Does Holy Stone make good drones? This is a frequently asked question on the web. Well, you can only look at it drone by drone, as we are going to do in this Holy Stone HS510 review.
With a weight of 245g only, this quad is easy to carry around, even on your person. To make it even easier to carry with you, it is foldable! You can toss it into your jacket pocket and you will not feel it.
Other things that make this quadcopter worth buying include the long flight range, the long battery life, nice camera and a good handful of flight functions.
In the industry, quality has become synonymous with Holy Stone drones. You can check our past reviews on HS720, HS165 and Holy Stone HS700 to name but just a few of them and you will see their excellent quality.
While this brand name makes some nice specimens, there is a flipside to the HS510. One of the bad sides to this drone is that you cannot control the camera angle from the remote controller. If you want to adjust the view, you have to bring the quad home and do it manually.
For such a great looking and powerful drone, we feel that this is an injustice.
There have been some complaints about some users losing their SD cards when the drone is in flight. Therefore, you might want to check whether that happens with all HS510s or it could be a problem with a few.
Holy Stone HS510 Features & Technical Details
A quadcopter is only as good as its features. For a price of almost $200, you want to be sure that you will get a good number of features. And you will! Keep reading to see all the features that this quad packs and the flight function that it comes with.
Design and Build Quality
The build alone wins many hearts. First, it is foldable. The arms fold to the sides of the body, making it smaller, more compact and easier to pack when traveling. It measures just 5.6 by 2.9 by 2.0 inches when folded, quite small. Besides, it comes with a compact carry and storage bag.
We already talked about the weight, which is 245g. The FAA requires you to register your drone with them if it weighs more than 250g. Therefore, you will not need to register this one.
The motors are brushless in design. They will last long and they will not overheat. At the same time, they make minimal noise.
The blades are in the split design, so they also fold up making the drone smaller. Besides, this is good for beginners because the drone folds intact with all accessories. When you get to the place you are going to, just unfold the drone and fly it.
The material used to make the hull is ABS plastic. The electronic parts are well protected.
This quadcopter comes with a 4K camera with a wide field of view at 120°. The camera also has some form of stabilization for the camera. However, this is not as good as the 3-Axis gimbal and therefore the videos come out shaky. This is a big disadvantage considering that most people buy these drones to be their aerial cameras.
This camera captures good photos as it makes use of all pixels. However, for the videos, it will shoot them in a resolution of 2.7K at 25 frames per second. You can also capture 4K videos at 16 frames per second. Please note that you can only capture videos and photos in 4K if you will store them in a TF card. You can only do 1920 * 1080P when using phone storage.
You can also enjoy a good FPV experience. The remote controller has a retractable smartphone holder for your phone. The real-time transmission video is clear and is transmitted over 5G Wi-Fi at low latency.
The FPV transmission distance is 200 to 300 meters. To reach the maximum range, fly the drone in open spaces without any obstacles.
This small and high quality remote controller connects to the drone using the low latency 2.4GHz frequency. It has a retractable smartphone holder. To use it, just stretch it out and then lock it into place.
The transmitter has a nice screen that displays the drone’s telemetry. This includes things such as battery, drone distance, height and others. The only thing lacking about this remote controller is that it does not have a built-in rechargeable battery, so you have to buy 2 AA batteries for it. They should be easy to find.
The remote controller range is quite big at 800 meters if you fly it in open spaces without any obstacles.
Regarding the design of the remote controller, it is stylish. It has a grainy texture, which feels good against the palms of your hands. It can also help you hold it more securely if you have sweaty palms.
It has an antenna on one side of the plastic stands. While many small drones come with fake plastic antennas, this one has a real one.
Battery and Flight Time
You will get two batteries with this drone. These are 7.6V LiPo 1500mAh batteries. Each is going to give you 16 minutes of flight time, which is quite good. You can fly the drone for 30 minutes. Spare batteries are also available on various online marketplaces, so you can always order a third one if you like.
The availability of many flight functions make this quadcopter a delight to fly. They make it fun and simple enough to fly for beginners. They include the following:
Optical Flow Positioning
This function is very useful in areas where the GPS signal is weak, for example, when you are flying the drone indoors. It helps you to know where the drone is all the time. At the same time, it also enables precise hovering to take footage.
Smart Return Home
When the drone loses signal or when the battery runs low, it will turn and come back to the place from where it was launched. This is a fail-safe feature and it is very welcome for beginners because you do not have to worry about losing your drone. This function can also work even when the drone flies beyond its connectivity range.
GPS Follow Me Mode
The drone will lock onto the GPS in your smartphone and it will follow you while keeping a respectable distance. Wherever you go, the drone will follow you right there, keeping a respectable distance all the time and capturing footage.
Way Point Mode
In this mode, the drone follows a path that you draw for it. Just select a route that has interesting things to see because the drone will capture footage all along. You can draw the flight path on the app (map).
Point of Interest
Pick a point on the map, probably something that is interesting and worth capturing on camera. The quadcopter will circle around the point of interest taking footage from all angles.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
This is a small but powerful flier. When a friend told me I could never go wrong with a Holy Stone, I thought they were kidding. Now I have seen for myself. Frankie G.
I would recommend the HS510 for a beginner because of the two speed settings. It is a perfect quad to learn how to fly with and you can hold onto it after that. The Drone Man
The 1-axis gimbal is a bit of a let down in my opinion. It does not stabilize the camera enough. This affects the video quality a bit. However, if you are not getting it for videos, it is a delightful drone. Robert B.
When I bought this drone, I thought I would only keep it for a short time and upgrade to a bigger one after learning how to fly it. I am still holding onto it. Frankly, I do not find the need to upgrade.
I love that the remote controller has a nice display that brings the drone telemetry and lets you know what is happening at a glance.
Holy Stone HS510 Pros
- Comes with 2 batteries each with a 16-minute flight time
- Nice storage case
- Stylish looks and very easy to pack in your pocket or bag
- Has two speed settings which is good for beginners
- Sold with a spare set of propellers
- Brushless motors is a nice touch for such a little drone
- Good camera with 4K resolution for both photos and videos if you use a TF card
- Supports a TF card
Holy Stone HS510 Cons
- Some users have complained that the TF card keeps falling out of its slot and getting lost
- Camera footage is a bit distorted because the 1-axis gimbal is not very good
Who should buy the Holy Stone HS510?
For beginners and experienced users, this high quality drone is definitely worth the price. Sure, it has its downsides but it is still way ahead of the curve when compared to its peers. You also get two batteries and there is an option to buy more if you need them. As a beginner, you will love the functions that make the drone so simple to fly. As an experienced user, you will love the 4K camera and the performance.
Conclusion and Recommendation
When you get the Holy Stone HS510 drone, it is a case of love at first sight. However, wait a bit before you can fly it. First, find an open space without obstacles as such can obstruct the signal. Also, check the user manual to see how to calibrate the drone with the remote controller. Fly the drone during the day and ensure there is no wind. You will find it very enjoyable.