A weekend with DJI’s new Spark drone

DJI’s new Spark drone is an impressive feat
of engineering and a reminder that drones are a ways from being true mainstream devices. It’s DJI’s smallest and cheapest drone
by far, and the company has also tossed in some neat gesture control tricks that make
you feel like Luke Skywalker for the 16 minutes its in the air. But there are still some kinks to work out. The gesture control is tough to learn, for
one thing. And drones in general have a fair bit of regulation
to contend with. Truly mastering the drone takes more than
a couple of days of testing, of course.There’s a noticeable delay between making a palm gesture
and the corresponding drone movement. And in a few cases, the Spark seemed to behave
erratically based on a simple gesture. Even so, the Spark is a good candidate for
those who have been eyeing a drone, but don’t have the funds or technical skill to pilot
a high-end rig. There are, naturally, some safety features
on board. But poor Veanne still managed to get caught
up in the crossfire when attempting to pull off one of the built-in features. But that brings into sharp relief the fact
that the Spark isn’t really the beginners product it might have seemed at first. Thankfully, there’s a pretty robust warranty
system in place, as you work through the process. And the device’s slew of different tricks
will keep owners entertained once they’ve got a handle on the control system. It’s pretty safe to say we were in awe when
the Spark debuted the other week. It had been about half a year since the Mavic
Pro first started shipping, and here was DJI introducing something even smaller. The Spark weight a full pound less than the
Mavic and is roughly half its size. And it really is an impressive little device. You really can hold it in the palm of your
hand. The coolest thing about the Spark being palm-sized
is that you can use said palms as launch and landing pads. Battery life is really the biggest downside. The company rates it 16 minutes. That’s a bit more than half what the Mavic
can do on a charge. For the most part, the drone’s obstacle
avoidance works as advertised, with the drone stopping and hovering in place before colliding
with an object. $499 is an easier pill to swallow for those
who have been eying drone ownership for a while. As a rule, we try to send products back to
companies in the same state they arrived in, but that’s a hazard of real-world testing
a product with four spinning blades: sometimes things end up covered in dirt and grass and
the sacrificial blood of one poor TC staff member. As for the blood, that part came thanks to
a botched landing.

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18 thoughts on “A weekend with DJI’s new Spark drone

  1. A little hard to understand you at times. Your voice mumbles and fades, but still a great, honest review.
    Thumbs up.

  2. User incompetence shouldn't put a downer on the device, kinda expect more from a review by TechCrunch to be honest not 2 minutes of people messing around in a park.

  3. if you really cut your hand, this whole freaking video will be in upper case and be all about it, with photoes all over your garbage social network, such pathetic biased sht

  4. I normally leave comments on YouTube, but I have to for this video. The speaker talks way too fast and I only understood 50% of what he said. Hopefully he reads this and speaks slower in the next video.

  5. I don't think anyone should be reviewing the DJI Spark until the controller comes out. That's the format DJI plan for public, with or without controller. Then reviewers can make an assessment based on, expectantly, updated firmware.

  6. I thought I was having a heart attack or something. Couldn't understand half of what he was saying. It's like I was from a 3rd world country watching a USA video.

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