The Autel Robotics X-Star Is a Decent Phantom Alternative
Following the success of DJI’s Phantom range, many drone manufacturers began producing affordable alternatives to the Phantom line. The main aim of such drones is to offer a powerful and easy way to control and fly aerial photography drones. These drones make it easy for beginners to capture high-quality aerial footage and photos.
One such drone is the Autel Robotics X-Star Premium which is equipped with a 4K Ultra HD camera that has a 108º Field of View and a 3-axis stabilized gimbal. Videos can be recorded at 4K, 2.7K, 1080p and 720p along with 12MP stills. The X-Star is also capable of real-time video transmission — transmitting live video via WiFi directly to the pilot’s smartphone through a free app (available for both Android and iOS). It is also compatible with the DJI Zenmuse H4-3D gimbal and GoPro Hero 4.
Besides the 4K camera and compatibility with the DJI Zenmuse gimbal and GoPro camera, the X-Star also has a wide set of other useful and interesting features. Such features include the Starpoint Positioning System — a function that measures the drone’s altitude and optically tracks position allowing the drone to fly more accurately at a low altitude even when GPS reception is not available. Speaking of GPS, the Robotic X-Star features dual GPS and GLONASS navigation which enable decent positioning even when signal reception is not at its best.
In order to compete against DJI’s Phantom drones, the X-Star is equipped with some Smart Flight features such as:
- Follow Me (drone follows a moving target)
- Orbit Mode (drone flies in circles around an object)
- Waypoint navigation (program coordinates on a map and the drone will perform the flight autonomously)
These three features are great for anyone aiming to use this quadcopter to record video, as they allow the pilot to focus on the camera while the drone flies autonomously or semi-autonomously. As previously mentioned, the X-Star is ideal for beginners. Features such as Beginner Mode allow pilots to create a “geo-fence” that limits the drone’s range and speed, containing it within a certain pre-defined airspace. The feature was designed to prevent fly aways, especially when the drone is being flown by beginners.
The Autel Robotics X-Star Premium comes with a 14.8V 4900mAh Li Po battery that provides up to 25 minutes of flight time. Considering the price range of this drone, 25 minutes flight time is something that will surely please many pilots. On top of this, The X-Star is controlled using a transmitter (remote controller) that enables a maximum control range of 1000 meters. The video downlink also has a range of 1000m.
The remote controller has a phone holder for the pilot to place the smartphone for watching live video while flying. It has a very simple and straightforward design. To conclude, Autel Robotic X-Star Premium promises plenty of performance and value for a drone with such features. It is a viable and affordable choice for anyone who is seeking a DJI Phantom alternative.