Traveling is about finding and capturing all those invisible cities of our childhood dreams.
I was a mere 7-year old kid when I wondered how does an eagle look at the world! What does it see? I wanted to experience and hold the view of a bird’s eye up close.
With time I became more fascinated with the POV of a bird. More precisely, those that fly and hide among the clouds. As technology boomed, I came across the device of my dreams — a drone.
And today, I have in store for you the Holy Stone HS700 review. It’s a quadcopter drone fused with an advanced 5D 1080p FHD camera.
I am Dhia. I am a travel addict, a digital nomad, a drone-flyer, and a photographer. Over the years, I have used, reviewed, and bought many drones throughout my traveling career. And I must say, they have evolved exponentially in the last decade.
There are many aspects to buying a good drone that will meet all your requirements. What makes this drone unique? Is it at all worth the money? Let’s find out.
What comes with the box?
- HS700 Drone
- Drone Battery
- Remote Controller
- Eight propellers
- Two landing gears
- Camera and a camera holder
- Phone holder
- USB Cable
- Balance charger
- Charge transfer box
- Propeller Spanner
- Build, Design, and Features
I must say that this package of HS700 is quite comprehensive and includes everything you might need in learning to make this machine work.
Its body is made of high-grade plastic and metal propeller holders. The blades can withstand considerable impacts and injuries. It is also loaded with a 12 MP camera and can take HD quality photos and videos. It shoots at a rate of 25 FPS and 1080p HD quality.
I found the build of the drone to be lightweight, compact, and quite sturdy. This combination suits amateur drone flyers the most.
HS700 boasts of craftsmanship and strength. However, one downside is the absence of protection guards, for which I urge pilots to always maintain a safe distance from the drone during operations.
For those looking for advancement within the same price bracket, you could check out the HS700D model from Holy Stone.
I was impressed by the quality of the camera that comes with this model. The quality of the output (both still and video) that the 5G 1080p camera provides left me quite astonished. The videos that I shot could be viewed in real-time.
What also engaged me the most was its 110-degree panoramic view. The FPV (First Person View) feature allows you to see what the drone captures at a given moment exactly. The camera can also be easily removed, and GoPros are very compatible with this drone.
The model comes with a 2800mAh battery and has the capability of providing 20 minutes of flight time. Comparing to others within the same price range, I found the flight time quite impressive.
The off-putting factor of the battery is its long charge time, which is around 5 to 7 hours. But the battery comes with USB charging cables, charge-transfer box, a battery charging cable, and a balance charger.
I would recommend you to buy two batteries to increase the flight time.
- Image Storage and Transmission
Let’s talk about transmission. It’s simply superb! The superior 5G transmission feature gives high-quality real-time viewing of your videos. The focus is sharp and crisp.
The package includes an 8 GB memory card, but I would recommend you to buy a class 10 32 GB card for the best quality output. The best part? The memory card space is expandable up to 128 GB.
- Flight Time and Performance
Being a robotics engineer, I take the concepts of performance and functionality very seriously. And I must say, the HS700 impressed me with its noise-free flight performance. I have mentioned the flight time before, so not getting into it here.
The brushless motor is a 1,500KV machine and gives the drone a speed of 25km/h upward speed and a 60 km/h downward flight speed.
Another exciting feature is the ‘Follow Me’ mode that is designed so that the drone automatically follows the user. Moreover, with the Holy Stone mobile app, one can set a predetermined route on the screen for the drone to follow.
The ‘Headless’ mode will allow the pilot to adjust the drone’s direction with just a click. Once during my trip to Thailand, I couldn’t see the drone anymore. The in-built GPS tracker was put to the test then. It gave me the exact real-time location of the drone!
They have paid careful attention to the connection bit more than video streaming. I found this engineering bit quite intelligent. Connectivity is crucial when you are at the foothills of a mountain, and you aren’t able to see the sky due to the canopy of trees.
The controller is very sensitive and user-friendly. It comprises a phone holder as well. The LCD screen shows the drone’s position, battery percentage, flight duration, distance covered, and the number of devices connected.
- Safety Features
I saved the best part for the last. Earlier I mentioned this drone is perfect for beginners and amateur drone flyers. I meant everything I said.
During my trip to Estonia, I wanted a wide panoramic shot of the skyscrapers and the calm river residing together. At one point, as the battery reached a critical level, I was amazed to see the drone reroute to the takeoff point.
In short, you can never lose the drone even if you want to. Even when it fails to connect, it will return to its takeoff point.
The HS700 will always return home!
I tested the drone. What were the results?
After a series of flights, I conclude that the operations are smooth, and the product is an excellent value for money.
Without image stabilization, the videos were relatively stable even when I was moving. Slow and steady movement in any direction would give you outstanding results. You will probably acclimate with it after a week’s usage.
I tried the various features such as rotating around an object, landing, one-button take off, and the ‘Follow Me.’ Not a single one disappointed me. Everything worked great!
The GPS tracker is apt and gave me exact latitudes and longitudes of the drone.
- They could have focussed more on the camera
While using the device, I kept having this feeling that they didn’t make the camera as good as the drone. If you could switch it with a GoPro Hero 3 or any higher model, it would do a hell lot of good to the image quality.
The drone is compatible with GoPros, and I didn’t face any mounting problem.
The built-in camera would bother you with its sharpness though. As there are no supporting gimbals to hold it in its place, the camera shakes when it rises quite high above. Moreover, the fish-eye 110-degree lens messes with the overall sharpness of the pictures a bit.
Replacing that with some higher GoPro version would automatically make you notice the difference.
- Brushless motors steal the show!
Brushless motors are synonymous with endurance. The 2204 1500kV coupled with a 7.4V battery will be able to get you very high-speed aerial footage.
From appearance it wouldn’t look impressive at first. But just let the engines roll and you would see it for yourself!
- The best drone for beginners and amateur drone-flyers.
- Camera quality is High Definition
- Panoramic field of view
- It comprises many intelligent flying modes, and the drone never gets lost due to these special features.
- The build is quite strong, and the entire setup is lightweight
- The LCD Display Screen incorporates all the necessary information.
- When the battery is critical, the drone automatically returns to the takeoff coordinates.
- Honestly, they should improve the battery charging time. It takes ages to charge the battery fully. The charging time/output time ratio needs serious work.
- As there are no protection guards, the blades could injure you if you are too close to them. The protection guards are necessary for amateurs.
- During heavy winds, the flight time decreases significantly.
I have no complaints about the performance of this drone. Performance, durability, and strength: all these checkboxes can be ticked with pride.
But the charging time of the battery has some room for improvement. Yet, the flight time and all the flexible flight modes set it class apart from its competitors. Then again, those looking for a cheaper model, you can always go for the HS100.
Its flight time is 15 minutes but is as hardy as HS700. On the other hand, if you can spend 70 bucks more, I would advise you to go for HS720. Its remote controls, flight time, and 5G transmission range are better than HS700.
Then again, the features, flying modes, and the flight-time it comes with, easily outshines its contemporaries. This can be your best friend before you enter the magical world of drones and everything they stand for!