First impressions of DJI’s new MINI 3 PRO drone

I’ve now spent the best part of a week with the latest drone from DJI and after close to a dozen flights, it’s time to detail my first impressions of the drone. If you haven’t already, got read and watch my unboxing of the DJI Mini 3 Pro here.

Let’s start with the hardware. To begin, the drone is another great example of how small foldable drones can be, at basically the size of my hand, it packs away neatly into the carry bag which also has space for the 3x batteries, the drone, controller, extra props, cables and more.

The design of the drone received a pretty significant overhaul compared to the Mini 2 from last year. The front of the drone now features a new gimbal system for the camera which allows it to shoot in portrait orientation. I have to say, this is such a great inclusion and really a great response from DJI to the growing requirement to create content in 9×16 aspect ratios on platforms like TikTok.

On top of the camera are two rather significant bulges that house the front-facing and rear-facing cameras, used to detect and avoid obstacles. There are also sensors underneath that help protect the drone, however as I found out, there is no sideways collision avoidance assistance, so be careful.

Something I love in the new revision is the attention paid to the folding legs, now you can open the legs in any order, which is fantastic and just makes the experience of setting up and packing up, faster and hassle-free.

In terms of the battery, gone is the door on the back of the drone, instead, the back of the drone is completed by the battery, drawing from a similar idea on the FPV drone. This makes battery exchanges faster, another welcome improvement.

Next is the new RC controller which is an absolute delight to use. After reviewing the Mavic 3 with its RC Pro controller, I was really happy to see DJI offer a more affordable, yet still wildly capable version with this drone. The 5.5″ touchscreen is bright, making outdoor use a real possibility. Personally, I think the weight distribution of a screen below the controls is far better and with removable joysticks that can snap into the back of the controller, it’s again just seconds of setup to get flying.

I found the controller and drone paired fast every time, the controller was fast to boot up each time you wanted to fly and you can even throw in a microSD card to capture the controller visuals when flying.

One of the only misses of the Mini 3 Pro drone is the plastic camera cover. DJI have used these on models in the past, but aligning it is far more difficult than it should be. After having used the camera cover and strap of the Mavic 3, I was hoping we’d also see that here, but sadly not. The wrap-around strap with an included camera cover, offered a delightful clip mechanism that was a dream to remove and re-attach, instead this cover is flimsy and unnecessarily hard to clip into place.

The Fly More Kit includes a triple-charger and 3 batteries, making multiple flights possible and I often found I had captured what I needed within one flight, but the odd time I switched batteries and flew again, I never needed the third, which speaks to how good the battery life is (30m+).

The quality of video coming out of this drone really is something special for its size. Yes, the Mavic 3 CINE is certainly still the flagship, but honestly, for the dollars, this is outstanding value for money. I did notice some fogging of the lens when moving between a warm indoor environment and cooler outside conditions, so its important to let the drone climatise.

Some of the fancy software features are not yet available like Master Shots, so we’ll need to wait for an update before I can let you know how well that all works.

Overall I’m incredibly impressed with what DJI has changed on the Mini 3 Pro and what’s available here should sell really well.

If you have any questions, please leave them below.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwrighthttp://techau.com.au/author/jason/
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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