Video blogging about my travels has been my passion for years now.
And throughout each of them, a drone has always been a steady companion, capturing and recording my every move.
But, I was a drone enthusiast before I was a traveler. And I know how important and difficult it is to pick the right model, which is not just budget-friendly but versatile enough to cater to all of the user’s needs
So, if you’re hunting for a drone under $200, I might just have the right one for you today. The Holy Stone HS100 is the one I’ve been using lately, and I wouldn’t be lying if I said I absolutely love it.
Hello! This is Dhia! Today let me introduce you to a drone, which I consider to be a king in the mid-range category.
So what makes the Holy Stone HS100 the best mid-range drone?
Within the $200 price tag, the HS100 is going to be my pick for the day. And in my review, I am going to talk about it in terms of the different specs and features that it comes with, and how it fares with the rest of the competition in the market.
1. Ease of use and control range.
Now, even though the HS100 was released years ago (2017 to be precise), it has still remained relevant in the current market. It’s quite a popular pick even today and is very well received by both beginner and professional drone enthusiasts alike.
I have been using the HS100 for some months now, and what struck me as one of its most positive features is the ease of use and the fantastic control range that it provides.
It’s precisely these two features that have made the drone so very successful over the years. The drone controls are effortless, and any beginner can pick it up; it takes off with just a push of a button and lands with the help of that same button as well.
Controls are smooth, and the drone stays stable in changing air pressure, which I found to be quite helpful when video blogging about my travels. The transmitter is also very responsive and allows variable speed settings that helped me meet a variety of uses for it.
Additionally, apart from the superior stability, the HS100 comes with a 500-meter range remote control, which is honestly quite impressive for a drone that comes below the $200 margin. The transmitter automatically activates the GPS, which, when coupled with the ‘return home function,’ makes it a rather safe model for newer users.
2. Superior Camera Quality.
I have seen a lot of customer reviews where the owners of the HS100 have talked about how they are having mixed feelings about the camera. The disappointing aspect of the camera to them is the 720p quality, which they feel is a let down compared to the 1080p models available in the market.
However, I honestly believe that for the price that I paid for the drone, the 720p resolution is pretty justified. Sure! I would have been absolutely elated with 1080p recording, but the one provided is far from disappointing.
Moreover, the camera is incredibly stable. When recording videos with it, I hardly noticed any jello effect, which is a common problem in most $200 drones. Jello effect usually tends to ruin the quality of the video recorded, and the lack of which helped me out a lot when creating quality content for my clients.
Another camera feature which I just loved, was the electronically adjustable 90-degree tilt. That’s quite a neat trick, if you ask me.
3. Packed with features.
Mid-ranged drones are not notorious for having a lot of features; however, the HS100 is one of the few versions that has a lot of versatility. Here are a few of them that I found to be the most useful.
Follow me mode.
This is a sort of a quality of life feature, which will force the drone to follow the transmitter on its own. This feature is great if you want to record yourself while hiking, riding a bike, or even sprinting. Because of the variable speed setting, the drone will be able to keep up with your movements without any problems.
I just love the return home feature of the HS100. With an amazing 500m transmission radius, there are high chances that you may lose track of your drone when venturing into new places.
With the help of the return home feature, the drone will use GPS tracking and return to its starting point all on its own. But, what’s even better is the accurate obstacle avoidance that it has; it will not be colliding with anything on the way back.
Headless mode and altitude hold.
If you’re new to drone piloting and don’t know how to fly one using yaw, pitch, and roll, then you will find the headless mode very handy.
The HS100 comes with an altitude hold feature as well, which automatically hovers the drone at a particular spot without having to hold the throttle. This is quite helpful when taking stable photographs and recording videos.
What could have been better?
When it comes to the cons, there are primarily two things, in my opinion, which disappoints about the HS100; the battery and the FPV.
The HS100 comes with a 2500mAh battery, which lasts for about 12 minutes when in full use. But, it’s not the battery life that bothers me, but rather how long it takes to charge the battery.
Due to the fact that it charges via regular USB, completely spicing up your drone can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, depending on the adapter settings. I know a lot of experienced drone users who will find this unacceptably restrictive, since it effectively requires them to buy additional batteries if they choose to fly for longer periods of time.
The FPV Stream.
In a 150m radius, the FPV stream is very stable. But beyond that, it either cuts off rather abruptly or drastically hampers the quality of the stream.
For a drone that has a transmission radius of 500m, having an FPV radius of 150m raises a lot of eyebrows. However, it never really interfered with my travel vlogging because I tend to rely more on the ‘Follow me mode,’ and document my travels by focusing on my activities.
- It comes with a fantastic array of features to meet a variety of user needs.
- Easy to use and an incredibly stable drone model.
- Has one of the highest transmission ranges among all its competitors.
- Video capturing has no jello effect that can ruin the record quality.
- The battery takes an eternity to charge up.
- Limited FPV radius is disappointing compared to the total transmission radius.
When it comes to picking the right drone or even recommending one for a friend, I usually tend to lean towards models that have the most versatility. And when it comes to drones around the $200 tag, the HS100 is by far the most versatile and can fit a variety of user needs effortlessly.
I hope you enjoyed my review today.
Till next time!