Speculation has been rife about Autel Robotics bringing out a sub-250-gram drone to compete with the ever-popular DJI Mini 2 for a while now. But today, a leak on Chinese social media seems to confirm that the Autel Nano mini drone is indeed under development and would likely feature three-way obstacle avoidance.
Autel hasn’t really ventured into the hobby drone market before. Instead, we have seen the company target the prosumer space with its heavily disputed X-Star drone series as well as the EVO I and the EVO II drones. So, this nano drone is going to be a big pivot for the Chinese manufacturer.
Autel Nano mini drone leaked on Chinese social media
The leaked image tells us that Autel’s mini drone could come in four colors: the company’s signature orange tint, light gray, dark gray, and a fiery shade of red. The remote controller bears resemblance to the ones that come with Parrot Anafi or Skydio 2.
And though the photo above doesn’t give away the drone’s specifications, Jasper Ellens, who first shared the news on Twitter, is positive three-direction obstacle avoidance is to be expected. And that’s because there’s one more leaked image that shows the drone sporting back sensors. Take a look:
Considering that obstacle avoidance is one of the few features that the Mini 2, an amazing little drone, lacks, this makes sense. In all likelihood, DJI will bridge this gap with the Mini 3. But at this point, the only sub-250-gram drone to offer obstacle avoidance is the Hubsan Zino Mini Pro, but we know it would be sometime before that company is able to make its way up the credibility ladder.
In any case, to compete with the Mini 2 (or Mini 3, depending on when the Nano actually lands), Autel will definitely need to offer 4K video or better. We have 120fps on our wish list. Similarly, a flight time of 30 minutes or more is also to be expected from Autel’s first all-out consumer drone.
But in the end, it’s the price point that could become a big differentiator. The Mini 2 with its $450 price tag is a great beginner’s drone that even professional content creators vouch for. Naturally, with obstacle avoidance factored in, Autel Nano would likely cross the $500, or even $600, threshold. But if the company is able to deliver in terms of image quality, ease of use, and onboard software features, DJI will finally have a worthy competitor in the nano drone segment.
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