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DJI Spark vs DJI Mavic Air vs
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Comparison

DJI Spark

 

SPARK
STARTING AT $399

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DJI MAVIC AIR

 

MAVIC AIR
STARTING AT $799

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DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Bundle Kits

 

MAVIC PLATINUM
STARTING AT $1,099

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Folded:
Does Not Fold
Unfolded:
5.63x5.63x2.16 in (L×W×H)

Folded:
6.61×3.26×1.92 in (L×W×H)
Unfolded:
6.61×7.24×2.51 in (L×W×H)

Folded:
7.79×3.26×3.26 in (L×W×H)
Unfolded:
12.00×9.60×3.34 in (L×W×H)


16 Min
(2970 mAh battery)

21 Min
(2970 mAh battery)

30 Min
(2970 mAh battery)

4K 8-Element Red
(60 Mbps Video)

4K 8-Element Red
(100 Mbps Video)

4K 8-Element Red
(60 Mbps Video)


≈ 1.2 Miles

≈ 2.4 Miles

≈ 4.3 Miles


Yes (1 Direction)


Yes (3 Directions)


Yes (2 Directions)

Yes Yes No


2.4 GHz & 5.8 GHz


2.4 GHz & 5.8 GHz


2.4 GHz

DJI SPARK

 

SPARK
STARTING AT $399

SHOP NOW
DJI MAVIC AIR

 

MAVIC AIR
STARTING AT $799

SHOP NOW
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Bundle Kits

 

MAVIC PLATINUM
STARTING AT $1,099

SHOP NOW
 
 

 

 

With the arrival of the DJI Spark in May 2017 DJI introduced a drone even smaller than their Mavic Pro, equipped with plenty of exciting features. They upped the ante further in August 2017 with the arrival of the sleek Mavic Pro Platinum, a drone 60% quieter than the original Mavic Pro. Last but not least is the Mavic Air, revealed in January 2018, with brand new camera modes, hand gesture controls like the Spark, and 3 directional environment sensing.

This DJI Spark vs DJI Mavic Pro Platinum vs DJI Mavic Air comparison is important for DJI newcomers & longtime DJI drone owners as a reource for understanding the unique characteristics of these three aircraft.

Join us as we explore how the Spark, Mavic Pro Platinum, and Mavic Air are alike and dissimilar in our breakdown:

Size and Weight

It's important to first evaluate how these drones are alike in size. All three drones are designed to travel well and be ready to fly in seconds, rather than minutes. The Spark weighs 0.66 pounds (300 g) with the battery, while the Mavic Platinum weighs a pound more at 1.62 pounds (734 g). The Mavic Air splits the difference between the two, weighing 0.95 pounds (430 g).

With fixed arms, the Spark cannot fold up, and is therefore slightly wider than the Mavic when folded. At its most compact, the Platinum Mavic is slightly smaller than the Spark, with dimensions of 3.2 (H) x 3.2 (W) x 7.8 (L) inches (Mavic) and 2.1(H) x 5.6 (W) x 5.6( L) inches (Spark) respectively. When fully extended and ready to fly, the Mavic is 3.5 x 12 x 11 inches, approximately double in size. Once again the Mavic Air is the middle ground, offering 2.4 (H) x  7.2 (W) x  6.6 (L) inches when extended for flight. 

DJI Spark and Mavic Size Comparison

Winner: Mavic Air, because it offers the portability that the DJI Mavic Series is known for, a step up from the fixed arms of the Spark. Plus, it is incredibly lightweight!

 

Camera

All three drones offer 12 MP photos and a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor size. Both the Platinum and Mavic Air use a 3-axis gimbal, while the Spark relies on a 2-axis gimbal. The other difference in the Mavic Air is the angular vibration range, which has been reduced to 0.005°. This adjustment, coupled with the gimbal dampeners, helps to create shots that are steadier than ever before.

Of the three, the Platinum delivers the best aperture: f/2.2. Spark uses f/2.6 and the Mavic Air has f/2.8. This is significant because the wider aperture of the Platinum allows for more light, resulting in better, brighter photography in low light conditions.

The DJI Spark is capable of FHD: 1920×1080 at 30 frames per second, while the Mavic Platinum records 4K video at 30 frames per second. The Mavic Air also records 4K at 30 fps, but does so with an improved bitrate of 100 mbps, a full 40 mbps faster than the Mavic Platinum!

Gesture control is available on both the Spark and Mavic Air, but not the Platinum. This technology allows you to take a picture without using a dedicated controller or a phone, complete with palm takeoff and landing on the Spark, which has been improved in the Mavic Air.

Last but not least, the Mavic Platinum and Mavic Air cameras can be adjusted prior to shooting, including different color profiles and style settings, while Spark pilots are restricted to the default camera settings. 

Winner: Mavic Air. Its combination of camera improvements, 4K video, and faster bitrate make it the king of cameras.

 

Spark

Mavic Pro Platinum

Mavic Air 
Sensor Size 1/2.3" 1/2.3" 1/2.3"
Film Rate 12 MP and FHD 1920x1080 12.35 MP and 4K Video 12 MP and 4K Video
Shutter Type Electronic Electronic Electronic
Aperture F/2.6e F/2.2 F/2.8
Max Video Bitrate 24 mbps 60 mpbs 100 mbps
Camera Image DJI Spark Camera DJI Mavic Pro camera DJI Mavic Air Camera Lens

 

 

Flight Time

Being a mini drone, the DJI Spark has the shortest flight time, clocking in at 16 minutes. This puts it at the front of the pack for flight time among comparable mini drones. The Mavic Pro Platinum (30 minutes) and Mavic Air (21 minutes) drones both achieve higher flight times, respectively.

For comparison's sake, the Spark battery is 1480 mAh, the Platinum battery is 3830 mAh and the Mavic Air falls in between at 2970 mAh. The Mavic is so aerodynamically inclined that it lasts longer while flying than hovering.

One final element worth mentioning is how both drones charge: the Spark uses a handy dock that you place the entire drone in to begin charging, while the Mavic Intelligent Flight battery must be removed and put in the charging station alone. (All of the details for each of these drones can be found on their Specs pages: Mavic Pro Specs, Spark Specs, Mavic Air Specs

Winner: The Mavic Pro Platinum is the clear winner, achieving an impresive 30 minutes of flight.  

 

Flight Modes

The flight modes built into the Spark were a big selling point for the DJI Spark, and at the time of its arrival it was the only DJI drone with those flight modes and gesture controls. Since then, the DJI Mavic Air debuted with those gesture controls standard. The Mavic Pro Platinum has all of the traditional Intelligent Flight Modes DJI is known for, including Active Track, TapFly, and Terrain Follow. The Spark has all of those too, and is also compatible with the DJI Goggles for FPV flight like the Mavic. But the real eye-catching capabilites of the Spark are the QuickShot flight modes DJI crafted for it. Currently the Platinum Mavic does not have these modes, but the Mavic Air upped the ante once more, introducing brand new camera modes for unique photography and videograpy.

 

DJI Spark QuickShot Rocket
  • Rocket- Ascend with the camera pointing downward, revealing a unique perspective from above.
DJI Spark QuickShot Dronie
  • Dronie- Fly backward and upward, with the camera locked on your subject, creating an epic shot that captures the big perspective of the world around the subject.
DJI Spark QuickShot Circle
  • Circle- Keeps the subject locked in the center of the frame, as the Spark automatically flies a circle around it.
DJI SPark QuickShot Helix
  • Helix- Starts close to the subject before flying up, away, and around in larger and larger circles.

 

The PalmControl gestures are unique to the DJI Spark, giving pilots control with their hands after first being identified through facial recognition. This technology is incredible to watch, and illustrates how DJI innovation continues to be a high priority. Upon confirmation through the facial recognition, the Spark can be controlled by moving your palm up, down, left, right, backwards, and forwards. A camera motion with your hands engages the camera, taking a picture of you and your surroundings. Wave one hand to active ActiveTrack, which means the Spark will track you as you move around. Wave two hands and the Spark will come back to you and identify your palm before landing precisely on it.

DJI appears to have improved upon these hand gestures, with Mavic Air owners reporting greater sensitivity to movement. The "hand camera" motion on the Mavic Air activates recording, rather than snap a photo. Other hand gestures enable you to change the height of the drone, a feature that is unique to the Mavic Air. 

Watch the video below to see the Spark gesture controls in action:

 

Winner: Mavic Air. This new drone takes the fun gesture controls of the Spark and adds some enjoyable new camera modes to make it the complete package.

 

Transmission Distance

Each of these drones has different remote controller transmission distances. With a mobile device, the Spark and Platinum distances are identical: 109 yards in distance and 54 yards in height. The Mavic Air can reach an impressive 262 feet in distance and 164 feet in height.

Using the dedicated remote controller and Wifi the Spark can travel 1.2 miles. On the other hand, the Mavic Pro Platinum transmits up to 4.3 miles thanks to OccuSync technology, and can even fly beyond this distance with our Maxx Mod Remote Controller. The Mavic Air, despite not using OccuSync technology, can fly up to 4.3 miles away as well. 

The difference with a controller for the Spark in comparison to the Mavic drones is substantial -- the 1.2 mile range is reminiscent of the lackluster performance of the Phantom 3 Standard. Many everyday field tests indicate a drop, with the Spark reaching between 1/4 and 1/2 of a mile in urban areas with mild interference.

Winner: Mavic Pro Platinum. By virtue of its stronger, robust OccuSync technology, the Mavic can fly great distances and do so reliably.

 

Sensors

All three drones are equipped with obstacle sensing, but the Mavic Air's system is the most advanced. The 3 dimensional sensing on this aircraft is impressive. Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems allow the aircraft to seamlessly bypass obstacles in front and behind. 

When travelling up to 6.7 mph, the Spark will detect objects in front of it between 1-16 feet. The Mavic Air can detect objects while traveling up to 17.8 mph and up to 39 feet in front. The Mavic Pro Platinum can travel up to 22 mph while detecting objects between 2-49 feet in front of it. 

Click here to read more about the Spark and discover how another reviewer feels about DJI's latest drone. 

Winner: Mavic Air. The ability to detect objects in front, below, and behind make it the clear victor here. 

 

Price

This is a very important factor for customers old and new. The Spark is considerably cheaper than the Mavic Pro Platinum, costing just $399 without the controller that comes in the Fly More Combo. Conversely, the Mavic Pro Platinumstandard package costs $1099.The Fly More Combo for the Spark includes extra propellers, propeller guards, an extra battery, power cable, charger, charging hub, micro USB cable, priced at $699. Similarly, the Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More Combo includes an extra battery, batter charging hub, car charger, battery to power bank adaptor, and shoulder bag, for $1299. (Discover everything included by checking out the unboxing of both the DJI Mavic Pro kit and DJI Spark kit

Winner: Mavic Air. For the price, this is the best option, because it offers a great camera, innovative new features, and souped-up gesture controls. 

 

Overall

Undoubtedly, this trio of drones offer different options at different price points. When choosing a winner among them, it largely depends on what you are looking for in an aircraft. More serious flyers who value long flight times, better quality video, and more capabilities will favor the Mavic Platinum and Mavic Air. For a quick and easy-to-use drone ideal for shorter flights and beginner pilots, the Spark is the better choice. But the Mavic Air offers the same great features Mavic owners have come to know and love, with a healthy smattering of exciting new elements. (If you still have questions, be sure to check out both the DJI Spark FAQ, DJI Mavic Air FAQ, and DJI Mavic Pro Platinum FAQ pages)

Winner: Draw. This is a toss-up, because the Platinum Mavic offers more flight time, greater distance, and better videos, but costs considerably more. The Spark is much more geared towards casual drone fans, while the Platinum provides a more professional option for serious drone enthusiasts. Last but not least, the Mavic Air offers a comfortable middle ground between the two, offering some fantastic features for a middle-of-the-road price. 

 

 

Kits and Accessories

Whether you are new to the DJI drone family or a longtime owner, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is a top notch drone for many reasons. Here at Drone World, we've taken this incredible aircraft and made it even better with our Mavic Pro Platinum MaXX Mod Upgrade Kit, positvely bursting with useful augmentations. These additions begin with our 3 Hot-Swap Antennas, perfect for boosting the Mavic's range, flying FPV style, or getting the best HD signal on your tablet. The MaXX Mod Kit also boasts the Award-Winning Backpack complete with a rapid deploy compartment, and the perfect amount of space for housing your Mavic with all its accessories. It's a backpack no drone pilot should leave home without, perfect for getting your drone in the air in seconds rather than minutes! Discover all of the wonderful elements we've compiled in our coveted MaXX Mod Kit.

 

 

DJI Spark FPV Drone Kit Bundles

 

Stay tuned as we are currently developing exclusive accessories for the DJI Mavic Air! You can find all of the DJI standard accessories, including the Fly More Combo, here at Drone World. Rest assured our tech gurus are hard at work developing the latest and greatest accessories for the DJI Mavic Air, and we will continue to roll them out as we complete our testing and research.

 

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