MJX Bugs 12 vs Bugs 20 drone comparison (in 2021)

mjx bugs 12 vs mjx bugs 20

The MJX RC launched its two newest models under the X series in September 2020—the Bugs 12 and Bugs 20. Both belonging to the below $200 range, these drones offer more than what its price suggests. With electronic image stabilization feature, these drones are already ranking above its cheaper counterparts from other brands. 

If these were released within the same time frame, then what sets them apart from one another?  One of these clearly have an advantage over the other, like longer flight time and better resolution. 

The question is, which one takes the helm? Are these really the go-to drones within the below-$200 range? 

So many questions to be asked, but all the answers are just right here! So join me as I help you decide which MJX model would better suit your needs. 

Table of Contents

mjx bugs 12

MJX Bugs 12

EIS, 24 min flight time, Foldable, Brushless

mjx bugs 20 drone

MJX Bugs 20

EIS, 22 min flight time, Not foldable, Brushless

MJX Bugs 12 and Bugs 20 Specs and Features

specs camera drones

In this part we’re going to talk about the specs. What sets these two MJX models from other models? For such an affordable price, could they offer more on the table? 

We’ll find out more about that here!

Comparison

mjx bugs 12 vs bugs 20 specs table

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Battery Life

Bugs 12 battery

Both Bugs models are enabled with the same power-rated battery packs at 2cell/3400mAh. However, Bugs 12 rules this aspect simply because its 7.6V 3400 battery gives it a 24-min run, 2 min longer than Bugs 20's. This slight difference is mainly because Bugs 20's motors of 1620 KV consume more energy as compared to Bugs 12's 1500 KV. 

However, Bugs 20 users have the option to extend its battery's longevity by buying an extra one. More batteries, less hassle!

Range (Flight Distance)

Both drones have a range of 600m and an FPV range of 450 to 600m depending on the strength of the signal reception in the area.

GPS Stability

The GPS and optical flow sensors of these drones help them achieve stability while maintaining movement and altitude. Bugs 12 could go as fast as 25 to 40 kph without sacrificing its stability due to its 2204 1620 brushless motors

Bugs 20 has bigger diameter and longer height of brushless motors at 1306, 2750kV. As you can notice, Bugs 20's 2750kV is relatively bigger than Bugs 12's 1620kV, precisely because Bugs 20 weighs lighter, thus requiring a bigger diameter, height, and constant velocity (kV) for it to operate more stably.  

Both of them have orbit modes but if you want to fly the drone indoors, you can turn off the GPS and rely on its optical flow sensors

Bugs 20 brushless motors
Bugs 20's brushless motors

Do they come back after losing signal?

YesYou're not going to have a problem with these two drones on this department. To be fair, both of them have a return-to-home mode. Using a smart controller, you can monitor the height and distance of your drone through an LCD screen. You also have the option to view its whereabouts via live streaming using your smartphone. 

The only disadvantage I could see in here is that their flight mode is not vision-based, unlike their more expensive counterparts. But that doesn't really affect its ability to come back after losing signal. To me, as long as it gets the job done, you don't have to worry. These drones will find their way back to you–just don't forget to turn on the return-to-home mode! 

How much do they weigh? (are they under 250g?)

MJX Bugs 12 weighs about 549g while Bugs 20 is at 543g. Since they are both over 250g, drone operators must secure an FAA registration

When it comes to the the its wingspan, Bugs 12 measures 440 x 400 x 81 mm, quite longer than Bugs 20, which has 380 x 380 x 125 mm length. 

MJX Bugs 12 and Bugs 20's
Camera, Footage and Photos

drone-camera-specs-section.png

Both these drones are attractively priced under $200. But the question is, could they deliver visually-appealing output? 

Scroll down to know more about it! 

mjx bugs 12 camera
Bugs 12
MJX Bugs 20 camera
Bugs 20
mjx bugs 12 vs bugs 20 camera comparison table

How good are the footage and photos?

In this department, I have to be brutally honest. If you want superb camera specs, it really comes with a price. Since these two drones market on affordability, one should not expect it to be at the level of Mavic Air 2 or DJI Mini 2 [click here to see comparison]. 

But considering their price range, I would say Bugs 12 and 20 have a lot to offer. They can both capture 4k at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps, which is exactly what a Mavic Air 2 can do. 

Both models also allow you to watch from first-person view through 5G WiFi. You can also adjust the angle using a remote controller. The only aspect that sets them apart is that with Bugs 12, you can watch it in 720p resolution, whereas Bugs 20 is lower than that. 

 

Sensors & Storage

Both Bugs 12 and 20 have a 1/3″ CMOS sensor. 

Just a tip: since they don't have an internal storage, I advise you to use an integrated micro SD card in saving the photos and videos to get the optimum quality. But if you want instant transmission, you may also save them directly to your smartphone, but only at a lower quality. 

Gimbals

This is where you see the stark contrast between their camera features. On this aspect, I would have to give it to Bugs 12 primarily because it uses a servo, which is lighter and cheaper. And since any flight or head controller is enough to control servo stabilization, you won't need to buy any additional sensor or gimbal controller. 

Meanwhile, Bugs 20's still relies on a one-axis gimbal for stability. And although its camera doesn't operate on an active gimbal, you can still adjust it through the remote. Nevertheless, the isolation mounts do the job in reducing unnecessary vibrations. 

Camera Features & Settings

The optical flow sensors and electronic image stabilization (EIS) settings make both the Bugs 12 and 20 as some of the best beginner-friendly drones you could buy within the $200-300 price range. These help stabilize the video footage as well as create sharper photos. 

In Bugs 20's case, however, do not expect to entirely smooth out the big, wobbly motions because its one-axis gimbal is still far from the three-axis gimbals of DJI Mavic Mini. But if these unwanted, shaky movements are just minor, Bugs 20 can polish those. 

For the camera settings, both these models share the following specs: 

  • lens angle: 130°
  • focal length: 2.8mm
  • aperture: f/2.0
  • shutter speed: 1/30s-1/10000s
  • ISO range: 100 to 3,200

What camera resolutions do they record record in?

Both can record at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 in 30 fps or 1080p in 60 fps. As I mentioned earlier, if you want to save more photos and videos, I highly advise you to use an SD card for more optimum quality. But if you want to save space, you may save the footage directly to your smartphone at a lower quality. 

What smartphones work with it?

These models are pretty compatible with just any Android or Apple smartphone. The only thing you need to do is to download the Bugs GO app. It’s available in both Play Store and Apple Store.

Design and Flight Modes

drone-transmitters

Which design suits your personality? How many flight modes can you do for a below-$200 drone?

The answers are right below! We're nearly heading towards the end, so just stick around!

Design Comparison

Bugs 12 design
Bugs 12
Bugs 20 design
Bugs 20

 With pretty much identicality to almost all features, the most obvious difference between the two drones are their designs. At first sight, Bugs 12 captured my attention because it gives off that sleek, futuristic vibe. If you want to be edgy, this is for you. Bugs 20 on the other hand kind of resembles DJI Mavic Mini; simpler and more professional

Another noticeable difference is the location of landing pads. Bugs 12 has them at the end of its rotor arms while Bugs 20's are situated on its main body, providing better protection to its camera. 

Speaking of camera, both these drones have it on the front side. The only distinction is that Bugs 20's camera is located below the drone because of its one-axis gimbal. 

As for the material, both drones are made of high-quality plastic, making them lighter and more resistant to minor accidents. So if you happen to bump it, it could only have a scratch but the inside component would remain intact. 

Just an addition for Bugs 12, it has four LED lights situated under each of its brushless motors to aid your vision when you fly at night. 

Which one flies faster?

Both of these drones have a maximum speed of 40 kph or 25 mph. They have a slight difference when it comes to engine power. Bugs 12 has 1500 kV while 20 has 1620 kV but that doesn't really make one faster than the other. For its price and size, the control flight experience is generally smooth-flowing. Compared to DJI Mini 2 or Mavic Air 2, that’s relatively slower but again, considering its price, it’s relatively good. 

Both also have a level-4 wind resistance, strong enough to withstand a normal sea breeze. 

What flight modes do Bugs 12 and Bugs 20 have?

flight-modes.jpg

There are various flight modes to choose from. However, remember that these are not vision-based systems so it does not perform autonomously and still requires remote controller. 

  1.     Tap-to-Fly Mode – Allows the drone to fly on its own at a chosen percentage location you’ve set
  1.     Orbit Mode – Revolves around an object you specified
  1.     Follow-Me / Headless Mode – Drone will follow you and record an object of your choice while maintaining distance from it.Check out my tutorial on drone headless mode.
  1.     Return-to-Home Mode – Automatically goes back to your chosen home location before it runs out of power

 Through the LCD screen in your smart controller, you can view all relevant information such as height and distance while the drone is operating. You also have the option to watch it via livestream on your smartphone.

Price, where to buy It?

affordable-drone-by-price

By now you've known very well that these drones are priced attractively below $200. 

Now the question is, who should use these devices and where to buy them? 

The answer is right here. 

Who should buy it?

As I've said earlier, I'm confident to say that Bugs 12 and Bugs 20 fare extremely well in the category of below $200 drones. From camera specs to design, these drones are just exactly what budget-conscious customers are looking for. 

Bugs 12 is priced at $189 while Bugs 20 is at $168. The $21-advantage of Bugs 12 is mainly because of its added features such as: longer flight time, servo gimbal, 720p resolution, and LED lights. Given these additions, it's no-brainer for me to recommend Bugs 12 as the wiser option. If it only takes you an extra $21 to avail all of these, why not go for the better model? 

To sum it up, these drones tick all the boxes from the affordability standpoint. These could even be a viable alternative to the frontrunners in the below-250g category, namely DJI Mavic Mini and Mavic Air 2. As such, I recommend these to beginners who are looking for a practice drone to train with

I also recommend this drone to:

  •         Students
  •         Young professionals with video-editing jobs
  •         Hobbyists
  •         Travelers
  •         Land surveyors

Where to buy it from?

Although it has just been released to the market on September 2020, you could already find MJX Bugs 12 and MJX Bugs 20 in various online selling sites but the cheapest I found was Banggood down below.

mjx bugs 12

MJX Bugs 12

EIS, 24 min flight time, Foldable, Brushless

mjx bugs 20 drone

MJX Bugs 20

EIS, 22 min flight time, Not foldable, Brushless

Frequently asked questions

Do the MJX Bugs 12 and Bugs 20 have electronic image stabilization (EIS)?

Yes! This feature is what sets these drones from other below $200 models. This is perfect for beginners who are on tight budget but want to have stable shots. 

Which one between Bugs 12 and Bugs 20 has longer flight time?

MJX Bugs 12! It could last up to 24min, slightly longer than the 22-min run of Bugs 20.

Can you fly the drone without connecting to the wifi and app?

No, this is a bit strange, but this drone cannot be flown without connect it to the app.

Is it legal to fly in US?
Yes it is legal to fly it in the US, but you will need a permit for it (because it's over 250grams).
 
You also need to respect the limit of 120m altitude.
Can it be used for professional video/photo?
No, this drone isn't really in the professional cateogry, you need to invest a bit more to get into that range.
 
Does it have altitude hold?
Yes, the drone does have both a barometer and sonar for maintaining altitude.
Does it come with a case?

Yes, the drone does come with a great case included.

Hope you enjoyed all the details so far, if you want to check out other drone videos, I suggest you subscribe you my youtube channel.

 

Paul Posea
Paul Posea

Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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