In August 2021, Autel threw DJI thing of a curveball erstwhile it announced 4 caller drones successful 2 caller series: the Evo Nano Series containing the Nano and Nano+, positive the Evo Lite Series and its Lite and Lite+ models.
What wasn’t evident astatine the clip was that DJI was moving to bring the DJI Mavic 3 to market, a drone that nary of these designs competes straight with. But, what these caller drones did people was 3 of DJI’s astir palmy products: the DJI Mini 2, DJI Air 2S and DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
The flagship exemplary of this caller Autel procreation is the Evo Lite+, a drone with a remarkably akin specification to the Air 2S. It's capable to seizure 5.4K video astatine 30fps and 4K astatine up to 60fps utilizing a low-light susceptible 1-inch sensor. Offering a adaptable aperture camera and 40 minutes of flying time, the caller Autel Evo Lite+ leapfrogs some the DJI Air 2S and Mavic Pro 2 capabilities.
For existing Autel fans, it offers astir everything they emotion astir the Evo II series, but successful a much transportable bundle and with importantly amended formation times. The lone evident caveat is that the Evo Lite+ costs much than the DJI Air 2S, with the modular mentation commanding a akin terms to the Air 2S Fly More Combo. DJI present doesn’t officially merchantability the Mavic 2 Pro since it launched the Mavic 3, but the Evo Lite+ is cheaper than that drone was erstwhile it was available.
The Evo Lite comes successful 2 flavors that connection the aforesaid formation dynamics, but antithetic camera options. The cheaper Lite exemplary has the aforesaid 1/1.28-inch sensor and autofocus f/1.9 optics that Autel besides utilized connected the Evo Nano+. These tin grounds 4K HDR astatine 30fps video signaling and the equivalent of 50MP stills. It besides has a four-axis gimbal allowing for signaling video and inactive images successful representation mode, for those looking to people connected societal media.
Conversely, the Evo Lite+ reviewed present has a 1-inch sensor and a adaptable aperture: f/2.8 to f/11, and tin grounds successful 5.4K astatine 30fps, 4K astatine 60 fps, and 1080p astatine 120fps. It lacks the fourth-axis stabilization of the Evo Lite, but the larger pixels successful the sensor springiness it amended light-gathering imaginable successful low-light conditions. Both Lite bid designs travel successful signature Autel Orange, Arctic White and Deep Space Gray.
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Autel Evo Lite+ terms and merchandise date
- Announced connected August 28, 2021
- Standard kit costs £1,129 / $1,349 / AU $2,499
- Fly More Bundle costs £1,399 / $1,649 / AU $2,999
After making immoderate customers who pre-ordered these drones anxious, the Evo Lite+ started to vessel from the manufacturing facilities successful China, and availability should amended implicit the archetypal 4th of 2022.
Like astir drones, the Evo Lite+ is disposable arsenic a modular kit oregon successful a premium bundle that includes galore extras, including much batteries. The modular kit consists of the drone, controller, 1 battery, propellers, a charger with each cables, and costs $1,349 / £1,129 / AU $2,499.
The premium bundle adds 2 much batteries, a brushed transportation bag, 3 prop replacements, a multi-battery charger and 4 ND filters. Even with a quoted flying clip of 40 minutes oregon more, a azygous artillery isn’t capable for astir customers, truthful getting up to 2 hours of operational flying with the premium battalion is the mode to go.
Design and controller
- Mounts a 1-inch camera sensor
- Another compact, foldable design
- Extra artillery capableness delivers longer formation times
Since the archetypal DJI Mavic was truthful successful, galore (but not all) drone makers person followed its structural form.
The Lite+ follows the aforesaid signifier arsenic astir tiny drones that tin fold for transportation. Four pivoting arms assistance with accelerated deployment arsenic the blades tin stay attached.
Physically, the Lite+ is adjacent to the size of the rival drone, but astatine 820g, it’s a bully 20% heavier than the 595g DJI Air 2S. Much of that further wide comes from the battery, which makes up a important information of the rear drone superstructure. Instead of the artillery fitting wrong the drone, it slides from the rear to prosecute the assemblage and includes the power-on button.
The capableness of this artillery is simply a whopping 6,174mAh (68.7 Wh), a important summation implicit the 3,500mAh (40.42 Wh) that the DJI Air 2S has, and this capableness is reflected successful a maximum formation clip of 40 minutes implicit the 30 minutes of the DJI drone.
While the 30 minutes quoted by DJI for the Air 2S is considered thing of a agelong by astir owners, the Lite+ tin hover for longer than that if you fto the artillery levels get low.
We wouldn’t urge doing that, but our acquisition revealed that Lite+ could alert for astatine slightest 30 minutes oregon much earlier getting to 20% capacity. A clip that allows for large opportunities to get the shots needed without feeling pressured for time.
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The chemoreceptor of the Lite+ is dominated by the ample gimbal needed to power the 1-inch sensor and its associated optics, astir which we’ll speech successful greater item later.
Anyone who flies drones volition beryllium acutely alert that immoderate mistake tin beryllium a costly mistake erstwhile flying adjacent to structures and trees. To trim the anticipation of accidents, Autel included a suite of ocular collision detection sensors connected the front, rear and underside.
There are nary connected the side, making orbital maneuvers arsenic risky arsenic they are connected a drone without avoidance features. These sensors necessitate airy to relation and are disabled if the drone exceeds modular speeds.
Other notable plan choices connected this drone are that the microSD paper slot is connected the near broadside nether a tiny cover, and a USB-C larboard is successful the reflector presumption to the right. The drone contains 6GB of interior representation to prevention the embarrassment of those who hide their SD card, and it tin instrumentality a 256GB paper for those aiming to grounds plentifulness of 5.4K video.
Short pegs are molded nether each centrifugal presumption and assistance the drone wide of the ground. Still, we’d beryllium cautious astir operating this plan from writer since the camera gimbal is remarkably adjacent to the aboveground of adjacent the flattest ground.
Bright LED lights are included some underneath the assemblage and connected the extremity of each arm, making the drone comparatively casual to spot successful low-light oregon acheronian conditions. The props are the dual leaf assortment wherever centrifugal (or centripetal) forces orientate them erstwhile spinning, and they are easy removable without a tool.
We were impressed by the prime of operation and the evident robustness of the parts. The Lite+ is good built, and the tolerances of the connecting parts are high. We’re definite that it would beryllium imaginable to harm the Lite+ seriously, particularly flying successful athletics mode. However, the assemblage and arms look pugnacious capable to grip insignificant accidents without unexpected accelerated disassembly.
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Equally well-made is the controller, a plan that initially looked a small excessively overmuch similar an Xbox controller for our tastes. That said, it’s of precocious quality, has capable artillery for astatine slightest 3 oregon 4 flights, and the sticks are close capable for subtle power without resorting to ‘smooth’ mode, the Autel mentation of DJI’s ‘tripod’ oregon ‘cine’ formation mode.
A flimsy disappointment with the controller is that determination isn’t anyplace to store the thumbsticks. Autel doesn’t see spares adjacent successful the premium pack, truthful losing them could beryllium highly problematic. While the DJI controller utilized connected the Mini 2, Air 2S and Mavic 3 mightiness not beryllium arsenic ergonomic to clasp arsenic the Autel design, it did stow some the thumbsticks and the telephone cable.
A spring-loaded limb extends to securely clasp a telephone supra the controller, though immoderate further hardware volition beryllium required to equine a tablet. Included is simply a powerfulness adapter that volition complaint some the batteries and the remote. The distant tin besides beryllium charged utilizing a USB-C cablegram successful a pinch.
In the premium pack, a three-battery charging presumption is included. It doesn’t velocity up the 90 minutes of charging, but the quality to link them each and locomotion distant is simply a convenience.
Other enhancements for premium battalion customers are 2 other batteries implicit the 1 included with the drone, much replacement blades than the 1 acceptable that comes arsenic standard, and a stylish brushed transportation lawsuit for the drone, charger, cables and each the different spares and accessories.
A acceptable of 4 ND filters was besides successful the bag, but the missing point for america was immoderate strap to clasp the blades successful presumption portion folded.
Features and flight
- New Fly application
- Live 2.7K video wrong a kilometer
- Real-world formation times of much than 30 minutes
The formation acquisition of this drone is enjoyable, and transitioning from a DJI drone oregon different brands should beryllium a breeze for adjacent novice pilots.
What became much evident arsenic we flew the Evo Lite+ much is that the important magnitude of powerfulness disposable successful the Lite+ allows for some subtle power and melodramatic show erstwhile required.
For example, the Lite+ tin ascent astatine 29 km/h, enabling it to scope its emblematic ineligible operating altitude of 120m successful conscionable 15 seconds. Without restrictions, a formation ceiling of 5 km (16,404 ft) is technically possible, though inadvisable. A apical velocity of 67.6 km/h tin beryllium reached successful athletics mode, astir the aforesaid maximum arsenic the DJI Air 2S.
However, wherever this plan exceeds the Air 2S is successful quoted maximum upwind resistance, with the Lite+ being rated to grip 61.2 km/h (38 mph) breeze, astir treble that of the Air 2S.
While we firmly judge that the upwind absorption of the Air 2S is astir apt understated, the other wide of the Lite+ whitethorn springiness it a important vantage connected blustery days.
Up to a kilometer away, the transmission strategy relays 2.7K video backmost to the telephone oregon tablet, enabling a wide presumption of what the drone is observing. Beyond that range, the prime drops to 720p. And for those flying successful a portion wherever it is ineligible to run extracurricular ocular range, the Lite+ transmission tin relation retired to 7km.
At shorter ranges, being down buildings oregon different obstructions had minimal interaction connected the video prime oregon the power responses.
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For the caller Evo Lite and Nano drone series, Autel has a caller bundle bundle that replaces the Autel Explorer with the Autel Sky application. In use, it is akin to the DJI Fly exertion and provides akin functionality that anyone flying the DJI Mini 2 oregon Air 2S would recognize.
It includes a enactment of 4 'quick shots' that are named otherwise but automate assorted classical drone moves without the request for manual intervention. Autel promises a firmware update soon that volition adhd dynamic tracking and a fewer different tweaks that aren’t successful the Lite+ we tested.
We’ll speech much astir video and inactive seizure aboriginal on, but determination are plentifulness of options for each mode of photographic exercises. In the settings are the accustomed suspects for controlling what happens erstwhile the drone disconnects, its return-to-home altitude, and the antithetic controller formation modes.
By default, erstwhile the drone is archetypal activated, it enters Novice mode, wherever the tallness and scope from the controller are limited. Once Novice mode is deactivated, you tin acceptable these to the ineligible limits successful your region, but this formation envelope isn’t enforced, and the drone isn’t geofenced.
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In creaseless and modular formation modes, the collision detection strategy is progressive and provides ocular and audio feedback if you are moving toward obstructions. Should you disregard the warnings and propulsion on, the drone volition yet garbage to determination successful the absorption it considers to beryllium perchance hazardous.
Depending connected what you are trying to do, this tin beryllium irritating oregon a diagnostic that could debar a immense repair cost. It is imaginable to disable it, and it volition crook disconnected automatically erstwhile the drone is flying accelerated successful Sport mode, but it has its uses. The strategy mightiness besides miss bladed wires and twigs, and it can’t spot to the sides, truthful ne'er presume that it volition ever support you from trouble.
Video and representation quality
- 1-inch 20MP sensor
- Shoots up to 5.4K video
- Clean images adjacent astatine precocious ISO settings
Emblazoned with a ‘6K’ label, the camera has a maximum signaling solution of 5472 x 3076 astatine 30fps signaling video and 5472 x 3648 for inactive images. That’s astir identical to what the DJI Air 2S offers, but that drone has a fixed f/2.8 lens, whereas the Lite+ tin set aperture from f/2.8 to f/11.
That allows this drone to fastener its framework complaint but power the magnitude of airy successful the exposure, reducing the request for ND filters. And, if you bash usage ND filters with it, determination is simply a overmuch larger scope for accommodation and amended extent of tract control.
The vantage of a 5.4K solution sensor is that it allows a bully borderline for cropping to 4K successful post, oregon a lossless zoom successful 4K, 2.7K and 1080p capture. Obviously, you lone get a 1.3x lossless zoom successful 4K, but much successful the little resolutions.
Going beyond 4x zooming is mostly pointless, but the Fly app volition let up to 16x zoom to beryllium selected for those that similar pixelation.
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Automatic settings shot
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Automatic settings shot
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HDR from 5 images
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HDR from 5 images
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HDR from 5 images
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Standard settings shot
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Wide panoramic stitched by Sky app
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Night mode shot
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Standard photograph settings
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Wide panoramic stitched by Sky app
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As you mightiness reasonably expect utilizing a sensor of this scale, the prime of the images and video it tin seizure is high.
Professional drone cinematographers mightiness not beryllium pleased to observe that this camera is lone 8-bit and not 10-bit. And, determination is besides nary D-Log profile. For those who pridefulness themselves connected extracting each spot of opposition and saturation from their footage, the Lite bid is thing of an affront.
For others with little demanding requirements, it produces usable footage that is reasonably balanced by default without the request for convoluted post-processing. It’s a antithetic mindset, and those who don’t similar this attack tin ever put much heavy successful the DJI Mavic 3 oregon the disturbingly costly DJI Mavic 3 Cine.
Autel tells america that it's moving connected LUT for the modular profile, arsenic it did for the Evo II bid drones.
The Evo Lite+ shines successful its low-light capability, arsenic it offers unsocial nighttime photography and videography modes. With these, it is imaginable to boost the ISO up to 64000, yet support excessive atom from rendering the footage unusable.
The champion inactive images we captured successful mean airy utilized the vulnerability bracketing mode with 5 combined images. This diagnostic doesn’t let the EV offset betwixt each representation to beryllium defined, sadly.
There are besides assorted panoramic, spherical and wide-field shooting modes, and the Autel Fly exertion post-processes these for you portion retaining the root images.
As volition astir enactment cameras, the images thin to person beardown pin-barrel distortion that mightiness request to beryllium adjusted successful editing software, but the results are mostly escaped of chromatic fringing.
Overall, the representation and video prime connected the Lite+ is excellent, adjacent if determination is nary Log mode oregon bit-rate accommodation available. The autofocusing exertion is first-rate, and the stableness of the drone provides an fantabulous level for stationary and moving cinematography.