Holy Stone HS720E – Electronic Stabilized 4K Drone (EIS)
The Holy Stone HS720E is a compact drone with a 4K camera and electronic image stabilization (EIS). The foldable drone has GPS, is capable of live FPV transmission to the smartphone and comes with two batteries for up to 46 minutes of flight time.
Design and weight
The material quality and workmanship of the Holy Stone HS720E make a very good impression and promise a long service life. The dark gray chassis of the drone is made of high-quality ABS plastic and offers high rigidity and stability. Together with the drone battery, the drone comes to a take-off weight of about 495 grams.
When unfolded, the Holy Stone HS720E measures 22 x 22 x 15.5 cm. For transport, both the four booms and the propellers can be folded or collapsed. Extremely practical: The scope of delivery also includes a high-quality carrying bag, in which both the drone and the remote control and other accessories find space.
Features and technical details
Unlike many inexpensive drones, the HS720E has a GPS module and can thus precisely determine its position in the sky at any time. The additionally installed Optical Flow Positioning System, consisting of a ground camera and a barometer, ensures an even more stable flight position near the ground and also enables indoor flights.
Since GPS reception is hardly possible indoors, flights indoors are either not possible with many GPS drones or the drone is difficult to control. However, thanks to the Optical Flow Positioning System, the quadcopter can be flown indoors.
Once in the air, you have three different speeds to choose from. The slowest level (tripod mode) is perfect for smooth video recording, as you have very good control over the drone in this mode.
Another feature that you won’t find on every drone is the HS720E’s built-in brushless motors. These are far quieter and more durable than brushed motors, as they are installed in many inexpensive multicopters.
A bright landing light on the underside ensures a safe landing even in difficult lighting conditions.
Battery, flight time and range
One of the most important criteria when buying a drone is definitely the maximum possible flight time. For the Holy Stone HS720E, this is about 23 minutes – per battery. Since the drone comes with two 2800 mAh, 7.4 V LiPos (lithium polymer batteries) from the factory, you can get up to 46 minutes of pure flight time before the batteries need to be recharged.
We like the fact that the included charger allows charging both batteries at the same time. However, the necessary charging time of about 5 to 7 hours is a bit long, and we would have preferred a faster charge.
A practical feature in relation to the batteries is the LED charge indicator, which is located on the drone above the battery compartment and provides information about the remaining charge of the LiPos.
The control range of the Holy Stone HS720E is an impressive 1095 yards (1000 meters). That is significantly more than most drones under 500 dollars. Even though you are only allowed to control drones within visual range in many countries, a high maximum range is still an advantage, as it also has a positive effect on the signal quality.
If, for example, there are trees, buildings or other obstacles between you and the drone, this lowers the maximum possible range. With a high maximum range, such disturbances are less noticeable and thus ensure a more pleasant and also safer flying experience.
The range of the FPV live transmission (1080p) is about 547 yards (500 meters), which is also a proud value for a drone of this price segment. This is made possible by the use of the 5 GHz frequency band, which provides a better transmission quality for the video feed than the normally used 2.4 GHz frequency band.
Remote control and app
The remote control of the Holy Stone HS720E makes a good impression and convinces with low weight, compact dimensions and a comfortable feel.
The controller has a small display for showing important flight parameters such as the distance of the drone, GPS signal strength, current flight altitude and battery charge level.
We really like the fact that the assignment of the control joysticks is customizable. For example, left-handed users can easily reverse the controls and reassign the joysticks according to their preferences.
To attach your smartphone to the controller, Holy Stone has attached a retractable mount to the remote control that can accommodate almost all popular phone models.
To operate the remote controller, you still need 2 AA batteries, which are not included.
The free Orphelia Go app, which is available for download for Android and Apple devices in the respective Play Store, is used for viewing the live FPV image and for setting various parameters of the drone. The app is clearly designed and offers various setting options. For example, you can set the maximum flight altitude and distance and determine at what altitude the drone should return to you in Return to Home mode.
Holy Stone HS720E: Camera with EIS (electronic image stabilization)
The Holy Stone HS720E’s 4K camera can record video in 3840 x 2160 pixels at 30 fps or in 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60 fps. The camera’s Field of View (FOV) is 130°, making it very wide-angle. The camera can be tilted vertically by up to 90° during flight, allowing you to capture different perspectives.
Thanks to the built-in 1/3″ Sony sensor as well as an image transfer rate of over 50 Mbit/s, the shots are really something to behold. The camera’s aperture is F2.0. There is little to complain about in terms of video quality overall. Only a mechanical 3-axis gimbal would lead to even better results, but this is unfortunately not found on the HS720E.
Instead, the camera drone has electronic image stabilization (EIS) and damping around the camera. Together, these two systems provide noticeable stabilization of the camera image and deliver low-shake and relatively smooth videos, which should be more than sufficient for most hobby pilots. However, if you want to make highly professional video recordings with your drone, you should spend a bit more money and buy a camera drone with a mechanical gimbal.
Photos and videos are stored on a microSD card of up to 128 GB, which has to be purchased separately. Although photo and video recording also works without a memory card, videos are then only recorded in 1280 x 720 pixels and photos at only 1920 x 1080 pixels and stored directly on the smartphone.
Extremely practical and rather the exception for drones under 500 dollars are the camera’s many setting options. For example, you can choose between ISO values of 100 and 1600 for photos. White balance, brightness and saturation can also be adjusted in the settings in the app.
Flight functions: intelligent flight modes
Thanks to the built-in GPS module of the Holy Stone HS720E, you can choose from several intelligent flight modes.
Among other things, the drone has the popular Follow Me function, in which it follows you wherever you go, while simultaneously recording a video of you. Since the drone follows the signal from the remote control in Follow Me mode, the HS720E will even keep you in view if you are momentarily obscured by an object like a tree.
In TapFly mode, you can set a route in the Orpehlia app before the flight, which the drone then flies independently. The Point of Interest function allows you to circle objects or people with the drone while simultaneously making a video sequence.
The Return to Home mode can be activated at the push of a button and the drone independently returns to the takeoff position or landing site. By the way, the mode activates fully automatically if the battery level gets too low or if the signal to the drone breaks unexpectedly. This is a practical safety feature that should ensure that you do not accidentally “lose” the drone.
Beginners in particular will also be pleased with the so-called headless mode. If you activate this mode, a simplified control of the drone is available. In Headless Mode, it doesn’t matter how the drone is instantly oriented in the sky when you command a direction change to the front, back, left or right. The drone will always fly in the direction you want, regardless of whether the front or rear is facing you at the moment.
However, we recommend that you don’t fly in headless mode for too long, as not all drones have such a mode. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the normal drone controls as well.
Scope of delivery
- 1 x Drone
- 1 x controller
- 2 x 2800 mAh, 7.4 V LiPo
- 1 x carrying bag
- 4 x additional propellers
- 1 x USB charging cable with charging station
- 1 x instruction manual
The Holy Stone HS720E offers a lot of features at an affordable price. The electronically stabilized 4K camera with a Sony sensor ensures high-quality photos and videos, which has hardly been known from a drone under 500 dollars until now. Only a mechanical gimbal would have made the setup even better.
Since the copter comes with two batteries, flight times of up to 46 minutes are possible – a very good value indeed. The maximum range of 1095 yards (1000 meters) is also more than respectable.
For transport, the drone can be conveniently folded and safely stored in the included carrying bag. All in all, Holy Stone delivers an excellent drone under 500 dollars with the HS720E that leaves only a few wishes unfulfilled. We highly recommend this model and wish you a lot of fun flying, photographing and filming!