In the dynamic world of consumer drones, DJI has long been a towering presence. However, since its inception in 2014, Autel Robotics has rapidly grown, offering compelling alternatives to DJI's lineup. The question often arises: Is DJI better than Autel? Our stance is pragmatic - the best drone is the one that accomplishes your specific tasks effectively. After all, drones are fundamentally similar; they serve as a flying platform. Their true value lies in how they are utilized.
Portability and Size Both DJI and Autel drones are designed with portability in mind. They are foldable, medium-sized, and can easily fit into a hard case or backpack. The Autel Evo Max 4T, in particular, finds a sweet spot in size, nestled between the DJI Mavic 3 and the M30T, making it more portable than the latter. With dimensions of 257×136×133 mm when folded, the Autel Evo Max 4T is about 69.6% smaller in volume compared to the DJI Matrice 30T, which measures 365×215×195 mm.
Furthermore, the Autel EVO weighs 3.57 pounds including batteries, whereas the M30T weighs double at around 8 pounds.
This makes the Autel a potentially better choice for applications like search and rescue or public safety, where space or weight savings is at a premium.
Thermal Capabilities Both drones come equipped with a high-resolution 640x512 thermal sensor, enabling them to detect heat signatures in complete darkness - a critical feature for night operations.
Camera Quality Here, the Autel drone takes the lead with a 50-megapixel wide-angle camera, significantly surpassing the DJI's 12-megapixel offering. A higher megapixel camera is useful for mapping or inspection application.
Zoom Capabilities Zoom is crucial for detailed inspection or search and rescue operations. The Autel Evo Max 4T provides a 10x optical and 160x digital zoom, while the M30T offers a 16x optical and 200x digital zoom. Although the Autel has less optical zoom, operators can compensate by flying closer to the subject. We prefer using the optical zoom range over digital to avoid image quality degradation.
Laser Rangefinders Both models feature laser rangefinders, essential for pinpointing exact GPS locations, especially in search and rescue missions.
FPV Cameras and Flight Times The M30T includes an FPV camera, a feature absent in the Autel Evo Max 4T. However, we found that the lack of FPV in the Autel isn't a deal-breaker. Both drones offer similar flight times, around 42 minutes for the Evo Max 4T and 41 minutes for the M30T, though real-world conditions typically yield around 35 minutes of flight time.
Hot Swappable Batteries Both drones support hot-swappable batteries. The M30T uses a dual battery system, offering redundancy, while the Autel's single battery system simplifies battery management. The Autel's swapping process relies on an internal battery and must be done quickly.
Battery Cost Comparison
- EVO Max 4T Battery: $444 CAD
- Matrice 30 TB30: $445 EACH x 2 = $890 CAD per set
Smart Controllers Both come with robust smart controllers, with the Autel's controller featuring a slightly larger screen. The M30T's controller has a swappable battery making it ideal for extended operations, while the Autel's is built-in but can be connected to an external power source.
Weather Resistance and Operating Temperatures Both drones are weather-resistant and can operate in temperatures ranging from -20° to 50° C. The M30T's IP55 rating offers better protection against dust and water than the Autel Max's IP43 rating.
Pricing The M30T starts at $10,919, plus $850 for a set of batteries, totaling around $11,769 CAD. The Autel Evo Max 4T is priced at approximately $12,500, including one battery.
In conclusion, both DJI and Autel offer drones that excel in different aspects. The choice depends on specific needs, whether it's portability, camera quality, or operational flexibility. Each drone has its strengths, making them valuable tools in various scenarios.
Reach out to our team to get a quote or demo today!