It's a drone...It's a Fly Cam...It's the DJI Mavic Mini — a compact drone for US$399 that doesn't require an FAA registration

The DJI Mavic Mini is no bigger than your average smartphone. (Source: DJI)
The DJI Mavic Mini is no bigger than your average smartphone. (Source: DJI)
DJI has announced the availability of the Mavic Mini — an extremely compact drone that weighs 249 grams, does not require an FAA registration, and costs just US$399. The Mavic Mini can capture videos at 2.7K resolution and comes with safety features to aid new pilots. While the Mavic Mini includes most features found in high-end DJI drones, it does cut a few corners to make the price more accessible.

DJI has officially taken wraps off its new drone, the Mavic Mini. The Mavic Mini brings the best of DJI tech into a very compact form factor that fits snugly in the palm of your hand and is no bigger than a typical smartphone. It is so small that DJI prefers calling it a "Fly Cam" and not a drone. And the best part is that you do not need an FAA registration to operate one for recreational purposes. 

The Mavic Mini weighs 249 grams — just a gram less than the weight cutoff for FAA registration. Despite the small size, the Mavic Mini offers most features found in other DJI drones such as the DJI Spark. The front camera has a 1/2.3-inch sensor, which is mounted on a three-axis gimbal and can shoot videos at 2.7K at 30 fps and stills at 12 MP. The Mavic Mini also offers several creative shooting modes and can automatically return to the takeoff spot. DJI says you can get about 30 minutes of flying time on a fully charged battery, which is not bad. 

While the Mavic Mini seems to be a very capable drone in its own right, it does cut a few corners. There is no 4K capture or a body full of obstacle-avoiding sensors. So, the pilot needs to be careful not to run sideways into objects such as walls or trees. There are ground-facing sensors for hovering and soft-landing, however. 

The DJI Mavic Mini is available for pre-order now for US$399 and will ship on November 11. For this price, you get the drone, a remote controller, one battery, and an extra propeller set. You can also opt for the 'Fly More' combo pack for US$499 that will give some extras such as propeller guards, carrying case, a battery charging hub, three batteries, and three extra propeller sets. 

First time drone pilots and hobbyists will find the Mavic Mini attractive considering the pricing, the portability, and the fact that there is no need for an FAA registration. The Mavic Mini even comes with safety features that prevent new pilots from flying at high altitudes. However, DJI insists that pilots follow local laws and regulations.

Buy DJI Mavic Mini now on Amazon


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > It's a drone...It's a Fly Cam...It's the DJI Mavic Mini — a compact drone for US$399 that doesn't require an FAA registration
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-11- 2 (Update: 2019-11- 2)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.