Holy Stone HS165 – 1080p 5G WiFi FPV Drone
The Holy Stone HS165 is an affordable drone with Full HD camera and FPV live image transmission. The foldable quadcopter has GPS, autonomous flight modes like Follow Me and comes with two batteries.
Design and weight
The Holy Stone HS165 comes in all black. The chassis of the drone has a slightly curved shape and makes an ergonomic impression. The drone’s four arms can be folded for transport and the propellers are also foldable, as is known from many drones with cameras nowadays.
When unfolded, the HS165 measures about 26 x 18 x 5 cm and is about medium in size compared to other copters.
The weight of the drone is about 172 grams. There are four LEDs on the undersides of the four arms, which ensure good visibility of the drone in the sky.
The Holy Stone HS165 comes together with a compact remote control in a gamepad-look. We really like the fact that the remote control is not powered by standard batteries, but by a rechargeable battery (3.7 V, 300 mAh). One battery charge of the controller is sufficient for about 60 minutes of operation. The battery is charged via the included USB charging cable.
There is a fold-out smartphone holder on the controller, which should fit all common smartphones. Although you can also control the drone without a smartphone, you will then have to do without the live FPV image of the drone.
To be able to view the live camera image during the flight, you must therefore first download and install the app “HS GPS V1“. The app is free, offers many setting options and is available for download for both Android and Apple devices in the respective App Store.
A practical carrying bag, which is also included in the scope of delivery, ensures the safe transport of the drone and remote control.
Equipment and flight characteristics
Unlike many other affordable drones, the Holy Stone HS165 has a GPS module. With access to a positioning system, the drone stably maintains its position in the air and doesn’t get flustered even in low winds.
Takeoff and landing work easily at the touch of a button, and there’s also a Return-to-Home mode that lets the drone automatically land on a drone landing pad or simply on the ground. A simple push of a button is all it takes for the Holy Stone HS165 to independently return to the launch position. By the way, the drone will start the independent flight home even if the battery level is critical or if the signal to the remote control is lost. Thus, you do not run the risk of accidentally losing the drone.
Once in the air, you as the pilot have two different speeds to choose from. For video recording, the slower mode is recommended to minimize the vibrations of the drone and their impact on the quality of the footage.
Since the Holy Stone HS165 is capable of the “automatic altitude hold” feature, the drone will stay in place in the air when you release the controller’s joysticks. This is a standard feature, except for many mini drones, but it still deserves positive mention.
Beginners will also be happy about the so-called headless mode. In this mode, simplified control of the drone is available to you. In Headless Mode, it doesn’t matter how the drone is instantly oriented in the sky when you execute a forward, backward, left or right control command. The drone will always fly in the desired direction, regardless of whether the front or rear is facing you at the moment. So rethinking based on the drone’s orientation in the sky is not necessary in this mode, making for even more intuitive control.
However, we recommend that you don’t fly in headless mode for too long, as not all drones have this feature by a long shot. In addition, it is generally advisable to also get to grips with the normal controls of a drone.
Flight time and range of the Holy Stone HS165
The Holy Stone HS165 achieves flight times of about 14 minutes – per battery. Since the drone comes with two batteries from the factory, you can fly up to 28 minutes before the 7.4 V, 880 mAh batteries need to be recharged.
A charging process via the included USB charging cable takes about 120 minutes.
The quadcopter can be controlled within a radius of about 330 yards (300 meters). This is a very decent value for drones in this price range. By the way, since the GPS of the drone can be turned off manually (at the push of a button), you can fly the drone not only outdoors, but also indoors. However, since the copter does not have a vision positioning system, you should have some practice if you want to control the drone in confined spaces.
Camera and FPV transmission
The Holy Stone HS165’s camera records videos in Full HD (1920 x1080 pixels) at 25 fps. The camera’s viewing angle is 90°, which makes it slightly wide-angled. Unfortunately, the built-in camera cannot be tilted (unlike the Holy Stone HS120D, for example).
Photos can be taken in 2 megapixels. Since the drone does not have a gimbal, camera shots will always be a bit shaky. If you are looking for a drone with a gimbal and don’t want to spend too much money, you should take a look at the GoolRC SG906 PRO.
The live image from the camera can be streamed to the user’s smartphone up to a distance of about 200 to 275 yards (180 to 250 meters). The frequency used for this is in the 5 GHz frequency band. For live transmission to work, your smartphone must therefore be capable of 5G WiFi. More precisely, it must support the IEEE 802.11ac protocol. Most current smartphones are capable of this standard, but you should still check beforehand whether your phone also supports this frequency.
Photos and videos are stored on a maximum 32 gigabyte microSD card, which is not included and has to be purchased separately.
The Holy Stone HS165 is capable of a total of three autonomous flight modes. In Follow Me mode, the drone follows the signal of the remote control and thus you as the pilot, while simultaneously recording a video of you.
In Circle Fly (Point of Interest) mode, the HS165 circles an object or person autonomously while recording a video.
In Tap Fly (Waypoint Navigation) flight mode, you can set a flight route in the app before takeoff. The drone will then independently fly to the set waypoints.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x Holy Stone HS165
- 1 x remote control (2,4 GHz)
- 2 x 7,4 V, 880 mAh LiPo
- 2 x USB charging cable (For drone and controller)
- 4 x spare propellers
- 1 x carrying bag
- Instruction manual
The Holy Stone HS165 is an excellent camera drone for the small budget. Equipped with GPS, Return to Home as well as various autonomous flight modes, the compact drone promises a lot of fun for beginners and advanced users.
The Full HD camera records videos in 1080p. Unfortunately, there is no gimbal, but that is not common in this price range. Thanks to 5G WiFi, the transmission of the FPV signal works up to distances of about 275 yards (250 meters), which is a very decent value.
For the safe transport of the drone and controller, a practical carrying bag is included in the scope of delivery.
Overall, the Holy Stone HS165 offers a very good price-performance ratio and is therefore ideally suited as a first drone!