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  • Casey Wilson

I Logged Over 100 Flights With The DJI Mini 3 Pro: Is The Price Hike Justified?

The most popular palm-sized drone in America just got better, with a larger sensor, obstacle avoidance system and intelligent flight modes. It’s top-rated by both beginners and experts, and highly recommended by travelers.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

Top-rated: 1,638 ratings | 203 answered questions


DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

Highlight: Tri-directional obstacle sensing for unrivaled safety.

Most helpful review: "I have been waiting for DJI to create a Mini drone that included obstacle avoidance since the first Mini drone was released. This review is based on my experience with the drone after a total flight time of 24 hours. I have provided a quick pros and cons list followed by an expanded discussion.
Pros:
-Weight
-Geo-restrictions Built-in
-Camera
-Battery Life
-Personalize Controller Setup
Cons:
-Binding of the Fly-away Refresh coverage
-Sound of the controller
But despite my four-star review given the outweighing con factors, the Mini Pro 3 is a great drone for beginners to learn how to fly while capturing breathtaking images that include a decent number of safety features. I recommend that new users purchase DJI’s 2-year Refresh warranty that includes fly-away coverage for $125. When writing this review, this can be bought within 48 hours of turning on your drone through DJI’s website.
Weight: The weight of DJI's Mini series can easily avoid registration in most jurisdictions and comes ready to fly out of the box. This is why I wanted my first drone to be under the 250g weight threshold to avoid registration and avoid obtaining a certification/license while I am still learning. You will see that opting for DJI's Fly More Kit Plus (extended range batteries) pushes you over this limit and may subject the user to the registration process. I suspect the DJI app would know that you have inserted the heavier-extended range batteries and would require you to enter your certification/clearance permit before taking flight. I truly am impressed by the weight of this drone. Even the controller is heavier than the drone itself!
Geo-restrictions Built-in: From what I can tell, the DJI Fly app is robust and includes local geo-restrictions that may prevent you from taking off in a restricted area. I still use apps such as the B4UFly app to ensure that there are no local or temporary ordinances I may violate before taking off. But having geo-restrictions built into the app helps beginners who don’t understand the hazards a drone may cause to not fly in an area until it is safe. I am also certain this feature has something to do with DJI’s eventual remote ID to comply with any future FAA drone registration requirements.
Camera: The camera on this drone is a BEAST! It takes breathtaking videos and pictures. You would expect the standard night shooting results on a camera when taking a video (though a word of caution when flying in low-light environments). However, night pictures using the 48mp camera easily capture the hidden scenery. The various pano settings also generate beautiful views regardless of time and makes you wish you were actually in the area observing everything below.
Battery Life: Can I just say WOW! The battery life is very impressive. Even though I would like to purchase the Fly More Kit Plus to utilize the longer-flight time batteries, the extra weight would kick this drone out of the 249g range. Fortunately, DJI has done a fantastic job with its sub-250g batteries. The flight time always depends on conditions (e.g., wind), but I have averaged anywhere from 25-30 minutes in a single flight. Given how fast these batteries charge, having a few extra spares charging while you fly would give you unlimited flight time! Of course, ignoring the standard longevity of lithium batteries when discharged fully between cycles, haha.
Personalize Controller Setup: The controller has on function button that can quickly change two settings that would normally take several clicks in the app to reach. Pressing this button once or twice in quick succession would trigger two different functions of your choice. In addition, the app has allowed me to flip the flight control of the joysticks. Growing up, I played many games where flying a plane was required. The default flight settings were inverted to what I am used two. I was very surprised that DJI included this feature which has made me learn to fly a drone easily.
Binding of the Fly-away Refresh coverage: I purchased DJI’s 2-year Refresh Plan that includes fly-away coverage. But for some reason, the setup has always been confusing. The app appears to know that I have an active subscription because I needed to include my drone’s serial number when purchasing the plan. However, I am randomly stopped from taking off because my plan has unbounded from my drone, and I would have to restart the system before it would bind properly. I am sure this is an easy software fix, but I do not understand why the plan does not simply remain bound in-between some flights.
Sound of the controller: The speakers on the controller are loud and grabs your attention. This is great when you are so caught up in the breathtaking views that you may miss important warnings like your drone is low on battery. However, there have been multiple occasions where I simply turn on my controller, which beeps continuously, even after the drone is connected. I have no idea why but it gets annoying very fast. There is no hard switch on the controller to silence this beeping, and restarting everything does not help. Eventually, it will go away unless there is something wrong with the drone. When you finally connect to the drone, you may finally see notifications that need your attention.
Return to home ("RTH") Inconsistency: The GPS feature on these drones is great. You can visually see on the app how many drones are currently connected to your drone. However, if you use the RTH feature, BE VERY CAREFUL and watch it closely. You can still maneuver the drone after enabling RTH. So when your drone begins to descend on your neighbor’s roof instead of your driveway, gain some altitude and cancel RTH. Then manually land where you need.
Runs Hot on Idle When Transferring Recordings: DJI should implement sensors in the drone to turn off certain flight features, like the gimbal, when the drone's props are folded in. While transferring footage to my phone, the drone can run extremely hot because it is not air-cooled as it would when flying. Even when my props are folded, the power-hungry flight components are still being used. I normally stick my drone in front of a fan when I am transferring to cool it down. This method works, but I shouldn’t need to do it in the first place.
Inconsistent Transfer Speed: The app offers a quick-transfer feature by allowing your phone to connect to the drone directly via WiFi. You can turn off the controller in this mode and get a theoretical transfer speed of 25 mb/s. But for some unknown reason, the transfer speed can get stuck at five mb/s or bounce between 5-10 mb/s. I am not sure what is causing this difference. When I get the advertised 25 mb/s, it is under the same conditions as the 5-10 mb/s transfer rate. Just be mindful of your drone running too hot with slower transfers and reference the header above.
Final verdict: very easy to learn, creates breathtaking content!" — TeeHeCee
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DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

Another helpful review: "I've had a couple really cheap drones. They are very hard to fly - they leave all the work to you. This does a lot of the stabilization for you. The camera is amazing, the tech is amazing. I was hesitant to spend this money on a drone when I have so little experience. I assume - and still do - that it is just a matter of time before I crash it. If you take your time and be cautious, you will be able to avoid that for awhile. Things you should know:
1) While you're waiting for it to arrive, get your part 107 exception. It's easy, it's free.
2) You should get the fly more kit. Otherwise, you can only charge the battery when it's in the drone.
3) If you get the fly more get, you need to register the drone. It's worth doing anyway, and it only costs $5.
4) Watch the YouTube videos to get ideas of things you should practice for flying and controlling your drone.
5) When you need to replace the props, they go in specific places. Read the manual before you do it. The manual will also tell you how to make sure they are in the right spot after you replace them without reading the manual first. Not that I have any experience with that.
6) Look for Facebook (or reddit?) drone groups for your area that will help you find places you can fly. I was disappointed when I started looking and realized federal / state parks aren't allowed :(.
7) When you do go fly, be as considerate as possible of others around you." — C. Hand

Get it from Amazon now: $909.00 & FREE Returns


DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

Another helpful review: "Good things come in tiny packages and this DJI product yet again is no exception! The power and features they managed to pack into such a tiny drone is insane. Incredible video and photo quality, the range issues early on have been fixed and the obstacle avoidance and tracking features are truly mind blowing in a sub 249g drone. Battery life is great; have been getting around 28 minutes in a fairly windy day but I ordered a "PLUS" battery to compliment this drones; already impressive flight length. Keep in mind the PLUS batteries will put you over the 249g mark. My only critique is I wish the fly more package was available sooner. I ordered the fly more regular package because the extra batteries and charging hub plus accessories are a must have but it won't be available until late August... But you can always order through Best Buy and get them asap if you're impatient like myself!
Also highly recommend getting a bigger hard shell bag or case for the extra room and protection. ND filters for incredible video footage, Freewell makes some good ones that come in a nice carrying case. And lastly I highly recommend an extra micro SD card or two, I use the SandDisk Extreme Pro to get the best quality, durability and reliability. 64GB will work just fine but personally I recommend the 128GB and I keep two 64GB as backups/ spares." — John

Get it from Amazon now: $909.00 & FREE Returns


DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

Another helpful review: "Deciding that I needed a new hobby, and having always wanted a drone, I decided to go for the Mini 3 Pro. I've never regretted that decision! This little thing is easy to control, takes great video and photos, and has a lot of great features going for it that will take some time to fully explore. What's more it is relatively future proof - I don't anticipate needing to buy another drone in the future, as this one checks all the boxes.
Realize though that if you are purchasing this as someone new to the hobby, there is *extra expense*. For instance, you will probably want to get some ND filters, because on YouTube you watched a gazillion videos telling you how much they would improve your drone images and videos. You'll no doubt want the Fly More combo pack, because having just a single battery that only lasts you ~25 minutes is not as fun as the promise of being able to fly around for 1.5 hours at a time. There are a lot of accessories that you'll want to get 'just in case...'.
But don't let that dissuade you from getting a hold of this drone! It is something that has brought me a lot of personal joy and fun, and every time I take it out I end up just shaking my head in amazed appreciation." — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon now: $909.00 & FREE Returns


DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

Another helpful review: "This is my fourth DJI drone. I've had the Spark at home, and the Mavic Air and Air 2S at work. The Air 2S is absolutely fantastic, especially in conjunction with the Smart Controller. The Mini 3 Pro is like a smaller, lighter, less expensive Air 2S, and the controller is a lighter version of the Smart Controller. Other than size, weight, and price, the Mini 3 Pro seems just as good as the Air 2S for a lot less money. The controller is a real game changer. The first time I used the smart controller with my Air 2S at work I vowed I'd never use the old cell-phone and controller combo again, which is why I felt I should get the Mini 3 Pro for my personal use. I'm shooting weddings with it now and plan to try home inspections with Bees360. The Spark and the Mavic Air were fine drones, but the newer batteries and the smart controllers make the Air 2S and the Mini 3 Pro a million times better to use." — John Quirk

Get it from Amazon now: $909.00 & FREE Returns


DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC) – Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

Another helpful review: "Let me start by saying I've had a bunch of "toy" drones that have all left me very frustrated. But this was a joy to fly from the very first try. It's very stable for it's size, even if a breeze, and the gamble makes the video even more stable. Rock solid.
The controller is big and bright and the sticks are very comfortable to use. The buttons are well laid out too (both the ones on top and on back). The controller range seems very good and the video streaming from the drone is fantastic - no lag at all that I can detect.
Over time I have gotten to know the features - yes, you should really study the manual or you'll miss a lot of stuff - and I've tested the collision avoidance, quick shots, master shots, etc. All work as advertised.
Oh, and I've had several people who have drones comment on how quiet it is. That's the first thing they say. I guess whatever they fly attracts a lot of attention, and this really doesn't.
Do I wish is had side collision sensors? Sure. It is pretty pricy? With the nice controller and the fly more package it's definitely a pretty penny. Would I buy it again? In a heart beat." — S. Mcintosh

Get it from Amazon now: $909.00 & FREE Returns