Hats off to SB-dji.com for scoping out the first news and photos of the DJI Spark drone.
Smaller Than An iPhone 6
The new Spark measures just 5″ on center between the front and rear motors. To put this in perspective the total length of this drone is shorter than an iPhone 6!!!
The next thing you’ll notice is that the DJI Spark uses folding propellors that are the same style as the DJI Mavic Pro. But, unlike the Mavic, this new Spark has fixed arms.
Removable Battery Doubles As Landing Gear
But there’s one standout feature that we’re a little concerned about: the bottom mounted battery is also the landing gear. You heard right. When you land a DJI Spark, that impact is on a part of the drone that is specifically designed to disengage for removal. We have to think that repeated hard landings could cause problems over time for both the battery and the terminal connections, as well as whatever latch mechanism is used to hold the battery in place.
The front mounted dual axis camera has an offset lens that appears to share space with a slightly smaller front facing sensor, although we can’t tell if the sensor is for determining proximity for navigation or an auto-focus sensor.
No Remote Control?
Looking at the leaked photos, it’s interesting what isn’t visible in them. Where’s the controller? Is this compact little selfie drone controlled only by a smartphone or tablet? That’s definitely a new twist.
It’s not surprising that we’re getting this one second hand from a blogger in China. If you look at the top line on the application for the Spark (highlighted inside the yellow box) it tells us who the manufacturer is. Despite the DJI Logo on the drone, it’s actually made by “Shenzhen City Xinjiang Innovative Technology Co., Ltd….so it’s unlikely we would have heard about it through our normal channels.
The long red rectangle advises what the Spark’s “launch power (electric field strength) is according to our translator, and it operates in the 2.4-5.8 Ghz range.
The Spark is fresh out of the test lab, as this document also reveals that the testing date was March 24th, 2017.
We’ll keep our ear to the ground for some deeper specs and more detail on where it will be launched first (we suspect it is being released in China first).