The updates don’t stop there, and the result is far better than the simple spec sheet adjustments imply. The DJI Mini 2 may now be the best drone for beginner pilots.
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DJI Mini 2 overview
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DJI knew they had a good thing with the original Mavic Mini drone from 2019. Besides being a surprisingly capable drone for the size and price, the machine proved very important at a time of uncertainty for drone registration and licensing — the Mavic Mini, and the new Mini 2, weigh in at 249 grams, which means you do not need to register with the FAA before you fly. Make no mistake, you still must follow the rules of the sky, including acquiring authorization to fly in controlled airspace, but it saves you a few dollars, at least.
The DJI Mini 2 has a 4K camera, putting it on par with a typical smartphone today. We’re talking about a machine that weighs only 7 grams more than the Google Pixel 4 XL in my pocket right now, but is capable of reaching hundreds of feet into the sky, for about half the price.
The addition of OcuSync 2.0 is far more important than some may expect. As an example: I flew my Mavic Mini and the new Mini 2 in the same place in one flight session, (Mini first, Mini 2 second,) and had very different results. My flight location has a fair amount of natural magnetic interference on the ground, resulting in a number of hiccups for the Mavic Mini. The Mini 2, however, with the 6.2 mile range of OcuSync 2.0, experienced absolutely no hiccups. Where the Mavic Mini had bouts of both video and connection lag, the Mini 2 was smooth sailing from start to finish.
More powerful motors make the Mini 2 a responsive and peppy drone. It’s fun to fly, balancing performance with stability. Despite that horsepower, the Mini 2 has improved flight time as well, soaring for up to 31 minutes per charge.
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DJI Mini 2 hardware and design
It may not be in the name, but we’re officially considering the DJI Mini 2 to be the latest drone in the DJI Mavic line. The familiar compact, folding design continues, as with the front-hanging 3-axis stabilized camera. The propellers are two-piece units that are screwed on, hopefully the Mini 3 will return to quick-connect like the larger Mavic drones.
Make no mistake, the outside of the Mini 2 is nearly identical to the Mavic Mini. You need to scour the crevices to identify differences in size and shape of the parts. For example, the propellers appear identical in size and shape, but the screw holes are slightly different. The back panel of the front propeller arms are made of different materials, as are the bottoms of the motor mounts, and the support fins on the inside of the battery doors are different, in order to support the different shapes of batteries.
We think the Mini 2 is a more durable build than the Mavic Mini, particularly with less flex in the front propeller arms, but they are basically identical.
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What’s new with the Mini 2?
Aside from the above listed camera, connectivity, motor and slight design changes, the Mini 2 comes with a different remote than the Mavic Mini. Actually, the new remote appears to be the same controller as comes with the DJI Mavic Air 2. This new remote offers more controls of the drone, allowing you to accomplish more in the sky without having to use the DJI Fly app. To be fair, the app on your phone is mounted right there on top of the remote, but there is value in operation by muscle memory, instead of having to take your eyes off the drone to look at the screen.
OcuSync 2.0 does more than just improve connectivity to your drone. Make no mistake, we’re talking about nearly triple the effective connection range versus the WiFi system of the Mavic Mini, which is superb! OcuSync enables simultaneously connectivity to your remote as well as other OcuSync devices. For example, the DJI Goggles. Note: the DJI Goggles do not work with the Mini 2, or the DJI Mavic Air 2, at this time, as it appears the DJI Fly app does not enable that connectivity, but the capability in the drone exists, at least, and we think a software update can enable all the fun accessories.
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DJI Mini 2 camera
The camera in the DJI Mini 2 is a solid upgrade from the Mavic Mini, but more important, it is the new leader as the best flying camera for under $500. 4K resolution is a start, 100Mbps data rate is a massive update over the 4oMbps of the Mavic Mini, and up to 4X zoom is super handy for some pilots. Plus, photographers can capture RAW images as well.
The capture modes are similar to other DJI drones, with Panoramic shots, AEB (HDR) shots, and DJI Quickshot intelligent flight modes.
DJI has been working on their software for further image processing. The DJI Fly app has new tools to enhance photos, trim videos, and more.
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DJI Mini 2 specifications
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The DJI Mini 2 is available for order upon launch, November 4th, 2020. We’re not certain what delivery times look like so far, but we’ll update when we know more. We expect the Mini 2 will maintain its launch price through the 2020 holiday shopping season, but there may be a few deals here or there. We expect that the DJI Mavic Mini may go on sale again this holiday season, so if you do not desire 4K video, improved connectivity, or more power, the older drone could be a good deal.
|The base DJI Mini 2 for $449 includes:
|The DJI Mini 2 Fly More combo for $599 includes all of the above, plus:
Stay tuned for more coverage, including a more in-depth comparison with the Mavic Mini and the Mavic Air 2, a camera overview, and more.
What do you think, is the DJI Mini 2 worth buying?