On Wednesday, DJI revealed the new Spark, “the easy and fun camera drone for everyone.” It has a 12 MP camera, and it can shoot 1080p video in several different QuickShot modes. It costs $499, and it will start shipping in June.
The mini drone is lighter than a can of soda, and it fits in your palm. With your hand, you can both hold the Spark for liftoff and control it with gestures to make it record video, take pictures, and come back to you.
While DJI’s previous drone, the Mavic Pro, was a more high-end offer for consumers and maybe the professional market, the Spark is a more casual aircraft for the general public looking to get some cool selfies in summer to share them in social media.
DJI Spark: Specs and features
The DJI Spark is a lightweight drone that is also practical in size. It weighs just 300 g, and at 143 x 143 mm it fits in the palm of your hand. It has a 12 MP camera mounted on a 2-axis gimbal that stabilizes the shot for still photos and video.
It can reach speeds of 31 mph (50 kph) and altitudes up to 26 ft (8 m). Its velocity range, however, is an average of 22.4 mph at 6.6 ft (2 m) above the ground with wind. With no wind, it can ascend as fast as 9.8 ft/s (3m/s).
The Spark is equipped with built-in GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity to position itself and relay data to mobile devices from which the user can control the drone. It also counts with a 3D sensing system that can detect obstacles mid-flight in a range between 1 and 16 feet.
Battery life tops at 16 minutes of flight for the DJI Spark, but it only takes 80 minutes to charge it fully again via USB. If you have multiple batteries, it takes less time to load using a Charging Hub.
QuickShot modes include Rocket, Dronie, Circle, and Helix, while TapFly modes using your mobile device allow you to coordinate and direct the Spark to your desired target.
ActiveTrack technology lets users trace a target from the front, behind, or the side fixed on it. Supported hand gestures using PalmControl let people take selfies, send the drone flying or make it return with just their hands.
DJI Spark: Price, release date, and availability
DJI has the Spark already available for pre-order at four physical stores in the U.S. and online on its official website. The standard Spark package costs $499, and it comes with three pairs of propellers and a USB charger only. The drone comes in Alpine White, Sky Blue, Sunrise Yellow, Meadow Green, and Lava Red.
For $699, though, you can get an extra propeller and guards for all, two batteries, a remote controller, a charging hub, cables, and a bag to carry it around. It will be available in China, Hong Kong, the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.