DJI Avata review: FPV drone adventures made easy

“FPV drones are sometimes intimidating and difficult, however the DJI Avata opens the FPV door to anyone — and knocks it out of the park while doing so.”


  • Extremely fun and intuitive flight experience
  • Good camera
  • Durable and protected
  • Backwards compatible with older accessories
  • Small and compact
  • Fast, easy setup


  • Produces a very loud and worsening noise
  • Liable to strong wind

The DJI Avata is an exciting departure from DJI’s traditional faire of photography-focused camera drones. It’s an FPV drone designed to supply a more exciting, action-focused flight experience previously only available to dedicated hobbyists. The Avata can slip through minuscule gaps and pull off stunning acrobatic stunts, all at breakneck speed. Does it offer any benefits over DJI’s previous FPV drone, and may it appeal to beginners and high-level pilots alike?

DJI Avata: Design

The DJI Avata Pro-View Combo.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The DJI Avata is a small, Cinewhoop-style drone. Unlike DJI’s camera drones, the Avata doesn’t have any folding limbs and only encompasses a single-axis gimbal camera. This camera is situated inside a protective cage, behind which the battery is mounted. I really like this design since it requires practically no setup or takedown, and the drone is just able to go as soon as you pop off the lens cap and power it on. The brand new DJI Goggles 2 are also compact and portable, and paired with the diminutive motion controller, the Avata is each convenient and simple to hold with you.

DJI Avata: Camera

The DJI Avata encompasses a 48MP 1/1.7-inch sensor camera, a 155-degree field of view, and an f/2.8 aperture. This provides excellent image quality, and I used to be quite glad with the footage I used to be capable of capture with the drone. It might probably capture 4K video at as much as 60fps, or 2.7k video at as much as 120fps, which is stabilized with RockSteady and HorizonSteady electronic image stabilization. This is similar impressive tech as is present in DJI’s Motion 2 camera, and it really works great within the Avata to maintain the footage looking smooth.

Video is sharp and vibrant, with decent low-light performance. It’s not as incredible as what you’d get from a camera drone just like the DJI Mini 3 Pro or the Mavic 3, however it’s great for an FPV drone where stellar image quality isn’t as imperative. It’s comparable to a high-end motion camera, which is what drones reminiscent of this typically carry anyway. Along with the usual video profile, D-cinelike is on the market for individuals who need to do extra post-processing.

DJI Avata: Safety and sturdiness

The DJI Avata perched on a boulder.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The character of FPV drones and the way they’re typically flown puts them at a far greater risk of mishap than less madcap drones. Fortunately, the Avata has various tricks up its proverbial sleeves to maintain itself and every thing around it intact. At the start are the built-in prop guards and roll cage. These each protect essentially the most vulnerable parts of the drone from damage in case of collision and keep dangerous spinning blades from harming innocent bystanders.

Moreover, the Avata has various smart features to assist keep it protected. By way of obstacle detection, it not only has downwards-facing sensors for landing assistance, however it also has GPS and return-to-home capability. Moreover, the DJI Avata has an emergency brake that brings it to an almost fast halt, and Turtle mode actually allows it to take off and fly the other way up should you occur to crash and flip over.

In case your drone does fall and may’t get back up, the Find My Drone function utilizes ESC beeping and light-weight flashing, amongst other methods, to aid you locate it. Also, I very much appreciate the Home Point AR display within the goggles, which makes it easy to search out your way back to the takeoff point should you get a bit lost while doing loop-de-loops.

DJI Avata: Flying experience

The DJI Avata flying beside a cliff.

The DJI Avata is an incredibly nimble little drone, and an absolute joy to fly. I felt very confident piloting it, even in situations by which I’d normally balk with every other drone. From the moment I took off, I used to be immediately tearing along under low-hanging branches, threading gaps between trees, and buzzing close over the forest cover. I took it to an empty playground, where I flew through monkey bars and swing sets. Under a bridge, I zipped through a fancy network of girders and flew in a tiny gap between branches to brush past a waterfall and shoot out just inches from a cliff face.

I felt very confident piloting it, even in situations by which I’d normally balk with every other drone.

There are three separate modes to make use of when flying: Normal, Sport, and Manual. Normal is near what you’d find in your average camera drone, while sport is quicker and more difficult. Manual mode takes the training wheels all the best way off and throws you in on the deep end. It transforms the Avata right into a true FPV drone for all varieties of acrobatic motion. Fortunately, should you own an iOS device reminiscent of an iPhone, you may connect your goggles and fly in a simulator before you are trying the true thing.

The O3+ transmission featured within the Avata is partially chargeable for the superb flight experience. It has a mere 30ms transmission delay and a maximum transmission distance of 10 kilometers. The 50Mbps bitrate of the image transmission enables a high-quality video stream from the drone to the goggles.

The one caveat to flying the Avata is that it appears to be highly liable to wind. On several occasions, I actually needed to fight to maintain it on target in conditions that larger, heavier drones would have easily brushed off. More often than not, it wasn’t an enormous deal, but I did have a fairly scary experience one time with the Avata flying up a canyon over a raging river. The gusts picked up once I was within the air, and the drone began listing to the side dramatically. The moral of the story is that it’s worthwhile to be very aware of conditions when flying the Avata.

Wind isn’t really a difficulty indoors, and the Avata could be very much at home in confined interior spaces. You usually don’t need to fly a drone in the home, but I felt fairly comfortable flying around inside, due to the high degree of effective control that’s possible with the Avata, in addition to its small size and prop guards.

DJI Avata: Noise

The DJI Avata flying in a forest.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The most important problem with the Avata is the noise it produces, which is each very loud and intensely irritating. In case you’re used to flying other Cinewhoop-style FPV drones, then the noise probably won’t surprise you, but for somebody like me who typically flies drones just like the Mavic 3 and Air 2S, the Avata was quite shocking the primary time I took off.

The explanation this is vital is that, once you’re flying a drone, it’s essential to take other people and wildlife into consideration. You really need to avoid irritating other people, and it’s imperative that you avoid harassing wildlife. I discovered that family and friends couldn’t stand the sound of the Avata, and I’ve noted that wildlife finds it particularly alarming. For instance, the swallows living on my farm went absolutely crazy and began attempting to attack the Avata as soon as I took off. In my experience, birds normally just ignore drones, but they absolutely hate the Avata.

The underside line here is that when flying the Avata, you’ll have to be very careful should you are to avoid bothering the living things around you — be it people or animals. That is something the DJI FPV drone handles significantly better, though on the expense of a bulkier and fewer convenient design.

DJI Avata: Headsets

View of the interior of the DJI Goggles 2.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The DJI Avata is compatible with each the older DJI FPV Goggles V2 and the newer DJI Goggles 2, and each can be found as part of various bundles with the Avata. This naming scheme could be very confusing, so from here on out, I’ll be referring to the DJI FPV Goggles V2 because the “old headset” and the DJI Goggles 2 because the “latest headset”.

The brand new headset is an improvement in almost every way. The old headset just form of balances on my face, lets a ton of sunshine leak in, and is each bulky and awkward to wear and store in a bag. The brand new headset fixes all these problems and more. It clamps down tight, so it stays firmly in place, and it seals nicely so there isn’t a light leak. It’s a fraction of the scale of the old headset, and the antennae now fold down in order that it’s even easier to pack away. It also features micro-OLED screens which might be brilliant and vivid and supply an incredibly realistic view through the drone’s cameras.

Those screens are also way more adjustable now, so it’s easy to fine-tune them to your eyes. The brand new headset even includes adapters for users with corrective lenses. The brand new headset also greatly improves the ability delivery system. It still features a battery at the tip of a protracted cable, but now the cable clips securely onto the battery, and it’s coiled. It’s far less more likely to come unplugged by chance or get snagged on things, which were each serious problems with the old headset.

The DJI Goggles 2 next to the DJI FPV Goggles V2.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The brand new headset uses a touchpad to navigate the menu system, somewhat than a button and joystick system just like the old headset. Each systems work great after somewhat practice, and for me, it’s a toss-up as to which I prefer. I’m all the time a proponent of physical, tactile controls, but the brand new touch-based system is admittedly fluid and simple to make use of. Nevertheless, I might give the sting to the old tactile controls, because they’re easier to search out just by feeling along with your hand while wearing the goggles. The touch controls mix in an excessive amount of, and it takes some time to construct the muscle memory crucial to search out them quickly.

It’s also value noting that the image transmission isn’t as strong in the brand new headset as within the old, which might make sense attributable to the more minimalistic antennae array of the brand new headset. In most situations, this wasn’t particularly noticeable, but when I happened to dip behind a rock or other solid obstacle, the older headset was more more likely to provide a reliable connection than with the brand new headset.

One final advantage of the brand new headset is that it comes with an easy plastic eyepiece protector for storage that wedges firmly contained in the goggles. This will likely not appear to be an enormous deal, however it really helps prevent accidental smudging of the lenses and helps protect them during travel.

DJI Avata: Battery life

rear view of the DJI Avata on an old picnic table.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The Avata only has 18 minutes of battery life, which isn’t much in comparison with other DJI drones. Nevertheless, it’s rather a lot higher than most FPV drones, which generally offer half that flight time at best. I used to be capable of get several flights out of every battery, and I used to be never overly limited by the capability. As with every other drone, I like to recommend also picking up not less than one spare battery.

DJI Avata: Price and availability

The fly more kit for the DJI Avata.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The DJI Avata is on the market now at a wide range of different price points. By itself, the Avata costs $630, while the Avata Pro-View Combo — which incorporates the newer DJI Goggles 2 — will set you back $1,390. You can too get the Avata Fly Smart Combo, which incorporates the older DJI FPV Goggles V2, for $1,170.

Also available is the Fly More Kit for $280, which incorporates two spare batteries and a charging hub. Each battery costs $130 by itself, and the charging hub costs $60, so the Fly More Kit offers a pretty discount. In my experience, you mostly need to have a pair of additional batteries with you, and I all the time buy the Fly More Kit once I buy a latest DJI drone.

The DJI Avata is among the finest FPV drones around

Side view of the DJI Avata flying in a forest.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The DJI Avata is pure, distilled fun. Racing around, dodging through tiny gaps, and buzzing sprinklers and waterfalls, feels amazing. It provides a highly accessible entry point to what was once a distinct segment hobby with a high learning curve. The Avata has something to supply everyone, from those totally latest to drone flying to those already heavily invested in FPV.

In brief, it is best to absolutely buy the DJI Avata. If you’ve been wanting to dip your toes into the adrenaline-fueled world of FPV drones, the DJI Avata is a terrific strategy to start. And even for seasoned FPV pilots, it’s value considering due to the top quality of the flight experience when using the DJI Goggles 2. No matter your experience, it is a drone everyone can and may consider.

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