For drone novice, the flying experience of the drone is the top priority. This is my earnest summary after trying drone flying for a month and I hope it works.
I was really pleasantly surprised when I first received the Nano plus drone from Autel Robotics. I saw it in the news, a winner of the German iF Design Award 2022.
The EVO is Well Made and Far From A Toy Drone
The Autel EVO is actually the first real drone I've ever flown. I've played with toy drones and mini drones in the past, but not to this level.
EVO Nano Plus Drone is Easy to Use
Setting up EVO couldn't be easier. You can use the included app or use the remote directly out of the box. The controls have a nice OLED display, which means you don't need a smartphone to drive it.
That being said, setup for the first flight is as simple as charging the battery and controller, removing all protective plastic, and reading the instructions. The instructions are pretty straightforward, the first two times I flew this drone without the app and my smartphone. I will say, I did add a smartphone for the next few flights and I prefer to use the smartphone app because the screen is so much bigger.
Drones under 250 Grams Do Not Need To Be Registered in The US
I should also add that if you're flying in the US, you need to register your drone on the FAA's UAS registration page, and if you're in other countries, you'll need to check local regulations before flying. Registration costs $5 per plane, takes just a few minutes, and is pretty self-explanatory and easy to handle. But it is clear that the EVO Nano series of drones solves this problem for us, the body weight of the drone is less than 250 grams, which can fly without registration.
My first flight was a bit wobbly and I admit I was nervous and worried that I would crash the Autel EVO on the first try, so I took it easy. I didn't fly more than 20 feet and it was very slow. Basically, I use the left and right sticks a little at a time so I can see how the controls work. Once I memorized the basic front, back, and left and right controls, it was a lot easier.
By the time I was on my fourth and fifth flight, I had much better control of the drone. Just enough to speed it up and do some maneuvers I wouldn't try on my first flight.
Overall, I'm impressed with how easy it is to operate this drone. I think first-time drone pilots are nervous and hesitant, and if you're not careful, you're a fool. I also think the Autel EVO is very forgiving and easy to get comfortable very quickly.
The Autel EVO Drone Flies Well
As for performance, given that this is my first proper drone, it's hard for me to really measure. I think the Autel EVO performs well in flight. It is stable and holds its position even in windy conditions. I don't remember the maximum altitude I flew the drone to, but it seemed pretty high and rock solid. The propellers look sturdy and easy to replace.
The Smart Controller of The Drone is Simple and Easy To Use
The controller is very easy to use and very comfortable to hold. Adding a smartphone to it does make it a bit heavy, but you don't have to use a smartphone or an app. The app basically provides all the functionality of the controller, but if you own a big-screen smartphone like the Note9 or iPhone XS Max, you'll benefit from the added screen real estate. Connecting to the app and the drone is just a few taps away and it's not difficult at all.
Nano+ Drone has Three-Way Obstacle Avoidance
I really like obstacle avoidance detection. This really helps when I get too close to objects. First, you'll be warned that the drone will move on its own if you're too close to be comfortable. This is really helpful when the drone is flying a distance and it is difficult to measure the distance between objects.
Autel Nano Plus Drone Will Automatically Return Home
I also love the return home functionality. My first flight was terrified of running out of battery and losing the drone somewhere I couldn't get it. On my fourth flight, I deliberately let the battery get to the point and let the drone fly back to the starting point on its own. It does so well that you lose all control of the drone until it lands safely.
Overall, I think the Autel EVO performs very well, especially in the hands of new drone pilots.