DJI has officially announced the travel-friendly Mini 2 SE drone, a couple of days after it was leaked – and it's shaping up to be a solid new option for beginners who are happy to shoot video in 2.7K rather than 4K.
The Mini 2 SE is a very minor upgrade of the DJI Mini SE, which is currently its cheapest drone and remains on sale (for now). The main difference between those two drones is that the Mini 2 SE has a newer controller (the DJI RC-N1), and a better video transmission system called OcuSync 2.0.
This means you can fly the Mini 2 SE much further than the standard Mini SE (within the rules that apply in your local region). That maximum range is up to 10km in the US, or 6km in other regions. By contrast, the Mini SE's range is 4km (in the US) or 2.5km elsewhere. Those distances are for areas with low interference, though – fly the Mini 2 SE in an urban area and that range drops to between 1.5km and 3km.
Aside from this improved range and controller, the DJI Mini 2 SE is identical to its predecessor. That means you get a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that can shoot 2.7K/30p video (or 1080p/60p clips), with your footage stabilized with a three-axis gimbal. Photographers can also take 12MP photos in JPEG or raw DNG formats.
Like all the models in DJI's Mini series, the Mini 2 SE weighs under 250g so that it doesn't need to be registered in some regions (though in the UK you will need an Operator ID). Despite its size and weight, the new drone promises a decent 31-minute flight time (up slightly on the DJI Mini SE).
The Mini 2 SE is a bit pricier than the Mini SE, at $369 / £339 / AU$599 or $519 / £459 / AU$799 for the Fly More Combo bundle. You won't be able to buy it until March 22 in the US and UK, although it appears to already be on sale in Australia. You can see a full breakdown of how its pricing compares to the rest of DJI's Mini series below.
DJI Mini 2 SE price and release date
- The DJI Mini 2 SE will cost $369 / £339 / AU$599 (including controller)
- A Fly More Combo bundle will cost $519 / £459 / AU$799
- It'll go on sale from March 22 in the US/UK, but is available in Australia now
DJI's Mini series is currently a bit confusing, with the lineup now comprising five models. We're expecting one of those (the DJI Mini SE) to be phased out, even though it's currently the cheapest option at $299 / £269 / AU$459.
The DJI Mini 2 SE is a bit pricier at $369 / £339 / AU$599, which is a shame, if understandable due to the superior controller and range. You'll also be able to buy a Fly More Combo bundle (which includes three batteries, a two-way charging hub, a bag and other accessories including spare props) for $519 / £459 / AU$799.
Here's how the Mini 2 SE compares to the rest of DJI's Mini series – we've left out the DJI Mini 3 Pro because it's in an entirely different category, costing $759 / £709 / AU$1,119 when you buy it with the same DJI RC-N1 controller.
So which mini drone should you buy? We haven't yet tested the DJI Mini 2 SE, but it could be the best option if you're happy to be capped at 2.7K video resolution and accept inferior video quality to the DJI Mini 2.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||DJI Mini 2 SE||DJI Mini 3||DJI Mini 2|
|Drone only||N/A||$469 / £439 / AU$699||N/A|
|With DJI RC-N1 controller||$369 / £339 / AU$599||$559 / £519 / AU$829||$449 / £419 / AU$749|
|With DJI RC controller||N/A||$699 / £669 / AU$1,019||N/A|
|Fly More Combo||$519 / £459 / AU$799||$718 / £678 / AU$1,118* (*Fly More Combo Plus)||$559 / £549 / AU$949|
That said, the DJI Mini 2 likely offers better value for most people, as it can shoot 4K video and has a higher video bit-rate (100Mbps, compared to the Mini 2 SE's 40Mbps). If those factors are important to you, it could be the better pick given that it only costs $80 / £80 / AU$150 more.
If you want a super-affordable DJI drone, though, and don't mind an inferior flying range and video feed, then it could still be worth picking up the original DJI Mini SE while stocks last – that drone seems to have set a low price point that DJI Mini series will soon no longer offer.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.