PHOTOS & VIDEO
Accompanying the Swann Xtreem Gravity Pursuit drone is a ‘GoPro’-like HD action camera, strapped in a clear plastic housing attached by a black fitting to the bottom of the drone. It is reported to shoot full HD video (1080p) in AVI (MJPEG) formats, as well as to shoot high-resolution images in JPEG formats. We have not been told what frame rate the Swann Xtreem Gravity Pursuit’s HD camera can record it, but while looking at the ‘Activity Window’ screen in Handbrake, we can see that a HD video (1920×1080) is recorded at 30 FPS.
It comes equipped with an unbranded 4GB microSD card, which we found to be pretty weak. Also, an average flying session, of about 12 minutes, will eat up the entire 4GB when recording at 1080p. Take a look at Crystal Disk Mark (random test data) and AS SSD benchmarks below:
For sequential throughout, we see that in crystal disk mark the top write speed is only 9 MB/s, while read is a tad bit higher at 45 MB/s. The same can be said with AS SSD, as it was just shy of 9 MB/s write and 45 MB/s write. So we made a slight upgrade and swapped it out with Lexar’s 1800x microSDXC 64GB card. This not only gives us much more room to store our flight recordings, but it also gives us the speed to do so with ease.
Another point to make is that the camera is locked in and stable, which means that the position you leave the camera mounted in, is the position it will take photos and videos. There are no controls that allow you to adjust the camera or its direction. This is a feature commonly seen on drones of greater value. It is obvious that these controls are not required for this drone as you spend majority of your time correcting the drone’s position for the wind.
Below you will find a gallery of the photos taken by the included camera. These are nothing to write home about. Actually we found quality to be quite poor. At close-ish range there was no focus and there is no included image stabilization. It also has a fish-eye type distortion to it that severely hinders the photos. The grass image really shows the fish-eye distortion, where the image with the lady and the dog is very blurry.
When it comes to the actual quality of the video and photos, the HD camera performs decently. Clarity is alright for an unbranded action camera. One thing is for sure, don’t plan on sound being recorded in the video. Don’t get us wrong, the HD camera captures great audio, but only when the propellers are not in use. The constant ‘buzz’ is loud and annoying. You are better off muting your video and enjoying the view.
Below is a collaboration of our videos that we took throughout our testing. The beginning sessions show a little bit of our learning curve with the flight of this drone, and it progresses throughout us becoming more comfortable with how it handles – which is very hard to get a grasp of.
As you can see this drone does take a beating and lives to tell its tales!
Before we talk about repairability, one thing is for certain is that this drone is exceptionally good at taking a bad bounce and is what we would deem close to break-resistant. We had our share of bad landings and the drone bounced its way across the surface. Even at one point landing the drone in a tree, where it returned to us nearly unscathed. We did find that on the harder crashes that the drone was known to kick the HD Camera off. This was bad as it would also delete that current recording. When it comes to the durability of this drone we contribute this exceptionally to the landing gear. While these legs appear flimsy, they probably saved this sample from being in worse condition or damaging any of the important gear.
To swap out a damaged propeller, change a prop guard or landing gear, or to swap out a bad battery for a new one is a breeze with the Swann Gravity Pursuit drone. Everything is screwed together with easy to access Phillips screws. When it comes to finding the parts for repair, well that’s another story. Our online search found nothing of the sort for repair parts for the Swann Xtreem Gravity Pursuit Drone.
We reached out to Swann Technical Support regarding pricing and availability of parts. Take a look at the response we received below:
Unfortunately, if you are looking for replacement parts, it looks like there are none. Now, would it be possible to find generic brands or generic replacement parts? More than likely, but at this point you are better off trying to make sure your drone doesn’t get damaged.
As we reported before, a full charge for the battery take exactly two hours. Swann reports that the drone, fully charged, can last up to 12 minutes in the air. From our testing, we found that the battery life was nowhere near the listed specification, in fact it lasted longer. Now we found that in total we got about 17 minutes of pure flying time. This doesn’t account for the times we were adjusting its position after a bad landing. You will see that after about 15 minutes of use, the drone starts to become just a bit harder to handle and to fight the wind. That’s when you know to go and get re-charged.