DJI is back with another beginner-level drone, and this time it’s aimed at people who want to get into first-person view (FPV) flying.
Alongside the new drone, the company has revamped its FPV goggles and created a new motion controller that functions like a Wii remote, and a pilot’s joystick had a baby. I’ve yet to get my review model into the skies to test it, but the new flight control system is being marketed as easier than a controller.
The new drone is small, but unfortunately, it weighs over that sweet spot of 249 grams, so you do need a drone license to fly it in Canada. That being said, the Avata has propeller guards, so you could technically fly it indoors without causing a huge mess, and it only weighs 410 grams, so it’s not heavy.
The drone can record footage in 4k 60fps or up to 2.7k at 120fps, which should help content creators capture smooth aerial footage. The Avata also has a battery life of around 18 minutes per battery. This is pretty long for an FPV drone flight since the machines typically fly very fast, but not for very long.
The camera has a 155-degree field of view which is the same as the DJI action 2. The drone will also crop in, but this large field of view helps the drone use software to stabilize the final image. If you want to take photos, the done has a 48-megapixel lens.
The drone also has 20GB of internal storage and a new feature called ‘Turtle mode’ that will flip the drone over using the force of the propellers if it crashes and lands upside down — a very useful feature for a drone that’s supposed to be flown through tiny gaps.
The new headset
If you already own DJI FPV Goggles and a controller, then you can buy the drone by itself for $819. If you want a bundle with the new FPV headset and motion controller, the price jumps to $1,809. The Fly More kit, which comes with a 4-battery charger and two extra batteries, costs $285. Everyone will need to get the ND filter set as well, which costs $85.
The new Goggles 2 comes with a host of improvements, but chief among them is a new lens diopter mechanic that allows you to adjust them to match your prescription if you wear glasses. This part I have tested and while it’s not perfect, it’s really helpful. The touchpad on the side of the headset that you use to control the menus is really responsive too.
DJI Motion controller
DJI says this new control scheme is so intuitive that even complete beginners can get the hang of it naturally. I have yet to fly with it, but using a remote that’s more like a real flight stick appeals to me a lot. While I’m not bad with a drone controller, it doesn’t feel natural and takes a lot of trial and error to learn. If the latency and precision of the new Motion Controller are good, I wouldn’t be surprised if this new control method catches on.
There are surprisingly few buttons on the remote too. On top, you’ll see a red lock button, a mode switch control, and a large break button. On the side, there is a power toggle, a record button and tilt controls. The trigger section controls the drone’s acceleration. Overall it’s not that heavy and feels made out of solid plastic.