Who needs rumors when you have the federal government? The oft-rumored DJI Mavic Mini has essentially been confirmed thanks to two new FCC database filings this morning. The first is for the drone, and the second should be for its remote.
Yep, DJI is returning to the land of camera drones. And not a moment too soon for its social media team on Instagram. I won’t spoil it for you. Take a look.
See? The company needs a new drone. I love a good Osmo product too but left on the ground too long, and DJI starts thinking it should submit content to Netflix.
What is the DJI Mavic Mini?
It’s the Spark replacement. While DJI still has the Spark splash page active, the store tells the story. Outside of replacement parts, batteries, and the remote, that’s it for the DJI Spark. The actual drone cannot be purchased from DJI’s website.
Mavic Mini Features. The headline ‘feature’ will most likely be its weight. It should clock just under 250 grams, which is a massive milestone. First, it avoids the mandatory FAA registration, which removes any barrier for consumers to get into the hobby.
Second, a drone that light with a camera that matches the original Mavic Pro is wild.
DJI is on the record saying all new drones weighing more than 250 grams manufactured after January 1, 2020, would have ADS-B receivers. The Mavic Mini would come under that number, so DJI’s statement from May 2019 holds. And they get a crack a wide-open holiday shopping season.
DJI Mavic Mini Camera. The all-important camera. If you’re expecting 4K video at 60fps, think again. It’s replacing the Spark, so a 12MP sensor with 4K video at 30fps.
Battery Life. Under ideal conditions, figure 18 minutes. I’ve never launched a camera drone in those mythical ideal conditions, so the reality is somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 minutes.
How Much Will the Mavic Mini Cost?
Sub-$500. The company has several price tiers outside of the U.S.-China trade war. With it replacing the Spark, expectations have it priced at $399. That seems like a sweet spot for a beginner drone.
When Will DJI Release the Mavic Mini?
In time for holiday shopping. If you take a deep dive into the FCC filing, you can see the company requested a short-term secrecy cycle of 180 days on June 25. Those 180 days bring us to December 22.
Once the secret is out, you can expect relatively fast turnarounds on announcements. I’d expect some teaser footage out in the wild before the end of this month with an announcement sometime in November.
It will be nice to see DJI return to the skies. 2019 has been a struggle with the lack of splashy drone announcements. Expect big things as 2020 kicks off, and DJI’s self-imposed safety measures start shipping in flagship camera drones.