It’s important for drone manufacturers to continuously build on their initial success with updated models. This is the case with the Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC, which comes in as a budget level drone, but with advanced features.
Quality and features, as well as a reasonable price, are the calling cards for Holy Stone. So, let’s see what this drone is capable of and how it matches up against the competition.
As for basic features, the drone features a 720p HD FPV camera that hangs underneath the drone. A few other needed features have been added to the automatic flight modes, which include headless mode, which orients the drone to the position of the pilot for easier flying, along with better operation via the smartphone app. There is also a removable 3.7V 1000mAh high capacity battery, which gives a much better flight time.
The whole boxed package includes the drone controller, smartphone mount, charger, prop guards, landing pads, and instruction manual. The drone itself measures a compact 320 x 320 x 66 cm and weighs in at 145g. The design of the drone is clearly based on the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, which is no bad thing, just a shrunk-down version.
High-grade ABS plastics have been used and along with the much-needed propeller guards mean that the drone should be able to take a few bumps and hits while you’re learning to fly. The propeller guards themselves are a much-needed update from the previous version.
There are also LED lights underneath the drone which don’t just look cool in themselves, but help to locate the drone and give aerial warnings for a low battery or out of range.
As for automated flying features, the Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC covers most of the expected bases. As previously mentioned, the headless mode, 3-D flips, emergency stop, one-button start and landing, gravity sensor mode, follow me mode, and adjustable speeds to suit both the beginner and seasoned pilots.
The actual flight time comes in at around ten minutes, with a charging time of 120 minutes. The total range of the drone is 100m, with the video signal going up to 60m.
As for the controller, it has a nice LCD display which provides all the information you need on the status of the drone. Enough features to keep seasoned pilots happy and not too complicated for the beginner.
The included smart phone holder is very convenient for linking up the smartphone app and further extending the functionality of the drone. In total, the smartphone app is very easy to set up and once the control connects with the drone, you’re off and away.
Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC in Use
The included camera that comes with the Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC is bottom mounted and capable of taking video or stills. The camera is a 720p 120-degree wide-angle unit which is okay for candid footage or practicing, but not much more. You can’t really expect a full-blown 4K camera at this price point, but at least it gives you a flavor of the potential. You can detach the camera if you want to save weight and get a little extra flying time in.
One bonus point of this drone is that the battery can be swapped out to extend flight time. A USB port is located near the camera to it directly, but you also have the option of purchasing additional batteries. Much better than a built-in battery.
As for the initial flying experience, the drone can handle low wind conditions, but anything too windy and the drone becomes much harder to control. Takeoff and landing are very simple with a one-button facility and advanced features like trimming buttons are there if you need them.
Tentative flying is the best course of action when you’re familiarizing yourself with this drone. 360-degree flips are possible, but these are best left for when you have a bit of flight experience under your belt. Overall, the drone is very responsive and easy to fly once you get a feel for its individual characteristics.
How Does It Compare?
When it comes to alternatives on the market, for just a few hundred dollars, there are a lot of choices. As we are talking about the more budget end of the market, it’s best to stick to ideally, well-known, named brands to ensure good quality. One such drone that keeps popping up at the top of our list is the Force1 U45W Blue Jay. A similar array of features, build, and flight time as the Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC.
The Blue Jay comes in a similar design with a hanging 720p HD camera, roughly the same flight time, and can be controlled via a smartphone app. There are plenty of automatic flight features included and the unit is robust enough to take a few initial crashes. As a worthwhile alternative, you can’t go wrong with the Blue Jay.
|Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC||Force1 U45W Blue Jay|
|Automatic Flight Modes||Yes||Yes|
|Flight Time||10 minutes||7-8 minutes|
|Camera||720p HD||720p HD|
The Holy Stone HS110D FPV RC is just one of many drones in a crowded market, fighting to provide an ever more extensive array of features. Luckily for us consumers, this means features quickly filter down from more advanced units for an even cheaper price. In fact, the current crop of beginner drones has never been more accessible.
This drone definitely has a wide array of functionality which will help the beginner and acts as a great stepping stone to a more advanced unit in the future. Reasonable features at a reasonable price.
The Holy Stone isn’t exactly perfect, but you have to consider what you are getting for the price and this drone definitely packs a lot into the package to provide an enjoyable experience.