My Year with the Autel Robotics EVO Drone

Products Reviews Technology

Drones are awesome. They’re fun toys that deliver amazing video and give you fresh perspectives on and unusual angles of familiar places. And once you have one, you’ll never look at anything the same way again; you’ll be too preoccupied with wondering what it looks like from above.

If you’re in the market for a drone, odds are you’ve bought into its potential. Maybe you watch a lot of YouTube videos with crazy cool drone footage. Maybe you’re an aspiring YouTuber or filmmaker who wants to take your videos to the next level. Maybe you’re looking to surprise someone this holiday season.

And let’s face it, you’re probably thinking about all the incredible places you’ll fly it and dreaming about all the far-flung vacations you’re going to take with your new toy.

But here’s the thing about drones that drone companies won’t tell you. You’ll almost never use that drone. Well, “almost never” might be an overstatement, but you certainly won’t use it as much as you THINK you’re going to use it.

Practically every place you’ll want to fly your drone and capture amazing footage is off limits. National parks, state parks, urban areas, over 400 feet, above large groups of people – these are all “no drone zones” and you risk hefty fines (or jail time) if you choose to disobey.

But that’s not all. One glance at an airspace restriction map reveals that the places you CANNOT fly a drone outnumber the places you CAN. And when you’re spending $1,000 or more on a drone, don’t you want to use it to its fullest potential?

OK. So you’re not swayed by my argument to save you some money. It’s fine, neither was I. But the number of drones on the market is simply daunting. Where to start?

May I humbly suggest the Autel Robotics EVO? The EVO came out in the middle of 2018, and I’ve had it for about a year now, which has been enough time not only to get some incredible four-season footage but also to realize that I’m not flying the thing nearly as much as I want to.

So what can you expect from the EVO? Quite a lot, actually. Keep in mind that I’m hardly a professional filmmaker, and I’m STILL learning how to fly the thing smoothly and get the best shots, but here’s what you can expect at even the most basic level.

And if I can get footage like this, then you certainly can too.

The question you’re probably asking yourself now is whether you should dip your toes in with a “starter drone.” Is there such a thing? I mean, probably. But do a bit of research (which you absolutely should), and you’ll quickly find that many of the lower-price drones on the market are lower price for a reason. If you’re going to buy into the drone hype – and you want 4K video (at smooth-as-butter 60 fps) – then you should figure on spending around $1,000.

The Autel EVO is right at that price point, and honestly, I haven’t had any complaints – aside from not being able to fly it wherever I want, and that’s not an issue specific to this model or company.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube that detail the specs and features of the EVO (or compare it to other models) – and do it well – so I won’t bother with that here. But if you’re looking to dive into the world of drones or if you’re planning to surprise someone this holiday season with drone, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Autel EVO.

It’s a reliable workhorse of a drone that’ll deliver the killer video you expect a drone to deliver. It’s easy to learn, intuitive to use, and comes with a bunch of features that keep the drone in the air (and not tangled in a tree, dunked in the ocean, or plummeting to the ground out of range).

So should you get a drone? Don’t let me stand in your way. It’s an incredible tool that’s so much more than a mere “toy.” If you want to up your YouTube game, impress your friends and family, or just have fun, then yeah. Get a drone.

And take a serious look at the Autel EVO. It’s a solid drone that you’ll be happy with over time, and it’s well worth the investment.

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