Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra?

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Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra? Autel's Evo Lite+ is now available, does it beat the DJI Air 2S?

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra, drone parts list, drone parts list pdf, drone price, drone price india, drone price dhaka, drone price list, drone camera, drone camera price, drone meaning in usa, drone tm cream,
Image credit: Autel and DJI

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For a long time, it looked like DJI's affordable consumer drones would fly without serious competition. But all that changed in September 2021 when Autel announced four upcoming drones that present serious competition to DJI's best-selling entry-level designs.

Autel Evo Nano and Nano+ are designed to compete with the excellent DJI Mini 2, while the Evo Lite and Lite+ models landed to take a bite out of the popular DJI Air 2S.

Interestingly, the Evo Lite series spec seems to have been lifted straight from the Air 2S owner's wish list; in fact, it could be a compilation of things that we could see in DJI Air 3, as long as DJI releases this drone.

The Autel Evo Lite+ was designed to surpass or equal the DJI Air 2S on every level, sporting almost everything in the existing DJI Air 2S, but with some features that go beyond that design and even rival the Mavic.

But before we compare drones and delve into the specs, let's start with the inevitable abuse that having a Lite+ in your bank account will cause.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Price

With a shortage of components and an increase in the cost of manufacturing the chips, the Lite+ was always going to beat the price of the Air 2S. But it's possible that the price of the Air 2S will also increase, and the Air 3 will surely cost more when it appears.

At the time of writing, the Lite+ costs $1,349/£1,129/AU$2,499 for its standard package with a single battery and a single set of spare blades. For the Premium package, with three batteries, lots of accessories, a three-battery charger, a soft bag, and a few other goodies, the outlay jumps to $1,649 / £1,399 / AU$2,999.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra, drone parts list, drone parts list pdf, drone price, drone price india, drone price dhaka, drone price list, drone camera, drone camera price, drone meaning in usa, drone tm cream,
Image credit: Future

That compares unfavorably to the DJI Air 2S, with that drone costing $999 / £899 / AU$1,699 and its Fly More Combo with the extra batteries costing you $1,299 / £1,169 / AU$2,099.

Overall, the Autel Evo Lite+ is around $350/£230 more, whichever package you buy. That's a pretty substantial increase of around 30% over the Air 2S, taking it to a level that's probably beyond the budget of many amateur pilots.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Design

While these drones look remarkably similar in design and layout, the Lite+ is a larger drone measuring 210 × 123 × 95mm when folded and 427 × 384 × 95mm when the arms are extended. In contrast, the DJI Air 2S measures just 180 × 97 × 77mm when folded and 183 × 253 × 77mm when unfolded. This scale makes the Lite+ slightly larger even than the DJI Mavic 3.

As both drones are above the 250g threshold, it might not exactly matter, but the Air 2S's takeoff weight is only 595g, while the Lite+ is significantly heavier at 835g.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra, drone parts list, drone parts list pdf, drone price, drone price india, drone price dhaka, drone price list, drone camera, drone camera price, drone meaning in usa, drone tm cream,
Image credit: Autel and DJI

It might immediately seem like a win for the Air 2S until you realize that the Lite+'s extra weight is mostly attributed to a larger battery, allowing for a longer flight time of 40 minutes from 32 minutes on the drone. endurance. It can also climb much faster, reaching the legal height limit of 400 feet in just 15 seconds.

Both drones have an obstacle avoidance function, an FFC transmission range of 12km, and the ability to record video in 5.4K resolution at up to 30fps. But what really divides these drones is the camera technology, as the Autel Evo Lite+ has much more modern sensor, optics, and image processing technology.

The Lite+ comes in three colors, including the signature Autel Orange, compared to the exclusive gray color scheme that DJI has on the Air 2S.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Cameras

Sensor size is all about collecting as much light as possible to produce the best rendering when capturing photos or videos. Both drones have a 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor with a pixel size of 2.4μm, but the Air 2S has a fixed f/2.8 aperture.

One feature offered by the DJI Mavic 2 Pro that was missing from the DJI Air 2S was a variable aperture camera. That's something the Evo Lite+ offers, with its adjustable aperture from f/2.8 to f11.

This allows for much better management of the light entering the camera, without the need for ND filters, an even greater range of ND filters are used.


Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra, drone parts list, drone parts list pdf, drone price, drone price india, drone price dhaka, drone price list, drone camera, drone camera price, drone meaning in usa, drone tm cream,
Image credit: Autel and DJI

The camera field of view on both drones is quite similar, 88 degrees on the Air 2S and 82 degrees on the Lite+.

But the Lite+ sensor also has plenty of other enhancements that allow it to capture relatively noise-free content, even in very low light. While the video ISO for both drones is capped at ISO 6400 for standard scenes, a special night mode on the Lite+ allows the ISO to be increased to an incredible ISO 48000. This gives the Lite+ the edge when shooting in dark conditions. low light, and is also better able to capture realistic colors in those situations.

Where the Air 2S has an advantage is that it can capture content in a D-Log format which offers ample scope for post-processing adjustment, something Autel has promised in a future firmware release for Lite+ but is not yet available.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Video modes

Although the Lite+ has "6K" stamped on its camera, it offers the full resolution and almost identical modes to the Air 2S. Lite+'s best resolution is 5472x3076, while Air 2S has two additional vertical pixel rows at 5472x3078.

At this resolution, both offer 30fps and can bump it up to 60fps when downscaled to 4K, and up to 120fps when downscaled to 1080p.

The maximum throughput offered is 150 Mbps on the Air 2S and 120 Mbps on the Lite+. This means there is a little less compression in the video from the DJI drone, but not enough to make a dramatic difference in quality.

Autel has promised HDR modes for 4K video and lower resolution in a future update, and that's something DJI doesn't offer or, at the time of writing, intends to add.

Both drones support H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and H.265/HEVC encoding, but the Lite+ only has 8-bit color rendering while the Air 2S has the ability to shoot 10-bit Dlog-M.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra, drone parts list, drone parts list pdf, drone price, drone price india, drone price dhaka, drone price list, drone camera, drone camera price, drone meaning in usa, drone tm cream,
Image credit: Autel and DJI

The biggest difference between these two cameras becomes apparent at night, as the Air 2S has a maximum ISO of 6400 in manual video capture and only 1600 when using Dlog-M.

For automatic video and photo capture, Lite+ can match the Air 2S's ISO 6400 option, but using Night Scene mode bumps that sensitivity up to ISO 48000. It also has a special moonlight processing mode to reduce the impact of the sun. noise when recording at these very high values. ISO levels.

Stills from the Lite+ can be shot in 10-bit DNG, showing that the sensor can handle the extended contrast of that bit depth, and the maximum resolution is 5472x3648, the same as the Air 2S.

Overall, the Lite+ is a good representation of how camera technology has evolved since the Air 2S was released, and its video quality is closer to that of the Mavic 3.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Performance

While the top speed of both drones is similar at 19m/s, the Air 2S has a quoted wind resistance of 10.7m/s compared to the 16.5m/s the Lite+ can sustain.

This performance level exceeds the Mavic 3's 12m/s and indicates how much the Lite+ can use when needed. That raw growl is evident at climb rates, where it can climb at 8m/s, which is 2m/s faster than the Air 2S.

The downside of this feature is that being heavier, Autel prefers to prevent momentum from taking over on fast descents, and the Lite+ only descends at 4m/s, which is 2m/s slower than the Lite+.

In general, the Lite+ is better for getting to altitude quickly, but the Air 2S has a slight advantage if you need to get the drone back on the ground quickly.

A good reason you might want to do this is low battery, and with only a max of 3750mAh on the Air 2S and a flight time of just 31 minutes, that's a plausible scenario.

The Lite+ has a relatively large 6175mAh battery, and while it carries an extra 240g (about the same as plugging a DJI Mini 2 into the Air 2S), it can stay in the air for an impressive 40 minutes.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra, drone parts list, drone parts list pdf, drone price, drone price india, drone price dhaka, drone price list, drone camera, drone camera price, drone meaning in usa, drone tm cream,
Image credit: Autel and DJI

Many DJI Air 2S pilots would think recovery is around 25 minutes, but Autel's drone still has at least ten minutes of operational time left. That's a lot of extra time to retry that one shot or try something new.

The differences between DJI's Ocusync 3.0 and Autel's SkyLink transmission technology are subtle. For most operating within the line of sight limits imposed by most countries, you will not experience dropouts even in the presence of interfering signals.

Technically, Skylink is rated for 12km FCC and 6km CE, while Ocusync 3.0 is 12km FCC and 8km CE. Flying in a CE environment, we did not notice any dramatic drawbacks for Autel's drone.

What we can confirm is that Skylink is far superior to Ocusync 2.0 as seen on the original DJI Mini 2 and DJI Mavic Air 2. It is very easy to fly up to the 500m limit, even in a crowded place and behind buildings, without losing control or video transmission.

One aspect of the Autel drone that we liked is that the streaming technology provides a 2.7K resolution live video feed to the Sky app when the drone is within a 1km radius, while not all drones DJI can handle better than 1080p. The clarity of this image makes Lite+ easier to use when working around tree limbs and wires that might otherwise go unnoticed to avoid obstacles.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Obstacle avoidance and GPS

The obstacle avoidance system of these drones is very similar, offering front, rear, and bottom sensors, but without side vision. The Air 2S also has additional upward-facing sensors, making it ideal for those who like to fly under structures like bridges.

While not comparable, the Lite+'s front sensors have a larger vertical angle than the Air 2S's, allowing it to see things above it to some extent. Still, none of these drones have the level of evasion we saw in the Skydio 2, but it could prevent a costly accident, especially for newcomers to the hobby.

In any case, obstacle avoidance is automatically disabled in "sport" mode and will not work in low light conditions. For night landings, both have an LED that illuminates the ground below the drone to help downward-facing sensors see during this phase of flight.

Currently, the Lite+ uses a system that prevents the user from flying towards obstacles that the drone detects, although it does not go around them autonomously, while the Air 2S has limited auto-navigation capabilities. We believe that Autel intends to add this feature, most likely when it provides dynamic tracking to Lite+ in the near future.

For geolocation accuracy, the Lite+ can use GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, the same technologies used by the Air 2S. An additional feature of the Air 2S that is not available on the Lite+ is AirSense, a technology to detect other planes and helicopters in flight.

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: is Autel's new drone worth the extra, drone parts list, drone parts list pdf, drone price, drone price india, drone price dhaka, drone price list, drone camera, drone camera price, drone meaning in usa, drone tm cream,
Image credit: Mark Pickavance

Autel Evo Lite+ vs DJI Air 2S: Early verdict

Like the recent DJI Mavic 3, the Autel Evo Lite+ has hit the market with a few features yet to be added, but less than the Mavic 3 was missing before its recent firmware update.

By comparison, the DJI Mavic Air 2 has been around for much longer, first appearing in April 2020, before upgrading to the DJI Air 2S a year later. This means that Air 2S is a more mature technology with full functionality.

DJI recently released an SDK for the Air 2S, which allows third-party apps like Litchi and Rainbow to operate the drone. Autel is also considering providing an SDK and will hopefully provide one for Lite+ at some point.

That said, the Lite+ already has compelling performance and it will only get better as Autel releases new firmware versions. A fantastic camera with improved low-light capabilities and a variable aperture lens makes it ideal for those serious about drone cinematography.

When you factor in the extended flight time of the Lite+, DJI now has some serious competition in the prosumer portion of the camera drone market. After Autel added a flat profile shooting mode and 4K HDR capture, the Evo Lite+ could become the ideal solution for those who don't want to accept the exorbitant cost of the DJI Mavic 3.

However, the Lite+ costs much more than the Air 2S, and for those on a budget, this drone still packs a punch.

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