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DJI Mini 2 SE vs. DJI Mini 2 (Which One is Right for You)

Thanks for checking out my article on which DJI Mini drone is right for you, the Mini 2 SE or the Mini 2.

Image Credit: DJI

With both Mini drones being so similar, it might initially be hard to pinpoint what actually makes them different enough to choose one over the other, along with which better suits you and your needs.

In this article, we will go over the many similarities and the two big differences between the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2, as well as why I believe the DJI Mini 2 SE is the right drone to choose between the two DJI Mini 2 models.

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Overview

DJI Mini 2 SE

Released quite a few years after the Mini 2, in February 2023, the Mini 2 SE is the newest addition to the Mini 2 line.

While both the Mini 2 and Mini 2 SE are under 250 g and ideal for those new to drones to pick up and learn to fly, the Mini 2 SE is easier on the wallet, opening accessibility that much more.

Although a budget-friendly DJI Mini drone, the Mini 2 SE has a few advanced features that elevate it above competing, non-DJI mini drone manufacturers.

  • OcuSync 2.0 video transmission system, for 6.2 miles (10 km) maximum transmission distance
  • 3-axis gimbal for smooth and jitter-free video footage
  • GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite positioning for precise hovering and home-point locking
  • Shoots photos simultaneously in both the JPG and RAW image format, adding the flexibility needed for post-photo editing

» MORE: Is DJI Mini 2 SE Good for Beginners? (Hands-on Review)

DJI Mini 2

The DJI Mini 2 has had quite the run. It was released four years ago and is still currently supported by DJI.

Continued DJI support is of course good news for those who already own Mini 2s.

The Mini 2 is still a very popular drone in the DJI Mini drone space, even with there being four newer minis since its release:

Its longevity speaks to DJI’s proper combination of form and function. Like some of the larger, more expensive DJI consumer drones, the Mini 2 benefits from:

  • 4k 30 fps (frame per second) for filming in today’s standard video resolution
  • DJI’s innovative 3-axis gimbal provides cinematic and smooth video footage
  • Downward vision sensors for precise landing
  • RAW (DNG) image format that adds flexibility for creative vision

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 Review

Quick Verdict

Although the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 share almost everything, from hardware to software, I’d have to give a nod to the Mini 2 SE as my recommendation in this instance.

Both drones are so similar, so why is the Mini 2 SE the recommendation?

Simply put, for a couple of hundred dollars less than the Mini 2, you get practically all of the same features in a less expensive and familiar package.

In all honesty, there is only one glaring difference between the Mini 2 SE and the Mini 2. That would be the video capabilities of the Mini 2, which we’ll touch on shortly.

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE vs. Spark (Here’s My Choice)

What are the Similarities?

In terms of similarities, both the Mini 2 SE and the Mini 2 look practically identical.

In terms of build quality, both Mini 2 models initially feel, well, cheap. This is understandable, as DJI used extremely lightweight plastic to construct the Mini 2 and 2 SE.

For a drone to stay under the 250 g sweet spot, lightweight materials are a must. Thankfully, these two Minis are not actually cheap or even poorly built.

When in hand, both Minis are well-built and solid. DJI did a great job with the build quality and has continued to do so with subsequent iterations in the Mini series.

The Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 also share the same motors, propellers, gimbal, camera, and batteries. Because of this, the technical specs are nearly identical:

Mini 2 SEMini 2
Max Horizontal Speed16 m/s (35.7 mph)16 m/s (35.7 mph)
Max Ascent Speed*5 m/s5 m/s*
Max Descent Speed*3.5 m/s3.5 m/s*
Battery/Flight time31 minutes31 minutes
Transmission DistanceFCC 10 km
CE 6 km
FCC 10 km
CE 6 km
Camera1/2.3” CMOS
Effective Pixels: 12 MP
35 mm format equivalent: 24 mm
Aperture: f/2.8
1/2.3” CMOS
Effective Pixels: 12 MP
35 mm format equivalent: 24 mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Photography modesSingle Shot
Interval
Auto Exposure Bracketing
Panorama: Sphere, 180°, and Wide-angle
Single Shot
Interval
Auto Exposure Bracketing
Panorama: Sphere, 180°, and Wide-angle
QuickShot ModesDronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, BoomerangDronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, Boomerang
*Mini 2 offers variations in speed depending on flight mode (C/N/S)

Below is a breakdown of the similarities between the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 that may be considered CONS to those looking to purchase either Mini drone:

❌ Lack of Obstacle Avoidance: Both the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 have no obstacle avoidance. This disqualifies them from having any sort of Active Track modes or “follow me” function, which are so popular these days.

Active Track relies on obstacle avoidance to keep the drone safer during autonomous flight. The lack of an obstacle avoidance system also means new flyers have to be extremely alert and careful in general when flying.

❌ Lack of internal memory: To keep the costs down, DJI has opted to omit internal memory, even in the newer and more expensive Mini 3. Non-Pro versions of the Mini line all suffer from this.

If you want to save your photos and video footage, you will have to buy an SD card. Thankfully, the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 can utilize SD cards up to 256 GB.

❌ Photography related: The Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 can only take 12 MP Photos. There are no options for 48 MP Quad Bayer photos found on the Pro versions of DJI’s Mini drones.

Both Mini 2s do take decent photos if you are prepared to really dig into photo editing software to bring the best out of said photos.

❌ Video related (8-Bit Color Only): This is no surprise to anyone. Being more affordable options, the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 are not expected to have advanced 10-bit color profiles like the Pro versions in the Mini series.

❌ One remote controller type: Currently, the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 can only use the DJI RC-N1 and have no access to any of DJI’s Smart Controllers on the market.

❌ Outdated Video Transmission System: This is where the age of the Mini 2 platform shows through. The Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 run on the older OcuSync 2.0 transmission system.

Compared to the transmission distance of the new OcuSync 4.0, both the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 suffer from shorter distance flights, with more signal interference.

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE vs. Mini 3 vs. Mini 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)

What are the Main Differences?

Although the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 do indeed use the same hardware, two very distinct areas set the two Mini drones apart from one another.

We’ll first look at the Mini 2 SE, then the Mini 2.

Mini 2 SE

The major difference where the Mini 2 SE has the advantage over the Mini 2:

  • ✅ Price: The Mini 2 SE is currently the least expensive and budget-friendly DJI-supported Mini drone available, even over the Mini 2. Because of its price, the Mini 2 SE is accessible to more people looking to get into the mini drone space than, say, the Mini 3 Pro and Mini 4 Pro.

Mini 2

The major difference the Mini 2 has over the Mini 2 SE is:

  • ✅ Video related: Although sharing the same sensor-sized camera, the Mini 2 can shoot videos in 4k resolution. The Mini 2 SE is only capable of shooting 2.7k videos. The difference in resolution particularly comes into play when video needs to be zoomed in slightly in post-editing video software. 4k footage tends to retain more resolution when zoomed in than 2.7k.

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE vs. Holy Stone HS720E (Which One is Best)

DJI Mini 2 SE

Image Credit: Dan Bayne/Droneblog

The Mini 2 SE is the budget-friendly version of the popular Mini 2. Being a budget-version drone, the Mini 2 SE lacks some of the features that many newer model Mini fans have come to appreciate.

To keep costs down, the Mini 2 SE uses much of the same hardware as the 2020 Mini 2. This is, of course, to be expected from a budget drone.

One of the obvious downgrades from the Mini 2 is seen in the speed of the Mini 2 SE.

Whereas the Mini 2 had varying ascent and descent speeds for Cine, Normal, and Sport flight modes, the Mini 2 SE has only one ascent and descent speed across these modes.

Another major area where cutbacks are seen is in video recording. The Mini 2 can record 4k 30fps, the same as the Mini 3. However, the Mini 2 SE is only capable of recording 2.7k videos, which might be fine for some.

» MORE: Is the DJI Mini 2 SE Worth It?

Something I noticed with the Mini 2 SE (which can also be seen in the Mini 2) is that when flying in signal-congested areas, I experience signal loss more often than not.

This signal loss oftentimes occurs within a few hundred feet of the remote controller. Signal loss is oftentimes experienced when not behind or near objects.

This is most likely attributed to the OcuSync 2.0 video transmission system.

Because of this, beginner pilots will need to properly set the available safety options, such as RTH (return to home), to avoid losing the Mini 2 SE when flying in urban areas.

For a budget-focused Mini drone, the Mini 2 SE is a great drone. It takes decent 12 MP photos and flies exactly like a DJI drone, which is a great thing.

Our Pick
DJI Mini 2 SE (Fly More Combo)
$489.00 $449.00

Lightweight Drone with QHD Video, 10km Video Transmission, 3 Batteries for Total of 93 Mins Flight Time, Under 249 g, Automatic Pro Shots, Camera Drone for Beginners.

Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/01/2024 02:36 pm GMT

DJI Mini 2

Image: Droneblog

Released in 2020, the Mini 2 has held up quite well. It has been a much-needed and viable successor to the previous DJI Mavic Mini.

In recent discussions with DJI representatives, it was confirmed that, although four years old, the Mini 2 would continue to be supported by DJI for the foreseeable future.

Future support is important, as no one wants to purchase any piece of tech that will “expire” soon.

What made the DJI Mini 2 a standout mini drone upon its release was the fact that DJI ditched the WiFi transmission system of the Mavic Mini in favor of the tried and true OcuSync system that was then found in the more expensive Mavic line.

» MORE: DJI FPV vs. Mini 2 (Here’s My Choice)

The upgraded system ensured that the Mini 2 would be able to fly further than any WiFi-based system, with a stronger signal.

Of course, the limitations of the OcuSync 2.0 transmission system in the Mini 2 are the same as mentioned in the Mini 2 SE, albeit better than most mini drones made by other drone manufacturers in the same class.

The camera on the Mini 2 and Mini 2 SE is the same size as that found on the original Mavic Pro. The camera continues to produce decent pictures, similar to those found on previous model iPhones and the like.

Videos produced by the Mini 2 are 4k high-definition, running up to 30 fps (frames-per-second). If looking to do slow/slower motion captures, a much lower resolution would need to be chosen.

DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo
$629.00

DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo – Ultralight Foldable Drone, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photos, 31 Mins Flight Time, OcuSync 2.0 10km HD Video Transmission, QuickShots, Gray.

Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/01/2024 10:06 pm GMT

Head-to-Head Comparison

We’ve seen quite a few similarities between the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2.

We’ve also looked at the differences between each of the Mini models in this article. Next, we will look closer at the differentiating factors between them and who is the clear choice in each category.

Performance

Winner: DJI Mini 2

While both the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 have the exact same-sized motors, the winner in the performance department (by the slightest of margins) would be the Mini 2.

The Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 can fly at a maximum horizontal speed of 16 m/s (35.7 mph). The difference is in the variations of the ascent and descent speeds.

Whereas the Mini 2 SE ascends and descends at a rate of 3.5 m/s and 5 m/s, in all flight modes (Cine, Normal, and Sport), the Mini 2, on the other hand, ascends and descends at the following rates:

SpeedCineNormalSport
Ascent Speed2 m/s3 m/s5 m/s
Descent Speed1.5 m/s3 m/s3.5 m/s
Rate of Ascent/Descent

At first look, having variations in ascent and descent might not seem that big a deal. It might even be unnoticeable by most, especially new drone operators. But having the added option is nice for those who actually notice, appreciate, and rely on it.

When it comes to handling, both Mini models perform similarly. Both Mini 2s handle well and are fun to fly, even for beginners.

Because the DJI fly app is so versatile and option-rich, using the EXP settings in-app allows anyone to tune the handling of the Mini 2 SE and Mini 2 to their liking.

» MORE: How Fast Can Drones Fly? (An In-Depth Guide)

Video Capabilities

Winner: DJI Mini 2

As was previously mentioned, the Mini 2 SE and the Mini 2 share the exact same 1/2.3” CMOS sensor camera.

However, perhaps to keep the cost down or to keep the Mini 2 SE as an SE version, 4k capabilities are not at all present on the Mini 2 SE. The Mini 2 SE’s highest video resolution is capped at 2.7k.

The Mini 2, on the other hand, can shoot 4k videos at 30 fps. This means that the Mini 2 still stands up to common-place video standards.

With the ability to shoot high-resolution videos at 30 fps, Mini 2 footage can be slowed down some to smooth out video, if on a 23.97 or 24 fps timeline in video editing software.

Aside from 4k 30 fps, all other video modes and functions are the same as on the Mini 2 SE.

Price

Image Credit: Dan Bayne/Droneblog

Winner: DJI Mini 2 SE

This is the one category in which the Mini 2 SE comes out on top. And with good reason.

As it stands, as of this article’s writing, the Mini 2 SE more or less fluctuates at around $200 cheaper than the Mini 2.

For those new to flying drones or those wanting to add an additional low-cost option to an existing fleet, the Mini 2 SE fits perfectly.

At slightly less than $300 (for the non-flymore combo), anyone who purchases a Mini 2 SE will be getting practically the same very well-built and feature-rich Mini drone as the more expensive Mini 2.

What’s great at this price point is that many of the features found on the Mini 2 SE are not found on other manufacturers’ drones in the same pricing structure.

» MORE: Drone Buying Guide: Read This Before Buying Your First Drone

Conclusion

These are two very similar DJI Mini drones. Almost everything is identical, sans price and 4k video capabilities.

The Mini 2 SE is almost three years newer than the Mini 2 and close to $200 cheaper.

When you factor in the age difference and the fact that it performs almost identically to the Mini 2 while sharing the same hardware, there is no question that the Mini 2 SE is the better choice.

In my opinion, the only reason anyone would consider the Mini 2 over the Mini 2 SE would be to shoot in 4k.

Chances are that many looking to buy either a Mini 2 or Mini 2 SE are looking for a relatively inexpensive Mini drone or are new to flying drones, and might not be remotely interested in 4k.

Considering this, going the least expensive route here is a good thing, as the Mini 2 SE is almost exactly the same as the Mini 2. Why pay more?

» MORE: DJI Mini 4 Pro vs. Mini 2 (Here’s My Choice)