The DJI Spark is a fantastic drone. But it has one drawback. It does not come with a remote (unless you buy the Fly More Combo).
So, if you just buy the Spark on it's own, you have to use your phone or tablet to control it.
But, is that such a bad thing?
The simple answer for me, is yes. It limits not only the distance you can go (significantly) but also how easily and well you can control the drone.
Now, let's take a more look at the pros and cons and see if it's worth getting the Spark Remote or not?
Pros Of The Remote
Just using a phone or tablet is ok, but a remote brings lots of cool benefits:
- Increased range of up to 1.2 mi (2 km) away ( 390ft /120m height)
- Improved speed - Top speed of 31 mph (50 kph) in Sport mode.
- Connects with phones (iPhone, Android) and tablets
- Dedicated function buttons: For controls, camera, return home etc
By having a remote, you are turning your drone from a bit of a toy into a pro level drone that you can fly super fast and long distances.
Note: With just a phone you can only fly about 300 ft (100m) away. Quite short.
The remote control also gives you better control with the joysticks and dedicated buttons so you can fly more easily and operate all the functions with the flick of a switch, instead of stumbling around the app.
And let's not forget that if you use your screen as the controller, you lose a lot of visibility. Your hands and fingers are all over the screen and you won't be able to see what the drone sees via the camera as easily. Which is a pain, and can cause you a lot of problems.
Compared to a lot of selfie drones out there the Spark stands out because it does have the option of a remote controller.
Pros Of Just A Phone As A Controller
If you want to be super portable, then going "without a remote controller" is not a bad idea. It is one less thing to carry, and one less thing to have to fiddle with to start the drone.
It is also a bit cheaper of course, so if you are just starting out, maybe go without the remote first until you "fall in love" with drones, and then you will want it. Trust me :>
Also, if you are just going to use this as a selfie drone, and use the gestures with hand launch, then maybe a it's overkill (but keep in mind you are limited to 300ft when you don't have a remote).
But, it's a bit of a shame not to use this drone to it's full capabilities and get awesome footage high up at long distance. Or just fly fast!
The choice really comes down to two things:
1. Are you just starting out and not sure what you are going to use the Spark for, or you just want to save money at the moment. Go for just the drone and see how you go.
2. If you want to get the most out of your Spark investment, and have way more fun and options, then go with the remote.
If you are thinking of getting the Spark remote when you buy the drone then grab the fly more package because you get all of the following for just a bit more money: Remote controller, an extra battery, handy propeller guards, a charger (instead of USB charging), power cable, battery charging hub (instead of charging directly on drone), and a useful shoulder bag to carry all your stuff..
No matter what you decide, you are going to fall in love with drones and aerial photography :>