavic Mini doesn’t have a 4K digital camera on its nostril, however affords a most video decision of two.7K. And you will not discover DJI’s proprietary Ocusync or Lightbridge transmission applied sciences. As an alternative, the drone flies on a less expensive and barely much less dependable Wi-Fi-based system, which makes the drone liable to interference.

Easy joys

Properly, the Mavic is not fancy. Nevertheless it’s not at all times stylish to have a superb time. A weekend getaway is an efficient time with minimal effort. The Mavic imitates that. It lacks bells and whistles, however it’s nonetheless enjoyable to fly.

DJI has made no compromises with the Mavic Mini’s core flight efficiency. It is simply as quick, steady, and responsive within the air as its bigger and dearer predecessors. The insanely low weight would not appear to be an issue. Even in windy situations, this drone holds its place like a Spartan and solely goes the place you command it together with your joysticks.

Digital tendencies

It additionally has a refreshingly streamlined really feel to it. There’s simply much less fear. With out all of the buttons and redundant menu choices cluttering the flight interface, you possibly can concentrate on the fundamentals of flying and filming.

That is much less of a craft gadget and extra of a toy. That is nice. Even nice. DJI already manufactures a fleet of wonderful high-end drones. The Mavic Mini provides an accessible possibility that the corporate lacked.

Optimized and but stunted

Simple is okay for some time, however there is a purpose a weekend getaway is just a weekend away. In some unspecified time in the future, the straightforward can turn out to be boring, repetitive, and overly acquainted. This downside is essentially the most severe flaw of the Mavic Mini.

After a number of flights, I longed for a number of the options which can be commonplace on DJI’s high-end drones, similar to interference-free flying and impediment avoidance.

Avoiding obstacles is just like connecting to the web. You do not want it to outlive, and it isn’t all that tough to go with out it for a number of days. Nevertheless it makes life simpler, and while you get used to it, its absence makes you uncomfortable. I felt this discomfort whereas flying the Mavic Mini.

The Mavic Mini is a cabin within the woods.

Greater than as soon as I used to be anxious that I’d reduce a department close by. The Mavic Mini has no sensors to guage how shut I used to be to the tree, to be on the protected facet. Had I flown one other Mavic drone (and even DJI’s Spark) this would not have been an issue. These drones all have environmental sensors that stop crashes.

I additionally want the Mini had Ocusync, DJI’s interference-proof video transmission system that feeds a real-time video feed out of your drone in 1080p. The Mini’s Wi-Fi-based transmission outperforms many different non-DJI drones by way of transmission high quality and vary. However principally this technique is extra liable to failure. I’ve skilled a number of glitches and stream jumps. That does not encourage confidence.

Our opinion

The Mavic Mini is a cabin within the woods. It is refreshingly easy and has every little thing it’s worthwhile to survive, however I do not need to dwell there all day. The Mavic Mini lacks too most of the trendy conveniences that I really like. Particularly 4K video recording and computerized impediment avoidance.

Is there a greater various?

No. No less than not at this value. The Mavic Mini is certainly one of the best drone you may get for $ 400.

DJI’s Spark is barely cheaper ($ 330 on Amazon) and has an impediment avoidance sensor ahead, however it’s additionally a big step down by way of video capabilities, vary, and battery life. So if value is your major concern, you continue to get extra to your cash with the Mavic Mini.

If the digital camera is most essential to you, I like to recommend that you just save up and get both a Parrot Anafi or a DJI Mavic Air. For $ 700, Parrot’s drone affords a singular 4K HDR digital camera on a 180-degree gimbal that you should utilize to movie upwards. Sadly, just like the Mavic Mini, it isn’t outfitted with an impediment avoidance.

In the event you’re like me and need a drone with 4K video capabilities and impediment avoidance, DJI’s Mavic Air is your only option. It’s barely bigger than the Mavic Mini however affords nearly twice the video decision and has a ahead / backward / downward imaginative and prescient system that means that you can fly tremendous protected in any surroundings. The one draw back is that it prices twice as a lot ($ 800).

Do you have to purchase it?

Provided that that is your first drone. In any other case, persist with DJI’s dearer and feature-rich choices.

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