While the world of FPV mainly comprises people who can build and customize drones, DJI is trying to make entry to FPV easier by building Ready-To-Fly FPV drones. They started with the DJI FPV, which has its highs and lows. And recently, they introduced a new FPV drone, the DJI Avata.
So, DJI FPV vs. DJI Avata, which one is better?
The DJI Avata has an improved camera, durability, and a higher-quality resolution on the FPV goggles. It works best for people entering into FPV for the first time.
However, the DJI FPV is still faster, more agile, has a decent resolution through the FPV goggles, and works best for more experienced FPV pilots.
Please keep reading to learn more about these two drones and which one you should get.
DJI FPV vs. DJI Avata
Let’s look at how different or similar these drones are based on the main features.
The DJI FPV comes in an ‘alien-like’ design and even sounds like an alien ship when it starts.
It doesn’t look like a typical Mavic drone. On the other hand, the DJI Avata comes with a simple-looking design. Some drone pilots’ first impressions of the Avata were that it’s a small, cute drone but still as noisy as the DJI FPV.
The only thing that gives it away as an FPV drone is the inbuilt propeller guards, which you might find in custom-built FPV or Cinewhoop drones.
Unfortunately, the DJI FPV doesn’t have propeller guards, and I don’t think there is any third-party manufacturer selling propeller guards for it, which makes it riskier to fly the drone in tight spaces.
Another design difference that makes the Avata a more rugged drone is that many parts, including the gimbal, are snugged into the drone.
If the Avata crashes, the propeller guards and the cage protecting the battery are the first to be hit, but they will not experience significant damage.
But the DJI FPV has plastic propellers, and the carbon fiber outer cage may not be that durable.
So, in terms of durability and design for beginners, the DJI Avata is a clear winner.
Speed and Agility
The DJI FPV is heavier, weighing 795 grams, while the Avata only weighs 410 grams. Still, while it is larger and heavier, it’s also faster and can withstand stronger winds than the DJI Avata.
The DJI FPV can fly up to 88 mph, and there’s no speed limit when ascending or descending when in Manual mode, making it the more agile drone of the two.
On the other hand, the DJI Avata can fly up to 60 mph, and the ascending and descending speed is limited to 13 mph. If these two drones were to race on a track, the DJI FPV would win.
Unlike the usual FPV drones where it’s all manual, both DJI FPV and Avata are built with the beginner in mind. They both have GPS stabilization and hovering, minimizing crashing for first-time flyers.
They also both have 3 modes:
- Normal – A beginner can start with the Normal mode, where obstacle-sensing will be activated and speed reduced to 15 m/s for the FPV and 8 m/s for the Avata.
- Sport – In Sport mode, the speed increases to 27m/s and 14m/s, respectively.
- Manual – Once you get to Manual mode, you can fly at top speeds without obstacle sensing and with most other safety features off.
Speaking of obstacle avoidance, both drones have obstacle avoidance systems, but they are not as advanced as you will find in consumer drones. The DJI FPV will sense objects front and bottom, while the Avata only has bottom sensors.
This would be limited for a standard camera drone, but for an FPV drone, this is almost overkill considering that most dedicated FPV drones lack obstacle sensing and avoidance.
Another safety feature is AirSense, a feature powered by ADS-B, DJI’s technology that detects and alerts you in case of oncoming manned aircraft.
This feature will be handy if you are flying in areas with potential cases of low-flying traffic.
The camera is another area where the DJI Avata is a clear winner.
DJI improved on the camera compared to the FPV. If you have flown the FPV or seen some videos made using it, you will realize it is quite limited. The DJI FPV has a smaller sensor (1/1.7 inch), smaller FOV, and slightly limited color profiles.
The DJI Avata features a larger sensor (1/2.3 inch), larger FOV, and better color profiles. There are also improvements in features like frame rates, resolutions, and ISO range.
That’s why the Avata seems to produce better-quality images, and you may not need to attach a third-party camera to it.
Notably, both drones have the RockSteady stabilization technology that helps produce smooth images even at top speeds.
RockSteady goes even further to take several images at higher shutter speeds, which can then be stitched together to produce a larger image.
In addition to RockSteady, the new DJI Avata also comes with HorizonSteady, which keeps the Horizon level as you rotate the drone.
Another convenient feature I love about the DJI Avata is it comes with 20GB of internal storage, which isn’t available in the DJI FPV.
If you forget your SD cards or those you brought with you get filled, and you don’t have anywhere else to empty your footage, the internal storage will come in handy.
Goggles are a crucial part of FPV. It’s the only way you can view the live footage as you fly, and if you don’t set them right, or if they are uncomfortable for you, you will not enjoy the FPV experience as you should.
That’s why DJI has invested a lot of time in making the best FPV goggles for their drones.
The DJI FPV came with the DJI Goggles V2, while the DJI Avata comes with the DJI Goggles 2. Note the name difference there. The DJI FPV goggles have a ‘V’ while the Avata’s goggles lack the letter ‘V.’
DJI Avata can also work with the older DJI Goggles V2, but the new goggles that come with the Avata can’t work with the DJI FPV. But let’s hope they will soon make them reverse compatible.
So, how do these two goggles compare to each other?
For starters, DJI Goggles V2 has 4 antennas, while the Goggles 2 has 2, so you might get a slightly better range with the older goggles than the new ones.
Secondly, the new DJI Goggles are smaller than the older version, seem more comfortable, lighter, and have a longer flight time.
With the new DJI goggles, you get 1080p at 100fps live feed, while the older V2 goggles can only achieve 810p at 120fps.
Two new features make the new DJI Goggles 2 a better option:
- Diopter adjustment – This feature works like the one in a microscope, where you can adjust the viewfinder until the image becomes clearer. The Goggles 2 allows you to adjust between -0.8 to +2.0 D. And if you can’t get a clear image within that range, you can add third-party glasses.
- Wi-Fi Transmission – The new Goggles 2 also feature a wireless transmission that ensures flawless transmission of footage from the drone to the goggles.
- Head tracking– That’s right. You can use head movements to control the drone’s camera, making it easier to view what’s around the drone as you fly.
DJI FPV uses the OcuSync 3.0, while the DJI Avata uses DJI’s new OcuSync 3.0+, which you can also find in the Mavic 3.
Compared to the OcuSync 2.0, the OcuSync 3.0 has reduced latency, increased bitrate, up to 6 miles range, and higher transmission power, which are all great for an FPV drone.
The OcuSync 3.0+ has even more improved transmission power and bitrate and enables Wi-Fi transmission.
However, it’s important to mention that you may experience some connection losses, especially when using the new Goggles 2.
This will often occur if you go behind trees or buildings since they seem to block the signal, so always be aware of your surroundings when flying either of these drones.
DJI indicates that the FPV has a 20-minute flight time while the Avata has an 18-minute flight time.
However, when you actually fly them, the difference is minimal.
Both drones have intelligent batteries designed to take care of overcharging, discharging, and other Li-Po battery processes, making them safer than DIY FPV drones.
You can control the FPV and Avata drones using the Motion Controller or the regular remote controller.
For the Avata, you get the drone and the Motion Controller, and you will have to get the controller separately, while for the DJI FPV, you get the drone and the controller, and you have to buy the Motion Controller separately.
I prefer the Motion Controller since it offers an intuitive way to control your drone, and it gets even better when you can control the drone’s camera through head tracking.
But the standard DJI FPV RC controller still works great. It’s the same controller you will find in other DJI drones, only that it has holding sections like the ones you find in the Xbox gaming pad.
However, the Motion Controller only works in the Normal and Sport modes, but not in the Manual mode. But the remote controller will work in all the modes.
As expected, the improvements on the DJI Avata come at a cost since it’s slightly more expensive than the DJI FPV. The Avata Pro View Combo, which includes the drone and the Motion Controller, goes for $1,388, while for $999, you can get the DJI FPV and the DJI FPV controller.
If you want a cheaper option, you can get the Fly Smart Combo, which includes the DJI Goggles V2 instead of the new Goggles 2 and goes for $1,168.
Both the FPV and Avata have FlyMore kits that cost $299 and $279, respectively, where you get two extra batteries, an extra set of propellers, and a charging hub.
However, if you already have the DJI FPV or can get the controller and goggles elsewhere for a lower price, you can buy the DJI Avata alone for just $629.
DJI FPV vs. DJI Avata – Which one should you get?
It all comes down to what you want in an RTF FPV drone. If you want speed, agility, and above-average footage, the DJI FPV is still superior in these areas.
But if you want a better camera, ease of use, durability, and better live footage, the DJI Avata seems like a better choice.
The DJI Avata appeals to more people due to its design, and it doesn’t look so intimidating for a first-time user compared to the DJI FPV. This is more so for people who find building an FPV drone from scratch quite complex.
Both drones are beginner-friendly. That’s why you have an option to fly in GPS mode and move to Acro (Manual) mode once you get the hang of it.
But the DJI FPV still offers better value when it comes to price.
If the only reason you are getting the DJI Avata is the camera, it would be better to attach a third-party camera to the DJI FPV (especially if you already have one) than get the new Avata since when you remove the camera features and range, these two drones are more similar than they are different.
What if you already have the DJI FPV?
If you already have the DJI FPV, the DJI Avata would still make a great addition to your arsenal.
The DJI Avata isn’t precisely an FPV drone. It leans more towards being a Cinewhoop.
So, if you want to enjoy the FPV experience with the reduced fear of crashing (thanks to the propeller guards) and all the other benefits mentioned in this article, then go ahead and get the DJI Avata.
Besides, you only need to spend about $630 since the goggles and controllers will be compatible with those of the DJI FPV.