The DJI Mavic Mini is the new jewel of the oriental company with truly inviting characteristics, starting from the weight, only 249 grams will allow its use also this summer when everyone will have to adapt to the new ENAC regulation for remote piloting.
Aesthetically we notice a certain resemblance to the older brothers, DJI Mavic Air or Mavic Zoom, but with extremely small dimensions. The closed Mavic Mini counts only 140 x 82 x 57 millimeters (it fits comfortably in one hand), open with propellers, on the other hand, it reaches 245 x 290 x 55 millimeters; the most positive aspect is certainly the weight of only 249 grams. Do not get confused, with the new regulations you will not have to take any exam for your license, you will have to take out an insurance and register it on the site, for the rest you can use it “almost” without worries (the law wants it to be used also always with the paraelics connected) . The construction material appears to be cheaper than the older brothers, the plastic is delicate and very thin, both to save on production costs (proposing it at a lower final price), and obviously to fall within the limit weight of 250 grams.
DJI Mavic Mini: technical characteristics
One of the aspects to take more into consideration concerns the battery life, the DJI Mavic Mini in fact guarantees about 25 minutes of flight on a single battery. Our test made use of the combo version, with 3 batteries and a very useful charger (which will recharge them one at a time, 90 minutes are needed for a single component, 270 minutes total), for a consecutive flight of as much as 75 minutes.
The integrated camera does not reach 4K, it stops at 2.7K at 25 / 30fps, but it works perfectly, we had no doubts that DJI could not still churn out a product of the highest quality, while giving up a little something. The sensor is a 12 megapixel 1 / 2.3 ″ CMOS, with F2.8 aperture, ISO ranging between 100 and 3200, as well as an electronic shutter from 4 to 1/8000 of a second. The photographic shots, always taken at 12MP (at 4000 x 3000 pixels), are discreet, without achieving excellence, as they turned out to be slightly underexposed. The gimbal (the image stabilizer) is also a small jewel, it does not miss a shot and will not even make you feel a slight / distant tremor of the frame.
The DJI Mavic Mini does not integrate proximity sensors, which means that in all respects it is a dangerous drone in the wrong hands. In other words, if you try to push him against a wall he will not stop and he will hit us directly. It is necessary to pay close attention in the use of every day, even in the return home function (RTH), remember to set a very high height, so that it cannot cross obstacles when returning. We report the presence of only the visual sensors located in the lower part of the device, they are used for parking, as well as for landing (without however allowing to avoid obstacles of any kind).
The videos / photos will be saved directly to the microSD to be inserted in the back of the drone, the maximum size allowed is 256GB. In the event that you have forgotten the charger, we report the presence of a microUSB socket next to the microSD slot, useful for recharging the Mavic Mini by connecting it directly to the wall
Controlling the DJI Mavic Mini is simple thanks to the radio control present in the package, these do not have any type of screen or display, it will be necessary to physically connect the smartphone (via adapter always included and compatible with all Android / iOS models). On the upper part of the aforementioned are the pads to move the drone, the buttons to take photographs or start / stop video recording and the wheel to rotate the frame up / down.
The European frequencies are different from the American ones, for this reason you will hear about different ranges depending on the origin of the user (it is no longer possible to even unlock the drone); DJI claims that in perfect conditions it should be able to maintain the signal up to 2km, in our tests in the open country (with correctly oriented antennas and automatic frequency selection) we reached 953 meters horizontally and about 150 meters in height. Of course they are indicative and variable measurements, in relation to the area and possible interferences. The radio control has an internal 2600mAh battery to be recharged in turn, although much less frequently than the drone, as with 75 effective flight minutes it will discharge by about 50%. No connection problems, everything has always been responsive and fully functional.
The application to be installed on the smartphone is DJI Fly, recently renewed, it has a very simple and absolutely intuitive interface. The connection to the drone (after physically connecting the mobile device to the remote control) is very fast; from the main screen the user can start take-off / landing, take photographs and start recording, but also find out the height / distance at which the aircraft is located, the instantaneous speed, find out on the map the return point set (also see on map where the drone is located at that moment), as well as activate manual photo mode. In most cases you will blindly rely on the basic settings, but know that you can vary the ISO, exposure and shutter speed, as if it were a camera.
Browsing the menus you can activate 3 different flight modes: Normal, Sport and Cinesmooth. With the former, the maximum speeds will be 8m / s horizontally and 2m / s vertically, while switching to sport instead it increases considerably reaching 13m / s horizontally or 4m / s vertically. The Cinesmooth is recommended for those who want to significantly soften the movements of the drone, as well as for novice users, the speeds will be much lower and the movements will also be “slowed down”.
Also from the settings it will finally be possible to set the height of the return home, any distance limits (read the ENAC regulations) or start the only available software functions. These are predetermined movements that create a good optical effect: drones, ascent, circle or spiral.
In everyday use, we recommend two small precautions: the antennas must always be perfectly oriented, remembering that the signal is emitted perpendicularly to the direction of the same, as well as setting the choice of automatic frequency, in this way the system will be able to vary it allowing you to reach automatically greater distances.
Mavic Mini: positive and negative aspects
We do not hide it, the DJI Mavic Mini is a small jewel suitable for everyone and with an affordable price, 399 euros for the standard version, 499 euros for the combo. The company defines it as a flycam, as there are some features and fundamental aspects that would allow us to identify it as a real drone, but it is still a best buy not to be missed. The positives are:
Endless Battery – 25 minutes of flight time per single battery is fantastic.
High quality video with super stabilization – 4K is missing, it’s true, but at 399 euros we couldn’t have hoped for better.
Good signal capacity and range – our tests verified a range of 953 meters horizontally and 150 meters in height.
Size and weight – with the new regulations, a 249 gram drone can really make a difference.
Easy to use and really well made application.
The negatives, however:
Absent compatibility with Android 10, if you have the new version of the operating system you will not be able to use it (the fix is coming soon).
Photographs not as beautiful as videos, are slightly underexposed (but it is possible to switch to “manual”).
Sensors are missing, it is dangerous, always use it wisely.
There are no much appreciated software features, such as follow me or similar