The DJI Spark is an attempt to appeal to the masses, a drone that is more of a camera that just happens to fly than anything. Its compact size and ease of use made it popular for many first time pilots, as well as those looking for a drone with a trick up its sleeve.
We encourage you to read through the rest of this article, to see what the Spark is all about, but we cannot, rightly, recommend it anymore. If you are looking for a drone of this caliber, please consider the newer DJI Mavic Mini instead. It’s smaller, lighter, faster and flies longer, yet it is more stable, captures far better photos and video and is less expensive. That’s right, in almost every conceivable way, the DJI Mavic Mini is a superior drone to the DJI Spark. Check it out:
DJI Mavic Mini
November 2019Release Date
With a long list of drones that start with the name Mavic, DJI has launched yet another consumer machine, perhaps their most consumer friendly yet, the new, very compact, folding DJI Mavic Mini.
As the name implies, the DJI Mavic Mini is a very small machine, and in true DJI fashion, it has few compromises to make it all work. The first thing to note is that the Mavic Mini weighs less than 0.55 lbs, which means you do not need to register it with the FAA before flight. Registration is quick and easy, but not requiring it at all is a bonus.
Related reading: DJI Mavic Mini review
Don't let the small size fool you, this drone packs a 12MP camera, shoot 2.7K video from a 3-axis stabilized Gimbal and has all of the flight features you'd expect from a Mavic drone today.
Choose the DJI Spark
- Affordable price
- Fly by remote control or mobile phone
- Compact and portable
- Trusted brand
- Good selection of accessories
- Hand gesture flight controls
May 2017Release Date
The DJI Spark introduced a brand new segment for the drone company, launching a tiny machine that packs more fun features than powerful specs. This drone had everyone talking about the Jedi mind tricks you can play with the machine, using the front camera and object detection to accept hand gestures for some basic controls. All of these fun flight features made for a focus on two other features, the ability to fly without a remote control in hand and making you the object of the flight.
The DJI Spark is small enough to easily pack around wherever you might like to go. It's powerful enough to combat some decent winds and the 12MP camera can snap some fun photographs. While the camera may have a 4K sensor on the inside, it only records 1080p video. The HD video resolution allows the use of the extra pixels for image stabilization. The Spark mechanically stabilizes two-axis of movement, using the sensor cropping to handle side-to-side image stabilization. Admitting that this makes for some of the worst video capture from a DJI drone in the last 5 years, we can't deny that that is still pretty good, and the compact nature and low price of the drone make it well worth consideration.
Why would you consider buying the DJI Spark? Let’s see:
In all honesty, there are less expensive drones on the market. However, when it comes to the world-class services, software and more of the top drone manufacturer out there today, Spark is half the price of their next viable drone. You’re looking at a $499 starting point and a Fly More combo at $549. Update: We’re seeing the Spark for as low as $285 and $450 these days, be sure to watch for deals.
We feel we need to keep justifying the price because, in our humble opinion, it is a tad over-priced to be a clear bang for the buck winner. Don’t get us wrong, what you get for your dollar is top notch and DJI continually adds new value to their machines. Spark is a smart drone purchase, and my thought is that for a twenty percent price cut it could be a runaway success.
Fly by mobile device or by remote control
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the DJI Spark is the versatility in control options. From the top down you can fly by remote control, fly by mobile device or even fly by hand gestures alone. We’ll talk about playing Jedi later. The option to fly by mobile or remote make Spark a potential travel companion for nearly anyone, no matter where they are headed.
The remote offers the best and most capable flight controls, use that in conjunction with your mobile device for the full feature set. If you leave the remote at home, your phone will put the drone into the air to a limited range, and with less responsive controls, but it’s one less thing you have to carry.
Compact and portable