Autel Robotics released something pretty exciting at CES this week, although it’s stayed (ironically enough) somewhat under the radar so far. Meet the EVO: a folding, portable drone that looks like it could be the first serious competitor for DJI’s extremely popular Mavic Pro.
When DJI first introduced the Mavic Pro—and later bumped up the battery live with the Mavic Pro Platinum—the company liked to say it had “revolutionized personal flight.” The thing is, DJI kind of had a point: the Mavic Pro was both extremely portable and extremely capable, opening up the joys of droning to a whole new range of potential consumers.
But with the debut of the Autel EVO, DJI might want to watch its back.
At first, the EVO seems like an almost shot-for-shot remake of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum. The folding drone looks very similar, both sport a 3-axis gimbal, both boast intelligent flight modes and obstacle avoidance, they both offer 30 minutes of flight time, and both feature a max operating distance of 4.2 miles (7 km).
Where the EVO manages to rise above (see what I did there…) the Mavic Pro Platinum is exactly where it counts: in the camera and remote control department.
The stabilized camera can shoot at 4K/60p (DJI maxes out at 4K/30p) and the remote comes with a built-in 3.3 inch OLED screen that gives you a live feed at up to 720p—no need to plug your phone into your drone’s remote controller. Finally, the EVO also maxes out at a speed of 20 meters per second (44 miles per hour), which is just a hair faster than the Mavic Pro can handle.
Unfortunately, Autel isn’t quite ready to commit to a specific release date for the EVO, but they did say it will arrive “very soon” and will cost $1,000 USD—that’s $100 cheaper than the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, or the same price as the standard Mavic Pro, which can’t quite keep up on battery life.
With DJI suffering from some PR problems of late, Autel has a real opportunity to steal some Mavic market share here. For our part, we’re going to try and get an EVO in the office for testing as soon as possible.
To learn more about the Evo, check out the full release below or head over to the Autel Robotics website.
Autel Robotics Announces New Aircraft EVO at CES 2018
At CES 2018, Autel Robotics USA announced its new flagship aircraft line, the EVO.
EVO is a portable camera drone with foldable arms and a sleek, compact form factor. We’re incredibly excited about this product, and after showing it off at CES, are eager to get it out into the wild for our customers to enjoy.
- 4K UHD 60FPS camera equipped on a 3-axis gimbal
- Front & Downward (Computer Vision) and Rear (IR Sensor) Obstacle Avoidance Systems
- 3.3 Inch built-in OLED screen remote controller with 720p live video
- 30-minute flight time
- Speeds up to 20 meters per second
- 4300 mAh Li-Po Battery, 1.3 hour recharge time
- 7km (4.2 mi) Range
- Autel Explorer app allowing for intelligent flight features & more
We’ve been both humbled and honored by the overwhelmingly positive response to our announcement of the EVO. The EVO’s expected price point at launch is $999.00 USD. The launch date for the EVO will be announced as we close in further on our release timeline.
While we are close to launching, we want to ensure that we deliver products that provide the utmost quality and reliability for our customers.
Last year at CES we set some expectations that we did not achieve. We were not able to deliver a high quality, reliable offering with the Thermal and 1” Sensor for our X‑Star series. There are many reasons that these units did not come to fruition.
We realize that a big part of meeting our delivery goals for our customers is refining our messaging to ensure that we can always do what we say we will do.
Moving forward with EVO we will focus on that goal of communicating clearly and never overpromising. As such, all we can say for now as to EVO’s release date is “very soon”. We’ll publish details on our website and social media as soon as they are available.
Thank you for all of your support and feedback!
The Autel Robotics Team