The Mini 2 matches the exterior design of the original Mavic Mini. Both models use the same cell, weighing 8.78 ounces (249 g) and bypassing FAA registration requirements. (You still need a commercial license if you want to use Mini 2 profitably.)
When folded, the drone can fit in a jacket pocket, but you’ll probably want to carry it in a small pocket. The included remote is slightly larger this time, but with more advanced wireless communication technology and more powerful antennas. While first-gen planes struggled to maintain a solid connection over long distances, the Mini 2 is perfectly solid.
DJI Mini 2
The battery life has also improved. The motors in the Mini 2 have been updated to be more powerful and fuel efficient and to increase the rated battery life from 30 to 31 minutes. It’s a modest success, and it’s still below the 34-minute rating you get with the more expensive DJI Mavic Air 2, a high-end drone in terms of flight time.
DJI's Smallest, Lightest, Folding Drone
Actual flight times vary slightly and are typically a few minutes shorter, closer to 27 minutes from actual flight. The DJI Fly Control app alerts you when the battery is low so you can take the drone home and land safely. The app and a smartphone are required to run it: DJI Fly is available for the latest generation Android and iOS phones. I tested the Mini 2 with an iPhone 8 Plus and iOS 14.
You need to find flat ground for takeoffs and landings. Thanks to the flat design, even the blades of grass on a well-maintained lawn prevent the Mini 2’s propellers from turning. If you’re new to drones, check out our piloting basics guide.
The Mini 2 comes with a single battery. Top-ups cost $ 45 each, and a Fly More package is available for $ 599. The extra $ 150 gives you two extra batteries (for a total of three), a multi-battery charger that lets you charge all three in a sequence, a carrying case, and a few other items.
You can also charge the drone’s battery using the aircraft’s USB-C port. It is located on the back, next to the microSDXC memory card slot. The Mini 2 does not have its own internal memory. So don’t forget to buy a memory card. I recommend a card of at least 16GB for 1080p and 32GB or 64GB if you want to record 4K video.
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The drone contains transceivers for GPS and GLONASS positioning systems, tools that will help you locate your position on a map and improve your ability to stay in near-perfect position. The DJI Fly flight control app includes a Find My Drone feature that shows the position of the aircraft’s last known position and flashes lights and noise when the Mini 2 is still running. It’s a feature you hope you don’t have to use, but it’s there when you need it.
The GPS system also allows autonomous and semi-autonomous flight. The Mini 2 features a number of automated rapid fires – automated flight paths that spin, twist, or reverse.
Subject tracking referred to by DJI as ActiveTrack is not included. DJI cites the lack of obstacle detection sensors as the reason, and that makes sense – the Mini 2 can’t tell if an object is in its path, so you don’t want it to hit a tree. If you’re looking for a drone that will chase and track you, the Mavic Air 2 and Skydio 2 are better options.
|Mavic Mini||Mini 2|
|Flight time||30 minutes||31 minutes|
|Drone size (Folded)||140x81x57 mm||131x81x58 mm|
|Camera Sensor||1/2.3-inch CMOS, 12MP||1/2.3-inch CMOS, 12MP|
|Max. Video Resolution||2.7K/30p @ 40 Mbps||4K/30p @ 100 Mbps|
|Lens||F2.8, FOV 83º, 35mm equivalent at 24mm||F2.8, FOV 83º, 35mm equivalent at 24mm|
|Photo File Type||JPEG||JPEG + RAW|
|Video File Type||.MP4||.MP4|
|Zoom Capabilities||None||2X @ 4K, 2X @ 2.7K, 4X @ 1080p|
|Image Modes||Timed Shots||AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) Triple Shot, Timed Shots|
DJI drones also include the FlySafe geofencing system. Prevents take-offs in confined airspace, including those configured to prevent unauthorized flights during major sporting events, wildfires, national parks and the Washington, DC area. You should check the map before purchasing a drone to make sure you can use it in your neighborhood.
Virtual fence can also be configured to keep the drone in a specific area of the remote control. I recommend that inexperienced pilots take advantage of these benefits. Visibility of course depends on conditions, but we recommend beginners to use this feature.
4K Camera With Raw Imaging
The Mini 2’s camera matches the viewing angle, aperture and fixed resolution of the Mavic Mini. Video has been updated from 2.7K to 4K. The extra pixels are useful so that you can watch the video in the highest quality on your 4K UHD TV. A digital zoom feature is included – it’s lossless when shooting at 2.7K or 1080p, but degrades video quality when using it for 4K.
I criticized the first-gen Mini not for its 2.7K resolution, but for the lack of HDR video and color profile options. HDR is not a basic feature, although it is included in the Parrot Anafi and the DJI Mavic Air 2. It is a plus for drone videos as HDR images can capture mixed light scenes better. like the sunset and sunrise shots.
If you want to make your video look different, you will need to edit it in DJI Fly or any editing app of your choice. The app will automatically cache HD videos for editing. If you want, you can download 4K images to your phone after auto landing. However, we would like DJI to include basic color profiles in the app.
The camera itself is mounted on a three-axis gimbal ring up front. It’s perfectly stable during normal flight and you can switch to high-speed sport mode or optional low-speed cinema for crisp, crisp photos with an impressive sense of motion or a slimmer, slower appearance. The Mini 2 really glides through the air in sports, but you have to be extra careful with obstacles as it won’t stop as quickly if you’re moving that fast.
Still images are saved in 12MP quality in JPG or Raw format of your choice. The Mini 2 takes the JPG files out of the box and takes convincing photos with crisp detail and clear but not visibly vivid colors.
Benefits of Optical Zoom
Raw images are slightly flatter, have color, and retain more data. They are what you want to use when you want to change the look of your photos. However, this does mean that you should take the time to edit them before you share them. As happy as I am that Raw has been added for serious photographers, it would be nice to add more tools for those who want to add an artistic touch to their antennas when saving JPG files for sharing.
There are some camera features you get with the high-end DJI Mavic Air 2 that are lacking here. We’ve mentioned ActiveTrack and HDR before, but Mini also skips Hyperlapse, a video mode that mixes time-lapse and motion.
DJI Fly app
With the launch of the Mavic Mini last year, DJI also introduced the Fly app. It’s cleaner, powers the Mavic Air 2, and is more aerodynamic than DJI’s GO 4 app, which is compatible with the most advanced drones, including the Phantom 4 and Mavic 2 series. Higher lead allows you to see how much battery left the drone is and the control panel can be accessed in the upper right corner.
There is a rectangular photo icon on the left above the shutter button. A menu is displayed giving access to all the functions required to take pictures. A menu appears from the inside with the options Photo, Video, QuickShot and Panorama. From here you can adjust the settings for each mode.
At the end of the photo, you can choose normal, AEB, and timed recordings. The video will open in a menu where you can choose the resolution and frames per second. When you start recording, a zoom button will appear next to the shutter button on the right, which reads “2X” or “4X” depending on the resolution. You can also drag it up and down for easier zooming. It is easy to use even while recording.
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We expect entry-level models to have fewer features than midrange and high-end alternatives—the question is generally whether the extra features are worth spending money on. The DJI Mini 2 drops some of the more enthusiast-targeted video and imaging options offered by the $800 DJI Mavic Air 2—you don’t get a 48MP Quad Bayer camera, obstacle sensors, or other upmarket features. Instead, DJI has taken the original Mavic Mini and addressed a couple of very real-world concerns. The Mini 2’s more forceful motors and its much better wireless system work together to ensure that the drone will respond to commands if it’s strayed a bit far from home base, even on breezy days.
DJI has also updated the camera to 4K, added Raw imaging, and ever so slightly upped flight time per charge. For $50 more than the first version, the DJI Mini 2 is a better entry-level drone and our Editors’ Choice winner. We’re rating it a bit lower than the Air 2, but if you’re just getting started, and don’t want to spend closer to $1,000 on a drone and accessories, the Mini 2 is absolutely worth considering.
As for alternatives, DJI continues to dominate the consumer drone market, but it isn’t the only game in town. The Parrot Anafi is also very good, starting at $600, with 4K HDR video being its most notable advantage over the Mini 2.
DJI Mini 2
The Mini 2 matches the exterior design of the original Mavic Mini. DJI’s second-generation entry-level mini drone, the Mini 2 ($ 449.99), gets a minor rebranding and ditch the Mavic moniker that has long identified the small line of foldable quadcopters of the society
DJI came up with a great launch concept for a beginner’s drone, listened to community feedback, and made significant improvements. Despite a few minor issues, the Mini 2 is a versatile little machine that is easy and convenient to transport, and which packs a number of fancy features into one small package. Mavic Mini owners will definitely want an upgrade, and for new buyers, the extra $ 100 is well worth the expense.