10 km range
3 axis gimbal
The Autel Evo Nano drone has been called “the best drone under 250g”, and on some occasions, “the DJI mini killer” by drone enthusiasts.
Originally announced in September 2021 as being a sub-250 grams drone, many people are considering it a direct competitor of the DJI Mini 2, and for good reason. The Evo Nano series offers some competitive features for an entry-level drone.
So is the Evo Nano a viable option and competitor to the other “mini” drones on the market, or is it just overly hyped? I’ll attempt to answer that question in my review below.
First, let’s talk about the weight and design. At 249 grams, the Evo Nano series is Autel’s smallest and lightest drone to date. Meaning you could fly it around without registering it with the FAA (you should still follow drone laws in the U.S. though).
The design is pretty standard for sub-250 grams drones and is highly similar to the famed DJI Mini.
There are actually two models of the EVO Nano Series, the standard and the plus model. We’ll be reviewing the standard one here, but know that the only difference between them is that the Plus series has better cameras and is geared towards photography aficionados (It’s also $200 more expensive).
That’s the piece of info you’re probably seeking the most, so let’s get right to it.
Currently the EVO Nano drone is selling at $799 ($649 in some places in North America). At this price it’s not exactly a budget friendly drone, let alone something that should be considered entry level (although it has been called so by many drone enthusiasts). Stick around for the specs however and you’ll see that it’s worth it.
The Aute Evo Nano is capable of remaining in flight for 28 minutes and that’s more than enough for most drone pilots. It’s just 3 minutes shy of the DJI 2 mini’s battery life, which is 31 minutes.
That being said, some drone pilots in places with sub-zero temperatures reported lower battery lives, mainly in parts like Canada where the weather’s pretty cold. So expect lower battery life in cold conditions and plan your flight accordingly.
Keep in mind that the Evo Nano can be flown in temperatures as low as -10˚C which is perfect for winter flying.
The Evo Nano boasts a 10km flight range (just as much as the DJI Mini 2). The live view is also particularly amazing! With a video resolution of 2.7k at 1 kilometers, and 1080p at over 1 kilometers, it’s way better than the Mini 2 with its 720p at 1 kilometers and above.
With its 3-axis gimbal, you can expect a very smooth flying experience and forget about blurry or shaky videos.
It also has a three way obstacle avoidance system, forward, backward and downward. The fact that they managed to pack all this tech in the little 249 grams drone is impressive to say the least.
As for how it handles winds, the Evo Nano comes with a level 5 wind resistance which means it can handle winds of up to 38km/h (24mph).
There is another aspect that plays a role in stabilization when it comes to the Evo Nano drones, and that’s rubber. Both the camera and propellers are fixed in place by rubber to allow some flexibility. The only downside to that is that the rubber parts harden in cold weather, making flight a little complicated (according to some canadian users).
You can have the best drone in the world with all the bells and whistles… but if the camera’s not up to scratch, you might as well just leave it in the box!
Luckily the Evo Nano excels in this area, big time. With an efficient 1/2-inch CMOS sensor capable of shooting 48-megapixel stills and 4K videos at 30 fps, you’re getting the best quality for your money at this price range, perhaps even more (the DJI mini 2 has 12-megapixel stills by the way).
The Evo Nano sports 3 HDR video modes making it extremely easy for even the inexperienced photographers and videographers to take professional looking stills and videos.
Real-time transmission is the live footage you see on you phone when you’re flying the drone. The quality of the footage usually drops as your drone gets further away from you, which is why I think the Evo Nano has most mini drones beat in this regard.
The DJI mini 2 live transmission maxes out at 720p 30fps, while the Autel Evo Nano is at 2.7k resolution if you’re closer than 1 kilometers, and even beyond that distance it’s still an impressive 1080 resolution.
The Evo Nano has a 16x Zoom at 1080p which is impressive considering the DJI mini 2 has 2x zoom in 4K, 3x in 2.7K and 4x zoom at 1080p.
Remember what I said concerning stabilization? The Evo Nano is one of the few drones that even a complete drone beginner can fly without any problems.
With its wind resistance, the obstacle avoidance system and physical rubber components, it’s as smooth and as reliable as any DJI drone.
The Evo Nano has three main flight settings: Novice, Standard and Sport. In Novice mode it has a top speed of 11mph, in Standard it’s 22mph and in Sport it’s 29mph. Whichever mode you choose depends on your level of drone expertise.
The Autel Evo Nano comes with an array of flight modes: Dynamic Track which automatically follows a moving object (could be you, the pilot). Rocket which shoots a vertical ‘dronie’. Fade Away which starts close to the subject before zooming off into the distance. Orbit which performs a perfect circle around the subject and Flick which tracks in towards a static subject before flicking around in the opposite direction.
They’re all as simple as clicking a button to activate and makes getting professional drone reels really easy.
The Autel Evo Nano is extremely similar to the DJI mini in style and even in size. Honestly, you’d find it hard to tell which is which if not for the signature orange color of the Evo Nano series.
The Evo Nano is 142×94×55mm when folded; 4mm longer than the Mini 2. And 260×325×55mm when unfolded.
The Autel Evo Nano comes with a comfortable balck controller with a cradle for your mobile phone. The controller features a “return home” button for your right thumb, a dedicated button for image and video taking, and a smooth gimbal controller.
As for the app you’ll be using on your phone for flying the drone, it’s called the Autel Sky App and it’s a breeze to use. Very intuitive and doesn’t take long to pick up.
The app provides GPS and video transmission information plus access to the camera settings and all flight parameters, including return to home altitude. You can also hard set a maximum distance you’d allow for the drone to be from you before it automatically does a “return home”, that can be useful.
My only issue with the app is that the camera settings are extremely basic and you’re limited to what you can tweak. Which might be a point of concern for some power users who like personalizing their drone experience.
The Autel Evo Nano has been called the “DJI Killer”, “The best drone under 250 grams” and many other things that may seem like over-the-top hype, but aren’t actually far from the truth.
Although the price is a little bit on the medium-end and doesn’t make the drone accessible for everyone, the sheer amount of tech packed into its 249 grams body more than justifies the cost of the drone.
I’ve found a very detailed review of the Evo Nano from a Canadian drone pilot. If you feel like you need more information before you decide whether this drone is for you, you can check it here.