With so many drones available at the cheaper end of the market, it may seem overwhelming with the choices. However, if you’re prepared to pay a few hundred dollars then the Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone could be a likely option that packs in most of the features you would need for the beginner or enthusiast pilot.
The design itself is a few years old, but it has plenty of cool features, a reasonable HD camera, and built-in GPS which makes the drone a possible contender. Therefore, let’s check out the features and see if it can match the rest of what’s currently on the market.
The Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone is quite a large unit, which has high powered motors. This should be most beneficial for keeping the drone stable in more harsh weather conditions.
The range of the drone is reasonable with a first-person view range of 150m and a total control distance of 500m. The drone’s internal 7.4 V 2500mAh battery should give flight times of 12-15 minutes, which is reasonable for this level of drone. Charging time works out roughly to be about three to six hours.
As for camera facilities, the Holy Stone HS100 has opted for a hanging camera which is 1080p and has a 120-degree wide-angle view and a 90º adjustable tilt. As for control of the drone and the camera, there are various modes which you would expect from a modern drone which include FPV mode which you can access via a connected smartphone and a VR mode for viewing a real-time, 3-D visualization of the environment.
There is also altitude hold for hovering the drone in a set position and adjustable speeds for different skill levels, most beneficial for the beginner pilot who wants to keep it slow and easy at first to familiarize with all the features. The total weight of the drone comes in at a hefty 700g.
The design of the Holy Stone has a lot in common with the DJI Phantom, it just isn’t as adept at carrying multiple payloads under its substantial body. But, the total package feels very well made with hardened plastics able to take a few knocks and bumps along the way. As added features, there are LEDs underneath each blade arm which can give visual feedback to the status of the GPS lock, battery, and other readings.
Just enough features are packed into this drone to make it an ideal solution for the beginner or enthusiast. But, the addition of some protection for the propellers would have been a good option.
Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone in Use
As with other beginner-friendly drones, takeoff and landing can be performed with a single button press, which gives loads of confidence to the beginner pilot. The included transmitter, which can also be hooked up to a smartphone, has a long-range of 500m, and includes helpful features.
The transmitter itself is large and sturdy and has a simple set of buttons and two joysticks. The buttons are for the automatic modes, with the total controls being simplified for the beginner.
The drone also has a few other helpful features for the beginner, which includes a Follow Me mode. Quite self-explanatory, with the drone following the pilot and capturing footage along the way, aided by the GPS system. The drone also has a Return to Home function, which works great when the drone is either out of range or low on battery.
The built-in GPS helps with the positioning of the drone, but it would have been nice to have an included Head Mode to position the drone to yourself, which makes flying initially far easier. However, there is a first-person view (FPV), which goes up to 150m.
The flight time is reasonable for this price of unit being 12 to 15 minutes, but the downside here is that the battery can take three to six hours to recharge. As the battery is built-in, there is no way to have a bunch of extra batteries on standby to quickly swap out. This in itself could be a dealbreaker for those who want extended flight times.
For most people checking out this drone, it won’t be just for an entry-level unit to hone their flight skills, but also a reasonable camera to test out your aerial camera skills. The included camera has a recording mode of 1080p, which can tilt 90 degrees.
The camera also has built-in Wi-Fi to allow realtime live video feeds. In total, the footage is good enough for candid video which is both sharp and clear. It’s not exactly broadcast quality, but this isn’t to be expected at this price point.
How Does It Compare?
As the Holy Stone has most in common with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, this unit could be a possible alternative. The DJI costs far more, but it also has a lot more facilities as well as more pro-specs. It also has a camera capable of 4K footage. Basically, if you want to dive into a drone that has the most rounded features, then you can’t go wrong with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.
|Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone||DJI Phantom 4 Pro|
|Battery Charge Time||3-6 hours||1 hour 10 mins|
|Flight Time||12-15 mins||30 mins|
The plus points of the Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone is that it is reliable and a solid unit. The automatic features make it a breeze to fly for the beginner and it flies quite happily at different altitudes with stability. The charging time is a bit of a letdown, but if you want a beginner-friendly drone at a reasonable price point, then this unit could be an option.
The Holy Stone HS100 FPV RC Drone isn’t a unit without its caveats, especially if you don’t want such a large-sized unit. On its own, it would be a worthwhile buy, but with so many other options on the market, the unit will have to push forward with future models to keep competitive.