During a recent trip abroad, I routinely kicked myself for not bring a selfie drone. There were so many incredible photo ops we missed. But I didn't want to deal with a remote or even an app. I just wanted a flying camera that could quickly capture my family with dazzling Italian sights in the background.
I should have bought, and brought, the DJI Spark. It's fairly compact (though its arms don't fold, a bummer), and it can perform all kinds of selfie magic without app or remote. You just launch it from your hand, perform a few strategic gestures and presto! Beautiful selfies from above.
It originally sold for $500, but for a limited time, and while supplies last, DJI's Ebay store has the refurbished Spark (Alpine White) for $249.99 shipped.See it at Ebay
Wait a sec... a refurbished drone? That means "crashed and rebuilt with Crazy Glue," right? Not in this case: DJI's refurbs are pretty much good as new, including a same-as-new warranty. There's also a 30-day return policy in case something seems amiss.
The Spark is amazingly sophisticated, with features that rival larger, pricier models. In addition to the aforementioned palm-based takeoff and landing and gesture-based flight and photo capture, it offers obstacle avoidance and a built-in HD camera mounted on a two-axis gimbal.
You can do a lot more when you add the app into the mix, and more still with the sold-separately Spark controller. The latter runs $119, which would bring your total to $369 -- still cheaper than buying the Spark new with controller included ($399).
I'll turn you over to CNET's DJI Spark review for a deeper dive. I agree that DJI's app is as confusing to use as ever, and that you may want to spring for an extra battery. They cost around $50 apiece, annoyingly.
I also agree that the Spark offers "all of the camera drone features most people will ever need in an impossibly small package." I think my sole complaint with this model is that its arms don't fold up, making transport a little more challenging and a carrying case a little more essential.
Bonus deal: I like premium products as much as the next consumer. I'm just not willing to pay for them. So you can keep your headphones, Beats; your speakers, Sonos; your mobile chargers, Mophie.
Ah, but when those products get discontinued and land in the bargain bin, now I'm paying attention. To wit: For a limited time, and while supplies last, MobileCityOnline (via Amazon) has the Mophie PowerStation 3X mobile charger (gold) for $14.97 with promo code 5KREDIDV. This same charger originally sold for -- wait for it -- $80.See it at Amazon
Quick note: I'm told the vendor has a few hundred of these. If you're seeing a different seller listed and/or the code doesn't work, that most likely means they're sold out.
The PowerStation 3X is a razor-thin charger with a 6,000-mAh battery -- enough to fully recharge a phone at least once, if not twice -- and dual USB ports. Are there higher-capacity power banks available for about the same price? Yes, indeedy. But if you prefer a name-brand product, this is a huge price break.
Bonus deal No. 2: The T-Mobile SyncUp Drive adds a mobile hotspot to your car. Actually, it does a lot more than that, but first things first.
For a limited time, when you buy a T-Mobile SyncUp Drive for $96, you can get a second one free. You'll need to activate a new line of service for each one, and the BOGO credit is applied over the course of 24 months. (In other words, you'll pay $4 per month for two years, rather than $8 per month for the same period.)See it at T-Mobile
The Drive plugs into your car's OBD-II port. In addition to creating a 4G LTE hotspot for up to five devices, it can monitor driving habits (I'm watching you, kid who just got his license!), send speed alerts, track the car's location and supply all kinds of vehicle data (similar to other OBD-II dongles).
A huge additional perk: Allstate Motor Club is included with your subscription. Speaking of which, service plans start at $10 per month.
Although there are deal details available on T-Mo's web site, you'll have to visit a T-Mo store to actually take advantage of it.
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