DJI Avata 2? The 3 features we want most in a new and improved FPV drone

DJI’s Avata took the drone world by storm in 2022. Its cinewhoop-style design provided an intro for people who know and love DJI’s camera drones to try out first-person view (FPV) drone flying. But much like its camera drones, DJI’s Avata offered up not just stellar image quality but user-friendly features, making it a favorite for both casual flyers and professional videographers alike. But with recent price cuts on the Avata (and yes, even some unverified leaks of a potential new model of the same drone), could a DJI Avata 2 be on the horizon?

If the latest marketing email from DJI is any indication, the answer is yes. DJI subscribers on Tuesday received an email with the subject line “Ready To Roll.”

Opening it the shows an obscured photo of what is definitely drone, and almost definitely a drone with the same form as the original Avata, including the built-in propeller guards. It advertises a product launch set for April 11 at 9 a.m. ET.

Suffice to say, it’s very likely that DJI will launch some sort of successor to the original DJI Avata come April 11. Here’s what we know so far about the next product launch — as well as what we want to see:

The history of the DJI Avata

When I first reviewed the DJI Avata, there was a lot to love. I liked how it seamlessly flew indoors, but was still powerful enough for outdoor flight. The camera was much higher quality than what you’d find in other FPV racing drones, making it a really compelling product for filming scenarios like real estate agents filming indoor fly throughs of properties.

But, the original Avata drone did have some issues. The Motion Controller was supposed to be easier to use, but for people used to the standard joystick controller, it often felt harder to use. The goggles were nice, but had some design flaws, like a dangling battery pack.

DJI solved a few of the problems criticized in the Avata’s August 2022 launch just about this time last year. In March 2023, DJI gave its goggles a massive upgrade, including no more loose connecting cables. It also launched the new DJI RC Motion 2, with an upgraded joystick and accelerator with reverse function.

Still though, there’s more that drone pilots say they’d like to see in a potential Avata 2, or whatever the next generation of the DJI Avata drone is called.

Let’s explore what features we’d love to see in the next iteration of this popular FPV flyer. From there, we’ll dive into the rumors of when we might next see a new version of the DJI Avata drone:

The original DJI Avata drone, reviewed by Sally French, The Drone Girl.

3 features we want to see in the next version of the DJI Avata drone

We could really brainstorm some blue sky features, but here are three realistic sets of upgrades we’d like to see in the next version of a DJI Avata.

An increased emphasis on cinematography

The Avata’s 4K camera is fantastic for what it is. But given how many drone pilots have been leveling up the cinematic quality of FPV drone videos. Just check out these winning videos from the annual FPV Video of the Year contest by AirVuz as an example. Yep, many are shot on DJI drones, including the Avata.

When DJI Avata launched in 2022, it wasn’t totally clear what it was. Was it a camera for filming? Was it a drone for racing? It’s increasingly proven itself best-suited as the former, which is why I’d like to see more features to make filming better than ever.

Of course, a larger image sensor would always be welcome. But, I’m also looking for better filming workflows. That ranges from more internal storage (the current 20 GB is good in a pinch, but not sufficient to rely on), to better in-app editing capabilities to share video quickly from your phone.

Here are some key specs on the original Avata:

  • 1/1.7” CMOS sensor
  • 48 million effective pixels
  • Films at 4K/60fps and slow-motion footage at 2.7K/50/60/100/120fps.
  • f/2.8 aperture
  • Ultra-wide-angle lens with a viewing angle of up to 155°
  • D-Cinelike color mode for a broader color palette that enables detailed chromatic adjustments

Let’s watch to see where DJI can push and improve.

More FPV freestyle abilities

I mentioned before that sometimes it feels like DJI doesn’t know what it is. Is it a racing drone or a camera drone?

But what if you could also call it an FPV freestyle drone? FPV freestyle is something of an offshoot of drone racing. But instead of flying drones as fast as you can, you fly them in a manner that showcases how many tricks you can do, like flipping, flying upside, or maneuvering through tight spaces. Curious to see an example of a freestyle drone flight? Here’s a clip from Zoe Stumbaugh, one of the world’s top FPV pilots (just note that this was not filmed using a DJI drone).

It’d be fun to see if the Avata could corner the market of FPV freestyle, which is an ultra-fun sport to watch, yet a field of drone flight that DJI has yet to engage in.

And I have good reason to believe it will be capable of freestyle — just look to the ‘trailer’ that DJI released advertising the April 11, 2024 launch. The webpage shows a drone not just racing, but even doing an entire flip.

A push to the usual specs

And my completely unoriginal ask: a general spec upgrade. We generally see this happen in new drone models. But, some things I’d like to see is boosted battery life and longer transmission distance. The current Avata gives us 18 minutes, which is good but not great. And the current transmission distance is 10 kilometers, with a transmission delay of 30 milliseconds. Longer distances and less delay is always welcome.

The original DJI Avata drone, reviewed by Sally French, The Drone Girl.

What makes us think an Avata 2 drone is coming

So why are we talking about the DJI Avata 2 drone now? Beyond the obvious DJI launch page, the rumor mill has been churning. We’ve already seen plenty of leaks (you can find them in a quick Google search on your own!) indicating an April 2024 launch for the Avata 2.

With those leaks, I’ve seen things like an upgraded Motion Controller and upgraded FPV Controller, too. While leaks should always be taken with a grain of salt, they do give us a glimpse into what DJI might be working on.

Alas, since they’re unconfirmed, I won’t link to them here — but you should be able to find them on your own.

Unprecedented discounts on the current DJI Avata model

Then there’s another, clearer reason why we anticipate the Avata getting an upgrade: DJI’s recent price reduction on the Avata. Often, price drops like this can signal the upcoming release of a new model as DJI clears out stock for the new version. It doesn’t hurt that the company, in turn, drums up excitement for the upcoming release.

The original DJI Avata drone, reviewed by Sally French, The Drone Girl.

The DJI Avata Explorer Combo typically goes for $1,278. But now it’s 35% off, selling for $829 on most retailers including Amazon and B&H Photo. That $449 discount is huge. In fact, it’s the biggest we’ve seen. For example, DJI’s most recent sale for President’s Day 2024 priced the DJI Avata Explorer Combo at $889. That puts today’s price at an additional $60 lower than what it was about a month ago.

Given the price keeps dropping, should you wait to buy the DJI Avata? We wish we had a crystal ball and could give a better answer on that one. For starters, we don’t know what DJI’s stock of Avata drones looks like, so it’s tough to say how quickly the company will sell out. But generally speaking, whenever DJI launches a new product, it discontinues production on the old mode. So jump on this deal now if you want one.

As for whether you should wait for a potential new model of the DJI Avata? That’s also hard to say. Sometimes new models are cheaper than their predecessors, but they can also be more expensive — particularly if the specs get an upgrade.

The future of DJI FPV

Whether the rumors are true or not, one thing is certain: DJI’s Avata reinvigorated the FPV drone market. The Avata 2, if it comes to fruition, has the potential to be even more impressive. With its combination of power, user-friendliness, and innovative features, the Avata 2 could solidify DJI’s position at the forefront of the FPV revolution.

It could also prove a particularly enticing product now that Remote ID enforcement is in full swing. With that, drones flying outdoors that also weigh 55 grams or more are required to transmit remote ID information (typically via a remote ID module). They also must be registered. But since the rules don’t apply to indoor drone flights, products like the Avata that are specifically designed for indoor flying could be more enticing.

Here at The Drone Girl, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for the official announcement on April 11. I personally can’t wait to see what DJI has in store for the future of FPV flight!

Now comes the fun part! It’s time for you to be an armchair DJI drone designer! If you could pick only one new feature on what we’ll call the DJI Avata 2 drone, which would it be? Leave a comment below!

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