The Mini 2 didn’t get ActiveTrack (something many felt it should have had, partly because the older Spark had it), and it didn’t have any sensors for avoiding obstacles.
If you held out and were waiting for a Mini 3, it looks like you won’t have to wait until November 2021. Rumours are hotting up that a new Mini is about to be launched, with DJI reacting to stiff competition such as the Hubsan Zino Mini Pro and bringing out a new model even sooner.
When is the DJI Mini 3 release date?
- Likely to be August or September 2021
First, we don’t know if it’s definitely going to be called the Mini 3. DJI might instead go for a Mini 2S, just as it did with the Air 2S.
It’s a little too early to say for sure exactly when DJI will announce the new drone, but this blog post claims that the production line is still being put into place, but is not yet up and running, and that DJI has already shot a promo video for the drone.
There are a few videos on YouTube claiming to be Mini 3 first looks, but they’re likely to be fake and simply bad videos of the Mini 2, not showing any evidence that they’re not using a Mini 2.
How much will the DJI Mini 3 cost?
The Mini 2 costs £419/US$449/AU$749, and more if you want the Fly More Combo kit.
Expect the next version to be around the same price, but a little more expensive to cover the cost of the upgrades below.
What new features will the Mini 3 / 2S have?
There’s not a lot to go on right now, but a couple of image appears to show the new shell of the drone which ‘confirms’ that the battery will be slotted in at the rear, as before.
Here are the other rumours which might well turn out to be true:
Rumours, though also unconfirmed, suggest that the new Mini will get a camera upgrade, potentially using the 64Mp 1/1.7in sensor from the DJI Pocket 2. The Mini 2 already shoots 4K at 30fps, so it may be that DJI will bump this to 60fps, or simply add the lossless zoom capabilities seen on the Air 2S.
We could also see a jump to 1080p at 120fps, which would be a great addition for ultra-smooth slo-mo shots.
The Mini 2 had two antennae, but DJI could add an extra two and put Ocusync 3.0 in the Mini 3. This isn’t just about signal range: it brings other benefits such as higher-resolution, higher-framerate video streaming, as well as being more robust and able to withstand interference.
Although no-one is expecting 360° obstacle sensing, the Mini 3 could get front and possibly rear sensors. Although the sticker on the side of the Mini 2 said Ultra Light 249g, that was just because DJI didn’t change it from the original Mavic Mini.
The manual lists the spec as <249g and a set of precise scales show the weight to be 238g, leaving a good few grams for DJI to add extra components in the Mini 3 – assuming nothing else changes of course.
There’s headroom, then, to add a few sensors.
Being a software feature, adding ActiveTrack to the Mini 3 won’t add weight. Though DJI never explicitly said it, it appears that the tracking mode (which keeps the subject in the frame automatically) couldn’t be enabled on the Mini 2 because of overheating concerns, not because it would erode sales of the Mavic Air 2 and Air 2S.
If the issues have been solved, maybe there’s hope of seeing it in the Mini 3.
Hubsan Zino Mini Pro
The reason these rumours are probably true is because of this drone, the Zino Mini Pro.
It’s about to go on sale and has pretty much that set of features, all in a sub-250g package.
It costs £429/$459, and that includes 64GB of storage: there’s also a 128GB model for £469/$509.
While it tops out at 4K30, it has a 10km range, 3-direction obstacle avoidance and object tracking, among other things.
We’re assuming DJI isn’t going to sit around until November and allow Hubsan to steal any market share, especially given that the entry-level is so competitive.