Holy Stone HS165 Review 2023 (Everything You Should Know)

David Cassiel

Hello, drone enthusiasts! Welcome to my Holy Stone HS165 review.

It is not a far stretch to say that the Holy Stone brand is a brand that just keeps on giving, especially for those of us interested in saving some money for our otherwise expensive hobbies.

The Holy Stone HS165 is a spectacular drone, and I hope that through my honest review, you can make an informed decision on whether you want to purchase this drone.

The Holy Stone HS165 is famous for being super easy to fly, and it gives that thrill that you might not get with other toy-type drones. Its accessories, like GPS, “return to home” headless mode, and altitude hold, are super elite and updated.

So, you don’t get to miss out on a lot of fun. It is a great budget drone for people who do not want to break the bank when buying their first drone.

In this Holy Stone HS165 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 and purchase it.

Quick Overview of the Holy Stone HS165


Holy Stone HS165 Review

The Holy Stone HS165 comes equipped with an amazing 2K HD camera that captures those precious family outings. With its “return to home” button, the chances of you losing your drone are almost non-existent unless you are actively trying.

The Holy Stone HS165 may not be sophisticated enough for professionals. Still, it is perfect for beginners who are new to the drone space.

It has a lot of decent features that would make flight an exciting experience


  • It is a foldable drone and very compact
  • It is GPS enable which can assist you in flying
  • It does not lag
  • 2K camera
  • It is an affordable drone
  • It performs well in windy conditions.


  • No obstacle avoidance feature
  • No gimbal stabilizer
  • Limited range of 300 meters

The Holy Stone HS165 is one of those drones that skirts the border between professional and recreational.

This drone is ideal for beginners because it is simple to operate. The flight controls figures will undoubtedly prepare you for a fun and adventurous flight.

What’s Inside the Holy Stone HS165 Box

holy stone hs165
  • 1 x Drone and Transmitter;
  • 2 x Drone Batteries;
  • 4 x Extra Propellers;
  • 4 x Spare Screws;
  • 1 x USB Charging Cable;
  • 1 x USB Charging Cable for Transmitter;
  • 1 x Screwdriver; 1 x Instructions for Use; 1 x Carrying Box

Holy Stone HS165 Specifications

  • Weight: 171 g / 6 oz
  • Dimension: 262*180*51 mm(Folded)
  • Flight Time: 13~15 minutes
  • Charging Time: 120 minutes
  • FPV Distance: 590~820 feet
  • Flight Distance: 984~1312 feet
  • Camera Frequency: 5Ghz
  • Camera Angle: -90° to 0°
  • Video/photo Resolution: HD2048x1152P (stored in TF card)
  • Max Expansion: 32GB TF Card (Not Included)

Features and Benefits of the Holy Stone HS165

Let us go over the features of the Holy Stone HS165 and how they benefit users.

Design and Build

Holy Stone HS165 Design

The Holy Stone HS165 is designed and sized similarly to HS175. just a little bit bigger. This drone can be classified as a small drone with a measurement of 262*180*51 mm.

Just like most Holy Stone drones, this drone weighs less than 250 grams, this design adds to its mobility in the air, and also it’s a pretty fast drone.

Since it weighs less than 250, you do not need to register it with the FAA before flying. See it’s already saving you some stress.            

Since we are being honest, the most small-size drone has issues with the wind but not the HS165, it handles the wind like a bird in the sky(as long as you know what you are doing). The propellers are top-notch and powerful to give that balance and stable light.

The detachable battery fits in a hole that can be found on 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 HS165 is powered by a 7.4V 880mAh Li-Po battery that gives it a 13-minute flight time, which is different from the 16-minute flight time that’s advertised on the sales page.

After testing, the Holy Stone HS165 battery takes around 2 hours to charge completely, which is impressive compared with other drones of similar size and battery that usually take 5 hours to charge completely.

You can always have two batteries on hand; that way, you get up to 26 minutes of flight time, so purchasing extra batteries may be the way to go.  


The Holy Stone HS165 is equipped with a 2K camera with a 2.4GHZ  that can take pretty decent shots, and the video quality comes in 1080p.

In all honesty, because there are phones with quality cameras nowadays, the drone footage may not be up to par.

The camera also streams video but can also record, which can be stored on its SD card.

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,

The photos can be saved on your phone, while videos can be stored on your SD card. Your smartphone prevents losing the picture in the event of a lost signal or low battery.

However, do not expect the videos to be of the same quality as those from other, significantly more expensive drones.

Remote Control

Holy Stone HS165 Remote Controller

The Holy Stone HS165 remote is great to handle; it has a similar design to 120D drone remote controllers. 

The remote control is not difficult to figure out; it’s pretty straightforward, like the return home button, power button, take off button, and land button.

First, you have to unfold the controller. At the upper part are the antennae for Wi-Fi, then your phone holder, and at the lower part are the grip handles.  

The right button performs two functions, GPS and altitude hold, while the left is for the trim button (for flying the drone without GPS, which is not advisable).

On the lower right, there is the “return to home” button and a separate button for the headless mode, and on the lower left, there is one button for both takeoff and landing.

At the back of the remote is the speed regulator; with this, you can shift up to 4 different modes of speed, and to the right is one button for camera and video recording (long press).

The remote comes with its battery and USB port for charging; you will not have to charge the controller a lot as they are pretty long-lasting.

You have to download the Holy Stone drone app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices, to connect your smartphone to the drone and also utilize the FPV feature.

Control Range

The Holy Stone HS165 has a maximum range of 300 meters before it loses connection with your smartphone and remote control.

The good thing about this drone is that it will continue to record footage even after it loses connection and save it to the SD card attached to the camera.

Another advantage of the Holy Stone HS165 is that it saves you money on repairs and replacements by automatically activating its Return to Home function during low battery, weak signal, or when flying out of range and returning to its initial launch position so you don’t lose it due to crashes and damages.

GPS-Assisted Flight Experience

The GPS-assisted flight feature provides you with accurate positioning details for your drone. If the GPS is on, it enables the return home function, just in case you lose sight of the drone.

Speed and Power

The Holy Stone HS165 comes with a 4-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 on the sales page but many people who purchased the drone on Amazon testified on how far it can go.

You should be careful about going into 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. so, avoid places with trees


Like most other drones, the Holy Stone HS165 is made of plastic (reinforced plastic). The drone is light and very easy to carry.

The Holy Stone HS165 is fairly durable, despite being made of light and strong plastic; it can even stay together after falling one or two times. However, you should take precautions.

Holy Stone HS165 Pros and Cons

Holy Stone HS165 GPS Foldable Drone Review and Instructions holystone hs165 holystonehs165 9 40 screenshot

Here, I’ll go over what I like and don’t like about the Holy Stone HS165

Pros: What I Like About the Holy Stone HS165

  • The take-off is pretty simple.
  • The GPS signal is very strong and does not lag
  • Its user interface is pretty basic, and novice fliers will quickly catch up.
  • 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, a “follow me” mode, a 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 on both the SD card on the drone and your phone’s memory.

Cons: What I Don’t Like About The Holy Stone HS165

  • It can be difficult to fly during windy periods
  • 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 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 HS165 Set Up

Holy Stone HS165 GPS 1080p 5Ghz Wi Fi fpv Foldable Selfie Drone Unboxing and Flight 4 21 screenshot

I’ll go over some basic setups for the Holy Stone HS165 if you’re a beginner drone pilot who doesn’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 HS165

The first step is to charge the Holy Stone HS165 remote control and the drone battery with the USB cord. Unfortunately, only one USB cable is provided in the package, so you’ll either have to wait for one of them to get full before charging the other or simply buy another USB cable.

2. Assembling the Holy Stone HS165

Putting on the propellers: This shouldn’t be too difficult. Holy Stone provided a magnetic screwdriver to help in attaching the screws to prevent them from falling off. They also provided extra screws in case you misplaced some 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 just like the SD card.

3. Pairing the Holy Stone HS165 With Your Smartphone

The next step is to pair the Holy Stone HS165 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 HS165

This is the final step you have to take before you can begin flying the drone.

Step #1: Switch on your drone and the remote controller, and flip the joysticks upwards when everything is on.

Step #2: 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 #3: 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.

Step #4: Press the joystick in and flip down to switch on the propellers, with that your drone is ready for flight.

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 HS165

Holy Stone HS165 GPS 1080p 5Ghz Wi Fi fpv Foldable Selfie Drone Unboxing and Flight 1 42 screenshot

In this section, I’ll share with you three alternatives to the Holy Stone HS165 to give you more options:

1. Holy Stone HS710 (Best Alternative Under 250 Grams)

The Holy Stone HS710 came out as my best alternative to the HS165 under 250 grams.

Like the HS165, the HS710 also saves you from FAA registration, but it also comes with a ton of special features that make it worth buying, like a 4K camera with 5G FPV transmission, intelligent flight modes, and many more.

2. DJI Mavic Mini (Best DJI Alternatives)

The DJI Mavic Mini is my best DJI alternative to the Holy Stone HS165. 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-advanced alternative to the Holy Stone HS165. What attracted me to the HS720G is the 4K EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) camera that’s stabilized by a 2-axis motorized gimbal, which provides stunning aerial photography without any blurry or shaky footage.

Final Thoughts on the Holy Stone HS165

Overall, the Holy Stone HS165 is an awesome drone for both beginners and professionals alike. Its advanced GPS technology makes it easy to handle, and the flight is seamless.

Remember that this is a toy drone with amazing features that are also found in professional drones. Its flight time, flight handle, camera, and several other tweaks make it one of the cutting-edge toy drones out there.

As an added plus, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg (lol) to get this drone. The holy stone is worth its price and more.

If you want to become a professional in aerial photography, I recommend getting a more professional drone (see alternative above). Overall, the Holy Stone H165 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.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and other drone enthusiasts on social media using the share button below, telling them what you have learned here today!

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