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Home / Hot Stuff / DJI Mini 3 flies around obstacle avoidance for a tiny drone that’s friendlier on the wallet

DJI Mini 3 flies around obstacle avoidance for a tiny drone that’s friendlier on the wallet

Pretty fly for a small guy

DJI Mini 3 flying above a snowy mountain range

Earlier this year, DJI’s Mini 3 Pro flew its way into our hearts. Scoring a perfect five stars out of five in our review, this tiny drone offered a seriously fly snapper, and excellent obstacle avoidance. But this doesn’t come cheap – it’s £639 in fact. After a drone than hits under the magic 250g mark but has a price tag a little lower to the ground? Enter the new DJI Mini 3 – the brand’s latest drone which sheds some “Pro” features for a more accessible entry drone.

DJI‘s newest addition to its rather large range of camera-topped quadcopters, the Mini 3 weighs just less than its Pro counterpart: coming in below 249g. Why does that matter? Well, it means that the Mini 3 falls into the category of drones that can be flown closer than 50m above people and within cities, towns, and other areas where larger, heavier models like the Mavic 3 are prohibited. Plus, it’s easy to take with you, pocketable in fact. This mini flyer folds up to just 148×90×62mm.

DJI's new Mini 3 drone against a black background

Don’t let this fool you, though, the Mini 3 still packs some serious heat. It sports the same sensor as the Pro model, capturing 4K/60fps HDR video and 48MP snaps. There’s an f/1.7 aperture, 4x zoom, and the sensor works during the night. Plus, the drone can frame shots both horizontally and vertically, without any complicated gymnastics in the air.

Thanks to excluding a few features and the lighter weight, DJI squeezed some extra battery life into the Mini 3. It’ll deliver up to 38 minutes of flight time (4 extra minutes compared to the Pro), which you can upgrade to 51 minutes with the optional battery pack. Be warned that this pushes the drone over the 250g limit, so you’ll need to abide by drone regulations.

Features wise, you’ll find many of the goodies you’ve come to expect. There’s auto takeoff, return to home, precise hovering, and it’s wind resistant up to 10.7m/s. What’s missing from this one? It loses optical sensors around the camera for improved shots, and video transmission isn’t quite as strong at only 10km. Arguably the biggest loss is the obstacle avoidance featured. With the Mini 3 pegged as a drone for beginners, the loss of this fight assisting feature stings a little. However, we’re talking a saving of a few hundred quid. Worth it? That’s for you to decide.

You can order the DJI Mini 3 directly from DJI starting today. Those in the US, won’t have long to wait, with the drone already available. Wannabe pilots in the UK will have slightly longer the wait, with the drone grounded until the beginning of next year. It’ll set you back $469/£439 – a substantial $200/£200 saving from the Pro model. It’s an extra $90/£80 for the DJI remote control, and there are plenty of other accessories to spec out the drone with.

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Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around six years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home