DJI Mavic Mini Fits in the Palm of Your Hand and Can be Flown Recreationally Without FAA Registration
BY Isabella Lee30 October 2019
Today DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, launched a brand new drone — the DJI Mavic Mini. This drone can fit in the palm of your hand and is almost as light as a smartphone.
Image Source: DJI
Weighing just 249 grams (about half a pound), the DJI Mavic Mini can be flown recreationally without the need to register it with the FAA. Any drone weighing 250 grams (0.55 lbs) or more, or any drone flown for commercial purposes regardless of weight, must be registered with the FAA following these instructions.
It’s clear that DJI designed the Mavic Mini specifically to fall outside of the FAA’s discretion. Its low weight places it in the safest drone category according to DJI, which in many areas exempts it from regulations that apply to other, heavier drones. When flying a drone of any weight or size, it’s important to always understand and follow local drone laws and regulations.
While its tiny size is the most unique and outstanding feature, the Mavic Mini has a handful of other exciting characteristics. We’ll discuss all of the features and specs below, as well as built-in safety measures, who should fly the Mavic Mini, and where to purchase one.
DJI Mavic Mini Features and Specs
Like all drones in the Mavic lineup, the Mavic Mini has a folding design to enhance portability. Mavic Mini builds on the technological innovations in DJI’s renowned series of folding Mavic drones, from the original Mavic Pro through Mavic Air and Mavic 2, to pack professional-quality drone features into the lightest possible frame.
Let’s check out some of the technical specs:
- Weight: 249 grams
- Flight Time: 30 minutes
- Camera: 12 MP photos, 2.7 K Video
- Gimbal: 3-axis
- Video transmission: 4 km HD
The Mavic Mini’s camera is less capable than that found on other more high-end drones but is still impressive for a drone of its small size. The 12 MP camera captures compelling footage in high definition, and its new DJI Fly app’s suite of creative features enables you to create professional-looking images even if you have no filming or editing experience. The 3-axis gimbal enables smooth and clear footage.
Using the new DJI Fly app, pilots can choose to fly in Position (P) mode for basic operation, more experienced pilots can unlock more capabilities in Sport (S) mode, and content creators can choose CineSmooth (C) mode to lengthen braking time for smoother shots and more cinematic footage.
Pilots can also choose from several pre-programmed flight maneuvers known as QuickShots:
- Rocket – Mavic Mini flies straight up into the air with the camera pointing downward following your subject.
- Circle – Mavic Mini will circle around your subject at a constant altitude and distance.
- Dronie – Mavic Mini flies backward and upward, with the camera tracking your subject.
- Helix – Mavic Mini flies upward and away, spiraling around your subject.
To design a drone as lightweight, compact yet capable as Mavic Mini was one of the most challenging projects we’ve ever tackled at DJI. Distilling top-of-the-line features into a palm-of-your-hand drone is the culmination of years of work, and we are ecstatic to bring a new class of drone to the DJI lineup.
— Roger Luo, President, DJI
Watch the Mavic Mini in action and see how QuickShots are used to capture cinematic footage:
DJI Keeps Safety at the Forefront of DJI Mavic Mini Design
Mavic Mini incorporates DJI’s renowned safety technology, including geofencing to help drone pilots avoid restricted areas; AeroScope remote identification to help protect sensitive locations; built-in altitude limits; and automatic return to the launch point if the drone loses connection to the controller or reaches critically low battery level.
A 360° propeller guard provides added safety, protecting the propellers in case of a collision and possibly protecting nearby pedestrians if the drone were to sustain damages and fall to the ground.
What the Mavic Mini does not feature is obstacle avoidance, which has come to be an expected feature of most DJI drones. The feature was likely omitted to lighten the drone and keep it below 250 grams.
The drone remains simple and easy to fly with GPS receivers and downward visual sensors to detect the ground below Mavic Mini, enabling precise hovering, stable flying and accurate landing both indoors and out.
Who is the Mavic Mini Designed For?
DJI describes the Mavic Mini as your “everyday flycam,” which they have made so easy to operate that anyone who wants to experience the fun of flying can use it.
From our perspective, this drone is best fit for novices and beginners who want to learn how to fly a drone for the first time. The camera specs won’t match up to the needs of operators who use their drones for commercial work, but we can easily see this drone in the hands of pilots who want to fly for purely recreational purposes.
Also possibly meant to draw attention in the children’s toy drone category, the Mavic Mini can be purchased with a DIY Creative Kit, which includes shell stickers and colorful markers to customize the drone’s exterior appearance.
Image Source: DJI
Launched just before the holiday season, the Mavic Mini is likely to be a popular gift and stocking stuffer.
Where to Buy the DJI Mavic Mini and Buying Options
The DJI Mavic Mini is available to order on the DJI website, starting at $399.
There are two buying options:
- Mavic Mini Standard Version: Includes Mavic Mini, remote controller, one battery, extra propellers and all necessary tools and wires for $399 USD.
- Mavic Mini Fly More Combo: Includes all of the components from the standard version with the addition of the 360° Propeller Cage, Two-Way charging Hub, three batteries in total, three sets of extra propellers and a carrying case for the price of $499 USD.
Image Source: DJI
Stand-alone accessories are available for an added cost:
- 360° Propeller Guard: Provides a 360° guard for added safety.
- Charging Base: Charge and display Mavic Mini with this unique, illuminated station.
- Propeller Holder: Travel easier with Mavic Mini with the propeller holder that locks the props into place.
- DIY Creative Kit: Personalize your Mavic Mini with custom stickers or draw your own design.
- Snap Adapter: Attach a toy building brick or a mini LED display to Mavic Mini to write custom messages.
- Mini Travel Bag: Bring Mavic Mini everywhere with the custom bag that fits Mavic Mini and the controller perfectly.
- Two Way Charging Hub: Charge up to three Mavic Mini batteries or use the charging hub as a power bank.
What do you think of the $399 price point and is this a drone you would like to fly? Let us know in this thread on our community forum.