DJI Mini 3 Pro leak shows chunky drone has traded looks for features

The DJI Mini 2 drone on a blue background
(Image credit: DJI)

Another huge DJI Mini 3 Pro photo leak has revealed the incoming drone's design from almost every angle – and the snaps show that its new features have come at the expense of sleek looks.

The Mini 3 Pro is expected to be a more advanced follow-up to the DJI Mini 2, which is currently DJI's smallest model and, in our book, the best beginner drone you can buy. But its successor has had to cram in new features, like obstacle avoidance sensors, without increasing its footprint – and this has seemingly resulted in a somewhat bulbous design.

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The leaked photos from @DealsDrone (above) confirm that the drone will have the design we saw on leaked packaging in March, which includes two large front-facing obstacle sensors. If the new photos are genuine, then it appears these bumps will also include rear-facing sensors.

It's the side-on photo of the Mini 3 Pro that really shows its rotund girth, particularly when its arms are unfolded. But a drone's looks aren't high on the priority list for many fliers and there are likely good reasons for its design, with previous leaks pointing to the inclusion of a larger battery and bigger camera sensor on the drone.

Crucially, it seems the Mini 3 Pro will still, like its predecessor, dip under the crucial 250g weight barrier. In many territories, drone that weigh under 250g are exempt from the need for registration, and these photos again show a marking on the Mini 3 Pro's underside that says "ultra light, 249g".

What isn't yet clear is if the Mini 3 Pro has some additional leeway in that weight for adding accessories like ND filters and propellor guards, while keeping it below the 250g mark. That could be important for some fliers, like those in the US, whose "category 1" drones need to have "no exposed rotating parts" when flying over people.

Another of the leaked photos, showing a close-up of the camera, appears to confirm rumors that the DJI Mini 3 Pro will be able to shoot video in portrait, which will popular among those looking to create aerial videos for Instagram or TikTok. Given the size of this leak, it seems likely that DJI's next drone will launch soon, with a full take-off likely later this month.


Analysis: A few questions still remain

A hand holding a prototype of the DJI Mini 3 Pro

Earlier leaks showed a DJI Mini 3 Pro with the same rotund design and camera. (Image credit: @DealsDrone)

The DJI Mini 3 Pro's design has seemingly been revealed in full, but a few questions still remain about the drone.

Firstly, we still don't know what its sensor size will be. Previous rumors have pointed towards a 1/1.3in CMOS sensor, which would be larger than the 1/2.3in chip in the DJI Mini 2, but that's an important detail we may not hear about until the official launch.

There's also the question about exactly how many versions of the Mini 3 Pro we'll get. So far, there haven't been any leaks or rumors about a standard DJI Mini 3 drone, aside from some possible pricing that came from Chinese social media.

This means it's possible we'll only see a DJI Mini 3 Pro land later this month, with various bundles offering different price points. The most expensive bundle is expected to include the new DJI RC controller that we've also seen leaked recently, which could take the price tag above the DJI Air 2S – an all-rounder that we consider to be the best drone you can buy.

But it's likely that we'll also see a cheaper DJI Mini 3 Pro without that controller, with a more affordable bundle including a standard controller that works with your smartphone. For those on a stricter budget, an even bigger question is what might happen to the price of the DJI Mini 2 after the Mini 3 Pro arrives – while there's no guarantee of a discount, it's certainly worth holding on to find out.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.