If you are a drone enthusiast, you will most likely admit DJI drones are dominating the high-end drone market; there is no doubt in this, period.
On the other hand, Autel Robotics, a Washignton-headquarted company, is a kind of startup that has made the ultra-competitive market of drones its specialty. By launching into consumer drones manufacturing, they enter the very closed circle of companies that can officially tease DJI. For the moment, there was only Parrot to really have the means to do so. Yuneec on the other hand is another Chinese manufacturer which is already established with a wide range of products.
Back in January at CES 2018, Autel announced they have something in the making, the successor of the X-Star Premium, which will be released for sale in June 2018, named Autel Robotics EVO.
To be honest, EVO is a drone that strangely looks like a Mavic Pro (by its folding arms to the obstacle sensors); but don’t get fooled by looks. The drone features specifications the Mavic Pro lacks (plus a unique orange color!). Also, it is legally cleared of any suspicion of plagiarism. It really looks like the Lamborghini of drones!
Anyway, one could certainly criticize Autel Robotics for their lack of originality, but in a world dominated by DJI, it would be suicidal not to be inspired by the big boy. This does not prevent that EVO is a rather well finished drone, which films in 4K 60fps!
Many people think that Autel Robotics, with EVO model, comes to give a good old-fashioned club hit right in DJI’s face.
Read my quick review below of “The Evolution Of Flight” to see if I share the same opinion.
Top Features/ Specs
- Flight Time: 30 minutes
- Multiple sensors
GPS, Primary forward camera, Forward stereo cameras (for obstacle avoidance), Downward stereo cameras, Downward sonar sensors, Rear IR obstacle
- Obstacle avoidance
The above sensors help the drone fly around or over obstacles instead of stopping
- Dynamic track
Evo can follow humans and objects by drawing a box around the subject
By selecting a point of interest, the drone will fly a perfect circle making cinematic shots easy
- What’s Included?
Quadcopter, Power Cable, Micro-USB Cable, USB-C Cable, Remote Controller Cable, Intelligent Battery, 3 x Spare Propeller Pairs, 32GB microSD Card
First of all, Evo differentiates itself from its competitors by adding a small 3.3-inch 720p HD display to its remote controller. In addition, a huge 4300 mAh Lipo battery allows the EVO to fly for up to 30 minutes. The remote controller on the other hand, despite the presence of the screen, can support up to 3 hours of transmission.
Finally, its maximum speed does slightly exceed the Mavic Pro, at 44mph (72 km/h).
I highly suggest you to watch a short video of the EVO to get into the mood. We can see that EVO is not messing around at all, and that the 4K 60fps looks great, a fluidity that the Mavic Pro sometimes lacked.
Going to the bad points, the drone could only fly for an average of 26 minutes making it fly for 87% of what the company claims. As for me, I think this is absolutely normal, as companies test those inside perfect environments. Once the battery level reaches 10 percent, EVO will initiate a descent.
The dynamic tracking and obstacle avoidance system work to a certain degree. Don’t expect miracles, as these technologies are fairly new and are constantly optimized through firmware updates.
- It is solid (not fragile)
- It is very quiet
- Obstacle avoidance is a really useful feature
- The controller has a 3.3″ built-in display
- It shoots videos at 4K 60fps
- 30 minutes flight time is not achieved
- Its climb rate is slow
The parody ends when it becomes clear that the strategy of the company is to make a better-in-specifications drone than the Mavic Pro, and to be priced below the Mavic Pro 2.
Autel Evo is technically more interesting than the Mavic Pro. I definitely recommend it for any professional pilot. Hobbyists can get it as well if they have prior experience flying drones (You don’t want to learn how to fly a drone on this drone). It is also worth to mention that Autel has an excellent customer service.