DJI announced its new drone, DJI Mavic Mini at its ‘Fly as you are!’ event late last month. The Mavic Mini is the latest drone to join DJI’s Mavic line of drones. The Mavic Mini keeps the classic Mavic design, adds a 2.7k camera, and 30 minute flight time in a lightweight package.

DJI Mavic Mini goes head to head with the DJI Mavic Air and DJI Spark

The DJI Mavic Mini brings a few of the latest features not found on previous drones. The Mavic Mini also brings a new design, similar to the DJI Mavic 2. The other features include its new ultra-lightweight 249-gram body and 30 minute flight time.

Since the DJI Mavic Mini has comparable features to the DJI Mavic Air and DJI Spark, let’s look to see if the Mavic Mini is the drone for you.

Design

The DJI Mavic Mini has been designed to match the current Mavic 2 series of drones – further unifying the Mavic line. Both the Mavic Air and Spark have their unique designs, while both designs are great the Mavic Mini looks well thought out. The Spark is not capable of folding down while the Mavic Mini and Mavic Air can. The Mavic Mini has the smallest footprint once folded but is a little larger while unfolded than the Spark and the Mavic Air.

Thanks to DJI, the Mavic Mini comes in at just 249 grams, 1 gram under the FAA’s limit for drone registration. This is no coincidence. DJI making the Mavic Mini only 249 grams makes it the perfect beginner drone without the need to license and register your drone. Both the Mavic Air and Spark weigh over the 250-gram limit requiring them to get registered.

Camera

The camera attached to all drones comprises of the same 1/2.3′ CMOS sensor, capable of 12MP photos. Mavic Mini and the Spark capture JPEG photos, while the Mavic Air can capture JPEG and DNG photos. The Mavic Air the only drone capable of RAW photos.

The Mavic Mini can record video at 2.7K 30 fps and 1080p 60 fps, all you need in an entry-level drone. The Spark has the most limited resolutions with only 1080p 30 fps available. The Mavic Air is capable of capturing video in the most resolutions, which include 4K 30 fps, 2.7K 60 fps, 1080p 120 fps and 720 120 fps. DJI’s Mavic Mini records video at 40 Mb/s while the Mavic Air records at 100 Mb/s and the Spark records at 24 Mb/s.

Flight time

The DJI Mavic Mini is equipped with a 2400 mAh battery and lacks sensors found on the other drones allowing a maximum flight time of 30 minutes to be achieved. The Mavic Air and Spark both have lower flight times and battery capacities with the Mavic Air having a maximum flight time of 21 minutes and a 2375 mAh battery while the Spark has a maximum flight time of 16 minutes and a 1480 mAh battery.

Companion app

The Mavic Mini doesn’t use the well known DJI GO 4 app, instead, it uses a stripped-down and simplified version called DJI Fly. The DJI Fly app allows for simple control of the Mavic Mini including camera controls, flight preferences, and QuickShot selection. The Mavic Air and Spark both use the DJI GO 4 app which allows for more data to be accessed and greater control over the drones’ settings.

Overall

The DJI Mavic Mini and DJI Mavic Air are the obvious drones to recommend to anyone looking to get a smaller beginner-oriented drone. Both have DJI’s great quality hardware and software with a few differences that will be the deciding factors in your drone choice. For a first time flyer, the Mavic Mini’s 2.7K video is more than enough while the 4K of the Mavic Air and the sensor make it great for an intermediate drone.

The Spark is no longer in production, but we expect some great clearance deals to come for the DJI Spark.

DJI Mavic Mini DJI Mavic Air DJI Spark
Camera Sensor 1/2.3″ CMOS
Photos 12 MP
Photo format JPEG JPEG & DNG (RAW) JPEG
Video modes
  • 2.7K 30 fps
  • 1080p 60 fps
  • 4K 30 fps
  • 2.7K 60 fps
  • 1080p 120 fps
  • 720p 120 fps
  • 1080p 30 fps
Video bitrate 40 Mb/s 100 Mb/s 24 Mb/s
Video format
  • MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
  • MP4/MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
  • MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
Dimensions 160×202× 55mm 168×184×64 mm 143×143×55 mm
Weight 249 g 430 g 300 g
Max range (w/ controller) 4 km 4 km 2 km
Battery 2400 mAh 2375 mAh 1480 mAh
Max flight time 30 minutes 21 minutes 16 minutes
Vision system Downward Forward, backward & downward Forward & downward
GPS GPS & GLONASS
Price ($) $399.00 $919.00 $399.00

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Photo: DJI

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