Today we have a treat for all those drone lovers out there who would like to get into drone racing. We’re going to be having a look at Holy Stone HS150, a mini drone made specifically for racing. Drone racing isn’t something that can be done with just any drone out there. Most commercial drones are limited in speed and drone design. HS150, however, is aiming at the drone racing market segment, more specifically, the beginner drone racing market segment.
With a price tag of about $55, Holy Stone has extremely competitive pricing for HS150. So what kind of features does HS150 offer, what exactly makes it a good drone for racing? Well, there’s the fact that its max top speed goes over 30mph. I never had a drone that’s as fast as HS150 and I have to say that it surprised me with how fast it can go. It also has a design that’s more aerodynamic, and wind-resistant. Lastly, it’s missing features like camera, FPV mode and altitude hold, because they aren’t that important for a racing drone.
Holy Stone HS150 Review
Holy Stone HS150: design
Holy Stone HS150 is a relatively small drone, with dimensions of 5.71 x 4.25 x 1.77 inches and a weight of only about 2.5 oz. It’s advertised as a mini drone. HS150s’ miniature size is what helps this little guy achieve such high speeds and maneuverability that’s needed in racing.
In anticipation of bumps and crashes, Holy Stone added two sets of blades, one spare for when the original set damages. There are also optional blade guards, to pose as training wheels when would-be racers are doing their maiden flights with HS150. Let’s dig in and have a look at what Holy Stone HS150 review has to offer.
- Dimensions folded: 5.71 x 4.25 x 1.77 inches
- Dimensions unfolded: N/A
- Weight: 2.5oz
- Battery type/size: 3.7V 600Mah Li-Po battery
- Battery replaceable: Yes
- Charge time: 90 minutes
- Flight time: 5-7 minutes
- Camera: N/A
- Camera adjustable: N/A
- Controller: Yes, standard controller
- Controller battery: 6xAA 1.5V batteries
- Distance: 230ft
- Wifi technology: N/A
- Special features: one key tricks, fast, wind-resistant
What makes Holy Stone HS150 interesting?
What could have been done better?
Holy Stone HS150: Camera
There’s no reason to have this paragraph, seeing how HS150 doesn’t have a camera, but I thought I should leave it and talk a little bit about why the camera is missing. HS150 is advertised as a racing drone for beginners. Shedding unnecessary weight is one way how you can make something faster.
Camera and all its circuitry would be extra weight, the small one, but enough to slow down HS150. Besides, this drone is very fast, top out just over 30mph, so it doesn’t make sense to record at those speeds.
The transmitter that comes with HS150 has a very professional look. Most drones in this price range use smaller controllers, with cut down options. HS150, however, has a racing controller, where I even found dedicated sliders for trim adjustments. The controller feels great in hands. It is large and heavy which usually means good quality and durable design. Weight isn’t the only indicator of the controller quality.
Joysticks for yaw, pitch, and rolls are very responsive, just what a racing drone needs. The front left trigger button is for doing tricks and the front right trigger button is for adjusting speed. Speed isn’t adjusted with a button, but rather a dial, like on old radios for adjusting the volume. It’s a very nice and practical controller, especially for the $55 price tag.
Holy Stone HS150: Battery
Powerful motors that are found on HS150 have to have plenty of juice to keep the drone in the air during even the most demanding flights. Batteries that come with this little racing drone are over double the size of batteries offered with for example Eachine E57.
3.7V 600Mah Li-Po battery has enough power to run the drone for about 5-7 minutes, depending on how demanding the flying conditions are and how much throttle it is that you’re pushing. What’s great about HS150 is that you actually get two batteries, one spare for double the flight time.
Fast drone with speed control
Here’s a short video of the drone in action. It’s the best way to see what exactly it is that the drone is capable of. Indoor use of HS150 is possible. It’s such a small drone so maneuvering in a house isn’t such an issue. One piece of advice however for flying the drone indoors would be to use the slower speed settings. Otherwise, you might end up with the drone in a wall, how fast it is.
When you’re outdoors that’s when you can let it rip, full throttle. Think of flying indoors as great racing practice, going around obstacles, managing speed, etc.
After I first turned on the drone I have to say that I was taken aback by how powerful the motors on this drone sound. It’s even louder when flying the drone in the highest possible speed setting, which makes sense because that’s when motors work the most. There’s a segment in the video when the drone approaches the ground and blows leaves out of the way as if it were a leaf blower. I could barely see the drone at high speeds, but I could definitely hear it.
Due to the fact that HS150 is so cut down, stripped of even basic features like the camera, there aren’t that many additional features for us to talk about. It does have headless mode, which is useful for novice drone racers out there. Every drone pilot who is learning to fly drones will find it useful not having to worry about the drone orientation, especially when the drone is as fast as Holy Stone HS150 is.
One other thing that the drone has is a one-key button for doing flips and rolls. That’s about it, there is no altitude hold, one key takeoff, or anything like that.
If you never flew a racing drone before, it will take some getting used to the speeds that HS150 is capable of developing. We’re talking over 30mph, so it’s quite fast. Good quality, responsive controller, which HS150 certainly has, helps a lot when it comes to staying on top of the drone when you need to make turns, avoid obstacles, stop, land, etc.
HS150 is my first racing drone, so I first flew it in my backyard, and I didn’t start at the max speed setting. I suggest you don’t either because you don’t want to run the risk of flying into trees, walls, roofs and damaging the drone. It can do quite a bit of damage if you hit something at max speed. Speaking of speed, dial for adjusting it works great. It has lots of steps for fine tunning how fast you want the drone to go. Headless mode worked great, and I had a lot of fun doing tricks.
Holy Stone HS150 Review
- Build quality
What is there to say about HS150. It’s a drone for which I can’t find any major faults. Sure it is a niche drone, aimed at drone racing, but it’s difficult to find a better deal for a beginner racing drone. At $55 you get decent build quality, high speeds and lots of spare parts (batteries, blades).
I complained a bit about the range, but to tell you the truth, I was just nitpicking because I didn’t want it to seem as if the drone is flawless. But yeah, transmitter range could be better, the 200 or so feet of range it offers could be higher. Then again, range is decent enough for the price tag.
There’s no camera or altitude hold, so don’t, under any circumstances, buy this drone and hope to use it for taking photos or recording video. This is a drone aimed at drone racing and that’s what it does rather well. For a more general purpose type of drones, look at Syma X21W or even Eachine E57, which we talked about before.