How to Connect a DJI Spark with Google Pixel XL

I’ve had my DJI Spark drone for about a month now and LOVE IT.  Before I received it, I started to worry as I started reading problems people were having when trying to connect to the DJI Spark with Android phones, including the Google Pixel XL.  Thankfully, my worries were alleviated after some trial and error was able to get connected using my Pixel XL with no problems at all.  The network I’m using is the Project Fi Network.  Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

When I first set up the Spark with the DJI Go 4 app, I first had to register on the app and scan the QR code that is on the black square box the Spark drone is kept in.  Once you are registered, the GO 4 app may need to update firmware and/or the app itself.  When that is done, you are ready to connect to your drone with your Google Pixel XL.

You can connect with and without a controller.  To start, here are the first instructions for those without a controller and are just using your phone to fly.  If you plan to fly, be sure your phone is charged and DJI Spark Intelligent Flight Batteries are charged as well.

Aircraft (Without RC)

  1. Start your DJI Go 4 app, and if it prompts to update firmware or software, follow those instructions, then we’ll move to the next step.
  2. Make sure you click the DJI Spark in the menu on the Go 4 app on the upper left corner.  I think it defaults to Mavic Air.
  3. Next click “Enter Device” on the bottom right.
  4. Next click Connect to the Aircraft at the top.
  5. Choose Aircraft (Without RC), since in this example we are giving instructions without a controller
  6. The next screen will show an animation of the DJI Spark instructing you to firmly attach the battery to the bottom of the aircraft.  (NOTE: Some owners have reported batteries falling out so you may want to put a rubber band around your battery or use tape to keep the battery from falling out while flying.  So, be careful not to touch the latches on the side of the battery.  Press next on the Go 4 app after you have attached the battery.  Also, there is at least one vendor on Amazon that sells a battery strap that fits snugly to give you more peace of mind.   Just search for DJI Spark battery strap.
  7. At this point, you will want to put your Pixel XL in Airplane mode and disable Bluetooth (it should do this automatically once you enter Airplane mode).  Then, click your wifi symbol so it will be ready to connect to your Spark.
  8. Be sure to insert your Micro SD card into the back of the drone in order to take photos and video.
  9. Turn on the DJI Spark battery.  This is a little confusing for some.  You basically quickly push it once for about a half second, then press again until it comes on and you will hear what sounds like fans running and some beeps.  There are 4 led lights on the back of the battery showing you how fully charged they are or not.  4 lights is good…. fully charged
  10. Press the next button on the Go 4 app and it will ask you to press the function button at the rear of the drone for 6 secondsYou will hear a short beep, but keep holding until you hear two more beeps and then you can let go.  At this point, you should be connected.  The app will redirect you to the home screen and have a blue button that says “Go Fly”.  When you first start flying your Spark, you may have to scan the QR code on the box it came in.  I had to do this two or three times and then it seemed to “remember” it.  Be sure to bring it with you in case you need to scan it.  Ok, I just tried following these instructions and had to scan the QR code again.  Weird.  It may do this when switching from using the remote control and using the phone only as remote.  Not sure.
  11. Click the  “Go Fly” button and you should see a display on your phone with a live video feed from the  DJI Spark’s camera.  If you are in beginner mode, you won’t be able to fly unless your GPS indicator shows you are connected by 10 or more satellites.  Wait until 10 satellites have a lock on your drone and then you can fly.  It may be that 10 satellites are required in other modes besides beginner.  If you’re more experienced, you may still be able to fly with a weak GPS signal, but it may be more unstable.  When the upper left corner turns green, you are good to go.

That’s pretty much it!   The main thing you need to remember is the part about putting your phone in Airplane mode and then tapping the WiFi icon in your phone.  I believe this is likely the area that causes problems for most Android/Google Pixel users.  Also, probably a good idea to shut down all other apps when flying.

Ok, so now that we’ve covered “Aircraft (Without RC)” mode, here are the instructions for flying with the phone and the remote control:

Aircraft Combo

If you plan on flying your Spark drone at longer distances, it is recommended to use the remote control and your phone or iPad/tablet as the display.  The steps to get this to work are a little more involved, but not too bad once you do it a few times.

  1.  Follow the same steps 1-4 as above
  2.  Choose Aircraft Combo – Connect to Spark Combo’s (Wi-Fi) aircraft and RC
  3.  Attach battery using instructions as step 6 above
  4. Insert Micro SD card if you haven’t already, put your Pixel XL in airplane mode, then tap on the WiFi icon on your phone to make sure WiFi is on
  5. Press battery button once, then hold battery button to turn drone power on – you should hear drone’s fan start followed by some tones.
  6. Now, get your DJI remote control and press the power button once, then press it and hold until it makes a beep.  Be sure your antennas are extended.
  7. Click next and then click the little blue square to scan the QR code on the back of your DJI remote control.  You can also select the DJI spark wifi signal from your wifi menu.  Click next again.
  8. Press and hold the battery button on the drone until it beeps.  Then click the blue “Link” button on the DJI Go 4 app.
  9. Secure your phone to the remote control by extending the two mobile device clamps at the bottom.
  10. You should now be almost ready to go!  Click the blue “GO FLY” button in the bottom right of the app and you should see the video feed on your phone.  Once you have a good GPS signal, you should be ready to fly!

You can also connect your RC to your phone/iPad Mini/tablet with an OTG cable.  I’ll cover that on the next update.  Stay tuned!

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