DJI Spark Drone : The Powerful Little Flying Machine !
Unless you’re a creative professional or need to inspect remote power lines without getting electrocuted, you probably don’t need a drone. That’s what makes buying one so tricky. The best consumer drone on the market right now—at least in my opinion—is the DJI Mavic Pro, but the $1,000+ price tag (which only goes up when you consider the mostly-necessary add-ons) reserves it for serious enthusiasts or the top-hat-and-monocle set for which $1,000 wouldn’t even cover their weekly caviar budget.
Enter the DJI Spark. Not only does it try to bring the price down closer to impulse purchase territory, but it also tries to reduce the learning curve required to send a craft up in the air.
At a $500 base price, this 10.5-ounce drone ports over some of the popular features from its higher-end sibling and adds some consumer-friendly tweaks to make it more accessible for the average consumer pilot who is trying to chase their kids around the park rather than make a major motion picture. Plus, it has gesture control that allows you to command this little aircraft simply by waving your hand, which has done wonders for our Darth Vader impression.
As a package, the Spark has a lot going for it. Each battery claims about 16 minutes of juice, and that actually seems pretty accurate in terms of total runtime. When you get to around four minutes left, the app will start squawking at you to bring your craft home, so it’s better to plan for around 10-12 minutes per charge if you don’t want to be biting your nails as it tries to land before the last seconds tick off the battery clock. Other things like extensive maneuvering and strong wind can also have an effect on battery drain.
Twelve minutes of effective flight time might seem short, but that’s the nature of these little flying machines. The Mavic Pro promises 27 minutes on a single battery, but that’s also a bigger, more expensive craft. That said, if you’re going to drop $500 on the Spark, I would automatically factor in the cost of at least one extra $50 battery, if not more.
The GPS and location settings worked well and I didn’t have any runaway drone scares, which I’ve had in the past. The app is diligent about alerting you about flight restrictions in your area. I found that most places have some kind of alert, though I was still able to fly without a problem. One thing that takes some getting used to is what happens when you push the “return home” button. Rather than flying straight to its home base, it first climbs to a higher elevation, which can be a problem if you’re in an area with lots of obstacles like trees or utility wires.
While the Spark’s small size makes it easy to carry around, it doesn’t do much to quiet the horrible buzzing sound produced by the propellers. So, while it’s nimble enough to fly indoors, it certainly isn’t inconspicuous. Even when it’s high above your head, you can still hear a pronounced whir from the propellers.
I genuinely enjoyed my time with the DJI Spark. The app feels a little rough around the edges at times (the adjustment slider for the camera angle drove me nuts), but the overall package is much closer to the balance of quality and price that makes sense for the average consumer. If you’re enchanted by the gesture control, I’d recommend you temper your expectations a little, at least for now, since future firmware updates could improve it considerably. So what to wait now ? Grab yours now at here with the best price ever !