Today we will have a closer look at DJI’s latest two drones, the Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2. While both features foldable design, a 4K camera, similar remote controller, identical long-range OcuSync communication, there are still many significant differences. So how do you go about choosing a winner in the DJI MINI 2 versus Mavic Air 2 debate?
Both drones were released in 2020, with about 7 months of delay between them. The Mavic Air 2 was revealed on April 24 and the Mini 2 on November 4.
For sure, the MINI 2’s signature is its super-low weight. The DJI MINI 2, weights more than two times less than the Mavic Air 2 (249g vs 570g). There is also a visible size difference between them. With folded arms, the MM2 measures 138×81×58 mm and the MA2 180 × 97 × 74 mm. Here I should mention that in most countries including the US, drones below 250 grams do not require registration when you are using them for recreational purposes.
DJI Mini 2 versus Mavic Air 2: In-depth comparisons guide
In the table below I compared the most important specs of both foldable DJI drones. I highlighted with red where the new DJI MINI 2 excels and with blue where the bigger Mavic Air 2 shines.
|DJI MINI 2||Mavic Air 2|
|Size||Folded: 138×81×58 mm
Unfolded: 159×203×56 mm
|Folded: 180 × 97 × 74 mm
Unfolded: 183 × 253 × 77 mm
|Weight||249 grams||570 grams|
|Max Video resolution||4K@30fps or 1080p@60fps||4K@60fps or 1080p@240fps|
|Max bit rate||100Mbps||120Mbps|
|Photo mode||RAW + JPG||RAW + JPG|
|FPV||720P||720P and 1080P|
|Communication||OcuSync 2.0||OcuSync 2.0|
|Range||10KM for FCC and 6K for CE||10KM for FCC and 6K for CE|
|Wind resistance||8.5-10.5 m/s (Level 5)||8.5-10.5 m/s (Level 5)|
|QuickShot modes||Circle, Dronie, Helix, Rocket, and Boomerang||Circle, Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Boomerang, and Asteroid|
|Hyperlapse||No||Yes (Free, Circle, Courseclock, and Waypoint)|
|Active tracking||No||Yes, ActiveTrack 3.0|
|Point of interest||No||Yes, Point of interest 3.0|
|Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems||No||Yes, APAS 3.0|
|Optical flow sensor||Yes||Yes|
|WiFi file transfer||Yes||No|
|Battery||2s/2250 mAh||3s/3500 mAh|
|Flight time||31 minutes||34 minutes|
|Release date||November 4, 2020||April 24, 2020|
|Regular price (Standard/Combo)||$449/$599||$799/$988|
While both are advertised with a 4K camera, their performance differs a lot. The MINI 2 uses a 1/2.3″ image sensor and the Air 2 a 1/2.3″ one. Usually, a larger sensor means better image quality and improved low-light performance.
The Mavic Air is capable to record 4K videos with up to 60fps and 1080P with 240fps with a max bit rate of 120Mbps. By comparison, the MINI 2 has only 30fps at 4K and 60fps at 1080P. Both are capable of taking RAW photos and performing up to 4x digital zoom.
In addition to the higher frame-rate, Air 2’s camera features HDR capabilities and 4 times larger photo resolution (48MP vs 12MP).
Creative QuickShot video modes
|DJI Mini 2||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Mavic Air 2||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Battery and flight time
The Mavic Mini 2 is powered by a 2-cell/2250 mA battery and it has up to 31 minutes of flight time. Thanks to its higher capacity LIPO pack (3s/3500 mAh), the Air 2 has up to 34 minutes of battery life. Both are available in ‘Fly more combo‘ package option with 3 flight batteries which give you a total flight autonomy of more than 90 minutes.
Remote controller and range
Both drones are packed with the new, redesigned remote controller. Featuring the same pro-grade OcuSync 2.0 communication, they have identical flight range too. In FCC mode you can achieve up to 10KM and in CE mode up to 6KM.
As you could read in our Mavic Air 2 review, its obstacle avoidance system performed very well. The drone was able to follow the subject autonomously while it ran through the trees. This is what you can’t do with the DJI MINI 2. Featuring HDR, Hyperlapse, and a higher frame rate is ideal for photographers and videographers. The Air 2 also has better battery life and flight performance compared to the Mini 2.
On the other hand, weighing less than 250 grams, the M2 does not require FAA registration. Practically you can fly it out of the box. Its 4K camera provides not just decent video quality, but actually the best quality that you can get in its niche. It’s small enough for all the jobs, versatile enough for most of the tasks.
Who is it for the Mavic Mini 2?
- You want to avoid FAA registration;
- You want an extremely portable drone for traveling;
- You just want an entry-level 4K drone;
- You are on a tight budget (less than $500).
Who is it for the Mavic Air 2?
- Advanced Obstacle Avoidance system is a must-have;
- You need ActiveTrack for biking, hiking, and other sports activities;
- You need better camera performance with HDR capabilities;
- You don’t want to spend more than $1000 on this hobby.