Holy Stone HS170 Review: The Predator Mini Drone

holy stone hs170 review main pic

Holy S….tone!

Holy Stone is back at again, and this time it’s the Holy Stone HS170!  We were pretty pumped to try this little guy out, especially since it was made by Holy Stone. From our experience, Holy Stone is great when it comes to producing quadcopters designed for beginners, and they also have amazing customer service.

The Holy Stone HS170 is on the smaller end of RC quadcopters in terms of size, but is still quite entertaining. Because of it’s size, you won’t have to register the drone since it follows the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations. So without further ado, let’s get the Holy Stone HS170 review started!

HS170 Specs

Length: 5.3 inchesWidth: 5.3 inches
Weight: 14.4 ouncesCamera: None
Recommended Age: 14+Great for: Beginner/Amateur RC quadcopter pilots

Items included:

  • 3.7 V 350 mAh  Li-Ion Battery
  • USB charging cable
  • Screwdriver
  • User manual
  • Four extra blades

First Thoughts

The packaging was very nice. We shook the box and we heard nothing moving around. Just cut the tape, pull out the flap, and pull out the plastic. We took a quick look at the manual since it fell right out of the box when we pulled the plastic out. The manual was sadly in broken English, but was still relatively easy to understand.

ProsCons
- The price of the quadcopter is around $40, which is on the lower end of drone costs. This price should be very appealing for beginner RC quadcopter pilots.

- Due to its small size, the Holy Stone HS170 is great for both indoor and outdoor use.

- Great battery life. The battery can last up to 15 min, which is pretty impressive.

- The Holy Stone company has great customer service, making any issues much easier to deal with.

- The quadcopter does have headless mode. Although the RC quadcopter has a front and back, turning on headless mode means there is no front or back, making it easier for beginners to use.

- Very fast and agile. I would recommend using the slower speed setting indoors and the faster speed settings outdoors.
- One of the biggest complaints regarding the Holy Stone HS170 is it is not very durable, particularly indoors.

- The feet of the RC quadcopter can be springy, so when you land the quadcopter it may bounce and flip over.

- Bulky controller, requires 6 AA batteries! (They unfortunately do not come included)

- There is no camera attached. If you wanted to film, this RC quadcopter is not the one for you.

- Wire hanging out. Not extreme but if you don’t keep an eye on it, the wire could bend upwards and catch on a blade.

Design

holystone hs170 review packageThe HS170 has a sleek, blue body with black blade guards. The blade guards do not cover the blades of the HS170 completely, but they do a decent job in making sure the blades do not get caught on anything. Also provided in the package are black and white blades.

There are red and blue LED lights on the mini-quad, which is great for flying outside at night. When looking at the RC quadcopter, the red LED lighting indicates the back of drone, and the blue LED lights indicate the front of drone. (This does not matter too much when you are in headless mode.)

Headless mode just means that there is no front or back on the drone. Instead, the drone will orient itself to the direction of the controller. This makes it much easier for beginners to fly. When you’re in headless mode, the HS170 makes an annoying beeping noise.

When you first start using the Holy Stone HS170, the lights will be flashing. This means  that the drone is ready to connect to the transmitter.

There are three modes for the HS170. With the advanced mode, the quadcopter is really fast, and more responsive. This is really good for when you are flying the drone outside or if you’re a skilled pilot.

The beginner mode allows you to focus more on the controls and less on the speed and responsiveness. This is useful for when you are flying indoors, or if you are learning to fly drones for the first time. When you first get the Hs170, I would recommend starting with the beginner mode and working your way up to the advanced mode to build comfort with the controls and the speed.

Transmitter

holystone hs170 review -transmitterThe transmitter you receive in the package is white, and does require 6 AA batteries. We were surprised to see how large the transmitter was in comparison to the drone.What also surprised us was the fact that you need 6 batteries! (With that many batteries, this transmitter better last 10 years!)

The transmitter is shaped similar to a gaming controller. This was great since it fit nicely into our hands and made it easier to press the various buttons on the transmitter.

When looking at the transmitter, you’ll see a black switch. This is the on/off switch. There are also two joysticks that allow the pilot to control the direction and the height of the drone. There are also trim buttons on the controller. One feature that can be annoying is that the trim buttons on the transmitter also correspond to other features, which can be confusing. You are going to have to read the manual since there isn’t any indication of which buttons do what on the transmitter.

For example, you can turn off most of the LED lights by pressing one of the buttons on the controller, which will allow you to save some battery life. Just by looking at the transmitter, you wouldn’t be able to figure out which one actually did unless you read the manual.

There is a button that allows your drone to do rolls and flips. This was actually pretty fun, as the drone responded well every time we would press the button. You just need to hold down the right dstick to roll in any direction.

The range of the transmitter is about 200 feet. You can also have more than one transmitter nearby since they will not interfere with the other quadcopters (Awwww yeaa 2.4Ghz frequency!)

Charger

A USB charger is included in the package as well. There is no wall plug unfortunately, but the charger should work with any wall plug you have lying around at home.

Charging the battery takes roughly an hour to an hour and a half to fully charge. This will give you a flight time of about 6-8 minutes. I would recommend getting extra batteries so that you don’t have to constantly keep charging.

Maintenance

Be careful when connecting the metal prongs on the wires of the battery on the RC quadcopter. You don’t want to bend them. Also be really careful when you are disconnecting the battery. If you pull it too hard, you will damage the wire and will then have to re-solder the wire.

Like other Holy Stone quadcopters, I would advise taking a break after 10 minutes to give the motors a chance to cool down and not overheat. Otherwise you risk the chance of damaging your quad.

Flight Video

Here is a Holy Stone HS170 review video showing the Holy Stone HS170 in action!

Conclusion

That ends our Holy Stone HS170 review! If you are on a budget and want to get an RC quadcopter under $50, definitely check the Holy Stone HS170 out. It is affordable, easy to fly, and good for indoor and outdoor use. Headless mode also makes it great for beginner drone enthusiasts to learn how to fly.
Click here to check out the Holy Stone HS170!

2 Comments

  1. Spotted.Horse December 24, 2016
  2. Tilden W Gladwell January 10, 2017

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