Holy Stone HS120D – Cheap GPS Drone with Full HD Camera
The Holy Stone HS120D is an affordable drone with a Full HD camera and GPS navigation. The 221 gram lightweight quadcopter has a flight time of about 16 minutes and can be controlled within a range of up to 440 yards (400 meters). The compact copter is suitable as a drone for kids or beginners who are looking for a solid first drone.
Design and processing
With its dimensions of 27 x 27 x 12 cm and its weight of just 221 g, the compact Holy Stone HS120D is relatively small and light, compared to many other drones with cameras.
The all-black Holy Stone HS120D is made of sturdy plastic and has two landing skids that provide a secure grip even on uneven surfaces. To protect the four rotors, the drone comes with several propeller protectors that can be easily attached and removed.
Technical data of Holy Stone HS120D
The Holy Stone HS120D can be controlled at a maximum distance of 440 yards (400 meters). Since the radio connection to the remote control is via WiFi, other WiFi networks can affect the reception and lead to lower ranges. Therefore, it is best to always fly your drone in an open field, away from buildings and other radio sources.
Since the Holy Stone HS120D has a GPS module, the drone will always independently maintain its position in the air when you release the control sticks on the controller. This is extremely helpful, especially for beginners and children, and makes controlling the drone immensely easier. An automatic return to the starting position (Return-to-Home) is also possible at the touch of a button thanks to GPS.
The maximum ascent height of the Holy Stone HS120D is 395 feet (120 meters).
Equipped with a 7.4 V, 1200 mAh battery, the Holy Stone HS120D achieves flight times of 16 to 18 minutes. The battery is charged using the included USB charging station, in which up to two batteries can be charged simultaneously. One charge takes approximately 120 minutes.
To extend the flight time, we generally recommend purchasing another battery when you buy a drone.
Depending on your experience, the Holy Stone HS120D can be flown at three different speed levels, which are conveniently adjustable via a small wheel on the top left side of the controller. Small LEDs in the center of the remote control indicate which speed mode you are currently in.
Remote control and app
The remote control of the Holy Stone HS120D is ergonomically designed and very compact thanks to retractable handles. It has a fold-out smartphone holder and two antennas for communication with the drone.
On the front of the controller, there are a total of four buttons for various functions in addition to the two control joysticks. Among other things, the Holy Stone HS120D can take off at the push of a button and also land safely at the starting position or on an existing drone landing site (return-to-home). Thanks to GPS, the drone remembers the takeoff position and independently returns to the takeoff location if desired.
The altitude at which the drone should return in Return-to-Home mode can also be set in the app. By the way, you can download the app for free either in the Google Play Store, Apple App Store or by scanning the QR code in the instruction manual.
If you want to fly the Holy Stone HS120D indoors, you can turn off the GPS reception by pressing a button. However, we only recommend this to experienced pilots, as controlling without GPS requires a certain amount of intuition.
A definite plus point of the Holy Stone HS120D is the 3.7 V, 300 mAh battery built into the remote control, which can be recharged via USB charging cable and should provide up to 10 hours of operation. Batteries, as needed for many controllers of cheaper drones, are therefore not required for the Holy Stone HS120D.
Once you have installed the app, you can then not only view the live FPV image from the camera during the flight, but also read a lot of telemetry data from the drone on the smartphone display. For example, you will continuously receive information about the current altitude and distance of the drone.
The adjustable beginner mode is also very practical, which is especially helpful for first flight attempts. In this mode, the height and range of the drone are limited, so you can learn how to use the Holy Stone HS120D within a safe radius.
Another nice feature is also the app’s flight log, where you can look up a lot of data about flights you have already completed.
The camera of the Holy Stone HS120D
The Full HD camera of the Holy Stone HS120D records videos in 1080p and stores them both in the app and on a microSD memory card of up to 32 GB in the drone. An 8 GB memory card is already included in the package.
The camera’s field of view is 120°, making it extremely wide-angle. The camera does not have a gimbal, but can be tilted vertically by up to 75° during flight. The camera angle can be conveniently adjusted via a small wheel on the top right of the controller.
The quality of the videos is slightly better than that of the Holy Stone HS100, but is nowhere near the brilliant recordings of a Xiaomi FIMI A3 or even DJI Mavic Air 2. It should be noted at this point that drones in the price range of a Holy Stone HS120D are certainly suitable for creating videos, but if you want to create first-class photos and videos, you have to reach for a more expensive drone with a gimbal.
The FPV live image transmission to the smartphone works up to a distance of about 130 yards (120 meters). Just like with the maximum control range, however, it also depends on the ambient conditions how far the transmission remains stable in individual cases.
Gesture control and intelligent flight modes
If you want to take a selfie or record a video with the Holy Stone HS120D, you can even do so without remote control. This is made possible by the drone’s integrated gesture control. If you form a Victory sign in front of the camera lens, the Holy Stone HS120D automatically takes a photo. To start a video, form your hand into a fist and then open it again in front of the camera.
Smart flight modes are usually only found in more expensive drones. However, the Holy Stone HS120D already has some interesting features for automatically making videos from a bird’s eye view.
In the so-called Follow Me mode, the drone independently follows the signal of the remote control and thus you as the pilot, while simultaneously recording a video. In Circle mode, the drone circles around you while also recording a short video.
Waypoint navigation is also particularly handy, allowing you to plan your flight route in advance on a map in the app. The Holy Stone HS120D then flies the defined route independently.
Another mode that is mainly interesting for beginners is the so-called Headless mode of the Holy Stone HS120D. If you activate the setting, it doesn’t matter how the drone is instantly oriented in the sky when you give it control commands in a certain direction. This means, for example, that if you move the control stick to the left, the drone will always fly to the left – even if the front of the drone is currently facing you. Of course, it’s the same for the other directions.
Scope of delivery
- Holy Stone HS120D drone
- 7,4 V, 1200 mAh battery
- Remote control
- 3.4 V, 300 mAh battery
- Spare propeller
- Spare landing gear
- Propeller protector
- USB charging station
- USB card reader
The Holy Stone HS120D convinces with good features at a reasonable price. For less than 150 dollars, you get a GPS drone with a full HD camera, about 16 minutes of flight time and various additional functions such as Follow Me, Circle or Waypoint Navigation.
Even if the quality of the camera recordings can’t keep up with current top drones, the Holy Stone HS120D can still produce the first usable videos, which can even be viewed in real time on a smartphone thanks to FPV live image transmission.
We think the Holy Stone HS120D is an excellent camera drone for beginners and ideally suited for first flight attempts and drone videos. Have fun flying, wishes your drone comparison!