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Exo Mini vs. DJI Mini 3 (Which One is Right for You?)

8 mins
Drone Blog
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I was once a newbie drone pilot, and I crashed my first drone to death. This was a long time ago when we had no alternatives like the Exo Mini and DJI Mini 3.

The Exo Mini and DJI Mini 3 make your life easier. They come with built-in features for a seamless learning process.

The Exo Mini and DJI Mini 3 aim for the same end user. A person who is starting to pilot a drone, but also wants a drone capable of taking beautiful footage and flying smoothly.

And finally, a drone they can carry anywhere and last for years. However, they differ in features such as the camera section and safety.

Then, which one is right for you?

We will reveal the good and bad about each other. And finally, we will compare them to understand which one to choose according to your needs.

Although these are beginner drones, that doesn’t mean they are toys.

These are no enterprise drones either, but you can use them in professional environments.

They are far from being considered mapping drones, but you can use them in recognition activities in agriculture and construction.

However, they shine in the content creation space. With their capable cameras, you will surely find them helpful in creating video tutorials or streaming live.

Exo Mini****Weight: 249g Range: 5 Miles Max Speed: 30mph Max Flying Time: 35 minutes Camera Resolution: 12MP Camera Sensor: 1/2.6-inches CMOS Sensor Video Resolution: Up to 4K@30 Obstacle Avoidance: None RTH: YesDJI Mini 3****Weight: 248g Range: 5 Miles Max Speed: 35mph Max Flying Time: 38 minutes Camera Resolution: 12MP Camera Sensor: 1/1.3-inches CMOS Sensor Video Resolution: Up to 4K@30 Obstacle Avoidance: None RTH: Yes

Design and Build #

They are, in so many ways, made the same.

Being tiny, DJI and EXO built these drones robust. That’s why they can maintain stability in windy conditions up to 23.6 mph (38 kph).

Both gimbals are sturdy, giving the feel they’ll withstand impacts from a crash. The DJI gimbal rotates 90 degrees to take vertical shots, so it’s the clear winner for social media creators.

From the design perspective, the two of them have landing gear on the front legs, helping to protect the gimbal and camera.

Camera #

Both cameras are 12MP, but the DJI Mini 3 stands out.

The Mini 3 camera section lets you film landscapes and scenery in general. They perform in sunny and dark environments, giving you extreme detail in every shot.

On the other hand, the EXO Mini camera works fantastic only in scenarios with good ambient light. This drone camera captures crisp footage only if the shot takes place in the opposite direction from the sun.

In the camera section, the clear winner is the DJI Mini 3.

Remote Controller #

The EXO drone comes with a BLACKHAWK RC. It is small and lightweight, having mobile device support on the bottom and two foldable antennas on top. You can place it easily in any pocket.

Its buttons are comfortable when pressing them. The joysticks look delicate but give you a sturdy feeling to the touch. It is a reliable RC that will survive hard use.

However, it doesn’t feel as premium as the DJI options.

You can get the DJI Mini 3 with an RC-N1 or a DJI RC. Both RCs feel durable but are bulky.

The RC-N1 works with mobile devices equal to the BLACKHAWK RC. The only difference comes in the mobile device holder and antennas section.

The RC-N1 device holder is on top and works as the antenna.

The two remote controllers feel comfortable with smartphones. With tablets, the RC-N1 supports a tablet holder you can purchase as it is an accessory.

The DJI RC targets users that want to avoid using their phones as part of the remote controller. However, it comes with an increased cost.

All these remote controllers can control the drone at a max range of 5 Miles.

DJI and EXO draw in the remote controller section.

» Read More: DJI Mini 3 Pro vs. Exo Mini Pro (Which One is Right for You?)

Intelligent Flight Modes #

EXO packed its drone with many of the same intelligent flight features as the DJI Mini 3 Pro version, so it’s superior to the DJI Mini 3.

Both the EXO Mini and DJI Mini 3 have Quickshot with the same functions but different names. This mode sets the drone in automatic flight, taking creative footage with attractive camera movements.

However, the EXO Mini has the most appealing modes. The most renowned is the follow-me, which sticks the drone to you wherever you go.

The other is the Waypoint Fly, which lets you set GPS locations so the drone will fly automatically.

Flying Time #

Both drones end up having the same flying time with their standard batteries. They fly 30 to 33 minutes in normal mode and 20% less with the wind resistance mode.

However, DJI is one step ahead with the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus. It gives you up to 51 minutes, so it’s perfect for content creators filming full cinematics without battery replacement.

Apps #

The DJI Mini 3 works with the DJI Fly app, and the EXO Mini works with the Blackhawk app. These work for calibration, navigation, and as a general hub to set important parameters like RTH (return to home).

The only substantial difference is in the restriction areas.

The Fly app disables your drone from flying in specific locations where prohibited to do so. It divides the areas into several colors, making you understand where it’s safe to fly.

The Blackhawk app doesn’t have that functionality.

That’s why they give you an FAA 107 free course once you purchase an EXO drone. This course teaches you the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones.

Price #

From the price point perspective, it’s about your personal preferences and needs. Both drones’ pricing is very similar or almost insignificantly different, so you might need to ask yourself: What do I value the most?

The EXO Mini has more flying modes, but the DJI Mini 3 camera is superior to the EXO Minis.

Although it’s not set in stone, the Mini 3 may get an SDK to upgrade the intelligent flying modes.

This move would leave the EXO at a clear disadvantage, as the camera section will only improve by a hardware update.

Who is the Exo Mini for? #

This is the drone for the absolute beginner looking to enjoy pro features.

With an Exo Mini, you will be able to use the follow-me mode. It can follow people or vehicles from the back, front, and sides.

A feature that makes it helpful for filming you running, bicycling, or doing a video tutorial on open areas only.

This drone lacks obstacle avoidance, only having a downward sensor simply for collision warning. This makes the follow-me risky, as you will need to constantly check your drone.

It is suitable in windy conditions even when the wind-resist mode is not working. Meaning you will save battery for more flying time.

Once you set this mode, the Exo Mini can maintain a stable flight in intense winds.

On top of that, you’ll have 5–8-day free shipping if you’re in the USA. EXO is a company based in the USA, meaning getting support is easier and faster.

Its weakest point is the camera section. It lacks dual native ISO, so there is no HDR. Footage in bright environments lacks contrast, resulting in quality loss.

For professional purposes, where cinematics needs high-fidelity imagery, the Exo Mini isn’t an option.

Pros #

  • It has a downward collision warning sensor
  • US-based company with impressive customer support
  • Free FAA Part 107 course when you purchase an EXO Mini
  • It has a follow-me mode

Cons #

  • The camera isn´t suitable for photos or footage in bright environments
  • RTH works poorly when the battery is low

Who is the DJI Mini 3 for? #

If you are looking for a more advanced camera, the DJI Mini 3 captures crisp footage in any environment.

It takes beautiful cinematics, even with the sun directly hitting the camera. Thanks to the 4K HDR functionality, it delivers excellent contrast in light or dark environments.

Besides, it’s the perfect companion for social media geeks. The gimbal rotates to a completely vertical orientation, making shooting for TikTok and Instagram Reels easier.

It is also packed with Quickshots. These intelligent flight modes will help you enhance your cinematics to a pro level.

It can do boomerangs and spiral movements while taking short videos which you can instantly share on social media without prior editing.

Ultimately, its camera section makes this drone perfect for inexperienced pilots, with a strong interest in high-fidelity footage.

However, a drone with such a great camera will benefit from a follow-me mode.

The DJI Mini 3 can use two kinds of batteries. It comes with the standard intelligent flight battery that delivers up to 38 minutes of flying.

And if you need more flying time, the intelligent flight battery Plus gives you up to 51 minutes of flying.

Pros #

  • The camera works impeccably in every environment
  • The gimbal rotates to take vertical pictures and videos
  • You can upgrade the flying time to 51 minutes

Cons #

  • It doesn’t have obstacle avoidance sensors
  • It doesn’t have a follow-me mode


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