We love our DJI Spark drone because there are lots to like about it. From stuff like its ultra-portable size, its flying prowess, image quality and even the stability of its mechanical gimbal, the Spark is a great entry-level drone.
However, if you think that DJI was able to produce something this small and affordable without at least some limitations, you’re kidding yourself. After spending some time with the Spark, here are five big things we learned that we think you should know about before you think of buying one for yourself.
1. Buying just the basic drone is not enough
Yes, one of the bigger selling points for the DJI Spark is that the drone isn’t super expensive. Starting at RM2,288, the drone is actually pretty affordable for the capabilities DJI quotes in their brochure. However, what some of you may not realise, is that a lot of what you can do with the drone is limited when you don’t have the accessories to go with it.
When you spend RM2,288 to buy a DJI Spark, all you’re getting is the drone in a styrofoam container. No controller, no extra battery, no propeller guards and no padded bags to carry your drone around in.
This means you will have to fly your drone with either your smartphone or through gestures. Don’t get me wrong, gesture controls are great and all, but when you want to do more serious aerial videography it’s not going to give you enough control over the drone. Flying with your smartphone also doesn’t really cut it because you get really limited range and your thumbs will be in the way of you framing your shot.
2. Consider buying basic accessories
If you’re serious about getting the DJI Spark, we definitely recommend shelling out extra for the Fly More Combo instead. It’s a great place to start if you plan to use your Spark for more than just the occasional aerial selfie/dronie.
For RM3,188, you’re getting a lot more kit and most of what you will need to use this tiny drone to get some epic shots. In addition to the drone, you’ll be getting a set of propeller guards (safe flying indoors), a power brick plus smart charging pad (can charge up to 3 batteries simultaneously), an extra battery, a bag, and — perhaps most importantly — the controller.
With the controller, you can get a lot more range with the drone. What’s more, the controller also gives you more granular controls when flying as well as access to Sport Mode which will let the drone hit its top speed of 50 km/h.
That said, even the Fly More combo doesn’t solve the biggest issue we have with the DJI Spark and that’s battery life. On average, we chew through a single battery in about 10 minutes, which is actually a really short amount of time. That means you’ll want to get more than two batteries if you want to get any serious kind of flying done.
For us, the ideal number of batteries is about four which gives us a little more than half an hour of flight time. It’s also easy to charge the batteries because you can slap three onto the smart charging plate and charge the fourth on the drone via micro USB.