Holy Stone HS280 Review 2023 (All You Should Know)

David Cassiel

Hello, drone enthusiasts! Welcome to my Holy Stone HS280 review.

The Holy Stone HS280 is the predecessor to the HS260. This drone comes with a wide array of accessories that are sure to make your flight time epic. It comes with brushed motors, two batteries, and a 2K camera capable of recording videos in 1080P.

Holy Stone is a Chinese drone manufacturer known for selling consumer drones at low prices to the general public. The Holy Stone HS280 was released with a 1080p camera for capturing your moments and scenery.

The Holy Stone HS280 is made for beginners just transitioning from flying mini drones or those looking for a challenge. Its affordability makes it one of the best drones to fly for beginners. You don’t want to break the bank trying to buy a super drone and crashing it on your first takeoff.

In this Holy Stone HS280 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 HS280

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Holy Stone HS280 Review

The Holy Stone HS280 comes equipped with an amazing 2K HD camera that captures those precious family outings; It has an internal barometer for balancing the air.

This drone is very durable, which is why it is perfect for beginners.

The Holy Stone HS280 is one of those toy drones that can satisfy different types of users. Professionals, beginners, and kids can enjoy flying this drone because of its incredible and easy user interface.


  • It has a good-looking design
  • The 2-axis gimbal can be tilted with a remote controller
  • It does not lag
  • 2k camera
  • Tons of flight functions to play with


  • No obstacle avoidance feature
  • Limited range
  • No SD card slot

What’s Inside The Holy Stone HS280 Box

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  • 1 x Drone
  • 1 x Transmitter
  • 2 x Drone Battery
  • 1 x USB charging cable
  • 4 x Propellers
  • 1 x Screwdriver
  • 1 x Instruction manual for the user

Holy Stone HS280 Specifications

  • Weight: 151 g / 5.33 oz
  • Dimension: 329*210*53 mm (Unfolded); 135*98*53 mm ( Folded)
  • Flight Time: 13 minutes
  • Charging Time: 70 minutes
  • FPV Distance: 328 feet / 100 m
  • Flight Distance: 328 feet / 100 m
  • Camera Frequency: 2.4Ghz
  • Video/photo Resolution: HD 1920x1080P

Features and Benefits of the Holy Stone HS280

Let’s go over the features of the Holy Stone HS280 and its benefits to users.

Design and Build

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The Holy Stone HS280 has a similar design and dimensions to other HS260. just a little bit bigger. This drone can be classified as a small drone with a measurement of 329*210*53 mm.

Just like most Holy Stone drones, this drone weighs less than 250 grams; its design adds to its mobility in the air, and it’s also a pretty fast drone. Since it weighs less than 250 grams, you do not need to register it with the FAA before flying.            

Since we are being honest, most small-size drones have issues with the wind. The Holy Hs280 unfortunately falls under this category; it cannot handle windy conditions.

Trying to fly this drone on a windy day may result in the loss of the drone or a crash. It can fly moderately under moderate wind conditions. The propellers are top-notch and powerful to provide that balance and stable light.

The detachable battery fits in a hole that can be found on the back 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 HS280 is powered by a 3.85-volt, 1300mAh Li-Po battery that gives it a 12-minute flight time, which is different from the 13-minute flight time that’s advertised on the sales page.

After testing, the Holy Stone HS280 battery takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes to charge completely, which is impressive compared with other drones of similar size and battery that usually take 3 hours to charge completely.

You can always have two batteries on hand; that way, you get up to 24 minutes of flight time, so purchasing extra batteries may be the way to go.  

Remote Control

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The Holy Stone HS280 remote is great to handle; it has a similar design to the 175S drone remote controller. 

The remote control is not difficult to figure out; it’s pretty straightforward, like the power button, take off button, auto take off, speed, camera, and gimbal button.

First, you have to unfold the controller. the phone holder, and at the lower part are the grip handles.  

The first things you notice are the dual joysticks and the power button. Then, after opening the central lid, you will discover the auto take-off button on the left, the speed button (for high and low), and at the right, the headless mode button.

At the back of the remote are the gimbal buttons to move your camera up or down, and to the left are the buttons for camera and video recording.

The remote comes with its own battery. 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.


The Holy Stone HS280 is equipped with a 2K camera that can take pretty decent shots, and the video quality is 1080p. In all honesty, because there are phones with quality cameras nowadays, the drone footage may not be up to par. 

The wide-angle lens has a 120-degree field of view that can capture maximum details in your shot. While the adjustable camera lens can capture photos and videos from different perspectives,

Photos and videos can be captured and recorded through the Holy Stone app, and the footage is saved on your phone.

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

Control Range

The Holy Stone HS280 has a maximum range of 100 meters before it loses connection with your smartphone and remote control. This drone is not GPS enabled, so the return to home feature is absent from this drone. Flyers should be careful not to fly above their range because it will result in loss of control.

This drone does not have any obstacle avoidance features. Flying your drone around trees or other obstacles could cause collisions, especially if you are a beginner.

Speed and Power

The Holy Stone HS280 comes with a 2-speed mode, which can be adjusted by pressing the speed button. 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. so, avoid places with trees.


Like most other drones, the Holy Stone HS280 is made of plastic (reinforced plastic). The drone is light and very easy to carry.

The Holy Stone HS280 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 HS280 Pros and Cons

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Here, I’ll go over what I like and don’t like about the Holy Stone HS280

Pros: What I Like About the Holy Stone HS280

  • The HS280 is pretty affordable.
  • It has a sleek and awesome design
  • 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
  • Instruction manuals are easy to follow (they did a great job transmitting from Chinese to English)

Cons: What I Don’t Like About The Holy Stone HS280

  • It can be difficult to fly during windy periods
  • The drone doesn’t have a 3-axis gimbal for image stabilization.
  • 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 HS280 Set Up

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I’ll go over some basic setups for the Holy Stone HS280 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 HS280

The first step is to charge the Holy Stone HS280 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 HS280

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 HS280 With the Remote Controller

The drone pairs with the controller quite easily. Just switch on our drone and remote controller and move the joysticks upward. You will hear a beep to notify you that the pairing is complete.

4. Pairing the Holy Stone HS280 With Your Smartphone

The next step is to pair the Holy Stone HS280 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.

5. Calibrating the Gyro of the Holy Stone HS280

First, switch on your drone and remote controller. Then you have to bind the remote controller to the drone. This is done by pushing the joysticks upward, and you will hear a beep to notify you of the successful binding.

To calibrate the gyro, ensure that the drone is placed on a flat surface (this is very important) and flip the joystick to the right. There will be a beeping sound to notify you that it has been fully calibrated.

6. The function of the Holy Stone HS280 You Should Know

Emergency stop: This is a safety function. If the drone comes across an obstacle in its path, hit the emergency stop key. It will stop in its tracks immediately.

Headless Mode: Don’t worry too much about the direction the drone faces when it is away from you. Engage in headless mode, and it will realign itself to match the pilot’s position.

One key take-off and landing: This key helps you start using the quadcopter. When you punch the key, the drone takes off and hovers at a certain height, waiting for the next move. When it is flying and you press the key again, it will stop and land.

Best Alternatives to the Holy Stone HS280

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In this section, I’ll share with you three alternatives to the Holy Stone HS280 to give you more options:

1. Holy Stone HS720E (Best Overall Holy Stone Drone)

In my opinion, the Holy Stone HS720E is the best holy stone drone. It’s easy to use, has advanced flight mode, & comes with dual batteries for a more fun time and a 4K EIS anti-shake camera with a Sony sensor

2. DJI Mavic Mini (Best DJI Alternatives)

The DJI Mavic Mini is my best DJI alternative to the Holy Stone HS280. 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 HS430 (Best Budget Holy Stone Drone)

The Holy Stone HS430 is my best-budget Holy Stone drone. It’s pocket-sized, easy to use, and comes with all the basic features and functions of premium drones on the market without the expensive price tag.

Holy Stone HS280 Safety Tips

  • For your safety and that of the drone, avoid flying near or over obstacles, high-voltage power lines, crowds, trees, water bodies, and airports.
  • The minimum recommended flying age for the HS280 is 16 years.
  • You’re advised to fly in open areas, where you can maintain a line of sight and preferably below heights of 120 meters.
  • Be careful with rotating motors and propellers, and keep a distance to avoid ear damage by the drone’s nose.
  • Avoid flying in extreme weather conditions such as rain, fog, snow, and strong wind.
  • Avoid flying the drone when tired, under the influence of alcohol, under medication, or when in any physical discomfort.
  • Keep the drone clean and well-maintained.
  • Read the user manual thoroughly before flying the HS280.
  • 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 on the Holy Stone HS280

Overall, the Holy Stone HS280 is one of the best beginner drones out there. The HS280’s easy user interface is sure to shorten the learning curve of flying.

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.

You can also check out the best Holy Stone drones to see the reviews of various drones from the Holy Stone series to see 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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