DJI Mini SE

DJI Mini SE Review

The Wallet-Friendly DJI Mini Drone You've Been Waiting For

There are a lot of drones hitting the skies nowadays. The market for consumer drones is growing at an incredibly rapid pace. In 2017, the market was projected to hit nearly $1 billion in sales and is expected to go well beyond that in the next few years.

DJI Mini SE Review 1
3.7/5 - (10 votes)

Specifications

Dimensions5.43"L x 3.18"W x 2.28"H
Weight249 g
Rotors4
Obstacle DetectionYes
Video Resolution2.7K/30fps
Megapixels12 PM
Media FormatMicroSD Cards upto 256GB
Remoteвith the DJI Fly app or remote controller

Pros

  • Many features to help you with the most complex manoeuvres
  • The best choice if you are not a professional
  • Good price
  • Can be flown without phone/app

Cons

  • 2.7K resolution is lower than many phones
  • No collision sensors
  • Photos are JPEG only; no Raw.
  • Range could be better

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Compact Affordable Drone

When legislators around the world started setting a drone weighs 250g limit beyond which people need to register every drone, drone companies began to compete for the “ultra-light’’ space, where drone weighs 250g and below were the new standard for casual consumers and no need of faa registration.

Speaking of ultra-light weight drones, there’s no denying that, if we’re talking about price, one of the machines that come out on top is the DJI Mini SE, which is one of the most inexpensive drones.

DJI Mini SE Review 2

Obviously, the Mini SE has its cons, and we’ll discuss those in this article, but a price of $300 for this great starter drone, with a good quality camera and a controller is hard to beat.

The DJI Mini is a perfect drone for beginners designed exclusively for recreational cinematic footage use and is a perfect option if you don’t want to break the bank while still having a machine that lets you get those jaw-dropping videos or pictures of your most recent trip. Let’s not forget the minutes of flight time – 30 minutes.

It is also important to note that this starter drone is feather-light and compact just like a mobile device like android devices, so you can easily bring it with you on your travels. We’re looking at one of the most compact expensive drones out there with an obstacle avoidance system. The original mavic mini beginner drone 1 2.3 is 138x81x58mm folded and 159x203x56 when unfolded. 

Let’s look at what the Mini SE fly does right and what it lacks compared to competitors in the same category.

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Camera

DJI Mini SE Review 3

Photos

Microdrones often have to sacrifice a powerful camera for cinematic footage and good first flight time for a budget price, as the majority of a drone’s cost goes into the camera. But the Mini SE packs a ton of photo camera quality in such a small size and just a few taps. This little perfect drone for beginners has a powerful camera for aerial photography and shutter speed compared to other micro expensive drones on the market as it captures 12-megapixel photos in jpeg format.

Taking photos with the DJI Mini is a breeze. You can aim the camera which is set on a 3 axis gimbal at any angle between straight down and directly forward and even tilt up to 20°. The camera has a ½.3 inches CMOS with 12MP and an 83° field of view. The ISO is 100-3.200 1 2.3 only, while the electronic shutter operates from 4 seconds to 1/8000. 

You can take photos with the original mavic mini drone as single shots or intervals in just a few taps, which can be assembled later to create a timelapse. The Mini SE doesn’t have too many options for its camera, but you can also switch from auto mode to manual. Releasing the on-screen dials in manual mode lets control the shutter speed, visual line and ISO

Overall the pictures taken compare to the camera of a good smartphone and considering you also have a perfect drone that can provide flying experience of thousands of meters up in the sky to take breathtaking shots and raw image quality capture, it’s an amazing 1 2.3 machine. 

Videos


The video quality of the DJI Mini is also nothing to laugh about.

You may think that because it’s a super budget-friendly drone for beginners, they slacked on the video part, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Video is captured at either 2.7k 30FPS or 1080p up to 60FPS. As an ‘economy drone,’ this video quality is incredible. The bitrate of the videos is 40Mbps.

The DJI Mini se fly videos aren’t up to professional standards as there’s noticeable noise in darker areas, but the videos come out extremely detailed nonetheless.

On a sunny day, getting a detailed raw image capture video is hard, but if you play with the manual settings, you can achieve fantastic footage with this original Mavic mini drone.

Software

DJI Mini SE Review 7

The mini se’s software is the same as all other DJI drones, and it’s arguably one of the best software among drone manufacturers. With the DJI Fly app, you can fly the beginner drone, capture images/videos, and even edit and share them with the tap of a few buttons. The app’s interface has a simple and intuitive design, making navigation through it a piece of cake even for beginners.

Mini SE‘s software also gives you free tutorials on how to fly your drone better, how to get the optimal flight time, how to raw image quality capture, and, as we mentioned before, has an editing and camera-enhancing feature that will make your footage even more incredible.

The main feature DJI Fly app provides is:

Quickshot mode

This is one of the intelligent extra features that most DJI drone users know and love. One of the best things you can do with your drone is fly it around and shoot mind-blowing selfies to share with your friends and family, and the Quickshot mode makes it easy. All the complicated flying motions are automatic in this mode. With DJI Fly app you sit back and let the original Mavic mini drone do everything for you, especially in windy conditions. Quickshots will make your drone fly automatically in a spiral (HELIX), and will launch it rapidly in the sky (ROCKET) or in a circle (CIRCLE.)

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Gimbal

DJI Mini SE Review 8

The camera is set on a 3 axis gimbal, ensuring the stability and smoothness of your footage. Unless you record videos or take pictures in a tornado, the DJI Mavic mini SE’s will give you unforgettable raw image to capture memories of your trips.

A 3-axis gimbal is great for stability and it’s unprecedented on a drone at this price range.

Design and Controller

DJI Mini SE Review 9

The Mini SE is almost indistinguishable from its predecessors like DJI Mavic mini 3, both in size and looks, but the remote controller is slightly different. While the controller might not be the most advanced, it beats the competition in size and weight, as you can also fold it in a more compact size. The smartphone grips on the controller emerge from the bottom and can handle even the biggest phone. 

A Micro-USB socket is a charging port for the 2,600mAH 1 2.3 battery or to connect your smartphone. As we mentioned earlier, the remote controller folds down, and the sticks need to be unscrewed and tucked into clips under the phone grips.

Flight and Stability

DJI Mini SE Review 10

The flight experience with the drone is very close to what you get with other DJI flying drones. The drone is straightforward to set up and perfect for entry-level flights, and you’ll be up in the air as soon as you unbox it.

There are three different flight modes:

  • Position mode
  • CineSmooth mode
  • Sport mode

The Position mode and CineSmooth mode are almost identical flight modes except for the speed; as in Position mode, the maximum speed is 28,6kph (17,8mph), while in the CineSmooth, the speed is reduced to 14,3kph (8,9mph.) On the other hand, the Sport mode has more sensitive controls, and the maximum speed is around 46kph (29mph.)

There’s also the ATTI, an emergency mode that activates automatically whenever the vision sensors are disabled and the GPS signal is weak or unavailable. The dji mavic mini drone also has an automatic ‘return to home’ feature that can be manually activated via the controller or app and triggers when the drone goes out of range or the battery is low enough.

The flight time experience is smooth, and there are also no collision sensors per se, but the drone’s landing sensors and obstacle avoidance system will kick in if you fly a bit too recklessly at ground level. Landing the mini se’s is as easy as cake, as you only have to press the landing button.

As with many DJI drones, Automatic Takeoff is also a thing here, and it’s handy for beginners as the DJI Mini will automatically launch itself into the air with the press of a button. Lastly, Precise Hovering allows you to have smoother flights by hovering the drone at certain heights without manually controlling it.

You can technically make the Mini SE land on your hand if you want to (not recommended) because of how good the Precise Hovering feature is.

Range

DJI Mini SE Review 11

 

Considering the price point of the DJI Mini SE Review, its range is staggering. It can fly up to 4km(2,4miles) away from you. However, you must always keep your drone in your line of sight for safety reasons.

Flight Speed

A lot of microdrones suffer from being susceptible to wind as they’re lightweight and less sturdy overall. Yet, the DJI Mini SE has a wind resistance of up to 37.8 kph(23.4mph) and a maximum flight speed of up to 46.8 kph(29mph), allowing you to travel faster and farther than ever before.

Battery Life

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The battery life and charging hub are also unmatched for a drone for beginners of this size, as you can have a flight time of 30 minutes with a fully charged battery. This is possible because the drone is tiny and extra light. It weighs as much as a small smartphone.

Fly More Combo

DJI Mini SE Review 13

If you’re considering purchasing the Mini SE, you should probably look into the Fly More Combo, as this package comes with three flight batteries, a two-way charging hub, a carrying case, RC cables, and much more. For a hundred bucks more or so, it’s a fantastic deal.

Alternatives

DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini SE Review 14
Flight Characteristics section of review

The usual comparison drone enthusiasts make is between DJI’s  Mini SE and Mini 2

This is a fair comparison, but generally speaking, the Mini 2 is a winner in almost every aspect of the comparison and is considered as the best drone out there. They’re both under drone weighs 250g so there is no need to register them, and they both look almost identical if we were to put them side by side.

Battery life is also the same, with approximate minutes of flight time more than 30 minutes of flight and convenient charging hub, but because the mavic Mini 2 has a more potent camera and is also faster (57kph), the DJI Mini 2‘s battery is better.

But the similarities between the two end here, as the camera of the DJI Mini 2 is miles ahead of the Mini SE. The DJI Mini 2 has a 12MP with a ½.3-inch CMOS sensor with a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000 (or 16:9, 4000 x 2250.) It also has an 83-degree field of view, meaning that the drone’s framing is very close to that of a human eye.

The videos are incredible on the Mini 2 with its fantastic stability and the bump in quality from 2.7K to 4K. Digital zooming is also much better than the Mini SE, with a 2X zoom in 4K and 3X at 1080p. The videos of the Mini 2 don’t excel in gloomy conditions, but you can override the auto mode and boost low-light performance in the manual mode.

Some of the expensive drone options include the DJI Mini 2. This drone is as easy to get off the ground and return to home as the Mini SE and mini 3, with automatic takeoff and landing same features to help you fly like a pro right out of the box.

So, as you can see, the Mini 2 is superior to the Mini SE in almost every aspect.

Why would you ever buy the Mini SE, you might ask? The answer is simple, besides the no need to register it – it lies in the price range. The Mini 2 costs almost 50% more than the DJI Mini SE, and if one of your concerns is budget, you’ll probably settle with what the Mini SE offers.

From a features point of view, we can say that the Mini 2 and mini 3 are some of the best options overall for an entry level pilot, as in that price range, it offers everything a mini drone can offer to a newcomer plus a return to home option, perfect minutes of flight time and wind resistance option – a convenient one for beginner pilots. With the Mini 2, you have an incredible camera that shoots high-quality videos at 4K, which will make your friends and family’s jaws drop to the floor.

However, if your price range is around $300, the best option is the Mini SE.

Final Words

DJI Mini SE Review 15

 

Compared to the more expensive options, the Mini SE doesn’t offer much, but it sets a new standard in the market for mini and affordable drones. With a great axis gimbal camera, speed, drone weighs 250 gr hence no faa registration, amazing 30 minutes of flight time, DJI Fly App with quickshot mode, dji care and versatility, it is one of the best drones for entry level pilots on a budget.

The DJI Mini SE is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a drone for beginners that does not have the need to register to start the flying journey. Not only it’s affordable, but it also comes with plenty of same features that make it easy to fly right out of the box.

FAQ

Unfortunately, the DJI Mini SE doesn't give you the 'follow me' option natively. However, you can still access this option if you use third-party apps. One of the best for this feature is an app called Litchi. It is a top-rated app among DJI drone users and a great alternative to DJI's app. The only downside with the Litchi app is that it's not free, as it costs $22.99 on the App Store and $22.99 on the Google Play store.
Surprisingly enough, the Mini SE can fly pretty far from you. The maximum travel distance is 4 km (2.4 miles.)
Yes, you can! The Mini SE is compact and small, and with its precise hovering features, it's extremely simple to fly this mini drone indoors. Make sure that you set the slowest flight setting when flying indoors.
You can fly the Mini SE at night as a hobbyist without any license or waiver. Ensure you attach anti-collision lights to your drone and keep it in your line of sight.
You can easily fly your Mini SE without a smartphone, as all DJI drones have a controller or tablet with the DJI firmware pre-downloaded on it.
It is possible to fly your Mini SE without an internet connection. However, certain functions won't be available, and you'll be limited in your drone usage. For example, you can't download updates that can lead to drone malfunctions.
You could, but without a MicroSD card installed, the photos and videos you take will be of lower resolution (720p). You should get a MicroSD card, especially if you plan to go on a trip where you'll use the Mini SE often.
Yes, restricted zones are not forbidden, and you can apply to fly in these areas. To do that, tap "Unlock GEO Zone" in the DJI Fly app or complete the application process at https://www.dji.com/cn/flysafe/custom-unlock.
No, it is not officially waterproof. This means that the manufacturer doesn't guarantee the Mini SE functions if it gets in contact with water. However, tests showed that the DJI Mini SE could survive water, but we don't recommend doing that if you care about your drone's safety.
Unfortunately, it doesn't. In fact, we recommend using the Mini SE with 360° Propeller Guard to protect your drone and improve flight safety fully.
Yes, you can. The app is just a plus to give easy access to the main features the Mini 2 has. If you don't have the app installed for whatever reason, you can fly your drone with just the controller.

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