Newbie Questions for Follow Mode on a Mini 2

I saw a recent news article that Litchi now supports the Mini 2. I then watched the handful of YouTube videos that were out there and it looks interesting enough to try out; however, I noticed the price is $25 which is a bit steep for an app that you cannot try before you buy to ensure compatibility with your devices and potentially has some serious regulatory issue for my intended use case.

Therefore, I have to resort asking you for assistance in this matter…

While I have been using a GoPro for riding a bike down the side of a mountain (1400 foot decent); however, the review at 2nd Beta Test of Litchi on DJI Mini 2: More test on "Follow Mode" - YouTube with regarding following a phone indicates that the follow mode will not work for elevation change for a phone that does not have a barometer in it. In this video which was the first beta since the SDK release indicates that his phone was unable to to control the drone’s altitude while climbing or descending a hill. So, if I were to tracking myself (in heading leash mode to keep a visual on it), with the drone about 30 feet (10 meters) above tree top level (100 feet AGL) in wilderness going down the side of the mountain the end altitude would be 1500 feet AGL making it illegal by excessive altitude by 1100 feet.

That said, I do have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which is an Android 5.0 (lollipop) which does have a barometer in it; however, I noticed that the latest version of Litchi which is now compatible with a Mini 2; however, the latest version is the first version of Litchi that is no longer compatible with Android 5.

However, I do have two newer phones, a Moto G Stylus (2020 model) running Android 11 (64-bit ARM) which I use the DJI Fly app on, and a Samsung J330 running Android 10 (32-bit). The J330 has the most accurate positioning from its GPS/…

Knowing this, I have the following questions…

  1. Is there a try before you buy option available to ensure phone compatibility and ensure that the desired feature set that will assist in controlling the Mini 2 without violating the FAA’s AGL altitude regulations? If not, then…

  2. I think I saw in the CRYSTALSKY monitor thread that the next version of Litchi will support Android 5 (since it was just removed on this version). Is the Galaxy Note 3 a suitable phone to interface with the Mini 2’s controller when Android 5 support is restored? If not, then…

  3. Will litchi work with a Moto G Stylus 2020 (no barometer) attached to the Mini 2 controller and allow it to follow it with altitude change going down the side of a mountain using the phone’s GPS sensor altitude (which is +/- 50 times less accurate than a barometric altitude)? [I think it is from the 'What’s New section listed in Google Play for ‘Follow Terrain’ - please confirm] If not, then…

  4. Does the most current official version support a pseudo DGPS (Differential GPS where the known GPS altitude of the drone is compared against the known GPS altitude of the phone) for a more accurate AGL flight path in the ‘Follow Terrain’ mode? If not, then…

  5. Can the Note 3 (Android 5.0) barometer be used as ‘Magic Leash’ for more accurate Terrain following?

  6. Can the orbit feature use the follow mode (as trees may obscure my ride and I see that visual tracking only works about half of the time) for a cinematic orbit style follow? If so, how fast can I ride before it loose track of me?

  7. Is the orbit mode strictly circular at the same altitude, or can it be programmed as an ellipse with varying altitudes? I would love to do a panoramic oval video of riding on a ridgeline like I have seen others do with their more expensive drones.

  8. I noticed on all of the review videos that the aircraft has jerky yaw. Are there any plans to incorporate the new DJI Fly (advanced settings) smooth controls just made available to the Mini 2 to make the video smoother? (See DJI Mini 2 - Fly App Update with New Controls for Smoother Flying & Cinematic Video - Tutorial - YouTube for examples of EXP stick sensitivity settings)

  9. When I last looked at the price of the app at Thanksgiving it was a lot less. When is the next time that the Litchi app going to go on Sale? Are there any discounts?

  10. What else is planned for expanded functionality for the Mini 2 that has yet to be implemented?

Thanks for your time and attention to this matter.

  1. Please purchase the app to try it. Contact within reasonable time after purchase if you have any issues

  2. We will restore android 5 support very soon (it is in testing), so note 3 should work but please keep in mind it is generally not a good idea performance wise to use a 9 year old device

  3. We will also enable altitude following for devices with just a GPS (no barometer), it is currently in testing and so far in our tests accuracy looks on par with the pressure sensor

  4. No

  5. Currently LML does not forward any altitude data so it can not allow terrain following. If there is enough demand we will look at updating LML to add support for it

  6. Currently not supported

  7. You can control altitude and change the radius manually during the orbit. But currently you can not automate that

  8. DJI Fly’s Advanced gimbal control settings are in effect when using Litchi. The settings for the RC joysticks (exp etc) will not affect autonomous flights, only manual flight

  9. We usually only do a sale on black friday but we do not announce sales in advance

  10. The list of improvements we want and hope to make is very long! Be sure to post suggestions in the features section of the forum