Holy Stone HS175 – 2K drone with GPS and 2 batteries
The Holy Stone HS175 is an affordable GPS drone with 2K camera and FPV live image transmission. The foldable drone comes with a handy carrying case as well as two batteries at once and is perfectly suitable for beginners thanks to its simple operation.
New: The Holy Stone HS175D
The Holy Stone HS175D is the official successor of the HS175 and comes up with some interesting innovations: Improved motors, batteries, flight duration and enhanced control range as well as a better camera.
The revised version of the extremely popular entry-level drone is now equipped with powerful brushless motors, which are additionally quieter than the cheaper brushed motors of the HS175.
The two included batteries now have a higher capacity of 1700 mAh, which extends the flight time by about 1 minute. Weight has increased slightly due to the upgrades, from 198 grams for the HS175, to now 215 grams for the HS175D (both with battery).
The control range has also been improved and is now a whopping 546 yards (500 meters) (previously 330 yards). The range of the FPV image transmission, on the other hand, is still around 330 yards (300 meters).
In terms of camera, while “only” 2K videos are still possible (and 4K photos), the video resolution has been increased from 2048 x 1080p to 2688 x 1512p, resulting in a noticeably clearer image.
We think the Holy Stone HS175D is worth the extra cost of about 30 bucks and offers meaningful improvements to the already excellent HS175.
Design and weight
The Holy Stone HS175 comes in light gray color and measures 36 x 30 x 7 cm when unfolded. With folded arms, the drone comes to dimensions of 14.5 x 9 x 6 cm and can thus be stored space-saving.
The four included propeller protectors can be easily mounted on the motors if necessary, thus protecting the drone in case of collisions with objects. We recommend using the rotor guards especially when flying indoors to protect the drone from damage when it comes into contact with walls or furniture. Bystanders will also benefit from the prop guards, protecting them from the fast spinning propellers.
The weight of the Holy Stone HS175 is 198 grams, well below the 250 gram limit at which a registration number becomes mandatory. Therefore, to operate the drone in compliance with the law, you only need a liability insurance that covers flights with multicopters (when living in the UK).
The included dark gray carrying case of the Holy Stone HS175 offers space for the drone, the controller as well as for other accessories and is a practical extra that is not found on every drone.
Equipment and flight characteristics
The Holy Stone HS175 has various features that ensure a safe and comfortable flight. Takeoff and landing of the copter work quite simply at the touch of a button, and thanks to Return-to-Home (RTH), the drone automatically returns to the takeoff position on request and lands there independently. By the way, this also happens completely automatically if the signal to the drone is disturbed or if the battery falls below a critical value.
Once in the air, the Holy Stone HS175 automatically maintains the current altitude thanks to the Altitude Hold function, without you having to operate the thrust controller.
Equipped with a dual GPS module that can rely on both GPS and GLONASS satellites, the Holy Stone HS175 always knows where it is in the sky. Provided you have performed the compass calibration, the drone thus precisely maintains its position in the sky and can be controlled with pinpoint accuracy.
When flying at altitudes below 10 meters, the built-in optical flow system on the underside of the drone provides additional stability. The system consists of a small camera that automatically scans the ground, further improving the drone’s precise positioning at low altitudes.
Especially when flying indoors where GPS is not available, the optical flow sensor is a useful feature, allowing for safe flights even without GPS reception.
The Holy Stone HS175 can be controlled in two different speeds, so you can slowly get used to the drone’s flight characteristics. Another feature for beginners is the possibility to limit the flight radius of the drone to a radius of 33 yards (30 meters), so you can learn how to handle the drone in a limited radius.
Additionally, a headless mode is also available, which allows you to control the drone in a simplified way. If you activate the headless mode, it doesn’t matter how the drone is instantly oriented in the air when you give control commands to the left, right, front or rear. Regardless of whether the front or rear is pointing straight at you, the Holy Stone HS175 will always fly in the direction you want it to.
However, we recommend that you don’t fly in headless mode for too long and also learn how to control the drone normally, as not all drones have headless mode by a long shot.
Flight time and range
The flight time of the Holy Stone HS175 is up to 22 minutes – per battery. Since the drone comes with two batteries right out of the box, you can enjoy up to 44 minutes of flight before both batteries need to be recharged.
The relatively long flight times are made possible by the 7.6 V, 1300 mAh LiPos (lithium polymer batteries), which can be re-powered after the flight using the included USB charging cables. A power supply unit is not included in the scope of delivery. Simply use an existing power supply, e.g. that of your smartphone.
Since three charging cables are included in the scope of delivery, you can charge both batteries of the drone and the remote control at the same time. The duration of a charging process is about 150 minutes for the drone batteries and about 60 minutes for the battery of the remote control.
The range of the Holy Stone HS175 is about 383 yards (350 meters), which is a very decent value for drones in this price range. The transmission of the FPV live image works up to distances of about 330 yards (300 meters), which is not quite as far as the control range of the drone.
Remote control & app
The 2.4 GHz remote control of the Holy Stone HS175 is very compact and reminds us of the controller of the DJI Mavic Pro. We really like the fact that the remote control has a built-in battery and therefore no extra batteries are needed.
On the top of the controller is a fold-out holder for attaching your smartphone, and on the bottom are two practical handles that can be folded back in to save space after the flight.
The triggers for photo and video recordings are located on the upper left side and can be conveniently operated with the index finger. All other buttons for important flight functions such as RTH, speed change or camera movement are also easily accessible.
If you connect your smartphone to the drone, almost all functions can also be triggered directly via the HS GPS V5 app of the Holy Stone HS175.
The app is available for both iOS and Android devices and is free to download from your manufacturer’s app store.
With the help of the app, you can make various settings and, most importantly, view the live image of the drone in real time on your smartphone.
In addition, the app shows important information about the current flight, such as the battery status, GPS reception and the current coordinates. The current flight altitude and distance as well as the current orientation of the drone are also shown to you on the display.
The camera of the Holy Stone HS175
The 2K camera of the Holy Stone HS175 records videos in 2048 x 1080p at 25 fps and then saves your footage in AVI or MP4 format.
Photos are recorded in 4 megapixels (4096 x 3072p) and saved in JPEG format. Unfortunately, there is no option to record RAW photos, but that is also unusual in this price range.
The camera’s field of view is 110° and thus wide-angled. We really like the fact that the camera can be tilted vertically by up to 90°, even during flight. This allows you to take pictures from different angles and film either more towards the ground or towards the horizon.
The quality of the photo and video recordings can be described as good to very good for a drone in this price segment. Only a mechanical gimbal would have improved the recordings even more. However, 2- or even 3-axis gimbals are only found on much more expensive drones with cameras.
Your recordings are stored on a memory card of up to 64 gigabytes, which is unfortunately not included. You can also take photos and videos without a memory card, since they are then stored directly on your smartphone, but only 1080p resolutions are possible then.
Since the drone uses the 5.8 GHz frequency band (5G) for transmitting the live FPV image, you have a stable video stream up to distances of about 330 yards (300 meters). Most inexpensive FPV drones use the 2.4 GHz frequency for image transmission, but this offers poorer transmission quality for videos.
Thus, 5G does not mean the new mobile communication standard and LTE successor here, but a special Wi-Fi frequency range.
Smart flight and recording modes
Thanks to GPS, the Holy Stone HS175 has some interesting flight and recording modes that can help you create exciting video sequences.
In Follow Me mode, also known from many other drones, the drone automatically follows the controller’s signal and thus you as the pilot, while simultaneously recording a video of you.
In Circle Fly mode, the Holy Stone HS175 independently circles and films a selected object or person.
Another handy feature is the flight path planning option (waypoint navigation). With the help of this function, you can set waypoints in the app before the flight, which are then flown independently by the drone.
A nice extra of the Holy Stone HS175 is also the built-in gesture control. Form your hand into a “Victory sign” and the drone will take a photo. To start a video, you can simply extend your palm towards the drone. Please note, however, that these functions only work at a short distance from the drone.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x Holy Stone HS175 drone
- 1 x remote control
- 2 x 7.6V 1300 mAh Li-Po rechargeable batteries
- 2 x spare propellers
- 3 x USB charging cable
- 4 x propeller guards
- 1 x instruction manual
The Holy Stone HS175 is an affordable GPS drone with a 2K camera and the ability to broadcast live FPV images. For well under 200 bucks, you get a foldable camera drone with excellent features and good flight characteristics.
Since the Holy Stone HS175 comes with 2 batteries at once, you can enjoy up to 44 minutes of flight time while controlling drone within a range of up to 383 yards (350 meters).
The 2K camera takes very decent footage and the transmission of the live FPV image also works flawlessly at distances up to 330 yards (300 meters). Only a mechanical gimbal would have improved the recording quality.
Overall, the Holy Stone HS175 is an excellent drone for beginners at a very fair price. We can highly recommend the drone and wish you a lot of fun with the Holy Stone HS175 already now!