- Weighs only 249 grams.
- Max flight time 31 minutes.
- 10KM transmission range
- Extreme wind resistance
- 4K camera with 4X zoom
- 5 pre-programmed aerial shots
- 3-Axis gimble, ultra stable
- Small enough to fit in a pocket
DJI Mavic Mini 2 – Detailed Review
The original Mavic Mini was a great drone that DJI introduced in October 2019. It solved one of the most pressing problems with the user i-e legal requirements to register your drone with the FAA that weighs more than 250 grams. With the original Mini, people were able to fly straight out of the box without going through exhausting paperwork.
But the original Mavic Mini had some limitations too. It had a comparatively inferior camera with no digital zoom and relied on Wi-Fi for video transmission, resulting in a much lesser transmission range. Another notable missing feature was the much-needed Return-To-Home (RTH) feature.
The new DJI Mini 2 was released in November 2020. With this new version, DJI solved most of these problems while still retaining its most unique selling point i-e its take-off weight of 249 grams. With the new Mavic Mini 2, you can enjoy a better camera, longer transmission range with the DJI proprietary OcuSync 2 transmission, digital zoom, wind resistance capabilities, and many more features that were missing with the original Mavic Mini.
Let’s dive deep and see what this small flying machine has up its sleeve.
What’s in the box?
The new Mavic Mini 2 comes complete with everything that you need to fly right away. It comes with its own Nylon shoulder carry bag that is very soft and perfect for carrying the drone along on trips. Although most drone enthusiasts have figured out their own preferred carry options (I have been using the same one I got 3 years ago for each new drone) but for someone new to the hobby, this is great stuff.
Also, the Mavic Mini 2 is small enough to fit in any small space in your backpack if you are going on a short trip, so you don’t have to carry a separate bag along. The design is foldable and is so compact that you don’t really need any special carry arrangements. Remember the big ass drones that can only be carried in spaces boxes? DJI has come a really long way, to be honest. Anyway, back to the Mavic Mini 2…
Inside the Nylon bag, you will find the folded Mavic Mini 2, the remote controller with joysticks removed, and the battery charger with 2 extra battery packs inside (if you get the fly more combo version). You will also find a separate charger with a cable, which is great.
If you remember the original Mavic Mini remote, it had the smartphone mount on the lower side which I never liked. The new Mavic Mini 2 comes with an upgraded remote controller that is quite similar to one that comes with the Mavic Air 2 model.
The smartphone mount is moved to the top, giving it better visibility, and the overall size of the remote is bigger than the original Mavic Mini remote. Some people might not like the bigger size, but I think it gives you a better grip. I never really felt comfortable with the bottom smartphone mount, but this new and improved remote controller is perfect.
As soon as you get the remote controller and the drone out of the box, you will notice that the drone is smaller in size than the remote controller. Funny, isn’t it? But it makes sense. To keep the weight under 250 grams, DJI has gone through a lot of miniaturization, resulting in weight reduction and smaller size.
Battery & Charging Pack
If you get the standalone version, you will only get one battery with the drone. But if you go for the ‘fly more combo’ version, it ships with two additional battery packs and a two-way charging hub. The combo version also comes with some additional accessories like an 18W USB charger for the battery packs and a propeller holder, which is basically a flexible band that goes over your folded drone and protects the props from damage during shaky travels.
The Mavic Mini 2 comes with the following connectors to easily pair all kinds of smartphones with your remote controller:
- Type-C connectors for newer Android phones & tables
- Standard Micro USB connector if you still own an older Android phone
- Lightning connector for iPhone & iPad users
- Type-C charging cable for charging the battery packs.
Apart from the connectors and charging cable, you will also find a spare screw along with a compatible screwdriver.
If you get the combo version, you will also find a separate USB charger along with the other accessories I listed above which is cool.
The Mavic Mini 2 Drone Features
Now let’s get to the meaty part and see what the Mavic Mini 2 has inside its compact body starting with the most important feature i-e the camera.
When you take the drone out of its packaging, you won’t notice any difference between the original Mavic Mini and the new one. It’s pretty much the same except for the Mavic Mini 2 marking on the right arm.
When folded, the Mavic Mini 2 is a pretty small and slim drone. The folded dimensions are just 138×81×58 mm making it one of the sleekiest drones in the high-end category.
The motors use DJI proprietary brushless tech that is highly efficient and powerful. The motors combined with the lightweight carbon fiber propellers make up the propulsion system. If you have used the original Mini, you won’t notice any difference. But do remember that the new Mini 2 promises level 5 wind resistance that means the motors on Mini 2 are more powerful than their predecessors, albeit looking the same from the outside.
The camera and gimble system are protected with a standard canopy, which you will find in all Mavic drones. Nothing new here. Overall, it’s a pretty compact design, and DJI has managed to get a lot inside such a small space to keep the max weight at 249g.
Camera on Mavic Mini 2
The mini 2 packs a 12 Mega Pixel 1/2.3″ sensor, same as the original Mavic Mini but with certain improvements. It can record videos at 4K @ 30fps, while the original Mini could only go up to 2.7K. The images are stabilized with a 3-Axis super sensitive gimble, which results in crisp photos and stable videos even in windy conditions.
The camera offers a 4X zoom though you lose some quality after 2X zooming in. I normally avoid the zoom function as it slightly compromises the quality even with a sensitive gimble. Still, it comes in handy in certain conditions, and I am sure other aerial videographers might find it useful.
Another great feature with the Mini 2 camera is the Auto Exposure Bracketing which takes photos at three different exposure levels. You can later edit them in post-processing and get the best quality image for a certain shot.
The Mavic Mini 2 can resist wind up to 39KPH and gives you a stable image thanks to its sensitive gimble and powerful motors. The gimble is protected with a transparent cover, which is great because in the past, I have damaged my gimble when the cover got lost in my backpack, and the gimble was exposed to some nasty off-road shocks.
The Mini 2 comes with 5 QuickShot modes to make aerial videography easy even for a complete novice. They are:
See the quick tutorial from DJI on how to use each QuickShot mode.
The advertised flight time for the Mavic Mini 2 is quite similar to the original Mavic Mini. The predecessor had a flight time of 30-minutes and the Mini 2 has an advertised time in the air of 31-minutes.
The standard version comes with only one battery pack, but if you get the ‘fly more combo’ version, which is $150 more expensive, you will receive 2 additional batteries to push your total flight session to a whopping 93 minutes. Of course, these timings are tested in the lab under perfect conditions.
Your actual time in the air will depend on the day you are flying, the level of charge in your batteries, and your flying style (are you feeling sporty, or its a lazy Sunday afternoon?)
Read more about DJI Mini 2 Battery
The battery pack (termed the Intelligent Flight Battery) is a 2250mAH, 7.7V LiPo with a 2S arrangement. It’s pretty small and lightweight much like the battery on the original Mini. It only weighs 86 grams.
The battery goes on the opposite side of the camera end and is protected by a cover, which helps the battery remain inside the drone even if it crashes. Is it useful for the battery to remain inside the drone during a crash? I would say, Yes. It helps keep the drone alive if you crash far away and help you locate the drone using the DJI “Find My Drone” App.
Pretty cool I guess.
Video Transmission Range
This is a very significant improvement over the last year’s Mavic Mini. The Mavic Mini 2 uses DJI’s advance Ocusync 2.0 to transmit camera feed over a max distance of 10KM. That’s huge. The original Mavic Mini used Enhanced Wi-Fi that could only go up to 4KM in transmission range in a low interference area.
However, like previous models, the max transmission range is limited inside the software based on which region you are flying your drone in. Every region has different certifications, and the maximum allowed transmission power varies accordingly. In the US, under FCC certification, you will be able to utilize the max possible range of 10KM under minimum electromagnetic interference away from city noise.
Read more about DJI Mini 2 Range
The transmission latency is also improved from 240 milliseconds to 200 milliseconds, giving you a better flight experience in FPV mode. Also, the Max bitrate has been improved to 8Mbps which was just 4Mbps on the original Mavic Mini.
DJI Fly App
The Mavic Mini 2 connects with the newer and better DJI Fly App which is designed to provide a better and more intuitive flight experience.
While in flight mode, you can easily see all the important telemetry information like your battery charge level, altitude, distance from the controller, and other important info right on the screen without having to push any buttons. Since it’s optimized for aerial photography, you can quickly navigate to all the camera options on the right side.
Another great feature inside the app is Fly Spots, where the App will scan the area in your surroundings to find and recommend safe flying zones. This is a great help if you are exploring a new city and don’t know a suitable point to take off and get a good aerial view.
The App has an integrated photo editor as well with rich features so you can just snap, edit, and share without downloading your photos manually to a computer and spending hours editing. The app has numerous pre-edited templates, overlays, music & special effects for a quick edit. You can also trim your videos within the app.
The Mavic Mini 2 comes with three distinct flight modes that you can switch from the remote controller.
Normal Mode: In N mode, the Mini 2 stabilizes itself using GPS positioning and Downward Vision System and the max speed is 22 miles/hour. Most flights are done in this mode as it offers an optimum point between speed and stability.
Sports Mode: In S mode, the max speed is increased to 35 miles/hour and the drone is more agile and responsive to the remote control input. This is ideal for fast-flying but might drain the battery fast.
Cine Mode: In C mode, the drone max speed is limited to just 13 miles/hour for improved stability. You can switch to this mode for better photography and video recording.
Other Flight Features
The Mavic Mini 2 has all the bells and whistles when it comes to flight features.
With the smart RTH feature, you can recall your drone to the last known home position with a tap of a button either on App or on the remote controller. The RTH is also triggered when the battery is low or there is not enough GPS signal strength to maintain a stable flight.
The Landing Protection feature enables the drone to select and land on a suitable ground during RTH execution. If the land is not suitable, the drone will wait for the pilot’s confirmation and will keep hovering a few meters above the home location. Pretty neat. Right?
Mavic Mini 2 comes with the Downward Positioning System as well which is a set of IR cameras at the bottom that helps the drone maintain its position in the absence of GPS signals. This helps the drone fly inside the house or in close quarters.
It has a level 5 wind resistance and can withstand high wind speeds. Even at high altitudes, it can perform well and make great aerial shots. The DJI Mini 2 max altitude is 4500 meters and it can take off from a max elevation of up to 4000 meters.
Although DJI mini 2 follow me mode does not exist in the official DJI Fly App, there are a few third-party apps that have integrated an active track as well as follow me mode. One of my favorites is the Litchi App.
The mini 2 does not have an integrated memory so you will have to use a separate SD card. It can support up to 256 GB onboard memory card. I have written a separate article about DJI Mini 2 SD cards that are compatible.
Who is Mavic Mini 2 for?
The original Mavic Mini released last year was aimed at hobbyists and beginners who want to get a taste of aerial photography without putting in too much money, but it had some obvious limitations. With Wi-Fi limited range compared to other higher-end Mavic models, a 2.7K recording cap, and a lack of storing images in Raw format for better post-processing, the Mavic Mini faced some resistance.
The Mavic Mini 2 solves these basic issues and can be termed as the perfect beginner’s drone coming from DJI. Although you can start with less expensive drones from other manufacturers, comparing DJI build quality, software flight stability, and other features is like comparing apples and oranges.
With all its bells and whistles, the Mavic Mini 2 still lacks some of the pro features. You will only find higher, more expensive Mavic models like object tracking, obstacle avoidance, and advanced camera features. Nevertheless, this is something the beginners can forgo for the price tag it is coming for.