Two years ago, Autel used CES as a launchpad for its EVO drone, a consumer UAV that was heralded as a true “Mavic killer” and legitimate challenger to the DJI throne. Now, it’s CES 2020, and Autel is back with the EVO 2, easily the most powerful drone the company has ever built, and arguably the most impressive flyer at this year’s show.

When Autel launched the EVO in 2016, it was immediately seen as a direct challenger to the DJI Mavic. It had a similar (but much more orange) design, similar specs, and it cost less. Similarly, the EVO 2 appears to be aimed squarely at DJI’s Mavic 2 series. The big difference this time around is that where the first EVO attempted to match or emulate many of the original Mavic’s features, the EVO 2 wants to completely blow the Mavic 2 out of the sky. For instance, according to Autel, the EVO 2 features a 40-minute flight time, which means it has the longest battery life of any foldable drone on the market (including the Mavic). It’s got a top speed of 45mph and a maximum transmission range of 9 km, which, if accurate, means you can fly the EVO 2 faster and farther than even the Mavic 2 Pro. We talked to a rep at CES who claimed he had recently flown the EVO 2 in 50 mph winds without any problems. If that’s true, then we might just be looking at a new leader in flight performance.

OK, that all sounds great, but how about the camera? Well, if performance lives up to the spec sheet, then the answer is going to be nothing short of outstanding. That’s because Autel is offering the EVO 2 in three powerful variants, each denoted by a distinct camera setup. The standard EVO comes with an 1/2" camera that’s capable of shooting 8K video and 48MP stills. The EVO 2 PRO features a 1" sensor that has an adjustable aperture and can shoot 6K video. And finally, the EVO 2 Dual is equipped with a FLIR Boson sensor and the same 8K camera that comes with the standard model. What’s more, each variant is modular, meaning you can upgrade or switch the camera system without having to buy a whole new drone.

Regardless of variant, all EVO 2 variants come with a sophisticated array of obstacle-avoidance sensors, 8GB of internal storage and microSD support, powerful AI tech and subject tracking, and lots more.    

With a spec sheet as bold and eye-catching as its bright orange design, the EVO 2 looks primed to jump ahead of DJI as the world’s most powerful consumer drone in the world. Can it live up to those lofty aspirations? Only time will Autel. 

What do you think about the new Autel EVO 2 series? Should DJI be worried?