While the excitement isn’t even beginning to wane following DJI’s unveiling of its highly anticipated Avata FPV drone, reviews of the new CineWhoop are already piling up with info pilots of varying skill levels and flight priorities having to shape their purchasing decisions.
Not surprisingly with a new DJI product, reviews of the Avata are generally positive, but with a common, almost universal, complaint about the rather steep $629 starting price for what is supposed to be an entry-level FPV drone. high-end and suitable for beginners.
This segues into another fairly common criticism: that basic package that comes with an intuitive motion controller – with the standard and RC Pro versions being sold separately. This wrist-controlled navigation device, according to many reviewers, is too sensitive and fickle for FPV neophytes and even some seasoned pilots who haven’t acclimated to it.
Indeed, several reviews feature stories or actual scenes of DJI’s spanking new FPV drone falling hard in mid-test flight, only to be ripped off, dusted, and zoomed in again.
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But generally, reviewers describe the Avata as a well-designed, tech-packed drone that’s more accessible to uninitiated pilots than DJI’s first FPV product, giving new and experienced operators fast and forward views during flight. But to do that, the company’s latest creation ditches some of the photographic depth of products like the Mavic 3 or Mini 3 Pro.
In effect, TechRadar’s caveat is that while the DJI Avata offers “a more thoughtful and sedate entry into the world of FPV flight than its predecessor…it falls into a space between camera drones and FPV hardware that might not satisfy either goal as effectively as more dedicated solutions.”
In Jim Fisher’s admirably detailed review in PCMag, he outlines fears of how the ease of use and thrilling FPV experiences that will make Avata popular with less skilled pilots may create safety concerns regarding the new drone from DJI for other people in places susceptible to theft.
“This is not a product I would recommend to anyone except responsible adults, and only those who have plenty of room to really enjoy FPV flight,” Fischer writes. “The Avata is a noble attempt to bring high-speed drones to the mass market and I had a lot of fun flying it. However, in light of the potential for danger and harm to yourself or others…I hesitate to recommend it to the masses.
CNET’s Andrew Lanxon and The Verge’s Sean Hollister had fewer reservations about Avata’s safety, or its “tweener” status between DJI drones designed for capturing ultra-sharp content and new FPV users. Indeed, Hollister was so thrilled with his introduction to FPV flight with the craft that he even had words of praise for the motion controller.
“(With) a squeeze of my index finger and a literal flick of my wrist, I was a bird, an airplane, Superman taking off into the sky, plummeting to Earth below, skimming a field of grass so close I could almost taste it, cornering into a corner so smooth and flat it was like a car was drifting professionally around a corner,” enthused Hollister. “I was looking forward to going back. And I didn’t have to – there was plenty of battery left.
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Lanxon, meanwhile, echoed the lavish praise that most reviewers poured out for the super clear DJI Goggles 2 that come with the Avata drone, making the FPV experience even more spectacular. While he noted that it won’t satisfy people who prioritize creating content from flights, he gave it a thumbs up – “despite my two crashes.”
“If what you want is an exhilarating flight experience where you feel like you’re up there zooming through the trees, and you want to capture solid footage for your TikTok videos, then the DJI Avata is a hell of a lot of fun to ride and well worth checking out,” he wrote.
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