The Autel Robotics Evo Lite is a powerful drone that brings together many of the lessons that Autel has learned over the years, combined with familiar features that we’re seeing in most consumer drones today. The result is a capable camera drone that we enjoy flying.
The upgraded camera in the Evo Lite+ offers enhanced low-light performance, and we have to say, it certainly creates clean images, with minimal noise in dark scenes.
Note: We tested the Autel Robotics Evo Lite+ with the 1-inch camera sensor.
Evo Lite overview
We invite you to check out our hands-on coverage of the Evo Lite for a thorough overview of this folding drone. Summing that up, you are looking at a comfortably sized folding drone that is reasonable to haul around, offers all of the flight safety and features that one would expect from a modern drone, and produces better aerial imagery than we were expecting to see for this caliber of aircraft.
Despite feeling like it weighs a little too much for its size, the big battery supplies up to 40 minutes of flight time, which is fantastic.
The drone feels powerful and balanced, though the default settings feel a little spongy. This is actually intentionally smooth flight characteristics. The drone eases into movement, and comes to a stop smoothly. This feels spongy, as the drone is still moving when you’ve already removed your hands from the controls, but you can swap to different flight modes and adjust rates to change the feel. However, by default, the drone captures nice and smooth video from the sky, so we suggest just getting used to it.
Speaking of smooth video, we mostly opted to capture footage in 4K at 60fps, but the machine is capable of 6K footage at 30fps.
Evo Lite specs
Evo Lite performance
With a top speed of over 40 mph, a range of over 7 miles, and a flight time nearing 40 minutes, there’s not much you can’t do with the Evo Lite. We found the drone to handle smoothly and accurately, with a stable hover with GPS guidance.
The obstacle avoidance sensors prevented collisions nicely. When flying towards ourselves, it came to a halt at about 8 feet away, then was allowed to slowly inch toward us until about 6 feet away, which was the location of our landing pad.
Before the winter weather cooperated to allow us to fly outside, we attempted flight indoors. The rain clouds and wood roof of my house were enough to prevent adequate GPS connectivity, requiring me to go into the settings to manually enable ATTI mode. The drone was stable enough, but is powerful enough that even in an empty room, the prop wash created uncomfortable turbulence. I just painted those walls, so I landed immediately. I do not consider the Evo Lite to be a great drone for indoor flight.
Back outside, the drone navigated the obstacles in the back yard with ease. At no point did the drone feel out of control, nor did I lose connection or video signal.
Evo Lite+ camera
The main reason we fly drones, personally, is to capture great aerial imagery from the sky. The Evo Lite+ accomplishes this. In particular, we are very, very pleased with some shots we took of the setting sun with a tree in the foreground. Capturing in 6K at 30fps was fine, but we found the 4K footage at 60fps to be the best output from the drone.
Photos were similarly crisp, producing well balanced shots from the 20MP, 1-inch sensor.
There is one thing we would like to see changed about the camera on the Evo Lite+, we did not enjoy the changing focal length when we changed capture settings. For our testing, and in our normal flights, we like to frame up a nice shot, then capture it in different resolutions. However, resolution changes in the camera result in different overall views. It was as if we were zooming in or out as compared to the other resolutions. This is not a problem, but it just struck us as odd that the effective field of view would change when we adjust the capture resolution.
Overall camera performance is fantastic. We like the photos and video captured by the Evo Lite+.
Evo Lite competition
The Evo Lite launches into a competitive drone segment. In particular, the entire line of Mavic drones from DJI have also been described as compact, folding drones with great cameras. At time of launch, however, the Evo Lite+, in particular, finds itself in a solid place situated between the DJI Air 2S and the Mavic 3 drones. While all three series offer a 1-inch camera, the price and overall image quality directly correspond, with the Air 2S being the most affordable.
The low light features of the Evo Lite+ are a welcome addition, however, we live in a part of the world in which only a few licensed pilots can fly after the sun has set. Low light performance certainly makes a difference on cloudy days, but the true valu