HolyStone HS165 FPV Drone Review and Full Walk-Through
Its hs 165, its less than 250 grams, has gps and return to home, and a 2k video camera pretty cool. The holy stone company asked me to review the hs 165 drone for them and provided me this unit for free. That said ill. Give you my frank opinion of the little guy and show you the basics of how to fly it and between all the rain and wind weve been having. I managed to get a short flight in as well all right, so heres. What comes in the box? This really nicely designed case that holds everything that you need right inside there nice little case the drone itself, which folds up nicely compact two lipo batteries go into the drone special recharging, cable, the remote control, which is also rechargeable. It has a rechargeable battery and a cable that came with it and a bunch of props spare props and screws to hold them on in case you break them and a screwdriver to help out with that. The only other thing that youll need is a smartphone to run the app. If you want to watch your video while youre flying and you do that by putting the your phone in in there. Okay and youll also need an sd card. Now, strangely enough in the instructions they refer to the micro sd card as a tf card. So i guess tf is short for wtf, but a regular micro sd card works. Just fine.
The maximum size it supports is 32 gig. The drone itself is 171 grams, which means in most countries you dont need to register it, and in canada at least it means you dont need a drone pilot certificate at all. Just fly it safely, stay well away from anywhere aircraft or helicopters might be and keep clear of people as well. The build quality is remarkably solid, much more solid feeling than a dji mini 2.. I didnt try crashing it, but the plastic seems pretty heavy duty, including the props like theyre theyre. Pretty solid. One strange thing is that the motors are connected to the propeller shaft with a little gear reduction system. Im not sure if that camera will focus on that or not, but theres a little gear system in there. Ive never seen that on a drone. I thought it would actually make the drone noisy, but it doesnt it seems to be pretty reasonable. The way it is, there are no obstacle sensors on this, so you really have to watch where youre going. It will not prevent itself from crashing right into a tree or into the ground or anything else, so watch what youre doing on the bottom. This little nub here is the power button, push and hold, and it will power up like that. Well, take it for a spin in a minute and ill walk you through the whole power up sequence. You push it again to turn it off now, by the way.
Theres lights on the bottom of each of the arms and how they are lit and how theyre flashing tells you various conditions of the drone, now im not going to go through all the states right now. Just remember if something is flashing, thats, not a good thing. That means you need to do something or finish doing something or let it acquire gps satellites that kind of stuff only fly the drone when all the lights on the drone are solidly lit. Lets talk about the camera on this drone, its a 2k high definition, video camera – you can also take still pictures with it. The problem is: is that its fixed in place and its facing downwards so fixed in place isnt a problem, a lot of fpv drones. Uh have that in in on their their cameras, um, you will not get nice stable, video if youre doing say cinematic drone shots. This is not the drone for you, because every little jitter that the drone makes as it compensates for wind and everything else will be captured on your video. If you want nice stable shots, you need to spend a lot more money and get a gimbal stabilized camera. The other thing is: is that because its facing downwards im, not sure if you can really catch, how far down its pointing and the drone when its going forwards is tilted down if youre close to the ground thats, all you see is the ground.
You have to be pretty high up to see really where youre, where youre flying, which makes it pretty tough to fly if youre watching the camera itself. If youre watching the drone, no problem, because it doesnt really matter, you get some cool shots with the video and the video transmission to the phone is extremely good. Very nice uh capture very clear video that you can see on your phone while youre flying the videos record on a micro sd card that fits into this little slot in the back whoops im gon na have the contacts upwards. To put it in. There usually takes me: three tries to get a sd card in and the batteries themselves, which are lipo batteries. Lithium polymide go in the back as well all right and they just fit in there very nicely and firmly. Now, speaking of the batteries they take about two hours to charge and they give you about 15, maybe 20 minutes of flying time. They do come with a special charging adapter that just clips in there and then can go into any usb port that has power on it, theres lights on it, and it tells you what the deal is with the lights in the instructions. Okay lets have a look at the remote control. This little device is for holding your phone. Your phone is not physically or electronically connected to the remote. Your phone actually connects between between the phone and the drone and the drone connects to the remote control, so theyre kind of independent standard design, plastic honestly its its a little cheap feeling, but it does the job its not a, not really a problem.
So two joysticks standard configuration the left, joystick up and down controls going upwards and downwards and left and right controls your yaw, which means the tilt of the drone or the direction the drone is is facing. Your right. Joystick is for pitch and roll, so forward and backwards makes the the drone go forward and backwards horizontally, left and right is moving horizontally. Left and right. Lets have a look at the buttons on here power button. Here you push and hold that to activate it. When the little light above it is flashing, that means that you, it is trying to pair with your drone. Remember i said any flashing lights mean not good. This means that the drone is not turned on, because its flashing im just going to turn that off. Well, go, as i said, ill go through the startup sequence, so you can see how this works lets see. Um down here is the trim button if youre flying this drone indoors, and i wouldnt strongly recommend that, because it doesnt have any uh prop guards um. My my general recommendation is learn to fly your drone outdoors first in a nice open field and then, if youre good at it – and you want to fly it inside, you can do that. The trim button allows you to adjust the drones motors when it doesnt when its not connected to gps, so it doesnt drift. The next button down here is the one button take off and land.
So if you, after starting the props up, you push that itll rise up to five feet automatically or five about five feet, something like that by the way i like the way, the the buttons are all nicely labeled, very easy to see over on this side. Theres, a gps button that allows you to turn off the gps by default is turned on. You would only turn it off if you were out if you were flying inside. The next button is the automatic return to home button. You push that if you are wanting the drone to return to the landing place and land all by itself, itll rise to an altitude that you set on the app and then come back and land. This last button is a little strange. The the symbol on there looks like a little compass is the headless mode button. One click turns it on. One click turns it off. Headless mode is its a little hard to describe. Normally, your drone is flying based on your joysticks, its always relative to the direction that your drone is is pointing. So if its pointing say to the to the right like that – and you push the forward button, it goes forward when youre in headless mode. It doesnt matter which direction your drone is pointing it flies relative to or the controls work relative to the position it was in when you turned headless mode on which is normally when you launch the drone.
So if you are sideways and you push forward, it will go forward away from you away from the position it was when it was first launched. Okay, its handy sometimes when you cant see your drone very well and you cant tell which direction its pointing all right lets see what else is on the control on the on the front down here: theres the charge port right there theres a button here that changes. The speed its two speeds, low and medium and over here are the camera controls. One button short press takes a picture, a still picture long press turns on the video camera and starts recording and another long press turns that off all right. Now, on the app on your phone, youll see all sorts of other advanced features and things like that things like the take a picture while youre rotating around an object. The follow me mode and a few other advanced features like that, and you can set parameters on there for for doing those advanced, uh capabilities. All right, i think thats about it, lets, go and see how you set this drone up and launch it. One thing i didnt mention is the instruction manual that comes with the drone, its quite good, its in multiple languages and good diagrams and little barcode there that you can scan to get the app downloaded its good, very clear, very simple, nice instruction manual, good thing to Have all right so lets go through the steps required to get our drone flying step.
One take your drone fold out the arms make sure theyre good and locked in place always a good idea at this point to check every one of your propeller blades for any nicks or cracks, or anything like that. These are the things that are keeping your drone in the air, so make sure they are perfect and in perfect condition. Little scuffs ive got a couple of scuffs on that one are probably okay, theres, no crack or anything like that. All right freshly charged battery insert firmly oh before we do that always check your battery for swelling lipo batteries. If they are left charged fully charged, can swell and thats very dangerous. They contain dangerous chemicals and they could potentially catch on fire. So always check for swelling dispose of them if they do swell or any crack or leakage, or anything like that. Take them to the appropriate place within your municipality to dispose of batteries all right. This ones perfect, fully charged pressed in place fully turn the drone over the on off switch. Is this little button here? Push and hold the leds will light up there. We go theyre flashing like that because were not yet connected to our controller, so push the controller on button. The light goes solid. The flashing on the leds has stopped youll notice now, im, not sure if you can tell that there are. The leds are now alternating between the front and the back flashing on and off.
That means that its looking for a gps signal all good, so that could take a couple of minutes to find so well proceed with the rest of the steps at this point. So our controller is connected to the drone. Next, we want to connect our phone to the drone, so ive started the app, but the other thing you have to do is connect to the drone with wi fi. So you open up your wi fi doohickey and wait until it sees the drone there. It is holy stone fpv. We touch that and it will eventually give us a warning that says: hey, theres, no internet on this wi fi signal there. It is, and we can dismiss that all right so launch the app by hitting the fly button, get some tips which we dont want to do right now, and you know that youre connected to your drone, when the camera view is showing on your screen. Okay, so thats good, so now whoops. Well, i think i just took a picture im always hitting those buttons on the front, so we unfold the little clamp to hold your phone and go like that. All right, oh ive lost the app. Now there we go all right so um. The next thing to do is to calibrate the compass and calibrate the gyros, so calibrating. The compass is crucial any time that you move the drone. Oh, i dont know 50 kilometers or something like that, because the magnetic variations in the earths magnetic field vary quite a bit and if your compass is messed up, your drone will not fly right.
So compass calibration, very simple, two joysticks up and in like that it will beep and then give us some instructions on how to proceed step. One is to take your drone and rotate it in place. Horizontally might take a couple of times. There goes beeps now you turn it camera up and rotate it again in place, but rotating it this time in the vertical orientation when it beeps again, it will be done there. We go now well put it down and it will continue to search for its gps satellites. While we continue sorry about the wind, by the way, its never ending wind, when its not wind, its rain were having terrible weather all right gyros this this time you take the joysticks and you go down and both of them to the left. Beeps, like that and flashes it for a little bit and then continues to look for its gps signal, so the gps signal will turn green up here. I think its green. It might be blue when it has a gps lock. You can see it says non gps mode, lock were just going to wait for that to acquire its satellites and then well be good to go. So we have gps lock and were going to take off press pull both the joysticks into the down, and in starts the propellers and within a few seconds launch there we go. I probably should have recorded this whole thing, but uh, oh well, here we here we go heres, a quick recap.
You may recall i it took a while for the drone to acquire a gps lock well shortly after taking off im gon na guess that it didnt it lost its gps connection to the satellites, and that made it very difficult to fly. It uh im gon na, say its because of all the trees where i am here um, because i had no problem whatsoever with gps lock in an open field yesterday. So anyway lost the gps, lock started it started to blow away, went right out over the lake um and uh. So i managed to bring it in fortunately, but uh it was. It was really struggling against the wind, its a pretty brisk strong wind and its kind of whistling here between uh between the trees. So i brought it in uh, but but couldnt control it very well and it crashed into a tree and got stuck up. There managed to get it down with a long pole and uh none the worst for wear so word to the wise. If youre having troubles getting a gps, lock, youre, probably gon na, lose it as well, so um dont fly, if you, if you cant, get a gps, lock youre gon na lose your drone for sure. Okay, on with the video so heres my flight yesterday, i was flying in a wide open soccer field. Gps lock instantly didnt lose gps ever so totally different experience in that regard. The wind was probably twice as bad that day.
So why dont we listen in as im flying okay, so its struggling in this wind, its pretty strong wind, im, going to say probably 20 kilometers per hour, but you can see its actually remarkably stable im going to bring it down a bit now im going to Start the video recording, so you can see what thats like there we go. Okay, so were just going to make a slow circle here: Music heres, a strong wind, its usually better, to stay closer to the ground, a couple of meters off the ground, maybe no more than that and so lets do the full length of this soccer field here See if i can score a goal, one disadvantage of the camera being pointing down is that you cant, see too well in front of. You tells me the distance on the on the display about 54 meters right now, theres. The other end of the soccer field lets see how it tilts, when, when you move the drone thats really struggling in this wind there, we go trying to make a slow circle around this the net and then well come back ill. Try high speed mode, heres high speed mode, oh wow, i like it in faster mode, much better its actually a lot more fun. This way like its much more responsive. Well, there we have it the holy stone, hs 165 fpv drone easy to fly because of its gps connection, but not a great camera, particularly because of its angle, the way its pointing downwards – and you cant change that, but for just flying around it works fine.
Its a lot of fun and certainly easy on the wallet theres a discount code for 10 off in the description below i hope, youve enjoyed this video and the review safe and happy flying thanks for watching Music.