Product Gallery: DJI Spark

We got our hands on the DJI Spark Fly More combo. Here’s a closer look at the drone and everything you get in the box with this combo.

The DJI Spark is the company’s smallest drone yet and it’s positively tiny. In fact, it’s so small that the drone’s controller is actually bigger than the drone’s body itself.

You can think of the Spark as an entry-level drone into the extensive aerial fleet that is DJI’s product lineup. It’s kind of like a gateway drone if you must. It’s the most affordable drone of the bunch, coming in at just RM2,288 for the drone and RM3,188 for the Fly More Combo that we have here.

This makes the Spark a great place to start your journey into aerial videography and photography. DJI also makes it easy for novice pilots because they’ve packed in a whole bunch of smart features that basically let you fly the drone without any kind of controller or smartphone.

DJI does this by letting Spark pilots control the drone with gestures. Raise your hand and wave it to the left or right and the drone will follow. One of the coolest features is that you can actually launch the drone from the palm of your hand. Simply hold it out in front of you with the camera facing your face and double tap the power button. Once it detects your face, the drone will whirr to life and take off.

Because of these smart gestures, the Spark’s LED lights under the propeller (which is usually only used to help you see the drone at night) is also used to help with gesture controls. These lights change from green to yellow to red depending on whether it is detecting your input or not. Green means it sees you and will obey your hand gestures, yellow means it’s still looking for you and red means it has lost you.

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Thanks to these sensors and the camera at the bottom, the drone can also land on your palm. Simply reach your hand up under the drone and hold it steady, and the drone will slowly land on your palm. It’s actually really cool.

The only thing you really need to keep in mind is to wait for the lights to turn read before reaching up to let it land.

Despite all the talk about being able to fly your drone without a controller, the Spark’s controller (which is included in the Fly More combo) is actually still the best way to control the drone. Its buttons are tactile, joysticks are accurate and it gives you good control over Spark.

Although the Spark is nearly half the price of the Mavic Pro, it isn’t what I’d call a cheap-feeling drone. In fact, it’s surprisingly rigid and feels pretty solid in the hand. It’s considerably lighter than the Mavic Pro but heavy enough that it gives you a reassuring feeling that a light breeze won’t blow it away.

There are also tiny rubber feet that keep the sensors and gold contact points away from the ground, which is actually a nice touch.

Much like the Mavic Pro, the Spark’s propellers are the foldable kind that automatically unfolds when the drone spins into action. This means you won’t have to flip open each propeller before taking flight.

Around back, you’ll find the power button to turn the drone on and a row of LEDs that tell you how much juice your battery has. There’s also a tiny flap with the word SPARK written on it.

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Flip the flap open and you’ll be greeted with a micro USB port and a microSD card slot. The micro USB port allows charging so you can hook up a powerbank to it between flights which is always nice.

In front, though, sits one of the drone’s biggest attractions. This is a camera with a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that’s capable of taking 12-megapixel stills and Full HD 1080p video. It’s got a 25mm equivalent focal length and an f/2.6 aperture lens. It’s also mechanically stabilised on a 2-axis gimbal.

These are the Spark’s batteries. They’re absolutely tiny and probably contribute to the biggest chink in the Mavic Pro’s armour — its flight time. The Spark is only capable of 16 minutes of flight time, though in our experience that’s closer to 10 minutes in windy conditions, so you really have to plan your shots properly.

Here’s everything in the Fly More combo. Clockwise from left: An intelligent battery charging station, four propeller guards, a bag (which can also carry the Mavic Pro and its accessories), the controller, a charging brick, and extra battery and the drone itself. DJI has also included a set of four extra propellers if you choose to pick up the combo.

We’ve been flying our SoyaCincau-yellow drone for a bit and so far we really love it. Definitely, stay tuned for a full review as we dive deeper into whether it’s actually a good drone.

If you want to see higher res photos, check out our Facebook gallery instead.