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Autel Robotics EVO II Pro Review

A decent quality drone that has several bugs and a price point that doesn't track with the competition
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Price:   $2,500 List | $2,250.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Stable, decent intelligent flight programming, good for beginners
Cons:  Expensive, odd takeoff and landing restrictions, poorly constructed controller
Manufacturer:   Autel
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 15, 2022
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Video Quality - 45% 8.2
  • Flight Performance - 35% 7.7
  • Portability - 10% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 10% 8.1

Our Verdict

The Autel Robotics EVO II Pro has several features that warrant praise. However, in almost every case, these features are offset by some bug, glitch, or poorly constructed hardware. Considering these inconsistencies and the drone's hefty price tag together, we can not recommend this product despite its above-average test results. We suggest looking at other products in our review that are both better performing and a lower cost.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $2,500 List
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$2,170 List$100 List
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Pros Stable, decent intelligent flight programming, good for beginnersAwesome video quality, sensitive controls, stable platformLarge sensor, compact, high-quality footage, responsive controlsWell thought-out build, magnetic battery, good video quality, awesome autonomous flyingInexpensive, simple operation, small and light
Cons Expensive, odd takeoff and landing restrictions, poorly constructed controllerLacks a case, control a bit cramped for big handsLacks following capabilities, some propellor intrusionLens can have some fringing, hard to get smooth pan shots, sluggish controlsSlightly choppy video, short range
Bottom Line A decent quality drone that has several bugs and a price point that doesn't track with the competitionThis fun-to-fly drone is shaking up the professional market with its high-quality video and easy portabilityThe large sensor, 5K video, user-friendly controls, and fantastic flight performance make this a high-quality, do-it-all droneSuperb autonomous flight with good video quality but may have some fringingGreat 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%)
8.2
9.8
9.6
6.8
2.6
Flight Performance (35%)
7.7
9.4
9.2
7.3
5.3
Portability (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
Ease of Use (10%)
8.1
9.1
9.0
8.1
6.3
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
n/a

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.

Performance Comparison


Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drones - the autel robotics evo ii pro has many good features but some...
The Autel Robotics EVO II Pro has many good features but some significant issues as well.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Video Quality


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.



Flight Performance


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.

Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drones - the autel robotics evo ii pro has a good takeoff and landing...
The Autel Robotics EVO II Pro has a good takeoff and landing sequence but the sensors can make it a bit sensitive in tight launch locations.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drones - when return to home is activated, the evo ii pro will fly back to...
When return to home is activated, the EVO II Pro will fly back to within 5 feet of its takeoff location.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Portability


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.

Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drones - the folded configuration of the autel is fairly compact at 9.25...
The folded configuration of the Autel is fairly compact at 9.25 inches.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drones - testers found the controller to be well designed if a bit top-heavy...
Testers found the controller to be well designed if a bit top-heavy when using a phone for the display.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drones - the autel robotics evo ii pro is unique in that it has a built-in...
The Autel Robotics EVO II Pro is unique in that it has a built-in display making the use of a phone optional.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drones - transmission of video from the drone to the display has a slight lag...
Transmission of video from the drone to the display has a slight lag that had test pilots hesitant to fly into tight spots.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer
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