I took DJI’s Mavic Mini drone along for a weekend trip out to rural eastern Oregon. While there, I remained in a tiny lodging as well as used that as my base of operations while I ventured out for a collection of flight tests.



  • Easy to start flying
  • FAA registration not required
  • Light Weight & Compact
  • Stable & Reliable
  • Impressive Battery Life


  • No 4K Video
  • Lackluster video transmission
  • No Obstacle Evasion

My time with the DJI Mavic Mini mirrors my time at that rustic lodge. Refreshingly straightforward and also fundamental– yet not something I would certainly want to be stuck to. Right here’s why.

Back to Fundamentals

The Mavic Mini is the lightest drone in the Mavic line. This holds true not just in regards to weight, but also in features and also price. It’s the most cost effective, stripped-down drone in the family.

A lot of this was carried out in the name of weight. DJI went to terrific sizes to get the Mavic Mini down listed below 250 grams because drones beneath this weight threshold don’t need to be registered with the FAA prior to flight.

It’s the difference between standing out over to eastern Oregon for a resort, as I did, as well as taking a trip to Japan. Japan is terrific. It’s a terrific location to visit. But arriving here means taking a costly 10 hour trip with customs checks on both sides. Flying the Mavic is as simple as driving to a bed & breakfast lodge as well as forking out the moderate every night charge.

Mavic Mini

However, that ease brings its very own problems. DJI had eliminated a couple of remarkable feature that were there in earlier (and larger) Mavic drones.

The Mavic Mini does not include an obstacle avoidance system. It also does not have DJI’s gesture recognition, object tracking, as well as auto follow modes– every one of which are computation intensive tasks that not just require a faster cpu with even more robust cooling.

Other attributes make concessions to decrease the price. The Mavic Mini doesn’t have a 4K camera on its nose, as well as instead boasts a maximum video resolution of 2.7 K. As well as you won’t discover DJI’s exclusive Ocusync or Lightbridge transmission innovations. The drone rather flies utilizing a more affordable and also slightly-less-reliable Wi-Fi-based system that makes the drone susceptible to interference.

Simple pleasures

So, the Mavic isn’t lavish. Yet lavish isn’t constantly needed to enjoy. A weekend getaway is a great time with marginal hassle. The Mavic mimics that. It does not have bells and also whistles, but it’s still fun to fly.

DJI really did not make any kind of compromises on the Mavic Mini’s core flight performance. It’s equally as fast, steady, as well as responsive airborne as its larger and much more expensive predecessors. The crazy low weight does not seem to be an issue. Even in gusty winds, this drone holds its position like Sparta, and also just goes where you want it to with help of your joysticks.

Mavic Mini remote

It additionally has a refreshingly streamlined feel. There’s just much less things to stress over. Without all the switches as well as peripheral menu options jumbling the flight user interface, you can now just focus on the basics of flying and recording.

This is more of a toy than an hobbyist device. That’s fine. Also excellent. DJI currently makes a fleet of outstanding high-end drones. The Mavic Mini includes an approachable choice the company lacked.

Streamlined yet stunted

Simple is nice for some time, however there’s a reason a weekend trip just lasts a weekend. At some point, simple can become dull, recurring, and also overly familiar. That problem is the Mavic Mini’s most severe flaw.

After a couple of flights, I found myself wishing for several of the functions that come basic on DJI’s higher-end drones, like interference-free flying as well as Obstacle evasion.

Obstacle evasion is much like net connection. You don’t need it to endure, and also it’s not as well tough to go without it for a couple of days. Yet it does make life less complicated, as well as soon as you have actually grown familiar with having it, its lack makes you worry. I really felt that agitation while flying the Mavic Mini.

The Mavic Mini is a cabin in the woods.

More than once, I feared I could clip a nearby tree branch. The Mavic Mini does not have sensors to judge just how close I was, to provide the tree a large berth just to be safe. Had I been flying any kind of other Mavic drone (or perhaps DJI’s Spark), this wouldn’t have been a concern. Those drones all have environmental sensors that avoid accidents.

I also wish the Mini had Ocusync, DJI’s video clip transmission system that’s secured against interference and also streams a real-time video feed from your drone in 1080p. The Mini’s Wi-Fi based transmission surpasses several other non-DJI drones when it comes to transmission quality & range. But essentially, this system is much more at risk to interference. I experienced a couple of problems & stream skips. That does not inspire confidence.

Our take

The Mavic Mini is a cabin in the timbers. It’s refreshingly simple and also has all the important things you require to survive, yet I would not intend to live there permanent. The Mavic Mini is missing out on too many of the modern conveniences I enjoy. Especially, 4K video capture as well as automated obstacle evasion.

Is there a far better alternative?

No. Not at this cost, anyway. The DJI Mavic Mini is certainly the best drone you can get for 400 bucks.

DJI’s Spark is slightly more affordable ($330 on Amazon.com) as well as does have a forward obstacle evasion sensor, however it’s also a substantial step down in terms of video capability, range, & also battery life. So if price is your major concern, Mavic Mini will certainly still get you extra bang for your buck.

If the cam is what matters to you most, I suggest saving up as well as getting either a Parrot Anafi or DJI’s Mavic Air For $700, Parrot’s drone boats an unique 4K HDR video camera on a 180-degree gimbal that offers you the ability to film upwards. However, much like the Mavic Mini, it is not equipped with any sort of obstacle evasion.

If you’re like me and you desire a drone with both 4K video clip capabilities and also obstacle avoidance, then the best choice is DJI’s Mavic Air. It’s a little larger than the Mavic Mini, but offers nearly twice the video resolution as well as has a forward/backward/downward vision system that allows you to fly incredibly with confidence in any environment. The only drawback is that it sets you back two times as much ($800).

Should you purchase it?

Just if this is your initial drone. Or else, stay with DJI’s much more pricey and also feature-rich alternatives.