DJI Avata, the newest drone from DJI, has a camera, but it’s also a Cinewhoop-style FPV drone. But it’s not the first FPV drone to come from DJI. That award goes to DJI FPV, which launched in 2021.
A year later comes DJI Avata. It’s smaller, lighter than DJI FPV. Some people have referred to Avata as a FPV Mini — but mini definitely doesn’t mean lesser.
Both come with what’s effectively a VR headset, giving you a first person view of what the drone sees, making you feel like you’re in its cockpit. For people interested in FPV flying but have been turned off by the fact that most FPV drones require a fair amount of DIY, either drone is great in that they are largely ready-to-fly, out of the box.
So with that, which FPV drone is better? The new, shiny and more nimble kid on the block wins on most levels — though it will be slightly more expensive, assuming you want and need DJI FPV goggles. But it’s not necessarily better for everyone.
Here’s what you need to know about the two in a DJI Avata vs DJI FPV comparison:
DJI FPV in a nutshell
With its unique perspectives and refreshing operating methods, DJI FPV opened up a whole new world for DJI customers used to camera drones. And it opened up a new opportunity for FPV enthusiasts who wanted a well-made, ready-to-fly, out-of-the-box racing drone.
“It can fly like a racer, hover like a traditional drone, accelerate like a homebuilt project and stop faster than any of them,” said Ferdinand Wolf, Creative Director, DJI Europe at launch. “DJI FPV lets the world experience the absolute thrill of immersive drone flight without being intimidated by the technology or spending hours building a system from scratch.”
Who DJI FPV is for
Ultimately, if you really want to be a serious drone racer but want a DJI-made, ready to fly product, then DJI FPV is better for you. With a maximum acceleration of 0-100 kph in two seconds (while flying in M mode), you’re looking at a pretty serious racing machine.
It can reach incredible speeds of 140 kph (about 87 miles per hour). That’s faster than a car should legally be driving on most highways.
All that, and it still shoots gorgeous video footage, all from that first-person view.
And sure, even if you’re not a pro, it’s still beginner-friendly thanks to features like an Emergency Brake and a failsafe ‘Return to Home’ that will bring the drone back to its home point automatically when activated or if the transmission signal is lost.
Buy DJI FPV now from:
- DJI: includes free shipping and the ability to participate in DJI Select
- Amazon: includes free shipping, and can earn 5% back when paid for with your Amazon Prime Rewards credit card
- B&H Photo: includes free shipping, and you can save on tax using the Payboo card
DJI Avata in a nutshell
DJI Avata launched this week, with DJI calling it “the first immersive flight experience drone with a built-in propeller guard created by DJI.”
It’s a Cinewhoop-style FPV drone that weighs 410 grams, about half the weight of the DJI FPV. That said, it still exceeds the 249 gram registration threshold, meaning you’ll need to register with the FAA if you intend to fly it outdoors.
While it can be operated through a more-standard controller, DJI is promoting that it be flown with the DJI Motion Controller, a one-handed, wand-like device that allows you to wish it and control the drone.
Who DJI Avata is for
DJI Avata is a Cinewhoop-style, indoor FPV drone for the masses. That means its an easy-to-fly, enjoyable drone that doesn’t necessarily demand serious, manual flight skills (though flying in manual M mode will allow you to show those skills offer, should you choose).
Ultimately though, it’s still pretty expensive. At more than $1,000 for the Fly Smart Combo, it’s not just for someone who is simply curious about FPV, the way you might pick up a sub-$100 Cinewhoop-style toy drone from Amazon to fiddle around with. That is, unless you’re curious and have a lot of money to burn.
The cost should make it clear, but this is still not a kid’s product. The propeller guards are a welcome safety feature, but they don’t solve every potential crash.
It’s also not really for photographers. The cameras on other DJI camera drones like the Mini 3 Pro and Mavic Air 2 are still far better. Instead, this is a racing drone for the racing-curious, say, a camera drone pilot who has been watching the Drone Racing League and wants to get into the FPV club. And given that the camera is still ultra-high quality, it’s for people who want to have the best social media feed out there, with the most interesting, unique videos.
DJI Avata vs DJI FPV, side-by-side
Here’s how the two FPV drones look right up against each other:
|DJI Avata||DJI FPV|
|Starting price (with DJI FPV Goggles V2)||$1,168 (Fly Smart Combo)||$999 (FPV Combo)|
|Takeoff Weight||410 grams||795 grams|
|Diagonal Distance||120 mm||245 mm|
|Max hover time||18 minutes||16 minutes|
|Internal storage||20 GB||None|
|Sensor||1/1.7-inch CMOS||1/2.3” CMOS|
|Max Video Bitrate||150 Mbps||120 Mbps|
|EIS||RockSteady and HorizonSteady||RockSteady|
DJI Avata vs DJI FPV: which drone is better for you?
In many ways, Avata is a superior improvement to the DJI FPV drone. It’s generally smaller, lighter and more nimble. Glasses connect your phone so you can share the experience with others. It flies indoors, opening up many more flying possibilities.
Some features on Avata are just wow-worthy. Take those FPV Goggles 2, with the touchpad to navigate the menu. You have to admit turtle mode (where the drone flips over upon crashing and landing upside down) is impressive. But what else?
The camera: The Avata camera is the better one here. One especially big leg up that Avata has, though is HorizonSteady technology, which basically takes RockSteady (software that eliminates picture shake, doing what a gimbal manually does in a digital way) and improves it by also keeping the picture oriented toward true level.
And don’t overlook the Avata’s 1/1.7-inch sensor, with a 48MP resolution and up to 150Mbps video quality, versus the DJI FPV’s smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor that can capture 12MP images and 120Mbps video.
I also appreciate the internal storage capabilities on the DJI Avata, making it okay for forgetful folk like me to fly sans microSD card if necessary.
Goggles: While the old model of Goggles do work with the Avata, it’s hard not to compare the two sets o Goggles in the comparison too, the Goggles 2 versus the Goggles V2. Weirdly, V2 Goggles are the older ones, and just the 2 Goggles are the newer ones. The newer ones are smaller, lighter and brighter, thanks to that sharp, 1080p display. Plus, new features include diopter adjustments — so glasses-wearing folk don’t need to wear them.
One design flaw that I didn’t like about the Goggles V2 that never got fixed in the Goggles 2, either? There’s no great place to store the battery. It hangs by a cord, and you’ll likely tuck it in your pocket (hopefully you have one!).
Motion versus joystick controller: Of course, it’s also hard to compare the two drones without comparing the two types of controllers. With Avata, DJI wants you to use the Motion Controller, which lets you control the drone with a flick of the wrist.
If you want to fly Avata in manual mode, you will need the joystick controller (which costs an additional $200 with Avata).
The Motion Controller is supposed to be more intuitive (though it might not actually be if you’re used to the sticks on a traditional RC). If you’re completely new to drones though, you might be delighted by the Motion Controller.
Speed and flight: If you consider yourself an adrenaline junky, stick with the DJI FPV. It’s a lot closer to a serious racing drone given its high speeds and sharp maneuverability. Avata only reaches 31 mph in Sport mode and 60 mph in manual mode, while the DJI FPV drone is at a far-greater 60 mph in Sport mode and an even-faster 87 mph in manual mode.
Then again, with its smaller size, Avata can wedge under table legs and between doorframes, which is less likely with DJI FPV (unless you’re an extremely skilled pilot) given its larger size.
Of course, that means Avata is still pretty fast, but don’t call this a racing drone (even if it’s an FPV drone).
Even still, both of these DJI FPV drones are more about capturing POV videos with sharp and steady footage than really racing. If it’s true racing drones you’re after, look outside of DJI. But for most people who want to get started with FPV flying — or have been in it awhile and want better-quality images than what they have been used to on non-DJI drones, the Avata and older DJI FPV impressively fit the bill.
DJI Avata vs DJI FPV: which one do you prefer? Leave your own reviews and thoughts in the comments below!