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The MAVIC Pro is the best drone, all things considered. It is portable and shoots up to 4K at 30 frames per second. It’s very easy to fly and also has plenty of obstacle avoidance sensors. Between these two mini drones, the MAVIC is the winner in almost every category, but it is more expensive [check price on Amazon]. The MAVIC does come with a remote controller (the basic Spark package does not) and has much better battery life at ~25 minutes on a single charge (vs. ~15 minutes for the Spark). The range for the MAVIC with the remote is nearly 4 miles, which is just crazy. The Spark with the remote has a range of 1 mile and about 100 meters with just your phone.
In terms of video quality, you’ll find that the MAVIC, even in 1080p, shows more detail and tends to be a little more saturated than the Spark—the MAVIC has a higher max bitrate than the Spark. Additionally, the MAVIC has a 3-axis gimbal, which means its footage looks smoother in more situations, whereas the Spark has a 2-axis gimbal. And since the Spark admittedly gets pushed around by the wind more than the MAVIC, the gimbal is a rather important feature. If you can afford the MAVIC, it’s definitely the way to go, even though the Spark is fun to fly.
The DJI Spark is tiny and really fun to fly. It’s definitely your entry-level drone, but it also happens to be pretty smart and is just a good drone overall. Its biggest advantage over the MAVIC Pro is the fact that it’s very compact and portable, however, once you stuff it into the storage case, it’s not really that much more portable than the MAVIC. So, while it is smaller, it’s not that much smaller.
Additionally, the Spark has an MSRP of $500 [check price on Amazon], which is half of the cost of the MAVIC Pro. With that being said, it’s advisable to look into the DJI Spark Fly More Combo [check price on Amazon] because that comes with a physical remote controller plus an extra battery. The remote allows you to have more fun with your Spark and it gives you better range and control over the drone. The extra battery is key because the Spark has about 15 minutes of flight time on a single charge—respectable considering the Spark’s size, but still not long enough for any real fun. The other really neat feature that the Spark has is that you can control it purely with gestures. You kind of feel like you’re in Star Wars, waving your hand around and the drone follows you. I was really into it in this picture below.
Pretty neat stuff. The gesture controls are not a reason you get the Spark, but you’ll enjoy showing your friends what the Spark can do. On top of that, both the MAVIC and Spark have ActiveTrack, which allows you to follow a subject, either with the camera angle or by literally tracking that subject’s every move. Early on, the Spark had a few issues with ActiveTrack, but we updated the firmware and it’s good to go now. Bottom line with the Spark, it’s fun to fly, it’s easy to use, it’s relatively affordable, and it’s a quality consumer-level drone.