Drones are becoming increasingly in-demand with hobbyists and travelers, while capturing stunning views that can once only be taken from a helicopter. DJI, the leading manufacturer of drones, has produced a wide range of drones, from entry-level to midrange to high-end models. They broke the threshold of 250g for drones when they released an entry-level Mavic Mini drone that was well-received by consumers. However, it still had notable limitations and clearly needed many enhancements. DJI took in all the popular requests from users and developed Mavic Mini’s successor, the Mavic Mini 2.
Mavic Mini 2
Mavic Mini 2, marketed as DJI Mini 2, is the second-generation, entry-level drone packed with updates, enhancements, and better features than the first generation. Save for the “4K” lettering on the camera and a “Mini 2” logo on the top left-hand arm of the vehicle, it looks exactly the same as the Mavic Mini. It is small and lightweight, with a take-off weight of only 249g. It is one of the smallest drones you can see flying around, but it is formidable when it comes to features.
DJI Mini 2’s camera is mounted on a three-axis gimbal, and it’s using the same 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor as the Mavic Mini. Its camera, however, has a higher quality that can record up to 4K/30p video at 100 Mbps. Images are captured at 12MP resolution with an option to capture in Raw or JPEG files. Both are a significant leap from the previous model’s only 2.7K/30p at 40 Mbps and JPEG-only images. Unlike its predecessor, the DJI Mini 2 has zoom capabilities which can be zoomed in at up to 2X @ 4K, 2X @ 2.7K, and 4X @ 1080p.
DJI Mini 2 took a diversion from Mavic Mini’s remote. The new gen uses a controller similar to the design and functionalities of DJI’s upper-end drone, the Mavic Air 2. The controller has a simple layout suitable for beginners. It has a “Return to Home” button which is a useful feature for flying the drone back to the home point without the need for complicated navigations. At the center is the switch that allows you to choose from three different flight modes: Normal mode, the high-speed Sport mode, and the low-speed Cinema mode. To the right of the switch is the power button. There is also a Photo/Video toggle button on the upper-right-hand side, a shutter button for taking images or recording video clips, and a function (Fn) button on the top-left-hand corner that activates the auxiliary light in low-light scenarios. You can also find a gimbal wheel on the top right-hand corner that allows you to tilt the camera up and down. There are two joysticks to control the drone, which can be unscrewed and stored beneath the controller for a neat finish.
OcuSync 2.0 Transmission
For seamless transmission, DJI Mini 2 switched to DJI’s OcuSync 2.0 Transmission technology instead of relying on Wi-Fi which was the transmission system used by the first Mini. OcuSync 2.0 has two transmission modes, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz, and it auto-switches between these two frequencies to reduce the interference between the controller and the drone. According to DJI, the OcuSync 2.0 can cover up to 10 km of connectivity.
Along with the first Mini, the DJI Fly app was also launched. The Fly app was developed by DJI not only to capture, edit, and share images with ease but also to let you monitor flight status parameters like signal strength, flying mode, altitude, distance, and battery level. Additionally, it enables you to adjust the camera parameters, switch between shooting modes, and adjust the gimbal angle on the screen in-app. You can be creative with the editing suite included in the app that also lets you share the images right away. The Mini 2’s Fly app features are almost identical to Mavic Mini except for an additional QuickShots option. Similar to the first Mini, there’s the Dronie, Helix, Rocket, and Circle plus the additional “Boomerang” option, which flies away from and back to the subject. There are also three options for capturing a panorama: Sphere, 180 degrees, and Wide. If the drone flies out of sight, you can use the app’s Find My Drone feature that shows the location of the drone’s last known position.
Another notable improvement on DJI Mini 2 is the more powerful and robust motors. The Mini 2’s motors are not as noisy as the first gen’s, and they allow for a smoother take-off at an accelerated pace. In the air, the drone can withstand wind speeds of up to 24 mph, mainly due to the upgraded motors. The motors are not only powerful but also power-efficient, prolonging the battery life and the flying time to 31 minutes, a minute longer than Mavic Mini’s 30-minute flight time.
DJI Mini 2 is $50-$100 more expensive than the original, which is expected with all the upgrades it boasts. For a manufacturer price of $449, you get a better camera, more powerful motors, longer battery life and flight time, better transmission technology, and a better controller. If you need longer flying times or need an emergency battery kit, DJI also offers a Fly more combo at $599, which includes three batteries, a charging hub, and a case.
DJI Mini 2 is a compact, entry-level drone that is an upgraded version of the first Mini in almost every aspect. It’s built with beginners in mind, although advanced users can also take advantage of its incredible features. It may still not be the best drone out there, but it can considerably provide a rock-solid performance for a beginner-level drone. With all its new features, it’s definitely worth the upgrade from Mavic Mini.