Autel EVO

Autel EVO

12MP, 1/2.8" CMOS sensor | 94° field-of-view | 4K/60p video

What we like:

  • Obstacle avoidance on all sides
  • Bright orange color easy to see
  • Great tech support

What we don't:

  • Compact sensor struggles in low light
  • Specs for speed, battery and range are optimistic
Autel’s EVO is portable drone featuring foldable propellers that can be placed in a purse or small camera bag for convenient transport. Its bright orange exterior color makes it easier to spot in the sky and when you land. While flight time is typically not as long as advertised, it’s still impressive for a drone in its class, and is a good option for those who may not want to buy from one of the dominant players in the drone market.
The EVO claims to reach a maximum speed of 72 km/h (45 mph) in Sport mode but in reality, it’s closer to 56 km/h. Battery life is advertised at 30 minutes but reportedly tops off at 26 minutes. Utilizing two cameras on the front, the EVO creates a 3D environment that reacts to obstacles ahead of time and plans a flight path to avoid them during autonomous flight. Two ultrasonic sensors paired with another two computer vision cameras on the bottom prevent the aircraft from landing on uneven surfaces. The back of the aircraft is equipped with a near IR sensor protecting it when flying backward. The EVO comes with 3 sets of propellers, a remote control, a 32GB MicroSD card, and battery. Additional batteries retail for $85 each.
The EVO's bright orange exterior color makes it easier to spot in the sky and when you land.
The EVO comes equipped with a 3-axis stabilized gimbal supporting a camera that uses a 12MP, 1/2.8-inch sensor on a 25mm equivalent lens, and a 94° FOV captures a wide-angle perspective. It uses real glass optics and the Ambarella H2 image processor to record more dynamic range in each shot. It can shoot video at 40K/60p with a maximum bitrate of 100Mbps.
Autel doesn’t force you to log in or create an account in order to use the drone. That level of privacy will appeal to some users. A smartphone can be plugged in to the remote control for those who prefer using it, especially since that’s where the Autel Explorer app is initially downloaded, but it’s not necessary unless you want to access more advanced flight modes. The app provides a 1080p live camera view, flight telemetry, access to advanced settings including intelligent flight modes such as Dynamic Track, where the user can autonomously follow subjects, Viewpoint, Orbit, and Waypoint.
The controller has a built-in 3.3” OLED screen with a solid 330 nits of brightness for easy viewing of critical flight information. While the maximum transmission distance is listed at 4.8 miles, it’s closer to 1.8 miles since Autel removed the 900 MHz radio band from its drones.
The EVO is recommended for consumers who want to capture high-quality 4K/60p video on a portable drone that can unfold and is ready to fly. However, professionals or serious hobbyists concerned with consistently top-notch image quality, especially in low-light conditions, or who are looking for more range, should consider purchasing a more robust, technically capable model – privacy or not.