DJI Avata 2 Review – The Drone Even My Husband Could Fly

Hey, welcome to my review of the DJI Avata 2.

I was lucky enough to get one of DJI’s pre-release models of the Avata 2 to test and share my findings with you.

While I never personally flew the original Avata, I do have experience with some other entry-level cinewhoop-style drones as a baseline comparison. Not surprisingly, the Avata 2 is in another league altogether.

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After a few flight trials, I find that the DJI Avata 2 has an awful lot going for it, and just a few things that give me pause.

If you have the DJI Avata, you already know how awesome the upgrade is going to be, but you’re probably wondering if the Avata 2 solves all those little niggling things that weren’t quite perfect on the original.

In this review, I’ll share everything you’re itching to know about DJI Avata 2.

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Pros

  • An overall improved immersive flight experience gives you a more realistic feeling of flying.
  • 28% increased battery life (vs. original Avata) for longer flight times.
  • Quieter motor noise for less obtrusive flights.
  • Better fitting Goggles 3 with less light leakage and a more comfortable feel.
  • Larger image sensor (1/1.3) for higher quality images and video recording.
  • The new motion controller is much more intuitive and easier to learn, making this a more beginner-friendly entry into FPV flight.

Cons 

  • There is no way to connect a phone screen to the controller for an alternative viewing option. You are limited to the Goggles 3 to view the camera feed.
  • It’s harder to learn FPV flying than standard GPS drone flight, but the intuitive flight controls make it easier than with many other types of FPV drones.
  • The image sensor is still smaller than on other DJI drones, so it’s not the best drone out there for photography or videography.
  • To comply with FAA visual flight rules, you must utilize a visual spotter, which means you can’t fly solo.

DJI Avata 2 Review - The Drone Even My Husband Could Fly

Quick verdict

The Avata 2 improves on many of the areas where the original Avata fell short. Most important to me are the improved image sensor, longer battery life, and vastly improved immersive flight experience.

Even though I didn’t fly the original Avata, I did try on the Goggles 2 that went with it. My first impression was about how uncomfortable they felt on my nose and face and how much light leakage came around the poorly fitting edges.

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In contrast, the Goggles 3 offer a vast improvement in comfort and in providing an immersive flight experience.

If you’re wondering whether the Avata 2 is worth the upgrade, in my opinion, that alone makes it worthwhile.

It’s unclear so far whether the Goggles 3 will be compatible with the original Avata, but if they are, getting the new Goggles would be a good enough upgrade for the better fit and view.

The Avata 2 is compatible with the previous generation Goggles 2 as well as the previous motion controller. If you wanted to just get the new Avata 2 to use with your previous goggles and controller, you could, although I’m not sure I see the point. The most enticing improvements are in the new Goggles 3 and the new Motion Controller.

DJI Avata 2 Review - The Drone Even My Husband Could Fly

Who is it for? 

The Avata 2, like the original Avata, is an FPV drone. That means it’s all about the thrill of viewing the camera feed as if you were in the “cockpit.”

The Avata 2 is the perfect drone for drone pilots who:

  • want to make the bridge over from standard GPS drones to flying FPV. It’s easier to fly than a cinewhoop, with a more satisfying video feed.
  • love their Avata but have a few complaints about the way the Goggles fit or the transmission lag. The Avata 2 addresses those concerns.
  • need an improved image sensor to use FPV imagery for certain projects, as the camera is a step up from the original Avata, and the handling is easier to manage than the bigger DJI FPV drone.

The Avata 2 may not be for you if you:

  • Need a drone with a top-of-class image sensor for high-end photography.
  • Get dizzy when viewing a live-feed close-up in real-time, or suffer from a fear of heights.
  • Want to get into FPV racing. The Avata 2 is all about the thrill of flying, but it’s not in the same league as the racing quads.

DJI Avata 2 Review - The Drone Even My Husband Could Fly

Overview

The Avata 2 is the next iteration of DJI’s ground-breaking Avata. The Avata 2 improves on key areas such as flight time, image sensor quality, and the comfort and fit of the goggles.

Being an FPV drone, the controller does not have a viewing screen, nor can you attach a smart device to use as a viewing screen. Instead, all the viewing is done in the Goggles 3. You can use the controller connected to the Goggles 3, or you can use the new-and-improved RC Motion 3 to direct the drone’s flight.

If you get the Fly More combo, here’s what comes in the box:

  • The Avata 2 drone
  • Updated RC Motion 3 Controller
  • Goggles 3
  • Battery charging hub with 2 extra batteries (for 3 total batteries)
  • A USB-C to USB-C charging cable (no wall charger included)
  • USB-C OTG cable for data connections
  • Spare propellers and tool to change propellers
  • Extra foam piece to adjust Goggles 3 fit, and corrective lenses to adjust vision focus
  • A carrying case

You’ll have to buy the FPV Remote Controller separately if you want to have the option of flying the drone with traditional stick controls.

DJI Avata 2 Review - The Drone Even My Husband Could Fly

Personal Opinion

The Avata 2 is straight up fun to fly. The most fundamental difference between the Avata 2 and other entry level FPV drones, like cinewhoop models such as the Cetus X FPV, is the motion controller. This more than anything else makes the Avata easy to learn and control even for FPV beginners like me.

Next level as well, is the ability to turn the camera view just by turning your head. This, as much as anything else in FPV, gives the sensation of really being up there. It’s exhilarating beyond words!

I really like how the Goggles 3 feel on my face. They don’t feel super bulky and front heavy the way the Goggles 2 did. The switch to putting the battery weight on the back of the head is nothing short of brilliant.

The fit is better too, compared to the older goggles version. The silky rubber fittings around the edges do a much better job of blocking out light so that you can focus on the screen in front of your eyes. Everything is fully adjustable to make the screen just the right distance from your eyes, right focal length, etc. for a comfortable viewing experience.

I get dizzy quite easily, but I didn’t feel seasick after my test flights as I honestly expected to, so that’s a win in my book.

Snapping a few stills and recording a few videos will quickly reveal that the image quality of the camera is solidly middle of the road. It’s good enough for what it is. And what it’s not is a professional-level camera.

I was pleasantly surprised by the battery performance. My stamina ran out before I was through with all 3 batteries.

Features Breakdown

Here are the most notable features of the Avata 2 that make it stand out from the original Avata.

DJI Avata 2 Review - The Drone Even My Husband Could Fly

Goggles 3

The Goggles 3 are much more comfortable than the Goggles 2. The biggest reason for this is that the battery pack has been moved to the back of the headband. This means the weight of the goggles and battery is not all sitting on the bridge of your nose. It feels balanced and snug instead of front-heavy.

One common complaint about the Goggles 2 was the amount of light leakage. This has been vastly improved with the Goggles 3. At least on my face, there is no light leakage at all, although this will vary depending on each user’s face shape.

Everything about the fit of the goggles – the focus, optical distance, extra forehead padding, etc. – is adjustable. With the previous goggles, I couldn’t quite get the optical distance adjusted to my eyes, and the result was feeling disoriented and dizzy after just a short time behind the viewfinder. This is much improved in the Goggles 3.

DJI Avata 2 Review - The Drone Even My Husband Could Fly

RC Motion 3

Also new and improved is the motion controller that comes with the Avata 2. This motion controller works on the same basic principles as the previous one. There’s a trigger to control your speed, and hand movements turn your drone right or left.

The RC Motion 3 is smaller and lighter in the hand, making the Avata 2 accessible to an even younger audience.

It has also introduced a unique two-stop throttle that takes a minute to catch onto, but once you’ve got it, it makes perfect, intuitive sense. A half-press on the trigger engages the pitch adjustment. A full-press on the trigger engages the throttle adjustment.

Head tracking

One really cool feature on the new Goggles is the optional head tracking capability. Once you’ve switched head tracking on in the settings, turning your head from side to side tilts the camera direction so that you can see in the direction your head is facing. This is a huge aspect of that immersive flight experience.

Low-latency video transmission

Another common complaint about the original Avata was the slight degree of lag between the camera and the live-feed video, as seen on the goggles. The latency rate has been lowered, resulting in an even more immersive feel as you fly the drone.

If you need that spelled out in hard numbers, when used with DJI Goggles 3, the latency is as low as 24 ms at 1080p/100fps live feeds.

Wide Angle Camera View

Another feature that builds the immersive flight experience is the camera’s wide-angle view. It’s wide enough to almost feel like a 180-degree pano, but not quite.

The 155° FOV gives you a wide enough aspect of the landscape that you really feel like you’re up there seeing it with your own eyes, given that that is just about how wide your peripheral vision extends in the first place.

This is much wider than you would get with any of DJI’s other standard (non-FPV) consumer drones. With those, the camera view is more in the range of 85° to 90° FOV. Even adding a wide-angle lens will only get you up to about 105° FOV, nowhere near what the Avata 2 offers.

Battery Life

Several factors contribute to the lengthened battery life. For one thing, the extended wheelbase improves the lift efficiency. The overall weight has been reduced by 30 g, resulting in a 28% increase in projected flight time.

The max flight time on the Avata 2 batteries is 23 minutes, but you can plan on about 18-20 minutes of actual flight time in real life.

While this is much less battery life than we’ve come to expect from DJI’s other drones (the Air 3 can stay in the air for around 40 minutes on one battery), it’s much longer than you get from FPV racing quads (usually less than 10 minutes per battery).

If you’re flying with the FPV controller (not the motion controller) in M mode at full throttle, you’ll get about 3 minutes out of your battery. Like one of those racing quads. That’s not how I’m going to use my Avata 2, but you could.

If you have the 3 batteries that come with the Fly More Combo, that means you can have most of a full hour of whirling around in the skies before you’re grounded. At which point your eyes probably need a break from the viewing screen anyway.

Quieter presence

One of the benefits of the extended wheelbase is the reduced noise level of the Avata 2. It is noticeably quieter than its predecessor.

Part of the quieter sound is the actual decibel rating, which is now 81dB. The other aspect of the improvement is in the pitch of the noise produced. The motors have a lower-pitched sound, making it less tension-inducing. In plain words, it doesn’t sound like an angry mosquito. Thank you, DJI!

Fisheye detecting sensors for more precise positioning

The Avata 2 does not have obstacle avoidance. But it does have positioning sensors, and these are fisheye on the rear of the aircraft. The benefit? The positioning sensors don’t just see the straight-down view; they can detect a fuller view of the vertical and horizontal landscape.

This helps the Avata 2 maintain its position (no drifting) when you switch surfaces, such as going from grass to pavement or from outdoors to indoors.

Bigger Image Sensor (1/1.3)

The previous Avata had a 1/1.7 image sensor. The Avata 2 has a bigger image sensor. A bigger image sensor means more light, more pixels, and more definition in your images and videos.

The Avata 2 is not going to win any awards when it comes to camera quality. Its primary purpose is not photography or videography, but that incredible first person view flight experience. So, in comparison to DJI’s other camera drones, the sensor quality comes up short.

If you want the best quality images, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But that’s not to say you don’t want the ability to snap a few stills and even take some videos while you’re up there. And you might as well make them the best possible quality you can while you’re at it.

A bigger image sensor is a great idea, and with this one you can get 12MP quality images.

Single-axis gimbal

This is another area where the Avata 2 doesn’t keep up with the big leagues in photography or videography. The rest of DJI’s lineup of camera drones offers 3-axis gimbals for virtually unshakable images and smooth shots.

The Avata 2 instead offers a single-axis gimbal. So you can rotate the camera up and down (and side to side only by moving the drone), but that’s the limit.

To combat this, DJI implemented two different digital stabilization modes: RockSteady and HorizonSteady. You can select one of these modes at a time to enhance your video stability. Here are the qualifications. They can only be used with DJI RC Motion 3 or RC Motion 2, and you must use a 16:9 video recording specification with a frame rate of ≤ 60fps. You also need to utilize the “standard” digital lens.

Bottom line: if you’re planning to use the Avata 2 to do dramatic flythroughs to shoot epic drone videos, get to know the RockSteady and HorizonSteady stabilization features. You’ll have to rely on those with the lack of a 3-axis gimbal.

Conclusion

The Avata 2 is a great entry point into FPV drone flying. It’s much easier to pick up and enjoy with less of a learning curve compared to something like the Cetus X cinewhoop, in large part thanks to the quality of the Goggles 3 and the innovative RC Motion 3.

If you’re looking to upgrade your Avata, the Avata 2 does have some new bells and whistles that are tons of fun. Is it lightyears ahead? Only if you get the Goggles 3 and the RC Motion 3. The Avata 2 as a standalone to use with your current goggles and controller doesn’t really add a whole lot of value.

When it comes to beginner-friendly FPV drones, the pickings are a little bit slim. The Avata 2 is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to get into the hobby of FPV flight.

Alternatives

If you’re looking for a racing quad, I wouldn’t put my money here. It’s not as sturdy or rebuildable as a true racing drone. Or as fast.

If you’re looking for a high quality camera drone, I wouldn’t look here either. Check out our list of recommended camera drones if high-end drone photography is your priority.

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