Gear Reviews

DJI Mini 2 v DJI Mini SE; Battle of the budget drones

Both are entry-level drones, but which one should you buy?

If you’re looking to take your first steps into the world of drones to open up new creative opportunities in capturing stills photos and video footage then it’s likely you’ll start by testing the waters with an entry-level drone rather than diving in and spending big on a pro-level drone like the Mavic 3.

The good news is that DJI offers two entry-level drones; the Mini 2 and the Mini SE. But what exactly are the differences between the two drones and which features do they share? Well, we’ve deep dived into the specification sheets of both options to help you make the right buying decision.

Video resolution:
One of the biggest considerations when buying a drone is the quality of the video it will produce – after all, it’s no good having a great drone that records poor footage. The good news is that both the Mini 2 and the Mini SE offer high resolution video, but there is a key difference between the models. Let’s start with the SE, which offers 2.7K/30p; which is not huge resolution, but is still bigger than Full HD, which most people use when creating social media videos. This 2.7K resolution will also allow for things like digital pans, which are created in software such as Premiere and leaves a little tolerance to crop out corners of the footage. The Mini 2 however has the edge and does offer ultra high-quality 4K footage at 30p. The larger resolution footage will look better when downsized into a Full HD timeline and gives more tolerance to crop or zoom in on the frame should you wish to.

Sensor size:
This is an area where the Mini 2 and Mini SE share the same specification as both drones feature a camera packing a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor that offers 12-megapixels of resolution. While more advanced drones offer sensors in excess of 20-MP, 12-MP is still a decent figure and will enable users to capture stills that should be able to print up to A4 in size. 

Flight time:
Flight time is an important specification to examine when picking your next drone. After all, if you’re spending money, you want to enjoy the experience for as long as possible and on a practical level, you may need extra flight time to get all the shots on your list. There is a small difference between the Mini 2 and Mini SE, but the good news is that both devices perform well.
The more affordable Mini SE offers a max flight time of 30 minutes, which in its class is really impressive. The Mini 2 however just beats this by offering 31 minutes. Of course, when talking about flight times, users should always remember that a flight time can be affected by wind speed and, you can also your drone flying experience by purchasing additional batteries.

Weight: 
Both the Mini 2  and Mini SE offer the same folding design to make the drone more portable and travel-friend. Both devices measure 140x82x57mm (folded) and 160x202x55mm (unfolded) and tip the scale at 249g. The weight stat is an important specification because it’s 1g lighter than when most countries enforce straighter flight regulations.

Flight speed: 
When buying a drone, flight speed is an important feature to consider. This is because the faster a drone can travel, the more creative options you will be able to take advantage of – from fast sweeping shots to fast pans. The more affordable Mini SE does well, offering a maximum flight speed of 46.8kph. However, the Mini 2 does even better, offering a maximum flight speed of 57.6kph – a difference of 10.8kph, meaning the Mini 2 is around 20% faster than the SE.

Transmission range:
The transmission range of a drone dictates how far away from the operator it can travel, so is an important specification to consider. Despite the Mini 2 and Mini SE being the same size and weight, there is a big difference between the two drones. While the more affordable SE offers a 4km 720p/30fps Video Transmission, the Mini 2 more than doubles this figure, serving up a 10km 720p/30fps Video Transmission. It’s worth pointing out that both drones offer a Downward Vision Sensor and a GPS Precise Hover feature, too.