As known, the portable foldable DJI Mavic Mini was announced at CES 2019 as the next generation of the super popular Spark selfie drone. Already in October 2019 this model was available on Amazon.
Predictably, unprecedentedly low weight (8.78 oz or 227 grams without battery), 12MP aerial photos, 2.7K HD video, 30 min Flight Time at a maximum speed Max Speed 13 m/s in S Mode (no wind), and FPV distance of up to 4 km provided the model with a huge popularity. In addition, the requirements of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in the US do not apply to models weighing up to 250 grams, radically simplifying their use.
As a result, in 2020 most experts have positioned the DJI Mini as the best non-professional mini drone for aerial photos. But the company didn’t stop there, unveiling the DJI Mavic Mini 2 in November 2020. It’s no secret that marketing goals are often the reason for the development of updated gadgets, providing additional advertising for a popular model without fundamental changes to the specs. But the Mavic Mini 2 is really better and deservedly replaced Mavic Mini on Amazon’s bestseller list.
DJI Mavic Mini 1 vs Mini 2
Design and weight have not changed.
The list of external differences includes the Mini 2 lettering, an additional LED on the front, Type-C instead of microUSB, and a different shape of the motors. But DJI Mini 2 is lighter by 10 grams and faster (16 kph vs 13 kph), has additional Trimmed Download and QuickTransfer features for video editing and downloading, uses OcuSync 2.0 and the upgraded 4K camera.
The new motors are lighter, quieter and cooler due to more efficient cooling.
They increased the max speed to 35,79 mph vs 29,08 mph.
Of course, the Mini 2 is more expensive. As known, the company offers Standard and Fly More Combo drone versions. The basic model includes a drone, a remote (type-c, microUSB, Lightning connection), charging and remote cables (USB-A / Type-C), one pair of spare propellers, a screwdriver and one battery (flight time up to 31 minutes). Fly More Combo additionally includes:
– two intelligent flight battery (total flight time more than 1.5 hours);
– two pair of spare propellers and 12 spare screw;
– propeller holder;
– two-way charging hub (charge up to three batteries in sequence, but do not work with DJI Mavic Mini);
– DJI 18W USB Charger;
– shoulder bag.
Their total price is almost $ 190. In fact, the Combo version saves around $ 40.
Today, the company sells the base model for $ 450, and the Fly More Combo for $ 600. By comparison, the Mavic Mini costs only $ 380 / $ 500, respectively. Maybe the difference under $ 100 seems insignificant, but it’s more than 25%.
New remote controller
Of course, the new remote with OcuSync 2.0 is one of the major pros. This technology was developed and patented for the Phantom series. In fact, it’s a very powerful radio transmitter that works on Wi-Fi frequencies to provide a more stable signal. The new drone uses OcuSync 2.0 version. Unlike the first generation, OcuSync 2.0 dynamically changes the signal frequency in the range from 2.5 to 5.8 GHz, automatically choosing the less loaded bandwidth. As a result, the amount of interference is reduced, increasing the stability of communication between devices.
Testing demonstrates the complete absence of interruptions and loss of communication in the city at a distance of up to 400 meters, even without tuning the antennas and an additional amplifier. At the same time, the image is radically clearer. In the Mini 2, OcuSync 2.0 provides 10km HD video transmission.
In addition, it’s compatible with Mavic Air 2 and has an oversized holder for a 6.7-inch smartphone in a case.
The cable for its connection is very conveniently placed under the clamp. Moreover, the company has increased the size of the buttons for turning the drone on and back. The Cinema / Normal / Sport flight mode selection button is also large and comfortable.
Additionally, the developers have changed the functionality of the shooting buttons. Now one button switches photo / video mode, the other activates it.
Shooting modes and image quality
In addition to Dronie, Helix, Rocket, and Circle QuickShot modes in Mini 1, the new model supports Boomerang Mode.
Moreover, Mini 2 supports 4K Hyperlapse (shooting with a given interval) and Panorama modes. This mode provides instant photo download to the phone.
Advanced gimbal stabilization and 4k camera significantly increased the smoothness and image quality. The model supports video to 4K@30 fps, 2.7K@60 fps, and FHD@60 fps with max video bitrate up to 100 Mbps. Mini 1 with 2,7K@30 fps and FHD@60 fps provides bitrate of up to 40 Mbps.
In addition, The Dji Mini 2 has Digital 2x / 3x / 4x zoom range for 4K / 2.7K / FHD resolution, respectively.
Unfortunately, drone does not have a popular tracking mode.
Of course, the RAW format support (full raw data without loss of information) in the photo mode is also a significant progress of the model.
ISO range of its camera is 100-3200 (auto & manual) for video and photo. Mini 1 also provides 100-3200 (auto & manual) for video, but 100-3200 (manual) and only 100-1600 (auto) for foto.
As known, an increase in ISO reduces the image contrast due to digital noise that increases its graininess.
On the other hand, shooting in low ambient light requires high ISO. ISO range of Mini 2 camera is consistent with these requirements. But, of course, it’s not ideal for shooting in the evening.
Camera extract is from 1/8000 to 4 s.
The Mini 2 retains the traditional cons of any mini drone. Of course, the lack of sensors reduces weight, but significantly increasing the risk of the drone colliding with obstacles. Moreover, the low weight cannot ensure the flight stability at the wind. But model is relatively cheap, ultra-compact and does not require registration in America, due to its weight less than 250 grams.
Compared to the Mini 1, the company has improved motors, quality and range of communication, camera, and expanded shooting modes.
Mini 2 with new motors can resist level 5 winds (up to 11 m / s) and fly at max altitude of 4,000 meters with max speed of up to 35.79 mph. In addition, OcuSync 2.0 significantly improved the quality and range of communication. The new camera captures videos up to 4K@30fps and supports RAW format. Moreover, the new drone supports 4K Hyperlapse and Panorama features, and an additional Boomerang QuickShot mode. Taking these factors into account, the difference of $ 70- $ 100 is more than justified.
Today Mini 2 has practically no competitors in the segment of mini drones weighing less than 250 grams. But without considering the registration factor, the specs Mini 2 are significantly inferior to the DJI Mavic Air 2, with a price of $ 800 and a weight of 20.1 oz or 567 g. The choice between Mini 2 and excellent SJRC F11 4K Pro, which costs only $ 360, but with weigh of 18.34 oz or 520 g, is also controversial.
But considering the registration, the DJI Mavic Mini 2 is out of competition today.
This video introduces the DJI Mini 2.