New Leaks Confirm DJI Is Working on a Mini 4 and Another Mystery Drone—Here’s What We Know So Far

BY Zacc Dukowitz
16 August 2023

A little while back, a leaked photo of the DJI Mini 4 (or Mini 4 Pro) appeared on the Twitter feed of DJI leaker Jasper Ellens.

At the time, it was the only proof out there that DJI was working on a new version of the Mini. And some were skeptical, given how little evidence there was to back up the claim.

But, in typical DJI leak fashion, more leaks have surfaced, and it looks like DJI is in fact getting ready to launch a Mini 4.

New DJI Mini 4 Leaks

The new Mini 4 leaks come from Twitter (now X) handle @Quadro_News, which is run by drone industry insider Igor Bogdanov.

Coming in at 27 seconds, one of the leaks is a video showing a small drone hovering in place in a public area. The video seems to have been shot from an elevated perspective, possibly by someone looking out of a second floor window.

Watching the video, you have to wonder if DJI’s R&D team just takes prototypes down to the street to test fly them. Because that’s exactly what it looks like is happening in this video.

In addition to the video, Bogdanov tweeted a still photo showing the Mini 4 prototype on the ground, presumably taken at the same time as the video.

Why This Leak Is Different

At this point, we’re all used to DJI leaks.

The way it usually goes, a new drone model is anticipated—like the Inspire 3 or the Mavic 3—and then, as its launch approaches, we start seeing photos, videos, and sometimes even the box showing the drone’s full specs appear online.

But this leak is different. Why? Because no one expected a Mini 4.

For one, the Mini 3 Pro came out just a little over a year ago, making it pretty soon to be pushing out a new model in the series.

Add to that the fact that DJI just released the Air 3, making the timing a little tight for yet another imminent release.

Credit: DJI

And there’s another point about the release of the Air 3. At the start of this year, we reported on all the anticipated DJI launches for 2023, and the big ones were the Inspire 3, the Air 3, and the Matrice 350. But no Mini 4.

That’s not to say that DJI’s entire roadmap is always known in advance, but it is unusual that no one would have anticipated a new Mini this year.

Could DJI Be Responding to China’s Import Restrictions?

There’s another possibility about why DJI is working on pushing out a new Mini: it wants to release drones that are exempt from China’s new export restrictions.

Citing concerns that long-range civilian drones made in China are being used for military purposes, the Chinese government recently announced that it will be restricting drone exports.

Here’s the criteria for drones that won’t be allowed to leave the country:

  • With flight times of more than 30 minutes
  • With attachments that can throw objects
  • That weigh more than 15.5 pounds (7 kilograms)

Many of DJI’s professional drones have flight times of 30 minutes or more, including the Matrice 350 and the Inspire 3. The Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro also have flight times that are over 30 minutes. But given its small size, it could be that DJI plans to use it to bypass the restrictions.

It would be hard to imagine a company intentionally making a drone with a shorter flight time, but given the unique circumstances, DJI may even consider releasing a Mini 4 with a 29 minute battery life so it can be imported to the U.S.

What about the Mystery Drone?

The title of this blog post mentioned a mystery drone—here it is!

At this time we don’t know what series this drone could be part of, or whether it’s a brand new drone model. But according to Bogdanov, it’s yet another new drone that DJI is working on.

And keep in mind, DJI is also reportedly getting ready to release its first ever delivery drone, so we could be seeing a lot more releases before this year is through.

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