DJI Mini 3 Pro Review: A Great Compact Drone With Big Features

DJI Mini 3 Pro: Getting Airborne, Air 2 Comparisons And Our Final Thoughts

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 DJI Mini 3 Pro Flight Features, Duration & More

Getting airborne with the Mini 3 Pro is so quick and easy that you'll find yourself lured in to flying it more often. You might be driving down the road when something catches your eye and begs to be explored from the air. Just pull out the Mini 3 Pro from its compact bag, pop off the camera protector, unfold its arms and power it up. Then grab the new DJI controller and double tap the power button. In less than a minute you're flight ready. It really couldn't be easier as the Mini 3 Pro takes flight and delivers a stunning image to the new controller, and the urge to explore grows. The best part for some will be not having to worry about registration the drone for your flights, unless it's a commercial flight then all FAA Part 107 regulations apply.

In terms of how long you can enjoy a flight, the Mini 3 Pro's intelligent battery is rated for up to 36 minutes of hover in no wind. That said, you're flying so the wind is bound to kick up some. As such, in practical use about 25 minutes was the average flight time we measured. And 25 minutes of flight time on something so small is a treat, so kudos to DJI for the excellent balancing act between weight and efficiency. If the wind is over 10 miles per hour expect flight times to be cut further, and we recommend staying below the tree line when flying in those conditions.

If there was any dead giveaway that we weren't flying a full size Mavic drone here, it would have to be the Mini 3 Pro's flight speed. While it wasn't slow by any means, but this drone simply wasn't as peppy as its bigger brothers. Cruising in Normal mode topped us out at about the same 22 miles per hour as the Mavic 3, but in Sport mode we only reached a top speed of 36 miles per hour. That's not bad, but it took longer to accelerate to that speed as well. Kicking over to the Cine mode slowed the Mini 3 Pro down to about 12 miles per hour for those precision shots. The real kicker was that when flying backwards it is significantly slower than forward, which could be something that kind of throws off getting certain motion shots.

dji mini 3 pro park right
We took the Mini 3 Pro through many different flying environments. Last time we took a look at a drone like this we were in very rural areas but this time we got some city action as well. At no point did we encounter issues with the Mini 3 Pro's GPS locking in quickly and effectively. Its range link never broke a sweat, even when flying out a couple of miles while at edge of the downtown area of Memphis, TN (all flight restriction and air zones were respected).

DJI Mini 3 Pro Camera Performance

Still images taken with the Mini 3 Pro were fantastic. Below are a couple of shots showcasing complex captures, and how well the camera did without an ND filter in the hot and bright midday sun. 

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dji mini 3 pro south pic

DJI's Mini 3 Pro Vs The Mavic Air 2

Time to address the elephant in the room, which is the choice to be made between DJI Mini 3 Pro and the DJI Mavic Air 2. Considering the pricing is similar here, especially if the DJI RC version of the Mini 3 Pro is your top choice, this is a tough choice to make. The Mavic Air 2 is proven, it's been around, it's bigger, faster, and has tons of accessories available. But the Mini 3 Pro is brand new, smaller, and will have to wait a bit to get some of those extra goodies. The decision might be tough but our suggestion here is likely to let old dogs lie, and consider the DJI Mini 3 Pro over the outgoing Mavic Air 2, depending on your personal use case of course as well.

The Mavic Air 2 does have a slightly larger 1/2" CMOS sensor and four-way obstacle sensing vs the Mini 3 Pro's three-way, and both shoot up to 4K60, so why go for the Mini 3 Pro over the Air 2? It comes down to ease of access, zero concern with having to navigate registering it with FAA (so long as it's not used for commercial purposes), and getting DJI's fantastic RC controller in the bundle. It was stated earlier and we'll reiterate it now, the new DJI RC controller is the definitive way to fly a drone in this class, full stop. We're not saying your should sell off your Air 2 and buy the Mini 3 Pro, but if the option is between the two, the choice is easy for us. 

The fact that the Mini 3 Pro is so much more compact and easy to stow away in a bag or bin for exploring is just an added bonus. Adventurous types can easily add this total package (Mini 3 Pro + DJI RC) to a travel bag and only add 549g worth of payload, while the Mavic Air 2 alone weighs 570g. Adding in a DJI RC-N1 and a phone to the mix skyrocket it to more than double the total cargo weight, which something very noticeable on a hike for example.

dji mini 3 pro vs mavic air 2 top
DJI Mini 3 Pro Left vs Mavic Air 2 Open

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DJI Mini 3 Pro (Left) vs Mavic Air 2 Closed

DJI Mini 3 Pro: Final Thoughts

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the definition of what a drone upgrade should be. This new DJI product has taken everything that made the previous gen Mini 2 great, and sprinkled in some of the magic of the full-featured Mavic line, with the inclusion of DJI's spectacular Active Track system. The Mini Series has always been the more accessible line from DJI, keeping under that 250g FAA required registration weight, but it has been lacking in some key safety features until now. Thanks to the three-way obstacle avoidance system, new pilots can feel even more confident in venturing out without too much worry of running into things. We couldn't even fool it by trying to push the Mini 3 Pro around, as it was able to literally dodge our attempts swatting at it.
The real catch with the Mini 3 Pro is picking the package that is just right for your situation. We do like that there is a straightforward upgrade only variant with no radio, but it is a rather steep asking price at $669, when you can still pick up the Mini 2 for $200 less and it comes with a controller. Even the Mini 2 SE is practically half the price. While those are great options for beginners who aren't quite ready to dive off into the world of camera drones, the Mini 3 Pro is currently the ultimate sub 250 gram camera drone that leaves little to be desired, in opinion. 

While we do feel its full bundle price is a bit steep, the DJI Mini 3 Pro with its new DJI RC controller for $909 is a reasonable asking price, considering just how much value is delivered. For a point of reference, the DJI RC Pro controller is $1,199. While the Pro is definitely more feature rich, the new Mini 3 Pro's RC controller is no slouch and really makes the entire experience of owning the Mini 3 Pro feel more, well, Pro. For experienced pilots to novices alike, that are in the market for one of the best and most feature-packed camera drones under $1,000, the DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro is going to be the bird to beat for some time to come. 
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