DJI Drones under $600—The Mini 2 SE vs. the Mini 2, Mini SE, and the Mini 3
BY Zacc Dukowitz22 February 2023
With the launch of the DJI Mini 2 SE, DJI now has several drones on the market that sell for under $600.
These include the Mini 2 SE, the Mini SE, the Mini 2, and the Mini 3.
[The DJI/Ryze Tello sells for about $100 so it also falls in the “under $600” category, but given its relatively low capabilities compared to these others we’re not going to include it in this article. But it is a great starter drone for those just learning how to fly, and especially for those working with middle or high school students.]
So with all these inexpensive, reliable DJI drones on the market, how do you choose?
First, let’s take a look at what each of these drones offers.
The New DJI Mini 2 SE vs. the Mini 2, Mini SE, and Mini 3
Here is a chart comparing the main specs of all four drones:
*It’s important to note that these prices are all for the most basic option for each drone. For Fly More combos or other upgrades, there will be a higher cost.
Two things jump out right away when looking at this chart:
The Mini 3 Is a Standout
The first is that the Mini 3, which launched in December of last year, is a clear standout among the four options. It has a better camera, and the longest flight time and transmission range by far.
But you pay for the difference.
The DJI Mini 3 costs $469 for just the drone. To get the Mini 3 with the RC-N1 remote controller, which has no screen, the cost is $559. And for the drone with the RC controller, which has a screen, the cost is $699.
The DJI Mini 3 with the RC controller | Credit: DJI
The Mini 2 SE Is a Great Deal
The second thing that jumps out from the chart is that the Mini 2 SE is a great value.
For $369, you get the same flight time, transmission range, and wind resistance that come with the Mini 2.
Of course, one of the biggest differences between the two drones is the camera. The Mini 2 SE only shoots video at 2.7K, while the Mini 2 shoots at 4K.
One thing the Mini 2 has that the Mini 2 SE doesn’t is QuickTransfer, which allows you to download drone footage quickly directly to your smartphone, making it easy to share and edit footage from your smartphone so long as you have the DJI Fly app.
But if you’re looking for a solid starter drone with a decent-quality camera, the Mini 2 SE may be one of the best options out right now.
The DJI Mini 2 SE | Credit: DJI
More about the DJI Mini 2 SE
The Mini 2 SE just launched about two weeks ago.
The SE designates it as a stripped-down version of the Mini 2, just as the Mini SE—the first SE drone DJI released—was a stripped-down version of the Mini. (The Mini isn’t for sale any more, by the way—when you search for it on the DJI site, you’re led to the Mini 3 page.)
Last year DJI released several drone models that were variations within a series.
These drones included the Mavic 3 Classic, a stripped-down version of the Mavic 3 made in the same vein as the SE line for the Mini series, the Mavic 3 Enterprise, and the Mini 3 itself.
With the launch of the Mini 2 SE, it’s clear DJI plans to continue the trend of offering cheaper versions of the flagship drone in each series.
Here’s what you need to know about the Mini 2 SE.
Mini 2 SE Specs
- Flight time. 31 minutes
- Weight. Under 250 grams (all drones in the Mini line are sub-250 grams, since this is the weight at which the FAA requires drones to be registered).
- Camera. 1/2.3” CMOS that shoots video at 2.7K and stills at 12 MP.
- Max transmission range. 6.2 miles
- Max speed. 36mph in S mode; 22mph in N mode; 13.5mph in C mode.
- Max video bitrate. 100 Mbps.
- Digital zoom. 1080P—4x zoom; 2.7K— 3x zoom; Photo Mode—2x zoom.
Mini 2 SE Features Big Upgrades from Mini SE
Another thing to note about the Mini 2 SE is that it features several intelligent features that the SE doesn’t.
- Stable hovering
- One-tap takeoff and landing
- RTH (Return to Home)
The Mini 2 SE also comes with intelligent shooting modes, just like the Mini 2:
- Quickshots. Helix, Boomerang, Circle, Rocket, and Dronie modes are all available with the Mini 2 SE.
- Panorama. 180°, Sphere, and Wide Angle are all available with the Mini 2 SE.
Visit the DJI website to learn more about the DJI Mini 2 SE and all the other DJI drones under $600.