Talk about exciting! In January, the world’s leader in drones, DJI, announced the release of the new DJI Mavic Air.
The Mavic Air Was Released With A TON Of Hype
If you’re a part of the drone community online, the hype was pretty incredible. DJI offered great build-up with an exciting teaser page. On January 23rd, the countdown on the coming soon page became a bit more frenzied, and the embedded video footage on (what would become) their Mavic Air landing page was more aggressive…and even a bit louder. Rotospace had you covered on Twitter with a live stream (in case you were at work and stuck behind a firewall that blocks DJI.com):
We never like to rush to judgement on a new drone. It’s always best to let a few months pass before we give our final yes or no on the DJI Mavic Air. Our final opinion on the Mavic Air isn’t a definitive one. It’s actually falling into a YES and/or NO category because it really depends on your unique needs. There’s a lot to consider…especially if you’re thinking of making it your everyday drone.
It’s a YES If…
You need a drone you can quickly unfold and fly…well, anywhere. It’s tiny and ultra-portable. That’s a known fact by now.
Price is an option. If you’re looking to get into drones and start with an amazing device under $1000 that can capture great footage, the Air is a great option.
You need the smallest drone possible that is capable of capturing 4K footage at 120 FPS.
You are upgrading from the Spark and used to all the features it has built-in.
It’s a NO If…
You’ve been spoiled by an original Mavic or Mavic Pro Platinum – the Mavic & Mavic Pro Platinum just do a better job on battery life, and it’s not even close
You fly professionally and it’s going to be the only drone you use at your gigs. Please, just don’t do this. Showing up to a gig with only a Mavic Air just doesn’t make an impact – it could just be seen as a toy, and you, a hobbyist. Have this drone in your arsenal, for sure, but look into a drone that can fly with a top of the line camera underneath like the Inspire1 or Inspire2. The difference in the footage is noticeable.
So, now it’s up to you…are you ready to purchase the Mavic Air? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the Mavic Air. We’d love it if you dropped a link in if you have any footage on YouTube as well.
Man #2: It’s the Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone!
Were you born to explore? Are you interested in capturing the world around you in unique ways? Do you see limitation as something to conquer?
Enter The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone
You may be tempted to think of this Autel X-Star as just another drone. Well, you’d be horribly wrong…and wonderfully surprised.
Whether you’re a seasoned drone pilot, or so new to drones you had to Google “drone” just to figure out what all the fuss is about, you’re going to love THIS special piece of flying machinery.
The Autel X-Star Is Great For Beginners
Beginners will love it for its ease of use, including an entire mode dedicated to just the newbies. The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium comes with a geo-fence feature which limits range, altitude, and speed until you get more comfortable. And there’s another feature that allows the drone to automatically return home.
There’s also a fail-safe mode, which is preset to send the drone home when the battery reaches 25% capacity, and land at its current location when it reaches 10%, thus making it almost impossible to crash. And, no, that’s not a challenge.
It comes with a hands-free hover mode, which means you can set down the controls to freshen up your beverage, while the drone waits for you patiently hovering in the same spot.
Experienced Pilots Will Love The The Autel X-Star, Too
And for you professional pilots, you’ll love how customizable it is, which will allow you to get as creative as you want. You’ll also enjoy loads of features, the quick-release gimbal design, the durability, the value, and a customer support department that’s actually supportive. As this is something that tends to be lacking with other manufacturers.
No matter who you are, you’ll love this Autel X-Star drone from the very first moment you lay your eyes on it – how cool is that shade of orange? But you’ll love it even more after flying it for a while. There’s also a great forum for pros and beginners alike over at autelxpilots.com.
Video: Meet The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium
For those of you who plan to use your Autel X-Star drone for photography or videography, it’s a dream come true for capturing stunning aerial imagery. You’ll shoot like a pro with camera features that include:
A live view from up to 1.2 miles away
4K Ultra HD, 108 degree wide-angle FOV(field of view)
A 64-GB MicroSD card
3-axis gimbal mount for more stability and smooth video footage
12MP camera with custom settings to ensure crisp, rich colors
Alternative video settings – 4K30, 2.7K60, 1080P120, 720P240
The camera and gimbal are easy to remove for future upgrades. And the drone is also available in white. Though the orange is perfect for being able to easily spot it in the sky, clouds, or against any backdrop that also isn’t the coolest shade of orange ever. Perhaps if you’re planning on filming lava flows, and nothing else, then the white color makes sense.
The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium comes with a powerful, lightweight 14.8V LiPo battery that ensures up to 25 minutes of flight time on a single charge. And a fast charger is included that will charge your drone in just one hour, meaning you’ll spend more time flying, and less time waiting.
A look at the Autel Xstar Premium Drone, its controller and case.
Your drone package includes
X-Star Premium Aircraft
Premium hard case
64-GB MicroSD card that can record over 2 hours of 4K video
Intelligent battery for up to 25 minutes of flying time per charge
1-hour fast charger
The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium vs. The DJI Phantom
Comparisons to another popular drone model – the DJI Phantom- have been unfavorably kind to the DJI for a number of reasons. Better craftsmanship and sturdier construction of the Autel X-Star drone are common observations among drone connoisseurs. The Autel also wins points for its exceptional customer service department when compared to DJI’s motto of “out of sight, out of mind.” Even the price is better, as the Autel comes in a few hundred dollars less at just a shade under $900, including free shipping. Other impressions in regards to comparing the two drones include …
Autel has a better warranty – 12 month bumper-to-bumper
The altitude of the X-Star is measured in feet, not in meters
The convenience of the LCD displaying critical flight information on the remote
Better overall quality and features
Faster vertical acceleration on the Autel
The X-Star is more customizable
A carrying case reminiscent of a British spy?
The Reviews Are In For The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium
Amazon has an average review of 4.6 from 325 reviews for this Autel X-Star drone. One of those reviewers even gushes about a case that, “feels like James Bond’s luggage.” The case is splash-proof, shock absorbent, with a foam interior that holds six batteries, manuals, your charger, extra props, the remote, and even your mobile device, which is obviously sold separately. (Please, just don’t go thinking you’re also getting the new iPhone for your $900.)
Other reviews included, “This product exceeded my expectations, and for the price can’t be beat,” and “Absolutely fantastic! Don’t waste your money on DJI, especially considering their shoddy customer support compared to Autel Robotics U.S. based customer support.” In other words, if you’re in the US, you might even feel a bit more patriotic if you purchase the Autel!
Technical Specifications From The Autel Robotics Website
4K (Ultra HD) video camera (4K30, 2.7K60, 1080p120, 720p240 with 12MP still images, conveniently integrated into a quick-release 3-axis gimbal stabilizer
HD Live View (720p streaming up to 1.2 miles away) and autonomous flight modes including follow, orbit, and waypoints via the free Starlink app for iOS or Android (mobile device sold separately)
Dual GPS/GLONASS outdoor navigation, SecureFly™ magnetic interference protection, and the Starpoint Positioning System™ for precise flying where GPS signals are unavailable
Intuitive remote controller with LCD display for flight information and one-touch action buttons for starting the motors, taking off, hovering, going home and landing
Backed by Autel Robotics customer support: U.S. based, seven days a week
19.5”W x 8.5”H x 19.5”D
Weight with battery 3.13lbs
19.69”W x 15.6”H x 9.76”D
Safety & Security
The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium includes built-in Smart-Flight autopilot features – Orbit, Follow, and Waypoints – that allow you to focus on the camera instead of flight controls. There’s also a Smart Pre-Flight check to insure everything is ready prior to takeoff, and SecureFly technology, which will keep the drone from becoming erratic due to magnetic interference, and allow the drone to return home safely.
This Autel X-Star drone also comes with the Starpoint positioning system, which tracks the aircraft’s position, measures flying height accurately – even indoors and when flying at low altitudes – and the dual GPS/GLONASS navigation system, so that you’ll know where your drone is even when signals are less than ideal.
An Intuitive Remote Controller
The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium gets a lot of praise for a remote controller that feels more intuitive than most. Besides a handy LCD screen that displays important flight information, it includes easy-to-use, one-touch action buttons, command sticks for easy maneuvering, and a clamp for your mobile device (which still doesn’t come with the drone).
But what does also come with your new drone, is the Starlink app, which is free to download. The app will allow you to configure your aircraft’s flight control settings including autonomous flight modes. It also provides you with a HD live view from up to 1.2 miles away.
The End…Of Your Drone Search
To conclude, the Autel Robotics X-Star Premium is a professional piece of flying equipment that’s also affordable and easy to use, making it the perfect choice for all drone enthusiasts. It’s extremely high-quality, and it’s made by a manufacturer you can trust. The X-Star is also backed by a customer support department that is actually supportive and located in the U.S.
And only buy the white model if you’re filming lava flows and nothing else, or you hate the coolest orange color in the entire world. As if…
Thanks for taking the time to read this review of this great drone from Autel. Do you have any questions or comments that weren’t covered? Do you agree or disagree with anything above? Tell us about it in the comments below or contact us. We’d love to hear from you.
About The Author, Jason (Rotospace’s Creator) Jason is an expert drone pilot who loves everything about this amazing aerial technology.
He flies two DJI drones: The Inspire1 and Mavic Pro Platinum …and enjoys keeping them airborne whenever possible. Jason’s rotospace-related social media accounts: Google+ | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter
NOTE: This article pertains to drone pilots in the United States and the necessity (once again) for them to register their aircraft with the FAA. For anyone residing in another country reading this article outside of the USA, please refer to your local laws & regulations before you fly your drone.
Recent History And Taylor v. Huerta
In May of 2017, the FAA’s model aircraft registration program was brought down after a court decision ruled pilots are no longer required to register model aircraft. This included drones. This was convenient for drone pilots since it became one less hoop they had to jump through in order to fly. Although the registration fee was only $5, it was one less thing to worry about before taking to the sky. Continue reading
Photo of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Drone in flight.
So you’re ready to start flying drones? Or you’re looking for another drone to compliment your arsenal? One of the most popular drone packages for both the hobbyist and serious aerial photographer is the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More Combo.
The original DJI Mavic Pro is already a great drone (and we reviewed some great accessories for it). The Platinum improves on that in some significant ways. The Combo package includes everything you need to hit the ground running…or, should we say, hit the air flying. ? Continue reading
Today’s spotlight is on the latest Mavic Pro release from DJI – the Mavic Pro re-imagined in a new color: Alpine White. In this article, we’ll take a look at some pros and cons of this new quadcopter release from DJI. Is it worth the purchase…or is there a better Mavic available?
Until recently, nobody could have envisioned all the amazing, new uses for drones.
In the last year, the global market revenue for drones surged 35.5% to roughly $4.5 billion, according to Gartner. The value is forecast to reach almost 30 billion by 2021. This growing market potential is staggering.
Drones were first used for primarily for military purposes. Before this past decade, news of drone use was primarily part of the war machine of many nations – they were utilized for their precision air strikes. Until recently, nobody could have imagined the amazing, new uses for drones such as high-end aerial photography and videography, delivery, healthcare…and much more.
However, after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved drones for personal and professional use by civilians, drones have risen to be one of the most successful products of this decade.
Reviews of the DJI Mavic Pro drone are everywhere. So, in this article, we focus on the top rated DJI Mavic Pro Drone accessories. We’ll feature a brief summary of each accessory, its current price on amazon, and the average review rating.
If you’re new to drones, the task of deciding which should be your first purchase can definitely be intimidating. In this article, we’ll do our best to make the process fun…and take the mystery out of the decision.
We’ve set a max price limit of $600 and lower for all drones listed below. This will allow anyone to learn with a machine that won’t break the bank if it fails to…let’s just say, land correctly.
Here are the best drones for beginners and their price ranges.