Well, well. Regular and reliable DJI Twitter tipster @OsitaLV has issued a Tweet that’s short and to the point: “Mavic Mini 2 is on the way.” There are a lot of people who would be ready for that… along with some improvements.
When the Mavic Mini landed, it was immediately and enthusiastically embraced. The reason? This pocket-sized drone packed a lot of punch into its 249-gram form: Pretty good stills and color accuracy, along with 2.7k video and 30-minute flight time. Really, it’s remarkable they were able to put so much technology into such a small package. But that was the point of the exercise. Because 250 grams is the cutoff weight for drone registration. Anything below that weight does not require registration with the FAA or Transport Canada. In some jurisdictions, the <250g category also does not require that the pilot pass any examination or obtain any certification. So there were a lot of people who found this $399 US drone pretty appealing.
We’re among those people. Not because we’re trying to skirt regulations, but because it’s just a really fine piece of equipment that does a ton of amazing things for the money.
It could, however, be better.
Mavic Mini 2
We weren’t really anticipating that this was on the horizon. Certainly there’s been talk of a Mavic Pro 3 being next on the release list, or possibly some form of DJI FPV Cine-Whoop or racing-style drone. But not much on a Mavic Mini 2.
The mysterious @OsitaLV, however, knows their stuff. Multiple leaks have come from that account that were solid, so we tend not to ignore its Twitter account. Even when the tweet is as simply as this:
As you can see, @OsitaLV didn’t post about any features. But we can make some educated guesses here. Before we get there, it’s worth taking a look at what the existing model has. This video was released in October 2019:
First, the weight is unlikely to change. There’s a considerable market for sub-250 gram drones, and DJI would be foolish to make the second generation heavier. We also think it’s likely that the form factor will remain the same, with folding arms and an overall similar Mavic-style look. But we expect to see improvements elsewhere.
The current camera sensor captures 2.7k video and shoots 12MP stills. That’s pretty impressive, but we’re betting DJI will push the envelope here. A better sensor isn’t going to add significant weight, and sensor capabilities constantly increase. Heck, even bargain smartphones are starting to get 4K shooters in them. We’re like to see 4k video on this, and better quality stills, not necessarily more megapixels.
The original Mavic Mini is able to take multiple styles of Quick Shots, where it tracks the subject while carrying out a templated movement. It makes for a great cinematic shot, but it’s not foolproof when it comes to tracking. We wouldn’t be surprised if the next-gen Mini had better AI, and perhaps even a better processor to handle the heavy lifting. Perhaps some of the follow and other tricks of the Mavic Air 2? Flight time is already great at 30 minutes, but we wouldn’t be surprised if DJI figured out how to squeeze a few zillion more electrons into each charge.
If DJI wants to get the price down, they could certainly make the controller optional though we love what the controller adds to the package. Something more like the Air 2’s controller would be a nice addition as well.
One of the really appealing things about the Mavic Mini is its price. At $399, it feels like you’re getting an excellent entry-level drone with great features (including, obviously, GPS and GLONASS). We’ve seen it drop to $329 on 9to5toys.com. So we’d expect the cost to be around the same. The good news? The current version would likely drop. The original Mavic Mini for $299 would clean up at Christmas time!
We’ve been hearing that the whole DJI lineup is due for some of the goodies that the Air 2 got but it would seem like the Mavic 2/Pro lineup would be due long before the Mini. We can tell you, however, it’s unlikely that @OsitaLV would be tweeting about this if it weren’t going to happen in Q4. And holiday shoppers are much more likely to splurge on a $400 purchase than a $1500 one.