Hello drone enthusiasts! Welcome to my Holy Stone HS200 review.
I know it can be nerve-racking when choosing the best beginner drones. You’re trying to balance not paying thousands of dollars for premium drones with not paying for cheap drones that would break easily and don’t have excellent features that would make your flying fun and easy.
Holy Stone is a Chinese drone manufacturer that gained popularity for retailing consumer drones at an affordable price to the public. They released the Holy Stone HS200 in June 2018 with a 2MP camera and other features that promise you a fun and exciting flight.
The Holy Stone HS200 is an entry-level drone that promises beginner drone pilots a smooth welcome into the world of unmanned aerial vehicles without the expensive price tag that comes with premium drones like DJI and Autel. But is the Holy Stone HS200 really worth the price?
In this Holy Stone HS200 review, I will go over the features of this beginner drone like its design and build, camera quality, battery flight time, remote control, and more. I will also show you if the drone is the right choice for you or just a marketing hype before you purchase it.
Quick Overview of the Holy Stone HS200
It has a flight time of 15 minutes and a transmission range of 300 meters which gives you enough time and distance to hone your flying skills and explore your environment without worrying about crashing.
The Holy Stone HS510 comes with intelligent flight features like Voice Control, Gesture shot, Waypoints Fly, Altitude Hold, and more that make it easy to fly and provides you with a good flight experience.
What’s Inside The Box of the Holy Stone HS200
- 1 x HS200 Drone & 1 x Remote Control
- 2 x 3.7V 650mAh Li-Po Battery (One was included in the drone)
- 1 x USB Charging Cable
- 1 x Screwdriver
- 4 x Propeller Guard
- 2 x Landing Gear
- 1 x Phone holder
- 4 x Additional Propellers
- 4 x Motor gear
- 4 x Propeller
Holy Stone HS200 Specifications
- Weight: 146g/ 5.13oz
- Size: 320 x 320 x 66 mm
- Flight Distance: 50~100 m
- WiFi Live Stream Range: 30 m
- Maximum Flight Time: 9 min
- Maximum Flight Distance: 120m
- Maximum Flight Height: 120m
- Charging Time: 60~90 mins
- Camera: FOV 120°
- Photo Resolution: 1280x720P
- Video Resolution: 720p
- FPV transmission distance: 50m
- Remote Control Distance: 50m
- Frequency of Remote Transmitter: 2.4GHz
- Battery Capacity: 650mAh
- Voltage: 3.7V
FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF THE HOLYSTONE HS200
Design and Build
The Holy Stone HS200 is a non-foldable drone that comes in a compact case made of ABS plastic that protects it from crashes. I like the look or feel of the body because it looks like a jet/ race car. Its body is also painted dull red which gives it a look of a Formula 1 Ferrari race car.
Personally, I also like this dull- painting. This color makes it very easy to spot in the sky during the day. This is unlike the color of most drones in the DJI series which are difficult to spot in the sky.
The Holy Stone HS200 measures 320 x 320 x 66 mm. It’s also non-foldable, and takes up quite some space in a suitcase, making it inconvenient to travel with except you carry it inside another carrying case.
The drone isn’t heavy and may feel light to some users who prefer heavier drones. However, you don’t need to register the drone with the relevant government aviation authority in your country if you reside in the UK, USA, or Canada because it weighs below the minimum weight of 250 grams.
The Holy Stone HS200 has four LED lights located underneath each leg of the propellers. The LED light indicates the position of the drone, so you can spot it from afar.
This feature also works optimally during the night and gives the drone a lovely look from afar.
The HS200 also comes with brushed motors that aren’t as powerful and noiseless as brushless motors. Plus the gears of the motors are exposed to the ground which might lead to damage if the drone was to fall from very far up from the ground.
The detachable Li-Po battery is located by the side of the drone. Its batteries are non-modular, so they don’t slide inside the drone. You’ll have to manually connect the battery wires to the body of the drone
The 720P camera is attached to the bottom of the drone and can also be adjusted for an angle of up to 120 degrees to provide wide-angle footage that is clear and sharp.
The HS200 includes a micro SD card slot that can accommodate cards up to 32 GB in size.
However, no TF memory card is included when you buy the drone. Although the quality will be lesser than on a microSD card, you can choose to record images and movies directly to your phone’s memory.
Holy Stone offers a well-made drone controller with user-friendly controls that are powered by double AA batteries. In order to fly this drone, you’ll also need to download the Holy Stone app, which is available for both iOS and Android.
The Holy Stone HS200 comes equipped with a 720P HD camera with a 120-degree wide field of view. It’s capable of taking crystal-clear and sharp photographs and videos at a resolution of 1280 X 720P that’s stored on both the SD card and your mobile phone.
It doesn’t come with a mechanical gimbal or Electronic Image Stabilization technology. As a result, the videos will probably be a little bit shakier than you’d like. The camera angle may be manually changed by up to 120 degrees. Not much can be done once the HS200 is in the air.
With low-latency 5G-enabled FPV video transmission, the HS200 enables you to experience the world from a birds-eye perspective—and in real-time, as well. Up to 200–300 meters away, you can see whatever your quadcopter sees.
Overall, the Holy Stone HS200 is a good choice for beginners that want to practice their photography skills while flying in the air. Professional drone pilots who want a drone for commercial use would not enjoy this drone. They’re better off going for drones like the DJI Mavic 3 or Autel EVO Lite Plus.
Battery Flight Time
The Holy Stone HS200 comes with a 3.7V 650mAh Li-Po Battery, which will give you an average flight time of around 9 minutes. Flight time can be influenced by some factors that can increase or decrease it, like flight speed, wind speed, temperature, weather, flight style, and many more.
It is a non-modular battery that is difficult to insert and remove and doesn’t come with LED lights that indicate its battery and charge level. The Holy Stone HS200 consumes more power than usual thanks to its lack of brushless motors, which give you a relatively noisy flight.
The good thing about the HS200 is that the package comes with extra batteries, which means another 9 minutes of fun time to practice and explore your neighborhood with your drone.
It has an average charging time of 30 to 90 minutes, which is okay for a drone with its price tag when compared to the HS270, which has an average charging time of 5 hours. You can always increase the flight time of the drone by purchasing more batteries.
The Holy Stone HS200 remote control has a techy design that makes it feels like it’s a remote control for a robot. My major issue with the remote control is that it’s powered by double AA batteries, which you’d have to buy separately after the drone.
The top side of the drone features a 3D flip button on the right and a camera button on the right. You’ll have to short-press the camera button to take a photo and long-press to start a video recording.
The Holy Stone HS200 remote control has a screen with a digital display on the front face. The screen displays the battery level of both the drone and the remote control, the drone’s distance from you, its altitude above sea level, and if the GPS is connected or not.
The upper half of the front face contains the power button, a right joystick for direction control, a left joystick for throttle or rudder control, a headless mode/ normal mode switch, a switch to control the camera angle, a forward/ backward trimmer switch, and a left/ right trimmer switch.
The lower half of the front face features a high-speed switch, a low-speed switch, a one-press takeoff/ landing button, and a return home button.
The remote control also features a retractable phone holder on the front side that fits standard-sized phones. The HS200 remote control handles are also foldable for your convenience and comfort.
The Holy Stone HS200 has a maximum range of 300 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 save your media on the SD card attached to the camera.
Another thing I don’t like about the Holy Stone HS200 is that it doesn’t have a Return to Home function. However, you should always fly the drone within your line of sight to avoid losing it permanently when it crashes due to a low battery, a weak signal, or when flying out of range.
Holy Stone HS200 Performance and Usability
The Holy Stone HS200 comes with awesome performance and intelligent flight features that make it easy to fly and also provide you with an overall pleasurable flight experience. It also has an excellent 1-key flight feature coupled with an inbuilt GPS module, which grants you stability in windy conditions.
Below are some intelligent flight features of the Holy Stone HS200 drone:
- Tap Fly: This allows you to customize a flight path for the drone and watch it fly and record footage along the defined path hand-free without touching the remote control
- GPS Auto Return: This feature enables your drone to return to its starting position under emergency conditions like low battery or lost signal, or when you activate the feature with a one-key click.
- Point of Interest: The drone locks onto a selected point and orbits or hovers around it.
- Altitude Hold: This feature helps the drone maintain a vertical height when flying forward. This feature is very useful for beginner drone pilots until they become good at flying.
Speed and Power
The Holy Stone HS210 comes with a four-speed mode, which can be adjusted from two switches located at the left-hand side of the bottom half 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 have attested to 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.
Holy Stone HS200 Pros and Cons
Pros: What I Like About The Holy Stone HS200
- Durable and long-lasting.
- Can take a beating despite crashing multiple times.
- Spare parts can be easily obtained.
- Defective drones can be easily replaced
- Good design and looks
- Good flight characteristics even in medium wind conditions
- Stable and comes with different flight modes
Cons: What I Don’t Like About The Holy Stone HS200
- Mediocre flight times
- Cannot fly indoors
- Poor quality camera and FPV
- It can take a long time to charge and does not come with batteries
Holy Stone HS200 Set Up
I’ll go over some basic setups for the Holy Stone HS200 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 HS200
The first step is to charge the Holy Stone HS200 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 HS200
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
3. Pairing the Holy Stone HS200 With Your Smartphone
The next step is to pair the Holy Stone HS200 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 or 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.
Simply step outdoors and choose a space free of obstructions like telephone or power wires.
Best Alternatives to the Holy Stone HS200
In this section, I’ll share with you three alternatives to the Holy Stone HS510 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 HS200. 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, like the HS200, 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 HS200. 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 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 HS200. 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 shaky footage.
Holy Stone HS200 Safety Tips
- For your safety and that of the drone, avoid flying near or over obstacles, such as high-voltage power lines, crowds, trees, water bodies, and airports.
- The minimum recommended flying age for the HS200 is 16 years.
- You’re advised to fly in open areas where you can maintain a line of sight, preferably below heights of 120 meters.
- Be careful with rotating motors and propellers, and keep a distance to avoid ear damage from the drone’s nose.
- Avoid flying in extreme weather conditions such as rain, fog, snow, and strong winds.
- Avoid flying the drone when tired, under the influence of alcohol or medication, or in any physical discomfort.
- Keep the drone clean and well-maintained.
- Read the user manual thoroughly before flying the HS200.
- Follow the battery safety rules as outlined in the user manual.
- Fly the drone with a fully charged battery and perform all the recommended pre-flight procedures before takeoff.
- Follow your local laws on drone flying and avoid flying in No-Fly zones.
- Always check the drone, controller, and battery for damages and correct installation before a flight.
- The onboard compass can be affected by electromagnetic fields near base stations or power lines.
Final Thoughts: Is The Holy Stone HS200 Worth It?
Overall, the Holy Stone HS200 is a good-budget drone for both beginner and recreational drone pilots. Although it doesn’t have a GPS, it still provides a fun flight for its users.
It combines several amazing characteristics, including a 4K full HD camera, a decent 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 drone pilots seeking an upgrade will find it amazing.
The best part of the Holy Stone HS200 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 the benefits they have in store for you.
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