DJI Spark vs DJI Phantom 3 Models – Which Drone To Buy?

If you click a link on this page and make a purchase we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

When it comes to drones, DJI is the Apple of this industry. The chinese giant simply dominates the market with all kinds of its models, from hobby drones that still come with professional drone features to the power drones packed with all kind of cutting-edge tech.

Each drone has its own set of pros and cons, but you need to choose one that is best fit for you and your goals.

Which feature rich drone is right for you? Read on as we explore both drones in detail. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly which one to buy!


If you are short in time, here is a quick run-down of the two DJI models: Spark, a super light but powerful drone vs DJI Phantom 3, a powerhouse aimed at professional pilots and videographers.

Basic InfoDJI Phantom 3 AdvancedDJI Spark
Weight2.8 lb0.7 lb
Flight time23 min16 min
Range5000 m2000 m
Top speed36 mph31 mph
Rotors44
Gimbal
Video 720p
Video 1080p
Video 2.7K
Video 4K
Video 5.2K
Megapixels12 MP12 MP
RemoteRemote with AppRemote with App + smartphone
Return home
ORBIT
Waypoint
Follow me
Check the latest priceCheck the latest price

If you want to check how Spark fares againt DJI models from Mavis series – click here where we compare Mavic Mini vs Mavic Air vs DJI Spark.

Camera

Both models have the same camera in terms of megapixels – 12 MP.

The difference is in video quality and frame rate since only Phantom 3 4K and Phantom 3 Pro have the ability to film in 4K resolution. And this is a big deal for videographers and professionals from this branche.

Other Phantom 3 models like Phantom 3 Standard and Phantom 3 Advanced can film in 2.7K, while the Spark comes in last with its 1080p maximum resolution (still considered HD quality).

The Phantom 3 4K comes with a 3-axis gimbal and a 4K camera making it a great fit for professional videography. It can also shoot video in 1080p at 60 fps allowing you to create slow motion footage in post production.

​The Spark has a 2-axis gimbal with a 1080p camera limited to 30fps. It is also capable of taking photos at 12.25 megapixels. For most non professional users, this is more than adequate as the difference in quality is not that obvious (Phantom 3 makes slightly smoother videos, of course).

ModelMegapixelsFrame rate
Phantom 3 Standard1230fps (2.7K)
Phantom 3 4K1230fps (4K)
Phantom 3 Advanced1230fps (2.7K)
Phantom 3 Pro1230fps (4K)
Spark1230fps (1080p)

Winner: Phantom 3 4K (click to buy)
Winner : Phantom 3 Pro (click to buy)

DJI Spark VS DJI Phantom 3: Maximum Speed

If you had to guess who is faster – which one would be your guess?

When it comes to speed, the Phantom 3 4K is jotted down to have a top speed of 35.8mph​, ​descending speed up to 6.7 mph and ​ascending speed of 11.2mph.

The DJI Spark tends to be a shred behind, recording a 31mph speed under the best conditions. Though it ascends and descends at 6.7mph which is comparable to the Phantom 3.

Check out the latest DJI machine - DJI Mavic Air 2.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great leap forward in comparison to Mavic Mini (and first generation of Mavic Air) in nearly every measurable respect:

✔️battery life

✔️flying range

✔️image and video quality

✔️transmission and controller

Click here to see the full specs!

None of these is a racing drone and if you put value on this, then have a look at our guide of best fastest drones on the market.

Winner – Phantom 3 (click to buy)

Battery & Flight Time

The gap in battery and flight time department is noticable.

The DJI Spark has a 11.4 V, 1480 mAh Lipo battery, ​which​​​ enables it to fly around 16 minutes before you have to land and recharge it. This is nothing spectacular but decent nonetheless.

The Phantom 3 is capable of staying in the air much longer. Coming with a battery of bigger capacity, a 15.2V, 4480 mAh battery, ​the Phantom 3 can buzz around in the air for about 25-minutes.

It is always a good idea to buy a spare battery or two so you don’t have to cut the fun and wait for battery recharge.

Winner – Phantom 3 (click to buy)


DJI Spark VS DJI Phantom 3: Maximum Flight Distance

Whether you choose to go with DJI Spark or Phantom 3, maximum distance ​a drone can make is an important decision criteria. The bigger the flight range, the more freedom you have in the air.

The DJI Spark can stay in contact within a 100 meter range when controlled with a smartphone, though that extends to around 2km when you use a transmitter. ​Considering Spark*s tiny size, this is more than impressive.

If you want to do some serious flying with the Spark, getting a transmitter is a must, as with ​a transmitter, the Spark breaks no sweat to beat the Phantom 3 in terms of distance.

The Phantom 3 4k has a 1200 meter range out of the box which is clearly 10x that of the Spark when piloted without a transmitter.

Winner – Spark (click to buy)

Obstacle Avoidance Sensor

This is one department where we have a clear winner and that is Spark as it comes with a high-tech sensor that can detect objects up to 16 feet ahead of it.

On the other hand, the Phantom 3 is an older model and this type of sensor wasn’t around (at least not in consumer drones) when it came out and it lacks this useful obstacle avoidance system.

Winner – Spark (click to buy)

Price

They’re both around the same price point but I don’t think it’s a matter of which drone is better but rather which drone fits your needs. Below is the current pricing structure of all Phantom 3 models and DJI Spark.

Model Approximate Price Check Current Price
Phantom 3 Standard $500
Phantom 3 4K$600
Phantom 3 Advanced$700
Phantom 3 Pro$800
Spark$550Click to buy

Winner – Spark (click to buy)

Size

This is the most obvious difference between these two models. DJI Spark is significantly smaller and lighter as it weighs a feathery 300g while measuring a diagonal distance of just 170mm​ (no propellers). This used to be the dominant model in this market segment (small but powerful) until DJI released Mavic Mini that definitely gives it a run for its money.

Natural consequence of the small size is easier transportation of Spark so if you are a frequent traveler – this one is for you.

The Phantom 3 4K is almost double the size and 4x the weight of Spark: it weighs 1300g and measures 350mm diagonally without the propellers. It is like LeBron James vs Leo Messi.

In storage department, it is a tie since both the Phantom 3, 4K and Spark have room to add a micro SD Card. That means you can have up to 64GB of onboard storage on both models.

However, if you want to record 4K video on a micro SD card be sure that you buy at least a Class 10 micro SD card.

Winner – Spark (click to buy)

XIAOMI Fimi X8 SE is a stunning piece of aircraft. When you add the price to its impressive performance power, you get one of the best ratio/value drones on the market right now. Click here to check the latest price!

Intelligent Flight Modes

Flight modes are designed with photographers in mind – pilots use them when they don’t want to bother with controlling the flight but rather focus on making stunning images or recordings.​

​Whether you chose the Phantom 3 or DJI Spark, you’ll have a host of high quality intelligent flight modes to choose from, as listed below.

DJI Spark Intelligent Flight Modes

  • Rocket Mode
  • Dronie
  • Gestures
  • Helix
  • Circle

DJI Phantom 3 4K Intelligent Flight Modes

  • Point of Interest
  • Waypoints
  • Home Lock
  • Follow Me
  • Course Lock

The DJI Spark also ​comes with a cool gesture control mode, which is not available on the older models like Phantom 3.

When using the Gesture control mode, you move the drone by making hand signals at the camera. The drone has sensors that recognize these movements and reacts accordingly.

Winner – Spark ( click to buy)

Conclusion – which one is better?

The DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is heavier drone with better range and flight time. Phantom 3 is also faster of the two as well.

However, Spark is easily portable thanks to its size and lightweight. It also features front-faced obstacle avoidance.

They both share a lot of features like different flight modes, follow-me and return to home options along with fast charging time.

As we mentioned above, it will come down to personal needs and preferences but generally speaking there is more value packed in Spark if we consider its price and size/portability.

Buy Phantom 3 now

Buy Spark now

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply