3DBill here checking out a new ALL-IN-ONE RTF Camera Drone from Autel called the X-Star Premium. This quadcopter / multi-rotor / camera drone, whatever you want to call it, claims to do about everything a new pilot or videographer starting with quads can ask for. Does it deliver? Does it do all the stuff we want? Keep reading to find out..
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium
Review By: 3DBill
Pics By: 3DBill,Brian
There is a lot of information below, we wanted to make sure if you were looking up information, we had it all listed here for your reference.
Ready to fly out of the box. Everything you need comes in the case.
Max. Take-off Weight: 3.52 lbs (1.6 kg)
Hover Precision Horizontal: ±6.5 ft; (±2 m); Vertical: ±3.2 ft (±1 m)
Max. Yaw Rate 150°/s
Max. Inclination Angle GPS Mode: 20°; ATTI Mode: 30°
Max. Ascent/Descent Speed Ascent: 13.4 mph (6 m/s); Descent: 6.7 mph (3 m/s)
Max. Horizontal Speed 35 mph (16 m/s)
Diagonal Wheelbase 13.8″ (352 mm)
Propeller Size: 9.4″ x 5.5″
Video Link Frequency: 902 MHz~928 MHz
Receiver Frequency: 5.727 GHz~5.8 GHz
Flight Modes GPS · ATTI · IOC
Operating Environment Temperature: 32° F ~ 104° F (0° C ~ 40° C)
Storage Temperature-4° F ~ 176° F (-20° C ~ 80° C)
Weight (Battery & Propellers included)3.13 lbs (1.42 kg)
Operating Environment Temp.32° F~104° F (0° C~40° C)
Still Photoography Modes12 mp Single shot, Bursts, AEB, Bracketed frames, Time-lapse
Video Recording Modes: 4K Ultra HD plus QHD, FHD, HD, and Superview settings
Max Frame Rates: 4K 30fps, 2.7K 60fps, 1080p 120fps, 720p 240fps
Max Field of View: 108°
Supported SD Card Types: Micro-SD, 4 GB – 64 GB, Class 10 or UHS-1
File Formats: FAT32/exFAT, Photo: JPG/DNG/JPG+DNG, Video: MOV/MP4
Battery Type: Rechargeable Li-Po Battery
Capacity 4900 mAh
Battery Voltage: Charging 14.8 V
Charging Environment Temperature: 50° F ~ 113° F (10° C ~ 45° C)
Discharging Environment Temperature: -4° F ~ 140° F (-20° C ~ 60° C)
Storage Temperature & Humidity Temp: 14° F ~ 113° F (-10° C ~ 45° C); Humidity: 5 ~ 70%
Flight Time: Up to 25 minutes
Operating Frequency: (RF Receiver)5.727 GHz ~ 5.8 GHz
Video Link Frequency: 902 MHz ~ 928 MHz
Operating Temperature: 32° F ~ 122° F (0° C ~ 50° C)
Storage Temperature: -3 mos: -4° F ~ 113° F (-20° C to 45° C)
+3 mos: 71° F ~ 82° F (22° C to 28° C)
Max Control and Video Transmission Distance FCC: 1.2 miles (2000 m)
Transmission Power: (EIRP)RF- FCC: 125 mW
Operating Current/Voltage 400 mA / 3.7 V (App disconnected)
1400 mA / 3.7 V (App connected)
Street Price: $$899.00 RTF
Primary Competition: DJI Phantom series quads, Blade Chroma
What’s Needed To Complete: A smart phone or tablet
Test Venues: Front room, backyard, local flying field, lake and river areas.
Set-up Notes: It doesn’t take much to set up. Install the Starlink APP and Calibrate GPS before flying. You can also tune it for faster flight, adjust camera settings, and a whole bunch more if you are looking for your optilam settings. Using the Starlink app makes fine tuning very quick and easy out at the field. There are a lot adjustments you can make, and the app makes it a breeze.
Flying: The X-Star is very tame and slow in beginner mode, but this helps new pilots not over control, and it sets the top speed to 11mph. I preferred advanced mode for general flying and its a very noticeable difference in speed and response in that mode. Tried all 3 modes, 11mph, 22mph, and 33mph. One thing that was difficult to get use to was hitting the brakes (pitching up to slow it down in fast forward flight). It takes a bit of distance to stop from fast forward flight and I almost always overshot my mark unless I started slowing down sooner than I normally would with a quad like this. The GPS holds well in open areas but in tight flying areas with trees surrounding and power lines it drifts quite a bit. Once above tree lines or congested areas the GPS holds it solidly in place.
Power: For a camera quad it has some decent vertical acceleration and plenty of forward speed for most. It is by no means a hot rod in the sky, but has respectable power when in advanced mode for this class of quad.
Broken Parts: None, but I did crash once indoors and torque a motor endbell enough to scrap the magnets. Props were fine but I had to remove the endbell to remove some shaved magnet shavings so the motor would spin without scraping. Once the debris from the magnet making contact the motor spun freely and worked fine.
Misc Notes: Regardless of type of flying,wind conditions etc I never got a 25 minute flight time. 20+ minute flight times have been the norm. The carrying case is really nice. I stood on it and then Brian tried to crush, as you can see in the pic, it will keep the X-Star Premium safe during travel. The intelligent battery keeps track of individual cell voltage and how many charge cycles its had. By default if you charge the battery and don’t fly, it will discharge itself to a storage level after 6 days. You can adjust the amount of days that go by to begin discharge with the smart link app easily. This is a nice additional feature.
Best Mod Under $5: USB to iPhone cable(Android device cable is included)
Best Mod Over $5: A spare battery. You will always want a spare!
Check out some of the video footage below. Any on-board shots were all done from the X-Star. Most of the days we were testing were pretty gloomy. So keep that in mind, it’s not the camera, but the weather that wasn’t really cooperating. That being said, with pretty bad lighting, the on board video looks very good.
Summary:The Autel Robtics X-Star Premium is packed with flight features and a 4k camera gimbal combo. Its relatively tame out of the box, but you can easily increase the performance in advanced mode as your flying skill improves. The Starlink app makes tuning quick and easy, and if your a camera pro you can adjust numerous camera settings easily as well. Autel Robotics has plenty of set up help videos on the’re YouTube channel, but they also have 7 day a week US based customer support and yes I had to call to test this. Two or three rings even on the weekend and I had live support to answer any questions. That is AMAZING!
The auto take off, auto land, and return to home features all worked as expected, and work well. Brian tested these features many times, just flying out pretty far, and not caring what direction the quad was facing, and easily bring it back home. Testing it against a few other quads, it out accelerated / ascended faster than the others, and you may not think you need a case, but it was great to be able to pack it up and just toss it in the back of the truck and not worry about any damage.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B Charge it up, get your smart phone or tablet set up with the Starlink app and calibrate for GPS. Compass calibration took a few tries and for some reason it wouldn’t calibrate at the field. In the back yard with trees and powerlines it calibrated on the first try. We were good after that every time.
Workability: C It’s par for the course like many other rtf camera quads. Anything other than swapping props or packs is going to require taking the shell apart and a bit of time.
Air Show Rating: C its a x style quad with four white props,The LEDs help quite a bit for LOS (Line of Sight) flying further away or higher up for orientation.
Bash-A-Bility: C Camera quads like this are not meant to take a beating.
Fun Factor: B Its a camera quad not a hot rod but it does have some pep to it. We did enjoy the videos were were getting afterwords.
Handling: C Most of the rtf camera quads are really tame and have a mushy feel to the controls though. This one isn’t really much different in that respect. You aren’t racing, you are grabbing cool video.
Value: A Lots of flight features, a 4k camera with gimbal, US based customer support, great price for the amount of features.
Parts Availability: C Motors, escs, flight controller etc are all available online at various retailers. From B&H to Amazon, you should be able to find the parts you need, just not at your local hobby shop.
Big Squid RC Rating: B Overall, we really liked the X-Star. Brian (while not the best pilot) had no problems flying it around and shooting some good looking video. For experienced pilots, if you are looking to take some nice calm footage, this drone may have all the bells and whistles you are looking for. For someone looking to shoot crazy drone racing footage, you’ll probably look elsewhere.