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If you’ve seen the Yuneec Breeze before, then you probably know that the DJI Spark is going to be its biggest competitor. We’ve had our eyes on the Breeze for a while now, and thought it was time to pick one up and do a comparison since the DJI Spark is now available. We weren’t expecting a big difference between these two drones, but the results we found might surprise you. They sure did surprise us!
The first thing I thought about after getting the Breeze was how cheap it was. We got the Breeze from Costco Wholesale. It came with two extra batteries and some propeller guards for a little more than $410 after taxes (a pretty good deal if you ask me). The Spark starts at $499 and goes up to around $699 after getting the combo package, so the Breeze was obviously much cheaper. At this point, we didn’t know much about the Breeze other than the fact that it was Wi-Fi controlled and shot 4K video. We also knew that the Spark only shoots 1080p video, so it was starting to seem like the Breeze was a strong competitor!
In the past, all of DJI’s drones have maintained a high level of quality and attention to detail. The Spark is no exception. It’s made from the same durable and thick plastic of the Mavic Pro and everything just looks like you’re getting a real drone (not a $30 toy). The motors start out as a block of aluminum and are cut out using CNC machines for better strength. The frame and arms are made from one thick plastic mold. There are no exposed electronics or wires anywhere.
The Breeze is on a completely different level, and unfortunately, that level is far lower than the Spark. There’s nothing wrong with using plastic, but the plastic they went with is very thin and brittle. The motors are made from an aluminum cast, which gives them less strength and efficiency. When you take the battery out, you can really see how unfinished it looks. It’s like how a drone would be made two years ago. I guess this isn’t surprising since the Breeze will be approaching one year old in a few months.
With the Breeze, you get 4K video, and 1080p stabilized video. The Spark only has 1080p, so that must mean that the Breeze is better right? No. If you want 4K video, the Breeze has it, but you aren’t getting any stabilization in 4K. In other words, your videos will look like you strapped a camera onto a twitchy flying bug. I had known this before I got the Breeze, but what I didn’t know is that it doesn’t get much better when switching over to 1080p. Yes, the video is “stabilized” but it isn’t that rock solid gimbal quality stabilization that we’ve all come to know and love. It’s more like being on a boat in the ocean. If you bob and tilt the drone back and forth, the video goes with it.
On the Spark, you don’t get 4K, but what you do get is a real two-axis gimbal. This makes a world of difference compared to the Breeze. 90% of the time, the videos you can get look almost as smooth as the DJI Mavic Pro, a drone that costs more than twice as much as the Spark. Yes, as a filmmaker I wish it did 4K, but the Spark is not a drone for pros, and neither is the Yuneec Breeze, so I don’t think 4K is really necessary, and I would take better stabilization over higher resolution any day of the week.
A smaller but still important complaint that I have with the Breeze is that it doesn’t have a micro-SD card slot. On the Spark, when I’m done flying it, I can then take the SD card and put it in my computer to view and edit what I shot. With the Breeze, you have to leave the drone on and plug it into the computer. If your batteries are dead, you can’t do anything with the footage until the drone has enough charge to get the files off. There’s also no way of expanding the storage, so if you run out of space, then you’re out of luck.
If you’re only using a drone to take selfies, both the Breeze and the Spark allow you to view and download the images and videos on your smartphone, but I don’t think most people are buying these drones just to take pictures of themselves. I know these drones aren’t for pros, but an SD card slot is not a hard thing to include in a product, and all cameras should have one.
The advertised flight time for drones always seems to be a little bit higher than what you actually get, but even the advertised flight time for the Breeze is a sad 12 minutes. The flight time that I actually got was about 9 minutes. Even if you take the included extra battery into consideration, that’s still less than 18 minutes total. The Spark has an advertised flight time of 16 minutes, and we’ve been getting about 13 minutes with it, which isn’t bad at all for a drone of this size.
One thing that I like about all DJI products is that they have smart batteries. On all DJI Drones including the Spark, each battery has its own charger and monitoring system. There are 4 lights that tell you how much charge they have. After so many days, the batteries will automatically discharge themselves so that they stay safe and last longer.
The Breeze batteries are dumb. There are no electronics inside, which means that they aren’t as safe, won’t last as long, and you can’t check the battery level without putting each battery into the drone, turning it on and launching the app.
The Breeze has no obstacle avoidance, so if you’re using a feature like follow me and a tree gets in the way, then I guess you will be climbing that tree for a while, looking for a Breeze.
The Spark doesn’t have the most advanced form of obstacle avoidance, but it works good enough to save a beginner while trying out all of the features like Active Track. It uses an advanced form of infrared. Most infrared sensors can only sense how far away an obstacle is, but the sensors in the Spark use a special zoning detection method that calculates where the obstacles are in its field-of-view. This means it can avoid obstacles better and sometimes even fly around them.
Initially, I was really impressed by all of the features that the Breeze had to offer, especially the Follow Me mode, which is similar to Active Track on the Spark. So far, I’ve found the Follow Me feature on the Breeze to be well, subpar. When I put it into the Follow Me mode and drag a box over myself, it does start “tracking” me, but it doesn’t do a good job of following or moving to keep up with me. This might be because the Breeze uses the GPS in your smartphone to follow you, instead of calculating your position by seeing you through the lens of the camera.
When the Spark is following something, it doesn’t need a GPS signal. It could follow you, your friend, a dog, or even moving vehicles. It can do all of this while even sensing obstacles. Unlike the Breeze, the spark can follow things, and it actually works! It’s almost as good as the Mavic Pro.
We’ve only had both of these drones for a few days, and there’s lots more that needs to be tested, but one thing I can say is that the Spark has way more features than the Breeze, and almost all of them work as advertised. For example, with the new deep-learning features that they added, you could turn it on, launch it from your hand, move it around by pointing with your palms, take a picture by waving or making a frame, then land it back in your hand without ever touching a controller or smartphone. All of these new features are amazing for a drone this size, and especially at this price-point.
The Spark is so new that we’re still learning about it. The Breeze isn’t new, but it’s new to us, so expect more comparisons and updates in the future. For now, All I can say is there’s a massive difference between these two drones, and I know which one I would go with! What about you? Do you think the spark is too expensive? Let us know in the comments.
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