Autel EVO 2 Review

Last updated July 18th, 2020
Autel Evo 2 review

If you’re reading this review right now, it’s safe to assume that you’re looking for professional-grade cinematography options in the form of drones, right?

As we already know by now, tried and tested brands like DJI and Parrot have been frequent go-to manufacturers of content creators, amateur and professionals alike, due to their unparalleled quality albeit the premium pricing.

It is even offered in 3 configurations for different levels of shooting capabilities: the Autel EVO 2, Autel EVO 2 Pro, and Autel EVO 2 Dual.

It seems like Autel is steering to the right path with this release, boasting what seems to be the first 8K-capable UAV in the market, on top of beefy flight time. But how well does it perform in the real world? Check out our comprehensive Autel EVO 2 to find out.

Quick Specs

WeightUnloaded: 1127 grams
SizeLength: 424 mm
Width: 354 mm
Height: 110 mm
SpeedMax: 44.7 mph
SignalRange: ~9 km
Operational Frequencies: 2.4 GHz
BatteryFlight time: ~40 minutes
Capacity: 7100 mAh
RecordingCamera: 8K, 20-MP
Autel EVO II 8K Drone
  • 40 MINUTES OF STABLE FLIGHT TIME: From inspecting electrical cell towers to surveying...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FOLDABLE DESIGN: Deployed in under 30 seconds, the 2.5lb EVO II is ideal for...
  • PATENTED LOCKING PROPELLER DESIGN: No tools required, quick release foldable propellers...
  • INTERCHANGEABLE PAYLOADS: Designed for versatile operations, pilots can alternate between...
  • LIVE CONTROLLER VIDEO FEED: Control almost all aspects of your mission right off the 3.3...

Autel EVO 2 Features

GPS + GLONASS

For a drone as premium as this one, a competent positioning system is required to ensure proper operation and accurate maneuvering. As such, a GPS and GLONASS combination is outfitted in the UAV, allowing it to communicate with overhead satellites for accurate and precise triangulation of its location in real-time.

This also provides added functionality for the drone’s intuitive and safety flight features to ensure proper operation. Apart from that, this implementation also doubles as a fail-safe mechanism in the event of critical failures in either system, allowing the functional counterpart to take over and keep the drone safe.

Assistive Shooting Features

Just like any other premium drone, you have the liberty to enjoy your shoots with the intuitive flight features packed in this nifty UAV. Preset maneuvers, smart flight functions, and AI-powered applications like subject tracking are all present to provide a holistic experience for those who want a seamless content creation process.

Omnidirectional Obstacle Avoidance

The drone has a comprehensive omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system comprised of 12 computer vision sensors that are manned by a dual-core processor and advanced AI machine learning to come up with a virtual safe zone for the drone.

This means that the drone is protected from every direction – upward and downward, front and back, and the sides – with a sensing sensitivity of up to 30 meters away, adjusting the speed and proximity of the drone to avoid imminent crashes. But this presents a problem as well, as the hypersensitivity would sometimes tag “obstacles” that are at a considerable distance from the drone and can end up in ruined shots.

You can opt to turn obstacle avoidance off and rely on radar technology to keep tabs of your surroundings while having total control of the drone’s flight. The drone can also autonomously fly itself with the help of the obstacle avoidance system, giving you a convenient Follow Me function at the tap of a button.

Battery Life

The Autel EVO 2 sports a beefy 7100 mAh 3S battery that supplies it with up to over 40 minutes of flight time – theoretically. In reality, it peaks off at 35 minutes give and take. While it doesn’t really stay true to what is advertised (or we were just a bit too eager in flying it), 35 minutes is nothing to scoff at, as most drones in its price bracket can only do somewhere along the high 20’s before returning back to safety.

You have the option to purchase additional battery packs if the said flight time isn’t enough for your needs, which beats waiting for a whole recharge period to finish.

As the battery is evidently larger in size when compared to its Evo 1 counterpart, Autel uses its patented Battlock system to ensure a flush fit, preventing any momentum-based battery ejection in the midst of high-speed maneuvers or hard landings.

Camera

One of the main selling points of the Autel EVO 2 is its impressive 8K-capable camera. It uses the Sony IMX586 1/2″ CMOS sensor for that impressive level of detail and vibrance in every capture. For video capabilities, 8K resolution caps at a cinematic 25 fps, while 6K is at 30 fps, and 4K at 30 or 60 fps. This obviously means that you can’t do slow-mo shots at max resolution, but the fact that montage-style footage is now achievable in a portable format is impressive.

For stills, you are offered a 48-MP max resolution per capture, which is amazing in its own right. Yet upon actual testing, the shots didn’t really have much of the distinction with regards to clarity as opposed to other drones only capable of drawing half the megapixels.

The camera unit comes with a 3-axis mechanical gimbal that stabilizes shots on the go and offers up to 90° of controllable adjustment for your perspective tweaking needs. Do note that images are saved in either JPG or DNG formats, while videos are recorded in either MOV or MP4 formats.

As for supported shooting modes, single shot, burst shooting, auto exposure bracketing (AEB), time-lapse, high dynamic range (HDR) imaging, and NIGHTBEAT (high signal-to-noise ratio).

Ease Of Use

The Autel EVO 2 uses the same remote control as that of the original iteration of the EVO. And we can see why, as you don’t need to fix when it’s not exactly “broke”. Ergonomically speaking, the clutter-free layout of the controls and the overall feel when holding it, especially during the whole duration of one flight battery, is impressively comfortable.

It has a built-in 3.3 inch, 1080p HD LED display to give you access to the live FPV feed of the drone’s camera, as well as basic telemetry readouts such as battery and signal level. This allows you to fly the drone without the need to hook the controller to a smartphone, but you can do so if needed as well, giving you separate screens for telemetry stats and the live FPV feed.

The controller has a beefy 5000 mAh battery that can provide you with hours upon hours of flight time control, which probably exceeds the drone’s own battery life by a healthy margin.

Design and Build Quality

Taking design cues from its older brother and contemporaries, the Autel EVO 2 adopts the folding quadcopter design, maximizing portability with its reduced footprint once folded up.

As for durability, the drone is mostly made up of plastic parts, which we assume to be high-quality ABS or similar materials. The premium hardware and components attached to the UAV add to the total weight of the craft, topping just a kilogram in heft. This serves as an excellent point of balance against moderate winds and breezes when flying outdoors.

The drone is currently offered in a bright orange variant, which makes it quite inconspicuous especially in extreme lighting conditions, but you wouldn’t exactly fly this bird using your line of sight, would you? We’re expecting other color variants to be offered if the whole orange color scheme doesn’t work out well with consumers.

Performance

As far as flight performance goes, the Autel EVO 2 offers a seamless flying experience, ever for newbies and amateurs. The level of response from the drone is basically what you’d expect at its price premium: lightning-fast and consistent. But there are some rough edges that need plaining out, such as the control’s sensitivity. This may be due to the beta version of the app being in its experimental stages, though, so we’re waiting for Autel to update it with future patches.

While not the fastest drone out there, the UAV nets 44.7 mph when dialed into Ludicrous mode, making it a competent bird as it zips into action whenever needed. The 9 km maximum transmission range is an incredible feature as well, but we’d doubt you’d actually cover that much ground when regulations don’t allow you to do so.

Autel EVO 2 vs DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Autel EVO 2Autel EVO 2 ProMavic 2 Pro
Weight1127 grams1174 grams907 grams
Battery Life~35 mins~35 mins~31 mins
Camera8K/48-MP 1/2″ SONY IMX 5866K/20-MP 1″ SONY IMX 3834K/20-MP 1″ CMOS
Our Rating4.84.94.9
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$

Final Thoughts

Impressed yet? Clearly, we are. The CES 2020 announcement had enthusiasts in shock, and the competition having a run for their money. Targeted at the content creator market, Autel seemed to have stirred up the almost-perfect formula for success.

This amazing UAV sports an amazing set of features and specifications, especially the beast of an optics unit capable of 8K captures, an extra-beefy flight juice pack, and the intuitive obstacle detection and avoidance system, among other useful functions.

And while it did have some drawbacks in terms of flight performance and image captures, we’ll be more forgiving of the drone as it is just in the juvenile stages in terms of firmware maturity. We’re sure that after a few formative patches, users will be able to utilize the drone’s full potential seamlessly.

Offered in three configurations, the Autel EVO 2 embodies a stable platform for custom optics variants to be installed on, showing the brand’s dedication to cover a wide swath of niches and applications. Should you try your hand with this drone? Absolutely.

Autel EVO II 8K Drone
  • 40 MINUTES OF STABLE FLIGHT TIME: From inspecting electrical cell towers to surveying...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FOLDABLE DESIGN: Deployed in under 30 seconds, the 2.5lb EVO II is ideal for...
  • PATENTED LOCKING PROPELLER DESIGN: No tools required, quick release foldable propellers...
  • INTERCHANGEABLE PAYLOADS: Designed for versatile operations, pilots can alternate between...
  • LIVE CONTROLLER VIDEO FEED: Control almost all aspects of your mission right off the 3.3...

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