Over the last six months, the biggest trend in the drone industry has been shrinking the size of the units to make them more portable and accessible. Today DJI unveiled its latest aircraft, the Spark, a mini drone that weighs in at less than a single pound (0.6 pounds, to be exact). But just as it did with the Mavic Pro, the company has managed to squeeze a ton of powerful features into this small package.
Along with its form factor, the other thing DJI managed to shrink on this unit was the price. Until now, every new unit the company released has started close to $1,000. The Spark will cost just $499, putting it up against cheaper units from Parrot, Yuneec, and ZeroTech.
The Spark will have an intelligent fight controls like ActiveTrack and TapFly, which were present in DJI’s premium Phantom 4 drone. You can use gesture control to maneuver the drone in any direction, Jedi-style, or use a smartphone to control it up to 109 yards away. Battery life clocks in at 16 minutes of flight time on a single charge, but you can charge on the go with a Micro USB. DJI will be selling an accessories package that includes a charging hub, propeller guards, an extra battery you can swap out from the Spark, a remote control, and more for an additional $200.
Spark’s camera is supported by a two-axis gimbal and can capture 1080p video and 12-megapixel still photos. A new feature called QuickShot lets the drone shoot one minute of footage and edit it down to 10 seconds for you to share. The Spark has onboard sensors that allow it to dodge obstacles, with the drone’s top speed maxing out at 31 miles per hour.
You can watch a hands-on of the DJI Spark via YouTube blogger Julien Solomita below: