DJI Spark: The Best Portable Drone?


Recently YTD got hands on the DJI Spark Combo package. The combo package comes with a lot of extra goodies at a $200 premium over the simple Spark. First thing we noticed was the absolutely minimal footprint of Spark. If you think Mavic Pro was small, then you need to check out the Spark in person. The weight and dimensions of Spark makes it a perfect go-to drone for beginners. Despite its tiny foot print, it packs a lot of tech and sensors. From tracking movements to avoiding obstacles, it has covered all the latest features. After spending a month with the device and testing it both indoors and outdoors, we noticed a number of impressive and not-so-impressive things about this little drone.


Inside the DJI Spark Combo Package

  1. DJI Spark
  2. Remote Controller with up to 2 km signal range
  3. 2 Batteries (1480 mAh)
  4. Propeller guards
  5. 2 sets of propellers
  6. 3-Slot battery charging dock
  7. Micro-USB charging cable
  8. Battery charger adapter
  9. DJI branded carrying bag for controller and its accessories
  10. DJI branded Styrofoam case for the Spark, Propellers and 2 extra batteries

Flying Experience of Spark

There are a number of ways to fly the Spark. Since the basic Spark does not come up with the remote controller, therefore, it can be launched right from your palm and controlled through hand gestures. Although it sounds awesome but it’s more of a hassle to fly it with hand gestures. Another way of controlling spark is through DJI GO 4 app on an iOS or Android device. However, the flying distance would be limited to 100 meters and height to 50 meters. In order to take full advantage of Spark’s capabilities and to experience a more stable signal quality, Your Tech Dose highly recommends getting the Spark controller. It not only extends its range up to 2 KM but also ensures a steady signal. Not to mention, having a physical controller is much more intuitive than using virtual joysticks on the DJI GO 4 app.


Using DJI Spark indoors

Although Spark is not marketed as an indoor drone, but in our indoor flights, it performed surprisingly well. Most of the times it was getting between 10-13 GPS signals under the roof, and its stability was hardly compromised while flying without GPS (Atti Mode). Thanks to its advance sensors and obstacle avoidance features, DJI Spark exceeded all our expectations in the indoor flights. However, it is highly recommended to use propeller guards and maintain a safe distance from the device while flying indoors.


Battery Life of Spark

There are a number of factors that influence the battery performance of Spark. While flying outdoors, it is important to keep a check on wind speed and heat levels. From our experience, in moderate wind speed of 15-20 Km/h, Spark did a pretty good job of maintaining its position and capturing stable footage. However, it resulted in a battery loss of about 60 to 80 seconds. As far as the heat levels go, Spark provided the best battery time around dusk (25 Degrees Celsius) when it wasn’t as hot as mid-day (35 Degrees Celsius). Lastly, using propeller guards also reduced the flying time by 60-70 seconds.

On average, DJI Spark gave a flying time of 13 minutes on a single charge. 2 new batteries were used to test the above mentioned flying time.


Gimbal & Camera Quality of the DJI Spark

The camera of Spark is more of a mixed bag. DJI makes a lot of consumer drones with 3-axis gimbal for stabilization, however, due to the minimal size of the DJI Spark, they could only fit 2-axis gimbal. It performs pretty well most of the times, however, there have been a few instances, where a significant jerk was felt while panning it from one side to the other.

Furthermore, Spark has the 1/2.3” CMOS image sensor capable of taking 12MP stills, and the video resolution of up to 1080P at 30 FPS. It would have been much appreciated if DJI would have managed to provide 60 FPS video.

By today’s standards, the video quality is just average, however, one thing that Spark really excels at, is its remarkable image quality. The 4K sensor certainly provides a much crispier photo with a nice level of photo saturation.


Verdict on Spark’s performance

Spark offers a lot of amazing features in a small package. Although the video quality is not as good as some other drones, however, the portability and overall user experience makes it the best drone in its price.


 

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