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Customer ratings & reviews
Fantastic Engineering and Solid BuildPosted
The Autel Robotics drone isn't quite what I expected. The unit comes in svelte packaging and includes a carrying tote that allows for easy travel with all necessary accessories. Accessories Removable Battery - This unit comes with a removable battery which can only be charged while detached from the drone. The battery itself has LED to indicate charge level. Two-in-One Charging Brick - The charging brick comes equipped with ports to charge the drone's battery as well as the drone's controller. The all-in-one device means I don't have to carry around extra chargers. Though the controller charging port uses standard USB, the interface for the drone battery port uses a proprietary interface. Drone carrying tote - The carrying tote is well made and allows for easy packing and safe transportation of your the drone, its charging accessories, spare parts, and a few other tid-bits. It's about the size of a standard lunch box. It's remarkably convenient and inconspicuous. Spare Parts - The unit ships with two pairs of replacement blades in case you have a mishap and damage your blades. Additionally, there are a few extra interface adaptors to allow connecting your phone to the controller (USB C, mini, micro, etc). You'll need to use your own lightning cable if you're using an iPhone. Huge bummer as the supplied adaptors for other ports are cut-to-length and provide just enough slack to connect the devices and mount them. Drone Controller - The controller is something to behold. It feels substantial and it feels great in hand. A quick glance and you might mistake it for a PS Vita. The controller has the usual joysticks, some fore finger ready buttons to control various aspects of the drone such as flight and camera swivel controls. The controller also has a built-in sturdy telescoping phone grip for easy and secure placement of your mobile device (we tested with iPhone 8 Plus). You can see the drone's viewscreen from the controller or your phone. The phone, when connected to the controller via a standard USB accessory cable, grants enhanced feature access via the free iOS and Android app. Be sure to download the correct app as Autel has a few out there; they're not all compatible. Please refer to the documentation for the correct one. Use This drone is beyond the others I've used before. I was wary of another drone because I'm just not that great at controlling them using the controls provided. But Autel has done a great job of making their premium controller feel comfortable and responsive. I'm still getting used to it, but the convenience features such as launch, hover, and return to home are also great to have and work great. The unit's lights help make the unit clearly visible and also help communicate status. Mechanically, you can just hear the power behind the propellers. My dogs go nuts for the unit! There is a lot of power driving this unit. The foldable arms bring propeller arms in tight to the body of the unit and make handling the unit easy and comfortable. Camera The camera on the unit seems super flimsy! But it's made that way as the unit's made to swivel and rotate almost every which way. It comes with a plastic cover/guard to protect the unit while it's stored and not in-flight. The control of the unit's remarkably precise even if a little awkward. Choosing between watching the drone or the screen of your controller/phone can be tough! Unfortunately, I'm only able to attach two pictures with my review or I'd try and post some of the unit in action in nicer weather. I'd also love to post a video of it in action. If that becomes an option, I'll revisit my review and make the appropriate additions. I'd also post some pictures captured by the drone (if they're worth while). I'm headed to the Rockies this weekend and should be able to replace the posted pictures with views of just what exactly this device can do! In the meantime, I think I can quite comfortably say that this drone is everything I could expect for it's price point. Cons I think the only cons I feel the unit has are that I wish ports were more clearly labeled. Either via icons, or engraved/raised text. I like to figure out use before referencing the manual (with unit off) and while most are completely obvious others, like the microSD card slot, are not so clear (sitting directly above an exhaust fan). There isn't really anything I can complain about from a functionality perspective.
I would recommend this to a friend
Impressive camera on an easy to fly drone.Posted
This drone is a bit challenging to setup but works well once it is done. Out of the box, it needed a firmware upgrade to fix the gimbal calibration. The horizon was constantly angled but Autel support advised to do some additional gimbal adjustments in flight via the phone app and it was fixed. Now, it is working well. The images are amazing and the camera stability for videos is spectacular as long as I do not do any crazy maneuvers. Flight time on one battery is about twenty-seven minutes on a full charge. However, the drone will want to return home at the first low battery indication when around five minutes are left or when it knows it is about to reach a point of no return. If the low battery indicator is ignored, it will land at its current position once the battery reaches the critical level. This is fine as long as it is not flying over water or somewhere inaccessible. I love the controller! It is small and compact when not in use but unfolds into a comfortable size. The controls are well placed and extremely responsive. The display is easy to read. If a phone is not used, the display has all data on one screen. However, it is best to connect a smartphone so the controller screen is dedicated to flight data and the phone screen can be dedicated to the camera display and controls. While the drone battery runs down as expected, the controller battery has a surprisingly high capacity. After at least five full flights / drone battery discharges, the controller battery is still close to 80%. I really have no idea how long it is going to take before it needs to be charged. It is also important to note that the live image quality and speed coming from the drone to the smartphone via the controller is excellent. There is little to no visible latency between the camera and the screen. When it comes to flying, Autel has a series of videos online to teach anyone how to fly. While this drone is by no means a toy, it is easy enough for a responsible child to fly it. I would say that this drone is more of a camera with a drone attached to it than a drone with a camera attached to it. I would not use it to do tricks or show off. Instead, I would use it to create spectacular aerial images and videos. In many cases, the drone will protect itself from damage. If it senses obstacles in front, behind, or below, it will reduce speed in that direction to avoid a crash. The only time this becomes annoying is when the landing zone is close to a large obstacle. In one case, it wanted to land on water because I was standing too close to a wall. I learned to come in sideways to land when near an obstacle so the sensors do not see it. Obviously, the pilot needs experience flying before landing in tight spaces. They recommend starting in an open field. However, anyone with a little experience should be comfortable flying after watching the manufacturer's videos and completing a few practice flights. Extremely bright LED lights are located on all four arms of the drone. They are highly visible even in the middle of the day. Solid red LED's are usually showing on the front arms and flashing green is the most common color on the rear arms. This indicates that all systems are normal and the drone has a good GPS signal from enough satellites to maintain proper control. Other colors indicate various details like low battery, poor GPS signal, loss of signal from the controller, or other faults. Obviously, the controller will advise the pilot of these as well, but it is nice to know these basic details without having to take eyes off the drone. The motors are surprisingly quiet. At idle, the blades can be heard spinning but they are barely audible. At takeoff, the sound level increases but it is still quieter than expected. In flight, it is louder when moving and fairly quiet when hovering unless it is fighting a strong wind. There are some videos online demonstrating how much quieter it is compared to other models on the market. For storage, the drone came with a 32 GB microSD card. I pop it out and plug it into my computer directly since that is ultimately where I want the data. It is also possible to download the images from the drone to the smartphone via the controller and app. The data transfer rate is fast for images. I have not tried yet for video. Overall, I am happy. This does what it is made to do and it does it well. Autel did not seem to cut corners. They made a solid piece of hardware. It had a software bug, but it is fixed with the firmware updates. The one caveat is that anyone using this drone should plan to use a smartphone with it anytime they are flying. While it is possible to fly without a phone, it is not really intended to work that way.
I would recommend this to a friend