For a very long time, it regarded like DJI’s reasonably priced client drones would fly free from critical competitors. However that every one modified in September 2021 when Autel introduced 4 upcoming drones that signify critical competitors for DJI’s profitable, entry-level designs.
The Autel Evo Nano and Nano+ are designed to tackle the wonderful DJI Mini 2, whereas the Evo Lite and Lite+ fashions have landed to take a chunk out of the favored DJI Air 2S.
Curiously, the specification for the Evo Lite collection seems prefer it was taken straight from an present Air 2S proprietor’s wishlist – the truth is, it might be a compilation of issues we’d nicely see within the DJI Air 3, if and when DJI releases that drone.
The Autel Evo Lite+ was designed to exceed or match the DJI Air 2S throughout the board, sporting virtually every thing within the present DJI Air 2S, however with some options that transcend that design and even compete with the Mavic 3.
However earlier than we examine the drones and delve into the specs, let’s begin with the inevitable abuse that proudly owning a Lite+ will unleash in your checking account.
- 1 Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Worth
- 2 Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Design
- 3 Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Cameras
- 4 Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Video modes
- 5 Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Efficiency
- 6 Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Impediment avoidance and GPS
- 7 Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Early verdict
Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Worth
With parts briefly provide and the price of chip fabrication rising, the Lite+ was all the time going to prime the Air 2S on value. But it surely’s attainable that the Air 2S’ value might additionally rise, and the Air Three will virtually actually value extra when it does seem.
On the time of writing, the Lite+ prices $1,349 / £1,129 / AU $2,499 for its commonplace bundle with a single battery and a single set of substitute blades. For the Premium bundle, with three batteries, plenty of props, a three-battery charger, smooth bag, and some different goodies, that outlay will increase to $1,649 / £1,399 / AU $2,999.
That compares unfavorably with the DJI Air 2S, with that drone costing $999 / £899 / / AU $1699 and its Fly Extra Combo with the additional batteries setting you again $1,299 / £1,169 / AU $2,099.
General, the Autel Evo Lite+ prices round $350 / £230 extra, no matter which bundle you purchase. That is a reasonably substantial enhance of about 30% over the Air 2S, which takes it to a degree that is doubtless past the price range of many hobbyist fliers.
Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Design
Whereas these drones look remarkably related in structure and design, the Lite+ is altogether a bigger drone that measures 210×123×95mm when folded and 427×384×95mm when the arms are deployed. Against this, the DJI Air 2S is simply 180×97×77 mm folded and 183×253×77 mm when unfolded. This scale makes the Lite+ marginally larger than even the DJI Mavic 3.
As each of those drones are above the 250g threshold, it won’t matter by precisely how a lot, however the take-off weight of the Air 2S is just 595g, whereas the Lite+ is considerably heavier at 835g.
That may instantly appear like a win for the Air 2S till you realise that the additional weight within the Lite+ is allotted mainly to a bigger battery, enabling an extended flight time of 40 minutes over 32 minutes on the DJI drone and superior wind pace resistance. It will possibly additionally climb far more quickly, reaching the authorized peak restrict of 400ft in simply 15 seconds.
Each drones have impediment avoidance, an FFC transmission vary of 12km and the power to file up 5.4K decision video as much as 30 fps. However what actually divides these drones is the digicam know-how, because the Autel Evo Lite+ has a way more fashionable sensor, optics and picture processing know-how.
The Lite+ is available in three colours, together with the signature Autel Orange, in comparison with the one gray shade scheme that DJI has on the Air 2S.
Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Cameras
Sensor measurement is all about gathering as a lot gentle as attainable to supply the most effective illustration when stills or video are captured. Each drones have a 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor with 2.4μm pixel measurement, however the Air 2S has a hard and fast f/2.Eight aperture.
One characteristic that the DJI Mavic 2 Professional provided that is lacking on the DJI Air 2S was a digicam with a variable aperture. That is one thing that is provided by the Evo Lite+, with its aperture adjustable from f/2.Eight to f11.
This permits a lot better administration of the sunshine that is coming into the digicam, with out the necessity for ND filters – and even better scope if ND filters are used.
The digicam discipline of view on each drones is fairly related, at 88 levels on the Air 2S and 82 levels on the Lite+.
However the Lite+ sensor additionally has many different enhancements that allow it to seize comparatively noise-free content material in even very low gentle circumstances. Whereas the video ISO for each drones is capped at ISO 6400 for traditional scenes, a particular night time mode on the Lite+ permits the ISO to extend to an unbelievable ISO 48000. This provides the Lite+ the sting when capturing in low-light circumstances, and it is also higher in a position to seize life like colours in these conditions.
The place the Air 2S has a bonus is that it might seize content material in a D-Log format that gives loads of scope for adjustment in post-processing – that is one thing that Autel has promised in a future firmware launch for the Lite+, but it surely isn’t out there but.
Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Video modes
Whereas the Lite+ has ‘6K’ emblazoned on its digicam, it affords an virtually equivalent most decision and modes because the Air 2S. The most effective decision of the Lite+ is 5472×3076, whereas the Air 2S has two additional vertical pixel traces at 5472×3078.
At that decision, each supply 30fps, and so they can enhance this to 60fps by buying and selling right down to 4K, and as much as 120fps by taking place to 1080p.
The utmost bitrate on supply is 150Mbps on the Air 2S and 120Mbps on the Lite+. This implies there’s barely much less compression on the DJI drone’s video, although not sufficient to make a dramatic distinction in high quality.
Autel has promised HDR modes for 4K and decrease decision video in a future replace, and that’s one thing that DJI doesn’t supply or, on the time of writing, intends so as to add.
Each drones help H.264/MPEG-Four AVC and H.265/HEVC encoding, however the Lite+ has solely 8-bit shade illustration the place the Air 2S has the choice to shoot 10-bit Dlog-M.
The largest distinction between these two cameras turns into evident at night time, because the Air 2S has a most ISO of 6400 in handbook video seize and solely 1600 in the event you use Dlog-M.
For automated video and nonetheless picture seize, the Lite+ can match the Air 2S’ ISO 6400 choice, however utilizing the Evening scene mode boosts that sensitivity to ISO 48000. It additionally has particular a moonlight processing mode to scale back noise influence when recording at these very excessive ISO ranges.
Nonetheless photos on the Lite+ could be shot in 10-bit DNG, displaying the sensor can work with the prolonged distinction of this bit depth, and the utmost decision is 5472×3648, equivalent to that of the Air 2S.
General, the Lite+ is an efficient illustration of how digicam know-how has developed because the Air 2S was launched, and its video high quality is nearer to that of the Mavic 3.
Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Efficiency
Whereas the highest pace of each drones is an analogous 19m/s, the Air 2S has a quoted wind resistance of 10.7 m/s in comparison with the 16.5 m/s that the Lite+ can allegedly deal with.
That efficiency degree exceeds the 12 m/s of the Mavic Three and hints at simply how a lot energy the Lite+ can name on when required. This uncooked grunt is obvious in ascent speeds, the place it might rise at Eight m/s, a full 2 m/s sooner than the Air 2S.
The flipside of this characteristic is that, being heavier, Autel prefers to keep away from momentum taking management in fast descents, and the Lite+ solely comes down at Four m/s, 2 m/s lower than the Air 2S.
General, the Lite+ is healthier for getting as much as altitude quickly, however the Air 2S has a slight edge if it’s worthwhile to get the drone again on the bottom rapidly.
One good purpose you would possibly wish to do that could be a low battery, and with solely a most of 3750mAh on the Air 2S and a flight time of simply 31 minutes, that’s a believable situation.
The Lite+ has a comparatively large 6175mAh battery, and despite the fact that it carries an additional 240g (about the identical as strapping a DJI Mini 2 to the Air 2S), it might stay airborne for a powerful 40 minutes.
Many DJI Air 2S pilots could be occupied with restoration at across the 25-minute mark, however the Autel drone flyer has a minimum of one other ten minutes of operational time forward. That’s loads of additional time to take one other go at reaching that distinctive shot or making an attempt one thing new.
The variations between DJI’s Ocusync 3.zero and Autel’s SkyLink transmission know-how are delicate. For almost all who function inside the visible vary limits imposed by most international locations, they received’t expertise disconnections even the place there are interfering indicators.
Technically, Skylink is rated for 12km FCC and 6km CE, whereas Ocusync 3.zero is 12km FCC and 8km CE. Flying in a CE atmosphere, we didn’t discover any dramatic drawback for the Autel drone.
What we are able to affirm is that Skylink is way superior to Ocusync 2.zero as seen on the DJI Mini 2 and authentic DJI Mavic Air 2. It’s totally straightforward to fly out to the 500m restrict, even in a cluttered location and behind buildings, with out ever dropping the video feed or management.
One facet of the Autel drone that we preferred was that the transmission know-how supplies a 2.7K decision stay video stream again to the Sky app when the drone is inside 1km, whereas all of the DJI drones can solely handle 1080p at finest. The readability of this picture makes the Lite+ simpler to work with when working round tree branches and wires that the impediment avoidance won’t detect.
Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Impediment avoidance and GPS
The impediment avoidance system on these drones may be very related, providing ahead, rear and under sensors, however missing lateral imaginative and prescient. The Air 2S additionally has further upward-looking sensors, making it appropriate for individuals who wish to fly underneath buildings reminiscent of bridges.
Whereas it isn’t comparable, the ahead sensors of the Lite+ have a better vertical angle than these on the Air 2S, enabling it to see issues above it to a level. Nonetheless, neither of those drones have the extent of avoidance we’ve seen on the Skydio 2, but it surely would possibly keep away from an costly accident, particularly for these new to the interest.
In each, impediment avoidance is disabled in ‘sport’ mode robotically, and it received’t work in low gentle circumstances. For night time landings, each have an LED that illuminates the bottom under the drone to assist downward-looking sensors see throughout this flight section.
Presently, the Lite+ employs a system that inhibits the consumer from flying into obstacles that the drone senses, although it received’t autonomously fly round them, whereas the Air 2S has the choice to self-navigate in a restricted method. We imagine Autel intends so as to add this performance, almost definitely when it delivers dynamic monitoring to the Lite+ shortly.
For geographic location accuracy, the Lite+ can name on GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, the identical applied sciences that the Air 2S makes use of. One additional characteristic on the Air 2S that is not out there on the Lite+ is AirSense, a know-how to detect different plane and helicopters whereas flying.
Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Early verdict
Just like the current DJI Mavic 3, the Autel Evo Lite+ has come to market with a couple of options nonetheless to be added, however fewer than the Mavic Three had lacking earlier than its current firmware replace.
By comparability, the DJI Mavic Air 2 has been round for for much longer, having first appeared in April 2020, earlier than being up to date to the DJI Air 2S a 12 months later. This implies the Air 2S is a extra mature piece of know-how with all its performance full.
DJI not too long ago launched an SDK for the Air 2S, enabling third-party purposes like Litchi and Rainbow to function the drone. Autel can be wanting into offering an SDK, and we hope it supplies one for the Lite+ sooner or later.
That stated, the Lite+ has a horny efficiency envelope already, and it’ll solely get higher as Autel delivers new firmware releases. A improbable digicam with enhanced low gentle capabilities and a variable aperture lens makes it perfect for individuals who take drone cinematography severely.
When the prolonged flying time of the Lite+ is factored in, DJI now has some critical competitors within the prosumer slice of the digicam drone market. After Autel has added a flat profile capturing mode and 4K HDR seize, the Evo Lite+ might turn into the go-to resolution for these unwilling to embrace the eye-watering value of the DJI Mavic 3.
Nonetheless, the Lite+ does value a major quantity greater than the Air 2S, and for these with a restricted price range, that drone remains to be an amazing performer.