Autel X‑Star Premium

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Hello Allen!

Before I respond to your comments allow me say thank you for responding

to my inquires.  What do I want to know about the X-star, everything!  As you may suspect,

I am a “rookie” here.  May I also add that I am not a young person either, quite the opposite,

now retired.  What sparked all of these questions about drones?  I recently saw a video

on YouTube by a guy who shot some overhead video of a town.  Although his photography

was quite good, I spend a lot of time producing my own DVD’s, it was not what impressed me about the video,

it was the feeling I got watching it.


You see, I did a lot of flying in the service years ago.  After returning home realized that

type of flying could not be duplicated here in the states for obvious safety reasons; but I

did not know, until I saw that video, that the feeling I had back then could be repeated state-side.


Like many “dreaming to be” pilots, I spent hours trying to learn all I can about drones

including some with the opposing side, DJI.  Their products seem to be the latest, and the greatest. 

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to compare the two and in my mind at least, basically they are the same.

I think that the X-star is better built aircraft and maybe a bit sturdier because of it.  The big difference seems to be

in the high power avionics that the DJI models incorporate.


Its seems as though the DJI’s also have their share of headaches and loss. 

Maintenance issues notwithstanding, many pilots go without while waiting for their drones

to be serviced.  Sometimes the entire craft may be lost.  Although some of these catastrophes

are obvious pilot error still others are questionable at best.


Regards and thanks again,



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Hi Michael,

Yes, I must agree with your first comment: “Plastic frame is much more rigid”   

Of all things listed this worries me the most.  It was one of the first flags against DJI.

On real aircraft stress cracks are a sign of a more serious but hidden problem. 

Most of the time they usually pointed to excessive vibration from some part of the engine or its cowling. 


In any event, it seems that the DJI craft seem to have this problem primarily on

the wings? motor arms, engine supports.  A quick check over to their forums will

bear me out.  Apparently the thing that has everyone talking, the on board electronics, is also

the thing that does not turn my head.  In my experience, I have found that usually when

a piece of electronic equipment has a lot of automatic this or that, it is also followed

by excessive down time and break downs and general maintenance headaches.



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Bill - as an aviator you have a deep appreciation of just how complex this software is esp to get all the revs and links working together within the boundaries of real time operating systems constraints. There are a load of sensors and processors that have to behave to micro second or less intervals and tons of interrupt requests going on every clock tick represents a different decision path. The Mavic will be a modern miracle with 26 processors at work doing of all things gesture recognition. Airframe integrity is only the tip of the iceberg, and one must realize that these are for the most part consumer to prosumer products with very little redundancy of components designed in. In fact they are deemed to be crash and replace for the most part. My biggest concern aside from cockpit error is software glitch due to some unforeseen and therefore untested command sequence which results in flyaway or worse devastating crash. Or for instance fly too close to a car and scramble the signal? or what have you. You might try youtube with a drone model followed by the word fails. And yes I did not inspect prop torque on my second flight and did a low level inverted hard crash that took less than a split nano second which resulted in disorientation and loss of emergency rotor shutoff. I had to pick it up by the landing gear while the props were spinning at full speed and get my wife to hold it while I disconnected the battery connector. Back to the Mavic - with all of the many thousands being primed in the distribution chain and the holiday season buying binge upon us, it will be interesting to see what posts show up as to control and airworthy issues for newly released "production" software.

I look forward to learning much more from your experience BTW I too am of the grey haired generation, with no real hand eye coordination developed by hours of video interaction, very much a newbie!


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RE: Airframe integrity - these guys have made a good business out of replacement airframes for a lot of different quads including the Yuneec products. There are several Blade quads that many people swear by, but I do not believe that their ground control apps are as sophisticated as Autel nor DJI.

However Yuneec - IN MY OPINION - does not yet have their SW dialed in, for example their 6 motor unit is supposed to offer redundancy if you loose one motor. And the obstacle avoidance app is not prime time yet. Well if you look hard enough you will find many posts of individuals who got a BIG pucker factor experience trying to land that bird with 5 blades turning and each of those reports indicate pre-mature motor failure just happening all of the sudden. Postmortem analysis might prove them correct in component failure but as you know the vast majority of crashes involve human input to some degree. 

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Hi Bill,

Whenever I buy something in the price bracket of the photo/video drones first thing I do ...... download the manufacturer's manuals.

I bought my first "El Cheapo" drone (less than 100$ Can!) late last years, it was an eye opener. Being of a "certain age" I never got involved with video games — it would have come in handy!

Anyway, that first Hubsan H107C had a few "problems" and two motors bit the dust in short order. While waiting for spare parts, I bought a second "less than $100" Holy Stone F180C. "C" stands for camera, in both case built in 720p. I prefer the Holy Stone, it is more stable e.g. hovering it almost on the spot is easier.

Since, amongst a lot of other projects,  I want to shoot our garden railway I was keeping my eyes open for another of the "less than" variety. Next size up with a detachable camera i.e. something that can be customized, is my SYMA X5HC. "H" stands for hover, unfortunately mine doesn't ans the vendor is sending out a new one.

The point of the long story; before going for the real McCoy, get a "learning rig". The small six inch models are more forgiving than the 12+ inch SYMA. They are also handier to fly indoors — perfect for learning how to hover and to fly slowly. The batteries charge quicker and the prop guards do a better job.


10 months later I now started "shopping" for a real photo/video quad, that is I'm back to reading manuals, reviews and fora to get as much info as possible.

Good luck! ¬¬ :D 



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Hi HJ,


Thank you for replying to my post.  I’ve met some great people here.  For the most part the drone buying isn’t the problem, I’ve already settled on the X-Star.  The big problem is where I am located.  Here in North Eastern PA our evening weather report just called for our very first, snow with sleet and freezing rain of the year.  Although the amount will be minuscule, receiving it on this side of Thanksgiving is very ominous!  Something this early generally means that we are just a little ahead of schedule this year.


It was suggested that I might want to consider a simulator first.  To begin with it did not seem like a good idea to spend the extra money but then one of the pilots brought up a perfectly logical point, “you can’t fly everyday even in the summer.  How about those April showers?  The gentlemen had an excellent point.  Your way sounds great but we have a high traffic area in our home with our pets.  Between the dogs, the cat, and one large aquarium, it would be just a bit too dangerous. The showers of April notwithstanding, I’m thinking that the program will get a workout from now till then any way.


Thanks again for your thoughts,



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Hi Bill,

Our cross-country skiing area is supposed to open on Nov.10th and there is quite a bit of snow up on the mountain — where it belongs. ;)

But I hear you, that side of Lake Erie gets usually hammered.

Keep warm




PS The F180C and the H107C will be busy all Winter, I'm hoping the SYMA replacement arrives so I get to still try it outside.

Edited by RhB_HJ
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  • 4 months later...

I have an X-Star Premium and have had for a couple of months now. I also have had a DJI P3P, a P4 and now have a P4P.

The software for the Autel is pretty good and is is very quick, but it is NOT a P4P. The Phantom is rock solid in hovers and very solid in flight, where the Autel is harder to control and not nearly as stable.

The camera is quite good, comparable to the Phantom 4, and I like the removable gimbal. I might be interested in the FLIR Duo when it is available. I have had a few problems with dropped and corrupted photos, ruining several DroneBase missions which had to be redone, and I would be very nervous with this platform outside line of sight. All that being said, the Autel is a good bird for the money but, in my opinion, not up to the P4Pro for stability and reliability.

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