Mini 3 Pro vs. Air 2S: Which One is Better?

If you’re a DJI drone enthusiast like me, you would agree on the fact that its Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S are two strong contenders in the category of consumer drones. Both offer out-of-the-box features and impressive capabilities tailored to everyone’s needs. 

But which one is the best? 

The Mini 3 Pro, with its compact size and enhanced portability, suits hobbyists seeking a lightweight, easy-to-use drone for recreational flying.

On the other hand, the Air 2S is a steal deal for those who prioritize high-quality aerial photography and videography. 

Continue reading as I take you through a detailed DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Air 2S comparison guide, based on different parameters. So, let’s get started.  

Mini 3 Pro vs. Air 2S: My Ratings

In the following table, I’ve rated both the Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S on different parameters after thorough testing and customer reviews.

Details
Parameters
Mini 3 Pro
Air 2S
Size & Weight
9/10
8.5/10
Flight Time
9.5/10
8.5/10
Camera Quality
8.5/10
9/10
Operational Range
8/10
8/10
Obstacle Avoidance
8/10
Price

Mini 3 Pro vs. Air 2S: The Ultimate Showdown

The following are my unbiased views of each drone, based on my experience and experiments regarding their size, weight, obstacle avoidance, flight time, camera quality, and more.

Size & Weight

Weighing less than 249g, the Mini 3 Pro doesn’t require any ‌training or registration (for recreational flying) in most countries and regions. For content creators who are always on the move, nothing can be better than this! Right? 

Mini 3 Pro’s foldable and compact design further makes it easy to carry it along on your next beach day, hike, or impromptu weekend away.‌ It’s so mini that you can also load it in your backpack, as I mostly do! 

Air 2S, on the other hand, has a takeoff weight of 595g. This means you must register it with the authorities like the FAA, no matter whether you use it for commercial or non-commercial purposes. 

Although foldable, I still don’t find the Air 2S (180 × 97 × 77 mm) as compact and portable as the Mini 3 Pro (145 × 90 × 62 mm). 

If it’s purely about size and weight, you now know who’s the winner.

Winner: Mini 3 Pro

Flight Time

In terms of flight time, Mini 3 Pro has no match. It offers a maximum flight time of up to 34 minutes with Intelligent Flight Battery and up to 47 minutes with Intelligent Flight Battery Plus. 

Air 2S, on the contrary, supports only an Intelligent Flight Battery that runs out of juice in 30 minutes! 

But I would like to add one point here. 

The aforementioned flight times are measured in a controlled environment, with no wind around. Hence, the actual flight time will always be slightly lower than the one advertised. 

Here’s what DJI says: 

“The flight time of Air 2S was measured in a controlled test environment. Specific test conditions are as follows:

No wind, at sea level, constant flight speed of 32.4 kph, APAS off, AirSense off, camera parameters set to 1080p/24fps, video mode off, and flying from 100% battery to 0% battery.

Results may vary depending on the environment, usage scenario, and firmware version.”

Winner: Mini 3 Pro

Camera Quality

I’ve been flying DJI’s Mini 3 Pro for a long time, and I can say that its camera quality is pretty good, if not the best. 

To begin with, the Mini 3 Pro has a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor that also features dual native ISO and supports the direct output of HDR footage.

It auto-enriches your shots with a higher dynamic range, revealing more detail in highlights and shadows. 

That’s not all! 

This mini flying machine lets you take your aerial photography to a new level with its bigger 2.4μm pixels and f/1.7 aperture. However, the field of view, in my opinion, could be better than 82.1°! 

Coming to the Air 2S, it’s equipped with a 1-inch CMOS image sensor, large 2.4μm pixels, and f/2.8 aperture, making it capable of 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps video shooting.

The FOV is also decent here @ 88°. If you like wide-angle shooting, you’re going to have a blast! 

I tested Air 2S during night hours, and to my surprise, even low-light scenes were quite sharp and vibrant—credits to the high dynamic range, high resolution, and accurate color reproduction. 

Lastly, the Air 2S has better zoom, going up to 4X @ 4K/30fps and 8X @ 1080p/30fps. On the other hand, the Mini 3 Pro only offers a 2X zoom @ 4K!

Winner: Air 2S

Operational Range

Surprisingly, there’s not much difference in the operational range of Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S.

While the Mini 3 Pro typically offers a maximum operational range of around 17 kilometers (approximately 10.5 miles), the Air 2S boasts a slightly longer range of up to 18.5 kilometers (approximately 11.5 miles). 

As you can see, there’s a negligible difference! This is because both these consumer drones use DJI’s OcuSync 3.0 Transmission System.

Winner: Air 2S

Obstacle Avoidance

Obstacle avoidance in DJI drones has always been on-point. But it’s the Air 2S that leads the way. 

A Four-Dimensional Environment-Sensing system drives Air 2S around obstacles, helping it actively avoid them.

Its algorithm for Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS 4.0) has also been improved, allowing it to tackle any obstruction in complex scenarios and at high speeds. 

Mini 3 Pro’s obstacle avoidance capabilities are no less either. It cannot just detect obstacles from the above due to its Tri-Dimensional Sensing System.

Other than this, you can fly with confidence as you navigate the skies with the APAS 4.0 at your back. 

Tip: You can read my article on how to get a drone out of a tree, in case yours gets stuck into one.

Winner: Air 2S

How Can Potential Buyers Choose Between Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S?

Below is a quick summary of how potential buyers, i.e., you, can choose between Mini 3 Pro and Air 2S:

DJI Mini 3 Pro

  • Beginners or casual drone users
  • Those looking for a compact and portable option
  • Hobbyists interested in aerial exploration and basic photography/videography
  • Individuals with a limited budget

DJI Air 2S

  • Professional aerial photographers and videographers
  • Those seeking top-notch camera quality and advanced flight performance
  • Content creators and filmmakers who want high-resolution images and videos
  • Users who prioritize features and capabilities over portability and budget restrictions

Mini 3 Pro vs. Air 2S: FAQs

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to carry your DJI Mini 3 Pro in flight. But you must remove its batteries and put them on your carry-on luggage.

 

This is true whether you carry it as part of carry-on luggage or checked luggage.

Yes, DJI Mini 3 Pro is for beginners. Even my first ever drone was this mini flying machine, and its compact, foldable body, intuitive controls, and automated filming modes are the main reasons. 

 

Apart from the Mini 3 Pro, the Avata is also a good pick for beginners. You can read my entire comparison between these two drones here.

If I speak from the legal perspective, no, DJI Mini 3 Pro can’t fly at night. This is because its position lights don’t meet the FAA criteria for flying at night.

 

Plus, the drone lacks anti-collision lights that must be visible up to a distance of three statute miles.

DJI’s Air 2S is hands down the winner in the battle of camera quality.

 Air 2S is the best drone for aerial photography. It comes with a 1″ CMOS image sensor, 88° field of view (FOV), f/2.8 aperture, and most importantly, better zoom, going up to 4X at 4K 30fps and 8X at 1080p 30 fps.

Conclusion 

As you must have understood by now, both the DJI Mini 3 Pro and the Air 2S make the best consumer drones you can invest in.

These flying gizmos not only offer impressive features tailored to your needs, but also provide unmatched reliability, durability, and ease of use. 

If you’re someone who just likes to fly around and see things from above once in a while, the Mini 3 Pro is just for you.

But if you want to step up your game and get some really cool shots or videos, the Air 2S is the one you want.

It’s camera is way better, perfect for taking your photography and videography skills to the next level.

Nevertheless, you should mind your budget, too. The Air 2S costs a whopping $400 more than the Mini 3 Pro! 

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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