The DJI Mavic Mini is a great little drone at a price that’s designed to tempt first-time fliers as well as seasoned pilots.
One of the most exciting features of the Mavic Mini is its packed-down size. In fact, you can fit most of what you get in the Fly More Combo in the supplied case which measures around 26x19x8cm (approximately 10×7.5×3.25-inches). That means you can pretty much take it wherever you go.
Achieving this super-portability requires the drone’s arms and propellers to be folded in against the body shell. Similarly, the controller’s antennae and smartphone grips fold away to make a neat, transportable unit.
So how do you get the DJI Mavi Mini ready for a flight?
Well, the good news is, it’s pretty simple, just follow the steps below. However, it’s worth going through these steps at home before you fly for the first time because you need to create a DJI account and there are firmware updates to install. Once you’ve been through the process in the comfort of your own home, you’re ready to go outside and fly.
01 Charge the batteries
If you’ve bought the standard Mavic Mini kit you’ll need to charge the battery inside the drone. Slide your thumbnail under the edge of the battery compartment door on the back of the drone and flip it open. The battery should slide in smoothly into place and then you can close the door.
The USB port for the charging cable is just beneath the battery compartment door, to the left of the MicroSD slot.
The Fly More Combo includes a charging hub that can house 3 batteries for charging in sequence outside of the drone.
02 Download the DJI Fly App
While the batteries are charging, download the free DJI Fly app to your smartphone.
03 Insert the MicroSD Card
The microSD card slot is in the rear of the drone, under the battery bay door and alongside the USB port.
The card pushes home with a slight click. To remove it after the flight, just push in again until you feel a click and release.
04 Unfold the Controller
Unfold the smartphone clamps (at the bottom of the unit shown in the image on the left) and locate the control sticks in their storage slot within.
05 Attach the Control Sticks
The control sticks screw into the ball-like controls on the top of the controller.
06 Connect your Smartphone
Check that the cable on the left side of the controller is the correct one for your smartphone, if it’s not, swap it for the correct one. Then use the cable to connect your phone to the controller.
07 Unfold the DJI Mavic Mini’s Arms
It’s important to unfold the Mavic Mini’s arms in the correct order. First, fold out the front arms. It may not be obvious which are the front and read arms, but the front ones are uppermost and the left from one has ‘Mavic Mini’ written on it.
The rear legs, swivel round into place, push down on each one in turn to extend them behind the body of the drone.
08 Remove the Gimbal Protector
The camera and gimbal are protected by a transparent plastic cover that needs to be removed before you fly the drone. This has a simple release catch on the bedside of the drone
Press the button on the belly of the drone once, then release and make a long press until the row of lights illuminates.
Now, press, release and long press the power button on the controller.
10 Check the Firmware
Place the drone somewhere convenient on a flat surface while you open the DJI Fly app on your phone. If you don’t have DJI account, you’ll need to create one and log in. Otherwise, log in to your account.
The Mavic Mini and the controller should connect and you’ll start seeing the live view feed from the camera on your phone screen. You’ll also start to see some firmware upgrade messages, so just follow the step-by-step instructions on your phone screen until everything is updated.
Once that’s done, if you’re indoors you’ll probably see an error message about no GPS signal, but it’s now time to head out to your take-off location for your first flight.