HS has a knack for making some of the best drones in the market. The Holy Stone HS161 does not disappoint when it comes to the features or the looks. This is a newly released drone launched in the middle of 2019. Thus, you can expect better looks, more features and lots more technology. Sold at a very affordable price, it will be hard for you to resist buying it, especially if you are a beginner. If you are looking for a newbie drone that you can fly with little experience and one that is very exciting, you will love this. Stick with us till the end of this HS161 review.
Holy Stone HS161 Features & Technical Details
Design, build quality and durability
This is a foldable drone. When folded, the propeller arms go along the body of the drone, thus leaving you with a compact rectangular block that will be so easy to carry. You can just slip it into your jacket pocket and carry it without a problem.
The interior parts of the drone are encased in high quality ABS plastic. This is not the kind of drone that will spill all of its guts when it crashes with an obstacle. As a beginner drone, it has been designed to take any abuse meted on it.
Another hard to miss feature is the searchlight that is located above the nose of the drone. This is great for flying at night or in low-lit conditions. Beside the searchlight on each side, there is a blue LED light. This not only makes the drone visual during the night but it is also very stylish.
For a quick mention, when unfolded, the drone measures 10 by 9 8.7 by 1.3 inches and when folded, it measures 7 by 2 by1.3 inches. The weight is 129 g only so it does not require FAA registration.
Right under the searchlight, you will find the camera, which we will discuss later.
1080P camera with FPV
You get a 1080P HD camera with FPV, but while many drones stop at that, we already told you that this drone is a new release and therefore it packs slightly more tech than others. For example, you can use it as a handheld video camera! Whether you are using this one as an aerial camera or you are shooting with it in handheld mode, you will capture stunning footage. Just make sure you use it in daylight for the best effect.
For live video transmission, you have to use your smartphone. Not to worry though because the drone is sold with an 8GB TF card for storage. Thus, you will be able to spare the space in your phone. The real-time video transmission range is 50 meters.
Flight features and performance
What good is a drone if it looks great but it cannot fly well? Thankfully, this one exceeds all expectations. The first, and perhaps the most important feature for flight is the optical flow positioning. What this means is that when you launch the drone, you do not have to worry about stability.
It is designed to stay as steady and stable as possible all the time. This is why you will be able to capture great photos and videos with no distortion at all even when the drone is in flight.
Other flight features that we may mention include the one key takeoff and landing. We laud this for being the best feature for beginners. It helps to act as your emergency brake. If the drone runs towards an obstacle, just punch this mode and it will turn back to land.
The return home feature enables you to bring the drone back home if the battery goes low or if you lose signal. It is a safety feature that ensures that you do not lose your drone.
With the altitude hold feature, the Holy Stone HS 161 hovers at a certain height, steadily to take footage from that height. Another important feature is headless mode, which helps with orientation problems. When the drone is out of sight, it can be hard to know where it is headed. With Headless mode engaged though, the drone realigns itself.
The HS 161 also comes with three speed modes. It has low, intermediate and high speeds. The lowest speed is 7km/h while the highest is 23km/h. If you have never flown a drone before, you should start with the low speed modes and after gaining some experience, try the other speed modes.
Battery and flight time
This drone comes with a 3.7V 1000mAh battery, and it can give you a flight time of 10 minutes. You can find out whether you can buy an extra battery or two for higher flight time. The charging time for this battery is 110 minutes. This drone can also transform into a good power bank, with the ability to charge your iPhone 6S Plus from 0 to 40 percent in a very short time.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
So I bought this drone as soon as it was released into the market. I have enjoyed a lot of goodness from it. I would recommend it for anyone, not just beginners. Jude W.
This drone is incredible, in every respect. I love that I can use it like a handheld camera to record videos at family occasions. Mickey P.
Drone looks so stylish I was hesitant to fly it. However, so far, I have seen how well it flies, the quality of the videos and the photos and the optical flow positioning is indeed great. Gid K.
I have flown this drone in the wind slightly higher than 10km/h and it went just great. The drone flies like a marvel at low, medium or high speed. Spencer T.
This is my first drone ever yet I found it so easy to assemble and fly. Ok, I admit to getting a little help from a YouTube video but I did it! Terrence G.
Pros of Holy Stone HS161
- Folds into a compact, narrow rectangular shape
- You can use it like a power bank to charge your iPhone
- Drone can capture videos in handheld design
- Easy to assemble even for newbie users
- Sold with 8GB TF card, but you can upgrade to bigger cards, up to 128GB
- Searchlight can serve as your flashlight at night
- Very stylish design
- Nice and responsive controller
Cons of Holy Stone HS161
- No cons, except that it is a bit hard to calibrate for a newbie pilot
Who Should Buy The Holy Stone HS161?
Any person that loves style and value for their money should buy this drone. It is a great choice for beginners and you may never want to upgrade. The Holy Stone HS161 has advanced features that make it quite a thrill to fly. At the same time, it retails at a very affordable price, so it should not put a dent in your wallet.
Conclusion and Recommendation
If you buy the Holy Stone HS161 as your first drone, there are a few recommendations to pay attention to before you can fly it. Read the user manual and watch a few YouTube videos. This should teach you how to assemble and fly it. Start flying it at low speed and when you gain some experience, try the higher speeds.