The Mavic Mini 6 image compilation

DJI Mavic Mini is set to be a best seller, but only if…

It looks like DJI is set to release another consumer drone. Recent FCC filings indicate that the announcement is coming soon. So what is the Mavic Mini, and will it be this year’s holiday breakout drone success? That all depends on really one thing. Price.

Click here to learn more about the Mavic Mini.

What is the Mavic Mini?

Probably the best information we have is actually from the leaked images. Size information from the FCC filing is clearly an exaggeration, and likely includes the unfolded props. To put the size in perspective, it is important to compare the Mavic Mini to its closest siblings – the DJI Spark and the Mavic Air.

Unfolded Size (millimeters)
Mavic Mini*16020055380
Mavic Air16818464430
*Mavic Mini based on leaked images with scale

Mavic Mini Size

Mavic Mini FCC Specs
The dimensions listed in the FCC document likely include the props

The Mavic Mini will not be smaller or lighter than the Spark. So get any notion out of your head right now that the Mavic Mini will be under the 250 gram FAA weight limit that requires registration. The leaked image shows a drone that is about 160 x 200 mm, which is larger than the 300 gram Spark. If these are, in fact, images of the Mavic Mini, then the Mavic Mini will be more than 250 grams. It will probably be closer to 380 grams. The height stated in the FCC filings of 55 mm matches the Spark and is likely correct.

Mavic Mini Gimbal Detail
It is difficult to tell from the images, but I think it is a 2-axis gimbal

Mavic Mini Gimbal

We think DJI is trying to make as low-cost of a drone as they can swallow and still give a good feature set. For that reason, I am expecting a 2-axis gimbal on the Mavic Mini. The leaked images are a bit difficult to decipher in this regard, but I would expect the Mini to be like the Spark and Parrot Anafi with a high-performing 2-axis gimbal.

Mavic Mini Camera

We don’t have any evidence, but we would expect a 1/2.3 inch 12 MP sensor on the Mavic Mini. There is no reason not to put a good camera on the Mini, as DJI has plenty of experience and has likely squeezed cost out of their supply chain. We expect the Mavic Mini to record nice 4K video with extra pixels used for electronic stabilization in the gimbal’s non-existent yaw axis.

Mavic and Spark Gimbals
Can you tell which is which? Clockwise from top left: Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Mavic 2 Pro, Spark

Mavic Mini Obstacle Avoidance

For obstacle avoidance, the Mavic Mini will match the system of the original Mavic Pro. Leaked images show forward-facing stereo cameras, but that’s it. This is a step up from the IR-based avoidance of the Spark but a step back from the front and rear cameras of the Mavic Air. The bottom of the Mini looks to have a single camera plus IR distance measurement, similar to the Spark and even the $100 Tello.

The Mavic Mini front View
A leaked image of the Mavic Mini

Why the Mini needs to be cheap

If you want a nice-performing compact drone then chances are you already have one. We have seen the sale of consumer drones plummet in 2019 as the feature set of newer models hasn’t been enough to entice repeat customers. So the Mavic Mini needs to draw in customers that don’t already have a Spark or a Mavic Air. It can only do that if the price is lower than those to drones. Some rumors indicate a starting price of $300 for the Mavic Mini. I think the Mini needs to be at that price to really sell well, and it needs to include a remote.

Check the latest price on the closest thing to the Mavic Mini, the Mavic Air

Why the Mavic Mini won’t fly off shelves

The problem is that DJI has consistently priced drones at a premium. Even now, with the Spark out of stock, you can’t buy them for under about $350. The infamous tariffs and trade war haven’t helped, with DJI bumping prices up by about 15% on all of their drones (in the USA at least).

I don’t expect the Mini to be priced at $300, it will be more. I expect the price to be at least $399 and probably over $499 with a remote and fly more package. These prices won’t be low enough for the Mavic Mini to sell extremely well, but they may pull in a few new customers who have been sitting on the sideline.

FYI, I don’t recommend you fly a DJI drone without a remote. DON’T DO IT! Always buy and use the remote.

The drone DJI should make

The Tello and the Spark need to have a baby, and it needs to cost $200. Forget obstacle avoidance. Forget 3-axis gimbals. Take the Spark, remove the useless obstacle avoidance, give it quality 1080p recording capability, and sell it for $200. Maybe $250 or even $299 max. If DJI wanted to destroy all other consumer brands, that is all they need to do. Until DJI does that, high-quality drones will stay in the hands only of those with some serious cash to burn.

Breeze Spark and Tello
The Breeze and Spark are largely out of stock. The world needs a sub-$200 drone that doesn’t stink

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