Are you looking for a fairly-priced FPV drone with a good quality camera that can take 1080P videos? Well, your search stops right here with the Holy Stone HS165.
And it is not as if the Holy Stone name is new in the market. We have had great drones from them before. We did look at their awesome battle drone Holy Stone HS177 and the Holy Stone HS200W, which is one of the best drones for kids. HS has been providing the market with incredible drones at different prices and with incredible features to boot. The HS165 is no inferior when it comes to the features, which we will explore in the upcoming sections.
Holy Stone HS165 Features & Technical Details
Packaging, design and build quality
The first thing that you will love about this drone is that it arrives in good packaging, quite compact. You are provided with everything that you need to fly your lovely drone. Just make sure that the package has a transmitter, USB cable for charging the battery, USB cable for charging the transmitter, a 7.4V 880mAh battery, a screwdriver, a set of four bonus propellers, 4 bonus screws and the user manual.
About the design and build quality, well, there is quite a handful to say. First, this is a foldable drone, so traveling with it should pose no problem at all. Secondly, the casing is so strong! You will crash this drone several times, sometimes hitting the ground with its belly, crashing into walls, trees and so on, but this drone will still come out intact.
You will not need to register the HS165 with the FAA before you can fly it outdoors. It weighs just 177 g, low below the threshold that is needed for registration. If you love style, you will be happy with this drone. It looks quite stunning. Even the dusted dark-grayish color looks quite good. This is not unexpected since Holy Stone has always made very stylish drones.
When the drone is folded, it measures 10 inches by 6.5 inches by 2 inches. You can see how easy it is to tuck it in a backpack and carry it with you.
It is ergonomic in design, stylish and weighs a manageable weight. You can hold this transmitter for a long time without feeling too tired or cramped in your hands. It uses the 2.4GHz frequency, which as we know, is rarely interrupted. There will be no signal loss to contend with.
In the package, you will realize that there is an extra Li-Po battery and an extra charging cable. These are for the transmitter. It uses a rechargeable 3.7V 300mAh Li-Po battery. The transmitter maximum connection range is 400 meters as long as there are no obstacles. The maximum connection height range is 120 meters.
The Holy Stone HS165 is a camera drone. This drone takes good video and photo footage, especially when you capture them outdoors. If you love outdoor adventures, this drone is going to capture high quality footage. The camera also has a 90-degree wide-angle lens, which gives it enough field of view to capture footage with a lot of background.
You will also get real-time transmission for your videos. With First Person View, you can watch your videos as they are taken, just as if you are inside the drone. This uses the 5GHz Wi-Fi transmission and the live transmission distance is 820 feet as long as there are no obstacles in the flight path. You will view the videos and images on your smartphone because this transmitter does not have a built-in screen. You will also store the captured footage in your smartphone storage. However, since the drone has an SD card slot, you may store your footage in a card as long as it is not bigger than 32GB. This is not provided with the drone, so you have to buy it separately.
As you capture videos of your adventure, you can share them promptly with your family and friends on social media straight from the app.
This is one of the best features to have in any drone. It is called the third option for flight. The first option is to use the remote controller/transmitter, which we have discussed above. The second option is to use the app through your smartphone and now we have the third option – hands-free!
Here three hands-free modes to fly this drone:
- You may enable the Circle Fly mode in the app, and then set the drone to circle around a certain object at a hover height of your choice. You may use the default hover height of choice, which is 20 meters, at a radius of 3 meters from the object.
- Tap Fly mode allows you to mark 16 points towards which the drone can fly. This enables you to capture video and photo footage with good flow.
- Lastly, there is the Follow Me Mode where the drone follows you. If you increase your speed, it increases its speed and slows when you slow down. Follow Me mode is one of the best features for people that love taking selfies. Imagine having your drone coming after you as you ride your mountain bike, capturing footage of the adventure.
What is a good drone without navigation features? Here are two GPS navigation features that you will find in the Holy Stone HS165:
- Automatic return means that the drone will return home, meaning the place where it was launched from or to the person holding the controller if it loses signal or the battery runs low.
- One key return means that the drone will immediately turn back and start flying towards you when you press the key. If the drone flies out of sight, just press the one key return and the drone comes back.
Best beginner features
If the HS165 is your first drone ever, you will surely be looking forward to getting the best out of it. Thankfully, it has been packed with many beginner features such as you will see below:
- Headless mode – Why worry about where the nose of the drone is facing when you can just punch headless mode and the drone realigns itself to face ahead of you? Drones have this uncanny ability to look the same front-back.
- One key takeoff and landing – Just press this key on the controller and the drone either lands or takes off.
- Speed modes – The HS165 has two speed modes – high and low. If you are a beginner, just start with low and when you have learned the ropes of flying drones, punch high speed and see what she can do.
- Altitude Hold – with this feature, the drone automatically holds the height of your choice. That way, you just worry about the horizontal flight. The altitude hold is also quite stable, so the quality of the videos and photos is not affected at all.
- Lastly, and this is something that even most advanced drone pilots do not know is that to stop the drone in its tracks immediately, you can press the uppermost buttons on the left and right together for half a second and the drone will stop immediately.
HS165 battery and flight time
We have already seen that the Holy Stone HS165 comes with a Li-Po 7.4V 880mAh battery for the drone itself. The charging time for this battery is 120 minutes. You will get 15 minutes of flight time per full charge. The remote control battery is a rechargeable Li-Po 3.7V 300mAh and the charging time is 60 minutes.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
This is my third Holy Stone drone and as I expected, it has not disappointed me. Everything works as advertised, the flight time is OK with me and I think the video quality is incredibly good. Giovanni C.
I have crashed this drone more times than I care to count. However, it has come out intact through every crash. Henri M.
I would recommend this drone for beginners thanks to its incredible build and quality. The HS165 can withstand the test of time. Maxwell D.
Having had this drone for some time now, I think I can speak with some authority. First, it flies nicely even at the highest altitude – I have flown it at 90 meters. Secondly, the video and picture quality are so good you would think the camera has bigger resolution than 1080P. Thirdly, as long as there are no obstacles, this drone will go to the maximum flight range without losing the signal. Louis A.
My HS165 nearly gave me a heart attack when it almost flew out of range. Luckily, I did not lose my head and punched the return home key and the drone turned back. I would not fly this in the wind. I am afraid it can fly away for good. Jefre G.
I just bought the HS165 a week ago. I loved the packaging and that it is easy to put together. However, I am yet to fly it so I can only comment on the looks, and it does look good. Hope she flies as good too. Leslie W.
Pros of Holy Stone HS165
- It is foldable, which makes it easy to transport
- Many beginner and navigation features
- Good flight time from the battery
- Great resilience from the drone – can withstand crashes very well
- High quality videos from the 1080P camera
- Has good hands-free flight features
- It has a slot to use a microSD card
Cons of Holy Stone HS165
- It does not have guards for the propellers
- Some people have reported lack of response from the transmitter controls
Who Should Buy Holy Stone HS165?
Beginners and advanced drone enthusiasts looking for something fairly affordable yet feature-rich can buy the Holy Stone HS165. As a beginner you will have a great drone with easy to use features. As an advanced drone hobbyist, you will get a specimen with a good number of features, thought not as many as what you would have in the higher priced drones. You will always be glad you bought this drone.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Before you can enjoy the glory of your Holy Stone HS165, there are a few recommendations to take note of. One of them is that this drone does not have obstacle sensors, so fly it in the open fields. Secondly, read the user manual keenly, know everything you can about using this drone. Thirdly, learn how to fly it at low speed first before you can do high speeds.