On May 18th, 2023, DJI unveiled an upgrade to its flagship Matrice 300 RTK (M300 RTK), via the new Matrice 350 RTK (M350 RTK). We’re going to break down the difference between the M300 and M350 and highlight the new features of this newest iteration.
The M300 RTK has been DJI’s Enterprise Series since being released in May 2020. It supports 55 minutes of flight time, the ability to support up to three payloads, ingress protection, advanced transmission capabilities, dual pilot support, and advanced safety features, to name a few of its impressive features.
As such, it quickly became an industry workflow in the emergency response, industrial inspection, and high-accuracy mapping sectors. However, it’s been three years since the M300 came on the scene and now DJI has unveiled the upgraded M350 RTK.
What’s new? Let’s take a look!
Upgraded IP Rating
The M350 features an IP 55 rating, making the M350 more robust with regard to flying in dust. In contrast, the M300 is an IP 45 aircraft, which still offers weather protection but is not as robust. With IP ratings, the first number is with respect to protection from Solids and the second number indicates protection from Liquids. Both the M300 (IP 45) and the M350 (IP 55) offer the same water resistance but the M350 is afforded dust protection.
The M350 now comes standard with the ‘awesome’ RC Plus, which is the RC that comes with DJI’s M30 and M30T series. The RC Plus features a 7.02 inch screen size, 1,200 cd/m2, 3.18 internal battery life (6 hours with external battery); IP 54 rated; dual operator support; and -20o C to 50oC operational temperature range. The M300 comes standard with the DJI Smart Controller Enterprise.
*The M300 is also compatible with the RC Plus via a firmware update.
Enhanced FPV Camera
Both the M300 and M350 are equipped with built-in FPV cameras; however, the M350 now has a night-vision FPV camera for improved visibility during low light/night missions. The M350’s FPV is also a higher resolution camera (1080p) as compared to the 960p FPV on the M300.
Batteries, Batteries, Batteries [TB65s]
As any drone pilot knows, battery health and charge life cycles, are key for maintaining your fleet. The M350 is using a new battery system, now using the TB65 Intelligent Flight Battery (M300 = TB 60 intelligent flight battery).
Both the M300 and M350 afford you 55min of flight time (without payload); however, the TB65s are rated for 400 power cycles. This is a two-fold increase over the TB60s, which are rated for 200 charge cycles.
The TB65s are a more efficient battery, which means they can handle twice as many charge cycles before needing to be replaced.
The M350 also uses a new battery station (TB65 Battery Station). The station includes:
- (8) TB65 Battery Charging Ports
- (4) WB37 Battery Charging Ports
- USB-C Maintenance Port
- USB-C Charging Port
- USB-A Charging Port
It will charge (2) TB65, (1) WB37, and the RC Plus (via USB-C) simultaneously. Additionally, when the RC Plus will display battery health information when plugged into the battery station.
Like the M30/M30T battery station (BS30), the TB65 Battery Station (BS65)allows users to select one of three charging modes.
- Standard Mode (recommend for general users): Each pair is charged to 100% in sequence (will self-discharge). 60 min from 0 to 100%
- Ready-to-Fly Mode (recommended for first responders): Each pair is charged to 90% in sequence and kept at 90%. 30 min from 20 to 90%
- Storage Mode (recommended for long-term storage): Each pair is charged and kept at 50%
*The TB65 batteries can also be used with the M300 RTK (via a firmware update). And similarly, the TB60 batteries can be used with the M350 RTK. The BS65 battery station can accommodate TB60 batteries, and the BS60 (M300 battery station) can accommodate the TB65 batteries.
However, TB60 and TB65 batteries should be not intermixed. For example, flying with one TB60 and one TB65 is not advised.
Improved Transmission System
The M350 uses the new DJI O3 Enterprise, which allows for transmission up to 20km. The M300 uses the O2 Enterprise, which has a 15km range. The O3 has an improved anti-interference algorithm, triple channel 1080 HD life video feed, and support 5.2GHz (only available in CE region).
The M350 supports a 4-Antenna design, adding two additional antennas to the back of the aircraft as compared to the M300. This provides the M350 with (2) transmitting and (4) receiving antennae. The system will intelligently select the two optimal to transmit signals while the (4) antennas receive signals simultaneously. Combined that allows for twice the media download speed.
New GNSS/GPS Chip
Both the M300 and M350 are GNSS aircraft, capable of tracking satellites in the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou constellations concurrently. Both are also capable of receiving real-time kinematic (RTK) corrections which provide for centimeter-level positioning. However, the M350 has an improved GNSS chip, which allows for better reception and the tracking of additional satellite signals. Specifically, GPS = L5 and BeiDou B3.
New Aircraft and Battery Cases
The M350 hard case and BS65 battery stations are smaller than the M300 kit, making for improved and easier travel. Both the aircraft hard case and battery station feature (4) universal wheels, allowing for easier rolling. The aircraft hard case can accommodate two payloads at the same time while being 31% smaller as compared to the M300 hard case. The BS65 battery station can accommodate (8) TB65 batteries and (4) WB37 for transportation. Making getting to and from the job site that much easier.
Both the M350 and M300 support the most commonly used DJI’s Zenmuse payloads. And both the M300 and M350 can share batteries and battery stations (via a firmware update) and the M300 can be used with the RC Plus controller.
Additionally, props and third-party payloads that were compatible with the M300 are also compatible with the M350.
The M350 isn’t a reinvention of the already excellent M300 but builds upon an already solid and trusted platform.
With the announcement of the M350, it’s unlikely that M300 owners are going to immediately run out and replace their stock with the newest model, but for those in the market of a new Enterprise platform, it would be hard to pass up the M350 with the suite of upgrades it brings to the market.
If you have any questions regarding the M350, capabilities, or workflows, don’t hesitate to reach out.