For everything this drone offers, it’s a fair price point. It’s reliable, portable, long flight time (~23 minutes), 2.7k & 1080 video, 1 ½ mile range (FCC), and under 250 grams! Anyone looking to get their first drone or a new highly portable drone cannot go...
For everything this drone offers, it’s a fair price point. It’s reliable, portable, long flight time (~23 minutes), 2.7k & 1080 video, 1 ½ mile range (FCC), and under 250 grams!
Anyone looking to get their first drone or a new highly portable drone cannot go wrong with this new DJI Mavic Mini.
I will try to update this review and make it more personal as I continue to fly the Mavic Mini.
Below is some of my first impressions and important details for anyone looking to own this drone or new to the hobby. I broke this into sections so you can focus on the items you are interested in as it’s a tad long.
The reason behind the 4 star review is due to the follow items/issues:
•SOFTWARE CONS (fixable with updates)
-Buggy “DJI Fly” app software
-App kills phone battery when flying
-Outdated DJI GEO fencing
-RTH beeping can’t be disabled/silenced
-RTH does not look for landing pad
-No Local Data mode to avoid data collection by DJI/China in “DJI Fly” app
-No collision detection sensors
-Uses WiFi and not Ocusync
-No Smart Controller support
-Uses micro usb and not usb-c
-No Aircraft beacon receiver (DJI AirSense)
-Drone feels like cheap plastic
-Fly more case is a tight fit
-Controller micro-usb port is square
-Unable to charge controller while battery charges (3 battery dock)
The fly more combo for $100 more is hands down worth the extra money ($399 vs $499). If you ordered the missing items separate, you’d be paying significantly more, so it’s a great deal.
-Drone battery: $45 each ($90)
-Propeller guards: $19
-DJI fly more case: unavailable
-Charging hub: $39
-Extra propellers/screws: $12
I ordered my Mavic Mini Combo from Apples website due to being the only one with two day delivery. Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and directly from DJI we’re all LONG shippings times.
While this drone sadly only uses Wifi, the range is still very impressive. DJI claims you can reach a distance of 2 ½ miles in the United States (FCC), however anyone in the US can expect about 1 ½ miles of range under normal flight conditions. Depending on your location this will vary due to two different models released.
-5.8 GHz: 4000 m (FCC); 2500 m (SRRC)
-2.4 GHz: 2000 m (MIC/CE)
-5.8 GHz: 500 m (CE)
DJI claims this will fly off one fully charged battery for 30 minutes! While this claim is under perfect & windless conditions, I would say you can expect about 20-25 minutes on a typical flight. Flight time will depend on multiple factors like temperature, wind speed, flight speed, video recording, altitude, GPS signal, distance from controller, and WiFi interference. While this is less than advertised, it is still very impressive for a drone of this size and price.
The Mavic Mini can fly in three different modes depending on the pilot’s needs. The default mode (P), sport mode (S), or cinematic mode (C). The below shows how fast the drone travels in meters per second (m/s) depending on flight mode.
•Max Speed (near sea level, no wind)
13 m/s (S), 8 m/s (P), 4 m/s (C)
•Max Ascent Speed
4 m/s (S), 2 m/s (P), 1.5 m/s (C)
•Max Descent Speed
3 m/s (S), 1.8 m/s (P), 1 m/s (C)
In order to fly this drone, you’ll want to download the new “DJI Fly” app from your App Store. This app will be how you see all of the drones status, outputs, camera feed, adjust settings, and update the firmware. This does enforce Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) restrictions on places DJI thinks you should not fly and will warn you or it’ll not let you take off or enter this air space. This app works side by side with the included controller and will require you to connect your phone/device to operate before your first flight.
I recommend using an Apple iPhone for best results, however android phones are also supported. Before your first flight you are required to register and update the drone for the first time using the DJI app. Afterwards it’s optional and possible to operate the drone with only the included controller and not have a phone connected (not recommend). Remember if you do this you will not be able to see the camera, drone stats, or edit settings.
It is HIGHLY recommended you also download the FAA (US) app “B4UFLY” in order to double check the air space you plan to enter does not have legal restrictions that DJI might not be aware of.
While the drone does come in at 148/149 grams (including SD card) and does not require registration in the United States, be warned if you add ANYTHING to this drone (maybe even a sticker) you run the risk of breaking the law if it reaches 250 grams if it is not registered. Note, that if you use the propeller guards you will be way over the 250 gram weight limit!
Also, I want to point out, DJI does make another battery for the Mavic Mini that weighs 50 grams less for Japan’s flight restrictions with 18 minutes (vs 30) of reported flight time. If you needed to cut weight, this would be the best option.
It’s important that if you plan to use this feature, you take off straight up and pause a few feet off the ground so the drone can capture the return home point.
If the drone does disconnect from the controller/phone or the button is pressed, it will start the set Return To Home (RTH) procedure automatically. It’s also important to make sure the RTH Altitude is set above the highest structure around before you fly away. When the drone enters RTH, it will stay at is current altitude if already above your setting. If below your setting, it will gain the needed altitude for a safe return. Afterwards it will turn in your direction and fly straight back to the home point. Then, it will descend in altitude until landing. Note that this drone does not include collision avoidance sensors and it’s extremely important you set the minimum RTH altitude to avoid crashing.
DJI Mavic Mini battery’s are rated for 200 cycles. It is not recommended to continue use after 200 cycles.
Dis/charge the battery to 40%-60% if it will not be used for 10 days or more, as it can greatly extend the battery life.
Drone Battery Options:
• 2400 mAh (90 min recharge time)
• 1100 mAh (50 min recharge time)
Controller Battery Option:
•2600 mAh (120min recharge time)
You should not use the drone in severe weather conditions, strong wind, snow, rain, smog, hail, and lightning.
Its recommend you only operate the drone in temperatures between 32° to 104℉. This is primarily due to battery issues that can arise with extreme temperatures.
If the wind exceeds 18 mph you should land or not take off with this drone. With that said occasional wind gusts above this should not be an issue as long as you fly with caution. Remember that wind speed will usually increase with altitude.
While the drone is lightweight and may not damage/hurt “as much” with its small form factor compared to 250+ grams drone, it still brings risks and can cause serious injuries. Add to the fact that it offers ZERO collision avoidance sensors that DJI are well know for in the other Mavic models. The risk of collision is very likely if you are inexperience or not paying attention. If flying indoors, I would highly suggest you attach the propeller guards to avoid damage to your surroundings and the drone.
This is a big topic nowadays and with DJI being based out of China it brings a red flag. Anyone getting this drone should be aware that DJI/China is watching! The app is chinaware and is collecting your information/data. Once collected this sits on China servers doing who knows what. Just be cautious of what you give this app access to.
Next we have two other services all DJI drones support named “DRONE TO PHONE” and “AEROSCOPE”. In short, all DJI drones yell out your information for anyone who know how to read it over the air. I list more detail on both app’s below.
Coming soon will be a public DJI “DRONE TO PHONE” app that will allow anyone within 1.5 miles to freely see your information including but not limited to the current drone & controller location, flight status, device serial numbers, drone altitude, and more... in real time from any smart phone while you fly your DJI drone. This to me brings risk of random people not only knowing all about your drone in the air but also where you the controller is operating from. Who knows what they will decide to do with this information... but I can’t think of many good reasons.
On top of this they already market/sell a larger scale version of this called “AEROSCOPE” that allows the same information to be viewed when within 30 miles. I do like the idea of this a lot more, as it’s not in public hands. This version can be pricey and more for airport/no fly zone safety.
With all that being said, I would like to end this section saying that DJI is one of the top drone companies in the world, but I felt a warning was definitely worth mentioning.
The following apply to ANYONE operating ANY unmanned aircraft as a hobbyist:
-Only fly for recreational purposes
-Only fly within visual line of sight
-Never fly 400ft+ above ground/structure
-Never fly in a restricted zone (B4UFLY)
-Never fly above events/groups of people
-Never fly near emergency responses
-Never fly near manned aircrafts
-Register if drone is 250 grams or more
That last one is key because of how this drone is marketed. If you add ANYTHING to the Mavic Mini (including propeller guards), you will be over 149 grams and be breaking the drone takeoff weight limit without registration.