DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2: What are the differences?

Make Your Moments Fly vs Up Your Game

DJI MINI 2 versus Mavic Air 2

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.

#AD: Banggood drone sales

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
Gimbal 3-axis 3-axis
Image sensor 1/2.3″ 1/2″
Megapixel 12MP 48MP
Max Video resolution 4K@30fps or 1080p@60fps 4K@60fps or 1080p@240fps
Max bit rate 100Mbps 120Mbps
Photo mode RAW + JPG RAW + JPG
HDR NO Yes
Digital Zoom 2-4x 2-4x
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
Obstacle avoidance No Yes
Optical flow sensor Yes Yes
WiFi file transfer Yes No
Internal Memory No 8GB
Battery 2s/2250 mAh 3s/3500 mAh
Flight time 31 minutes 34 minutes
FAA registration No Yes
Release date November 4, 2020 April 24, 2020
Regular price (Standard/Combo) $449/$599 $799/$988

Camera

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

QS mode Dronie Helix Circle Rocket Boomerang Asteroid
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.

Conclusions

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.

42 COMMENTS

    • If you have the money for the MINI 2 it is a much better option than the MINI 1. Shortly it will be discontinued with no firmware update…

  1. My wife approved the budget for my first drone. Selecting between the Mavic Air 2 and the Mini 2. Is the MA2 too much drone for an initial purchase? I am a 39 year and I played only with RC cars before. Thanks for the help.

    • Please don’t listen to those nay-sayers that insist on getting the Mavic Air 2. it costs more than twice as much! Enjoy what you have!

  2. Hi everyone!
    I need recommendations on a GPS drone for my son with a 4K camera and easy to control at a fair price. Which would be more proper Mini 2 or Air 2? He is 15 years old.

    Thanks!
    Stacy

    • if you can afford 800$ the air 2 will provide a lot more stability and features to keep it safe in the long run. I’m 23 and just sold my original Mavic Pro, looking for a more quality camera with less overall investment. Air 2 is What I want with a 48mp camera, the same as the pro model, active track and obstacle avoidance makes this pretty much a pro drone in a smaller package.

  3. I just read some rumors that the next iPhone won’t have any more ports (lightning). So how are we supposed to use them to fly our DJI drones? Does the Air 2 or the MINI 2 controller have a Bluetooth for mobile APP connection?

  4. Both DJI drones have their strengths. Mavic Air 2 is the better drone. But here in US, it can be very limited where you can fly without a pilot certificate. The Mini 2 is very capable and avoids these regulations…

  5. Never owned an RC quadcopter before but I am definitely buying one in the next year. The problem is I cannot make a decision between the Mini 2 and the Mavic Air 2.
    For me, the main difference between these two DJI drones is the obstacle avoidance system. Probably are others too, but they are relevant for first-time pilots like me? What are your thoughts?

    Thank you!

    • I own an old DJI spark. So much fun! Surprisingly, it does feature an ability that the much newer mini 2 lacks: obstacle avoidance.
      Before the Spark, I had never owned any remote-controlled toy/instrument, much less a flying one. So, when I learned that my new (back then) drone could avoid obstacles I was thrilled. But… I have never flown in situations where this would actually matter because I never go farther than a few yards (meters away) and most usually on hover/static flight or very cautious displacements. Perhaps I need more confidence in my flying abilities? LOL
      So, I’d say that if you’re not planning to fly “too far” (and especially fly not at a high speed) AND where there are many trees, buildings, etc you might not need the obstacle avoidance feature.

  6. I’m also looking for my first drone. Thoughts between the Mini 2 or Mavic Mir 2. Seems like the fly more combo is around a $300 difference between the two. Worth the Air 2 the extra money?

    Thanks

    • Both. Just keep in mind the different resolutions. If you are sharing your photos online or you are not planning to print them to a bigger size, then the lower resolution should suffice.

  7. I just crashed Mini 2 into a house. It’s pretty broken. I have a DJI care refresh, what can I expect from here?
    How do I make the claim?
    How long does replacement take?
    How much it will need to pay for replacement unit and shipping?

  8. Looking for some feedback on video quality between the Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2. Aside from a higher frame rate (4K 30vs60fps), and bigger photo resolution (12vs48MP).

  9. I have an MA2. I got it the day it came out. I was flying it around my neighborhood and decided to test how far I can fly it. I got as far as 2000ft before it started to lose signal… there are many range test videos on YouTube and they are flying their Mini2’s a mile or more? Is it because I’m doing it in the city rather than in rural areas? Both should have the same range as they are using OcuSync comunication.

  10. I’m looking at getting my first quadcopter. Don’t want to waste time with cheap ones, but would anyone recommend what model to get as a first-timer? I’m between the Mini 2 and Air 2…
    Thanks

  11. I’d buy both the DJI Mini 2 and the Mavic Air 2 if I had the money for them! To be honest it is a damn tough choice! Which one do you think I should get? I’m traveling a lot

  12. What is everyone using to Download/Transfer files off your Mavic Air2? Would be nice to have wireless file transfer like on the Mini2…

  13. I’m very impressed with the improvement of the Mini 2, I flew it yesterday at -10°C and this little drone can handle the chilly wind. I thought that I’m flying with my bigger Mavic Air 2.

  14. Good comparison, but still can’t decide whether to buy the DJI Mavic Air 2 stand-alone or the DJI Mini 2 fly more combo.

    Does the 48mp on the Mavic Air 2 make such a difference in image quality compared to 12mp? I’m more of a photographer than making videos…

  15. 10km range is insane! The question is, are you brave (or even legal) enough to take your drone that far?! Also if you have enough power to return…

    • With my Mini2 CE, I got 4km (8km in total) during the range test. Landed at 26%…hope next get 5Km with a fully charged battery.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here