DJI Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – Comparison 2020

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DJI officially launched their Mavic Mini in November 2019 following a long period of speculation by DJI fans.

In this article, we will cover how does the new Mavic Mini fare against the older brothers Mavic Air and DJI Spark. Also, many would like to know if Mini is a good DJI Spark alternative, so we will answer that question as well.

In short, Mavic Mini seems to be developing into a huge hit: it has much more attractive design, is more than 50g lighter and gives out an impression of a very compact device.

Mavic Mini is a drone for hobby pilots and price tag is definitely raising eyebrows – at just $399, it has the perfect balance of features you’d expect from a high-quality drone and a great price.

Let’s take a look at the tech specs for the Mavic Mini and see how it holds its ground in comparison to the Mavic Air and DJI Spark.

Click here to see how the latest DJI Air model – Air 2 copes against the Mavic Mini.

Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – General specs

For it’s $399 price tag, it’s one of the most feature-packed drones I have seen so far in this price range. Below is a quick overview of most important specs of all three drones:

DJI Mavic MiniDJI Mavic AirDJI Spark
Camera Sensor 1/2.3″ CMOS 1/2.3″ CMOS 1/2.3″ CMOS
Photos12 MP 12 MP 12 MP
Photo formatJPEGJPEG & DNG (RAW)JPEG
Video modes 2.7K 30 fps 1080p 60 fps 4K 30 fps 2.7K 60 fps 1080p 120 fps 720p 120 fps 1080p 30 fps
Video bitrate40 Mb/s100 Mb/s24 Mb/s
Video format MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 MP4/MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
Dimensions160×202× 55mm168×184×64 mm143×143×55 mm
Weight249 g430 g300 g
Max range (w/ controller)4 km4 km2 km
Battery2400 mAh2375 mAh1480 mAh
Max flight time30 minutes21 minutes16 minutes
Vision systemDownwardForward, backward & downwardForward & downward
Price ($)$399.00$919.00$399.00

Below is an even more detailed comparison of general specs of the three drones.

As you can see, it is a dead race since all three models have very similar features except Spark lacks ability to be folded and different flying modes. Both Mavic machines have multiple flying modes that output similar performance. Mavic Mini has three modes while Mavic Air has 2.

Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – Weight

DJI Mavic Mini is the lightest drone of the three and with 249 grams falls below official certification requirements in EU and USA. This is a huge plus since most hobby pilots don’t bother applying for these license which could get them in trouble. This way, with Mavic Mini, they are on the safe side.

Winner: Mavic Mini

Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – Size

In terms of size, it can be measured in two states for Mavic models: folded and unfolded. In both versions, Mavic Mini is smaller than Mavic Air but in the unfolded state – DJI Spark is the smallest of the three.

However, since Mavic Mini can be folded and reduced to a size of an average smartphone, we see it as a winner in this category as well.

Winner: Mavic Mini

Check out the latest DJI machine - DJI Mavic Air 2.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great leap forward in comparison to Mavic Mini (and first generation of Mavic Air) in nearly every measurable respect:

✔️battery life

✔️flying range

✔️image and video quality

✔️transmission and controller

Click here to see the full specs!

DJI Mavic MiniDJI Mavic AirDJI Spark
Weight249 Gram430 Gram300 Gram
Dimensions (folded)140 x 82 x 57 Millimeter168 x 83 x 40 Millimeternot foldable
Dimensions (unfolded)160 x 202 x 55 Millimeter168 x 184 x 64 Millimeter143 x 143 x 55 Millimeter
Diagonal Size213 Millimeter213 Millimeter170 Millimeter
Max. climbing speed 4 m/s (S-Mode)
2 m/s (P-Mode)
1,5 m/s (C-Mode)
4 m/s (S-Mod)
2 m/s (P-Mode)
2 m/s (Wi-Fi)
3 m/s (S-Mode)
Max. descent speed3 m/s (S-Mode)
1,8 m/s (P-Mode)
1 m/s (C-Mode)
3 m/s (S-Mode)
1,5 m/s (P-Mode)
1 m/s (Wi-Fi)
3 m/s (S-Mode)
Max, flying speed 46,8 km/h (S-Mode)
28,8 km/h (P-Mode)
14,4 km/h (C-Mode)
68,4 km/h (S-Mode)
28,8 km/h (P-Mode) 28,8 km/h (Wi-Fi)
50 km/h (S-Mode)
Maximum flight altitude above sea level3.000 Meter5.000 Meter4.000 Meter
Max. flight time30 Minutes21 Minutes16 Minutes
Maximum tilt angle30° (S-Modus)
20° (P-Modus)
20° (C-Modus)
35° (S-Modus)
15° (P-Modus)
not specified
Maximum angular speed 150°/s (S-Modus)
130°/s (P-Modus)
30°/s (C-Modus)
250°/s (S-Modus) 250°/s (P-Modus) not specified
Operating temperature0°C to 40°C0°C – 40°C0°C – 40°C
Operating frequency 2,400 – 2,483 GHz 5,725 – 5,850 GHz 2,400 – 2,483 GHz 5,725 – 5,850 GHz 2,400 – 2,483 GHz 5,725 – 5,850 GHz
GNSSGPS + GlonassGPS + GlonassGPS + Glonass
Hovering accuracyVertical:
±0.1 m (with visual positioning);
±0.5 m (with GPS positioning)
Horizontal:
±0.1 m (with visual positioning),
±1.5 m (with GPS positioning)
Vertical:
±0.1 m (with visual positioning)
±0.5 m (with GPS positioning)
Horizontal:
±0.1 m (with visual positioning)
±1.5 m (with GPS positioning)
Vertical:
±0.1 m (with visual positioning)
±0.5 m (with GPS positioning)
Horizontal:
±0.1 m (with visual positioning)
±1.5 m (with GPS positioning)
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Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – Speed

As you can see in the table overview above, we measured the speed of the drones under three different set of rules: ascending speed, flying speed and descending speed.

The exact numbers are shown in the table but the winner in this category was the older Mavic model – Mavic Air, even though Mavic Mini recorded a faster descending speeds than Air.

Winner: Mavic Air

Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – Maximum flight time

As shown in the table, Mavic Mini has by far the best endurance in terms of flying time – 30 minutes compared to almost two times less than that of DJI Spark and 9 minutes less for Mavic Air.

Winner: Mavic Mini

Camera and Video Transmission

All three models have great camera systems with the same 1/2,3“ CMOS sensor and same 12 Megapixel camera. There are small differences in lens field of view and focus.

Mavic Air also supports additional photo format in comparison to the other two while also featuring higher bitrate.

DJI Mavic MiniDJI Mavic AirDJI Spark
Sensor 1/2,3“ CMOS Effective Pixel: 12 Megapixel 1/2,3“ CMOS Effective Pixel: 12 Megapixel 1/2,3“ CMOS Effective Pixel: 12 Megapixel
LensField of view: 83° 35 mm
Format Equivalent: 24 mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Focus: 1 m to ∞
Field of view: 83° 35 mm
Format Equivalent: 24 mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Focus: 0.5 m to ∞
Field of view: 81,9° 35 mm
Format Equivalent: 25 mm
Aperture: f/2.6
Focus: 2 m to ∞
ISO-Range Video: 100 – 3200 Photo: 100 – 1600 (auto) 100 – 3200 (manual) Video: 100 – 3200 Photo: 100 – 1600 (auto) 100 – 3200 (manual) Video: 100-3200 Photo: 100 – 1600 (auto) 100 – 3200 (manual)
Electronic shutter4 to 1/8000s8 to 1/8000s2 to 1/8000s
Image size 4:3: 4000 x 3000 16:9: 4000 x 2250 4:3: 4056 x 3040 16:9: 4056 x 2280 4:3: 3968 x 2976
Photo modesSingle shot
Intervall: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
Single shot HDR
Continuous: 3/5/7 frames
Exposure bracket (AEB): 3/5 focused frames at an aperture of 0.7 Interval 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s Pano 3×1: 42°×78°, 2048×3712 (B×H) Pano 3×3: 119°×78°, 4096×2688 (B×H) 180°: 251°×88°, 6144×2048 (B×H) Sphäre (3×8+1): 8192×4096 (B×H)
Single shot
Continuous: 3 frames
Exposure bracket (AEB): 3 focused frames at an aperture of 0.7 Interval 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
Video resolution 2.7K (2720 x 1530): 25/30p FHD (1920 x 1080): 25/30/50/60p 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160): 24/25/30p 2.7K (2720 x 1530): 24/25/30/48/50/60p FHD: (1920 x 1080): 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p HD (1280 x 720): 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p FHD (1920 x 1080): 30p
Max. Videobitrate40 Mbit/s100 Mbit/s24 Mbit/s
Supported file systems FAT32 (≤ 32 GB) exFAT (> 32 GB) FAT32 (≤ 32 GB) FAT32 (≤ 32 GB)
Photo format JPEG JPEG DNG (RAW) JPEG
Video format MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) MP4/MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC)
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Arguably one of the most important parts of a drone – almost just as important as drone’s flying abilities.

DJI Spark features a a 1/2.3″ CMOS image sensor that can capture 12MP stills, and record video at up to 1080p30 with a bitrate of 24Mbps.

The Mavic Mini’s camera is closer to Mavic as it can shoot video at 2.7K, a big improvement over the Spark. In addition, the Mavic Mini’s bitrate increases to 40Mbps as well, which means we get more detail in the video.

Stills take full advantage of the 12MP sensor, and the resolution increases slightly to 4000×3000. Though the video codec remains the same, the Mavic Mini can shoot stills in JPEG.

However, Mavic Air is the only one that can do 4K videos and even though Mini’s 2.7K are only fractionally worse, this one has to go to the older brother.

So, as for the camera Mavic Air edges out the Mini and is the winner:

Winner: Mavic Air

Detection systems / VPS

Mavic Air takes the victory in this one as it has obstacle detection on both front and rear end while Mavic Mini has none and Spark has only front sensors.

Winner: Mavic Air

DJI Mavic MiniDJI Mavic AirDJI Spark
Obstacle detectionnonefront and tailfront
Vision Positioning SystemOperating range: 0,5 – 10 mOperating range: 0,5 – 30 mOperating range: 0,5 – 30 m
Operating environment VPSnon-reflecting, strongly differing surfaces diffuse reflections (>20%) sufficient illumination (lux>15) non-reflecting, strongly differing surfaces diffuse reflections (>20%) sufficient illumination (lux>15) non-reflecting, strongly differing surfaces diffuse reflections (>20%) sufficient illumination (lux>15)

Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – Remote control

DJI Mavic MiniDJI Mavic AirDJI Spark
Mechanical control rangeTilt: -110° to +35°
Roll: -35° to +35°
Swivel: -20° to +20°
Tilt: -100° to +22°
Roll: -30° to +30°
Swivel: -12° to +12°
not specified
Controllable rangeTilt: -90° to 0° (standard mode),
-90° to +20° (extended)
Tilt: -90° bis 0° (standard mode),
-90° to +17° (extended)
Tilt: -85° to 0°
Stabilisationthree axis (tilt, roll, swivel) three axis (tilt, roll, swivel) two axis (tilt, roll)
Max. controlled speed (tilt)120°/s120°/snot specified
Controlled angular accuracy±0,01°±0,005° not specified

DJI Mavic MiniDJI Mavic AirDJI Spark
Operating frequencies 2,400 – 2,4835 GHz 5,725 – 5,850 GHz 2,400 – 2,4835 GHz 5,725 – 5,850 GHz 2,400 – 2,4835 GHz 5,725 – 5,850 GHz
Max. Transmission range 2,4 GHz: 2.000 m (CE) 5,8 GHz: 500 m (CE) 2,4 GHz: 2.000 m (CE) 5,8 GHz: 500 m (CE) 2,4 GHz: 500 (CE) 5,8 GHz: 300 m (CE)
Operating temperature0℃ – 40℃0℃ – 40℃0℃ – 40℃
Battery capacity 2.600 mAh 2.970 mAh2.970 mAh
Operating current/voltage 1.200 mA ⎓ 3,6 V (Android) 700 mA ⎓ 3,6 V (iOS) 1400 mA ⎓ 3,7 V (Android) 750 mA ⎓ 3.7 V (iOS) 950 mA = 3,7 V
Max. Dimensions of the mobile devicemax. length: 160 mm supported thickness: 6,5 bis 8,5 mm max. length: 160 mm supported thickness: 6,5 bis 8,5 mm max. length: 160 mm supported thickness: 6,5 bis 8,5 mm
Available USB ports Lightning microUSB (Type-B) USB-Type-C Lightning microUSB (Type-B) USB-Type-C Lightning microUSB (Type-B) USB-Type-C
Video transmission systemWiFiWiFiWiFi
Live view quality720p at 30 fps720p at 30 fps720p at 30 fps
Latency MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) MP4/MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC)

Altitude

The Mavic Mini’s maximum altitude is 3000 m above sea level, which is 1000 m shorter than that of the Spark and 2000 m shorter of the winner: DJI Mavic Air.

Winner: DJI Mavic Air

Battery and app control

DJI Mavic MiniDJI Mavic AirDJI Spark
Battery capacity2.400 mAh2.375 mAh1.480 mAh
Battery Type2S / Lithium-Ion-battery3S / Lithium-Polymer-battery3S / Lithium-Polymer-battery
AppDJI Fly-AppDJI GO 4-AppDJI GO 4-App

Range

Though we never recommend flying drones out of your line of sight, having a good range on your drone does help you with bragging rights. The DJI Spark currently has a  2km range but the Mavic Mini has an impressive 4km range – which is the same as the Mavic Air. So this is a split decision:

Winner: Mavic Mini and Air

Gimbal

The gimbal on the Mavic Mini is an upgrade from its predecessor and is a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, with pan, roll, and pitch maneuvering capabilities. In contrast, the Spark only has a 2-axis mechanical gimbal and is unable to pan.

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Having that extra axis will also make a much more noticeable difference when it comes to your footage. The footage captured by the Mavic Mini is more on par with the Mavic Air than it is the Spark.

The video quality should be better than the Spark too,  thanks to its much higher bitrate; 40 Mbps as opposed to 24 Mbps.

Price

Well, of course that Mini and Spark are in a completely different price class than Mavic Air. What is stunning is the fact that Mini almost completely erased the performance gap to Mavic Air while being two times cheaper. Spark is in similar price range as Mini but considering lower value for money, it loses out in this segment as well.

Winner: Mavic Mini

Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark – Conclusion

So is the Mavic Mini a good alternative to Mavic Air? Is it better than DJI Spark?

In my opinion, it absolutely is. It’s a significant upgrade from the DJI Spark but doesn’t quite reach to the levels of the much more expensive and feature-rich Mavic Air and Pro. Still, considering the price, Mavic Mini definitely offers the best price-performance ratio of the three.

Buy now on Amazon:

Mavic Mini

Mavic Air

DJI Spark

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