Holy Stone HS260 – Cheap Drone for Full HD Photos & Videos
The Holy Stone HS260 is an affordable drone with camera that can take photos and videos in Full HD. The foldable quadcopter comes with not one but two batteries for a total of up to 30 minutes of flight time, can stream the live camera image to your smartphone in real time, and is a great choice for beginners.
Design and weight
Completely finished in dark gray, the quadcopter features foldable arms, allowing it to be stowed away for space-saving transport. When folded, the well-made drone measures just 14.5 x 7.0 x 5.5 cm. When unfolded, the Holy Stone HS260 measures 31.3 x 21.3 x 5.5 cm.
The drone, remote control and accessories can be stowed in a practical and high-quality hard case, which is included in the scope of delivery.
On the front of the HS260 is a large, bright front LED that gives you feedback during the launch and calibration process.
Weighing in at around 145 grams, the Holy Stone HS260 is relatively lightweight. However, since it has a camera, you will need an registration number as a pilot, if you are living in the UK.
Before you can take off for the first time with the Holy Stone HS260, you first need to attach the four propellers. After that, the drone and the remote control want to be connected to each other via the drone’s WiFi (binding). Finally, you need to calibrate the internal gyroscope. All of these steps are explained in detail in the included multilingual instruction manual.
The remote control
The 2.4 GHz remote control has two fold-out handles on the bottom for a comfortable and secure grip. On the top is a holder for smartphones that can also be folded in and out.
Apart from the two obligatory control joysticks, there is also an on/off switch on the front of the controller as well as three more buttons: takeoff/landing, speed selection and headless mode. The four shoulder buttons can be used to start and stop photos and videos and also control the moving camera.
For the operation of the remote control, three AAA batteries or rechargeable batteries are still needed, which are not included.
If you want, you can also control the Holy Stone HS260 without a controller, using only your smartphone. With this type of control, direction changes are executed by tilting the smartphone in the corresponding direction. However, we recommend that you navigate the drone via remote control, as this gives you more control over the copter.
Easy to operate and safe to fly
The Holy Stone HS260 has various features that allow for easy and safe handling and control. Takeoff and landing work quite simply at the push of a button. Once in the air, the drone then independently maintains the current flight altitude (Altitude Hold), without having to permanently operate the thrust control.
There are two different speeds to choose from, so you can slowly get used to handling the drone. In hover flight, the Holy Stone HS260 holds its position relatively precisely, even if there is no GPS module to determine the position.
An optical flow sensor, consisting of a small camera on the underside of the drone, additionally ensures a stable flight position near the ground (up to an altitude of about 6 meters). The camera permanently scans the ground and thus contributes to an increased stabilization of the drone.
The optional attachable propeller guards provide additional protection and prevent the rotors from being damaged in collisions with objects. Bystanders are also protected from the rapidly spinning propellers.
Should you ever accidentally lose control of the drone, an emergency stop function is available, which results in an instantaneous shutdown of the motors. Please note that when this function is triggered, the drone will immediately fall out of the sky. Therefore, the function should only be used in extreme emergencies.
Flight time and range
The flight time of the Holy Stone HS260 is up to about 15 minutes per battery. Since the drone comes with two 3.8 V, 1300 mAh LiPo batteries right out of the box, you can enjoy up to 30 minutes of flight time in total before both batteries need to be recharged.
Two USB charging cables are included with the drone for charging. These can easily be plugged into a laptop, PC or powerbank, or connected to an existing smartphone charger. The charging time is about 60 minutes.
The Holy Stone HS260 can be controlled at a distance of up to 110 yards (100 meters). The range of the FPV signal (image transmission to your smartphone) is approximately 65 to 87 yards (60 to 80 meters).
The camera of the Holy Stone HS260
The camera of the Holy Stone HS260 can take photos and videos in Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). The camera’s field of view (FOV) is 75°, which makes it wide-angle. A great feature of the camera is that its angle can be adjusted by up to 90° during flight using the shoulder buttons on the remote control – from horizontal forward to vertical down.
The Full HD videos are recorded in 25 fps, which makes for smooth footage. The quality of the recordings is exceptionally good, even though there is no gimbal for image stabilization. Such a camera mount is generally only found on much more expensive camera drones.
The videos are saved in AVI or MP4 format. Photos are recorded as JPEGs. Since there is no slot for a memory card, your recordings are stored directly on your smartphone.
To view the live image of the drone camera on your smartphone, you first need to download and install the “HS FPV V4” app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded for free from the respective app store.
TapFly & Headless Mode of the Holy Stone HS260
Unfortunately, the Holy Stone HS260 does not have a Follow Me mode. However, there is a Tab-Fly mode available, in which you can draw a flight route on the display within the app, which is then flown independently by the drone.
Beginners in particular will be happy about the headless mode, which provides you with simplified control of the drone. Normally, when performing directional changes, you always have to pay attention to which direction the front of the drone is pointing and rethink accordingly so that the copter flies in the desired direction. In headless mode, this is not the case and the drone will always fly in the direction you are facing. This makes the control much easier in the beginning.
However, we recommend that you only fly in headless mode for a short time if possible and also learn how to control the drone normally, as not all drones have headless mode by a long shot.
A nice extra of the Holy Stone HS260 is the built-in gesture control, which allows you to trigger photos and videos by hand gestures. This is especially handy for taking selfies. To take a photo, you simply form your fingers into a “Victory sign”, and to record a video, you have to hold your outstretched hand towards the drone. However, for the footage to work, you must not move too far away from the camera.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x Holy Stone HS260 drone
- 1 x remote control
- 2 x 3.85 V, 1300 mAh Li-Po rechargeable batteries
- 4 x propellers
- 4 x propeller guards
- 2 x USB charging cable
- 1 x screwdriver
- 1 x instruction manual
- 1 x carrying case
The Holy Stone HS260 is a well-equipped camera drone in a foldable design. It folds compactly and can be conveniently stored in the included carrying case.
Photos and videos are recorded in Full HD and then stored directly on the user’s smartphone – there is no SD card slot. Live transmission of the recordings to the user’s own smartphone is also possible. The quality of the recordings is very good for a drone in this price range, even though there is no gimbal for image stabilization.
We really like the fact that two batteries are included in the scope of delivery. This provides a total of up to 30 minutes of flight time. The control range of 110 yards (100 meters) is also a good value for this price segment.
Thanks to headless mode, takeoff and landing at the push of a button, as well as emergency stop function and propeller protectors, the Holy Stone HS260 is particularly beginner-friendly and easy to control.
Overall, the drone therefore offers a very good price-performance ratio in our eyes. We can therefore highly recommend the copter to you and wish you a lot of fun flying and filming already now!