Although there’s no wrong choice, per se, selecting between drones from heavy hitters like Autel and DJI isn’t easy.
I’ve had the pleasure of using both these drones and fully testing their features, and now that I’ve made up my mind, I’m here to help you do the same.
This article will be a thorough, head-to-head comparison of the Autel EVO II Pro and the DJI Mini 3 Pro. My pick – the Mini 3 Pro – will make more sense after discussing my experiences and the features of both drones.
Let’s help you find the perfect drone for your needs, whether you’re a hobbyist beefing up your photography and videography game or a professional eager to make your day-to-day projects more efficient and effortless.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Autel EVO II Pro
Originally released in 2020, the Autel EVO II Pro is up to Version 3, available as part of a bundle with all the accessories needed to take your drone game to the next level right out of the box.
Of course, any drone manufacturer can pack theirs with accessories. With the EVO II Pro, it’s not about the number of features but the quality. For instance:
- 1-inch Sony CMOS image sensor that shoots in 20 MP image quality and 6K video at 30 frames per second
- 360-degree obstacle avoidance, achievable with almost 20 sensors
- Dynamic Track 2.9 for tracking targets with pinpoint accuracy
- Three-axis gimbal for excellent stabilization while remaining cost-effective
- 7100 mAh battery that charges fast in only 90 minutes
I’m just scratching the surface here, but this is only the overview!
DJI Mini 3 Pro
An instant classic, the Mini 3 Pro is backed by DJI’s long-standing reputation of excellence and many other successful Mini drones before it, including the Mini 3.
It’s no wonder it’s such a critically acclaimed drone, and your everyday drone user loves it too.
Really, the better question is, what’s not to love? The Mini 3 Pro is a verifiable powerhouse jam-packed with features such as:
- Ultra-tiny, foldable, and lightweight design to bring it everywhere (and you will!)
- Three-way obstacle sensing for safer flights backed by APAS 4.0
- 48 MP image quality, 4K HDR video quality, and fun videography/photography features like slow-mo video and nighttime recording
- Awesome video transmission system with a distance of up to 12 kilometers
- Vertical shooting modes so your content is ready to go viral on social media
» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Review
This is such a toughie, considering both drones are workhorses in their own right.
We only share the best drone recommendations here on Droneblog, and after extensive testing in many scenarios, we picked a winner.
Here it is.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro outperforms the Autel EVO II Pro in several key areas: weight, portability, image quality, and social media-friendliness. It’s a more accessible drone for beginners, especially influencers and YouTubers eager to take their footage to the next level.
Was this a hard choice? You betcha. After all, the EVO II Pro excels in some areas the Mini 3 Pro lacks.
It has way better obstacle avoidance, a major consideration for beginners afraid of smacking their several-hundred-dollar drone into a tree or building.
The EVO II Pro also has undeniably better video footage, although its image quality is lesser.
Bearing all that in mind, I’m still confident in my decision to select the Mini 3 Pro.
What are the main differences?
The fun part about comparing these drones is that they’re neck-and-neck in many ways. However, if they were so similar, I wouldn’t be writing this.
There are enough differentiating factors between these two drones to suit various audiences.
Are you a social media buff who always has to post up-to-the-minute footage? Maybe you’re an influencer who never skips a beat. Use the Mini 3 Pro.
These are my favorite features after hours spent flying it:
- Image quality: Crystal-clear images? You’ve got ‘em with the Mini 3 Pro. You’ll never feel like you’re photographing the elusive Sasquatch as some drone cameras make you feel with their lack of gimbal and blurry footage. This is DJI, among the best in the game. The 48 MP image quality is top-notch. Oh, and did I mention these are RAW image files, so even more data is retained? Oh yes!
- Vertical Shooting: It’s all about vertical mode anymore, especially when sharing to Facebook or Instagram Stories. Rather than waste hours you don’t have to crop your images and videos to fit, the Mini 3 Pro does it all for you in its Vertical Shooting mode.
- Ready for travel: When it’s time to get out and go, the Mini 3 Pro is right there with you. It weighs under 249 grams and folds up so you can stash it in your pocket, backpack, purse, day bag, or whatever you’re carrying. It’s built for adventure, and I love that about it.
- Transmission system: Social media never stops, so you can’t either. You wouldn’t want to be hampered by a drone that can’t transmit video and image as far as you can skip a stone across a lake, would you? DJI has always been the leader in video transmission, and its O3 system proves that again with 12 kilometers of transmission in crystal-clear 1080p/30fps quality.
None of this takes away from the EVO II Pro one iota. I love this drone for so many different reasons, all of which add up to a vastly different flight experience from the Mini 3 Pro.
- Video quality: Autel equipped the EVO II Pro with a top-of-the-line CMOS sensor from Sony. Perhaps that alone isn’t all that different from drones you’d find from this brand and other top-notch manufacturers like DJI, but its quality is. The EVO II Pro’s one-inch sensor can shoot in 6K ultra-HD quality. The Mini 3 Pro can’t match it.
- Advanced obstacle detection: Again, obstacle detection is a standard feature in any drone worth more than a couple hundred dollars. However, what makes the EVO II Pro special here is that it has almost two dozen sensors to provide obstacle detection for all 360 degrees. This is one of the best beginner-friendly features of this drone.
- Orange: Yes, siree, this drone is orange! That helps you see further in the sky (although you’ve still got to follow FAA flight rules regarding VLOS) and gives you style points, which I can always appreciate.
- Excellent flight time: The Mini 3 Pro doesn’t come with the best flight time out of the box, but the EVO II Pro does. It can fly for upwards of 40 minutes vs. the Mini 3 Pro’s 34 minutes (unless you use the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, then it’s 47 minutes).
Autel EVO II Pro
The EVO II Pro is one of the best-selling drones from Autel Robotics.
It’s an everyday drone for commercial and recreational pilots, and its versatility is one of the reasons drone users such as myself can’t get enough.
The EVO II Pro stands out among other EVO series drones for its simplicity, sturdiness, and size. It’s not the tiniest drone on the block, and Autel has smaller drones, such as the EVO Nano.
Rather than focusing on keeping it small, Autel prioritized ruggedness, and can I just say? What a smart choice that was. There are more than enough small drones.
Besides, it’s not like the EVO II Pro can’t fold down. It can! It’s just not ultra-tiny.
It’s not exactly the lowest-priced, but if you think about everything you get in the bundle, the price makes a lot of sense.
It has the same transmission range as the Mini 3 Pro (yes, you read that right), so even though it may not be designed for the same influencer and social media trendsetter crowd, it can still hold its own.
Its flight time is excellent, and I haven’t mentioned the controller, a 6.4-inch Smart Controller SE with a nice-sized screen.
You can leave your smartphone behind as you play with this smart, intuitive, ergonomic controller.
Between the carrying case, the spare battery, the spare props, a battery charger, a power cable, an RC charging cable and charger, two spare control sticks, and a lanyard, in some ways, the EVO II Pro is even more beginner-friendly than the Mini 3 Pro, as it includes so much.
You’ll spend more upfront but save later as you don’t have to buy accessory after accessory.
DJI Mini 3 Pro
Switching gears now, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the successor of the Mini 3 but not the latest in the Mini family (that’s the Mini 4).
And while newer is usually better when it comes to drones, the Mini 3 Pro is among my favorites in the Mini family for many exceptional reasons.
This drone is ultra-beginner-friendly, in many ways more so than the EVO II Pro.
It’s so lightweight you don’t have to bother registering it with the FAA. Well, unless you use the drone commercially, then its weight doesn’t matter.
That’s why the Mini 3 Pro is an excellent choice for the influencer/social media/YouTuber crowd.
You don’t have to get into all the intricacies of drone flight, yet you don’t have to feel like a complete beginner using this drone, either.
After all, the Mini 3 Pro boasts DJI’s usual collection of Intelligent Flight Modes that offer professional results every time, and all hands-off, too.
Between MasterShots, FocusTrack, Hyperlapse, and Digital Zoom, you can master the art of drone photography and impress your social media audience in one fell swoop.
More subscribers, here you come!
Downloading your footage will be no sweat, considering the Mini 3 Pro is equipped with QuickTransfer to do downloads at 25 Mbps.
And sure, maybe the obstacle avoidance isn’t as good as the EVO II Pro’s, but it has DJI’s awesome Advanced Pilot Assistance System, aka APAS.
This fourth edition isn’t the newest (it’s up to 5.0 as of this writing), but more than sufficient obstacle avoidance that happens in real-time and complex environments.
Oh, and how have I not mentioned the camera yet? It’s an exceptional little piece of work that captures more of your world with a 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor that shoots in 48 MP image quality and 4K video.
You can keep up with today’s hottest drone tech and spend a fraction of what you’d pay for newer models. Woohoo!
Head-to-head comparison: Autel EVO II Pro and DJI Mini 3 Pro
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the battle between the Autel EVO II Pro and DJI Mini 3 Pro.
Pound for pound, which of these top-line drone models achieves supremacy?
While I’ve selected the Mini 3 Pro as my drone of choice between the two, I recognize that many of you reading this might lean more toward the EVO II Pro.
As you’re about to see, both drones have their strong suits and weaknesses.
It’s just a matter of which factors you prioritize more in making your choice. Let me make it easier for you in this section.
Winner: DJI Mini 3 Pro
This was a hard one to pick a winner for, let me tell you that.
Technically, I would go so far as to say that the winner changes depending on whether you want cutting-edge video or image quality.
However, I decided to narrow it down to the sensor size. A bigger sensor can gather light better, maintaining quality across resolutions.
Smaller sensors require more exposure time, making them not as great of a choice.
The EVO II Pro has a one-inch sensor versus the 1/1.3-inch Mini 3 Pro sensor.
And yes, sensors are available in small increments like that, so the additional 1.3 inches really does make all the difference.
In fact, the sensor size likely explains why the Mini 3 Pro is the king of image quality between these two drones. It can shoot in 48 MP resolution.
Is that the best resolution you can find in a consumer drone? It’s pretty much up there, yes.
Better yet, these are RAW photos, which means more highlights and shadows with less noise.
If you’re a professional drone photographer or a social media user who’s getting into drones, you will adore this camera. It will give you a competitive advantage, as your images will be clearer than JPGs shot in lower resolution.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. The EVO II Pro’s image resolution is nothing to sneeze at.
It shoots in 20 MP with an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/11. It’s good, but it’s not Mini 3 Pro good.
Autel has the Moonlight Algorithm, while the Mini 3 Pro has a night mode, so you can’t compare them much there.
So, let’s move on and pit them against one another in the arena of video.
This is where the EVO II Pro shines. Its 6K video promises more detail, color, and brightness, and let me tell you, these aren’t empty promises.
I was blown away by all the detail this drone camera could capture when I used it.
If you do any kind of outdoor filming, the interplay between sunlight and shadow comes through so impeccably, and you don’t lose an ounce of detail.
This is a must for shooting commercial projects, whether you want crystal-clear news footage or real estate videos.
YouTubers also should strongly consider the EVO II Pro for its videography, as your footage will usurp all your competitors, giving you a leg up in the ultra-competitive YouTube world.
The Mini 3 Pro has a very acceptable video rate of 4K HDR, which is another reason I feel it’s only right to give it this category. It has better photography capabilities and only marginally worse video.
Winner: Autel EVO II Pro
How do you put a price on performance? It’s tough, but I did it. And that price is the cost of the EVO II Pro.
This was another tough category to choose a winner, as both these drones perform so well.
They have a standard suite of intelligent modes.
In the case of the EVO II Pro, those are Dynamic Track, Manual Flight, Parallel Track, Tripod Track, Precision Flight, Gesture Control, Orbit, Viewpoint, VR, and Dual Stability.
The Mini 3 Pro includes DJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes, like Panorama, Vertical Shooting, QuickShots, and MasterShots.
So, given that they’re about equal there, let’s expand the parameters of what it means for a drone to perform well.
A drone’s size is certainly one consideration. The Mini 3 Pro might be smaller, but I was amazed at how well the EVO II Pro handled by comparison.
It’s aerodynamic, intuitive, and responsive, and you’ll never miss a smaller drone when flying it.
Its wind resistance outpaces the Mini 3 Pro, with the wind resistance of the former 17 m/s versus 10.7 m/s for the DJI drone.
Remember, Autel designed the EVO II Pro to be rugged, so its higher degree of wind resistance doesn’t strike me as surprising.
What really made me give this category to the EVO II Pro is obstacle avoidance sensors. The Mini 3 Pro has the APAS system to make up for its three-directional obstacle sensing.
Well, I should rather say augment, as its obstacle detection and avoidance features are perfectly fine on their own.
However, compared to the 19 obstacle-detecting and avoiding sensors the EVO II Pro has, DJI’s obstacle avoidance in the Mini 3 Pro leaves a little something to be desired.
That’s surprising, considering DJI is usually the leader in this area.
You must have obstacle avoidance as a beginner, and the more complete the system, the better. You won’t flush your money down the toilet because you crashed your drone on day one.
Winner: DJI Mini 3 Pro
Fortunately, this was a much easier battle. I would even go as far as to say it was a non-battle.
That’s no knock on the EVO II Pro, believe me. It just doesn’t stack up in the portability category.
The drone weighs 1,191 grams, so forget about skipping FAA registration.
It weighs far too much for that. And while the EVO II Pro has foldable components, even when it’s at its smallest, it’s still larger than the Mini 3 Pro.
The size is in the name. The Mini 3 Pro is lightweight, foldable, and transportable. You can fit it into a carry-on or checked luggage with no sweat, taking it around the world.
You can still bring the EVO II Pro on your drone adventures, but with a modicum of difficulty.
If you prefer its photography and videography features, you might be willing to incur the extra stress, but not all pilots will.
RC compatibility and flight range
Winner: DJI Mini 3 Pro
The EVO II Plus uses the Smart Controller SE, a smart piece of tech in and of itself. Its OLED screen is a large 6.4 inches, and it’s responsive to touch commands.
You get HD image quality due to an improved eight-core processor, so watching the view from your drone on the remote is as good as doing so on your phone.
However, and this is a big however, the remote controller only works for the EVO II V3 series. You can’t use it with an EVO Nano or EVO Lite drone. A major bummer!
It’s also designed to reduce your reliance on your phone, and it’s light enough that you can fly for hours without worrying about hand fatigue.
I won’t count ‘em up, but you can see it’s a longer list than the EVO II Pro’s compatibility.
What about long-range flights? Interestingly, this is an area where both drones are evenly matched.
You can expect a range of 12 kilometers in either model, so this shouldn’t sway your decision much.
» MORE: Best Drone Controllers
Winner: DJI Mini 3 Pro
That brings us to one of the most important considerations when shopping for a drone: battery life.
Consumer drones promise about 30 minutes of battery life on average.
You should have enough time to practice flying for fun for a while. If you get used to commercial demands, you can stretch that 30 minutes to get most of your project done, perhaps even the entire thing.
You can wipe the sweat off your brow, as neither the EVO II Pro nor the Mini 3 Pro fly for 30 minutes only.
The promised flight time of the EVO II Pro is a whopping 40 minutes.
The Mini 3 Pro flies for 34 minutes with the standard battery and 47 minutes with the Intelligent Battery Plus.
Of course, you know as well as I do if you’ve ever flown a drone that there’s a difference between the advertised flight time and your real flight time. I was more impressed with the Mini 3 Pro’s time in the sky.
That brings us to the end. While the Autel EVO II Pro and DJI Mini 3 Pro are both great drones with a lot to offer, there could be only one, and it’s the Mini 3 Pro in this case.
This was after substantial testing of the above parameters to find out which came out on top.
The Mini 3 Pro might slack in some areas – like video quality, default battery life, and obstacle avoidance sensors – but no drone is perfect, and when it excels, it really excels!