With excitement not even beginning to wane in the wake of DJI unveiling its much-anticipated Avata FPV drone, reviews of the new CineWhoop are already piling up with information pilots of different skill levels and flight priorities will need to shape their purchasing decisions.
Not surprising with a new DJI product, reviews of the Avata are generally positive, albeit with one common, nearly universal complaint about the $629 starting price being rather steep for what’s intended to be an entry-level, beginner-friendly FPV drone.
That segues into another not infrequent critique: that basic package coming with an Intuitive Motion Controller – standard and RC Pro versions being sold separately. That wrist-controlled navigation device, many reviewers say, is too sensitive and flighty for FPV neophytes and even some seasoned pilots unacclimated to it.
Indeed, several reviews feature accounts or actual scenes of DJI’s spanking new FPV drone going down hard in full test flight, only to be plucked up, dusted off, and zoom aloft again.
But generally, critics describe the Avata as a well-designed, tech-bristling drone that’s more accessible to uninitiated pilots than DJI’s first FPV product, offering new and experienced operators alike fast, front-seat views during flight. But to do that, the company’s latest creation surrenders some of the photographic depth of products like the Mavic 3 or Mini 3 Pro.
Indeed, TechRadar’s reservation is that while the DJI Avata offers “a better considered and more sedate entry to the world of FPV flying than its predecessor… it falls into a space between camera drones and FPV hardware that might not satisfy either objective as effectively as more dedicated solutions.”
In Jim Fisher’s admirably detailed review in PCMag, he outlines the fears of how the simplicity of use and thrilling FPV experiences that will make Avata popular with lesser skilled pilots may create some safety concerns about DJI’s newest drone for other people in places its likely to be flown.
“This isn’t a product I’d recommend to anyone but responsible adults, and only for those who have plenty of space 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 loads of fun flying it. However, in light of the potential for danger and harm to your person or others… I’m hesitant to recommend it to the masses.”
Both Andrew Lanxon of CNET and Sean Hollister of The Verge had less reservations about Avata’s safety, or its “tweener” status between DJI drones designed for ultrasharp content capture and new FPV users. Indeed, Hollister was so chuffed with his initiation to FPV flight with the craft he even had glowing words for the Motion Controller.
“(With) a squeeze of my index finger and a literal flick of the wrist, I was a bird, a plane, Superman taking off into the sky, swooping down to the Earth below, skimming across a field of grass so close I could almost taste it, banking in a turn so smooth and level it felt like a car being professionally drifted around a bend,” Hollister enthused. “I couldn’t wait to go again. And I didn’t have to — there was plenty of battery left.”
Lanxon, meanwhile, echoed the lavish praise that most reviewers aired for the super-clear DJI Goggles 2 that come with the Avata drone, making the FPV experience even more spectacular. Though he noted it won’t satisfy people who prioritize content creation from flights, he did give it a thumbs-up – “despite my two crashes.”
“If what you want is an exhilarating flying experience where it feels like you’re actually up there zooming through the trees, and you want to capture solid-looking footage for your TikTok videos, then the DJI Avata is a hell of a lot of fun to fly and well worth looking into,” he wrote.