DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone

Two drones that look very different, so why am I comparing this two models? Because of they have a similar price as you can get them for 400 USD, making them a great starter drone. While DJI Spark is very compact in size it only offers 1080p full HD video stabilised by a 2-axis gimbal. On the other hand Xiaomi Mi 4K drone seems massive in size, but it can record 4K resolution videos and offers a higher frame rate in 1080p. Furthermore the video is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal.

Would be great to have the small size of DJI Spark combined with the video capabilities of Xiaomi Mi 4K, right? Well there is: DJI Mavic Pro or DJI Mavic Air. But keep in mind even for the price of DJI Mavic Air you could get both: Spark & MI 4K!
So let’s check out which one is more suitable for you:

 

Body

DJI Spark vs Mi 4K Drone - Size comparison

DJI Spark vs Mi 4K Drone – Size comparison

° Remote Control required – not included / Distance according to video transmission.
* Flight times are as stated by the company. My experience tells me: Spark 10-12 min / Mi 4K drone: 18-20 min.
°° taken from Mi website. Remote control works for a distance up to 2000m.

Size

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone Controller (!)

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone Controller (!)

In terms of size both drones are in a different league. Spark is even smaller than Xiaomi Mi Drone’s remote controller. Of course it’s super convenient to have such a small drone which you can carry in your pocket. For Xiaomi Mi drone you need a separate backpack to take it with you. Well you can fold the landing gear and detach the gimbal, that’s a bit better to transport (at least compared to DJI Phantom series).
Without remote controller DJI Spark is pretty limited in its flight capabilities. When flying with just a phone you are limited to 100m / 328ft range and 50m / 164 ft height. So only with the optional remote controller Spark can compete with Xiaomi Mi in terms of distance & speed.

 

Battery

DJI Spark vs Mi 4K Drone - Battery

DJI Spark vs Mi 4K Drone – Battery

Xiaomi Mi Drone’s battery is heavier than DJI Spark – the actual drone incl. battery! But that results in a longer flight time of course. DJI Spark’s battery is charged via the drone. When you go for the Fly More Combo not only a second battery is included, you also get a charging hub for up to 3 batteries. Xiaomi Mi drone has a dedicated charger for one battery. Both batteries hold 4 LEDs which indicated state of charge when you press the button next to them.

 

Camera

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone - Camera

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone – Camera

Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone obviously impresses video & photo enthusiasts: 4K resolution, 2.5K with 60fps and HD with a max. of 100 fps. Furthermore it can shoot RAW photos. The 1080p 30fps of DJI Spark don’t really impress, but the quality of the footage looks better than one would assume. Still if you are into video making, Mi Drone might be better suited – of course if you have the space to take it with you.

The manual settings on both drones are not what a photographer / videographer would wish for as they are very limited. With Mi drone you can’t even select manual ISO, with Spark only for photos.

 

Remote Controller

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone - Remote Controller

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone – Remote Controller

! Note: you can’t use other DJI controller for Spark!

Basically you can fly DJI Spark with your smartphone (or even just with your hands). That’s good for simple selfies and a bit of fun. If you really want to fly your drone – also higher and faster – or adjust your videos and photos, I highly recommend getting the remote controller. It’s more fun and you can precisely navigate your Spark. Same as the drone itself also the controller is more compact and lighter. On the other hand I think Xiaomi Mi drone’s controller is better in hand. Btw you can’t fly Xiaomi Mi Drone just with your phone.

DJI Spark’s controller connects to your phone via wifi which then connects to your drone. For Xiaomi you get a wifi dongle to connect wirelessly or a microUSB OTG cable is included as well.

 

Intelligent Flight Modes & Sensors

DJI Spark vs Mi 4K Drone - App

DJI Spark vs Mi 4K Drone – App / Flight Modes

DJI Spark seems to be the “saver to fly” drone as it offers obstacle avoidance, with Xiaomi there are no sensors that help you to avoid a crash. Gesture control is a nice feature on Spark, especially when you want some video footage without paying much attention on flying the drone. Still you are very limited with the possible result. I did a video on gesture control if you want more insights.
In terms of automated flight modes / quick shots DJI Sparks offers a bit more of a choice. On the other hand Xiaomi Mijia offers waypoint flying where you can predefine the flight path. A very important feature missing on Mi 4K drone is active track. It’s so convenient to mark a subject on the screen and let Spark follow it. Another great tool for video filming is tripod mode which slows the controls to get smooth shots. Sure you could change some settings on Xiaomi Mi Drone, but switching to and back from this mode on Spark is way faster.

 

Accessories / Specials

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone - What's in the box?

DJI Spark vs Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone – What’s in the box?

DJI Spark comes with

  • USB Cable
  • 2 extra Propellers
  • Hard Foam “case”

Fly More Combo also includes
(approx. 150 USD extra)

  • Remote Controller
  • 2nd Battery
  • Charging Hub
  • 2 more Propellers
  • Propeller Guards
  • Shoulder Bag
Xiaomi Mi Drone 4K comes with

  • Remote Controller
  • Charger
  • USB Cable (OTG) / USB wifi dongle
  • 4 extra propellers
DJI Spark Specials and Remarks

You can get DJI Care Refresh, DJI’s very own service plan. When you damage your Spark you can send it in and get a new one. That’s possible twice during the one year period. DJI care has to be activated within 48hrs of purchase and is valid for one year. For more info visit DJI’s website.

Xiaomi Mi Drone 4K Specials and Remarks

Xiaomi offers a camera handle grip. You can detach the camera including gimbal from the drone, place it on the grip and get yourself a handheld, 3-axis stabilised camera. The grip is available for about 75 USD.

As there is no bag included with Xiaomi Mi Drone, here’s a tip. Xiaomi’s product lineup holds 2 backpacks which fit the drone perfectly. A 17L model and a 26L model.

 

Video

I didn’t have time to do a proper side by side comparison, therefore here are some unedited clips from my friend Marco:

 

Retailer / Price Comparison

DJI Spark

DJI Store: 399 USD // 499 EUR* (comes with free remote)

TomTop: 409 USD // 339 EUR*

Gearbest: 429 USD // 355 EUR*

Banggood: 519 USD // 426 EUR

 

DJI Spark – Fly More Combo

DJI Store: 549 USD // 649 EUR

TomTop: 599 USD // 497 EUR*

Gearbest: 629 USD // 522 EUR*

Banggood: 699 USD // 574 EUR

 

* Whereas DJI Store adds European tax to their prices, TomTop and Gearbest ship to Europe without adding taxes. At TomTop pay attention to the red text below the article’s name which countries are included. At Gearbest select “Germany Express shipping”.

Xiaomi Mi 4K

TomTop: 499 USD // 382 EUR* (US Warehouse)

Gearbest: 459 USD // 399 EUR*

Banggood: 422 USD // 360 EUR – Coupon Code: a6d3bd

 

* TomTop and Gearbest ship to Europe for free without adding taxes. At TomTop pay attention to the red text below the article’s name which countries are included. At Gearbest select “Germany Express shipping”.

 

Conclusion

As already mentioned in the beginning: Spark is a small & light drone, easy to carry but limited in video capabilities. Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone offers better resolution video, higher frame rates, higher bitrate and RAW photo, but it is large and heavy. The ideal mix would be DJI Mavic Air (to start with the lowest priced competitor). But again for the price of Mavic Air you could buy both Spark and Xiaomi Mi Drone. So if you want to spend around 400 USD to start with a drone the option is: better video features, but you might not always take it with you due to its size. Or a portable drone you can always take with you without hassle, but with limited video capabilities. Guess it depends on the personal needs which one to go for: are you trying to get videos in the first place or do you plan to fly your drone.

 

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