SpaceX Introduces Starlink Mini - A Look at Its Specs and Potential for Tesla Integration

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Elon Musk introduced the Starlink Mini on X recently, and showed off a few of its unique new features.

We’ve updated this article with additional Starlink information such as pricing and mobile data plan.

SpaceX has now officially begun sales of the Starlink Mini to select early customers.

Specs

The Starlink Mini is about the size of a 14” laptop or Macbook, which means it is ultra-portable and can fit inside a backpack for easy carry. While it doesn’t appear to support power over USB-C, it does come with a 12V barrel jack and RJ45 Ethernet jack, as well as built-in Wi-Fi support. As for the Wi-Fi support, expect Wi-Fi 6 with 802.11ax and 3x3 MiMO support on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. It has also been confirmed to have mesh support, which means you can link multiple Starlink Minis or Starlinks together to create a mesh Wi-Fi network.

The Starlink Mini will be 63% lighter than the standard Starlink dish, and about the size of a piece standard-sized paper.

Price

The most interesting part of this is the fact that it is expected to cost half of what current Starlink dishes cost – so within the $250 to $300 USD price range. Elon Musk, while unclear, also implied that the subscription price would also be lower for the Starlink Mini, enabling more affordable internet access.

For now, the United States limited offering places the price at $599.

SpaceX’s goal is to reduce the forward-looking price of the Mini, especially for regions around the world where connectivity is unaffordable or unavailable. However, in regions with high Starlink saturation - like North America, Starlink Mini places additional demand on the satellite network.

Roam Data Service

The Starlink Mini features a “Mini Roam” service, which is an additional $30/mo for 50GB of Mobile data that can be used anywhere in the United States, and is $1/GB for additional data. The Mini Roam service requires you to continue your regular Residential Starlink Service, even while roaming.

Speed

Of course, with a loss in size also comes a loss in speed – even if it’s still blazing fast. The Starlink Mini seemed to cap out at around 100 Mbps at a latency of 23ms, which is about half as fast as the top speeds for a regular Starlink dish, but with similar latency.

Even with the loss of speed, this is still more than fast enough to play video games and stream 4K video. Perhaps not at the same time, but the Mini is clearly designed for a single user.

Update: The Starlink Mini is indeed capped to 100Mbps max download speeds.

Starlink for Tesla?

The Mini is a good first step for possibly bringing Starlink capabilities to Tesla cars, which Elon Musk confirmed in 2022. Some enterprising users have either suction-cupped or mounted their starlinks to their glass Tesla roofs, or with special mounts for the Cybertruck already. The Mini will be a key item for going camping in your Tesla in the future - perhaps with the new Model Y Air Mattress!

Tesla could one day offer Starlink connectivity in Teslas, either as a backup to cellular connectivity or as a main source. However, Starlink connectivity requires line-of-sight, which likely means that Tesla would still require a cellular connection in their vehicles for times when vehicles don’t have a clear view of the sky. Using Starlink could help lower Tesla’s bandwidth costs and improve connectivity in remote areas.

Interestingly enough, some Superchargers already have Starlink functionality, with a transparent experience of vehicles automatically connecting to Supercharger Wi-Fi for data, including for Software Updates!

Release Dates

Musk mentioned that while the Starlink Mini isn’t available just yet, it will be rolling out to select areas in the next few months. Nothing further has emerged on where these areas are, but we could expect them to be in North America, where Starlink has done most of the new dish testing, such as with the more recent Starlink Flat High-Performance dishes.

Update: Starlink Mini has begun rolling out to early Starlink customers in the United States. No word yet on other regions.

Musk Confirms Tesla FSD V12.5 Is Being Tested on Chuck’s Turn

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Yesterday, Elon Musk confirmed that FSD V12.5 is being tested on Chuck’s Unprotected Left Turn. This is a big step – as we usually see Chuck’s UPL getting tested a few weeks or months before the release of another set of software.

Chuck’s Left Turn

Chuck’s Unprotected Left Turn, or UPL, has regularly been seen as a challenge for FSD. Chuck’s UPL is a complex, 2-stage unprotected left turn into high-speed traffic. Ever since 2022, Tesla has been testing on Chuck’s UPL, which is in Jacksonville, Florida.

Vehicles are intersecting from different sides at different portions of the turn, making it one that is truly difficult for both humans and for FSD to get right. It can be a difficult challenge for regular drivers, and ensuring FSD gets it right every time Tesla releases a new build seems to have become a bit of a tradition for Tesla.

As such, we generally see Chuck’s UPL getting tested by Tesla’s ADAS testers prior to a new build being prepared for release to employees. These ADAS testers are pretty obvious – they’ve got manufacturer plates on, and the telltale 2-second halt at stop signs.

FSD V12.5 Around the Corner?

Although Tesla is already testing FSD 12.5, it doesn’t necessarily mean that v12.5 is around the corner just yet – there are still plenty of users that still need to receive FSD v12.4.3 before Tesla jumps to v12.5. About 20-25% of FSD users now have FSD 12.4.3, but most are still on update 2024.14.9 with FSD 12.3.6.

FSD v12.5 is expected to begin features such as fleet communication and the merger of city and highway software stacks, to FSD.

What we’re seeing in Florida on Chuck’s turn (Tesla refers to Chuck Cook in release notes) is likely just the ADAS testers working on the early builds of v12.5. As such, don’t get too wrapped up around v12.5 – most are still waiting for nag-free FSD for the most part.

Tesla Update 2024.26.1: Changes and More Information About Tesla's Summer Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has been preparing another large update with its upcoming 2024.26, but as Tesla gets ready to release it to customers, it looks like we may see some changes. We’ve previously called this the Summer Update, and we’re going to stick with that.

Leave your Spring umbrella behind, and grab some sunglasses (or not, if you have FSD in North America) and let’s take a look at update 2024.26.1.

YouTube Music

It looks like YouTube Music, which was being tested in update 2024.26, isn’t available in 2024.26.1. YouTube may have been in early stages of testing or Tesla found some bugs with the feature that need to be addressed before a public release.

YouTube Music is still coming, but right now it looks like it’ll arrive in a point-release update, (e.g. 2024.26.X). This way, at least all the other features will arrive for everyone, rather than delaying the entire release for a few bugs with YouTube Music.

While we’re sad to see the delay for this music app, this is exactly why Tesla tests things in advance with their QA team and fleet of wave 1 employees. We’ll be glad to see it arrive in our cars when its bug-free, and at least we’re still getting Amazon Music with update 2024.26.1.

Updated Climate Panel

There’s a new Climate screen in update 2024.26, however, it looks like it’ll be just for the Model 3 and Model Y initially. The Model S and Model X use practically the same interface, but it may need some adjustments for the larger screen before it’s released. It’s not clear whether it’ll be available for the Cybertruck out of the gate.

We haven’t seen any images of the updated climate panel yet, but it looks like it’ll be a drastic departure from the screen we know today. It’s expected to include options to automate preheating and precooling of the vehicle on certain days and times and it could make other options more intuitive such as turning off vents on the passenger side (tap and hold the airwaves, but only works on some vehicles).

Other often requested features are to make it easier to turn on the Keep Climate, Dog Mode, and Camp Mode options when the vehicle is put into park.

Many customers have also requested passenger presets so the vehicle could remember settings for different passengers. This could be used for features like passenger climate settings, seat position, seat heater and more, but instead of multiple passenger settings, we may see Tesla add Passenger Profiles that could be used for a wide variety of features. Back in 2021, Musk agreed that it would be a good addition.

Castle Doombad Classic

One addition we saw from update 2024.26 to 2024.26.1 was the addition of the full Castle Doombad Classic game. Castle Doombad has you play as the villain as you defend your castle, but it’s only available on AMD Ryzen-based vehicles (MCU 3). It was released in the 2023 Christmas update and with this 2024.26.1 update the game goes from a demo to the full classic game.

Weather Forecasting

Finally, the Weather Forecast app – a pop-out display when you tap the temperature reading – will be arriving with support for North America, Europe, and other regions. Likely, this will include most regions, but you’ll need to shell out for Premium Connectivity.

The AQI (Air Quality Indicator) is already available in China and should be available in most regions as well, but it will also require Premium Connectivity. You can read more about the weather and AQI features here.

Release Date

Tesla appears close to starting the public release of this 2024.26.1 update. Tesla has recently released major versions (like 2024.26) to employees only and then released a bug fix update as a point release before making it available publicly.

Update 2024.26.1

FSD Supervised 12.3.6
Installed on 0% of fleet
0 Installs today
Last updated: Jul 16, 5:56 am UTC

We could see Tesla release 2024.26.1 as early as this week if further issues aren’t identified, although, in typical Tesla fashion, it’ll be a very gradual release.

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