Autel Robotics EVO II Pro Review
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Autel Robotics EVO II Pro
|Price||$2,500 List||$2,199 List|
$2,049 at Amazon
Check Price at Amazon
|$2,170 List||$100 List|
$99.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Stable, decent intelligent flight programming, good for beginners||Awesome video quality, sensitive controls, stable platform||Large sensor, compact, high-quality footage, responsive controls||Well thought-out build, magnetic battery, good video quality, awesome autonomous flying||Inexpensive, simple operation, small and light|
|Cons||Expensive, odd takeoff and landing restrictions, poorly constructed controller||Lacks a case, control a bit cramped for big hands||Lacks following capabilities, some propellor intrusion||Lens can have some fringing, hard to get smooth pan shots, sluggish controls||Slightly choppy video, short range|
|Bottom Line||A decent quality drone that has several bugs and a price point that doesn't track with the competition||This fun-to-fly drone is shaking up the professional market with its high-quality video and easy portability||The large sensor, 5K video, user-friendly controls, and fantastic flight performance make this a high-quality, do-it-all drone||Superb autonomous flight with good video quality but may have some fringing||Great for kids and beginners alike, this is the best entry-level model we have ever tested|
|Rating Categories||Autel Robotics EVO...||DJI Mavic 3||DJI Air 2S||Skydio 2+||Ryze Tello|
|Video Quality (45%)|
|Flight Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (10%)|
|Specs||Autel Robotics EVO...||DJI Mavic 3||DJI Air 2S||Skydio 2+||Ryze Tello|
|Video Resolutions||6K, 4K, 2.7K, 1080p||5.1K, DCI 4K, 4K, FHD||5.4K, 4K, 2,7K, FHD||4K 30 fps, 4K, 60 fps, 4K 48 fps, 4K 24 fps, HD 1080p 120 fps, HD 1080p 60 fps, HD 1080p30 fps||720p|
|Weight||2.63 lbs||1.97 lbs||1.31 lbs||1.73 lbs||0.18 lbs|
|Maximum Speed||45 mph||42.5 mph||42.5 mph||36 mph||18 mph|
|Maximum Claimed Flight Time||35 minutes||46 minutes||31 minutes||27 minutes||13 minutes|
|Diagonal Size (no props)||9.25 in folded
16.8 in unfolded
|8.75 in folded
16 in unfolded
|11.9 in||13 in||5.3 in|
|Video Format||MP4 / MOV||MP4 / MOV||MP4, MOV||MPEG-4||MP4|
|Maximum Video Bitrate||120 Mbps||200 Mbps||150 Mbps||100 Mbps||n/a|
|Camera Sensor||1" CMOS||Hasselblad: 4/3 CMOS
Tele Camera: 1/2" CMOS
|1" CMOS||Sony IMX577
1/2.3" 12.3MP CMOS
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Autel Robotics EVO II Pro scored very well in our review, but this high-priced drone, unfortunately, has many technical bugs and manufacturing shortcomings.
While flying drones is fun and exciting, their primary function is as an aerial platform for filming. As such, we place video quality at the top of the list for what produces a satisfying consumer experience. The good news is that the EVO II Pro scored high marks across the board in high and low light scenarios, gimbal stabilization, and resolution.
The EVO II Pro boasts 6K resolution that renders very sharp footage. However, it does show some signs of blocking and loss of detail, most likely due to the codec bandwidth's inability to cope with high detail. The onboard camera does well in bright light scenarios, though. When aiming the lens into the sun, the video displayed good highlight retention and dynamic range. However, the camera lacks the shutter control to properly expose the sensor to direct sunlight. That being said, the camera does exhibit decent roll-off that is visually pleasing despite the overexposure.
We also found that the EVO II Pro performed well in low light settings as its higher ISO settings produce quality film despite having a noticeable degradation in quality and sharpness. The gimbal works as intended during normal flight operations producing smooth (shake-free) video. However, we could not find a tunable yaw control which negatively affected our ability to capture smooth panning shots.
In this evaluation, we looked at takeoff and landing, intelligent flight programs such as follow mode, flight stability, and control responsiveness. The EVO II Pro earned a slightly above-average score in this assessment with a standout performance in the takeoff and landing evaluation.
Our testing of the EVO II Pro in the takeoff and landing stages of flight show the drone to be very stable, but the default motion sensing can be restrictive if it detects nearby objects that pose a risk. As such, there were some scenarios where we turned off the motion sensors for landing. The automated takeoff and landing program is best suited to beginners as an experienced pilot will likely find them too restrictive.
In addition to the automated takeoff and landing, the EVO II Pro has a host of intelligent flight programs, including orbit, follow mode, and return to home (RTH) for emergencies. We found the orbit program to be effective and intuitive. While the follow mode was similarly effective and easy to initiate, we found it prone to losing track of the subject from time to time, though the drone would quickly regain its focus. The return home program works as intended as well — the EVO will return to within 5 feet of the initial takeoff location when this emergency feature is activated.
Portability is one of those details that does not readily pop up in one's mind when shopping for a drone, but it turns out to be pretty important, especially with regular use. We evaluated the drones in our review for weight and dimensions, whether they collapse for storage, if they have a case, and whether that case can accommodate all the drone's equipment. The EVO II Pro weighs 2.63 pounds and has a diagonal measurement of 16.8 inches (9.25 in its folded configuration). The "Rugged Bundle" option, which we used for testing, accommodates everything you need for an outing, including three additional batteries, a charger, a controller, and extra space for small miscellaneous items. The padding in the case is sufficient to keep the drone safe during transport.
Ease of Use
In this assessment, we looked at the energy input required to set up and master the use of each drone. The EVO II Pro earned a slightly above-average score but glitchy video transmission kept it from scoring higher.
Out of the box, the EVO II Pro requires little effort to get it up and flying — just the removal of some protective film and the download of the manufacturer's app on your phone. The controller has one of the better grips we have used, though it feels a bit top-heavy when using a phone as the monitor. The graphical interface is decent but not as intuitive as others in the class. However, the pertinent features such as speed, altitude, and camera settings are clearly labeled. As for learning to pilot the drone, we found it straightforward except for managing the yaw — this was hard to get right.
Unlike many of the drones we have tested, the controller for the EVO II Pro has a built-in 3.26-inch OLED screen which testers appreciated, though a phone can be attached if that is preferable. The video quality on the interface looks good, but unfortunately, the video downlink can be laggy, stepped, and, in general, inconsistent. Overall, we found the signal transmission to be of low quality, making it less than suitable for tight maneuvering where collisions are possible.
We do not see this drone as a good value. It is one of the more expensive models in the class, yet its performance is around average. Simply put, one can get a higher-performing model for significantly less money.
Compared to its peers, the Autel Robotics EVO II Pro is an overpriced, underperforming drone. It has some good features such as its remote control, intelligent flight programs, and case. However, many of these features have a caveat that counterbalances the praise. All told, for the money, there are better products in the class worth your attention.
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