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DJI Mavic Mini Review: A tiny drone with big ambitions

The Mavic Mini is so small and light (249g only) that you won't need to register it with the FAA – you are registering bigger drones in the FAA, right? But that size is not just for the sake of less paperwork, but for the sake of flying. With an unmanned aerial vehicle that you can literally slide into your back pocket, it is almost never an inconvenient time to bring it, assuming you have another pocket for the controller. (You can't fly a mini phone just as you can Spark.)

DJI has traditionally been good at providing its smaller / cheaper drones. Air, for example, cost less than the Mavic Pro that came before it, but it had features that didn't have prices. Even the old old Spark on budget offered gesture control and monitoring features. However, there are a few trade-offs with the Mini – but most should not deter most people.

Perhaps the most important missing feature is obstacle avoidance. The Mavic 2 Pro and Air come with sensors that detect obstacles and make flying safer. Mavic Mini has none. That seems reasonable given that the Mini costs more than $ 1,300 less than the Mavic Pro 2 and $ 500 less than the Air. But DJI also throws the Mini at the beginners who would benefit most from these sensors.

Another notable compromise is the camera. As with Spark, there are no 4K videos here except for the Mini want shoot at 2.7K / 30 (along with FHD up to 60 fps at 40Mbps), so at least there is some form of high resolution. Another trick the Mini has is that the spark can't move her hands. The spark body is similar in size, but the fixed arms make it much less portable.

The folding design of the Mavic line has become something of a business card. What makes drones uncomfortable are those most important protruding arms. DJI came up with a clever design for the first Mavic, and has been around almost all of its consumer drones ever since. When fully folded, the Mini is about the size of a can of soda and weighs about the size of a large phone (my OnePlus 7 Pro with a holster comes in at about 230g).

DJI Mavic Mini Review "data-caption =" review by DJI Mavic Mini. "Data-Credit =" James Trew / Engadget "data-Credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-2-367558-1573242323358 "data-media-id = "7b7552dc-b1f7-4a30-9469-130e5f8065b4" data-original-url = " / 2019-11 / 3b93a830-0260-11ea-b7e2-e7d1f36b993e" data-title = "DJI Mavic Mini Review" src = " https% 3A% 2F% 2Fos% 2Fcreatr uploaded-images% 2F2019-11% 2F3b93a830-0260-11ea-b7e2-e7d1f36b993e & client = a1acac3e1b3290917d92 and signature = 3df47be818a60a9567e02412580c40afb77d7413 "/></p><p>When I first saw the Mini I had some worries. Basically, how will it withstand in windy conditions? The larger Mavicas easily hold their position against the strong breeze. The mini actually works surprisingly well here. I really thought he was going to toss around, but he stayed on the ground (at least against the dense coast). I noticed that it would often move up and down with the wind, but the lateral displacement was minimal.</p><p>In fact, the app warned me that the conditions were too windy and could fly with caution, but the video was stable. You can see the Mini twitch in the air, but it won't spoil your shots. If nothing else, the vertical position is of concern. I flew straight in the water across the water and had to pull the drone up several times because the wind was pushing it down.</p><p>The Mavic Mini may not have obstacle avoidance sensors, but it is not completely devoid of technology positioning. There is obviously a GPS and a sensor facing down so it can maintain its position when there is no satellite connection (for example, indoors).</p><p>It also surprised me that the Mavic Mini does not offer "tripod mode". This simple feature found in other Mavics limits the speed of the drone, which combined with the three-axis gimbal is great for slow, continuous tracking of shots. A mini would be perfect for this, especially when flying indoors. As far as I can tell, there is no technical reason why the Mini doesn't support it, but it's not here, which is a bit of a disappointment. But there is a new way of Cinesmooth, which DJI says "extends the braking process." That sounds a bit boring, but in my testing it actually looks more like a tripod mode (thankfully) than I thought. Basically, it seems to dampen turns, braking and other sharp movements, leaving you with a much smoother shot.</p><p>It's also worth noting that you now need to change your flight modes (Regular / Sport and Cinesmooth) in the app. Other Mavics have a switch on the controller, but I guess it's another small compromise. In fact, the overall experience of the application is greatly simplified. I am inclined to say that this is a good thing, because I have never been a big fan of DJI's information-intensive app. But how nice things are to be simplified, I would almost say that the new Go app is almost too rare. It's nice that there are less things on the screen, but vital information like battery life and GPS signals are presented with such small icons that you can't really see them at first glance – which means you'll peek at the screen longer than you've seen "I love.</p><p><img alt=

In an attempt to simplify, DJI also moved the QuickShot section of the app under the camera options on the right rather than left below its icon as before. Here you can choose from photos, videos and QuickShot. A submenu for each will appear when you select it.

For photos, you will only see unexplained options for "Single" or "Timed shot", though the main settings menu includes options for the aspect ratio of the photo (4: 3 or 16: 9), screen histogram switches, and overexposure alert, network lines and so on. As mentioned above, for video, your options are FHD and 2.7K, followed by a choice of frame rates: 25, 30, 50 and 60 for FHD versus 25 and 30 for 2.7K. No 24 fps here for some reason.

The selection of QuickShots in the Mini is limited. You have Dronie, a rocket, a circle and a helix – the names broadly describe how the Mini will move around the target. This time there are no asteroids or boomerangs and that's fine. I'm more disappointed with the lack of ActiveTrack – DJI's People Tracking feature. It is present on most products, including Osmo Mobile, which has no camera at all (it uses your phones). Interestingly, QuickShot is in Mini mode you they asked you to click on a human target to focus on – so the bones of technology are there, but for some reason, the company decided not to include it. In short, the Mavic Mini cannot track you autonomously. But it seems like something not just a firmware update.

Despite minor annoyances, such as a small power indicator (it's literally a small battery icon with a percentage number like on the phone), the app is easy to use. Plug your phone into a controller, open the app, and you're doing pretty well. The bigger problem is that the drone connection is via WiFi, which hardly manages the video stream or DJI's proprietary Ocusync technology. For the most part, this is fine, but there have been too many times when the stream has stopped or skipped. This particularly frustrated me when I relied on that link to direct and track my recording.

A related issue, which is not unique to the Mini but is exacerbated by its size, is that it is incredibly easy to lose sight of a drone in the sky after looking down in the video stream. Flying in the form of sight is important. I see too many people flying with a drone out of sight, relying on a video stream to know where it is. But that video stream may fail, and with the Mavic Mini it has done so much that I would never trust it for navigation. Even with just a brief glance at the app, look up and … where the hell did that go? It caught me several times.

DJI Mavic Mini Review "data-caption =" review by DJI Mavic Mini. "Data-Credit =" James Trew / Engadget "data-Credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-4-4775361-1573242485675 "data-media-id = "e7df98f8-1104-40c4-b51b-41ab58a1940e" data-original-url = " / 2019-11 / a2a32be0-0260-11ea-b3df-d1adcda19e17" data-title = "DJI Mavic Mini Review" src = " https% 3A% 2F% 2Fos% 2Fcreatr uploaded-images% 2F2019-11% 2Fa2a32be0-0260-11ea-b3df-d1adcda19e17 & client = a1acac3e1b3290917d92 and signature = 3f1a43da52fc30af28f3447277ac43289008f8f3 "/></p><p>You don't know <i>need</i> your phone flies at all for a drone or even for video recording. But it's much easier with a video stream and on-screen buttons if you need to do something and maneuver around something. Also, even though there are buttons for taking pictures or running videos on the controller, you can't change the settings or access QuickShots, so you definitely want your phone fully charged.</p><p>Not least, because the Mini can fly for a long time. DJI claims up to 30 minutes per charge. I think it's possible if you fly lightly, but about 25 minutes is more realistic in windy conditions or if you trade around in Sport Mode etcetera.</p><p>A few more small erasers, I promise. The first is that you can't see how many batteries the Mini has unless they're in a drone or in a multi-charger (shipped with the Fly more kit). Most other camera drones have a button on the batteries that will roughly show how much power they have left. Putting the battery in a drone or in a caddy is not very difficult, but if you have a few, it's not ideal.</p><p>Second, 2019 is the year, and everything on the Mavic Mini is still micro-USB. Charge the regulator? Micro-USB. Want to connect with the drone itself? You understand. USB-C exists long enough that it should be the default here. Especially on the caddy to charge the battery. Using micro-USB just means that it takes longer to charge. (Oh, bonus nitpick: Caddy holds three batteries, but charges them one at a time, not in parallel, which seems a bit useless.) And finally, for the first time in a few years, I was able to insert propellers into the air, It used to be a common problem, until DJI figured out how to keep them from getting out of the way. So far this has only happened once, in windy conditions and during tight turns, but it's worth remembering <i>can</i> happen.</p></p></div> </pre> </pre> <script async src=
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