UPDATE: We now have official UK and AU pricing for the DJI Spark – find out how much it costs below.
Drones may be getting smaller and more affordable than ever, but few have yet to hit the honest-to-goodness mainstream audience. To that end, DJI is putting a big bet on its smallest and easiest-to-control drone yet, the Spark.
Although the DJI Spark comes with a controller, you practically don’t need it, thanks to its intuitive gesture controls. Users can easily launch the drone from the palm of their hand simply telling it where to fly with hand gestures, and tell it to take a photo by forming a picture frame with their fingers.
The DJI Spark comes with all the same smart collision-avoidance technology as its bigger Mavic Pro brother, and then some, with two GPS/GLONASS radios as well as infrared cameras.
Additionally, DJI has introduced four new automatic flight maneuvers called Quickshots, which are similar to the GoPro Karma Drone’s Auto Shot Paths. Dronie Mode is for taking an aerial selfie, Helix Mode has the drone take an upwardly spiraling path, Rocket sends the drone straight into the sky with the camera looking down, and Circle will have the drone rotate around the users.
From these Quickshots, the Spark will automatically stitch together 10-second videos.
The Spark measures a scant 143 x 143 x 55mm – your morning coffee is probably bigger than this drone. But despite its diminutive size the DJI is no small fry, with the ability to fly up to 31mph and a maximum flight time of 16 minutes.
For video capture, the DJI Spark is equipped with a 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that can capture Full HD video at 30p and 3968 × 2976 resolution images. In front of the digital sensor is a 25mm lens (35mm equivalent) that captures an effective 81.8-degree field of view.
The DJI Spark is available for preorder now for $499 / £519 / AU$859, and will begin shipping in mid-June. DJI is also offering a Fly More kit that includes the drone plus a set of replacement propellers, an additional battery, a battery charging hub, and a shoulder bag for $699 / £699 / AU$1,199.
- Check our list of the best drones to rule the skies