DJI's most affordable foldable drone has finally gone on sale in the United States -
week or so after being listed in selected other countries around the world.
The budget $299 drone will not, for the moment at least, be available in Europe. But instead be available in certain selected countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the USAm, Canada, Brazil, Singapore and China.
The drone features a 12MP camera on a 3-axis gimbal with a maximum resolution of 2.7K@30fps, just like the Mavic Mini – which will certainly please entry level drone photographers despite the lower 40Mbps storage rate.
Equally significant is the 249g weight limit that the Mini SE meets – allowing it to fly under the limit set for full registration set by many governments around the world, including the American FAA.
With a 4km / 2.5 mile maximum range, the SE is accompanied by the DJI's older design of screenless controller, with its folding phone grips.(opens in new tab)
Experienced DJI users will know that without the modern OcuSync 2.0 radio system transmission can be somewhat less reliable than drones from the last couple of years, but the Mini SE still offers a great deal of potential. As a potential gift / self-gift, this range still comfortably beats most devices seen in that category.
So why won’t customers in Europe get this potentially cheaper drone? For now DJI tell us it is "a specialized product tailored for entry-level drone pilots in markets where consumer drone use is emerging." That’s another way of saying that the Mini 2 is the preferred choice for more mature markets who might have slightly deeper pockets, and appreciate the benefits of 4K video and 10 mile-radio range.
It seems possible that the Mini SE will emerge in other countries soon enough - particularly now the drone is available in the huge American market.
DJI Mini SE is on sale now $299 ($110 less than the Mavic Mini).
In Australia, the Mini SE is now on sale for AU$459 - which is a significant discount to the AU$599 the Mavic Mini is still being sold there. The Mini SE will also be sold in Fly More Combo kit which comes with additional accessories, including three batteries, for AU$619 (this kit has not yet appeared in the US).
DJI Mini SE: specifications(opens in new tab)
- Single frequency
- 1/2.3in CMOS sensor
- Max photo resolution: 12MP
- Max video resolution: 2.7K
- Max speed: 46.8 kph
- 3-axis gimbal
- Photo mode: Single Shot and Interval
- Photo resolutions: 4:3 4000×3000 16:9 4000×2250
- Video resolutions: 2.7K: 2720×1530 25/30p FHD: 1920×1080 25/30/50/60p
- QuickShot modes: Dronie, Circle, Helix, and Rocket
- Remote Controller: 720p/30fps
- Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3 bracketed frames at 2/3 EV Bias
- Medium Interference (suburban landscape, open line of sight, some competing signals): Approx. 6 km
- Flight time: 30 minutes
- Dimensions (unfolded): 159×203×56mm
- Take-off weight: 242g
DJI Mini SE: first thoughts
When the Mini SE replaces the Mavic Mini as DJI’s entry-level drone, it seems very likely it’ll immediately take over as the idea choice for anyone with serious photographic or videographic ambition dipping their toe into the drone space. While DJI have suggested the wind resistance will be a little different, the controller will be identical and it’s reasonable to assume that the software features broadly similar too.
Since all of these are so useful for shareable photos and clips, and are especially suited for viewing in a device-obsessed world, and because so many aspiring creators across social platforms aren’t blessed with enormous budgets, it seems very likely to assume a North American & Europe launch will follow.
If you can go a little higher, the new DJI Mini 2 might make an even better choice, especially if you prefer to edit in 4K; read our review to decide if you want the extra features.