Let me begin this review of the new Xtreem Gravity Pursuit 1080p Video Drone by saying I have never flown a drone before. I am familiar with Swann flying products in the form of miniature RC helicopters but this is my first drone. I flew, I crashed, I flew, I crashed…I FLEW!
I had been wanting to test/fly a drone for some time now but did not want to settle for one of those smaller units. The Xtreem Gravity Pursuit from Swann is a large drone that takes off very quickly if you are not careful on the throttle. The unit is not too heavy and on windy days that is a little bit of a problem but practice will help make it perfect. This drone features a detachable 1080p resolution HD video camera with a photo mode. Wireless control is via 2.4 GHz frequency with a signal distance of up to 100 feet and one charge of the Lithium Polymer drone battery allows 12 minutes of flying time.
Out of the box the user need only attach the blade guards and landing feet (as well as the camera and charged battery) and you are up and flying. The drone measures 19.69 inches and the controller is lightweight and easy to operate. Flight controls can be switched around for user customization and camera operation comes easily thanks to the switch next to throttle control. Swann includes a 4GB microSD memory card along with card reader, drone battery and charger, and spare rotor parts (as well as the obligatory instruction manual for us newbies).
Once I got the unit up and flying I had a blast along with the grandkids and our dogs. The times I could not return the drone close by the kiddos and our heeler/pit mix were all too eager to volunteer to retrieve it. On the front of the drone camera there are operation indicator lights that let you know when the camera is recording/shooting. Once the drone is back on the ground you can remove the camera and download the video and/or photos to your computer either via the USB mini plug on the camera or by removing the memory card and placing it into a card reader.
There is little information regarding the specs of the camera itself but the still images I shot had a jpeg file size of 2.1 to 2.4 mb. The camera lens is wide angle and fixed focus but has no distortion in images at the corners. Judging by the images I shot it appears to offer coverage equivalent to that of your smartphone camera. The still images appear to be cropped to 4:3 aspect ratio whereas the video images are widescreen. The camera cannot be used standalone as it draws its power from the drone and all of its operations are accessed via remote control. Video resolution is selectable 720p/1080p on the camera.
I have seen some incredible footage shot using cameras on drones. Those that can master smooth, controlled flight and hover can probably make their own career. I see high demand from marketing, advertising, real estate, and investigative fields for competent video drone operators. Not to mention folks just love to fly things.
The information that came with the press release for the Xtreem Gravity Pursuit drone listed MSRP as $299, which I thought was a bit high. A check on Amazon however revealed actual sale price to be about half that, which is more like it. If asked is this a good starter drone I would say yes, as it features all flight operations novice and intermediate operators would require and offers video and photo modes from the mounted camera. I did read the manual prior to first flight but operation was simple and intuitive. My biggest problem is I lack the finesse required for expert flight operation.
Reviewed: Swann Xtreem Gravity Pursuit 1080p Video Drone (review sample provided by manufacturer).
Likes: Easy to fly, high quality video and still images, offers full flight modes.
What Can Be Improved: Perhaps a bit too light as slight wind will cause drift.
Price: $149.99 on Amazon.com