Get the DJI Spark drone and controller for $349

The drone alone used to sell for $500. Plus: Own "The Greatest Showman" for $10.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
4 min read

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The DJI Spark, shown here in Meadow Green, is even better when flown with the remote controller.

Josh Goldman/CNET

It's hard to believe the DJI Spark is already "last year's model," though technically it's not even a year old yet.

When it debuted in June, 2017, it offered a surprising amount of bang for the buck -- all 500 of them. Of course, if you wanted the optional controller -- which I strongly recommend for reasons I'll explain shortly -- it would set you back another $119.

Today, and while supplies last, B&H Photo has the DJI Spark and remote controller for $349 shipped. Most places charge the same for the drone alone (and DJI proper still charges $399). That's for the Alpine White model; the other colors come bundled with the controller as well, but cost $399. Update: Shortly after I posted, the price for that model jumped to $399. Thankfully, I worked a little Cheapskate magic and got the B&H folks to reinstate the deal! Use this exclusive link to get the Spark and controller for $349.

Calling the Spark a "selfie drone" belies its capabilities, because although human-facing photos and videos are definitely a strong suit, the flyer is nearly as versatile as much higher-end models.

Without the controller, it has a pretty slick bag of tricks: Palm-based takeoff and landing, gesture-based flight and photo capture, obstacle-avoidance, and a built-in HD camera mounted on a 2-axis gimbal.

With the controller (which, FYI, is backordered and will ship separately when available), you get a much better flying experience than you can with gestures and/or your phone. If you just want to zip the Spark around an open field or pilot it down a wooded trail, nothing beats the precision of those two joysticks.

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 ($44 at B&H, about the cheapest I've seen them anywhere).

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).

Your thoughts?


The Greatest Showman

20th Century Fox

Bonus deal: People can't stop talking about "The Greatest Showman." Best movie ever, I listen to the soundtrack every day, and on and on.

Planning to buy the movie for yourself? Amazon, iTunes and Vudu all charge $20, but for a limited time, Redbox On Demand has "The Greatest Showman" (digital HD) for $9.99. Given that a rental will likely cost $6 (when it's actually available for rent, which is not yet), it's probably worth an extra $4 for unlimited repeat viewings.

Ah, but Redbox On Demand? What the heck is that? Yep, another a-la-carte movie service like, say, Vudu. You can download movies to your computer via the Redbox client or watch them on Android, iOS, Apple TV , Chromecast and Roku devices. It also supports various LG and Samsung smart TVs , but not Amazon Fire TV .

So, yeah, probably a little outside your normal ecosystem, but still available in most of the places you normally watch movies. Which is good, because, ahem, the Show(man) must go on.

Bonus deal No. 2: On the hunt for a good alternative to Outlook? I've found one: Hiri. It's a desktop client with a clean design and lots of useful productivity features. (Alas, for the moment, it's only for Microsoft email: Exchange, Hotmail, MSN, Outlook.com, etc.)

Rick Broida

Sound good? Then check out my Hiri deal over at Business Bargain Hunter. It's an exclusive: 60 percent off the price of a lifetime license.

Bonus deal No. 3: Fellow Michiganders! Do you like games, puzzles, road rallies, escape rooms, scavenger hunts and/or "The Amazing Race"? Then clear your calendar on May 19 for Escape Detroit: The Race to Find Agent 22.

It's a city-wide team game produced by yours truly! Assemble your crew, collect your case box and find the field operatives scattered around town. This is a really fun afternoon and I'd love to see some cheeps out there getting their spy on!

Oh, and of course I've got a deal for you: Save $5 per ticket when you use promo code CHEAP5.