DJI Mini 3 Pro leak suggests it won’t be a cheap beginner drone

DJI Mini 3 Pro rumors are piling up ahead of the drone’s scheduled launch this month, and the latest has delivered some potentially troubling news for those hoping for a cheap entry-level drone.

Some apparently leaked prices, shared by a regular DJI commentator Jasper Ellens on Twitter revealed what could be a Chinese price list for the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 3 standard drones.

We’ve made some rough estimates based on those numbers (below), and they’re certainly starting to expand the definition of “entry-level.” The Mini 3 Pro, in particular, could cost more than double the price of the DJI Mini 2 SE ($299 / £269 / AU$459), which is DJI’s cheapest drone right now.

DJI Mini 3 Pro/Mini 3 Price Estimates
DJI Mini 3 Pro $699 £649 AU$1,299
DJI Mini 3 Pro (Fly More Handset) $949 £869 AU$1,599
DJI Mini 3 Pro (with RC controller) $1,249 £1,149 CA$1,999
DJI Mini 3 $549 £499 AU$899
DJI Mini 3 (Fly More Combo) $799 £769 AU$1,499
DJI Mini 3 (with RC controller) $1,099 £999 AU$1,799

The “Fly More Combos” above typically include two extra drone batteries, two pairs of extra propellers, a handy two-way charging hub, and a shoulder bag, among other accessories. And the new RC controller is expected to be a more basic version of the RC Pro controller we saw arrive with the DJI Mavic 3, the main benefit being that you don’t need to use your phone as a display in flight.

Naturally, you’d expect a drone with “Pro” in its name to be relatively expensive and this price leak reinforces our suspicions that the Mini 3 Pro will likely be a compact successor to the older, larger Mavic Air 2. That means it could be a mid-range offering for those who want high image quality in a small, backpack-friendly package.

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But even the standard DJI Mini 3, which we haven’t seen any major leaks for so far, would be more expensive than today’s DJI Mini 2, if those prices are correct. You can currently pick up the Mini 2 for $449 / £419 / AU$749, which is about 20% off those leaked Mini 3 prices.

These prices are far from concrete and conversions could vary, but it seems possible that the budget drones in the DJI range will remain the DJI Mini SE and Mini 2, despite the arrival of the Mini 3 series. both from price cuts following the launch of the Mini 3, which is expected later this month.

Review: A high-end compact camera for the sky

DJI Mini 2

The DJI MIni 3 series is expected to succeed the DJI Mini 2 (above). (Image credit: future)

Based on these leaks, the DJI Mini 3 Pro will be the drone equivalent of a high-end compact camera like the Fujifilm X100V or Ricoh GR III. It will be small and portable, but designed for experienced shooters who need professional power in a travel-friendly package.

Price rumors for a standard Mini 3 are promising, however, given that we haven’t heard much about this drone yet. All leaks so far, including retail packaging and a leaked video, have been for the DJI Mini 3 Pro, so those on more limited budgets will be pleased to hear that a more basic, affordable version could be on the way.

The difference between the Mini 3 and the Mini 3 Pro is still unclear. The Mini 3 Pro is expected to improve upon the Mini 2 with a larger 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, larger battery, and most importantly, the inclusion of obstacle avoidance sensors, all while keeping the drone’s weight under the 250 g mark.

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For beginners, these obstacle avoidance sensors would arguably be the biggest improvement, as they allow you to fly autonomously without worrying about crashing into branches or trees. It would make sense for the cheaper DJI Mini 3 to hang on to those sensors, but it remains to be seen how it plans to cut corners to hit those lower prices.

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