To save you time and energy, I’ll just tell you straight up that the Mavic Mini 1 (not even talking about the Mini 2) is in most cases a better drone to get than the DJI Spark and I happen to own a Spark, and this is just the truth.
In this post, what I want to do is compare both drones a bit more closely to help you decide which of them to get. I’ve owned a DJI Spark since 2017 and have actually considered selling it a few times to get the original Mini, but now that Mini 2 is out, I’m even more so leaning to doing this. But anyway, allow me to compare several categories between these 2 drones and tell you which is the clear winner in each:
Mavic Mini vs Spark, the 10 categories:
- Camera: Mini wins.
- Flight time: Mini wins.
- Safety: Spark wins.
- Intelligent flight modes: Spark wins.
- Portability: Mini wins.
- Pricing: Mini wins.
- Regulations: Mini wins.
- Beginner friendly? Both are equal here.
- Range: Mini wins.
- Noise: Mini wins (it’s quieter).
If you want a quick look at which drone is superior where, this answers it, but I want to get into the details of each category to help you understand why that is the case.
And again, if we’re comparing just the Mini 1 vs the Spark, this is the conclusion I have drawn. If you compare the Spark to the Mavic Mini 2, it’s even a more clear winner than the Mavic Mini 1.
1) Camera: Mini wins.
The original Mavic Mini can shoot 2.7k fps while the Spark can only go to 1080p max. In addition to that, the details in photos are very close with regards to each drone. With good editing skills, you can probably get amazing footage out of both drones, but in their default settings, the Mini will win in almost all cases.
Here is some footage I took on my Spark awhile back:
2) Flight time: Mini wins.
No question about it. 1 battery on the Mavic Mini will get you up to 30 minutes of flight time. With the Spark, you’re looking at 15 or less minutes if you’re lucky. This is why I have 3 batteries on my Spark.
3) Safety: Spark wins.
The only reason the Spark wins here is because it has 2 safety sensors that more or less offer SOME sort of detection and protection from obstacles. The Mavic Mini has no sensors whatsoever.
It also has a slightly better wind resistance as it weights a little more.
4) Intelligent flight modes: Spark wins because it has more.
The Spark has 6 flight modes to my knowledge, 1 of which is a really cool palm hand gesture control where it’ll follow your palm wherever it goes. The Mavic Mini from my knowledge doesn’t have anything but a regular follow me mode.
5) Portability: Mini wins.
It is literally the smallest drone in the DJI lineup to date and while the Spark is also pretty small, it’s slightly bigger than the Mini and setting it up is a bit annoying as you have a more special USB cable to connect to the remote (you can also use your phone to control it).
I love hiking and in the very near future am considering upgrading to the Mini 2 to record my hikes. So far I have only really used either the Mavic 2 Pro, or the Autel Evo 2 Pro to record my shots, and while they are portable too, it’s better to keep a Mini in my bag vs those 2 drones because the less it weights, the more functionality I have when hiking.
6) Pricing: Mini wins.
- A regular Spark with the remote goes for about $450 today.
- A Mini with a remote goes for about $399 today.
7) Regulations: Mini wins.
The whole 249grams is a big deal for the Mini as it bypasses a lot of UAV regulations. With the Spark, despite it being small and weighing a bit more, it would still far under all of the major drone laws and regulations.
8) Beginner friendly: Both drones are fine for this.
I have found the Spark to be a great beginner drone. It flies safely, slowly (unless you hit sports mode) and it’s a great introductory drone for people. The Mini also has similar features and is a wonderful beginner drone as well.
9) Range: Mini wins (easily).
One of the things that drives me nuts about the Spark is how despite there being a 1 km range on it supposedly, I sometimes lose connection within a 100 feet. I know range on a drone varies on many circumstances, but this is ridiculous. So far, the best range drones I’ve ever come across were:
- Autel Evo 2 Pro.
- Mavic 2 Pro.
- Mavic Pro 1.
- Phantom 4 Pro.
And the Mini is slightly less in range than these drones, but it’s levels above the Spark in range and can get up to 7 km.
10) Noise: Mini wins.
Good grief, if there’s anything that makes me want to get rid of the Spark, it’s the noise it emits when it flies. The only drone I’ve ever owned that was more annoying in regards to sound is the Mavic Air 1 and Phantom 4 Pro. Other than that, whenever I have to fly the Spark, I make sure to go somewhere where there is a lot of noise so I won’t annoy anyone, because trust me, this thing can be heard from far away.
The Mini isn’t exactly a ninja in the air either, BUT it is substantially more quieter than the Spark and to me at least, this is a huge deal. Portability and noise are major factors in my buying decisions with drones and speaking from experience, they should be a factor in your buying decisions too.
Overall: Mini wins, but if you own the Spark, should you switch?
My advice is to get the Mini 2 because it is even more superior to the original Mini and yes, both the Mini drones are largely superior to the Spark. If you however own a Spark and want to make a significant switch, a good option would the Mavic Air 2, or using the DJI Trade up program to sell that Spark and use the credit to get another drone.