After weeks of leaks, DJI has officially announced the DJI Mini 3, a more affordable version of the original DJI Mini 3 Pro drone that targets amateurs and first-time flyers.
The DJI Mini 3 is available for purchase today and costs $559 when paired with a DJI RC-N1 controller, or $699 with the DJI RC controller. The DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo is also available for $858, which includes the Mini 3 drone, a DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller, a Shoulder Bag, a Two-Way Charging Hub, and two extra Intelligent Flight Batteries.
The DJI Mini 3 will also be available for $469 as a drone-only unit (not including a controller or charger) sometime in early January 2023. By comparison, prices for the Mini 3 Pro start at $759 when paired with a DJI RC-N1 controller.
The DJI Mini 3 weighs 249 grams (around 8.8 ounces) just like the Mini 3 Pro, and is designed to easily fit into a bag or pocket. That low weight also satisfies requirements from regulators like the FCC that permit sub-250g drones to be flown without registration in the US and abroad. The Mini 3 can handle wind resistance of up to 10.7m/s despite its compact size, which aids in hovering and keeping a stable image in gusty environments.
The DJI Mini 3 weighs just 249 grams, falling under regulations that allow drones under 250g to be flown without registration in the US.
The DJI Mini 3’s 1/1.3-inch camera sensor can capture video at 4K / 30fps in HDR and shoot photographs from 48MP to 12MP in size. 180-degree field-of-view, Wide, and Sphere panorama shooting modes are available, and digital zoom can be used at 2x in 4K / 30fps, 4x in 1080p, and 2x in 12MP images. The drone also comes with DJI’s automated Quickshots shooting mode, a suite of pre-programmed flight and filming paths, and its DJI O2 digital video transmission can deliver a 720p / 30fps live feed from a distance of up to 10km (around 6 miles).
The DJI Mini 3 can achieve a max flight time of up to 38 minutes using the standard Intelligent Flight Battery or 51 minutes with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus. The Mini 3 comes equipped with some automated flight features such as Auto Takeoff and Return to Home (RTH). RTH includes automatic flight settings like Smart RTH, Low Battery RTH, and Failsafe RTH that instruct the drone to return to its starting point when issues like a dropped signal or a low battery are detected. The DJI Mini 3 also combines GNSS navigation and positioning with a downward vision system and infrared sensing to improve hovering stability.
There are of course more affordable drones in DJI's lineup if you’re on a tight budget. The older DJI Mini 2 is currently available for $449 (which includes a controller), but the new DJI Mini 3 features a much bigger sensor and wider aperture to let in more light. The Mini 3 also offers a longer battery life and the option to add even more battery life if you’re willing to upgrade to the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus. Upgrading the battery will push the device over the 249g limit, however, which would require you to register the drone in regions like the US.
There are also some key differences to note between the Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro — for example, the Mini 3 Pro can transmit 1080p / 30fps video from up to 12km away, and is capable of shooting video at 4K / 60fps when HDR is disabled (a feature that DJI hasn’t listed for the Mini 3). The Pro also has obstacle avoidance sensors missing on the Mini 3. Still, given the significant price difference, there are plenty of features in the watered-down DJI Mini 3 to entice newcomers.
Correction 12:00PM ET: An earlier version of this article contained incorrect pricing for the DJI Mini 3. This information was taken from a press release supplied to The Verge by DJI. The article has now been updated to reflect the pricing listed on the DJI website.