The Camera Sucks, but It's Great Fun to Fly!
Last Updated on
The Holy Stone HS110D is a new beginner drone, costing less than $100, this mid-sized quadcopter has alot to offer for the price. Don't let the price fool you even if you are a seasoned pilot, this drone is still a great purchase, if not for yourself then even to get a friend into flying. The name Holy Stone is not new to the world of drones, with several other popular models available such as the HS150 Bolt Bee and the HS210 Night Elf. They are well known for their quality, as well as their affordability, boasting 4.5 stars on amazon. Holy Stone also has been hailed as one of the best drones for beginners and the Holy Stone HS110D is no different. It encompasses professional-level quality drones for a beginner-level price.
The drone discussed in this review is a recolored version of the Holy Stone HS110D, though all the features are the same, the color scheme is different from the market version. This really doesn't do anything performance wise, it just makes the drone stand out from the others a bit more. Lets get into what we liked, and didn't like so much about the Holy Stone HS110D.
When I received the box for the Holy Stone HS110D, it arrived in very clean packaging, depicting the quadcopter on the front. On the side it had all of the warnings you would expect to see. On the side there was a list of included items with the drone, and if you flip the box over, there is a plethora of information on the back about the Holy Stone HS110D and all of its features. This was very useful, not only for once you get the box open, but if you were just browsing at the store you can get a fairly concrete idea of what this quadcopter has to offer. There are detailed specifications about the controller, as well as information about the app you need to download in order to enable FPV mode for the Holy Stone HS110D.
When you open the box you are greeted with a smaller quadcopter than you might expect, it actually fits pretty comfortably into the palm of your hand, don't let this put you off though, big things come in small packages. The small white drone has a very sleek overall design to it, looking similar to other drones, but having its own distinct size and shape. There was some effort put into the packaging, all of the parts have their own place inside the plastic bed, placed in firmly so they will not bounce around. There is a clear, protective layer that you can place over top as well to prevent any damage from small items falling on it. There is also a little "Thank you" card that comes inside, for purchasing the Holy Stone HS110D. Which is more than many of the best drones offer you.
After pulling out all of the parts for the Holy Stone HS110D, you realize how much they have actually fit into such a small package. Not only is there the drone and the controller, but there are the prop guards, extra landing pads, a phone mount holder (for FPV mode), a charger, and an instruction manual (with the thank you card inside!)
Upon reading over the instruction manual, it was clear that an amateur might have a bit of confusing understanding the landing and takeoff, as they are not very well explained, and some of the diagrams can prove to be misleading. This is a small issue in the grand scheme, and can be overcome quickly with some hands on practice. Aside from the small few mistakes in the manual, it is for the most part, beginner friendly. A new drone pilot would likely be able to figure the drone out without the manual, as it is one of the simpler drones to fly.
The Holy Stone HS110D looks like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro was hit with a shrink ray. Most drones out today have some smaller, less expensive version of them out, this is nothing new. The Holy Stone HS110D is all white in color, so it does attract some dirt, but it is easily cleaned. It's a quadcopter, so there are the 4 props on top as usual, the prop guards are a bit thinner than you might hope for, but they still seem to provide a decent amount of protection for the propellers. The drone itself is made of high-grade plastic, which is surprisingly good at taking a hit, or absorbing a fall. This small white quadcopter has some style as well, equipped with LED lights that not only look awesome, but can act as a low-battery alarm for when the drone is in flight.
Durability is likely one of the most important factors when purchasing a drone, this is even more true for a new pilot. You want a solid, reliable drone that will be lenient with you during the learning process. The Holy Stone HS110D is made of high-grade plastic, called ABS plastic. It can withstand a pretty solid impact without showing too much wear for it. That's a big bonus if you are new to the drone world, because you can expect to crash...... probably lots. Even after a few run ins with various objects, and a decent fall from height, the Holy Stone HS110D held its own and kept flying. As with all drones, it will only take so much abuse before it does decide to quit on you, but honestly, with the price they are listed at, buying another one really wouldn't burn too large of a hole in your pocket.
One of the most important experiences for most drone users, is what the camera is capable of. Pilots want the best possible experience when they are in control of their drones, and camera's help provide a front-seat view of what the drone sees. Photo and video quality have also become paramount in the drone universe, with breathtaking shots being taken from perspectives we would have otherwise not been able to capture. The Holy Stone HS110D comes with a bottom-mounted camera. It takes fairly decent video for the price, but it's fairly low quality. The photographs seem to take well if you can keep the quadcopter steady, and the video isn't that bad, but it does skip. All things considered the Holy Stone HS110D is okay in the camera department but there are far better, much more expensive options if you want an incredibly high quality image, for $100 the Holy Stone HS110D gives more than you would expect. There is a small power button right next to it, as well as the USB port for charging the battery. To start the drone, simply press the power button. Many people remove the camera from the HS110D and save weight, improving performance significantly.
Heres a image of the camera quality from a user on reddit:
Flight time is a difficult thing to prolong, drones require an immense amount of power to keep in the air, and the batteries to keep them flying are expensive. The bonus with the Holy Stone HS110D is that you charge the drone, not the battery. This might throw you off if you are looking for a charging port on your battery. The USB port that is located near the camera actually acts as a charger for the battery as well. Depending on your needs, you can purchase additional batteries, as you will only get a flight time of roughly 10 minutes out of the one included. If you buy enough batteries to rotate them out as the others charge, you can keep yourself flying all day, this can get pricey though, so do this at your own pace.
The Holy Stone HS110D is truly an awesome little piece of technology to pilot. There are different speed modes if you are looking to take it slow to learn the basics, or to turn it up if you already know what you are doing. To get the Holy Stone HS110D to take off you just make sure that the drone and controller are linked with each other, and wait for the LED lights on the drone to change to solid blue and white colors, and with the press of a button you are in the air! Landing is the same process, simply press the land button and the drone brings itself back down to the ground.
There are trimming buttons that you use to keep the Holy Stone HS110D stable in flight, these can be a bit tricky to get the feel for, but if you have experience with other drones then this should be nothing new. As a beginner you can expect to crash a few times, or smash into something, or some sporadic flight patterns. Once you get to know the controls, and how the drone responds to them, it becomes much easier to make the drone do what you want it to. Even on the highest speed settings, as relative newcomer should be able to have an enjoyable flying experience.
While in flight, with experience the Holy Stone HS110D is perfectly capable of performing stunts, such as 360 degree flips. This is a fairly standard feature with most drones, I would only recommend attempting it when you have a decent amount of battery life, if you are running low it may fail and just crash your drone.
The Holy Stone HS110D actually comes with an amazing controller for the price. It has a built in LCD display, while its not very big, it has a ton of information posted for you to view such as the status of the drone, the speed level, and which features are currently active. The controller itself is easy to understand, even though its rather large, it is still comfortable to hold. One downside is that there is little to no description or instructions directly on the controller, so you will have to actually do some reading of the manual to fully understand what each button does. Some of the controls are the same as most other transmitters, such as the levers, the Holy Stone HS110D also has trimming buttons in the right hand section. The trimming buttons help keep the Holy Stone HS110D stable.
There is a headless mode function that is also available which is a cool feature for new pilots, it makes the controller feel slightly more like a steering wheel, in that if you turn right, the drone will turn right, regardless of which way the drone itself is facing.
The distance that the controller can transmit and receive is only 50 meters, which isn't huge, but it is also not bad, you have to keep in mind the bargain you are getting here.
The Holy Stone HS110D is definitely a contender for a top drone in the beginners market. With all the added features that the Holy Stone HS110D comes with it has shown itself as one of the best available options in its price range. Though there are some slight downfalls, like the controller range, and size, this is to be expected with an entry level drone. These are meant to get some experience under your belt with, to either decide if you wish to continue pursuing drones as a hobby, or just fly around once in a while for fun. The Holy Stone HS110D has impressed me in almost every available aspect, and would be an awesome way to get someone to try to drone piloting.