Drones

DJI Spark vs. Parrot Bebop 2

DJI Spark vs. Parrot Bebop 2
It's a Parrot vs DJI drone showdown
It's a Parrot vs DJI drone showdown
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Pricing for the Parrot Bebop and DJI Spark 
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Pricing for the Parrot Bebop and DJI Spark 
Release dates on the Spark and Bebop 2
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Release dates on the Spark and Bebop 2
The bigger Bebop has a more sophisticated gimbal than the Spark 
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The bigger Bebop has a more sophisticated gimbal than the Spark 
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Range is better on the Bebop 2
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Range is better on the Bebop 2
The battery is bigger on the Bebop 2
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The battery is bigger on the Bebop 2
The bigger Bebop is significantly heavier than the Spark 
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The bigger Bebop is significantly heavier than the Spark 
Ticks and crosses 
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Ticks and crosses 
Ticks all around 
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Ticks all around 
Flight time is much better in the Bebop
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Flight time is much better in the Bebop
It's a Parrot vs DJI drone showdown
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It's a Parrot vs DJI drone showdown

Earlier this year, DJI announced it would be taking on the entry-level, selfie drone market with its Spark. Along with challengers like the Yuneec Breeze, the smallest DJI quadcopter is priced within touching distance of the bigger Parrot Bebop 2. How do they compare?

Weight

The bigger Bebop is significantly heavier than the Spark 
The bigger Bebop is significantly heavier than the Spark 

The Bebop is significantly heavier than the Spark, but that extra weight is an advantage in some ways. More on that in a minute.

Battery

The battery is bigger on the Bebop 2
The battery is bigger on the Bebop 2

Parrot has slotted a big battery into the Bebop 2 – the original Bebop had an 1100 mAh unit, compared to the 2700 mAh pack in the latest Bebop 2. That translates to a healthy flight time, too.

Flight time

Flight time is much better in the Bebop
Flight time is much better in the Bebop

Parrot has a massive advantage over DJI when it comes to flight time. The bigger battery in the Bebop affords it a healthy 25 minute flight time, compared to 16 minutes for the Spark. The heavier Parrot drone is also likely to stand up better to buffeting in high winds.

Range

Range is better on the Bebop 2
Range is better on the Bebop 2

Both drones have similar range when connected to their (optional) flight controllers. The Bebop 2 does gain an advantage when users ditch the controller and use a smartphone to pilot their drones, with a range of 300 m (984 ft) compared to the Spark's 100 m (328 ft).

Max speed

The bigger Bebop 2 has the Spark's measure when it comes to maximum speed, too, with a 6 mph (10 km/h) higher quoted peak.

Camera

In keeping with the theme, the Bebop has the Spark pipped for camera resolution. Both cameras use very different lenses: Parrot has run with a 178-degree fisheye on the Bebop, compared to the 82-degree field-of-view you get from the lens on the Spark.

Video resolution

Both drones shoot 1080p video at 30 FPS. Rivals like the Yuneec Breeze offer 4K, as do more expensive drones in the DJI range.

Image stabilization

The bigger Bebop has a more sophisticated gimbal than the Spark 
The bigger Bebop has a more sophisticated gimbal than the Spark 

The three-way mechanical gimbal on the Bebop is likely to deliver slightly smoother footage than the two-way system on the Spark. Once again, the Parrot's larger size has afforded it extra capability.

GPS

Ticks all around 
Ticks all around 

Both drones come with GPS as standard.

Follow me

Ticks all around 
Ticks all around 

Both drones have follow me capability, but you need to pay US$20 to unlock it through the iOS and Android app. It's included out of the box on the Spark.

Return home

Ticks all around 
Ticks all around 

Both drones have return home capability, and you don't need to pay any extra for it.

Obstacle avoidance

Ticks and crosses 
Ticks and crosses 

Chalk up a point for the Spark, because obstacle avoidance isn't a part of the Bebop's repertoire. Although it's not essential, easily distracted flyers will be relieved to know the DJI drone will automatically stop when it senses an impending collision.

Release date

Release dates on the Spark and Bebop 2
Release dates on the Spark and Bebop 2

The DJI Spark is barely two months old, while the Bebop 2 has been on the market since the end of 2015.

Price

Pricing for the Parrot Bebop and DJI Spark 
Pricing for the Parrot Bebop and DJI Spark 

Both drones are relatively cheap in base form, but adding a controller pushes the prices up. Follow me on the Bebop 2 costs an an extra $20, while the cheaper Spark includes it as standard.

Verdict

At the end of the day these are two quite different drones, so it's going to come down to what you want to do with it. The bigger Bebop 2 offers better range, longer battery life and a more sophisticated gimbal, but it's significantly more expensive than the Spark when you pay for the controller ... and follow me capability. The Spark, on the other hand, is more portable and the camera on the little DJI is almost as powerful as the one on the Parrot.

We're leaning toward the Spark here, but if a Bebop 3 materializes that might change.

Buy the Spark here from US$499

Buy the Bebop 2 here from US$499

4 comments
S Michael
Prices are way to high, and will lead to competition to come in and take customers.
alankk
In fact, the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV kit (Drones + Controller + Goggles) is now at $499! (every store, like Amazon, B&H, Parrot Store etc.). The DJI Spark is in the same price range ($499), but without any controller ($149). So, DJI Spark costs too much to just have a collision sensor and fly almost 10 minutes less.
john67
One of the most important features on the Bebop 2 was not mentioned in the comparison and it's relevance couldn't be more overstated. The Bebop 2 had flight program capability which allows you to literally map the course of flight and camers angle to autonomously set a flight path and return. This feature required a fee to be unlocked, however it is well with the small $20 or so charge. This distinguished the more sophisticated Bebop 2 from the entry level Spark and brings it closer to it's bigger brother, the Mavic. In my opinion, when you consider that and it's other features, stability and new low cost of only $499, it seperates itself from the Spark by far. I will say in all fairness that the Spark has much better clearer video quality although both carry the same resolution.
Brett
Bebop 2 may have 3 axis stabilization but that is an electronic stabilization and will be visible if the drone experiences certain frequencies or if the image is "tilted" to the extreme ends of it's range. The "tilt" of the camera is again an digital effect. It uses a single fisheye lens and sensor and then shifts the section of the sensor it wants to use for the video. The Spark uses 2 axis mechanical stabilization, which is far superior and will give smoother video than electronic and you will not get the black zones that you will with the bebop 2. Worth the extra cost if you ask me.