Autel Robotics Evo Lite Plus flying angle

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. This review originally published in January 2022, we will frequently update when new information or updates become available.

Autel Robotics Evo Lite
  • Great flight time
  • Great camera
  • Up to 6K video

Evo Lite overview

Autel Robotics Evo Lite folded

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.

Autel Robotics Evo Lite Plus silhoutte

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

We are glad to see a list of specifications that rivals modern consumer drones. The folding design makes for easy transport, and the flight time is superb with the big 6,175mAh battery. With a ready-to-fly measurement of 427mm across and 375mm length, the Evo Lite has a bit larger of a footprint than you might be used to, but you won’t notice unless you are actively comparing to your Mavic drone.

Our favorite improvements over previous Evo drones are the flight range and camera. The Evo Lite demolishes previous stats by jumping up to about 4 miles of range, compared to the roughly 1 mile range of previous models.

The camera on the base Evo Lite is a 1/2.3-inch sensor that shoots 4K, but the camera on the Evot Lie+ is a 1-inch shooter, which, in itself, is a top-tier accomplishment in the consumer drone market. 20MP stills are complemented by 5.4K video capture, with excellent low-light capabilities.

Store captured media on 6GB of internal storage, or add a microSD card up to 256GB.

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Evo Lite performance

Autel Robotics Evo Lite Plus landed

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

Autel Robotics 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.

Autel Robotics Evo Lite controller

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

Autel Robotics Evo Lite Plus versus DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

The Evo Lite launches into a competitive drone segment. In particular, practically 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 value is lost on the average consumer.

As a flight platform, the Evo Lite series operates in the same basic way, with the same overall flight feel, as the DJI drones. Build quality is comparable, which is to say that they all feel solid and show no signs of a lack of design or quality control. Carbon fiber is a pleasant material on the Evo Lite, offering strength and rigidity with a reduced weight. Even with that massive 6,175mAh battery, the overall weight is still a little less than the Mavic 3 series.

DJI Mavic 3
DJI Mavic 3
  • Fantastic camera
  • 5.1K video
  • Huge flight time
  • Safe and capable drone
  • Class-leading flight range
DJI Mavic 3 Cine
DJI Mavic 3 Cine
  • Fantastic camera
  • Huge flight time
  • Safe and capable drone
DJI Mavic Air 2
DJI Mavic Air 2
  • Great battery life
  • Large camera
  • AirSense transponder
DJI Air 2S
DJI Air 2S
  • Great camera
  • 5.4K video
  • 8X zoom
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Fantastic range
$ 1279 at Amazon
Save $20.00
DJI Mini 2
DJI Mini 2
  • 4K camera
  • Very portable
  • Easy to fly
  • 249 grams
DJI Mini 3 Pro
DJI Mini 3 Pro
  • Ultra portable
  • Good 4K video
  • Sub-250g
  • Optional 47 minutes flight time

Should I buy the Autel Robotics Evo Lite?

Autel Robotics Evo Lite Plus flying

The Evo Lite and Evo Lite+ are compelling drones. The airframe is a stable platform that performs admirably, and the camera output is pleasant. Overall flight stability and flight features are on par with the best consumer drones on the market today, and the range and flight time are better than average. Those that seek a reliable camera drone for personal use need not look further.

Professional photographers and videographers may require the 10-bit capture that the Evo Lite does not currently offer, and some may require the extra range and flight time of some more expensive drones. However, the Evo should provide more than the average backyard pilot needs to check out their neighborhood and capture some solid imagery from the sky.

If you refuse to buy a DJI drone, we are excited to say that the Evo Lite is a competitive alternative. If you don’t mind what brand you purchase from, compare the DJI Air 2S, Evo Lite, Evo Lite+, and the DJI Mavic 3 to decide which price-point is best for your needs.

The drone is available in red, white, and orange. The initial MSRP starts at $1,249, but limited availability has increased the price at many retailers.

Evo Lite for $1,249Evo Lite+ for $1,349
Airframe
1 battery
Controller
Charger
Cables and basic accessories
Airframe
1 battery
Controller
Charger
Cables and basic accessories
Evo Lite Premium Bundle for $1,549Evo Lite+ Premium Bundle for $1,649
Airframe
3 batteries
Controller
Charger
Cables and basic accessories
ND filters
Carrying bag
Charging hub
Extra propellers
Airframe
3 batteries
Controller
Charger
Cables and basic accessories
ND filters
Carrying bag
Charging hub
Extra propellers

We’ll be keeping tabs on the Autel Robotics Evo Lite platform. We like what we are seeing so far, now we get to see how well the airframe ages.

Autel Robotics Evo Lite
Autel Robotics Evo Lite
  • Great flight time
  • Great camera
  • Up to 6K video
The Evo Lite+ is a solid flying night camera.

The Autel Robotics Evo Lite and Evo Lite+ are a welcome addition to the compact, folding camera drone market. Superb flight time, great cameras, great flight range, and a fun set of flight features should keep most pilots happy. Enjoy up to 6K video from the sky.


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