Today I was thinking about what are the most popular drones on the market. After a little pondering, I couldn’t decide which was the number one, but I am sure we all agree that the DJI Mini 2 is on the podium.
With new camera capabilities, longer flight time, better and further video transmission range, boosted flight performance, and a new set of intelligent functions, the DJI Mini 2 has got it going on.
The DJI Mini, the predecessor of the Mini 2 did an impressive job and opened a whole new spot on the market. However, how much better is the new version? Why is it so ridiculously popular and has such good reviews? Let’s take a look.
DJI Mini 2 features
It doesn’t matter what time of the year we are shopping. It might be Black Friday, Christmas, or the summer holidays. The DJI Mini 2 always gets a spot on the list of drones with the highest sales.
To better understand why this is, let’s look at its features.
- Impressive 4x zoom (1080p), 2x (4K and photo mode).
- Level 5 wind resistance, meaning that it is able to fly at a wind speed of 19 to 24 mph (30 to 38 km/h).
- 31-minute maximum flight time.
- Up to 6 miles (10 Km) of video transmission with Ocusync 2.0 at 720p (footage comes to your phone on the DJI Fly app).
- 3-axis gimbal for a stabilized video.
- Precise Flight with GPS, allowing it to return to home more precisely.
- 360° Panorama photos (including in-app processing).
- Quickshot video presets (intelligent flight modes).
- Take-off and landing sensors.
- Maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of less than 250g.
Some people are unsure of whether they should buy the new DJI Mini 2 or its predecessor. However, it all depends on what are your needs, as both drones are amazing.
For those in doubt, below is a quick DJI Mini 2 vs. DJI Mavic Mini comparison to help you decide:
|Feature||DJI Mini 2||DJI Mavic Mini|
|Video||4K / 30 FPS||2.7K / 30 FPS|
|Zoom||4x (1080p) 2x (4K)||Not supported|
|Photo Format||JPEG, RAW||JPEG|
|Transmission Range||6 miles (10 Km)||2.5 miles (4 Km)|
|Max Flight Speed||16 m/s||13 m/s|
|Wind Resistance||Level 5||Level 4|
|Quickshots||Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket, and Boomerang||Dronie, Circle, Helix, and Rocket.|
|Panorama||Sphere, 180° and Wide-Angle||Not Supported|
|Editing||Enhanced photo||Not Supported|
|Downloading||QuickTransfer, Trimmed Download.||Not Supported|
As you can see for yourself, the new DJI Mini 2 is an amazing UAS. DJI not only improved all the features that made the Mavic Mini one of the most popular drones but also added some amazing characteristics that are usually included in more expensive products. Bravo!
When did DJI Mini 2 come out?
It has been a year since the official launch of the DJI Mini 2, time flies… I bought mine in January but did not start flying it until mid-March or so. As of today, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
The rumors started earlier last year, but it was not until November 2021 that the DJI Mini 2 came out. In the months since then, new competitors have emerged, but the product from the Chinese giant still remains the most popular and well-reviewed mini drone on the market.
DJI Mini 2 versions
Regarding DJI drones, their products come in two packages, and the Mini 2 is no exception; the standard version, and the fly more combo. You might be wondering which is the right one for you, so allow me to explain the differences.
This is what comes with both packages:
- The DJI Mini 2 drone
- Intelligent flight battery
- Remote controller that uses OcuSync 2.0 technology
- Type C cable to charge your drone or sync files on your computer
- Gimbal protector. Very important, do not lose it.
- RC cable for the controller (micro-USB connector)
- RC cable for the controller (USB Type C connector)
- RC cable for the controller (Lighting connector)
- One pair of spare control sticks (the ones that you screw to the controller)
- One pair of spare propellers. Yes, you will need to change them eventually.
- DJI screwdriver, used to screw on the propellers
- 6 spare screws
What is included in the fly more combo version? Below are the extras that you get with this package:
- 3 intelligent flight batteries (instead of one). Each battery, if bought separately, has a cost of $55.
- 3 pairs of spare propellers (1 in the standard version)
- 18 spare screws (6 in the standard version)
- DJI Mini 2 Two-Way Charging hub (not included in the standard version)
- DJI 18W USB charger (not included in the standard version)
- DJI Mini 2 shoulder bag. This is a must-have for travelers! (not included in the standard version)
The standard version of the DJI Mini 2 would be a great purchase for most people who simply want to take a few videos or photos from time to time. However, if you love having plenty of memories from your holidays, or everywhere you go, the fly more combo is a much better option. The extra intelligent flight batteries alone make this package worth the extra money.
DJI Mini 2 two-way charging hub
As we have seen above, the two-way charging hub is only included in the fly more combo package. This accessory allows you to sequentially recharge the three intelligent flight batteries included in the combo. Furthermore, you can use the two-way charging hub to supply some power to your phone or the remote controller, something that has proven very useful in certain situations.
This is one of the most valuable accessories connected with the Mini 2, and probably the best charging hub of the company. If you want to know more about it, or the DJI Mini 2 batteries, take a look at this publication once you are done with this one (link).
Do the DJI Mavic Mini and Mini 2 use the same battery?
Yes, I know you are asking yourself this question, or you were going to, so I might as well just tell you right away: you can use the Mavic Mini batteries in the Mini 2, but not the other way around. However, there are some things you need to take into consideration before you do so.
According to DJI, the International version of the Mini 2 can use the Mavic Mini intelligent flight battery. However, motors will suffer a power reduction, making them more susceptible to wind, for example. Most importantly, using the Mavic Mini battery in a Mini 2 will cause the weight of the drone to exceed 250 g, which means that it will require registration in some countries and regions.
I have used the Mavic Mini batteries on my Mini 2, and I must say that I did not notice the difference until the summer weather ended and cold, rain, and wind came along. As the battery gets affected by low temperatures and gives less juice to the drone motors, together with the higher demand of power to cope with the winds, it gave me a flight time of around 15 minutes (compared to the usual 20-22).
If you fly just for fun, the 5 to 7-minute difference may not be important, but when you are flying professionally that extra time can be imperative.
In short, be careful with the Mavic Mini batteries on your Mini 2. If you buy the standard version and need to buy more batteries, you probably should consider buying the ones manufactured for the Mini 2, even if that means paying a little more.
DJI Mini 2 controller
There is no denying that the Mini 2 comes packed with many new and interesting features that have made it the king of the market. But is not only the drone itself that has captivated customers, or the two-way charging hub as we just saw.
The new DJI RC-N1 controller increases the previous communication capabilities of the drone thanks to the updated OCUSYNC 2.0 technology. Using the DJI Fly app, we can look through our drone’s eyes in our phones with a video quality of up to 720p.
This impressive controller works at both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies, selecting the best one autonomously. Its maximum transmission range is 6 mi (10 km), and I have easily used up to 7 batteries without having to recharge it. For this price range, I cannot think of a better controller than this one.
To summarize, these are the key attributes of the DJI Mini 2 controller.
- Increased communication capabilities thanks to the new OCUSYNC 2.0 technology.
- Uses the DJI Fly app, providing a video transmission resolution of up to 720p.
- Automatically selects the best transmission channel at frequencies between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz.
- Controls the aircraft and camera using the onboard buttons.
- Long-lasting charge of up to 6 hours.
- Easy to use and intuitive.
What is the DJI Mini 2 Fly App?
Remember that list of the most popular drones I talked about? The DJI Phantom would be on the podium together with the Mini 2 for sure. One of the most popular drones ever, many people actually think of a Phantom 4 when they picture a drone, and so you might assume that they use the same app for flying.
However, the DJI Mini 2 uses the DJI Fly app, not the DJI Go app. Within this app, available on Android and IOS devices, we can find everything we need to fly our drone, edit and share the content. The price you ask? It is completely free!
Here is a list of the main features the DJI Fly app offers:
- Simple and intuitive user interface design.
- Includes video tutorials that help you understand every characteristic.
- Displays all important information related to the flight.
- Allows you to control the camera and its settings, as well as the intelligent fly modes.
- Includes a comprehensive editor that allows you to record, edit, and share from the same tool.
- Presents a detailed user profile that showcases the number of flights, fly hours, distance flown, and many other interesting aspects of your flights.
- Option to locate your drone, which shows the last known location communicated by the GPS.
Have you tried the DJI Fly app? You can have a look at the settings and profile options even if you don’t own a DJI drone. Check it out!
How high can the DJI Mini 2 fly?
In the following three sections we will answer a few of the most frequently asked questions. Let’s start with this one: How high can the DJI Mini 2 fly?
First of all, let me advise you to always follow the regulations of your country or region, as flying an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) could seriously put others at risk of injury if done improperly. You can change the flight altitude and the distance in the DJI Fly app, and it is recommended to set the maximum altitude permitted according to the laws of where you are flying.
As YouTube user ‘Dutch MarkyMark’ demonstrated on his channel, the DJI Mini 2 can fly as high as up to 1.02 mi (1650 m). In the video description, he states that this test, for educational purposes only, was conducted under controlled airspace and under supervision.
By default, DJI drones cannot go higher than 1640 ft (500 m) but there is always a workaround for everything. It is worth mentioning that in the video, the battery kept displaying a ‘low battery’ warning, even with 60% energy left. My guess is that it was probably due to the low temperatures at that altitude.
How far can a DJI Mini 2 fly?
We move on now to answering another of the most asked questions related to the DJI Mini: How far can it fly?
As I said earlier, please do check what the regulations are that you need to follow if you are planning on flying beyond your visual line of sight. In Europe, for instance, you would need a spotter every 500 meters or so.
The well-established Colombian YouTuber, Hatu, proved on his channel that the DJI Mini 2 can go as far as up to 3.2 mi (5.2 km), meaning that the total distance the drone traveled was 10.648 m (34.834 ft). That is quite an impressive number!
Does the DJI Mini 2 record sound?
One of the things that surprises most drone users when watching their first recorded footage is that it lacks sound. However, if you think about it, why would we want to record the sound of the flight? We would only hear the buzzing of the engines, right?
Nonetheless, in some situations, you might want to hear your drone or whatever sounds are in the area that you are flying. For these situations, my recommendation is to install one of those apps that allow you to record your phone screen, together with the sound that the microphone captures.
The screenshot below was taken using ‘DU RECORDER’ while doing a photogrammetry project with Pix4Dcapture. Recording both the screen and the sound of the app could have turned out to be of exceptional importance. Why do you ask? The battery was faulty and showed the wrong voltage, causing the drone to do an emergency landing that luckily did not end in a crash.
The app emits a sound when the drone starts doing the emergency landing, something that we can’t see on the screen, hence the importance of recording the sound in this situation.
DJI Mini 2 accessories
I felt that this article would not be complete without a short list of some of the most essential DJI Mini 2 accessories, which are surely another reason that makes this drone great. Let’s have a look at them.
- DJI Mini 2 Snap Adapter (Amazon): This accessory is basically a screen that looks like an old TV and you can write on it whatever you want with the included pens. Why? Well, to fly your drone with a message to showcase to your friends… Duh!
- Mavic Mini DIY Creative Kit (Amazon): If you are one of those creative heads that like to customize everything they own, you are in luck, as you can make your very own design for your Mini 2 using this accessory. Simply buy it and start creating with the included black shell stickers and colorful markers.
- DJI Care Refresh: This should be essential for most pilots. DJI Care Refresh offers a drone replacement for a small fee in case of water damage, collisions, or even missing aircraft. What does this mean? I paid 220 euros to fix the gimbal of my Mini 2 without the Refresh plan and it would have been 100 euros (including the Care Refresh fee) if I had purchased it.
There are many other accessories that can help you get more out of your DJI Mini 2. The two-way charging hub, a good micro-SD card, or the travel bag, just to name a few. Check out our article on recommended drone accessories here »
Image Credit: Daniel Cepeda