DJI might be better known for its drones, but this year the company has looked to the land for new releases like the DJI Osmo Action and forthcoming DJI Robomaster S1. That doesn’t mean it’s given up on flying cameras though – DJI is heavily rumoured to be returning to the sky with the entry-level Mavic Mini.
We’re eagerly awaiting to see just what the DJI Mavic Mini will be and we’ve been assisted in our speculation by a whole ton of leaks about the mysterious new drone.
There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding the Mavic Mini and a lot of it is due to the name. The Mavic range has traditionally sat between the mid-range and prosumer areas of the drone market – with the DJI Spark sitting at the beginner end of the range and DJI Phantom’s aimed at professionals.
The DJI Mavic Mini looks like it may straddle the lines between the current beginner and prosumer areas of the market.
The most recent rumour about the DJI Mavic Mini suggests may not actually have that name. According to PhotoRumors, the device will soon be announced in Australia under the name “ARYA”.
We’ve collated all the rumours and speculation about the DJI Mavic Mini right here – we’ll keep the page updated as more information comes out so make sure to bookmark and check back.
Related: Best drones
DJI Mavic Mini price and release date: when is it out and how much will it cost?
The DJI Mavic Mini leaks so far have come from the usually reliable source of DJI drone pilot and filmmaker OsitaLV, who suggested in a Twitter post that the Mavic Mini’s price could be $399, which will likely translate to £399 for the UK.
That would make it cheaper than the DJI Spark, which is currently out of stock and has an RRP of £449, suggesting that the Mavic Mini could be a successor to that model.
There are currently no rumoured release dates for the drone, though DroneDJ has suggested that there might be a DJI event on October 30th to announce it.
If this is true, one feature that could be missing on the DJI Mavic Mini (or DJI Arya) is aircraft-sensing AirSense tech – DJI announced this would become standard on “all DJI drones weighing above 250 grams” from 1st January 2020, which would be well after the Mavic Mini if it’s going to be available to buy immediately. That said, this drone is unlikely to have the range to trouble aircraft anyway, so AirSense probably wouldn’t be a huge miss.
We’ll update this page as soon as we hear anything more official about launch dates and pricing.
Related: DJI Osmo Action review
DJI Mavic Mini design: what will it look like and would it need to be registered in the UK?
So far, the only leaked photos we have of the rumoured Mavic Mini have come from the usually reliable source of Twitter user @OsitaLV. They show a mocked up and possibly 3D-printed version of a small drone that apes the folding design of the Mavic 2 Pro.
While there are no photos of a final, working version of the Mavic Mini, these do give us a good idea of what it might look like.
One interesting part of this older leak is that the drone will apparently weigh 350g, which would put it 100g over the weight limit for both the FAA (the USA’s civil aviation authority) and the UK’s CAA for mandatory drone registration and online safety tests, which come into effect from November 30th 2019.
This has been contradicted by the more recent FCC registration, though, which suggests the Mavic Mini will weigh only 245g. Given the above restrictions on drones weighing over 250g, this seems a more likely weight class for the new drone.
This would be an impressive feat of miniaturisation from DJI. The Osmo Pocket weighs 116g and that, of course, has no motors, propellers or the ability to fly safely. From the leaked photos, it looks as though the Mavic Mini has been constructed from lightweight plastic to achieve this, which may limit is durability and ability to fly in high winds.
We’ll have to wait for the official announcement, though, to find out if DJI has used any other manufacturing tricks to achieve the Mavic Mini’s featherweight build.
Related: Best travel camera
DJI Mavic Mini specs: will it be able to shoot 4K video and what sensors will it have?
Contradictory to previous rumours suggesting the DJI Mavic Mini will be able to shoot 4K video, PhotoRumors is reporting the new drone will be capable of shooting 2.7K video along with 12-megapixel stills.
Photographers may find themselves a bit disappointed if recent rumours are correct. The DJI Mavic Mini doesn’t support RAW – only shooting in JPEG instead.
Along with the camera specs, the Mavic Mini is expected to have a 4km range and 30 minutes of flight time, which would be impressive for a drone of this size. The DJI Spark, for example, could only fly for 16 minutes on a single charge.
In terms of sensors, the Mavic Mini apparently has two obstacle sensors (on the front and underneath), though doesn’t have any on the back or the sides, which means you’ll need to be wary of trees and branches when flying.
According to OsitaLV, it’ll also have enhanced Wi-Fi, which would be an improvement over the Spark’s standard Wi-Fi connection. That restricted the Spark to a range of just 500m but enhanced Wi-Fi would, like on the Mavic Air, give the Mavic Mini a range of at least 2km, with real-time HD streaming to a phone that’s tethered to the controller.
Related: UK Drone Laws Explained
DJI Mavic Mini – Early verdict
While it’s early days for this leak and there’s still no official info available, a Mavic Mini would make a lot of sense as DJI’s next drone release.
The Spark is one of DJI’s oldest models and, like a flying Osmo Pocket, a Mavic Mini would take its beginner-friendly baton and fly it into the very useful fields of higher-res video and greater flying range.
The main question mark is over the timing of its release – if it does indeed weigh under 250g, as the FCC registration suggests, then we’ll likely see it announced and available to buy before Christmas, as it wouldn’t need to be registered or have DJI’s AirSense tech.
But if it does have AirSense, which DJI has said will “become standard on all DJI drones weighing above 250 grams” from 1st January 2020, then it’s possible it won’t actually be available to buy until the new year.
As ever, though, we’ll bring you all the official news and analysis as soon as we get it.