Hello, and thank you for checking this article on what drone to choose: The Autel EVO Lite Plus or DJI FPV.
We have two fantastic drones but from totally different worlds.
You would be surprised how many FPV pilots have a fleet of standard GPS drones or vice-versa. I’m one of them.
I love FPV and standard drones, and these two are similar in price and worth a special mention.
In this article, we’ll do an in-depth comparison between the Autel EVO Lite Plus and DJI FPV drone, my overall experiences with both of them, and why I choose the Autel EVO Lite Plus to be a winner but with a plot twist for the DJI FPV drone.
Therefore, if you have the budget to acquire one of them, we want to help you make the right decision and avoid spending your money on the wrong drone.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Autel EVO Lite Plus
The EVO Lite Plus was released in January 2022 by Autel Robotics, a real competitor to DJI with excellent drones from budget to professional and enterprise editions.
For photographers of all stripes, you’re in luck because, surprisingly for its price, the EVO Lite Plus comes with a large 1-inch CMOS with a 20-megapixel camera and adjustable aperture.
But the forte point making this drone stand out is the bright orange version that makes this drone more visible on the blue skies, excellent for respecting the laws regarding the visual line of sight.
The EVO Lite Plus also offers:
- Three-way obstacle avoidance is perfect for avoiding collisions and even saving the drone when it’s about to crash into an obstacle.
- 1-inch CMOS, a huge sensor suitable for professional photography and video recordings, even in low-light conditions, with great dynamic range.
- This drone, like most Autel drones, does not have any geo-restrictions. Therefore, you won’t be restricted from taking off where you’re not supposed to.
- Long flight time and range capabilities: The Autel EVO Lite Plus can fly for up to 40 minutes and 7.4 miles transmission range.
» MORE: Autel Evo Lite+ Review
If we take a step back from regular drones for something a bit different, we have the first FPV drone released by DJI, the DJI FPV.
An utter success, this drone was the first step for many drone pilots to get into flying FPV drones and learning to fly acro.
Released in January 2021, the DJI FPV is one year older than the Autel EVO Lite Plus. But in this case, age doesn’t matter that much – and you’ll find out why in a minute.
DJI FPV also has a few perks in its pocket:
- It’s a unique FPV drone capable of flying in normal and sports modes, like a standard drone, and in manual mode, like an FPV drone.
- It offers an easy way to get into FPV without the complexity of dealing with transmission protocols and compatibilities, analog transmissions, charging custom LiPo batteries, and the deep learning curve behind Betaflight.
- For an FPV drone, the DJI FPV offers an unparalleled flight time and range – it can fly for up to 20 minutes and 10.4 miles or 16.8 km (without restrictions).
- You will enjoy a unique FPV experience while you see the world from above via a pair of “VR” Goggles when flying at high speed, delivering a high level of adrenaline and enjoyment.
Just to let you know, at Droneblog, we have nearly all the big-name drones. We test and review them regularly and promise a fair review and comparison based on experience and hands-on knowledge.
When I first got my DJI FPV drone after it was released, I felt I entered a new world of FPV. It was my first step, and I never regret that decision.
Even nowadays, I’m using my DJI FPV drone on a regular basis. That was my favorite drone and still is one of them.
But this is a personal choice.
However, based on facts and what these drones can offer, you will probably get more use out of the Autel EVO Lite Plus, which can be utilized commercially for professional photography and filmmaking, delivering an unmatched experience for its price tag.
The DJI FPV drone is also an amazing drone if you want to get into FPV. It’s an easy choice; it comes in a complete kit ready to fly and offers many tools for beginners.
Still, you should be aware that DJI FPV has one downside regarding crash resistance, making not a few FPV beginners aim to acquire DJI Avata instead.
What are the main differences?
Let’s look at the differences between these drones and what else we can say about them.
Let’s start with the Autel EVO Lite Plus, shall we?
- This is a standard GPS drone: It has a similar flight style to the DJI Mini and Mavic series, DJI Air 2S, etc. From hobbyists to commercial users, the Autel EVO Lite Plus targets a large niche of drone pilots.
- Camera: The Autel EVO Lite Plus comes with a 1-inch Sony CMOS sensor with an adjustable aperture between f/2.8 and f/11. This camera is also hosted in a 3-axis gimbal system. The Moonlight Algorithm is fantastic for capturing low-light or night photography.
- Lack of Geofencing: For many drone pilots, geofencing will only ground your drone, even if you want to fly indoors or in your own backyard, or for some roof inspections when close to restricted airspace. The Autel EVO Lite Plus is unhampered by this system.
- The Autel EVO Lite Plus is foldable: While the DJI FPV has a standard form factor with fixed arms, the Lite Plus is nicely foldable, making it great for transportation and to travel with.
On the other side, let’s have a look at the DJI FPV, shall we?
- It’s an FPV drone and can fly like a custom quad: In manual mode, if you have disabled the “M Mode Attitude Limit,” your DJI FPV can fully fly acro like a custom FPV drone.
- It can freestyle and race: Although not recommended, we must know that the DJI FPV is capable of acrobatic freestyle tricks and even racing.
- Compatible with Goggles: Having FPV Goggles on your head and seeing live transmission through it is a step towards the future as compared to observing the drone live feed via a phone screen, offering an unmatched experience.
- It has a few safety features behind it, such as return-to-home and normal modes. The DJI FPV also hosts one unique feature not found in any other drones, except for Avata: Emergency Break – this is a button that will instantly stop the drone in place if you’re about to crash, making it switch to normal mode and hover, waiting for further pilot input.
- It has an LED spotlight for landing: This drone is equipped with an intense LED spotlight near the downward vision sensors to make landing in a dark environment as easy as during daytime.
Autel EVO Lite Plus
The Autel EVO Lite Plus is a unique alternative to many DJI drones, especially considering that its current price is a breaking point for professional drones with large camera sensors and great overall potential.
Unlike DJI FPV, the EVO Lite Plus also hosts several intelligent functions such as Dynamic Track 2.1, equivalent to DJI’s Active Track, follow-me mode, moonlight algorithm, and several quick shots options, just to name a few.
Indeed, the list goes on.
The Autel EVO Lite Plus sits in the middle ground between the cheaper sub-250-gram Autel EVO Nano Plus and the more expensive Autel EVO II Pro drone made for professionals and commercial pilots.
It’s a perfect choice if you’re not looking for a cheap drone, but you’re aiming for professionalism at a reasonable price.
Many of us at Droneblog have this drone. Also, most of us are professional and commercial drone pilots, and it’s what we do. We test drones, fly them in real-world scenarios, and enjoy every second our buzzers are up in the air.
So, hear me here. The Autel EVO Lite Plus is not a bad drone; if we have to make a “Top 5 Drones” at this time, this drone definitely has its place there.
We simply love it, and it has proved itself to be a very efficient tool in so many situations – except for traveling, where we tend to prefer the sub-250-gram ones.
So, after many tests and deliberations, we have concluded that the Autel EVO Lite Plus wins on a small margin above the DJI FPV. We’ll dive in more about this later.
Right now, when I’m writing this article, I’m looking to my left side on the desk and observing my DJI FPV drone. It’s one of the few that’s not in long-term storage, and I love flying it whenever I can.
I always fly it long-range in manual mode and believe me, the DJI FPV is capable of that.
The adrenaline rush this drone offers when I fly it at over 60 miles per hour, surfing 2 meters above the ground and missing an obstacle by a few inches while my heart is pounding at 150bpm is something unimaginable.
I can never compare this with flying any standard drone. Not now, not ever.
But I’m kind of a scared rabbit.
I love taking risks when flying this drone and FPV in general, for unique FPV footage, but at the same time, I miss a lot because I’m afraid if my fingers react incorrectly on my joysticks when flying like this, even by a few millimeters, the DJI FPV becomes a meteor!
Not even the emergency brake will save your drone from these situations. Only a dustpan.
Still, that’s the point behind flying the DJI FPV. Do you like to try something new, have an immersive experience flying drones like never before, and feel an adrenaline rush like you’re racing a car?
Or maybe capture some unique FPV footage incapable of being captured by any other kind of drone?
If this is your preference, the DJI FPV is a perfect choice above the Autel EVO Lite Plus and many standard drones if you want to step out of the standard drone circle and fly something distinctive.
Winner: Autel EVO Lite Plus (with a plot twist)
The main reason most drone pilots buy a drone is to film or photograph with it.
This being the case, we have to compare the 1-inch Sony CMOS from the Autel EVO Lite Plus with the 1/2.3-inch sensor installed in the DJI FPV drone.
The camera sensor found in Autel EVO Lite Plus is more than twice as big as the one found in DJI FPV.
This makes the EVO Lite Plus way better in terms of photography and filming quality, with a great dynamic range for contrasty films, much better low-light and night capabilities, and even higher resolution.
The Autel EVO Lite Plus can film in 6k at 30 frames per second and photograph at 20 MP resolution. Wow. That’s simply outstanding video quality.
On the other side, the DJI FPV can film in 4k at 60 frames per second. And if you’re looking to photograph with this drone, look elsewhere because FPV drones are not meant for photography – in this case, you can just snapshot the filming resolution.
So, it’s a no-no for DJI FPV photography.
But here’s the twist I already mentioned twice.
Because DJI FPV is, in fact, a fantastic FPV drone with strong motors capable of reaching high speed, it can support a payload.
And in this case, we can look into attaching an action camera, such as GoPro Hero 12 Black or similar, on top of the drone, and this will fly well.
In fact, in FPV, this is the usual approach; you don’t film with the incorporated camera. You attach an action camera if the drone supports the payload.
This actually makes the DJI FPV’s age obsolete – because, overall, we don’t care about how good or bad the camera can film, as we use it simply for live transmission.
And to have a glance at what GoPro Hero 12 Black can offer, it has a 1/1.9 inch CMOS, can film in 5.3k at 60 frames per second, and has excellent HyperSmooth 6.0 video stabilization for extremely smooth footage.
If we have to compare the GoPro Hero 12 Black with the camera found in the Autel EVO Lite Plus, the Lite Plus still wins, but the Hero 12 is a significant upgrade and addition to DJI FPV to capture the most unique cinematic FPV videos at the highest quality, below cine-lifters.
But, of course, we do have to give this point to the Autel EVO Lite Plus.
Winner: Autel EVO Lite Plus
If we think of portability, the EVO Lite Plus is at a great advantage over the DJI FPV.
The EVO Lite Plus can fold, and you only have to take the drone with the remote controller with you.
Conversely, the DJI FPV is bulky and does not fold. You always have to remove the propellers before transportation.
On top of the drone, you also have the remote controller, the FPV goggles, batteries (including for goggles), the goggle antennas (if you have the DJI FPV Goggles V2), and maybe a motion controller.
Everything mentioned here fits well into a photography bag or specific FPV bag. But it will occupy most of the space, leaving little to no room for other stuff.
So, the DJI FPV drone is by far less portable, and many are buying hard-rigid cases to transport this drone in it instead of using up all the space in a backpack.
And to mention, in terms of weight, both drones are very similar (just the drones).
The Autel EVO Lite Plus weighs 835 grams, while the DJI FPV drone weighs 795 grams.
While the DJI FPV is slightly lighter than the EVO Lite Plus, this doesn’t count the extra accessory poundage needed to fly this drone.
As an additional note, both drones must be registered if you plan to fly them in the United States.
» MORE: Drone Laws in the United States
Winner: DJI FPV
Well, it looks like I keep coming back to how great is the DJI FPV in terms of flying experience.
And it is.
I don’t want to be buggy, but the Autel EVO Lite Plus is just a simple drone and will fly the same as any regular drone (with better performance and longer, of course).
But an FPV drone is another story, a totally unique experience, and I can tell you right now if you get into FPV, you risk developing an obsession for FPV drones and such flights.
That’s from my experience.
So, let me share this video with you instead of words, and you can see for yourself the real FPV experience behind DJI FPV (hmm…it looks like I’m trying to recruit you into the FPV world!)
Now, the image transmission to the Autel RC by the EVO Lite Plus is displayed either at 1080 or 2.7k resolution at 30 frames per second. The transmission latency is under 200ms.
Compared to DJI drones, we have a sharp image transmission, above average – in fact, above any DJI drones – that will look fantastic on any tablet connected to the EVO Lite Plus remote controller.
But what you will see via the goggles – picking the original DJI FPV Goggles V2 – is more than you can see with any drones, FPV or non-FPV.
First, the latency is below 28ms or 40ms, depending on the transmission mode we choose with DJI FPV: Low-Latency or High-Quality Mode.
Second, we have an 810p resolution on the goggle’s screens. But the fantastic part is that the transmission comes up to 120 frames per second, whereas the goggles have a 144Hz screen.
To put this into a practical explanation, what you see through the goggles is not only high resolution and low-latency transmission with so many details displayed in a VR way, but extra smooth at 120 frames per second – silky smooth transmission.
Some people have reported motion sickness when using 120 frames per second.
My brain simply releases a punch of dopamine when I’m observing the live view through the VR goggles.
It’s like I’m there!
Winner: DJI FPV
In terms of EVO Lite Plus compatibility, there’s not much to talk about other than that this drone is compatible with a single remote controller hosting the Autel SkyLink transmission system.
The remote controller will require you to attach a mobile phone compatible with the Autel Sky App in order to fly the drone.
But you won’t need this with the DJI FPV. No app is required to fly. Just to update it.
To make it simple, the DJI FPV drone is compatible with the following:
- Controller: DJI FPV Remote Controller 2
- Motion Controller: DJI Motion Controller & DJI RC Motion 2
- Goggles: DJI FPV Goggles V2, DJI Goggles 2, DJI Integra
So, here we have a good kit of compatible devices with the DJI FPV drone.
I have the original DJI FPV Goggles V2 and the DJI FPV RC 2 with my DJI FPV. I don’t own the motion controller, but some of us at Droneblog do.
The only sad part is that the drone is compatible only with the DJI FPV Remote Controller 2 – which, indeed, is a fantastic remote controller, but many FPV drone pilots prefer large transmitters instead – so there is no option to swap unless you DIY your drone.
But if you purchased this drone with the remote controller, you can use the same one with DJI Avata, considering that Avata does not come with any remote controllers except for the motion controller.
And here’s the fun part: Avata is also compatible with the DJI FPV Goggles V2 that comes with the DJI FPV drone.
So, if you acquire the DJI FPV drone kit, which can be purchased with DJI FPV Remote Controller 2 and DJI FPV Goggles V2, and you want to try Avata, then you only need the Avata drone and nothing else.
Flight Time and Range
Winner: Autel EVO Lite Plus
According to DJI, the DJI FPV drone’s maximum transmission distance is 10.4 miles. But this will happen only in a perfect world, without restrictions.
Due to FCC and CE restrictions in the USA and Europe, we’ll be struggling to fly this drone and any other drones past 4-5 miles in a realistic scenario. Consider the battery life to be yet another factor contributing to the max flight distance.
Autel advertises the EVO Lite Plus as having a transmission distance of up to 7.4 miles, which is less than DJI FPV, but in real-world applications, you’ll still be limited and could never fly that far.
I remember the last time I flew a long-range drone was, in fact, my DJI FPV into the mountains, and I managed to fly it to the edge of some clouds (while respecting my local drone laws).
It was a fantastic experience, but I remember not being able to go much farther than 2 miles.
As for battery life, this is where the Autel EVO Lite Plus shines – it can fly for a whopping 40 minutes.
In reality, like with any drone, we never drain the battery to zero percent – so expect about 32 to 34 minutes of flight time before you need to land the drone.
That’s absolutely fantastic and one of the top drones when it comes to flight time.
In contrast, the DJI FPV is rated to fly for a maximum of 20 minutes. In reality, if you fly in manual mode, don’t fly for more than 12-13 minutes, or you risk damaging the battery or not reaching it back home.
That’s how long I’ve managed to fly in manual mode, most of the time, while the battery usually falls below 20 percent.
If we have to compare the DJI FPV with any custom FPV drone, the flight time is way more than the average – in fact, custom FPV quads are rated to fly between 3 and 7 minutes, depending on the drone and LiPo battery.
So, take this as a win to fly the DJI FPV for this long – once more, remember – this is not a standard drone, so you will reach speeds up to 87 miles per hour.
Well, this isn’t good, is it?
If you crash them, that’s it. You usually cannot repair them yourself and have to send them back to DJI for repairs.
But with FPV drones, that’s another story.
Generally, FPV drones are very crash-resistant and can withstand many impacts and crashes without breaking into a thousand pieces.
Avata is one of them.
But DJI FPV has a flaw in this case – the arms are made of cheap plastic and can easily break off even on the slightest impact.
So, you are wondering why you would crash the drone in the first place.
FPV drones in acro or manual mode are fast, without safety features, and will easily crash compared to standard drones.
I mean, don’t expect the obstacle avoidance sensors to work on an FPV drone in manual or acro mode. They won’t.
And the great footage resulting from FPV drones always comes with a significant risk of simply crashing the drone.
Intelligent Flight Modes & Safety Features
Winner: Autel EVO Lite Plus
The DJI FPV drone has a few smart features that set this drone apart from any other FPV drone; maybe DJI Avata matches these features.
But you will not be able to find in any other FPV drones available today with features such as:
- Return to home – Having a return to home to an FPV drone is a luxury. There are some GPS modules for custom FPV quads, but none will ever match the capabilities of DJI’s return-to-home modules.
- Emergency Brake – As we already mentioned, having the ability to stop the drone instantly in mid-air, even when flying 70+ miles per hour, if we feel we lost control, is unique. There has been a lot of engineering and testing behind this special feature.
- Frontal obstacle avoidance sensors – And here we have the first and only FPV drone in the world with obstacle avoidance sensors. Surely, they will not work when flying in manual mode, only in normal mode, but FPV + Obstacle Avoidance = Failure or Success?
- Switching from normal to sport and manual mode at will with the ability to adjust the camera angle while in mid-air is yet another intelligent, unique feature found only in DJI FPV and Avata drones. With standard drones, it’s standard to adjust the camera tilt like this, but not with FPV while flying.
Now you’re probably wondering, with all these features, why doesn’t DJI FPV stand above Autel EVO Lite Plus in terms of intelligence and safety features?
Well, because the EVO Lite Plus has a lot more than the DJI FPV, such as:
- Dynamic Track 2.1 – A unique, innovative, and complex system that tracks subjects with high accuracy to use with many intelligent flight modes, including follow-me mode.
- Moonlight Algorithm – A unique de-noising software incorporated on professional-level Autel drones that will make the night photographs without image noise, clear and sharp.
- Defog mode – With Autel EVO Lite Plus, if you’re filming in a gloomy environment, there’s a special software filter that will reduce the hazing and make your images look fantastic, with no need for post-processing.
- Rocket, Fadeaway, Orbit, Flick – A few quick shot options are something we proudly use with our Autel EVO Lite Plus drone at times when we need to capture some unique shots where doing it manually may not get us the same results. The DJI FPV has no quick shots modes.
- A 3-way obstacle avoidance system – Frontal, backward, and downwards – would be excellent for any beginner to avoid crashing the EVO Lite Plus in some havoc situations. If flying the DJI FPV in normal mode, this only has frontal anti-collision sensors, so again, we find more in the Lite Plus.
On paper, it doesn’t look much more compared to DJI FPV, but in reality, Autel EVO Lite Plus can be automated to perform various functions unavailable with the DJI FPV drone.
The only automated function with the DJI FPV is the return-to-home feature.
This makes the EVO Lite Plus stand above DJI FPV in terms of safety and intelligent features.
How hard is it to fly?
Summary: Autel EVO Lite Plus – Easy; DJI FPV in Manual Mode – Difficult
There’s something we need to discuss here.
While the Autel EVO Lite Plus, like any standard GPS drone, is easy to learn and fly, even for a beginner, the DJI FPV is another story.
First, flying the DJI FPV in Normal and Sport mode is easy enough – you will literally fly like a standard GPS drone, but within some limits (e.g., the camera tilt angle is limited, 2-axis gimbal stabilization)
But flying in manual mode is another story.
Manual mode is equivalent to acro mode if we disable the auto-leveling option called “M Mode Attitude Limit” (Attitude, not to be confused with Altitude).
Flying an FPV drone in acro mode is complex and will require a lot of practice behind FPV simulators. Even with that, flying it smoothly will need additional training.
So, in order to fly the DJI FPV drone in manual mode, you will have to undertake at least several hours of training in FPV simulators for basic flights and, to tell you from experience, at least 50 hours of training for complex and smooth flights.
There’s not an easy ending here because both drones are excellent for their purposes. But it appeals to different types of drone pilots.
The Autel EVO Lite Plus is fantastic for a lot of things, from hobbyists flying and learning to fly a drone, to professional video production, creating content, and vlogging, even commercial applications.
And the DJI FPV, although it is an older drone, is still a fantastic way to get into FPV and even create unique FPV cinematic content, especially if you attach an action camera to it.
For the general pilots, I will recommend the Autel EVO Lite Plus. Go with DJI FPV only if you’re looking for some challenges and an adrenaline rush to enter the FPV world and capture some unique cinematic shots – but never as a first-time drone pilot.
» MORE: Best ND Filters for DJI FPV