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Autel Robotics - EVO 4K Drone with Controller - Orange-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 90 reviews

  • 20%
97%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Splendid & Brilliant Drone with Neat Features

    Posted
    optimummind
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 10 ContributorTop 10 Contributor

    ==== Summary ==== The Autel Evo is an impressive drone that takes fantastic videos & pictures. It's very easy to fly with its excellent controller & safety features, flight is stable & smooth, and comes with many cool flight modes. The fit-and-finish is excellent ensuring long-term durability. Autel has created a very compelling & quality drone and app ecosystem. I love it~! *Pros: -Good-looking design with nice colors. -Quick & responsive flyer. -Easy to control. -Remote is well-designed & has a 330-nit 3.3" OLED screen. -Can fly without a smartphone & still have a live video feed. -UHD 4K video at 60FPS looks stunning. -3-axis stabilized gimbal = stable videos and pictures. -Obstacle avoidance (front, rear, & below). -Comes with a nice carrying case. -"Intelligent Flight" modes are cool, such as Dynamic Track and Orbit. -No "No-Fly Zone" restrictions & forced firmware updates. -Charger charges the drone & the controller at the same time. -No privacy & security scandals like Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) drones. *Cons: -The drone is a bit sensitive to magnetic interference. -No automatic obstacle avoidance function when flying in reverse (just a warning). -Too easy to accidentally press the buttons on the back of the controller. ==== Design & Function ==== The Autel Evo drone is my first drone experience & I love it. Whether it's folded up into its compact travel form or stretched out for flying, I think it looks really cool with its striking color combo of glossy red orange with matte black color. Build-quality & build-material of the Evo are top-notch as well. The drone has been constructed with tight tolerances & all the seams and lines are clean and even. In other words, it has excellent fit-and-finish in a durable package. It's kind of embarrassing to admit but my first two flights ended in a crash - first inside the house & once outside during nighttime (not recommended by Autel). The Evo survived both crashes with no damages except some cosmetic scruff marks and a bruise to my pride. :P Handling the Evo is a simple & frustration-free affair. The folding front & rear arms actuate smoothly and the propellers fold and tuck away neatly. Gripping & carrying around the Evo one-handed is effortless thanks to its light weight and folded-up portability. The LED lights on the legs provide a quick visual status & orientation of the Evo. As for buttons & ports, there is a microUSB port (for file transfer) & a controller pairing button hidden underneath a plastic flap right below the two rear IR sensors. On the battery itself, you have a Power On button as well as a concave button you depress to slide off the battery from the Evo. Finally, there is a microSD slot on the right side of the Evo underneath a pull-back tab. Besides the drone and the controller, Autel also includes a carrying case with an adjustable shoulder strap that has ample room for the drone, the controller, extra batteries, and cables. Although the Evo is my first drone, I can still tell that it is a highly-crafted machine that has been meticulously designed with good durability in mind. It's stylish, very easy to handle and fly, and all the parts work harmoniously. 10 out of 10. ==== Controlling the Evo ==== The Evo can be flown in two ways - with just the remote controller & the embedded 3.3" live video screen or with the controller paired with a smartphone via a cable. The controller is quite a remarkable. The handles fold in and out smoothly from the body and is comfortable to hold. The smartphone holder can easily accommodate larger smartphones such as my Samsung Galaxy S9+ housed inside a case with its grippy rubber and secure clamping force. My S9+ was never once in danger of accidentally falling or popping out. There are many buttons on the controller that make it easy to operate the Evo. The four main ones are the "Take Off/Land" button, "Power On/Off" button, "Pause aircraft" button, and the "Hold to Start Go Home" button. On the shoulders are the "Record video," "Take photo," and "Screen navigation (DISP)" buttons as well as two Dial Switches - one switch controls the gimbal pitch/angle & the other is used to scroll through Settings & to select your choices by pressing down on the switch. On the back of the controller are the "A" and "B" buttons that are currently used to set Waypoints inside the Autel Explorer app. Per Autel, they will be customizable in future firmware updates. Due to their location, I found myself pressing them accidentally numerous times. I'm getting better at avoiding them with each flight session but they're still kind of annoying nonetheless. On the left and right of the screen are the two controller joysticks that you use to move/fly the drone. They work great and I had no issues with them. On the top are the two antennas that neatly fold away when not in use. Then in the middle of the controller is that nice 3.3" OLED screen. It gets as bright as 330 nits and that's where you will be viewing the Evo's "Flight Information Panel" data or a live 720P HD video feed, all without a smartphone attached. Sweet~!! The Flight Information Panel offers lots of condensed data in a straight-forward and easy-to-understand manner. It's a LOT of data but I never felt overwhelmed. By flying the Evo with just the controller, you won't be able to use the Evo's Intelligent Flight Modes (Dynamic Track, Viewpoint, Orbit, Waypoint, VR). Plus you won't have access to the more advanced drone settings. Pair up the Evo to a smartphone and launch the Autel app, however, then you'll have full access to ALL the flight modes & the advanced settings. In addition, your smartphone's display will now act as your live visual feed (1080P resolution). My phone gets much brighter than the controller screen so it was my preferred way of viewing the live feed. With that said, I think it's wonderful that Autel provides the user with such flexibility to allow flight without a smartphone and still offering a live video feed. It's a very thoughtful & brilliant design by Autel. ==== How Does It Fly? ==== The Evo is one smooth operator and it flies great~! It performs all flight maneuvers very well - smooth take-off, graceful landing, quickly making turns and orbits, speeding forward, quick reverse, etc. With the built-in safety measures augmented by sensors and obstacle avoidance, the Evo is a great drone for novices and first-time fliers such as myself. More experienced users will have a blast thanks to modes like the "Ludicrous" mode which changes the top speed of the Evo to 45 MPH. 10 out of 10. ==== Video & Photo Quality ==== I was BLOWN AWAY by the quality of the UHD 4K 60FPS videos the Evo took. I've never before seen such high-quality, well-stabilized, and splendid video from any of my tech gadgets & toys. Auto-exposure & white balance are handled very well & 4K 60FPS is simply awesome. Here are two short videos I took & uploaded to YouTube - one in a residential neighborhood with mild wind & one at the beach during windy conditions: https://youtu.be/D8uh64AebFU https://youtu.be/MsI4W0Banuc When it comes to photo quality, the Evo was pretty good as well. The 12MP 94-degree camera in Auto Mode takes good consistent pictures with good dynamic range, exposure, and contrast. For more control, Autel offers many customizable settings within Settings. Low-light scenarios introduce some granniness and noise in the pictures but that's to be expected. Still, photos came out decent and useful. Overall, I'm very satisfied and happy with both the video & photo capabilities of the Evo. 10 out of 10~!! ==== Autel Explorer App & Intelligent Flight Modes ==== The Autel Explorer app is well-designed, comprehensive, and simple to use. Besides granting the user access to ALL the drone settings & the special Flight Modes, firmware updates are handled here as well. Inside Settings, there are 8 main entries on the left column & inside the "Intelligent Flight" menu, there are 6 modes to choose from - Camera (default startup mode), Dynamic Track (Evo follows a subject), Viewpoint (Evo flies toward a subject), Orbit (Evo flies in a circular pattern around a subject), Waypoint (Evo flies a predefined flight path), and VR (Virtual Reality goggles). I had lots of fun playing around with all the special flight modes (except for VR) & they all worked very well as intended. My favorite one is Dynamic Track, which I used often to chase around my hyper toddler. ==== Wish List ==== I'm very happy with the Evo but I wish it could do a little bit more. The highest on my list is for the automatic obstacle avoidance system to work while the Evo is flying in reverse. Please, Autel, include this feature in an upcoming firmware update~! Second, I wish it was less sensitive to magnetic interference. At times, the Evo's compass had to be recalibrated because I put the Evo down on some concrete (such as my driveway) & the metal inside caused a calibration error. Third, I wish the Waypoint Flight Mode will let me select flight points on the map first then having the Evo fly toward them instead of me having to fly the Evo to each Waypoint first. ==== Conclusion ==== Flying around in the skies while recording videos and taking pictures with the Autel Evo has been a highly fun and joyful experience, filling me up with child-like wonder and delight. I now have an additional tool to capture wonderful memories of my family and pets. I highly recommend the Evo to everyone for its user-friendly design & flight control, excellent build quality, and all the fun flight modes & safety features that work harmoniously together. Autel has engineered a high-quality drone & app ecosystem and I look forward to their future endeavors and products.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent compact choice for all pilots!

    Posted
    MrShinyCadillackness
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    As an FAA part 107 licensed pilot and an owner of several drones, I was very interested to get my hands on the AUTEL EVO. Competition for “the best selling drone company” is very needed in my opinion. With its folding capability and compact shape, I would say that this drone has indeed been released for direct competition. Again, this is good for everyone. These companies will now strive to outdo each-other and therefore the technology will undoubtedly become better, faster. Not to mention it is better for consumer prices. It’s a win, win! After dinking around with this drone for a little while now, I can say that I would easily recommend the EVO to anyone looking for a portable drone that shoots 4K. Sometimes lugging around a bigger drone with a case isn't always feasible, but tossing this in your camera bag or using the bag that they give you with the drone, makes it an easy decision to keep this with you pretty much at all times. Obviously image quality is a very big deal when considering any camera gear. The sensor in this unit is no slouch and captures rich, detailed images in good light. I do highly recommend purchasing a set of ND filters before trying to capture any daytime footage. When shooting at the correct frame rate, you'll definitely need them in any bright condition. That said, the reason I docked one star is that since it is a smaller sensor (Sony 12MP CMOS ½.3”), the low light capability will suffer. It isn’t horrible, but it could be better. While this is true among digital cameras of all kinds, it defeats the purpose of me actually using it in low light (dusk / dawn) conditions. So again, if you are shooting with ND filters at the correct frame rate, during lit daytime conditions, you will be satisfied with this unit. Just try to keep your ISO at 100 as much as possible. The controller and EVO app are really done well. The main controller screen is extremely sharp. The text is so sharp that it's like looking at a retina display. It even works well in bright sunlight. I am using a Note 8 with Android and the app works flawlessly paired with the remote screen. Camera settings are extremely easy to change on the fly. A big bonus over other manufacturers. There is an easy to navigate main bar at the bottom of the app screen that lets you control all camera settings easily with swipes left and right. Another very cool feature of the app software is that it lets you set up a time-lapse to take photos automatically at set intervals as you are shooting your video. Awesome feature! Another really cool feature is the user selectable live video feed. This means you can switch the live video feed between either your device or the remote itself. Very cool if you do not have a device with you, or say your battery is depleted on your phone. The in-flight handling of this unit is really, really nice. So far, I have experienced very smooth flight and tracking of subjects. The unit is also very quiet compared to some of my other drones which is great news. As a bonus, if you are a newb, you can set this up in beginner mode which will help you learn how to fly properly before you turn it off and go into normal mode. Beginner mode keeps the drone at a lower altitude and a little closer to your position. That paired with the obstacle avoidance makes this a very good choice for said beginners. Battery life is also excellent. I have been getting about 25 to 30 minutes per flight which is great. When you are up in the air flying 25 to 30 minutes feels like an eternity. I would also recommend buying one or two extra batteries so you can get all of the footage needed no matter where you are and without having to recharge in the field. Another tip that I can give is to plan your flight when you arrive at your destination to save battery time and drain. If you know what you want to capture before you take off (instead of flying around aimlessly), your footage will be much better when you get back to your editing station. Keep in mind that if you shoot everything in 4K resolution, you will need a very good video editing computer to edit your footage smoothly. If you do not own a high-end computer system, I would recommend that you create proxies of your files before editing. Actually, I would recommend creating proxies even if you do have a high-end system. It makes editing your video and scrubbing through clips like butter. All in all, this is a solid effort from Autel Robotics. With its portability and excellent remote / app, not to mention friendly price point, you really can’t go wrong with this drone. Go get yours now! Lastly, being an FAA part 107 licensed pilot, it is my duty to highly recommend that everyone interested in becoming a pilot (not just hobbyists) to take the course, obtain the license, and learn how to fly safely. This will save you possible disaster circumstances if you are flying in the wrong area (airspace) which I am sure a lot of people do because they simply do not know any better. There are several courses online that you can take to help you study for and pass the test. If you decide to go this route, once you complete the course and receive your license, you will understand exactly what I mean by all of this. Airspace is a tricky thing and warrants you having extensive knowledge on how to navigate it legally, properly, and safely. Studying for the Part 107 is not only fun but very interesting and will teach you everything you need to know to put yourself in the right situation every time. Do yourself the favor. Fly safe, fly smart, and have fun!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Drone, even for Newbies

    Posted
    BADog
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    The Autel EVO drone is an advancement in Autel's drone portfolio. The company's R&D have moved on from the X-Star and developed this great little gem. The package includes the EVO drone, remote control w/3.5" OLED screen, AC adapter/charging cables, 2 short control-to-device USB cables, quick guide, safety instructions, packing list, 2 spare sets of propellers (front and rear), re-attachable gimbal/camera cover, and a 32GB microSD card (already in the drone slot). DISCLAIMERS: 1) This is my first drone; however not my first remote controlled craft. I have had numerous RC cars in the past. 2) I ONLY used the configuration with the control and a Samsung Note 9 attached. I did NOT use the drone with the controller by itself. 3) I have flown the drone on 4 flights, all at 400' or lower. The 4th flight I have posted on YouTube at https://youtu.be/JXKZZYmZUfM PROS: ----------- * Extremely easy to operate. I enjoy having 2 screens since my phone (Note 9) screen is bigger than the controller anyway. * You can abandon regular mode and go to "Ludicrous" mode, which allows the craft to go 45mph. Yes, I did obtain the 45mph speed according to my controls. This was the most fun mode to play in; however the battery dies much quicker. * 4K@60fps is incredibly good. You can also pick from lesser resolutions down to 720p and higher frame rates. Picture quality is fantastic. I only used "auto" camera/video settings as I did not want to get too involved in that aspect of the system. The "auto" mode worked great for me as it probably will for most people. * GPS locks on well to a given position. If you release all controls, it hovers in its current spot flawlessly. * Drone folds up easily and nicely into a compact package. * Drone is very solidly built with extremely durable plastic parts. It does not feel flimsy or cheap and the arms stay in place well when extended. * Object avoidance works great - almost too good, as I wanted to get closer to objects but could only do so by going into ludicrous mode (which turns off sensors) or by manually turning off sensors. * Customer support via chat was great. I had to chat in a couple of times, and I got a live person immediately (no bots). * Easy takeoff and landing button. From anywhere if you want to bring it home and land immediately, just hold down the button, and the drone does the rest. It literally lands inches from where you take off. * Pictures can be taken while video is rolling - however, taking a picture while the drone is moving may result in a more fuzzy picture as it happened with me a few times. * There are 3 different controller modes you can setup.. with the 2 sticks having different built-in functions. Pick the mode that's best for you. * The charging adapter allows for charging the drone and the controller at the same time. The charging cable for the controller is microUSB while the battery must be taken off the drone to be charged (after it has cooled off from flight) - and it's a proprietary connection. CONS: ----------- * Battery life should NOT be stated as 30 minutes. I did not, nor have I read anywhere, where a person got a full 30 minutes of fly time. I generally got between 20-25 minutes. Another battery would be great to have with limited flight time of the single battery. * I tried the "follow me" mode and had some trouble with the drone staying up with me on a bright yellow 4-wheeler and no obstacles between myself and the drone. Walking had no issues with this mode... as long as tree limbs did not block you while tracking. Once the drone loses you, it stops and hovers. * With a giant 4K picture, I would hope for an OPTICAL zoom instead of a digital zoom or a combination of both. This drone does not have an optical zoom so it only digitally zooms and thus causes eventual pixellation. * As with any device, companies need to upgrade to USB-C connections instead of microUSB. The controller uses a microUSB to connect to the 2nd device and to charge with. Being a high-end device as this, I would REALLY hope for a USB-C connection... the microUSB cable connection is a nuisance especially with hard-to-reach ports such as this (with the attached flap). * The 2 programmable buttons on the bottom of the remote can be depressed accidentally quite often, so don't make them do anything that would cause your drone to do something potentially hazardous to someone/something while flying. * Range was good; however video on my phone would get weak sometimes even with drone not being too far off. I adjusted antennas but at that same distance still had some come/go issues. If you fly in hilly areas, this may be a problem. * 2 device-to-controller cables (microUSB-to-microUSB and microUSB-to-USB-C) are provided but no microUSB-to-Apple connection cable. This may be due to proprietary reasons Apple would not allow (basically Android-to-Apple). I'm quite certain they probably thought of this. OTHER OBSERVATIONS: ----------------------------------- * 32GB memory card does not come with an adapter. You will have to provide USB or SD adapter to read with PC. * The drone separated my extended video (4K@30fps) into 4m:48s segments, each of which were 3.35GB, and in H.264/mp4 format. You'll need a video editor to connect them back together. * I did not test the circling or tripod options. * The drone does NOT record audio - only video. * My EVO came with NEWER firmware than what was even posted on the Autel website. Not sure how or why that is, but I did not downgrade. CONCLUSION: ============== If you're a newbie to drone flying as I was, this drone is a great option. The price point is steep, but based on what I have read about this drone and other drones, pricing isn't bad. For me, the easibility of the controls was a huge plus. For a new drone flyer who is flying just for fun or to take simple aerial pictures, I would definitely recommend this drone. Again, you can view my 4th sample flight on YouTube - https://youtu.be/JXKZZYmZUfM

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Drone for a First timer

    Posted
    JakeNH
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    My previous experience with drones was of the smaller, less advanced type, so unboxing and powering up the Autel Evo was like preparing for my first launch into space. First off, the packaging was well thought out and easy to remove, I think the total time it took for me to have this out of the box and charging for first flight was about 5 minutes. Handling the drone itself along with the controller it is apparent that the build and design of each was thoroughly executed. The drone feels heavy and solid, sleek finishes remove any potential resistance on the body. Handling the controller for me is reminiscent of a PlayStation-like controller; it is heavy but balanced enough to alleviate any strain on holding it during flight time. However, if you are using your smartphone in tandem it might be slightly stressful depending on the model and type of phone you are using. For me it is an iPhone 7 Plus so there is some amount of strain but very minor. While on that note, if you do use an iPhone you will need to use your own lighting cable as the Evo does not include one (it does include USB-C and USB-mini). I really enjoy the compact size of both the drone and the controller, they fit easily into the carrying case and really have a small footprint so you can take the Evo anywhere. Prior to your first flight the FAA does require that the drone be registered which you can accomplish at www.faa.gov/dronezone. The registration will cost you $5 and once complete you will need to mark your drone with the assigned FAA registration number (I used a labeler). I also used an app called DroneBuddy to make sure I was out of any restricted flying zones because there is a major airport nearby, however, it is outside of 5 miles from my location so I am OK to fly. Flight operation for me was very easy to adapt to given my experience in video games, I was able to get the Evo flying seamlessly around my yard and then eventually up over the tree tops around 200 feet. At that height I was flying at about 20 MPH. Once up there I started using the camera shooting 4K videos and snapping some photos, I really can’t stress enough how clear the video feed is during flight, on both the phone and the controller display. Using the Autel App I planned out a waypoint path to test GPS accuracy which I was very impressed with the results on my 2 test flights. During these auto pilot flights it is very cool to peer around with the camera. During flight ops, the Evo constantly evaluates battery consumption, taking into account environment factors such as wind that will drain the battery faster. On average you are looking at about 25-27 minutes of flight time but the main benefit of this is that the Evo will alert you of a point of no return if you fly it too far away. At that time it will initiate a return to home maneuver or allow you to manually fly back. That being said, so far my furthest flight has been about 1600 yards – just shy of a mile. At that distance there was plenty of forest between the drone and myself and it did not lose or lag the video feed. I feel confident I could have flown further. Some minor bugs I have seen so far: 1. During a long descent the Evo can become fairly unstable and sort of wobble back and forth. This does not appear to affect camera shots as the gimbal does a great job of compensating. 2. After some sharper turns and moving of the camera during flight, the horizon can be askew when you return the camera to it’s level mark. It has only happened a couple times but it is noticeable. From what I have read both of these issues should be corrected with firmware updates, although the weather has been bad recently so I have not been able to fly the drone to confirm. Lastly – and this is not an issue but a recommendation – I would say that the easiest way to transfer the high-resolution video and photos off the Evo is to buy a USB Micro/Mini SD card reader. Best Buy sells one for $15 that also utilizes USB 3.0 for faster transfer. Overall I highly recommend this drone, it is extremely sharp looking and feels well built. There are enough safety mechanisms and sensors built in to allow a first time user to get up and flying. I brought this to a friends house and I may have influenced this years Christmas list.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Speechless....

    Posted
    k1zit
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    In my last ten years of being an avid electronic junkie, very few products have really impressed me to the point where it almost made the moment seem "magical". This is the best way I can describe this product. There were moments were it left me speechless. In the past, I never considered owning a drone or getting into the hobby. After using the Autel Evo, I am hooked!!! After doing some research on comparable drones and using it for myself, this has got to be one of the best, if not the best, drone on the market right now; especially at this price point. I have been using the Autel Evo frequently over the past two weeks and I have never been so eager to write a review for a product. This drone deserves the highest marks. I have broken down my review into several key aspects of what truly makes this drone special... Build Quality: Build quality is top notch. The Evo appears to be a mix of very high quality plastics with some metal components. As soon as you hold it in your hands, you know without a doubt that you're holding a high end product. I have flown this drone almost every other day and have landed it on grass, dirt, and concrete and it looks prestine. With top notch build quality comes long durability. I have no doubt in my mind that this drone will serve me well for long years to come. The controller is also extremely well built. The controller is mainly constructed of a high quality plastic. It feels like a small tank in your hand. Autel gets a 5/5 for build quality. Performance: From it's first ascent, I knew this drone was special. First of all, when you run the motors/propellers by the holding the left and right joysticks in, this drone is EXTREMELY quiet. Likely the quietest drone on the market. The takeoff is so smooth. It's also incredibly fast. I was able to reach speeds of almost 40 mph!!! Flight was also very smooth, controlled, and precise. However, there was definitely a learning curve for me as this was my first time flying a drone. I spent about an hour over an empty baseball field conducting basic flight maneuvers like backing up, going forward, and flying in a square motion. I practiced turning the drone to the left or right in a 90 degree angle and then a 180 degree angle and practicing maneuvers while disoriented. Once, I was comfortable and confident, the fun started ( I highly recommend watching Autel Robotics youtube channel as they provide a ton of useful tips and tricks videos on the Evo). I flew it over the entire park and bordered the