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Autel Evo 2 vs DJI Mavic Air 2

If you’re as interested as I am in piloting drones, then listen up. I think the Autel Evo 2 and Mavic Air 2 are some of the best options for an enthusiast, but I wouldn’t want anyone to make a hasty decision. Let’s explore the nitty-gritty details of these drones.



Autel Evo 2Mavic Air 2
Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro Drone with 1''CMOS Sensor, 6K HDR Video, F2.8-F11 Adjustable Aperture, 360° Obstacle Avoidance, 40min Max Flight Time, No Geo-Fencing (2021 Newest)DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K Video 8K Hyperlapse 1/2' CMOS Sensor 3-Axis Gimbal 34min Flight Time ActiveTrack 3.0 Ocusync 2.0, Gray
Weight1150 g
2.5 lbs
570 g
1.25 lbs
Flying Time40 min34 min
Photo1/2” CMOS1/2” CMOS
Video8K:25p / 4K:60p / 2.7K:120p4K:60 fps
Obstacle SensingOmnidirectionalOmnidirectional
More Details & PriceMore Details & Price

About the Autel Evo 2 Pro

Autel EVO 2 Pro
Autel Autel EVO 2 Pro

The Autel Evo 2 comes to us from Autel Robotics. On the consumer (you and me) side, they only put out different series of Evo, like the NANO, LITE, and PRO versions of the one we’re looking at now. They’ve been around since 2014.

Related: Autel EVO 2 vs DJI Mavic 2 Pro

This drone is all about putting a high-end camera on a foldable body. With features like Hyperlapse, omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, and dynamic track 2.0 for predicting the path of moving objects, it’s undoubtedly impressive. You can expect 40 minutes of flight in optimal conditions.

As far as negatives go, the Autel Evo 2 has a notoriously iffy phone application to go with it and can often be unfriendly for beginners in the field. For those that like to save drone flight settings, you’ll find yourself having to re-input them each time you fly.

The Autel Evo 2 is a competent flyer with good battery life and fast speed. If you follow the laws in your area, you don’t have to worry about geofencing and can go where you want. At surface level, it’s a decent choice.

About the Mavic Air 2

Mavic Air 2 in hand
Yay Mavic Air 2 in hand

Shenzhen DJI Sciences and Technologies Ltd. – or just DJI for short – makes the Mavic Air 2. They have a huge variety of drones for a bunch of industries beyond just consumer electronics. DJI has been in business from its founding in 2006 to now. 

Related: DJI Mavic Air 2S vs DJI Mini 2

This drone is ideal for beginner drone pilots, and DJI has populated forums for like-minded customers to get help, advice, and share interesting stuff. Features like SmartPhoto for brightness correction and panorama mode for amazing wide shots are great to have.

As I mentioned earlier, anyone can use the forums for specific help. But that also allows anyone to see some of the more common issues with the Mavic Air 2. A relatively small internal storage of 8BG and some reported problems regarding license validation are some notable drawbacks.

Just after a brief look, it’s clear that the Mavic Air 2 is a primarily beginner-friendly drone and can even work for intermediate pilots. The 34-minute flight time should let you experience plenty of the cool features the Mavic Air 2 has to offer.

How Are the Autel Evo 2 and DJI Mavic Air 2 Different?

There are plenty of comparisons to draw between these two. As someone that tends to geek out over specs, I’ll give you an extensive list of points where you can see the differences. Here’s what I think you should look out for between the Evo 2 and the Mavic Air 2.

1. Size and Weight

Mavic Air 2 folded
Yay Mavic Air 2 folded

Each drone’s size and weight might not be apparent from just seeing images online. However, looking at the specs can be pretty jarring because they have a decent size differential. 

The Autel Evo 2 is a bit of a beast, with 4.5 by 4.3 by 9 inch folded dimensions and a weight of 2.6 pounds. Even folded, it’s still a hefty option for a drone, although it carries the tech to mostly justify this relatively hulking size.

The Mavic Air 2 is much slimmer, with 3.3 by 3.8 by 7.1 folded dimensions and a total weight of 1.26 pounds. There are fewer options for someone flying an Air 2 to play around with, certainly, but that’s a lot of weight to shed.

2. Video Recording

Another rift between the two is the most significant selling point of the Evo 2: the ability to capture footage in 8k. The Mavic Air 2 maxes out at a 4k resolution, which can be handled by the Evo 2, with both drones capable of shooting at super-high frame rates.

The drones share multiple options, like 2.7K, full high-definition, and 4K Ultra HD up to 240 frames per second in some cases. But, if you want to get footage in 8K resolution, you simply cannot do it with the Mavic Air 2.

The Autel Evo 2 also has a log-format recording for those of you with a keen eye for video editing and color correction. This extra step gives us more to work with when we want to keep exposure consistent while doing a bit of extra grading work.

3. Top Speed

For following fast targets and getting sick action shots, it can be an absolute must to get a high top speed out of your drone. The Mavic 2 is around 2 miles per hour slower than the Evo 2.

The top speed for the Mavic Air 2 is 42.5 MPH (68.4 KPH), while the Autel Evo 2 clocks in at 44.74 MPH (72 KPH). Of course, this won’t be a massive difference for beginners and people looking for a leisurely drone flight.

Keep aware of these differences in combination. The larger size of the Evo means flying at high speed is a bit costly for the battery. For the Mavic, the speed cap, in addition to the resolution max, limits shots you can get.

4. Transmission Range

This difference gets more and more relevant as you gain experience in piloting drones. There’s a whole kilometer range discrepancy between these two drones, with the Mavic getting the edge.

The transmission range for the DJI Mavic Air 2 is a total of 6.21 miles (10 KM), and the range for the Autel Evo 2 is 5.59 miles (9 KM). Keeping well below this remote control distance is advised for anyone’s first flight and the best video streams.

How Are the Evo 2 and Mavic Air 2 Similar?

Both of these drones share some common ground. Despite how big a gap there can be in some areas, there are quite a few spots where they are quite similar or simply the same.

1. Image Sensor and Video Similarities

Autel Evo 2 vs Mavic Air 2
Autel / Yay / Aero Autel Evo 2 vs Mavic Air 2

Both are equipped with a ½ inch CMOS sensor, built to take 48 megapixel-quality images. Even when you zoom in pretty far, the sensor will support high fidelity, but they’ll have the same photos in everyday environments.

Without 8k resolutions’ advantages, the overall camera quality would be virtually the same between these two drones. The footage captured outside the Evo 2’s 8k will be at the same framerate caps as well.

Both drones possess a 120Mbps bitrate. The lossless zoom on both drones handles up to 2x. However, the Evo 2 can double that and retain detail with the best of them. 

2. Battery Life

Comparing the listed battery life for both drones should produce a six-minute difference. However, when factoring in safety measures and the common high-balling manufacturers get up to with drone specifications, the actual battery life is much closer to 28 minutes for both drones.

The bulkier frame of the Evo 2 puts it much closer to the Mavic Air 2 when it comes to overall life to a safe pilot. The tradeoff seems pretty big just looking at the websites, but getting to test them out reveals an unfortunate similarity.

3. Intelligent Features

Combing through all the extra abilities that drones have can get confusing, thanks to corporate name schemes that often just mean the same tech is being used. While not all the features overlap, there are a couple of them that do.

The Evo 2’s object track and the Mavic Air 2’s ActiveTrack 3.0 serve the same function. However, combined with the enhanced safety features and larger size of the Evo 2, it can often interrupt itself for the sake of safety in more situations than the Mavic.

The DJI feature Point of Interest 3.0 and the intelligent flight modes of the Evo 2 offer many similar functions. Ultimately, the Evo 2 provides more options in this capacity to specifically track a target in unique ways, like from a specified viewpoint.

4. Storage Capacity

Both drones have an internal storage capacity of 8GB. Now, this isn’t anything to write home about and can get full decently fast. As is customary, you can equip both drones with SD cards for expanded direct recordings.

Each also only supports up to 256GB SD card storage. The Mavic Air 2 specs detail a small supported list of cards, while the Evo 2 simply requires a UHS-3 rating.

What’s Better about the Autel Evo 2?

The capacity for shooting a wider range of high-fidelity footage is a clear advantage of the Autel Evo 2. It’s a bigger machine, capable of much more at the end of the day. With a proper setup to process the video footage, it’s for the true pro.

The Autel Evo 2 has no built-in geofencing system, meaning you don’t have to deal with annoying NFZ limitations and warnings messing up your UI during a flight. If you have good knowledge of your area and piloting skills, then these reminders will only slow you down anyway.

The unique controller that the Evo 2 possesses allows you to pilot without being tied to your phone exclusively. Custom-made for the Evo series, the transmission controller offers a specially designed experience whenever you fly.

What’s Better about the Mavic Air 2?

The compact and versatile nature of the Mavic Air 2 makes it a real contender. It’s an easy-to-set-up machine with a compact size and simple controls that make it much more approachable than the Autel Evo 2.

The sturdy controller and well-made app allow you to hook up your phone with a smooth experience that is much more bug-free than Autel’s less-than-stellar application history. 

A unique intelligent feature in Hyperlapse represents a cool selling point, allowing beginner pilots to slowly learn through four different modes. It also introduces the concept of getting a tutorial for each new learning challenge.

Who Should Get the Autel Evo 2 Pro?

The Autel Evo 2 is a professional drone for those interested in capturing high-quality footage in 8k. If you can fully put to use the maximum qualities of this beast, you’ll be more than happy with its powerful features no matter where you go.

It’s an intelligent drone. It leans towards safety whenever possible, even in some detrimental cases where it prioritizes redundant security over a better shot position. Environmental awareness and smart return home help keep the Autel Evo 2 as secure as possible.

If you use a drone for work and need to get the job done at the highest possible margin, I think you’ve found your option. It’s a chunky powerhouse, for better and worse.

Get the Autel Evo 2 on Amazon

Who Should Get the DJI Mavic Air 2?

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great all-around drone for multiple purposes. The beginner-friendly nature and features that support even intermediate use are hard to ignore for most consumers – this is truly a fantastic first step into drone piloting.

Even for people out there with some experience under their belt, if you know you aren’t going for stock footage recording, movie making, or other professional pursuits, the Mavic Air 2 is for you. Computers that can handle 8k footage are also more of an ask.

If you use a drone for leisure or small work tasks and want to have some fun, I think that the Mavic Air 2 is your best bet. It’s a sleek little machine, simple as that.

Get the Mavic Air 2 on Amazon

Conclusion

These two drones are good reps for two very different pilots out there. The Autel Evo 2 is for the high-end consumers that want great footage and filming options, and the Mavic Air 2 is for beginner and intermediate flyers that aren’t all for committing as much.

You get a ton of value from either, and as long as you adhere to the rules of the sky, you’ll be all set to have a great time with your choice between the Autel Evo 2 and the DJI Mavic Air 2.

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