DJI’s $299 MINI SE is a bargain – but which controller ships with it?

We wrote earlier about the MINI SE, which by the specs seems to be the original Mavic Mini repackaged for big-box bargain stores. But there appears to be some confusion around the controller. Specifically, which one do you get at that rock-bottom price?

The release, or perhaps a better word is appearance, of the new DJI MINI SE at Walmart is a little mysterious. DJI never mentioned the product, or the renaming of a product, nor the bundling of the Mavic Mini at a lower price than you can purchase it from DJI (though it’s currently out of stock at Walmart). And now there’s another question floating around:

Which controller do you get with it?

New controller?

In some of the early images we saw, specifically the Walmart listing, it clearly shows the MINI SE packaged with the newer controller – the one that ships with the Mini 2 and the AIR 2S. It’s a nice controller, and I think most pilots likely prefer it to the older fold-out style model (though the folding unit is smaller). Here’s the image from the Walmart site (which some suggest is simply an incorrectly placed shot of the Mini 2):

Amazing price, especially with the newer controller


The first images that leaked, prior to the listing showing up, simply showed the drone on the front; there was no image of the controller:

And now a Reddit user has uploaded a picture of the back of that card. And it tells a very different story:

Check out that red arrow. Looks pretty much like the old controller comes with the MINI SE.

Really, what did we expect?

At $299, the MINI SE is already cheaper than buying the original Mavic Mini on the DJI store. So, in retrospect, it makes a lot more sense that it would ship with the earlier controller. And hey – there’s nothing wrong with that controller; it works perfectly well with the original Mavic Mini.

But Redditor mike-has-reddit, in an underrated comment from 10 days ago, notes some other slight cosmetic differences between the original Mavic Mini and the MINI SE. They’re small, but they’re differences nonetheless. You can find his images at this IMGUR link, and we’ll paste them below. There are indeed differences. Let’s start with his observations on the Mavic Mini:

Contrast and compare

Now, take a look at what he found by taking a really good look at the MINI SE. Some are more obvious than others, but they’re all differences:

What does it all mean?

Well, DJI hasn’t offered up anything yet, so we’re left to speculate. But these subtle cosmetic changes might be enough that DJI could claim it’s a slightly different model, even if the specs appear to be identical. That might be helpful when inevitable questions arise about why a nearly identical product is being sold for less money through a different channel. Maybe.

We really don’t know. But we do know, regardless of which controller you get (and we’re betting on the folding one), $299 is a heckuva deal. Sure, the MINI 2 is a better drone. But really, for $299? This is amazing, especially for someone buying their first drone. If you’re talking price point, this is a game-changer.

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