Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone Review – The Real DJI Phantom killer

The Autel Robotics X-Star drone is a new addition to the drone community and my main recommendation as a Phantom 3 Professional alternative

It's not only cheaper, but from my detailed analysis it has pretty much the same functions and overall quality. Now, let's get on with this review and see exactly what this solid-looking quad-copter has in store for us.

Battery Life

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Range

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Camera

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Motors

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What are the differences between x-star and premium

Both are pretty much the same drone with the Premium one having double the HD live feed range compared to standard one. Therefore the premium version goes up to 1.2 miles away. This is mainly going to be an autel x star premium review as that's the version I definitely recommend you get.

The Premium version also has an included splash-proof hard case and a 64 gb SD card. If you want to see a side-by-side comparison of the two check out this comparison table made by the guys at Autel Robotics.

My recommendation is the Premium version because for $100 more you not only get an incredibly good carrying case (that can carry up to 5 batteries and all accessories) but also the increased range will be useful in many situations.

When it comes to specs  and looks, it's obviously trying to beat the all popular Phantom 3 from DJI.

 But the price must also be on par, as there's many smaller foldable drones that have appeared on the market recently.

Specs
Camera Options
With Camera
Camera Resolution: 4k
Gopro
Features
GPS
Gimbal
Phone Controlled
Transmitter
Motor Type: Brushless
Optical Flow Stabilization
Battery Life: 23
Flight Range: 2
Foldable
Micro SD Card
Under 250g
Drone Types
Beginner
Professional
Indoors
Racing
-
drone-camera-quality
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How well does the autel camera record?

There's no doubt that when I label something as “a phantom Killer“, it has to have an amazing camera. And this time it really does the job incredibly well.

premium_camera

The video quality is so nice, in fact, that I would recommend this drone to anyone even compared to the main DJI Competitor, the Yuneec q500 4k.

 

The 4k camera installed (both on the standard and Premium versions) can record cristal clear videos that are impecably stabilized by a solid 3 axis gimbal.

It shoots video at a 108 degree FOV and can take very stable 12 mp stills. The video resolutions and FPS are as follows:

  • 4k at 30 FPS
  • 2.7k at 60 FPS
  • 1080p at 120 FPS
  • 720p at 240 FPS (this enables some incredible slow motion footage)
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Modular design and features

A very nice thing to be noted about the Autel X-star drone is that the camera and gimbal comes off whenever needed, and that means it's replaceable.

The modular design also makes it a very upgradable piece of equipment in the future. That is if Autel Robotics decide to make a new upgraded camera in the future, or one with special capabilities like a thermal cam, you will be ready for an upgrade.

Not only that, but it also means you'll be able to easily change the most fragile piece of quipment on the entire drone (the gimbal and camera) without compromising the entire aircraft.

battery-2-color-autel

Speaking about fragile things like the gimbal, it reminded me that the drone itself has a very sturdy build with some very durable and high quality plastic.

Allthough it's pretty heavy, it can easily go above 20 minutes of flight time and even beyond, somewhat comparable to the Phantom 3.

  • 4900 mAh SMART battery 14.8V 4s
  • between 20 and 25 min of flight
  • has a self-discharging cycle to maintain longevity

The charger it comes with has a very practical 2-way charging capability as it allows both chargin the drone battery itself and the controller at the same time.

A pretty big problem in the past was that chargers could get pretty hot after some usage time. This time, Autel installed a very useful cooling fan on top of the charger that actually keeps the temperature from raising too high.

With this charger, the stock battery can be charged from 0 to full in about 50 minutes to an hour or so.

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Propellers and how it flies

The package comes with a set of quality spare props besides the standard ones.

Mounting them is pretty easy considering they have red and black markings for how they spin (clockwise for black and counter-clockwise for red) so that you don't mess things up and destroy the drone.

As much as flight stability goes, the drone does an impeccable job thanks to the great GPS. It also features GLONASS besides standard GPS, just like the Phantom 3 and 4 models do, so you know you always have satelites available.

drone-transmitter
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Controller

A very notable feature of this transmitter is that the controller itself does a backup of the flight information (video) in case the app crashes or the cable to the phone/tablet disconnects.

 

The transmitter is one area where this drone shines compared to it's competition. I personally feel like this is the most comfortable controller I ever held and the phone/tablet grip is very strong indeed and doesn't shake when moving from side to side.

Something unique to this controller is the additional LCD display at the top that shows very important flight data, so it frees up more screen space on the flying app and makes flight safer in case of an error.

I know how difficult it is for many first time flyers to start with a drone considering these things are expensive and nobody really wants to break them (besides Casey Neistat).

Fortunately, this quadcopter has conectivity port that allows a second controller to be added and so a more experienced flyer can help guide a newbie through his first flights without having to pass on the controller.

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Flying modes

Just like most other smart drones these days, there are quite a few automated modes that make life easier for any videographer or even average user.

Follow me mode

A standard follow me mode that we're used to seeing in the more advanced quadcopters on the market.

Very useful in open spaces or where you can fly the drone above the possible obstacles (like trees and such).

Perfect to be used when doing sports, driving with a car in an open area or when you can't pay attention to the remote.

Waypoints

The waypoints feature enables the user to either point to the waypoints on the map or draw a line to pick a set course.

The nicest thing about this mode is that you can both speed up or slow down the drone while it's flying toward a waypoint, and also move the camera to take shots without worrying about the flight pattern.

autel-waypoints

Point of interest

This is a standard setup to fly around a specific point or building, allowing for some very artistic and smooth shots.

First you need to select a point of interest on the map, then you are prompted to select the orbit radius (so you can hover around a larger area or building) and you even have an option to select the number of laps the X Star does around that spot.

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X star premium vs Phantom 3

Autel's Robotics X Star Premium is pretty much one of the best competitors for the infamous DJI Phantom 3 Professional at an even lower price (about $100 difference).

The only thing that could prove to be a problem with the X Star is that its indoor flight isn't as good as the P3's because it lacks the altitude sensors to keep it in place when GPS signal is not availible.

The advantage it has over it's competitor is that the Autel drone has a modular camera setting which means it's easily replaceable and upgradeable.

Here's a good side-by-side comparison between both drones footage​

versus-drone-comparison
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How does it compare to other drones?

So its main competitor is the DJI Phantom as you might know, but what other drones are in the same price category that might capture your attention?

Add to compare

Bellow you can check my top  drones in the same price category.

Please use the “Add to compare” button and then press on the icon on the right to compare them.

ProductRangeCamera
DJI Mavic Air – 4k compact drone for everyone
DJI Mavic Air – 4k compact drone for everyone
21 min
4000 m
4k
Add to compare
2 Parrot Anafi Drone review
Parrot Anafi Drone review
25 min
4000 m
4k
Add to compare
3 Dji Mavic Pro 1 – Still a good drone in 2019?
Dji Mavic Pro 1 – Still a good drone in 2019?
23 min
7000 m
4k
Add to compare
8.5 Total Score
A great DJI phantom alternative!

Flight stability
9.5
Camera quality
9
Aditional features
8
PROS
  • Perfect image stabilization
  • Modular gimbal and camera
  • Long range
  • Great build quality
  • Good transmitter
  • Slow motion 1080p
  • Good color reproduction
CONS
  • Pretty big compared to the foldable drones DJI has today

Autel X star

How do you make money with your drone, though?

Okay, so you got your new and fancy drone, but how do you stand out from any dad out there who has the same drone and watched some tutorials online?

I did exactly that and barely had any success. 

But now I’m charging 5x as much as before and even have to refuse clients from time to time.

I even bought about 7 online courses… and I didn’t make much progress.

So how did I finally make it to this level?

If you want the short answer, I learned everything from this guy Alex, who’s making $200 per hour with his drone. And he’s even teaching exactly how to do that.

This is pretty much what you need to know:

how-to-make-money-with-drones

1. Make sure you have a proper drone.

If you have any of the latest DJI Drones, like the Mavic Air 2, for example, you’re ready to start making money.

No need to overthink this, but if it’s any help, check this comparison of the best camera drones compared in 2020.

types of drones

2.Learn how to create the best content to stand out

You won’t stand out from the next dad who bought a DJI drone for Cristmass in the eyes of your clients if you don’t do this.

It’s WAY more important to know what you’re doing than the gear you have.

You’ll need to learn and master the following:

  1.  
  • Flying your drone(to stand out from people with basic drone shots)
  • Preparing for the flight and weather in advance
  • Learn the best drone settings (you need a proper setup template)
  • Create the Video Script (it's way easier if you know what to shoot)
  • Have a set of great cinematic shots you know how to do
  • Know how to edit the video so it stands out
  • Learn how to color grade

This is why you HAVE to invest in a proper way to learn things (instead of watching tutorials here and there).

3.Find clients that pay 5x more than regular

But not so fast.

You won’t make a penny if you don’t know how to find your clients.

I have struggled finding clients even when my videos were getting pretty good.

Until I learned a few tricks and how to find and approach them so they won’t be able to say no.

And what’s best, I learned how to get the price I asked for.

How can you do the same?

I have tested quite a few courses online and watched tons of videos on youtube, but frankly, I have learned more from one single course than from everything else… and all that in like a weekend.

Made back the money from this investment in myself in a single week and then much more.

 

How do I learn all of this? From youtube?

You could simply go online and learn everything in terms of video from youtube, forums, facebook groups etc.

However, let me tell you, it’s the worst way to learn all of this(and the slowest).

You won’t have a Complete Step By step guide on how to do everything.

I found myself frustrated, even after I learned how to do most of the video stuff that I still lacked some knowledge and I didn’t know why my shots weren’t standing out.

I got some general promotion ideas from some articles online, but again… I didn’t have much success and was charging too little for my time.

This is exactly where I learned how to make $200 per hour with my drone (From A to Z)

This course is hold by Alex Harris, who’s an international video creator, director, and drone operator with tons of experience.

And I had a great time stealing his know-how(and greatly profited from it, lol).

I recommend you watch his video presentation bellow and check out the course sales page. It’s quite cheap, considering you’re getting 320+ minutes of everything you need to know, step by step and 80+ minutes on how to actually find the ideal clients for you.

I'm a big drone enthusiast, the owner of DronesGator.com and I also make weekly videos on my drone YouTube channel.

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