If you're unfamiliar, FPV drones involve a unique experience where pilots wear goggles, navigating the skies through a first-person perspective on the display.
No one does drones quite like DJI, a brand that has become synonymous with the term "drone." For years, they've been setting the standard with consumer-grade drones that even beginners can handle, owing to their GPS stabilisation and user-friendly interface. This technology ensures the drone remains steady mid-air, even when faced with gusty winds.
Traditional FPV drones are not always beginner-friendly. They usually lack the ease-of-use features and demand extensive practice on computer simulations before you can take flight.
DJI's Avata, however, cleverly bridges this gap. But even if you're a seasoned drone enthusiast, preparing the Avata for its maiden voyage can be a touch intricate, with several steps to follow. Notably, one of the minor gripes is the placement of the SD card slot. Tucked underneath the drone's body amidst the propellers, it can be a tad challenging to access, especially for those with larger hands.
Beyond these early hiccups, the Avata shines in its quintessential DJI simplicity. Our review unit came with the Motion Controller—a one-hand wand-type device that guides the drone based on your hand's movement. Initially, this might seem unconventional, but it quickly becomes a natural, intuitive way to fly, especially for beginners. With the built-in GPS stabilisation, you can have the Avata flying in a matter of minutes.
Speed-wise, the Avata might surprise. In its normal mode, it reaches a modest 18 mph—much slower than many FPV drones. Switching to sport mode pushes it to 31 mph, still slower than some of DJI's other offerings like the Mini 3 Pro. But for those craving an adrenaline rush, the manual mode allows for a slightly more thrilling 60 mph. Just note, this demands a traditional stick controller and advanced FPV flying skills if you want to avoid picking the drone out of the nearest hedge.
On the plus side, newcomers can find solace in the Avata's robust design. Equipped with propeller guards and a sturdy body, this drone can withstand multiple mishaps with minimal damage. But, its durability comes at a price—weight. At 410g, the Avata isn't the lightest in its class. In regions like the UK, flying it necessitates an A2CofC qualification, as it surpasses the basic Operator and Flyer ID weight limit for drones under 250g.
When it comes to capturing photos and video footage, the Avata offers 4k 60fps video and 48 MP image capabilities from its 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor. The results are reminiscent of older GoPro versions—adequate for leisure flights and basic commercial tasks.
With a battery life hovering around 18 minutes, you'll get ample air time, even if its speeds don't match some of the high-performance FPV drones out there which will typically fly for around 5 minutes before a battery change is needed.
In conclusion, the Avata seamlessly integrates beginner-friendly features with the intricacies of FPV, providing a stable flight experience consistent with other DJI models. And for those wanderlust souls, the drone's compact size makes it a breeze to pack in your luggage or backpack, ensuring you never miss an aerial shot of your adventures.