The DJI Mini 2 is probably one of the most popular DJI drones out there, if not the most popular. In fact, most people who aren’t even into drones can recognize the DJI Mini 2’s design at a first glance.
Known for its portability and performance, it comes with a slew of features that makes it really worth every penny. Those features however make for a big power consumption that requires advanced batteries.
Enter Intelligent Flight Battery, the DJI Mini 2’s default battery and what we’ll be talking about in this article. We’ll go over what this battery actually is, how long it takes to charge it, and ways to charge it faster.
Let’s talk about the battery first, the intelligent flight battery. A fancy name for a battery, but deserving nonetheless.
It’s a LiPo battery with a 2250 mAh capacity, which is pretty good for a small drone.
So we said the DJI Mini 2 has a LiPo battery, a LiPo 2S to be exact (we’ll get to that in a minute), but what actually is a LiPo battery?
LiPo stands for Lithium Polymer. LiPo batteries are composed of a lithium-based cathode and anode separated by a polymer electrolyte.
LiPo batteries are a god-send for drones and drone fans alike, because unlike traditional and common Li-Ion batteries, Lipo batteries have the same energy density as their counterpart but also have less of a risk of leaking.
That pretty much covers it. The DJI Mini 2 actually has a LiPo 2S battery. 2S means that Mini 2’s battery includes two cells in every series. Knowing that the default voltage of each cell is 3.7 volts, the DJI Mini 2 has 7.7 volts per series (like I said, it has double the cells of a normal LiPo battery).
But enough technical jargon, all of the above simply means you’ve got a very good battery sitting inside your DJI Mini 2. It provides 31 minutes of flight time, and with its built in battery management system it provides real time status of the battery directly to your drone app.
The process is extremely simple. There are actually two ways to charge your DJI Mini 2, the first and traditional way being by plugging the drone directly to a power adapter using the Type C cable.
The second way is getting a charging hub from DJI, it’s relatively cheap. It’s like a small dock that can charge three DJI Mini 2 batteries at once, quite efficient if you need to fly for long periods and need to charge batteries on the fly (pun intended).
So the way you’d go about charging your Mini 2 is simple:
1. Insert your battery
Simply place the Intelligent Flight Battery into your DJI Mini 2 through its back battery port. You'll hear a clicking sound that indicates the battery has been fully inserted into the battery’s port.
2. Close the battery port
Ensure the battery is well inserted before closing. You’ll hear another clicking sound after you close the back port.
3. Connect your charging cable
Use your Type C cable and plug the drone directly to the power adapter.
If you choose to go with the Charging-Hub route, simply put your batteries in it and plug it through a Type-C cable to a power adapter.
And voilà! Simply wait until your battery is fully charged. How long that takes is what we’ll cover in the next section.
A solid question after what we just covered. You’ve plugged your batteries and are now waiting for them to charge. Should you leave them charging overnight or wait for 20 minutes while you eat your breakfast before grabbing them? The answer is neither.
DJI Mini 2 batteries take 4 hours to fully charge, as stated on the drones spec sheet. That duration can vary depending on various factors like the battery’s health, temperature, and charging cycles.
If you’re flying for extended filming sessions and would like to keep flying continuously, a neat way I’ve found on reddit is to get more Intelligent flight batteries from DJI, maybe a couple charging hubs too. That ensures you always have charged batteries ready to be swapped in whenever a battery runs out of charge.
Factors that influence DJI Mini 2’s charging time
Like I said, the Mini 2’s batteries don’t always take 4 hours to charge. Sometimes it’s less than that, sometimes more. That’s because there are other factors that influence charging time.
1. Battery health
LiPo batteries are considered fully charged when they reach 4.2v/cell though their “safe” charging range is about 3v/cell. In the case of the DJI Mini 2’s LiPo 2S battery, it’s 7.7 volts. When you keep fully charging the battery, all the time, the individual cells are ruined. You’ll notice that “unhealthy” batteries usually take less time to charge but they only hold that charge for a short while. Which is why it’s recommended to only charge batteries to 90% and then recharge them when they drop to 20% (more on battery cycles in the sections below).
You might have noticed that some drones have what is called self-heating when it comes to their batteries (notably DJI’s latest Matrice 30). The reason for that is simple, temperatures affect charging time.
Batteries work best in temperatures that are slightly above room temperature, that’s because prolonged exposure to cold temperatures has a big impact on battery performance and safety. When temperatures drop the internal resistance of the battery is increased. This means that it requires more effort by the battery to charge, in turn lowering the capacity, and shortening the lifespan of the battery.
3. Charging method
Like we discussed above, when it comes to the DJI Mini 2, there are two methods: USB charging and Charging hub. The latter is known for charging a battery at a faster rate as it delivers up to 29 watts as opposed to the USB charging’s 18 watts.
It’s easy to know when your battery is charged if you’re using the Type C cable to your drone. You just check your drone app. But what about when you’re charging your batteries using the Charging Hub?
DJI Mini 2’s Charging Hub has 4 LED light indicators that have three states: On, Off and Flashing. They indicate the current charge of the batteries and if it’s time to take it off the charging hub.
So how do you make sense of these LED indicators? I’ve made a detailed table showing you exactly that!
|ON||ON||ON||ON||battery level > 88%|
|ON||ON||ON||FLASHING||75% < battery level ≤ 88%|
|ON||ON||ON||OFF||63% < battery level ≤ 75%|
|ON||ON||FLASHING||OFF||50% < battery level ≤ 63%|
|ON||FLASHING||OFF||OFF||38% < battery level ≤ 50%|
|ON||OFF||OFF||OFF||25% < battery level ≤ 38%|
|FLASHING||OFF||OFF||OFF||13% < battery level ≤ 25%|
|OFF||OFF||OFF||OFF||0% < battery level ≤ 13%|
So far we’ve covered a lot and we can finally get into an important topic regarding your DJI Mini 2 battery. A factor that’s crucial to your charging time and battery life: Battery cycle.
Before we get into how many cycles the DJI Mini 2 battery has, we should first define what a cycle is. The cycle life of a battery is the number of charge and discharge cycles that a battery can complete before losing performance.
The loss of performance happens gradually and will eventually render the battery unusable. It’s inevitable and there is no way around it as the technology to create a battery that doesn’t degrade is just not available yet.
So knowing that definition, how many cycles does the DJI Mini 2 battery have?
Kept above 50% charge all the time, the Mini 2 battery will have 500 cycles. The number of cycles lowers if you only charge your battery when it’s close to depletion: kept at 30% charge the cycles are 300, and below 30% charge it’s only 100 cycles.
I’ve made a detailed article about drone batteries where I outline how to keep your batteries healthy and it has to do with the cycles. The gist of it is to try to charge your battery before it drops below 40%, that way you ensure more cycles and a longer battery life-span.
We covered a lot in this article and as you can see the DJI Mini 2, despite being small, packs a cutting edge battery. All of this is due to the DJI engineer’s team's desire to create the most optimized drone out there.
I’ve outlined how to take better care of your battery and I hope you follow those tips as it’ll save you some money down the line. To read more about drone batteries in general, you can check my previous article where I cover them in detail.