After weeks of leaks, rumors, and speculations that didn’t give away much, the DJI Mini 3 hype train is finally gaining momentum with new photos and videos of the highly-awaited drone showing up online Saturday. Interestingly, the drone shown in the video appears to have been activated in early March – indicating that DJI has been officially testing the product for at least a month and that its release date could be imminent.
Twitter account @DealsDrone has published a video that shows a DJI drone displaying “Mini 3 Pro” branding prominently on its front arm. The leaker has also shared several photos of the sub-250-gram aircraft and its battery, lending some insight into what is probably DJI’s most anticipated drone yet.
Here’s what we know so far…
1. DJI Mini 3 will weigh under 250 grams (0.55 pounds)
A label at the base of the Mini 3 drone shown in the video confirms that the drone will be ultralight, weighing just under 250 grams. And that’s great news because, in many countries, drones weighing less than 250 grams are subjected to minimal legislative requirements. In the US, for example, recreational drones that weigh 0.55 pounds or less need not be registered with the FAA.
2. Improved camera performance and video stabilization
We expected DJI to up the ante by giving the Mini 3 a better camera, especially considering the competition this drone is going to get from the newly-launched Autel Nano series. What the leaked video and photos now appear to hint at is that at least the higher-end “Pro” version of the Mini 3 would feature an improved sensor with a maximum aperture of f/1.7 – allowing the camera to accept more light and, thus, facilitating better low-light performance.
And in line with what professional drone users may expect, the Mini 3 Pro would also feature a three-axis mechanical gimbal for improved video stabilization.
However, the gimbal seen in the leaked video is attached only on one side – a non-conventional design to say the least. While, earlier, it was being speculated that the design was meant to support a vertical shooting mode, a more likely justification is that this drone may have crashed during a test flight and lost a part of the gimbal.
3. Obstacle avoidance sensors
Perhaps the biggest, and the most important, new addition to DJI’s ultralight drone series comes in the form of two forward-facing sensors that would help with obstacle avoidance. The leaked drone video shows two downward sensors as well, and these are also primed to prevent the drone from crashing into things.
4. Better flight time
The upcoming DJI Mini 3 may also allow you to stay in the air for longer with its improved 2,453 mAh battery. While the Mini 2’s 2,250 mAh battery offers a maximum flight time of 31 minutes, it must also be highlighted though that the outgoing drone weighs 242 grams – 7 grams less than the Pro version of the Mini 3. So, we will need to see if that has any impact on the final battery performance. On the bright side, the arms on the Mini 3 share the same aerodynamic design as the new Mavic 3, and that’s definitely going to improve the new drone’s performance.
DJI Mini 3 release date
Earlier leaks have indicated that DJI would launch its new sub-250-gram drone sometime in April 2022. And given that product testing is in full swing right now, an official announcement could be forthcoming within the next few weeks. In the meantime, we will keep an eye out for more leaks and details such as the camera sensor size and software features of the Mini 3.
Read more: DJI Mini 3 rumored specs list