DJI’s “fun-sized” drone.. isn’t that fun…


The Spark. DJI says this is the affordable, compact drone for the masses without compromises to their signature technologies. and why shouldn’t we believe them? They’ve been dominating every other drone segment from filmmakers, to industrial use, to enthusiasts with over a grand to burn. But for all their noise about the dawn of the age of the UAV(or whatever)- They’ve never had a product to offer your mom, grandpa, or Lindsey yet. But does Lindsey even need a drone? And if she does, is this the one she could buy? We don’t really think so. Let me explain. Browse privately and securely with TunnelBear, the simple VPN app. Start your seven-day free trial at the link in the video description. Let’s get one thing straight: while the Spark borrows a lot from its foldable big brother, the ability to pick color profiles and raw images are both missing. It gets, in practical terms, half the battery life of the Mavic Pro, and it substitutes a third axis on its gimbal for digital stabilization, restricting video capture resolution to a measly 1080Ps rather than 4000 Ks. So it’s not a baby Mavic Pro. But then, does Lindsey really need any of that stuff to take selfies on the beach? Maybe not. So let’s talk about things that she does need, like controls. We’ve tried all the different ways that you can interface with the Spark, and all three of them have come short of being ideal. Gesture control is the flashiest, most party-trick-like among them, promising to allow you to launch the drone, raise it, lower it, move it away and towards you, take a selfie, follow you around, and even come back and land gracefully on your outstretched palm. Without an additional controller! The idea here is outstanding. Having a portable flying camera that behaves kind of like a well-trained dog is a future that I could really get into. But we feel like DJI could have done a better job of setting realistic expectations. To enter gesture mode you power up the drone. Then once it’s booted up, you double click the power button. Flash it your biggest smile and it takes off. Reasonably intuitive so far. But that’s where things break down a little bit. Between using the Force to move the Spark to the right position, Doing “this”… Instead of something more like “this”, or like “this”, or I don’t know like “this” to take a selfie, And the fact that the Spark communicates back to the user exclusively through blinking lights in ways that only the most obsessive weirdos are going to actually memorize before attempting to use their new toy, AND that depend on the context, we end up with an experience that was actually stressful or even a little bit scary at times. The Spark has a battery of sensors, but in Gesture Mode anyway, It’s kind of like your weird uncle who knows that you’re there, But doesn’t seem to really understand your personal boundaries. And this is only amplified by how twitchy the Spark’s flight is, Along with how easy it is for it to lose track of where you are. It really makes me wonder how they can even be touting this as a flying selfie stick or even a tripod substitute. Ignoring how obnoxious it would actually be to pull out a drone and fly it to take a family portrait at your next gathering. As for touch screen control… Well it’s obviously a lot more flexible, but the lack of tactile feedback through the app… …is exactly what you’d expect if you’ve ever tried to play a racing game on your phone, and Wi-Fi’s limited range comes well short of DJI’s advertised two kilometer maximum for the Spark. For that, you need the third control scheme, the remote. Which comes with some other benefits as well. Thumbsticks, which are by far the best way to fly the Spark, are the most obvious one, But it’s also got a programmable button and some gimbal controls and you get the option to unlock Sport Mode. Which basically boosts the maximum speed of the Spark by over four times! But if you’re buying this accessory, I have to wonder a little bit Why you’re buying a Spark in the first place. It’s a hundred and fifty dollars standalone or $200 as part of the “Fly More” package. That means we’re not talking about a $500 cellphone accessory anymore. It’s not that we think the Spark is terrible. It’s just that if you’re a drone nerd, then by the time you’re spending $700… 4K video recording, more manual controls and better flight range are just the beginning of the ways that the Mavic Pro crushes this thing for another 300 dollars. And if the sales pitches to Lindsay, then the price to fund ratio compared to cheap video drones on Amazon is still kind of out of whack and… if you want to ask this kind of premium, then we think the intuitiveness and the safety of the gesture controls need some work. Not including propeller guards in particular is a pretty crap move on something that’s small and mainstream enough that DJI must know that people are going to be flying it indoors. Which isn’t to say that the Spark doesn’t have a place in the market at all. It’s still not water resistant, that could be improved, But this thing is astonishingly durable! You probably wouldn’t even guess that the one in our B-roll has been crashed three times, and the autonomous flight modes things that you wouldn’t find on a toy grade product, like Beacon, Active Track, and even the newer cinematic ones are as reliable as they were on previous DJI offerings. I just think it’s a little disingenuous to call it a $500 drone when its Functionality is so limited in that form, and I wouldn’t pay $700 for it compared to the Mavic Pro without some more software improvements. Speaking of improvements to the Mavic, you can improve yours… With a skin from D-Brand! D-Brand is the place to go for skins that improve the durability, not to mention the sex appeal of your devices! Be they phones, game consoles, portable computers, or… apparently drones. You can use their configurator to see exactly what your device will look like, so whether you’re looking to make it all sleek and “Carbon Fiber-y” or whether you want your device to look like pure cancer, you can check out D-Brand’s site, and for just a few bucks, skin up your device! They’ve got worldwide shipping and we’ve got a link below that you can follow to get started right now. So thanks for watching guys, if this video sucked, you know what to do. But if it was awesome, get subscribed, hit that like button or check out the link to where to buy the stuff we featured in the video description. Also linked down there is our merch store which has cool shirts like this one, and our community forum which you should totally join.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *