When looking for the best cheap drone to buy, you hardly expect to find a jewel like the Holy Stone HS200W. I mean, this drone is so affordable, as you will see, costing far below the $150 mark. You would expect it to be… well, just lackluster and so-so in looks and performance. But alas! This one is a winner all through, for even at a price that is in many marketplaces below $100, it still has incredible features like First Person View (FPV), altitude hold, headless mode and many more, which we will discuss in various sections below. Do not forget that this is a camera drone. In many drone reviews, it is regarded as one of the best cheap camera drones.
Holy Stone HS200W Features & Technical Details
The physical features
The first thing that you are going to notice about the Holy Stone HS200W when you get it out of the box is just how beautiful it is. It is black and red in color, yeah, like Valentine’s Day color theme. I understand that it was designed with children in mind. That explains the nice color combination. Who wants an aggressive-looking drone when they can have one as beautiful as this?
This is a quadcopter, quad meaning four, as it has four propellers. When you get it out of the box, check that there is a spare set of propeller. Should you by any chance break a propeller, just replace it. Besides, even the other spare parts are easy to buy.
For the size, we can say it is moderate – not big and definitely not too small, at 12.6 inches by 12.6 inches. This still makes it possible to pack and travel with.
If it is touted as a camera drone, then it had better take some serious pictures. However, please note that the Holy Stone HS200W is the best cheap drone, not a professional camera drone. This, in other words, is to say that you get what you pay for. Thus, do not buy this drone for professional video and photography.
For personal photography to share with family, friends and fans across social media channels, you will like what the 2MP camera can do. You will also love the 1280 x 720 P resolution for videos.
This is a fixed camera, not removable. So when you buy the drone, you are stuck with the camera. Another thing you should know is that this drone is equipped with FPV – first person view. This means that when you connect your smartphone (just download the Holy Stone App on android or iOS mobile technology) you will get a nice view, similar to what you would see if you were right inside the drone. This allows you to stream photos and videos in real life.
Cheap drone as it is, it still packs some of the most impressive flight features. These are targeted at beginners as well as advanced pilots. Thus, no matter your level of skill, you will still love the HS200W. Keep reading:
Altitude Hold – a couple of years ago, this feature was only found in the big boys in the drone market. But it is available in the HS200W. This feature holds the drone at a designated altitude, leaving it to hover, taking photos and videos. Seriously, even for the most affordable drones, if they lack this feature, it is hard to think of them as worthy of the price you will pay for them.
Gravity sensor mode – This is another of the features that you mostly find in highly priced, bigger drones. It allows the drone to fly in the direction that you tilt the controller. It is mostly a fun feature, which many people love using. You can use this feature in your smartphone too and fly the drone using your smartphone.
Easy one button takeoff and landing – The only way to ensure that beginners land their drone safely is to incorporate a one button take off and landing feature. With the press of a button, you can land the drone safely. It also takes off easily.
One key for return to home – This is another of the important safety features that many drone enthusiasts consider in their drones. It enables the drone to fly right back to the person holding the transmitter. It is hard to lose a drone when you have this feature.
Headless mode – The way that a drone is engineered is that the rotors will rotate in the direction that the drone’s nose is facing, because that is the forward direction. However, when flying your drone in headless mode, it means you “overrule” the nose direction, causing the drone to adopt the direction of the transmitter as the forward direction. Thus, it can fly backwards, sideways and so on.
Battery, flight time and range
The HS200W comes with a 3.7V 650mAh lithium polymer battery. The flight time per charge is about 9 minutes, maybe slightly less when there is some wind. When you fly it without any tricks, hovering and so on, you may be able to squeeze some 10 minutes out of the battery, but it will not do any longer than that. Charging time is 60 minutes, or more as some reviews show.
Flight range is about 100 meters. However, the video transmission range is 50 meters, still, that is one of the best for small drones such as this one.
Other features include a 4GB microSD card, card reader, user manual and USB charger. The weight is minimal at 108 g, thus no FAA registration is required for your drone.
Short Summary of Feedback From Existing Owners
I am planning to buy this cheap drone for my 13 year old son in December 2018. I am so glad it has so many features yet it is so affordable at the same time. He has been a responsible son and I cannot wait to see his face. Rebecca V.
No frills, no tricks and certainly a low price – I was looking for simple drone to just take random pictures, fly out in the yard every now and then, and I found this. No regrets whatsoever. Money well spent. Keith H.
This is my replacement drone from Holy Stone. The first one failed to return home even after hitting the return home button. Instead, it flew higher! Everything is now fine, but I have only been able to get 8 minutes of flight time out of this one. Terrence K.
For $100, I was expecting much fewer features. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. However, the charging time is definitely more than an hour, 80 minutes to be precise. Simon K.
Pros of Holy Stone HS200W
- Durable – will come through crashes without a scathe
- Packs many features for such an affordable price
- Easy to get spare parts
- Short learning curve for beginner pilots
- Excellent customer service from Holy Stone
- Many flight features
- LED lighting
Cons of Holy Stone HS200W
- Battery takes too long to charge
- Flight time could be better
- Camera quality could be better
Who Should Buy the Holy Stone HS200W?
Anyone who fancies a small and affordable drone with a camera, several flight modes and many features can buy the Holy Stone HS200W. However, you should check your expectations concerning flight time, battery charging time and camera. That way, you shall not be disappointed. This drone also makes a good gift option for parents looking for something out of the ordinary to buy for their children in the coming festive season. It will not set you back a lot on your wallet and it is certainly going to leave a lasting impression. If you are a beginner and you are looking for a sturdy drone that you can learn flying with, buy the HS200W.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The numerous features, flight modes and the affordable price make this drone a good purchase for anyone. The best thing though is to first read a Holy Stone HS200W review as you are reading this. You will then buy this cheap drone with the right expectations. Although it does not come with a professional quality camera, it still does a perfect job and can shoot decent photos and videos. If you are on a tight budget and you must have a drone, you can order this one without hesitation.