With DJI releasing new drones every season, Spark owners might be wondering when their drone will get a refresh. Nobody knows what DJI has in the works for the next year, except for their employees obviously, but the likelihood of a new Spark drone coming out in 2018 seems very slim with the current set of drones DJI has for sale. Let me go into further detail to fully explain why I think DJI isn’t focused on bringing a new Spark to the market.
Current Spark specs
The Spark is currently the smallest DJI drone despite its lack of folding arms (the Tello is made by Ryze, not DJI). This certainly does not mean it is underpowered as this tiny drone packs a punch. Here are some of the important specs to note:
- Price: $399 (comes with controller and microSD card)
- Weight: 300 grams
- Speed: 31mph
- Flight time: 16 minutes
- Transmission system: WiFi (1.2 miles w/ remote, 328 feet w/ phone)
- Camera sensor size: 1/2.3″ CMOS
- Megapixels: 12
- Max video resolution: 1080p
Like all of DJI’s other drones, there is a lot more to this craft than just its specs. The companion app (DJI Go 4) is the same app used by all of the other current drones manufactured by DJI. Inside this app lie dozens of features, from the ability to tweak your obstacle avoidance sensors to make the drone follow you and fly autonomously.
In my opinion, the Spark right now is the best small drone you can buy for the money. Companies like Yuneec have their tiny drones like the Breeze which seemed to be a major hit but have moved into the shadows after the Spark was introduced over a year ago. Even being that old, this drone still dominates its niche market of new drone pilots or experienced flyers that need something portable.
When the Spark was first released it did not come with a remote, you had to purchase this separately for $120 on top of the $399 price tag on the drone. The remote without a doubt made flying easier and was a must-have if you wanted to do any serious flying. With the recent release of the Mavic Air, DJI has crowded the market, creating its own competition.
With the Mavic Air priced at $799, it fell right in between the Spark and Mavic Pro in terms of specs and also the cost. To justify buying the Spark, DJI is now including the controller with any purchase of the Spark making it half the price of the Mavic Air.
The Mavic Air is without a doubt a more capable drone than the Spark due to its longer flight time, faster top speed, and 4K camera. Some even say that the Mavic Air is better than the Mavic Pro with its Achilles heel being the WiFi transmission system that is far inferior to OcuSync. I personally beg to differ after months of testing. OcuSync and the extended flight time on the Mavic Pro have made me appreciate the original foldable drone from DJI even more.
Each of these drones right now is evenly spaced apart in terms of specs, which means if the Spark did see an upgrade, it would begin to cannibalize sales of the Mavic AIr. Even with just a 4K camera, for half of the price, the Spark would become a serious competitor to the watered down Mavic Pro.
It’s worth mentioning that the RYZE Tello is also a competitor to the Spark but caters to a less experienced audience. It is classified as a toy drone and works great indoors, but from my personal experience, the wind pushes it around too much outside. If getting into drones is something you are serious about, the Spark is the go-to in terms of a beginner drone.
The future of the Spark
Right now, the Spark is the perfect beginner drone. It boasts powerful specs for the price, but if those specs were upgraded, then it starts to move out of the “beginner” territory. If Spark users are looking for an upgrade, the Mavic Air is a great option and gives you a small form factor with even better specs. If you really want an upgrade, you can always check out the Phantom 4 Pro.
This year is not the year we will see an upgrade to the Spark lineup, but as the Mavic and Phantom series further themselves with better specs, the Spark could see some new features added in a total refresh.
What do you think about this prediction? Let us know in the comments below.
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