We’ve been playing around with DJI’s lightweight Mavic Mini for a while now and while it’s a great entry point for geeks like us setting the drone up was a bit confusing.

As DJI is a firm based in China, we understand the language barrier can be testing but the pictures it uses to guide you through important setup tips had us frantically searching online for help.

So today we’re going to help you get flying as quickly as possible.

Step 1 – Create a DJI account

In order to make full use of your new drone you’re going to need to create a DJI account. Setting up the account is free and it took us all of 10 minutes to do it.

Without a DJI account the drone’s maximum altitude will be limited along with the distance it can travel.

Step 2 – Charge it up

It goes without saying that all your gear needs to be charged up. This includes the Mavic Mini’s battery pack, the remote control and your smartphone.

We recommend waiting for all batteries in all devices to be charged fully before attempting your first flight.

Despite the square shape, a regular Micro USB cable will work here.

Step 3 – Download the DJI Fly app

In order to see what the Mavic Mini sees you will be using your smartphone.

iPhone users you can head to the App Store to download the application. The only requirement is that you have iOS 10.0 or later.

Android users can find the DJI Fly app on the Play Store and you will need Android 6.0 or later in order to use the app.

Something we discovered while flying the Mavic Mini is that your handset will get incredibly warm while flying. This is normal but warrants mentioning.

Step 4 – Pairing or, the dance of the button presses

Our biggest stumbling block with regards to the DJI Mavic Mini was powering the drone on and pairing it with the remote control.

While it seems simply enough the process isn’t explained all that well.

To power on the drone you will need to press the button on the underside once and then very quickly press and hold the button to power the drone on. To turn it off, follow the same process.

Once short press will reveal the battery level. Pressing again will power the drone up.

The remote control is powered on in the same way and connecting your smartphone to the controller is rather simple. DJI includes USB Micro-B, USB Type-C and Lightning connectors in the box so you should easily be able to connect your smartphone to the controller.

Step 5 – Fly

Once everything is powered on, connect your smartphone to the controller and launch the DJI Fly app.

Key in your login information to access your account and follow the instructions on screen.

It is vital that you pay attention to what is happening on screen as you may see several prompts. For example, I live in an area which planes flyover frequently and as such the drone is restricted to an altitude of 150m.

You will also need to have a strong GPS signal. We had a few issues with warnings about weak GPS signal and soon discovered these were caused by poorly aligned antennae on the controller. DJI does include visual aids to help you get the best signal when your Mavic Mini is airborne.

And that’s it.

Take off and landing are simple given there are buttons for these on the display.

Our full review of the DJI Mavic Mini will be available soon so check back to Hypertext for that if you have your eye on this drone or are in two minds.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.