The (American-)Chinese drone specialist Autel Robotics has introduced the two new drone series EVO Nano and Lite, each consisting of a standard and a plus model with, among other things, a better camera and are a direct competitor for DJI&s Mini 2 and Air 2S.
Autel EVO Nano and Lite models in all available colors.
Autel EVO Nano / Nano+
. The two Autel EVO Nano/Nano+ models weigh only 249 grams, giving them the advantage of falling into drone class C0 (up to 250g takeoff weight) and thus can be flown in Germany (and many other countries as well) without the need for a license or registration.
Both have features that are now a matter of course, such as intelligent recording modes, such as tracking objects like people or vehicles via Dynamic Track 2.1, and - following the example of DJI&s Quick Shots - special automated flight maneuvers (Cinematic Shots) along with matching camera movement for quick handsome shots, which can then be embellished with filters and a soundtrack using the Autel Sky app. The maximum flight time of both models is 28 minutes in calm conditions - a common value in this class.
Autel EVO Nano models in all available colors
The newcomers are in direct competition with DJI&s Mini 2 and Mini SE drones. They offer at least one major advantage over DJI&s offering: as the first drones in the C0 class, they feature an automatic obstacle avoidance system (though it&s unclear whether only the Nano+ or both Nano models have it) that works forward, backward as well as downward.
The remote control comes in the widely used gamepad-like design including two small control sticks as well as a holder for a smartphone, which is used for live preview and menu control, among other things. Live video from the drone is transmitted via Autel&s SkyLink system through the remote control to the smartphone running the Sky app up to a distance of about 10 kilometers in 2.7K at 30 fps on three frequencies (2.4/5.8/5.2GHz). Conveniently, the drone&s photos can also be easily transferred (at a speed of around 20MB/s) to the cell phone wirelessly by holding it close to the drone.
Autel EVO Nano folded up.
Differences between the EVO Nano/Nano+
. Difference of the two models is the sensor size: the standard Nano model has a 1/2" CMOS with 48 megapixels resolution and the ability to record 4K video at 30 fps, the Nano+ version with a 1/.28" RYYB sensor with 50 megapixels resolution as well as f/1.9 lens. The RYYB filter array is said to be about 40% faster than the traditional RGGB design, according to Autel. In addition, the Nano+ has PDAF (Phase Detect Autofocus) and CDAF (Contrast Detect Autofocus) autofocus for fast focusing during object tracking flights and an HDR photo mode.
Autel EVO Lite / Lite+
The EVO Lite models are significantly larger (and also heavier at 820g) than the Nano models, meaning they don&t have the benefit of not having to register. But they can stay in the air longer (maximum 40 minutes) - a better-than-average time and have a better camera than the Nano model, as well as a 4-axis gimbal and the SonarSound function.
Both Lite models have an automatic obstacle avoidance system that works forward, backward and downward, as well as object tracking via Dynamic Track 2.1 and the Cinematic Shots. The remote control and its functions are similar to those of the Nano models, but the range is slightly higher at around 12km.
Autel EVO Lite models in all available colors
Two special features of the Autel Lite/Lite+ models are the 4-axis gimbal, which also enables vertical recording popular with smartphone viewers, and the SonarSound function, which uses a microphone built into the remote control to record ambient sounds to add realistic sound to drone videos.
Differences between the Autel EVO Lite and Lite+
The EVO Lite&s camera is similar to that of the Nano+ model, using a 1/.28" CRYB sensor with 50 megapixels of resolution with f/1.9 lens to capture 4K HDR video, as well as PDAF and CDAF autofocus for fast focusing during object tracking flights.
The camera of the Lite+ version is even more equipped: it has a large 1" sensor with variable aperture (f/2.8 - F11) and can record up to 6K video at 30fps. This makes it similar to DJI&s Air 2S drone, which also uses a 1" sensor (and records 5.4K at 30p). Autel promises especially high light sensitivity with low image noise due to the large sensor and a special algorithm tuned to moonlight when shooting in relative darkness. In addition, the Lite+ has a defog mode to get clear images despite fog and haze.
Autel Sky App
Release date and pricing
. All new Autel EVO models are scheduled to launch in late October 2021, with the EVO Nano costing around and the Nano+ around - both in a choice of Arctic White, Deep Space Gray, Blazing Red or Autel Orange. The EVO Lite will cost around 1,150, and the EVO Lite+ will cost around 1,250 - both in a choice of Arctic White, Deep Space Gray or Autel Orange. By comparison, DJI&s Mini 2 drone currently costs around , and the Air 2S costs around 1,000 - so to be competitive, the new Autel drones will have to work a little harder on better functionality or drop in price quickly. DJI is also rumored to be working on a new version of its Mini drone, so it will be interesting to see if DJI can come up with new features to outdo Autel&s Nano. more infos at bei auteldrones.com