The DJI Mini 2 is a game-changer when it comes to easy-to-use drones that can fit right in your pocket. Released in November 2020, this tiny drone still comes out on top as a compact, good quality, affordable, and extremely capable beginner drone.
But for a drone so small, how far is the DJI Mini 2 actually capable of flying?
The DJI Mini 2 has a maximum range of 10km. This means that you can fly the drone 10km away from you while transmitting HD video before losing the signal.
Sounds pretty wild and almost too good to be true, right? That’s exactly right.
It is very rare you will actually be able to fly the DJI Mini 2 a full 10km away. Factors such as the flight environment, regulatory agencies, and battery life limit how far away you can actually fly the Mini 2.
I will go into detail on why and in what scenario this may actually be possible, but also through more common scenarios and the actual range you can achieve in those.
Also, your range will be affected by other factors including your location and which radio certification your drone falls under, whether that is FCC, CE, SRRC, or MIC.
But first, let’s dive into the specs of the DJI Mini 2 and what transmission system it uses for the signal that directly relates to the range.
In-Depth on the DJI Mini 2
The DJI Mini 2 comes in at 249 grams, which is one of its main selling points as, in many countries including Canada, you need to be certified to fly a drone 250 grams and over.
And in the US, you need to register any drone over 250 grams.
The Mini 2 has 31 minutes of flight time and can shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second and can shoot 12-megapixel images. That’s pretty outstanding for a drone of this size and convenience.
The spec we are most interested in, however, is the fact that the DJI Mini 2 runs on OcuSync 2.0. Why would we be most interested in this fact? Well, considering you’re reading an article all about the DJI Mini 2’s range, my guess is that range is important to you.
OcuSync 2.0 is DJI’s transmission technology that they’ve incorporated into the DJI Mini 2. This is the system of communication between the remote controller and the drone.
OcuSync 2.0 has a stronger signal interference resistance than its predecessor due to its automatic frequency switching between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz.
It supports a live view video quality of 720p at 30 frames per second and 1080p at 30 frames per second. Both are considered HD. It has a latency of 120-130ms with 40Mb\s video download speed.
So now that we know the basics of the system this drone uses to communicate with the remote controller, let’s dive into how your geographical location may affect your real-life range.
Regulatory limits based on location
If you read the introduction and scratched your head thinking what in the world are FCC, CE, SRRC, and MIC, then scratch no more. These are abbreviations for different regions’ radio transmitter regulatory bodies.
Even though OcuSync 2.0 is very powerful – powerful enough to transmit a range of 10km in an ideal scenario – some countries legally limit this power. The DJI Mini 2 can automatically switch transmission states depending on your location using GPS.
DJI uses four main standards of certification.
So, let’s go through what regions are under which transmission certification and what the maximum range for the DJI Mini 2 is for each of them.
FCC is the American standard. It stands for Federal Communications Commission. This will be the certification mode if you are flying in the United States or countries with equivalent regulations, like Canada. With FCC transmission, the maximum DJI Mini 2 range is 10km.
This certification is mainly for European countries. CE stands for Conformité Européenne, which is French for European Conformity. So if you are flying in France, Italy, Spain, etc, you will be under CE transmission. In CE, the maximum range for the DJI Mini 2 is 6km.
This certification is used in Japan only. MIC is the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications. The DJI Mini 2 has a maximum range of 6km under MIC.
SRRC certification is for mainland China. It stands for State Radio Regulatory Commission. Again, the maximum range for the DJI Mini 2 in this region is 6km.
Your drone will use GPS to determine which legal certification it is flying under and will automatically switch transmission for you if needed.
Range vs. environment (limiting factors)
There are many things that can impact the transmission signal and, therefore, your range. Most notably is the environment you are flying in. Flying in a very mountainous, or region crowded with tall obstacles will block the signals between your drone and the controller.
So let’s say you are on the ground and you fly behind a mountain that is only 1km away from you. Your signal is likely going to be affected, even though the maximum range as stated by DJI is 10km.
You also have to be aware that in built-up areas, there are a lot of interfering and competing signals that can affect your range as well. This is why in cities, your range will be the lowest.
Here are the DJI suggested maximum ranges for different types of environments (under FCC regulations):
- Strong Interference: Approx. 3 km (urban landscape, limited line of sight, many competing signals)
- Medium Interference: Approx. 6 km (suburban landscape, open line of sight, some competing signals)
- Low Interference: Approx. 10 km (open landscape, abundant line of sight, few competing signals)
And these are generous numbers. From personal experience, I fly in the city all the time with OcuSync 2.0 and I can usually get about 1km or just a bit over without losing the signal. This, of course, has to do with how high the buildings are, the signals being used at the time, how populated the area is, etc.
These are just estimates given by DJI, so it’s important to recognize them as the maximum, not the average range.
Other factors that limit the range
Visual Line of Sight:
The DJI Mini 2 truly packs a punch in how far it is able to travel with OcuSync 2.0. But, it’s important to not forget that, no matter how far your drone is able to fly, you must always stay within the limit of the law.
Most countries require you to have your drone within visual line of sight.
With a drone this small, it can become difficult to see even at 500 meters (depending on environmental factors), so it’s pretty much impossible to see at 10km away. This means you shouldn’t be flying your drone that far anyway, but hey, I guess it’s always nice to have the capability in the technology, right?
Another factor that will limit your range far before you can even get to the maximum allowable ranges of OccuSync 2.0 is your battery life. You can only go so far before your app will prompt you that you only have enough battery power to return home.
Of course, you can ignore this and keep going to hit that 10km, but be prepared to embark on a recovery mission to find your drone when it eventually autolands from low battery long before you can make it back.
Battery technology for the DJI Mini 2 hasn’t quite reached the transmission technology to be able to maximize your range.
Remember, the battery life of the DJI Mini 2 batteries is 31 minutes, and this includes the time it takes to make it back, so the battery will probably be the most range limiting factor you encounter.
The range of the DJI Mini 2 is truly remarkable for a ‘beginner’ drone. DJI is constantly pushing the limits of new transmission technology and creating more reliable systems for us to be able to fly further and safer.
Of course, it’s important to consider other things like legal limits and battery life, but just knowing what this little guy is capable of, I can’t wait to see what the Mini 3 has in store.