If you’ve seen the new DJI Mini 2, you would have noticed the inclusion of a light on the front. Was it a last-minute change instead of obstacle avoidance being added? A recent comment on Billy Kyle’s comparison video of the original Mini and Mini 2 seems to think so.

The comment

Looking at the comment, user Trapper John speculated that DJI tried to add forward-facing obstacle avoidance to the DJI Mini 2 but couldn’t get it in the 249g weight limit due to the whole U.S. China chip ban.

This forced DJI to add something else in, which happens to be the light bar on the front. While this is 100% just a theory, this did get us thinking that DJI wanted to make the Mini 2 even better than it currently is.

And by taking a look at the crazy features DJI has managed to put in its other drones, there might be something behind this theory.

DJI Mini 2 obstacle avoidance
The comment from Billy Kyle’s video. Credit: Billy Kyle

DJI Mini 2’s weight

While discussing this further with Billy, he points out that the Mini 2 only weighs 242 grams, rather than the 249 grams stated on the drone itself. Looking at DJI’s website, it does say it weighs less than 249 grams compared to the Mavic Mini, which weighs 249 grams. I also checked this with my unit, and it is around the 242-gram mark.

Now, with the extra seven grams, DJI could have been thinking about two things, adding more tech to the drone in the form of obstacle avoidance or allowing people to add more accessories to the drone, such as filters and skins. I have no idea how much the extra sensors would weigh, but I wouldn’t think two cameras and the cables would add too much extra weight.

Where would the sensors go?

On the original Mavic Mini, the two black ‘vents’ on the front were actually fake and just solid pieces of plastic purely there for the aesthetics. On the DJI Mini 2, we can see that the vents are real and allow air to flow into the drone.

DJI might have just done this to increase the airflow and cool down the components or had planned on adding the cameras into the holes. The gimbal area does allow for a fair amount of air to get in, with the two holes not adding much to it overall.

Would DJI do it?

As for DJI adding obstacle avoidance to Mini 2, I’m a little on the fence about it. On the one hand, I could see DJI doing it, but on the other, I don’t think they would as it would eat away at the sales of the larger Mavic Air 2. Another thing to note is the extra weight it would add to the drone if the sensors were added. I haven’t taken apart the Mini 2 to see if it has the extra circuitry for them, but other people have said the boards are basically identical between the two drones.

What do you think of the Mini 2 only weighing 242 grams? Do you think DJI was planning on adding front-facing obstacle avoidance, or did it allow for heavier/more accessories to be added to the Mini 2? We’d love to know your thoughts below.

Photo: Josh Spires

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