There are some drones that I’m looking forward to testing long in advance. The ScharkSpark Thunder FQ35 was one of them. An interesting design, promising performance and last but not least many very good ratings on Amazon & Co.
Among all the replica quadcopters the ScharkSpark Thunder drone seemed to be one of the better ones. But during the hands-on test, I was a little bit disappointed at the end. But this drone is not all bad, there are great things also. Let’s not waste your time no more. Here it is, my ScharkSpark Drone Thunder review.
The day has arrived – Delivery of SharkSpark
As always, I take a quick look at how the drone is delivered and what’s included in the box. The ScharkSpark Thunder comes in extremely elegant packaging and is protected with a wide range of softening foam.
Right away I see that materials being used are both durable ABS plastic and metal which is far better than industry-graded plastic used for low-end drones. Featuring color LED lights that indicates forward and backward directions. On the front of the drone is two bright LED lights that act as a searchlight. It is especially a useful feature to have when you are flying the drone during night time.
ScharkSpark Drone Thunder Unboxing video
What’s in the box
1x ScharkSpark Thunder FQ35
1x remote control
2x battery (3,7V, 1000 mAh)
1x USB charging cable
4x spare propeller
4x protective frame elements to plug on
4x spare caps for propeller
1x user manual
So far so good. What I really like is that I get a second battery for the price in addition and that both batteries have a full 1000 mAh. If the Quadrocopter is not too heavy and the energy use is efficient, you will be able to get a lot of flying time.
Before I start the actual test I make sure that there is no damage to the drone and how it works in the hand. I am almost shocked by the low weight of the ScharkSpark and suspect that this could become a problem in combination with the relatively large dimensions (keyword wind).
Also, the remote control weighs hardly more than one of the three AAA batteries that you have to insert (but of course not included). Everything seems a bit wobbly and too much copied from the DJI Mavic Pro, but I don’t want to compare apples and pears.
So get on with the test and perform the battery replacement, turn on the quad and off you go. At least I thought so. But to connect the freshly charged battery to the ScharkSpark Thunder I first have to get the other battery out of the drone’s battery compartment. And that’s not that easy!
Only with the help of the included screwdriver (maybe it’s included exactly for that), I get the battery removed. The “grip surface” of the battery is of course slightly deformed, how it should look after 50 flights is a mystery to me.
After a few curses this is also done, the freshly charged battery in the compartment (as I can throwing it out again later is a problem of the future) and the mood therefore at a high point.
Keep reading to find out answers for these questions: How well does the ScharkSpark Thunder calibrate itself from the start and how can I turn it? How beautifully will it fly and how good are the pictures?
The take-off procedures
- Place the ScharkSpark Thunder drone on as level a surface as possible.
- Switch on RC remote control
- Switch on ScharkSpark Thunder drone (Copter flashes slowly)
- Push up the throttle control (stick left) of the RC remote control once and return it to zero position (radio beeps, copter now flashes quickly).
- Wait until the drone stops flashing and lights up continuously.
- With permanent glow: Copter & spark are bound
- To start the engines: slowly give thrust (left stick to top)
- Motors should now turn slowly
- To take off: gently increase thrust (Quadrocopter takes off)
- The ScharkSpark Thunder drone launch excellently. As you know from high-quality drones, the Copter floats more or less stable and independently on the spot after take-off.
With the Ryze Tello this works better by miles, but for a drone under 100 dollar it’s okay.
How ScharkSpark Thunder flies
After take-off and the first careful turns, it can be said that the drone responds quite well to the commands and executes them cleanly. It doesn’t fly really fast at full thrust in the launch setting, but it’s still great fun. It stops abruptly, however, as soon as a mild breeze blows.
Then you have to grit your teeth, pull the stick forward for maximum thrust and keep an eye on the “Emergency Stop” button. Otherwise, the drone will inevitably land in the bushes.
What I had suspected from the beginning. The ScharkSpark Thunder drone is too light for the large body in windy conditions. Many mini-drones have this problem and the ScharkSpark Thunder, therefore, is no different. In the test, it was very annoying, since there is almost always some wind outside.
I would estimate the maximum flight height of the ScharkSpark Thunder a solid 50 meters and the measured flight time of 8-10 minutes.
The app and live video
Well, the purpose of the ScharkSpark Thunder for me is to take photos and videos. And since the onboard camera can only be adjusted to the angle of inclination before the flight, I need a good live image. With the live image, I can see where I have to fly to photograph my object perfectly.
The first person view (FPV) video footage is usually provided by an app for drones and it is the same for the ScharkSpark Thunder. But apparently, there is no specific app for this drone or at least the manufacturer.
After I found out which app I need (HT-UFO, not WIFI-UFO), I try to set up a stable live video from the drone on the smartphone.
After some time I succeed and get scared by one of the ugliest
FPV is not feasible. If 2 frames per second are transmitted, that’s great. Spongy, unsharp, completely useless.
This brings me to the question: How good is the camera of the ScharkSpark?
The camera of the ScharkSpark Thunder: 2 MP from hell
Over the years I have had several drones in my hand. Nanoquads for $20, many drones for beginners, most of which were drones with a camera. In all the drone tests I have seen a lot of good and certainly just as much garbage. But this time I was surprisingly disappointed.
From small quadrocopter like Ryze Tello, I get a sharp 5 MP image with saturated colors. And also, a stable live video on the smartphone screen. But the camera quality of the ScharkSpark Thunder is not even worth mentioning, it’s bad.
Conclusion & evaluation of the ScharkSpark Thunder
From the outside, the ScharkSpark Thunder looks like a beautiful foldable drone, just like DJI Mavic Pro. But ScharkSpark is not a drone for holidays or travels, so it cannot fulfill the purpose of the folding mechanism.
In my flight test, I actually only had fun while flying under ideal conditions. As soon as a little wind came up the crash was only a matter of time and with it the passing of the drone.
Apart from packaging, start setup, flight time and range, I was not convinced. In my opinion, the quality of the camera shots is the biggest shortcoming, closely followed by the horrible app.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a drone to fly around and only go out when there’s no wind, you can buy the ScharkSpark Thunder.
But if you are looking for a quadrocopter that can make nice pictures and videos for little money, you should have a look at the Ryze Tello instead.
But to be honest, anybody who wants to buy a good foldable drone that looks like Mavic, you should consider your budget again and have a look at the actual DJI Mavic Pro.
This was my honest ScharkSpark Drone Thunder review and hope you can make smarter buying decisions after reading it. Feel free to use the comments section down below to ask any questions or to just leave feedback on the drone.