The battle of mini-consumer drones is nowhere near over. Ever since DJI released their ultimate mini drone, the DJI Mini 3 Pro, people have tried to compare it with other mini drones already in the market, or released later, such as the Exo Mini Pro.
The Exo Mini Pro is in a lot of ways similar to the DJI Mini 3 Pro, but is it better?
No. While it matches the DJI Mini 3 Pro in terms of flight time, obstacle avoidance, Follow Me, minimalistic design, RTH, and intelligent features, you will get a better experience with the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
The vertical shooting, more space for gimbal movement, and the DJI RC are a few of the reasons I would choose the DJI Mini 3 Pro over the Exo Mini Pro.
Please keep reading to learn more about these two drones and which would be perfect for you.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Exo Mini Pro vs. the DJI Mini 3 Pro
Let’s look at the main similarities and differences between these drones.
Design and weight
For starters, both drones weigh less than 250 grams. The lightweight and foldable design of the Exo Mini Pro and the DJI Mini 3 Pro is essential for those looking for a drone that is easy to carry and travel with.
With a weight of less than 250 grams, both drones are exempt from the registration requirements that come with heavier drones (especially for those in the United States).
These lightweight models are also a great choice for those who are just starting with drones. They are easy to handle and less intimidating, making learning to fly much easier.
Additionally, their compact size makes it easy to carry them around, so you can take them wherever you go.
This makes them perfect for anyone who is always on the go and wants to have a drone that is ready to fly at a moment’s notice.
>> Read More: Exo Mini vs. DJI Mini 3 (Which One is Right for You?)
Both drones come with small and light ergonomic controllers. The DJI Mini 3 Pro’s RCN1 allows you to place the phone at the top.
But I realize that some people prefer the phone below the joysticks, like in the Mavic 2 Pro. If that’s you, consider the Exo Mini Pro since the smartphone is at the bottom.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro has the option to purchase it with a smart controller with an inbuilt screen where you don’t have to connect your smartphone.
While this hikes the drone’s price from $750 to $900+, I am glad it’s an option for a mini drone.
Why? Smartphones have their own issues, such as overheating, limited space, and interference from background apps, and the battery may not always last that long.
A smart controller is dedicated to your drone and is designed to withstand outdoor conditions.
Besides, it’s cheap (going for around $300) and is compatible with other drones, such as the Air 2S or the Mavic 3, if you ever decide to upgrade.
If I were to offer only one reason to choose the Mini 3 Pro over the Exo Mini Pro, this would be it.
Range and battery life
A drone’s range and battery life are important factors to consider, especially for those who want to fly their drones for longer periods or for those who want to explore a wider area.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro and the Exo Mini Pro offer a decent range and battery life, but some differences are worth mentioning.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a maximum range of up to 7.5 miles, thanks to its OcuSync 3.0 transmission technology (an upgrade to the OcuSync 2.0).
This means you can fly your drone further away without worrying about losing control of the video stream.
On the other hand, the Exo Mini Pro has a range of 5 miles, which is still plenty of distance for most users, but its Syncleas transmission system isn’t as good as DJI’s OcuSync system.
Regarding battery life, the DJI Mini 3 Pro has an advantage over the Exo Mini Pro.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro comes with batteries that can last for up to 34 or 47 minutes, depending on the battery type you choose.
This means that you can fly your drone for a longer period without having to worry about running out of power.
On the other hand, the Exo Mini Pro’s batteries have a charge of 30 to 40 minutes, which is still plenty of time for most users.
Both the DJI Mini 3 Pro and the Exo Mini Pro have a 1/1.3 inch camera sensor and are HDR enabled. The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a fixed aperture of f/1.7, providing good low-light performance.
On the other hand, the Exo Mini Pro has a variable aperture from f/1.8 to f/12, giving users more control over the depth of field and exposure.
Regarding video recording capabilities, both drones can shoot in 4K, with the DJI Mini 3 Pro offering up to 60 fps and the Exo Mini Pro offering a maximum of 30 fps.
While both drones can capture great footage, the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s higher frame rate provides more smooth and fluid video, especially for fast-moving subjects.
But in normal daytime shooting, you will often find yourself filming in 24 or 30fps.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro has a uniquely designed front section that allows the gimbal to move further up, allowing you to look up as you fly.
This helps when flying in areas you are not familiar with and where there may be obstacles around.
This feature is lacking on the Exo Mini Pro, limiting the variety of shots you can capture and limiting your situational awareness in tight areas.
If you create content for social media, you may have realized that you often have to crop the footage to post it, reducing the image’s quality in some cases.
DJI takes care of that by enabling vertical or portrait shooting at the click of a button in the DJI Mini 3 Pro and the newer DJI Mini 3.
This is a huge winning point for the Mini 3 Pro over the EXO Mini Pro, which lacks this feature.
Obstacle detection and avoidance
Both drones feature tri-directional obstacle detection.
This helps them detect and inform the pilot of any obstacles too close to the drone, and the pilot can also set the drone to either stop or bypass the obstacles or switch off the sensors completely.
While they are all available in the same sections (front, back, and downwards) in both drones, for some reason and based on testing both drones, the DJI Mini 3 Pro seemed to have a smoother flight as it avoided the obstacles compared to the EXO Mini Pro.
This is relative and different pilots can have different opinions, but I would give the Mini 3 Pro an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 and the EXO Mini Pro a 6.
Return to Home
Both the DJI Mini 3 Pro and the Exo Mini Pro feature the Return to Home (RTH) functionality that helps prevent a fly-away in case of a lost connection or a depleted battery.
In any of these situations, the drone will fly back to the take-off point or to the updated Home Point location.
Considering how often a drone loses the connection to the controller, it’s good that both brands have this feature, and you will not miss out regardless of the brand you choose.
Follow Me mode
Follow Me is a popular feature that allows drones to follow moving subjects automatically. The objects could be you, your pet, your car, or a boat.
Many users looked forward to this feature being possible on a Mini drone, and even a limited version of it is available through Litchi on the Mini 2. Now it’s available on two mini drones!
The Follow Me feature on the Exo Mini Pro allows you to set your drone in motion and focus on your activity while the drone does the rest.
The drone will maintain a set distance and height and keep you in the frame at all times. This feature is perfect for capturing personal moments or for content creators looking to capture stunning footage.
On the other hand, the DJI Mini 3 Pro takes Follow Me to a whole new level. Its advanced ActiveTrack 4.0 technology and stability ensure a smooth and effortless Follow Me experience.
The drone’s obstacle avoidance system also provides added safety, ensuring that the drone avoids obstacles and maintains a steady flight path.
The ability to set waypoints is a helpful feature for capturing specific shots or exploring a particular area with ease.
The Exo Mini Pro allows you to set specific waypoints that the drone will follow, making it easy to plan your shots and fly the drone with precision.
On the other hand, the DJI Mini 3 Pro only has waypoint capabilities in the Hyperlapse mode, which is a time-lapse mode that captures smooth and stabilized footage while moving.
While the DJI Mini 3 Pro may not have traditional waypoint capabilities, the Hyperlapse mode provides a unique and creative way to capture footage.
Intelligent flight modes
The DJI Mini 3 Pro and the Exo Mini Pro come with intelligent modes for easy and creative filming, including Quickshots, Panorama, and Hyperlapse.
However, each drone also offers unique features to enhance your aerial filming experience further.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro features Mastershots, which are automated camera movements that allow you to capture stunning footage with just a few taps.
Meanwhile, the Exo Mini Pro boasts Orbit, 360 Shooting, and Fly-to-Sky modes, offering versatile options for capturing sweeping aerial views or unique perspectives.
Whether you’re a seasoned drone pilot or just starting out, these modes provide plenty of creative opportunities to capture breathtaking aerial shots.
EXO Mini Pro vs. DJI Mini 3 Pro – which one should you choose?
The EXO Mini Pro prides itself as a cheaper version of a premium mini drone since it costs $650, while the DJI Mini 3 Pro costs $759 with the RCN1 and $909 with the DJI RC controller.
However, when considering all the extra features you get, DJI’s reputation (EXO is a redesign of Hubsan drones which have not always had the best reputation), and proven credibility, it’s best to pay the extra $100 for the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
And as I mentioned earlier, the DJI RC is compatible with other drones, so it might save you some bucks if you choose to get another DJI drone.
The EXO Mini Pro would be a great alternative if you are looking for the cheapest mini drone with some great features or are anti-DJI due to the privacy concerns raised some time back and are looking for a non-DJI Mini drone.