In this comparison between the Hubsan Zino Mini Pro vs DJI Mini 2, we’ll look at the insane specs the new under 250g Zino drone has and if they are more relevant than what DJI has to currently offer.
We’ll see in this article that many of the specs of the Zino Mini Pro are definitely beating DJI on many levels (which is really hard to see these days), but the question is if it’s trustworthy enough for real life situations.
I’ll constantly update this article with news regarding actual real-life testing of the Zino, so you know you’re not lagging behind.
Let’s get started…
Let’s start by confirming that this Zino drone is actually under 250 grams, and it is officially confirmed to be at 249g from a live feed we’ve seen of the Hubsan team presenting the drone (more on why that was a failure later).
They actually managed to show the drone hovering for 42 minutes in the air (indoors), so it is true that the battery life specs of the Zino Mini are 40 minutes of flight time, which is quite outstanding and definitely above what DJI Mini 2 can do.
In this section we’ll have a look at some of the main specs compared, with a focus on the camera specs and sensors.
I’ll update this article with relevant side by side photos as soon as we get a hold of them to compare.
Until then we’ll have to see what the slight spec differences are between these drones and why that is important.
One of the most obvious differences between these two cameras is that the Zino has a considerably larger sensor.
The zino comes with a 1/1.3” sensor compared to the 1/2.3” on the DJI Mini 2, it makes it twice as large, and pretty close to actually being a 1-inch sensor.
You can see the difference in the photo comparison I have attached, and having a larger sensor helps with nighttime shots and having way less noise in low light.
A larger sensor means that it can gain more information in terms of light that gets in and the final image turns out to be more detailed if everything goes well.
Another advantage would be a better dynamic range, which means you won’t get an overblown sky during the day and you can see more details in the shadows.
Now there are other factors in determining the quality of a sensor, and size isn’t everything. Considering DJI is by far the larger company, their attention to detail will probably prevail, but will it be enough to compensate for the considerable difference in sensor size? We’ll see…
The Zino Mini Pro can zoom in up to 6x while the DJI Mini 2 can 4x zoom, the difference is that while the Mini 2 can only use digital zoom (the drone zooms in the actual footage and makes it lower quality), the Zino, on the other hand, has a small amount of actual optical zoom (which is lossless, so it’s actually done from the lens itself).
We don’t yet know how much of this 6x is optical, it could be 2x optical and 3x digital, I think that would be a good combo, less than that, and it’s not really that practical.
The zoom-in option is great for keeping your distance from certain events, animals or even changing the visual perspective a bit to get an interesting effect.
I actually value a good optical zoom quite a lot in the creative process when filming with a drone.
Having a lot of megapixels isn’t always a good idea, but it certainly will get you waaay more details in the image to work with, and zoom in post-processing for those photo details, if you want to crop some of it.
Usually, the more megapixels a camera has the less light will shine per pixel, so there is a change of some noise to appear, however, if the dimensions of the sensor are larger, then it shouldn’t be any problem.
Once again, the Zino mini seems to have won this side of the competition.
Aperture means how open the lens is and the more open the lens, the more light can shine through, and usually the shallower the field of view.
In the case of a drone, a lower aperture means that the sensor receives more light, so once again the ZIno Mini has a larger aperture of f/1.85 compared to the f/2.8 of the DJI Mini 2.
THe F/1.85 aperture is something you usually see in prime lenses for DSLR cameras, so I’m quite impressed they managed to get this far with it.
Another point that might actually make this a great low-light drone.
As you probably know, the DJI mini 2 doesn't follow me, mainly from two reasons: DJI told us that it can be too dangerous to implement without obstacle avoidance sensors and for potential overheating issues in the drone.
On the other hand, the Hubsan Zino Mini Pro does come with both the follow me option as well as forward and backward obstacle avoidance sensors.
This is quite outstanding, but there is a concern I have…
I don’t trust hubsan will be even close to the level of Follow me technology DJI has implemented, and same goes for obstacle avoidance.
So until I see definitive proof that this works as intended, I’ll stand my ground.
Ok, the optical flow is found in most drones these days, and both of these have it, but what differs now, is the addition of an LED light for landing during night time (on the Zino).It is kind of a gimmick but I had to mention this as I personally feel like it looks very cool and impressive (I tried it with my old DJI Mavic 2 Pro).
Let’s have a look at how the controllers differ and maybe talk a bit about range and FPV connection too.
We can see that the new Zino Controller is heavily inspired by the older DJI Mavic controllers, and I personally don’t like it that much, I much more prefer the feel and quality of the new DJI controller and even the controller of another under 250 gram drone called the Fimi X8 Mini.
I do like that it’s quite simple, with a bottom compartment that you can drag out, which makes it easy to insert the phone (from all the styles I’ve experienced so far).
However, having tested the previous Hubsan controllers, I have to admit the quality is clearly poorer compared to DJI, and I’m a bit worried about that.
The Zino mini Pro can stream video in 1080p to the phone directly, making it better for use with a larger tablet instead of just a phone, and seeing more details in your footage.
The DJI Mini 2 can stream in 720p and the difference is important if you want to see as many details as possible in the livestream. I have personally compared the Mini 2 with the Air 2 and you can definitely tell it's easier to distinguish things on the screen (especially important in search and rescue missions or simply framing things better).
Should you buy the ZIno Mini Pro because of the better all around specs or the DJI Mini 2 because of the reliability of the company?
I would say that until we see clear comparisons and tests online between these drones, you should not get into choosing one or the other (or even preorder the Zino).