The DJI Spark originally released May 27th, 2017. Well over two years ago already. That’s a pretty long time for anything in the technology industry. But I’ve found that DJI’s products hold up pretty well over time. But is the Spark still worth buying in 2019? Who might be interested in buying a Spark?
As of the writing of this article, you can pick up a Spark with controller combo for $399 on Amazon. It’s currently out of stock on DJI’s website, which might indicate a DJI Spark 2 is somewhere on the horizon? There haven’t been any rumors about that for a while though, so not sure how likely or how soon something like that might be coming.
So what do you get for $399? You get a 300g drone with 16-minutes of battery life, a 1080p camera, and a 1.2-mile transmission range when using the controller. Honestly, that’s pretty awesome for that amount of money. There aren’t many other options on the market with comparable power for that kind of cash.
Things I Like
The DJI Spark is about as small a drone as it gets that is still very stable in some wind. This is the smallest I would go and still feel comfortable flying outside and out in the open air without it blowing away.
With the Spark, DJI introduced some new ways to control your drone. Gesture controls are fun, the palm launch option is really cool, and the ability to do the quick shots is really nice. This helps get a lot out of a drone that is so small and inexpensive.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, I’ve hit some trees, my house, and the ground a few times with my Spark. It has been super durable. I’ve replaced the props a few times, otherwise no damage to the actual drone to mention. For such a small drone, with the kind of power it actually has, I’ve been surprised more than once on how well it is put together.
It’s So Much Fun To Fly
The bottom line, as far as I’m concerned, is that the DJI Spark is fun to fly. Comparatively to the Phantom and Mavic Series’, the Spark can fly almost as fast and is much quicker to change directions. It’s very responsive. This is the closest you can get to a racing drone that still has all the features of the camera drones.
Things I Don’t Like
DJI decided to go with a modified version of wifi for transmission instead of their OcuSync technology in their more expensive drones. I assume to make the Spark more affordable. If you plan to fly the Spark in a crowded, downtown city, you’re going to have a bad time. The interference very quickly becomes too much and it will very quickly lose connection. If you are flying out in the open, I have very easily gotten to that one-mile range before any types of stuttering.
Camera And Gimble Shortcomings
Using only a two-axis gimble instead of the three-axis on the more expensive drones, the video still has quite a bit of stabilization. But if getting video is your primary end goal from a drone, the Spark may not be for you. The gimble will easily help stabilize enough to take great pictures, and honestly, video from the Spark is by no means shaky. But as wind speeds pick up, the differences in stability between the Spark and a Mavic become noticeable.
Accessories Can Make It Less Affordable
Just like any drone you buy, you’re going to want accessories. Extra batteries, the portable charging station, a tablet holder, and a really nice case for it all. This can make your ratio of drone cost to accessories cost pretty high. While all is said and done, it will still be less expensive than other drones, it can seem like a lot when you start to add it all up.
The Bottom Line
It’s worth paying a little bit extra for the controller. If you are a flight or drone enthusiast, this is the closest to entry-level cost you can find with this much power and capabilities. I definitely recommend this drone to people that just want to go out and fly a drone and want to take some pictures for themselves. I’ve made quite a few amazing family videos with the Spark and I plan on having it for a long time. If you’re interested in making money using your drone, you’ll definitely be wishing you upgraded sooner to one of the more expensive models.