Hello drone enthusiasts! Welcome to my Holy Stone HS100 review.
Buying your first drone can be intimidating, especially for drone enthusiasts new to unmanned aerial vehicles. There are loads of cheap drones from china to choose from, which might make you hesitate from purchasing that drone you heard about.
Holy Stone is a Chinese drone manufacturer that gained popularity for retailing consumer drones at an affordable price to the public.
The Holy Stone HS100 was originally released in 2017 with a 720P camera, but the upgraded version comes with a 2K HD camera for capturing your moments and scenery.
In this Holy Stone HS100 review, I will go over the features and benefits of this beginner drone to show you if the drone is the right choice for you before you go ahead to purchase it.
Quick Overview of the Holy Stone HS100
The Holy Stone HS100 has left a terrific impression on first-time users, even though you can never be sure of what to anticipate from a drone model you’ve never tested.
Not just for its low cost, but also for its general blend of user-friendly features and high-performance characteristics.
The Holy Stone HS100 is one of the best beginner drones you can find in the UAV market. It has a ton of special features that would give you a pleasurable flight, all at a decent price.
It can be flown by drone pilots of all skill levels, but it’s best suited for beginners intending to fly for recreational use.
What’s Inside The Holy Stone HS100 Box
- 1 x HS100 Drone (with Manual);
- 1 x Transmitter with a Battery;
- 1 x Battery (1 x USB Charging Cable);
- 4 x Propellers (under the white foam box);
- 2 x Landing Gear 1 x Screwdriver;
- 4 x Spare Screws;
- 1 x Camera
Holy Stone HS100 Specifications
- Weight: 750 g / 26.5 oz
- Dimension: 487*487*164mm
- Flight Time: 18 Minutes
- Charging Time: 5 Hours
- FPV Distance: 1312~1968 feet/ 400~600 m
- Flight Distance: 1968 feet/ 600 m
- Camera Frequency: 5Ghz
- Camera Angle: 0° to -90°
- Video/photo Resolution: HD2048x1152P (stored in TF card); HS1280x720P (stored on a mobile phone)
- Max Expansion: 32GB TF Card (Not Included)
- Motor: Brush Motor
Features and Benefits of the Holy Stone HS100
Let’s go over the features of the Holy Stone HS100 and its benefits to the users.
Design and Build
The Holy Stone HS100 has a similar design and dimensions to the DJI Phantom 4. It’s referred to as a big drone due to its size, standing at a measurement of 19.68″ x 19.68″ x 6.8″ inches.
One of the drawbacks of the Holy Stone HS100 is that you have to deal with the hassle of registering it with the FAA. It weighs 700 grams which are way over the weight that prevents it from FAA registration.
However, the big weight still has its own benefit because it will be less likely to be blown away by the wind, giving you fairly stable footage when capturing footage from the drone.
The detachable battery fits in a hole that can be found by the side of the drone, while the camera is fixed underneath the drone to give it enough clearance to capture footage from different angles.
Battery Flight Time
The Holy Stone HS100 is powered by a 7.4V 3500mAh Li-Po battery that gives it a 15-minute flight time which is different from the 18 minutes flight time that’s advertised on the sales page.
After testing, the Holy Stone HS100 battery takes around 3 hours to charge completely which is also different from the 5-hour charging time that’s advertised on the sales page.
You can decrease the charging time to 2 hours if you use a Samsung fast charger. However, this practice is not advisable because the Holy Stone HS100 uses an LI-Po battery. (Use at your own risk)
Personally, I think the 15-minute flight time is a decent time for a beginner drone at that price. However, you can increase the flight time by purchasing extra batteries instead of waiting for a couple of hours for that single battery to charge before you can continue having fun flying.
The Holy Stone HS100 originally came with a 720P camera in 2017 but was later upgraded to a 2K HD camera to give you good value for money. The high-resolution 2K HD camera can record your favorite moments in both photos and videos that are crystal clear which you won’t find in other beginner drones.
The wide-angle lens has a 120-degree field of view that can capture maximum details in your shot. While the 90-degree adjustable camera lens can capture photos and videos from different perspectives. However, the FPV mode can only transmit 720P resolution which isn’t bad compared to other drones.
The photos and videos captured from the drone are both stored in its SD card attached to the side of the camera and your smartphone to prevent losing the media in case of a lost signal or low battery.
However, you may get some blurry footage and jello effects when recording in windy conditions because it doesn’t come with a gimbal, or image and video stabilization.
The Holy Stone HS100 remote control has a minimalist design that fits easily in your hand.
The remote control has a return home button, a power button, one key takes off, and a land button in the middle of the front face. On the left side of the remote control, it has the follow me button, headless mode, and speed adjuster button.
At the top of the button, it has a smartphone holder where you can place your smartphone when flying the drone. The smartphone holder can bend towards you to prevent neck pains from bending your head when viewing your smartphone from above.
The right side of the remote has the camera angle wheel to tilt the camera in whatever direction you want. It has a photo and recording key on the right-hand side of the remote control.
The bottom of the remote control has a USB port for charging the rechargeable battery which saves you money from buying replaceable AA batteries, unlike most beginner drones in the market.
You have to download the Holy Stone drone app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices to connect your smartphone to the drone and also utilize the FPV feature.
The Holy Stone HS100 has a maximum range of 600 meters before it loses connection with your smartphone and remote control. But the good thing with this drone is that it will keep on recording the footage even after it has lost its connection and saves your media in the SD card attached to the camera.
Another positive factor about the Holy Stone HS100 is that it saves you money from repairs or replacing it by automatically activating its Return to Home function during low battery, weak signal, or when flying out of range, and returning back to its initial launch position so you don’t lose it to crashes and damages.
GPS-Assisted Flight Experience
The GPS-assisted flight feature provides you with accurate positioning details of your drone. The Follow me Mode automatically tracks the remote controller and follows it wherever you go.
Speed and Power
The Holy Stone HS100 comes with a 3-speed mode which can be adjusted from the left-hand side of the controller to vary your speed during flight. Holy Stone doesn’t give a direct specification of the speed in the sales but many people who purchased the drone on Amazon testified on how far it can go.
You should be careful about going on full-speed mode because it doesn’t have an obstacle avoidance mode. Plus, you’re more likely to collide with obstacles if you’re a beginner drone pilot.
The market for mid-range drones is exactly where the Holy Stone is located. Well, it’s large, but not large enough to drag you down. It weighs 1.73 pounds, which, while it may be substantial when compared to other mid-range drones, is in no way substantial.
Also, its weight aids it in maintaining stability in windy circumstances, therefore we view this as a plus.
Holy Stone HS100 Pros and Cons
Here, I’ll go over what I like and don’t like about the Holy Stone HS100
Pros: What I Like About the Holy Stone HS100
- The auto take-off is easy to use.
- The GPS has no lag or drag
- It goes above and beyond how easy it is to use.
- Very reliable and fun to use for beginners
- Doesn’t have glitches or problems.
- It comes right out of the box ready to use
- Very super simple to calibrate
- GPS mode enables precise positioning and prevents losing the drone
- Built-in altitude hold function allows the drone to fly while its height locked
- It has amazing specs like GPS, follow-me mode, return to home, and intelligent batteries.
- Instruction manuals are easy to follow (they did a great job transmitting from Chinese to English)
- It records and saves your footage in both the SD card on the drone and your phone’s memory.
Cons: What I Don’t Like About The Holy Stone HS100
- The charging time is very long. But you can use the Samsung fast charger to charge it very fast although it’s not recommended because it uses an LI-Po battery. (Try it at your risk)
- The drone doesn’t have a gimbal attached to it so your footage can be shaky during windy conditions.
- The follow me button can have a lag in response time
- It doesn’t have obstacle avoidance mode. This means you have to fly the drone in open areas without lamp posts, tall buildings, electricity lines, trees, and other obstacles.
Holy Stone HS100 Set Up
I’ll go over some basic setups of the Holy Stone HS100 if you’re a beginner drone pilots who don’t know how to set up the drone. However, you’ll have to exercise patience so you don’t screw things up.
1. Charging the Holy Stone HS100
The first step is to charge the Holy Stone HS100 remote control and the drone battery with the USB cord. Unfortunately, only one USB cable is provided in the package, so you’ll have to wait for one of them to get full before charging the other or you simply buy another USB cable.
2. Assembling the Holy Stone HS100
Putting on the propellers: This shouldn’t be too difficult. Holy Stone provided a magnetic screwdriver to help in attaching the screw to prevent them from falling off. They also provided extra screws in case you misplaced some screws while attaching the propellers to the body of the drone.
Install the propeller guards if you want
Insert the charged battery in the battery slot of the drone
The landing gear comes pre-assembled as with the SD card.
3. Pairing the Holy Stone HS100 With Your Smartphone
The next step is to pair the Holy Stone HS100 drone with your smartphone
1) Download the Holy Stone app on your phone – free
2) Turn on the controller
3) Switch on the drone’s battery. The battery’s lights will show the charge level; four lights indicate a full charge. Before successful pairing and calibration, the drone’s lights will flash white and pink/red.
4) Go to the WIFI section of your phone’s settings and choose the Holy Stone WIFI signal.
5) Click the enter device button in the app’s first page’s center after launching the Holy Stone app.
4. Calibrating the GPS of the Holy Stone HS100
This is the final step you have to take before you can begin flying the drone.
Step #1: Rotate the drone counterclockwise while it is on the ground by standing above it, looking down at it from above, and rotating it while it is on the ground as if you were turning off a faucet. When this is successful, two of the drone’s lights ought to cease flashing and go blue.
Step #2: Turn the drone 90 degrees so that it is on its side, then spin it so that the propeller guards are perpendicular to the ground and rotating in a plane that is parallel to the ground. The second time you correctly spin the drone, the second pair of lights will cease flashing and turn white. So, the drone’s four lights—two of which are white and two of which are blue—are all solid and not flashing.
NOTE: The GPS button (the one with the image of a compass on it on the controller’s left side) must be turned off if you are inside because you cannot get GPS inside (unless it is a very large space, which I don’t recommend doing).
Simply step outdoors and choose a space free of obstructions like telephone or power wires.
Best Alternatives to the Holy Stone HS100
In this section, I’ll share with you three alternatives to the Holy Stone HS100 to give you more options:
1. Holy Stone HS440 (Best Budget Alternatives)
The Holy Stone HS440 is my best budget alternative to the Holy Stone HS100. It comes with a 1080P FPV camera that can capture your important moments. It comes with a special function that makes flying fun, Plus, it weighs below 250 grams, unlike the HS110 which saves you from FAA registration.
2. DJI Mavic Mini (Best DJI Alternatives)
The DJI Mavic Mini is my best DJI alternative to the Holy Stone HS100. What I like about the Mavic Mini is that it has a long flight time of 30 minutes. Not just that, it comes with a triple battery for triple the fun and a 2.7K HD camera attached to a 3-axis gimbal that provides camera stability and smooth footage.
3. Holy Stone HS720G (Best Advanced Alternatives)
The Holy Stone HS720G is my best budget alternative to the Holy Stone HS100. What attracted me to the HS720G is the 4K EIS (Electric Image Stabilization) camera that’s stabilized by a 2-axis motorized gimbal which provides stunning aerial photography without any blurry and shaky footage.
Final Thoughts on the Holy Stone HS100
This brings me to the end of the Holy Stone HS100 review.
Overall, the Holy Stone HS100 is a great beginner drone equipped with an advanced GPS system that will give you the perfect start to the world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
It combines several amazing characteristics, including a high-definition camera, a lengthy flight time, and thrilling intelligent flight modes, so that both beginning and experienced pilots may enjoy flying it.
Although it is marketed as a beginner’s drone by the manufacturer, I think intermediate and professional drone pilots seeking an upgrade will find it amazing.
The best part of the Holy Stone HS100 is that it won’t cost you a fortune to own one of them. It retails for less than $200 at the time of writing this article and gives you great value for your money.
You can also check out the best Holy Stone drones to see the reviews of various drones from the Holy Stone series and know the benefits they have in store for you.
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