The iPhone SE series achieves affordability by marrying old and new hardware to make something better than the model it started as. Now DJI, one of the popular drone companies, is pulling the same trick with a new DJI Mini SE, and in the process, brought the price down to $299.
We rated the original DJI Mavic Mini as one of the best beginner-friendly drones you can buy. It’s darn near perfect between the fact that you don’t need to register it and how easy it is to fly. DJI followed that up with the Mavic Mini 2, which added a better chassis, controller, and 4K capabilities.
The new Mini SE marries the two models. It starts with the original Mavic Mini and adds the new chases from the Mini 2. That’s an improvement, as it doesn’t have as many exposed screws. It also switched to the follow-up’s improved batteries, propellers, and charging hub. Just about everything else stayed the same.
But while the original Mavic Mini costs $399, and the Mavic Mini 2 costs $449, the new Mini SE will set you back $299. That’s right; it’s better than the original AND costs less at the same time. You’ll, of course, give up a few things from the Mini 2’s greater price point, like the improved controller and range and 4K recording. But at least you get to charge over USB-C instead of the original’s micro USB.
And if you own the original, you can use its batteries in the new Mavic SE. You might want to think hard about that, though. The Mini SE tips the scales at 249 grams with its standard battery, which means you don’t have to register it with the FAA. But if you stick the original Mini’s battery in, it’ll jump up in weight, and you do have to register it.
You can order the DJI Mini 2 from Amazon today.