Challenging Mavic Pro – Autel Evo

Autel Evo vs Mavic Pro

The Mavic Pro is a powerful machine packed into a portable frame and is one of DJI’s most popular drones. However, drone manufacturer Autel is readying a rival drone to be released within the next few months. This will be named the Evo, and it is designed to be the first real competition for the Mavic Pro.

The question is should you hold off getting a Mavic Pro until the Autel Evo is released. We have compared the important features and specifications of each model to find out.

Camera Performance

Taking high-quality aerial photography is one of the main purposes of a drone. That’s why camera power is crucial. Currently, there is no information on how many megapixels the Evo’s camera will have, however, an educated guess would put it at 12 or more. As for recording video, both drones can film at 4K (ultra high definition).

 Model Megapixels Frame Rate
Evo NA 4K at 60fps
Mavic Pro 12 4K at 30fps

It looks like the Evo’s camera is going to outperform that of the Mavic Pro. 60fps will make for smoother, sharper video than 30fps.

The Evo also comes equipped with 3D mapping software. This allows it to use its camera to produce full-scale 3D maps of the typography. While you can find 3rd party software to do the same thing with the Mavic Pro, it’s handy that the Evo will have this software automatically included.

+1 for the Evo.

Flight Capabilities

A drone’s ability to fly long, far, and fast is crucial. The max speed is the top velocity in ideal conditions (no wind resistance). The max range means the maximum distance that a drone can travel from its controller before the connection drops out. Lastly, the flight time is how long the drone can stay airborne (in ideal conditions) before its battery runs out and it’s forced to land.

Model Max Speed (mph) Max Range (miles) Max Flight Time (minutes)
Evo 44.7 4.2 30
Mavic Pro 40 4.3 27

Things are looking pretty similar here. The Evo is slightly faster. However, its range is marginally less. The Autel Evo has a flight time that’s three minutes longer than the Mavic Pro.

+1 for the Evo.


This also looks like a tie. The Mavic Pro can fold up and fit into a users pocket, and it looks like the Evo will be following a very similar design. In fact, the Evo almost looks like a clone of the Mavic Pro. We will need to wait and see.

Positioning Systems

Both drones make use of downwards facing vision positioning systems when operating at low altitudes. These systems use both a camera and sonar to accurately determine location to a higher degree of accuracy than GPS alone. This allows them to fly safely when low to the ground and hover in place with minimal displacement.

When using vision positioning the Mavic Pro can hover with vertical displacement of only ±0.1 m and horizontal displacement of only ±0.3 m. It remains to be seen how effective the Evo’s systems will be.


The Evo controller will come with a 3.3 Inch built-in OLED screen which can stream 720p video. There is also a mount at the top for attaching a smartphone. However, it’s not clear if this mount can fit a tablet as well.
The Mavic Pro controller has a built-in flight data screen, but a tablet or smartphone is needed to stream video and run the DJI App. The controller has arms for mounting this device.

Overall both controllers are small, ergonomic, and just look very similar. Now, some users may prefer the small built-in screen of the Evo’s controller because they won’t have to fuss around with a tablet or smartphone as well. Others may prefer to use their own device.


The Mavic Pro has a range of intelligent flight modes which can be operated using the DJI App. The main purpose if these modes are to help take photos and video. They include:

  • Gesture – This allows for controller-free Users can give a gesture, similar to opening a square, and the drones lights will start flashing. They then have three seconds to strike a pose.
  • Active Track – This causes the drone’s camera to follow a subject’s movements.
  • Tapfly– Tap a point on the DJI App, and the drone will fly to that location. Hence the name Tapfly.
  • Tripod – This causes the drone to fly slowly and smoothly which allows users to take sharp photos and videos.

The Evo will also be released with similar flight modes. They include:

  • Orbit – Causes the drone to circle a subject.
  • Dynamic Track – The drone will actively follow a subject and keep it within its camera frame.

Both drones include a Waypoints Mode. This allows users to set an automatic flight path using the DJI App or Autel Explorer App.

Obstacle Avoidance

The Mavic Pro has a forward facing obstacle avoidance system that can detect obstacles up to 49 feet ahead. This system incorporates both cameras and ultrasonic sensors. When it’s enabled, the drone will automatically stop in place or fly around obstacles.

It appears that the Evo will have a similar system. However, it will also have rear infra-red sensors. It is also rumored that the Evo will be able to record obstacle locations within its memory, instead of just sensing them in real-time.

+1 for the Evo


Autel has announced that the Evo will retail at $1,000 which is roughly the price of the Mavic Pro. Of course, by the time the Evo is available, the Mavic Pro may have dropped in price or the Mavic Pro 2 or Mavic Air may be released. It’s hard to tell at this stage which will be the more affordable option.

The Showdown

Model Total Score
Evo 3 (Camera, Flight Capabilities, Obstacle Avoidance)
Mavic Pro 0

Currently, there is only limited information available about the Evo. However, what we can tell you is it is likely to function very similar to the Mavic Pro but with a better camera and better obstacle avoidance systems. On paper, it appears that the Evo is the better machine, but we still need to wait until its release date to get hands on the real thing.

Should You Wait?

Unless your dying to get airborne, then we reckon holding out until the Evo is released. It appears to be almost a clone of the Mavic Pro but with a better camera and rear obstacle sensors. The price will also be comparable.

Of course, users have tested every aspect of the Mavic Pros functions which is why there is so much information about it. Only time will tell if the Evo can live up to the hype or comes with some fatal flaws.

DJI Mavic Air is Coming …



DRONE-MAKER DJI ANNOUNCED a new hobby aircraft today, one that weighs just a shade under a pound, fits in a jacket pocket, and is capable of flying itself.

The Mavic Air ships on January 28 for $799. At that price, it hovers in DJI’s lineup between the $499 DJI Spark, the gesture-controlled flyer released last year, and the more capable $999 Mavic Pro.

The Mavic Air is tiny, half the size of a Mavic Pro, and about half the weight at just 15 ounces. When folded up, it’s about the size of a paperback novel. At a press event in New York on Tuesday, DJI exec Michael Perry announced the Mavic Air by pulling it out of the pocket of his puffy Patagonia vest.

Wave Hello

Want to see some specs? The Air has them in impressive quantity. The drone’s built-in camera shoots 4K video and 12-megapixel stills, and it can take 32-megapixel panoramas of your local park. That camera is mounted on a newly designed, three-axis stabilizing gimbal. Flight time is quoted at 21 minutes—impressive given the little folder’s small size—and it hides antennas in the landing gear, giving the drone a flight range of 2.4 miles. The speed tops out at 42 miles per hour, a smidge faster than the Mavic Pro, and 11 mph faster than the Spark.


The Air has all of the automated flight modes you’d expect, including several which only require the pilot to tap a button on the controller. To take advantage of that new camera, there are some new image-capture tricks that let you take spherical panoramas, and a couple of new flavors of epic zoom-in shots for when you want to show off whatever impressive natural setting you’re standing in. It has gesture controls just like the Spark, so you can command it to take off and follow you around by moving your hands. And yes, you can still ask it to take a selfie by forming a “picture frame” with your thumbs and forefingers.

The Mavic Air’s obstacle-avoidance tech seems on par with the high end of dronedom, with sensors on the front, back, and sides that keep the Mavic Air from crashing into walls, parked cars, power lines, and the pilot (you). Some new software DJI developed for this drone uses the onboard cameras to scan the area in front of the Mavic Air, then plans a flight path before it even approaches any obstacles. The pilot just pushes the controller’s joystick forward, and the drone zips around the trees, rocks, and people in its way.

Drone Buzz

The Mavic Air lands at a time when DJI is already flying high. The company had a hit last year with the palm-sized spark DJI Spark and foldable Mavic Pro. Meanwhile, one of DJI’s main competitors, GoPro, was forced to recall its folding Karma drone last year, eventually scuttling the product, halting manufacturing, and layig off drone-focused employees a couple of weeks ago.

The other big name in drones, Yuneec, announced three drones at CES 2018 earlier this month: a fixed wing drone, a pro-level hexacopter, and a nimble racing drone. With GoPro out of the running and no folding drones in Yuneec’s new lineup, DJI is free dominate that sector of the market, where it suddenly seems as though the sky’s the limit.