DJI Spark Drone Review: Compact Powerhouse or Overhyped Gadget?

Last Updated: 12:09, 9 April 2024
author icon Written By: Benjamin Wilson

Whether you’re a seasoned pilot or new to the skies, the DJI Spark is likely on your list of potential drones. This DJI Spark drone review takes a sharp, factual look at what this petite powerhouse has to offer. We’ll discuss its flight dynamics, camera resolution, user-friendliness, and more, to see if it really is the optimal blend of performance and portability for your aerial endeavors.

Key Takeaways

  • The DJI Spark is a compact drone that offers a mix of portability and powerful features, with the ‘Fly More’ combo adding significant enhancements like a remote controller, extra battery, and carrying case for convenience.

  • It boasts a sturdy design for its size, includes advanced features like Gesture Control and Active Track, and supports 1080p videos and 12MP photos from its mechanically stabilized camera.

  • While its flight time is limited to 16 minutes per charge, additional batteries are reasonably priced, and the drone’s portability makes it a strong contender against bulkier models, despite some trade-offs in camera resolution and flying range.

Unboxing the DJI Spark: First Impressions

Unboxing the DJI Spark: First Impressions

The unboxing experience can tell you a lot about a product. And with the DJI Spark, that experience starts on a high note. As you open the box, you’re immediately struck by the drone’s compact size. But don’t let its small size fool you – this drone packs a punch. It’s a fine piece of technology that promises an exhilarating drone flying experience.

Let’s examine what’s included in the box and the additional offerings of the Fly More Combo.

What’s in the Box?

Opening the box, the first thing you’ll notice is the DJI Spark itself. Its compact size is immediately evident, and it’s hard not to be impressed by the amount of technology DJI has managed to pack into such a small drone. But the DJI Spark isn’t the only thing you’ll find in the box. You’ll also discover a battery to power the drone, a charger, and a USB cable for powering and charging the drone’s battery.

Besides the drone and its battery, the box includes propellers and propeller guards. These add-ons are crucial for the drone’s operation and will ensure smooth and safe flights. The propellers, designed to automatically unfold into the correct position as soon as the rotors begin spinning, enhance the drone’s ease of use and flight readiness. The propeller guards, on the other hand, will protect your drone from damage during flights, making them an essential accessory for new pilots or those planning to fly in confined spaces.

The Fly More Combo Explained

If you’ve opted for the Fly More Combo, then you’re in for a treat. This package offers an array of additional accessories that further enhance your drone flying experience. Along with the DJI Spark drone itself, the combo includes:

  • a remote controller

  • an additional set of propellers

  • propeller guards

  • two intelligent flight batteries

  • a charging hub

  • a shoulder bag carrying case

With a significant enhancement of the DJI Spark’s capabilities, the remote controller offers a greater control range than the standard smartphone control option. The additional battery included in the combo facilitates longer flight sessions, significantly adding to the overall flight experience. This means you can spend more time capturing stunning aerial photographs and less time waiting for your batteries to recharge.

The carrying case, a shoulder bag specifically designed for the Spark, facilitates easy transport and safeguards the drone and its accessories. So whether you’re planning to fly outdoors in a park or indoors in a large hall, transporting your DJI Spark and its accessories will be a breeze.

The Design and Build Quality of the DJI Spark

The Design and Build Quality of the DJI Spark

The DJI Spark stands out in the crowd of drones due to its:

  • Compact design

  • Robust build quality

  • Measurements of 2.2 by 5.6 by 5.6 inches

  • Weight of just 10.6 ounces

Its compact size makes this fantastic drone, also known as a tiny drone, incredibly portable, perfect for those on-the-go drone adventures.

Despite its small size, the DJI Spark is built to last. Its main body and arms are made from robust, lightweight plastic that can withstand the rigors of drone flying. This sturdy construction means that even in the event of minor accidents, your DJI Spark should emerge unscathed.

The DJI Spark boasts the following features:

  • Two-axis mechanical gimbal for video stabilization

  • Remarkable footage once users are adept at handling it

  • Available in a variety of attractive colors: Alpine White, Lava Red, Meadow Green, Sky Blue, and Sunrise Yellow

This gives you the freedom to choose a DJI drone that suits your style.

Setting Up for Your First Flight

Setting Up for Your First Flight

If you're new to flying, here is a good guide on how to fly a drone.

Thanks to the user-friendly DJI GO 4 app, setting up the DJI Spark for your first flight is a breeze. The app provides a comprehensive interface that makes it easy to control the drone and adjust settings. But before you take off, let’s walk through the crucial steps of charging and powering on the drone and syncing it with the DJI GO 4 app.

Charging and Powering On

Firstly, you’ll need to charge the DJI Spark’s battery. This can be done via its micro USB port using the included charger. The charger supports QuickCharge 3.0, which means you can get your drone ready for flight in less time. Using the included USB charger, which operates at 18W, with 12V and 1.5A, the Spark’s battery can be fully charged in approximately 80 minutes.

For added convenience, you can also charge the Spark’s battery using a QuickCharge 3.0 compatible power bank while on the move. This is particularly handy for those longer drone flying sessions when you’re away from a power source.

Once your battery is fully charged, it’s time to power on the drone and get it ready for flight. This is as simple as pressing the power button on the drone.

With your drone powered and ready for action, we can proceed to sync it with the DJI GO 4 app.

Syncing with the DJI GO 4 App

To control your DJI Spark with your cell phone, you’ll need to install the DJI GO 4 app. This can be downloaded from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Once you’ve installed the app, powering on the drone will initiate the syncing process. The DJI GO 4 app serves as a remote control interface, enabling you to:

  • Take pictures

  • Record videos

  • Adjust camera and flight settings

  • Receive a live video feed

This means you can control your drone from the palm of your hand, providing a convenient and immersive flying experience.

The DJI GO 4 app offers the following features:

  • Remote control interface

  • Flight simulator

  • Access to flight records

  • GEO Zones

  • Airspace restrictions information

  • Find My Drone feature

All these features are designed to make your drone flying experience as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.

To see more drones that you can fly with your phone, see out best picks here.

Taking to the Skies: Flight Performance

Taking to the Skies: Flight Performance

It’s time to discuss a crucial aspect - the flight performance. The DJI Spark is a true performer in the skies. With a top speed of over 31 mph in Sport mode and a 16-minute battery life, this drone is built for adventure. But that’s not all.

We’ll explore the DJI Spark’s flight performance further, focusing on Sport Mode and Speed, along with Battery Endurance and Flight Time.

Sport Mode and Speed

When it comes to speed, the DJI Spark doesn’t disappoint. In Sport Mode, the drone can reach a maximum flight speed of 13.9 m/s. While this might be a bit slower compared to larger models like the Mavic Pro, which can fly up to 18 m/s, it’s still impressive for a drone of its size.

Sport Mode is perfect for those who love the thrill of high-speed drone flying. Whether you’re racing against friends or just enjoying the adrenaline rush of flying fast, Sport Mode delivers an exhilarating experience.

Keep in mind that factors like wind or flying orientation can affect the DJI Spark’s speed. For example, the drone might move slower when flying backwards or descending. But regardless of these factors, you can expect a thrilling and speedy flight with the DJI Spark in Sport Mode.

Battery Endurance and Flight Time

The DJI Spark’s flight time is another key aspect of its performance. On a single charge, the drone can fly for 16 minutes. While this might seem short, it’s actually longer than most competing small drones. Moreover, with strategies such as hustling out and back in sport mode to conserve energy, you can squeeze the most out of each charge.

To extend the flying sessions, the Fly More Combo includes an extra battery. Additional batteries are priced at a reasonable $49 each, making it easy to extend your airborne time significantly with a few extra purchases.

It’s worth noting, though, that while the DJI Spark’s flight time is impressive for its size, it still falls short compared to bigger drones. Therefore, if you’re planning long drone flying sessions, having at least one spare battery would be a good idea.

Here is a list of drones with the best batterly life.

Camera Capabilities: Capturing the World Below

Camera Capabilities: Capturing the World Below

A drone’s camera capabilities can make or break the drone flying experience, especially for those interested in aerial photography or videography. Luckily, the DJI Spark shines in this department. It’s equipped with a camera that captures high-quality media with 12MP still images and 1080p video at 30fps, utilizing a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor akin to the one in the DJI Mavic.

Let’s examine the DJI Spark’s video and photography capabilities in this DJI Spark review.

Video Footage Finesse

The DJI Spark has the following features:

  • Capable of capturing high-quality video footage in 1080p at 30 frames per second

  • Provides full HD quality for a detailed and crisp output

  • Equipped with a 2-axis mechanical gimbal, which compensates for pitch and roll movements to ensure smooth video output.

The DJI GO 4 app allows you to adjust the gimbal settings to enhance camera stability and achieve cinematic quality in your video shots. This means you can capture smooth and stable videos even in challenging flying conditions.

In addition to the gimbal settings, the DJI GO 4 app gives users control over video settings such as resolution, format, and codec, as well as finer adjustments like white balance and color profiles. This provides you with an advanced video recording experience, allowing you to capture stunning aerial footage with the DJI Spark and making the video editing process smoother.

Photography Prospects

When it comes to photography, the DJI Spark doesn’t disappoint either. It’s equipped with a camera capable of capturing high-quality images at a resolution of 12MP, ensuring excellent image quality. This makes it suitable for detailed aerial photography, allowing you to capture stunning shots from the skies.

One of the unique photography features of the DJI Spark is its shallow focus mode. This mode allows users to capture images with a simulated shallow depth of field, emulating professional photography effects that highlight the subject while softly blurring the background. This can add a professional touch to your aerial photographs, making them stand out.

Another interesting photography feature of the DJI Spark is its Gesture mode. This offers users a creative way to take photographs, such as aerial selfies, by recognizing hand gestures as commands to capture images. This adds a fun and interactive element to your drone flying experience, making the DJI Spark a joy to use.

Advanced Features and Flight Modes

The DJI Spark comes packed with advanced features that enhance its functionality and make it a versatile drone for a variety of uses. Among these features are the Gesture Control mode, which allows you to control the drone using hand gestures, and the Active Track, which enables the drone to autonomously track a subject. Let’s explore these features in more detail.

Gesture Control in Action

The DJI Spark’s Gesture Control mode is one of its standout features. With this mode, you can control the drone using simple hand gestures. This revolutionary feature allows you to launch the drone from your hand and guide its flight without the need for a phone or a remote controller.

Once powered on, the Spark’s FaceAware feature detects your face, allowing the drone to lift off and hover in place. From there, you can initiate Gesture mode by raising your hand. You can then direct the drone’s motion by moving your palm, and even take photos by forming a box shape with your fingers.

While all these gestures add a fun and interactive element to your drone flying experience, some advanced gestures might be more challenging to execute successfully. But don’t worry, with a little practice, you’ll be a pro at controlling your DJI Spark with gestures.

Exploring Active Track and Obstacle Detection

Another advanced feature of the DJI Spark is its Active Track function. This feature allows the drone to autonomously track a subject, match its pace, and keep it in the frame, even when following the subject from a side or behind. This makes the DJI Spark an ideal drone for capturing dynamic shots of moving subjects.

In addition to Active Track, the DJI Spark also comes with an obstacle detection system. This system uses a Vision Positioning System along with a 3D Sensing system to detect and avoid obstacles up to 16 ft (5 m) away in conditions with adequate lighting. This ensures safer flight operations and reduces the risk of accidents.

However, it’s important to note that obstacle detection requires well-lit environments and obstacles with defined textures or patterns to function effectively. Moreover, you need to properly configure Visual Navigation Settings in the DJI GO 4 app to activate the obstacle avoidance features.

For more cool featues, see this list of Drones that follow you

Comparing the DJI Spark to Other Drones

Now that we’ve covered the main features and capabilities of the DJI Spark, let’s see how it compares to other drones on the market. The DJI Spark is best suited for those who prioritize having a mini-drone that’s easy to carry around without expecting professional-level video quality. That being said, the DJI Spark still holds its own against other drones in its class, offering a compelling blend of portability and ease of use.

Let’s delve deeper into the comparisons, a great starting point for our analysis.

If you're interested in see this a list of the best DJI drones, and another list of the best mini-drones

Size and Portability Against Bigger Drones

When it comes to size and portability, the DJI Spark clearly outshines its larger counterparts. Weighing just 300 grams, it’s nearly 60% lighter than the DJI Mavic Pro. Also, with a thickness of only 55 mm, it’s much more compact than the Mavic Pro’s 100 mm thickness.

Even when compared to another drone in DJI’s lineup, the DJI Mavic Mini, the Spark still maintains the advantage of lightweight design. This makes the DJI Spark an ideal option for users prioritizing a compact drone size.

Overall, the DJI Spark offers superior portability over the Mavic series. So, whether you’re traveling or just taking a quick trip to the park, carrying your DJI Spark around will be a breeze.

Feature Set Comparison

In terms of features, the DJI Spark is competitively priced at $499 for the basic package, aligning with the cost of other miniature drones in the market. The ‘Fly More’ bundle, priced at $699, offers a more extensive set of accessories, enhancing the overall drone experience.

When compared to the GoPro Karma, the DJI Spark offers a shorter flight time and a smaller range. However, the DJI Spark’s camera captures 1080p full HD video with the aid of a 2-axis gimbal, whereas the GoPro Karma offers 4K video at 30fps, supported by a 3-axis gimbal for greater stability.

In the realm of photography, the Spark provides 12 megapixel stills in JPG format, while the GoPro Karma’s capabilities hinge on the camera attached, with the Hero 5 Black offering advanced features like RAW support. While each drone has its strengths and weaknesses, the DJI Spark’s range of features and competitive pricing make it a strong contender in its class.

Accessorizing Your Drone Experience

Accessories can greatly enhance your drone experience, and with the DJI Spark, there are plenty of options to choose from. From propeller guards to a gimbal clamp, these add-ons can improve the drone’s performance and protect it from potential damage.

We’ll examine the essential add-ons and optional extras that could enhance your DJI Spark experience.

Must-Have Add-Ons

When it comes to must-have add-ons for the DJI Spark, propeller guards and a gimbal clamp top the list. Propeller guards are essential for ensuring safe flights, especially for new pilots or those planning to fly in confined spaces. They protect your drone’s propellers from damage during flights, making them a worthy investment.

The gimbal clamp serves an important purpose for your drone’s camera. It:

  • Protects the camera during storage

  • Prevents damage to the delicate gimbal component

  • Ensures stable and clear footage

  • Maintains the camera’s longevity

Securing the gimbal with the gimbal clamp during storage is crucial for preventing damage and maintaining the DJI Spark’s camera stability.

Optional Extras

In addition to the must-have add-ons, there are also a number of optional extras for the DJI Spark that can further enhance your drone experience. Among these are propeller guards and additional batteries.

Propeller guards, costing approximately $19, enhance safety during flight, particularly useful for flying indoors to avoid accidents. They are designed to protect the drone’s propellers from impact, reducing the risk of damage and helping to ensure a longer lifespan for your DJI Spark.

Additional batteries, on the other hand, can extend your drone flying sessions. Priced at a reasonable $49 each, they provide an easy way to extend your airborne time significantly. By swapping out a depleted battery for a fully charged one, you can keep your DJI Spark in the air for longer, capturing more footage and making the most of your drone flying experience.

The DJI GO 4 app is key to the DJI Spark experience. It serves as a comprehensive interface for controlling the drone and adjusting settings. The app can be downloaded from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Once installed, the DJI GO 4 app provides the following features:

  • Live video feed from the DJI Spark’s camera, allowing you to see exactly what the drone is seeing in real-time

  • Easy aiming of shots and capturing stunning aerial footage

  • Adjusting the drone’s video settings

  • Managing the live video feed quality

  • Video stream at a bitrate of 5.3Mbps

The DJI GO 4 app offers a range of advanced features, including:

  • Flight simulator

  • Access to flight records

  • GEO Zones

  • Airspace restrictions information

  • Find My Drone feature

These features are designed to enhance your drone flying experience, making the DJI GO 4 app an essential tool for any DJI Spark owner.

Maintenance and Care Tips

Maintaining your DJI Spark in good condition is essential for ensuring its longevity and performance. This includes:

  • Proper battery management

  • Adhering to storage conditions

  • Regular checks and replacements of propellers

  • Following guidelines provided in the DJI Spark user manual for charging and battery usage.

For optimal battery health, it’s recommended to:

  • Keep the DJI Spark’s Intelligent Flight Battery stored at about 50-55% charge for long periods, and ensure it’s not left fully charged for extended durations.

  • Use batteries within the 80%-20% charge range for maximum lifespan.

  • Always charge the battery before it reaches below 20%.

The DJI Spark drone itself should be stored in a dry, cool environment without magnetic interference to avoid any damage. For long-term storage exceeding 3 months, keep the drone and battery at an approximate temperature of 25°C (77°F), ideally out of direct sunlight.


In conclusion, the DJI Spark is a compact powerhouse that offers an impressive blend of portability, ease of use, and advanced features. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a user-friendly drone to get started with, or a seasoned drone pilot in search of a compact drone for on-the-go adventures, the DJI Spark is a worthy contender. Its robust design, impressive flight performance, high-quality camera capabilities, and array of advanced features make it a standout choice in its class. So, why not give the DJI Spark a shot and see the world from a new perspective?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the DJI Spark still good in 2024?

Well I'd say its okay, the DJI Spark is still a good drone but the market has evolved quite a it since.

Why was DJI Spark discontinued?

The DJI Spark was discontinued because with the release of the Mini, sales of the Spark wouldn't be enough to maintain profitable production. Parts for the Spark will still be available for some time, but eventually, everything comes to an end.

How far can a DJI Spark drone fly?

The DJI Spark drone can fly a maximum distance of 1.2 miles (2 km) in an open, interference-free area.

Do I need a license to fly DJI Spark?

Yes, you need to register your DJI Spark with the FAA if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs (0.25 kg) before flying, and get any related permits for commercial flights.

What is the maximum speed of the DJI Spark?

The maximum speed of the DJI Spark is over 31 mph in Sport mode. That's pretty fast!

Meet the tester

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Benjamin Wilson
Benjamin, with a background in naval architecture, is passionate about RC boats. From sailboats to speedboats, he's sailed them all. Based in Florida, he's our anchor when it comes to all things aquatic in the RC world.
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