97 kph (60 mph)
The FPV market for drones has been booming lately and DJI has taken notice. Not only did they release their first FPV drone last year, which had many tech breakthroughs (as always when it comes to DJI), but this august they released their second FPV drone.
Introducing, DJI Avata, regarded as the best entry level FPV drone to date by some, and by many as the best FPV drone for beginners.
Why is it perfect for beginners? Stick around in this article and you’ll find out.
I’ll just say that this isn’t exactly an entry level drone in terms of price, but it isn’t very expensive either.
In the U.S, you get to choose from two options: The DJI Pro-view Combo, which retails at $1388, includes the drone, the controller (or joystick, as you’ll see) and the DJI FPV goggles V2.
Then there is the DJI Fly Smart combo, which includes the same as the option above, but doesn’t have the immersive head movement control that the FPV goggles in the Pro-view combo have. It retails at $1188.
Whether being able to move the drone with your head movements as you’re flying is worth the extra $200 is up to you (I think it is).
Without getting into the accessories and replacement parts, the Avata drone comes with two extra pieces of equipment. The DJI FPV Goggles V2, that is, according to DJI, even better than the last DJI FPV goggles.
And then the Motion controller, which looks like a Joystick and looks really good. It’s extremely easy to use and is geared towards people with little to no flight experience.
You could literally pick it up today and get comfortable with it in a matter of minutes. The drone’s failsafes also play a role in the easy learning curve, but we’ll get into that later.
Time to get into the real important stuff. Just how good is this drone? (hint: it’s really good).
The DJI Avata weighs only 410 grams and has a size of 180x180x80mm. That’s almost half the weight and size of its FPV predecessor… and in just a year!
Unless it experiences an extreme and catastrophic crash, it likely won’t need to be sent in for repair (or for trash can) thanks to a compact frame and built-in propeller guards, and thanks to the low weight.
The new goggles, FPV Goggles V2 are roughly 167x104x81mm in size, making them sleeker and smaller than their predecessor. The small air vents on the side prevent them from overheating in hot weather, and the frame is small so it doesn't cover most of your nose.
All this makes them comfortable to wear over long periods. They also only have two antennas protruding from the top instead of four, making transport a little more convenient.
On the right, the goggles have a touch panel that you can control with your index fingers. By swiping up, down or forward, you can activate camera settings, a shortcut menu and the main menu.
The two little knobs in the bottom allow you to adjust the lenses within the goggles to get a better view. They’re also connected to the Avata drone through the OC3 transmission system most new DJI drones use.
You can count on a solid and reliable transmission for up to 10 km (we’re talking about a 1080p live feed!).
The motion controller, which looks like a fighter jet’s yoke, is how you’ll be controlling the Avata drone. It easily fits in one hand and features buttons that allow you to launch the drone, brake and hover, as well as a trigger in front that allows you to accelerate up to 54 kph (33.6 mph).
You can only operate the drone in sport and normal mode with a motion controller though. To operate in fully manual mode, which allows you to do flips and tricks with a drone, you’re going to need the DJI FPV Controller 2 for that. Which is sold separately.
This is probably the section you’ve been waiting for so I’ll get right down to it. The camera has a 48MP, Type 1/1.7 (7.6x5.7mm) sensor with a fixed F2.8 aperture and 155º FOV. It’s mounted on a 1-axis gimbal (as is usual for FPV drones).
Remember when I said this was a drone aimed at beginners and professionals alike? Well, the camera is also supported by RockSteady and HorizonSteady Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) technology, making it easy to capture cinematic videos and really cool pictures even if you don’t know how to fly properly.
The videos can be shot at resolutions up to 4K/60p and 2.7K/100p with the Goggles 2.
Photos and video clips can be shot in 16:9 and 4:3 ratios. Shutter speed and ISO can be manually adjusted (not recommended for beginners), while exposure can be tinkered with in Auto mode. Standard, wide-angle and super-wide-angle formats are also supported for capturing imagery. All in all, this drone is GREAT for shooting cinematic videos, just look at this video below!
Because the Avata has built in propeller guards (and is really light), it only needs and has two obstacle detection sensors at the bottom to determine if conditions on the ground are favorable for a landing.
There are three flight modes, Normal (N) mode which limits you to a speed of 28.8 kph (about 18 mph). It’s easy to break, while GPS plus GLONASS allow the drone to hover in place.
Sport (S) mode which doubles the speed to 50.4 kph (31 mph). And the Manual (M) mode, which as we’ve discussed can only be activated with the FPV Remote Controller 2, and has a maximum speed of 96.5 kph (60 mph).
Really good question. While Avate is the newest FPV drone from DJI, it hasn’t exactly left its predecessor in the dust. In my opinion, the Avata is more of a beginner and entry line of DJI fpv drones rather than a drastic upgrade.
Below is a table comparing the two:
|Feature||DJI Avata||DJI FPV|
|Flight modes||Normal, Sport, Manual||Normal, Sport, Manual|
|Obstacle avoidance||Obstacle detection on bottom of the drone||4 stereoscopic sensors + an auxiliary light|
|Camera||48MP, Type 1/1.7 (7.6x5.7mm) CMOS sensor||12MP, Type 1/2.3 (6.3x4.7mm) CMOS sensor|
|Flight Assistance||Return To Home, Emergency Brake and Hover||Return To Home, Emergency Brake and Hover|
|Auto-stabilization||Available for 'N' and 'S' modes||Available for 'N' and 'S' modes|
|Flight time||18 minutes||28 minutes|
|Battery type||Intelligent Flight||Intelligent Flight|
|Transmission||Live digital video feed at 1080p/100p, low-latency||Live digital video feed at 1080p/100p, low-latency|
*DJI Avata & DJI FPV, side by side.
The DJI Avata might seem too simplistic for veteran FPV drone pilots. The FPV market is known for its DIY, rugged approach to drones so that’s normal.
The truth is however is that the Avata, with its simplicity, will get even more people interested in FPV drone flight. I think that given time it’ll no longer be something only seasoned pilots do, but even beginner pilots. I hope you enjoyed this review, the Avata is still new so not many complaints have been reported so far, but when they do, you’ll find all of them as well as their solutions here on Dronesgator.