DJI refreshes its Mini drone with improved flight and 4K video
Last year, DJI released a tiny quadcopter with an impressive set of features squeezed into a palm-sized package called the Mavic Mini. The Chinese firm has just given this lightweight and compact drone a refresh, squeezing onboard a more capable camera, better performance through the air and an ability to stray much farther from its human controller.
Released last year, the Mavic Mini was a highly compact addition to DJI’s family of Mavic drones, which are designed to fold up neatly for easy transport. The drone, billed as the smallest and lightest the company had ever produced, carried a video capable of shooting 2.7K video at 30 fps and a 30-minute flight time.
This has been upped to 4K video at 30 fps for the Mini 2, while flight time has been stretched slightly to 31 minutes. Where pilots stand to gain the most new freedom, however, is through the addition of DJI’s OcuSync 2.0, which is a dual-frequency transmission technology that enables the Mini 2 to fly up to 10 km (6.2 mi) away, a 150 percent increase on the range of the original.
Still images are snapped at 12 megapixels and can be saved in RAW of JPEG formats, while DJI is also promising greater acceleration and speed, along with an ability to withstand winds of up to 24 mph (38 km/h) thanks to upgraded motors. Once in the air, a live feed is relayed from the camera to the user’s phone, where they can also initiate a set of pre-programmed flight modes that can capture video and photos autonomously.
“Mavic Mini was a monumental breakthrough for DJI and for drone pilots across the world, as its unprecedented combination of weight, safety, performance, and overall value became the entry point for countless new drone pilots and fans,” says DJI President, Roger Luo. “DJI Mini 2 enhances those key aspects, packing larger drone performance in an approachable, small design in the safest drone category that is perfect for beginners and will also impress more experienced pilots.”
Like the original, the Mini 2 tips the scales at just 249 g (8.8 oz), which means that owners in the US won’t be required to register their drone with the Federal Aviation Administration. It is available from today, with prices starting at US$449.
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It is an amazing, easy to fly and very stable drone and the 2.7K video matches or beats the quality of 4K video of similarly priced lesser brands.
What makes this drone stand out, aside from having the most elegant, mature, and smooth operating environment because it is DJI, is it is so small and yet performs so well. Small in that the Fly More case with everything in it is about the size of an Amazon Echo Show 10. That means you don't think twice about bringing it with you unlike larger drones. If you don't have the drone with you, you cannot use it. ;-)
As to the Mini 2 improvements, the 4K and stronger video transmission technology are very tempting. But they come with a $50 price hike from $399 to $449 for the Mini 2 and a $100 hike from $499 to $599 for the Mini 2 Fly More package.
One thing I haven't noticed the coverage mentioning about the Mini 2 - its controller moves the phone mount from below to above the controller, a nice improvement.
While the transmission range improvement also improves reliability, even though the Mini is very stable in light winds, I'm not eager to fly it out of line of site where I cannot personally observe wind conditions.
So I will not be upgrading.... perhaps the Mini 3?