The HS100 and HS100G are two of the most popular drones among the adult and camera drone lines of Holy Stone drones on Amazon. Both have 4-star average ratings on the site and garnered impressively positive reviews from customers. These quad copter models are quickly rising to be Holy Stone’s bestselling drones on Amazon.
Here is a quick index of the things we are going to be discussing.
- HS100G vs HS100
- Design and Durability
- Camera Quality
- Flying Experience
- Overall Verdict
What is the difference between the HS100G vs HS100?
The similarities of the HS100G and HS100 are astounding – identical physical features (i.e. size, shape, and finish), same flight-feel, and indistinguishable controllers – like peas to a pod. However, they are two different models and there should be a contrast between them right? And there is one, a significant one: the camera
The best drones are always praised because of how easy it is to fly or the max altitude it can reach, but drones are not valued on how they float and flutter in the sky. Rather, the most prized capability of a drone is the quality of breathtaking images it could produce. The camera on the HS100G is capable of 1080p full HD recording while the one on HS100 is locked to 720p HD. However, the exact megapixel counts of the drones are not listed anywhere officially yet. With these specifications, it is disappointing that these cameras are not ideal for shooting videos. The better camera is on the HS100G and it can only generate videos better than a laptop webcam, and obviously, buyers will shell out a bit more for this. In any case, expect nothing special on the camera aspect of these drones.
It might seem that I am dwelling too much on criticizing the cameras of the HS100G and HS100. This may be partly true. Aside from the sub-par video resolution they offer, the cameras on these drones also pale in the stabilization facet compared to their contemporaries. Yet you have to realize that the camera on these drones is not its selling point and thus should not be the focus when looking to purchase these quad copters. Yes, they are integral to the basic functionality of drones but they serve a greater purpose here. That is to enable the HS100 and HS100G’s most prominent feature – the FPV or First-Person View.
And why does FPV matter? Well, this is why you will buy these drones. Holy Stone designed these drones to do a lot of things a high-end drone should do, especially the HS100G (which is the model I will be focusing more on in this review). You may see below for a quick list of the other specifications of the HS100G. Ultimately, I will say, the FPV feature may finally convince you to spend top dollar to buy this quad copter.
|Drone MODEL No.：||HS100G|
|Weight (Including Battery) ：||700 g / 24.7 oz (FAA is required)|
|Flight time:||12-15 minutes|
|Wi-Fi Distance:||400M (Outdoor and Unobstructed)|
|Satellite Systems:||GPS / GLONASS|
|Remote Controller Frequency：||2.4GHz|
|Max transmission distance：||500m（Outdoor and Unobstructed）|
|5G Wi-Fi Required Systems:||IOS 7.0or later/Android 4.4or later|
|Drone Battery Capacity：||2500 mAh|
|Voltage：||7.4V Rated Power: ≤10 W|
|Max Charging Time：||3-6 hours (Depends on Charging Power)|
|USB Cable Voltage：||5V|
Design and Durability: Tough but Elegant
The design of the quad copter HS100G screams confidence. An all-black design makes it look like your standard-issue undercover FBI drone. It means business! This is rather refreshing to see and is a huge contrast from what the quintessential recreational-drone or toy-drone feel quad copters in this price range look like. An example of which is the SYMA X8C, with its white, glossy finish. Although the HS100G also possesses a glossy finish on its outside appearance. it looks more polished, refined, and mirrors its price tag. This finish reminds me of the DJI Phantom 4 Obsidian – an almost similar yet more expensive drone. A couple of decals here and there finishes the HS100G’s minimalist look with jet black dominating its top to bottom and even on the landing pads.
The HS100G is built out of tough ABS plastic and gives it good durability and longevity qualities. Four LED lights surround the drone and I believe this is a good feature to have, especially while at night. These lights indicate their pairing and connectivity status and could also be used as a maneuvering guide for drone pilots.
What is inside the box?
A huge holding box contains all the components of the HS100G. The majority of the drone is already assembled as you take it out, and you just have to attach a set of propellers and its 7.4V 2500 mAh battery to be ready to fly the thing. This makes for a relatively quick but ultimately solid unboxing experience! You also get an SD card reader, a USB charger, an extra set of propellers, a set of propeller guards, blade pads, caps, a set of screws, and a remote controller.
I would like to delve a bit into the HS100G’s (and the HS100’s) battery. The battery of this drone model is modular – meaning you can directly charge them without being connected to the drone. You just directly plug in the battery using its USB charger and avoid those annoying overheating hazards and similar problems with the drone. The battery has a decent lifespan, even if it does not have fast-charging capabilities, providing around 15 minutes of flight time per charge.
I highly recommended that you buy more batteries to maximize the flight experience of this drone. Its modular nature means you can prepare and charge a few batteries before a video shoot, for example. Pop-in one after the other dies out and you are assured of additional flight time.
Click here to buy battery packs for the HS100G or HS100.
Finally, from experience, some products tend to cheap out on some accessories, but not this drone. It comes with everything! The package even comes with a screwdriver and an SD Card. It was a pleasant surprise. Plus points for me.
As I have mentioned, the cameras of the HS100 and HS100G are not their strong suit. Yes, you can take better shots with the latter with its 1080p HD recording capability, but this is the most you could always expect from drones in this price range. That said, you should not be looking to take cinematic shots with sub-200 dollar drones. If you are serious about taking impressively vivid footage and now have a meaningful experience flying drones, you can get the DJI Mavic mini or the HOLY STONE HS720E. Both of which will cost double or more each than our featured quad copter.
But since you may have bought already or your budget limits you to the HS100 or HS100G, what are the positives of the cameras these quad copters have? One thing is that they are great for those just learning to take those phenomenal drone shots you see all the time. The cost of these drones again maybe a bit high but not prohibitive enough, so you can still have them and access their other awesome features. Anyway, you are not going to be the superstar photographer, videographer, or cinematographer overnight. It takes years of practice to achieve this level. Nevertheless, as they say, you have to start somewhere, and these drones are a perfect jump-off point to pursue that dream or to follow your passion for image capturing.
Speaking of getting better at quad copter photography and videography and drone cinematography, you may want to watch the clip below. The tips are really simple yet valuable especially for those aspiring to level up on their drone skills.
With all that I said, it is not like you cannot get good footage out of the cameras of the HS100 and HS100G. You can! If it is a bright sunny day, the lens will pick up plenty of details and produce a good quality vibrant video. That said, the level of stabilization in the cameras is not really up to par to get quality videos. Instead, focus more on capturing superb stills by rotating the camera using the app and adjusting the camera angles which is one of the great innovations of these drones.
My overall verdict with the camera of the HS100 and HS100G is that it is acceptably usable and the best you can get for its price range.
If the camera of the HS100 and HS100G was a bit of a letdown, the flying experience with these quad copters was the complete opposite. These drones are equipped with GPS which is fantastic and it is pretty accurate and fast. The flying truly exceeded my expectations especially for a drone in this price range. The drone flies itself well!
The GPS enables a few, amazing flight modes for the drone – amazing not because they are a new technology, but rather amazing because they are now available to a drone which is way less expensive. The standard Orbit, the Follow-Me, and the Waypoint modes are all included, as well as the noteworthy FPV mode mentioned earlier.
The Orbit mode tells the drone to circle the user and provide a 360-degree view of him. You can also pin a location on the map and this drone can take circling footage of that too. Follow-Me mode works as advertised – the drone will follow you around and record you! The Waypoint mode allows you to set the desired flight path using waypoints and the drone can hover and take shots on identified locations. Finally, you get FPV (First-Person View) mode as well. You need to connect your phone to get it and once enabled, it’s pretty good! The system is impressively responsive, much like the GPS, and does its job well.
I cannot stop raving about it, but the flying experience is where this drone shines! And I could see beginner pilots appreciating these flying adventures a bit more while using the HS100 or HS100G. If you are a newbie drone pilot and just want to learn to fly, I suggest you go and get this quad copter. It has a six-axis gyroscope and an altitude-hold which are some great beginner-friendly features. The gyroscope keeps the drone level, while the altitude-hold keeps it at the same height allowing a beginner pilot to relax. Lastly, even if you somehow lose sight of the drone while in flight, these drones come with a return-home feature due to the inclusion of Headless mode. These may not be expensive drones, but they are not cheap as well so making sure you do not lose it mid-flight is a welcome innovation.
The last point I want to touch on is the excitingly extensive 500-meter range. You can have FPV on and go that far, but I do not recommend you do so. It’s good and it works. However, as much as possible, keep your drone in sight!
To stress, the reason this drone ranks so highly is because of how easy it is to fly. And with its design and features that mimic those of drones which are around $3000, buyers think they are getting a remarkably useful quad copter for less than 20 times the price. A bang for your every buck!
FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)
This drone is considered above the weight limit of 250 grams. So, you will have to get it registered and put a license number on the drone where it is easily visible. Again, all the standard FAA rules apply so be mindful of them. Remember, any drone above 250 grams in weight must be registered in the United States of America. The fines are exorbitant, so it would be wise and worth it to observe all the rules. Update yourself on the rules If you haven’t yet by watching this video:
I highly recommend getting this drone if you are a first-time drone pilot. It is simple enough to operate and flies well. The set-up is easy to learn as well and you can start flying as soon as you assemble the unit. As beginners, you might run into some obstacles such as tree trunks, rocks, or similar obstructions but the drones are durable and tough enough to withstand most of these. Moreover, the package you will receive when you purchase the HS100 or HS100G drone includes propeller guards which serve to protect one of the most fragile parts of the drone. An extra set is there as well just in case, so you won’t have much to worry about. Not to mention you get an SD card reader and several other accessories that most manufacturers leave out.
Aside from being great for beginners, the HS100 and HS100G offer great value for money with their features, with these drones, you can have a usable 720p or 1080p HD camera that can provide quality stills and videos in the proper conditions. Also, the GPS on these drones is superb and the functionalities such as the FPV and Follow-Me mode perform remarkably similar to those of drones on the higher-end of the spectrum. Finally, the modular batteries provide extra flying time for those who cannot get enough of this quad copter. Just make sure you get those batteries immediately.
There is no doubt that Holy Stone’s HS 100 and HS100G are two of the most sought after and best-reviewed drones of the year. With drones getting more interest from hobbyists and professionals alike, the demand for starter-level quad copters that still provide a decent flying experience to their users is ever-growing. Value for money is the name of the game with these types of drones, and the HS100 and HS100G are on top of it!
- HD video recording available on both models: 1080P on the higher-end model and 720p on the standard HS100 quadcopter.
- Flying time of 15 minutes per charge
- Easily swappable batteries
- Modular charging provides safety from fire hazard or explosion
- Built with quality ABS plastic. It is durable and will most likely last a long time. Can also withstand those few bumps here and there
- Simplified controls and pleasant flying experience
- Speed modes can accommodate beginner- to expert-level pilots
- The camera is remote-adjustable – you can rotate it around to get any kind of shot you want
- 500-meter flying range
- FPV (First-Person View) supported and works well
- It has a 6-axis gyroscope and an altitude-hold feature, and these are helpful especially to beginner pilots
- Functional GPS and all the features it provides
- Relatively affordable compared to other similar drones
- Extra accessories not normally provided by other drone manufacturers
- Obstacle avoidance system not available
- The modular battery pack is a bit on the expensive side
- Limited photo and video resolution of the cameras, especially in less than ideal condition
- Need for a wider area to fly
- Although great for beginners, adult supervision may be needed for children flying as this needs FAA registration
- A bit bulky for travel. I recommend buying a case for your drone if you plan to travel