autel x-star autel evo

Autel Evo: Has the DJI Mavic Met Its Match?

The Autel Evo is a compact quadcopter capable of folding up much like the DJI Mavic. It is capable of taking 4K video at an impressive 60 fps. It also boasts a flight time of up to 30 minutes and a range of 7000 meters. Did Autel do enough to compete with the Mavic? Let’s find out.

What is the Autel Evo?

Autel vs DJI

Take a look at the Autel Evo in its compact form.

The Evo in an impressive feat of engineering. It uses cameras and sensors on the front, bottom, and back of the drone to create 2D and 3D maps which allow it to both sense and avoid obstacles in its path. Unlike some obstacle avoidance systems, it will not simply halt the drone. Instead, the Evo will maneuver it safely around the obstacle in its path.

Halfchrome DJI Mavic various views

The Mavic has all the same sensors as the Evo except that it lack’s the Evo’s rear-facing IR obstacle avoidance.

At CES the Autel representatives describe an impressive ability to not only sense obstacles but also the ability record their location in memory as the drone changes view angle and orientation.

autel evo obstactle avoidance

Take a look at the dual cameras and sonar sensors on the bottom of the Autel Evo.

Here is a complete list of the sensors on the Evo

  • Primary forward camera
  • Forward stereo cameras for obstacle avoidance
  • Downward stereo cameras
  • Downward sonar sensors
  • Rear IR obstacle
  • GPS
Autel Evo rear IR sensors halfchrome

The Autel Evo has IR obstacle avoidance in the back.

The Autel Evo Camera

The camera looks pretty impressive and rests on a three-axis gimbal. It uses a 3.5 mm lens, has a field of view of 94-degrees and a focal ratio of f/2.8. It will transmit a live video feed to the remote controller. You won’t have to use your smartphone since the remote has a 3.3″ OLED display that will show the live HD video. That should allow you to get the Evo into the air a lot faster than a drone that requires setup to your phone like the DJI Spark or Mavic. Should you desire a larger screen than a business card you can still plug in a smartphone for a larger lag-free display.

 

autel evo 4k hd camera

Have a look at the camera and sensors on the front of the Autel Evo.

There were multiple Evos with multiple cameras at CES. While we don’t know yet if they will be released, we know they are testing the Evo with a 360-degree camera as well as a larger camera with a one-inch sensor.

 

DJI Mavic camera halfchrome

The camera and gimbal on the Mavic are smaller and possibly less stable than those on the Evo

Autel Evo Features

The Autel Evo will be able to use its camera to produce full-scale 3D maps. This feature a makes the Evo more than just a videography tool, but also a 3D mapping tool. Sure you could use your DJI Mavic or Phantom to do some 3D mapping, but you’ll have to download 3rd party software to do that. You can do it natively in the Autel Explorer app.

The Autel Evo is a full-featured GPS quadcopter. The Evo will feature smart flight modes similar to their X-Star Premium. It will have aptly-named modes including Orbit, GPS Follow, Dynamic Track, Viewpoint and Waypoint Mission Planning. This smaller “flying pumpkin” (a name often given to the original X-Star Premium) is one smart drone.

Autel Evo vs DJI Mavic

Is this enough to compete with the Mavic? It seems the flight time and range are about equal. They are roughly the same size. The Evo gets the thumbs up for better camera specs. The Evo with the integrated OLED screen makes setup a little easier. However, you can’t discount the years of experience DJI has in developing the Mavic’s software and firmware. There is a lot of information about the Mavic and we know exactly how it performs. The Mavic is an excellent quadcopter. Will the Evo one-up the Mavic? Time will tell. On paper, the Evo does look like a slightly better drone. That is until DJI releases the Mavic 2…

Halfchrome Evo and Mavic top view

The Autel Evo compared to the DJI Mavic

Should You Get an Autel Evo?

The Seattle-based Autel is known for excellent customer service and cameras with excellent image quality. With Autel discontinuing the X-Star they will be putting all of their efforts into the new Evo. The Evo is set to be released in March and as of now, the price is $999. Will that be enough to compete with the DJI Mavic? We will see…

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Half Chrome • January 10, 2018


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