DJI Mavic Mini review: Arya – Your Everyday FlyCam!

Mavic Arya: Fly As You Are!

DJI Mavic Mini review

After countless of rumors and speculation, the DJI Mavic Mini was finally revealed officially on 30th of October. FirstQuadcotper is between the first drone review blogs which had the luck to receive the Mavic Arya for an in-depth analysis. Every new DJI drone comes with its own slogan, the smallest member of the Mavic series has ‘Fly as you are’ – let’s find out the sense of these words.

Over the last few years I reviewed more than 100 drones from various brands but, by far, the best were from DJI. To be honest, they were the most expensive ones too, so, in order to beat this fact, the Mavic Mini comes with a very competitive price. Advertised for only $399, it is not just the cheapest but also the smallest and lightest drone from DJI. The Mini mixes the friendly price tag of the retired Spark with the practical foldable design of the Mavic series into a size of a iPhone XS.

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DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Intro

Mavic Mini Arya highlights

  • Super compact folded size (130 × 80 × 60mm);
  • Ultra lightweight (249 grams);
  • Up to 30 minutes flight time;
  • Long range Enhanced WiFi transmission (4Km-FCC or 2KM-CE);
  • 720p@30fps FPV with up to 4 Mbps (170-240 ms latency);
  • Stable hover (GPS&GLONASS + Downward Sensors);
  • 3 type of flight modes (CineSmooth, Position and Sport);
  • QuickShots (Dronie, Rocket, Circle and Helix);
  • 12MP camera with 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor and 2.7K video recording;
  • 3-axis mechanical stabilization.

Hands on: Mavic Mini review

Disclosure: I received this pocket flycam drone as part of a product review collaboration with DJI. Product specs and quality may vary according to the manufacturer’s reliability, so I cannot guarantee that you will get a product that performs exactly the same as seen in my article. As I received an early release test unit, package content may also vary.

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Unboxing

I got the package two days before its official reveal – which was a big honor – and I need to thank DJI for the opportunity to make this prime-time review.

Being very enthusiastic, I immediately unwrapped the package and I happily found out that I got “Fly more combo” version with the following accessories included: 3 batteries, charging dock, transmitter, 360° blades guard, 3 pair of spare props, USB cables, gimbal protector and travel case.

Price & availability

Starting with today, you can order the Mavic MINI from DJI online store. While the “Standard” edition is priced for $399 for US and €399 for Europe market, the “Fly More Combo” pack with extra accessories has a price of US$499 and EU€499, respectively. Remember, Combo includes extra 2 batteries, two-way charger and newbie friendly blade protectors.

At a glance

After 3 years of flying with a Phantom 3 Advanced, I was pretty impressed by the size of the DJI Mavic Mini – it is damn small! (especially that both have cameras with similar specs).

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: VS Phantom series

When folded up, the Mavic Mini’s footprint is just slightly larger than a smartphone. It measures roughly 13 × 8 × 6 cm and weights 249 grams. Just by compassion, its bigger brother – the Mavic Air – has 430 grams and 16.8 × 8.3 × 4.9 cm. As far as I know, FAA has a relaxed regulation for under 250 gr. class drones – actually many countries are much permissive with lightweight flying machines.

I already mentioned about the “Fly as you are” slogan but, actually, I think it would fit also: “Fly wherever you are” as well. The Mavic Mini is a super backpack friendly drone, you can take it with you everywhere and shutting videos, regardless of your traveling destination, hiking or you just having a walk in the nearest park. Note: Always fly responsibly, without putting in danger any living being – including you!

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Design

In terms of design, the front of the MM reminds me about the head of a shark. Instead of frightening teeth it has a tiny 3-axis camera. Before you are getting too enthusiastic, those fake eyes are not obstacle avoidance sensors, they are just part of the design. You know, in order to make it as light as possible, you can’t fit inside all the technology available – especially when the budget is a quarter of Mavic 2’s price.

On the belly, besides the power switch and battery level indicator, there are two vision positioning TOF sensors. Those tiny cameras allow stable hovering for indoor environment or out of GPS coverage. USB port and micro SD slot are found under the battery bay’s flap.

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: TOF sensors

With only one LED light on back, it will be hard to find it during night flights.

Mavic Mini review: Camera

Although we all expected from a 2020 drone to feature 4K resolution, the Mavic Mini comes with only 2.7K. IMHO, DJI did’t wanted to cannibalize the Mavic Pro’s market segment, this is why they limited the video resolution. Also, it features 720P WiFi video transmission instead of the more reliable OcuSync. Anyway, even 1080P satisfies most consumers’ image quality needs for social media sharing and personal archive. Don’t mention that 2.7K videos require less storage space and CPU power for post-editing than 4K ones. But who knows, maybe like in case of the P3A, which initially had 1080P and trough a firmware upgrade received 2.7K, the MiNI could receive a 4K upgrade in the future.

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Camera

Despite its small size, the camera has 3-axis mechanical stabilization – which is a significant improvement compared to Smark’s 2-axis gimbal. The DJI Mavic MINI’s camera features 1/2.3 CMOS image sensor with 12M effective pixels.

Sample videos & photos will be added later!

Mavic Mini review: Transmitter

The MINI is packed with a similar entry-level remote like the Mavic Air. While FCC version has a range of 2.5 miles/4 Km, the CE compliant has only 2 Km. Yes, in US it is not just cheaper but flies further too :D. 

As it is designed to be used in tandem with a smartphone, it does not have a status screen, nor FPV monitor. Your phone needs to be linked to the RC through one of the 3 types of included USB cables (Lightning, Micro and Type-C). The phone holder in the bottom folds down alongside the antenna on the top. In order to fit better into your pocket, the control sticks are detachable and can be stowed away in the bottom. Don’t worry if you loose them, one pair of spare stick-ends are included.

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Transmitter

On front panel, besides the control sticks and changing level indicators, there are only two control buttons: left one enables auto return to home and right one turns on/off the transmitter.

While the left shoulder button allows to start/stop video recording, the right one takes still photos. On back, under the recording button there is a dial knob which allows to remotely change the camera’s tilt angle.

DJI Fly App (aka Go Lite)

Mavic Mini is operated on a brand new more user friendly APP. With redesigned layout, the live view (FPV) area is now 20% bigger comparing to the DJI GO 4 app, making newbie pilots’ flying experience much more intuitive. Starting with 11.11, the DJI Fly APP is available for both mobile OS (Android and iOS).

Mavic Mini Arya review: APP

Besides real-time flight telemetry, live-view, camera control and social media share, the APP has 3 extra features: Creator Templates + QuickShots, Video Editor and Flight tutorials. I suggest you to go through the flight tutorials prior to your flights and only after that learn about how to edit your footage.

By default safety settings are set to 120m max altitude and 2000m max flight distance. Auto return to home altitude is set to 30 meters.

Unfortunately the DJI Fly APP isn’t perfect yet. There are reported many hardware incompatibilities and crashes for Android version. Personally, I tested it with two phones: iPhone 7 and Samsung S7. While with the iPhone worked like a charm, on Samsung I got only black screen instead of live-view (FPV).

QuickShots

Automated flight modes, known as “QuickShot” mode, allows you to capture professional-looking videos automatically. Pilots can choose from Rocket, Dronie, Circle and Helix camera moves in order to make creative aerial videos.

  • In “Rocket” mode, the Mavic Mini flies autonomously straight up while keeps the desired subject in frame.
  • The “Dronie” mode allows you to create the ultimate selfies. In a nutshell, the drone flies up and away from you while keeping you in the shoot.
  • “Helix” mode is the enhanced version of the “Circle” or “Orbit” mode. In this mode, without the touch of control sticks, the Mavic Mini will rotate and rise autonomously around the point of interest.

Mavic Mini battery life: How long the fun lasts

The 2s/2400 mAh battery pack is loaded from the tail of the drone. According to its size, it looks like it uses two standard 18650 type LI-ION cells.

For a super compact drone, it features an outstanding battery life – probably the best one in its market segment. According to DJI, a freshly charged battery provides up to 30 minutes of airborne time (measured while flying at 14 kph in windless conditions). Furthermore, the Combo pack includes 3 flight batteries, which allows close to 90 minutes of uninterrupted flying fun.

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Battery life

Thanks to the standard USB port, the battery can be conveniently charged with any normal or fast phone charger. You can refuel even on the field from a power-bank. The Combo’s two-charger allows to charge 3 batteries but not in the same time – they are charged one by one.

Based on my experience, drone batteries need few flights till they work at maximum performance. After 5-10 cycles of charging I will do a real-world flight time test to check how the manufacturer’s specs are accurate or optimistic.

Editor’s ratings

  • Price/performance ratio
  • Design and build quality
  • Transmitter
  • Camera
  • Battery life
4.2

Verdict

Overall performance of the Mavic MINI is excellent when considering its price, size, design, and videos taken. This little drone is the absolute best option for size-conscious consumers with a tight budget. The MMini is a truly pocked-friendly drone in both senses. It is only a bit larger than a 6″ smartphone, and you don’t need to rob a bank for it.

In addition to the excellent battery life, it offers enough beginner-friendly features, like 360° blade protector and QuickShot intelligent flight modes with the purpose of making it easy to use out of the box.

Sending
User Review
3.92 (13 votes)

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Verdict

The GOOD

  • Fairly priced;
  • Incredibly compact and convenient to carry around;
  • Less than 250 grams;
  • Easy to fly out of the box;
  • CineSmooth for super smooth aerials;
  • QuickShot modes;
  • 3-axis mechanical stabilization;
  • Standard micro USB charging port;
  • Best flight time in its price tag.

The BAD

  • Only 30fps at 2.7K;
  • No obstacle avoidance;
  • WiFi transmission instead of OcuSync;
  • Need to opt for Combo in order to get the most out of it;
  • With only one LED light is not for night flights.
Photo gallery

DJI Mavic Mini Arya review: Accessories

Accessories – Pimp your Mavic Mini

While the Mavic Mini was just revealed officially today, you can already find some cool genuine, as well as third-party, accessories for it:

  • 360° Propeller Guard (included in Combo pack) – Safer flights for newbie pilots;
  • Two-Way Charging Hub (included in Combo pack) – Re-fuel up to 3 flight batteries in sequence;
  • Hand bag (included in Combo pack) – Carry easily with style;
  • DIY Creative Kit – Customize your Mavic Mini’s design. Kit includes shell stickers and colorful markers;
  • Illuminated glass charging base – Mavic Mini expo stand;
  • Snap Adapter – Use it with wide range of snap-in accessories;
  • Propeller holder – Secures and protects the propellers for safer storage and transportation.

One week with the DJI Manic Mini

Useful resources for Mavic Mini owners

DJI Mavic Mini Fly As You Are

Last update on 14 November 2019

54 COMMENTS

  1. Those who are already switched from a Spark to a Mavic Mini, was it worth it? I have a brand new Spark with 2 batteries, but the 30 minute flight time on the Mini is very attractive. Should I made the switch?

    • that micro USB socket is also for charge, use the included white cable (the longer one) and charge it with a phone USB charger or from your laptop’s USB

  2. the application was fixed, no more black screen on Samsung s7 and s10. more compatible devices has been added as well!
    You need to uninstall, the old version and download+intstall the latest DJI Fly APP

  3. Thank you for the review. Just a question since I think you are in Europe. The combo version which type of charger plugs come? UK or EU

  4. I’m a happy owner of a Mavic Pro 2 Zoom, but thinking of getting the Mini for every day usage and traveling. Good idea to invest in a second drone?

  5. Got the Mavic Mini today as my first quadcopter. Like many, I was on the fence about getting the fly more combo or standard. Being newbie pilot I have to admit the propeller guards have been worth the cost difference alone 🙂

    • DJI specs says 160mm max length and thickness of 6.8-8.5mm. But with a dedicated tablet mount you can install almost any mobile device.

  6. I also have a Phantom 3 Advanced and I’m thinking about sell it to buy the Mavic Mini.
    What do you think, is it a good idea?
    I thank you for your feedback.

    • if you live in a wind area or you want better quality keep the P3A
      If you want something super compact with decent video quality and medium wind resistance switch to Mavic Mini
      Personally I will sell my P3A, I like the Mini due to its portability

  7. I like the way you make your reviews! The not look sponsored reviews made just for selling. They reveal truly the product will all its cons and pros.
    You presented us the Mavic Mini as it is. You did not try to convince us to buy it.

    An old follower

  8. Christmas time is coming up and the family wants me to know what I want. Well I cant ask for money because they dont like that so I decided to request a Mavic Mini. Till know i had only few toy drones and I want something portable and easy to use.

    • As Spark is out of stock, you have no other option in this price tag. Mavic Mini is cheapest drone from DJi at this moment.

  9. I’m gonna get one for holyday where I don’t need the Pro 2′ quality. Obviously would be nice to have RAW but for only $399 the Mini Mavic is still a great drone

  10. I’m gonna get one for holyday where I don’t need the Pro 2′ quality. Obviously would be nice to have RAW but for only $399 the Mini Mavic is still a great drone.

  11. In Germany the weight limit of 250 grams does not really make a huge difference. You do not need to put your name and address on the quad, but still requires insurance.
    While drones under 250gr like the Mavic Mini can be flown alone, for 250g+ you need another person to watch the drone permanently!

  12. One of my friends is in Europe and he ordered a CE version of Mavic Mini. After he is back in USA it will be able to use it legally?

    • With 4KM range, FCC has stronger transmission so CE version should work in US. It is also possible that the MINI will switch between FCC and CE modes automatically based on your geo position.

  13. Just read, that in order to be in compliance with the Japan drone regulation the Mavic Mini has an even lighter version which weights just 199grams!!!!
    As the flight time is only 18-19 minutes looks like they have reduced the battery capacity to save weight.

  14. Thanks for your review!
    It looks like a nice toy, and might be a good intro drone for newbies, but don’t expect it to perform like its big brother (the Mavic 2 Pro)

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