Autel takes on DJI’s Mavic Pro with their new EVO drone
Well, GoPro might be out of the drone game, but it looks like challengers are stepping up to take on DJI. First there was Yuneec’s new Typhoon H Plus, and now Autel Robotics have announced their new EVO; A compact folding drone to take the DJI Mavic Pro head on.
Boasting a 30 minute flight time, the EVO contains all the features we’d hope to find in a competitive drone today. Obstacle avoidance with detouring, not just a dead stop. 4K 60fps camera with a stabilised 3 axis gimbal, and intelligent flight modes with object tracking. And for a price of just under $1,000.
Everybody knew that when DJI released the Mavic Pro we’d see a shift in drone design. Admittedly, none of us probably expected it to be this long before a viable competitor came out, but now it’s here. At least on paper, anyway. Announced at CES 2018, the EVO seems to have a very impressive feature set.
- 4K UHD 60FPS camera equipped on a 3-axis gimbal
- Front & Downward (Computer Vision) and Rear (IR Sensor) Obstacle Avoidance Systems
- 3.3 Inch built-in OLED screen remote controller with 720p live video
- 30-minute flight time
- Speeds up to 20 meters per second
- 4300 mAh Li-Po Battery, 1.3 hour recharge time
- 7km (4.2 mi) Range
- Autel Explorer app allowing for intelligent flight features & more
With a 30 minute flight time, it beats out the original DJI Mavic Pro, and matches the new Mavic Pro Platinum at $1,099. It offers a slightly faster flight speed of 20m/sec vs the Mavic’s 17.9m/sec. This, combined with the dynamic tracking and 3-axis gimbal should make following moving subjects a breeze.
A new Autel Explorer app for iOS and Android will come with the device. This allows accesse to the autonomous orbit, GPS follow, dynamic track, viewpoint and waypoint flight modes. But with the built in 3.3″ LCD you technically shouldn’t need a phone to fly the drone at all. Of course, on a screen that tiny, you’ll probably get quite frustrated rather quickly.
Autel say that the EVO drone will come in at $999, although they’ve not yet specified a release date. They say that will be coming closer to the time of actual release which is “very soon”.
Find out more on the Autel Robotics website.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.