Dedicated video drones are a class unto themselves. These drones can do fantastic things, but they are often a little too intimidating for the typical buyer. However, the Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone proves that you can get a fantastic flying and video experience without having to be a professional pilot. The goal of this review is to provide a balanced look at this drone and to give prospective buyers an idea of a typical flight experience.
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone Main Features & Specs
The Autel Robotics drone is a versatile drone, its main features certainly put it in a class above most other drones, with a number of quality-of-life functions that help pilots of all skill levels to get the most out of the device.
The big selling point of the drone is its 4k camera. It’s certainly not the only 4k-capable drone on the market, but it is one of the few that comes with the camera included. It’s not quite on the same level as a GoPro, but the fact that you can start filming out of the box is nothing short of amazing.
Given the price point and the camera, one would assume that this would only be a drone for experienced pilots. However, Autel has included a beginner mode for new pilots. This mode limits the speed, distance, and altitude of the drone so that new pilots can’t break the device – a definite selling point for those who want to shoot video but who don’t want to risk breaking the drone.
The drone also has a great autonomous flight function, allowing the user to focus on shooting video instead of flying. Autopilot might take the fun out of flying, but it definitely helps would-be videographers to capture the best footage possible. Another great autonomous drone you can check out is the Airdog Action Sports Drone.
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone Specs
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone
|25 min||Outdoor||4K Ultra HD||14.8V4900-mAh LiPo||90 min||3.2 pounds||19.5 x 19.5 x 8.5 inches||1.93 km|
Arguments: Pros & Cons
- Great look;
- 4k Camera Included;
- Good live HD range;
- Autonomous mode;
- Great controller;
- Includes memory card.
- Compatibility issues;
- Calibration problems;
- The camera is finicky;
- Magnetic interference;
- Bad customer service;
- Rotor guard problems.
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone Remote Control & Set-up for First Flight
When we look at the remote for this drone we are taken back in time. It definitely looks like an old-school remote controlled plane controller, with the same kind of knobs and switches we would have seen twenty years ago.
The addition of a smartphone on the controller helps bring the drone into the 21st Century, but the aesthetics remain the same. The boxy controller holds the phone or tablet in an attachment on the top.
The controller itself has a fairly simple set-up: there are a pair of control sticks on the left and right, which control pitch and yaw. Going from left to right underneath the sticks are a start button, a landing button, a power button, a home button, and a pause button.
On the rear of the controller are the more advanced control. Going from left to right, these are the support button, shutter button, camera dial, playback button, flight mode toggle, and gimbal pitch button.
Flying the Drone
The best way to get this drone in the air is to take a look at the Quick Start guide. Unlike many of the guides included with drones, this one is actually very useful.
Set-up requires removing the gimbal holder and warning cards from underneath the drone. Then, install the propellers by matching the colored propellers to their matching nuts on the drone.
From here, you need to power up the drone and connect it to a smartphone via the USB port. Follow the directions to calibrate the drone and get the motors started, and off you go.
We took our first flight outside in a fairly open field. This was simply for the sake of practicality – we weren’t sure about the control scheme, and we didn’t want to crash. Fortunately, the first flight is simple, especially in Beginner mode.
We recommend picking a day with low wind, though the drone is hefty enough to deal with light breezes. Play around with the settings to get a real feel for how it flies. It’s also a good idea to keep the drone close for the first flight. The color makes it easy to find, but it’s better not to risk it.
What’s in the Box?
The drone’s box is packed full with everything you will need to properly fly this drone. Included in the box are:
- The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone with its 4K Camera;
- Gimbal holder;
- Maintenance kit;
- 2 Sets of 4 propellers;
- 64GB MicroSD Card;
- Remote Controller;
- User manual;
- The Battery;
- Charger with A/C cable;
- Micro-USB cable;
- Premium Zippered Case.
HD Live View up to 1.2 miles away and autonomous flight modes via the free Starlink app for iOS or Android (mobile device sold separately)
In conclusion, the features, the price, and the ease of flight make this a fantastic purchase for anyone who wants to shoot video. We may have had a few minor gripes about this drone, but overall it is a top-notch drone that’s a great deal. What do you think of this drone, do you have any experience pushing it to its limits? If so, make sure to let us know how you feel about it in a comment below!
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone Review