Autel Robotics EVO II 8K Drone – Review


Autel’s EVO II series drone at promises vast improvements over the original EVO model launched back in 2018, with a new 8K camera, and high-fps video modes. Today we take to the skies to find out how it fairs the UK’s torrid weather.

Design

The orange finish on Autel’s products is a delight to see against the UK’s gloomy skies and green fields. The sensors, camera and vents all blend seamlessly, without detracting from this aesthetic.

The EVO II Pro is a smaller drone, similar to many of DJI’s offerings, but it is far from light, weighing 2.6 pounds. The arms all fold in the typical fashion you would expect from a 4-prop drone of this style, with little difficulty.

The remote control is not dissimilar to a Playstation controller, and operates independently of a smartphone. This is a nice addition to other drones I’ve owned where a smartphone with a large screen was essential. The backlight on the EVO II‘s controller is also very bright, making it easy to use outdoors in well-lit environments.

Camera

The details provided by the camera are astonishing, and amongst the best I’ve seen from any camera, let alone a drone camera. The highlight being the options to save photos as DNGs. This allows you to retain as much detail as possible, for later editing of shadows, tones etc in a proper photo editing suite.

For video, 6K at up to 30 frames per second, 4K at up to 60 frames per second, and 2.7K or 1080p at up to 120 frames per second are all available out-of-the-box.

I’m particularly intrigued by 120fps, given it is so rare to be able to shoot high frame rate footage on drones. Be sure to read my article on high-refresh rate monitors, to ensure you can enjoy 120fps footage – not all monitors and phones support it.

Summary

The EVO II Pro is a direct competitor to DJI‘s Mavic line of drones. Its camera is excellent, and the 120fps video provides a sense of future-proof tech. For anyone wishing to move on from the Mavic Air line of drones, this could be a good option.

*Update January 2022

I’ve continued to use the EVO II drone throughout December and have really enjoyed my time with it. I’ve flown it in some really challenging conditions and it has performed brilliantly.

The only thing that I would change about this drone is that I’d like to see a little more range from it, but that’s not a huge issue for me as I’m not planning on doing any long distance drone racing!


Have you flown the EVO II? Let me know how you got on, get in touch.