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Holy Stone HS177 Drone Review

These were the second drones I ever owned (I first bought the Holy Stone F181W), and thus I was pretty excited to see how a different, smaller drone behaved. I was expecting something pretty toyish, but found out these drones were more than just "battle toys". Ignoring the battle functionality completely, I would buy these individually just to fly around.

The set comes with two drones, as well as a removable cover so you can change one of the drones to have a different color top (blue, red, or green). While these drones are dueling drones, they very easily pass for a normal fly-as-a-hobby type drone, so I will be reviewing them accordingly.

Distance
Range never turned out to be an issue (not that you buy these for their range). With how small these drones are (about 7" x7"), you wouldn't want to fly it anywhere more than 30 meters. This is because, despite there being a bright light on the front to indicate which way is forward, it's hard to determine which way it's facing when it's far away due to it's size. Below you'll see two images comparing it to a GoPro, and comparing it to the larger Holy Stone F181W

Battery/Charging
Each drone takes one removable battery (included) that plugs into a standard usb charger (given). The batteries charge pretty quickly (30-40 minutes). When flying on beginner mode, the flight time was impressive (12-15 minutes). One plus that I noted: there was no cool down period needed for the drone between \flights (In other Holy Stone drones, you need to let the motors cool down between flights so that you don't burn out the motors) There is no mention of this in the manual, and I haven't found this to be the case. One flaw I found in their charging configuration was that it's not very easy to plug/unplug the battery into the drone. You wind up having to pull on the wires to get the charger out, which makes me feel like I'm going to crimp or break the wires on the battery. Additionally, when plugging the battery in, you have to use the wires to push the charger into the port. This becomes quite awkward as you have to line it up perfectly.

Speed Modes
The drone comes with three modes: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. A button on the remote controller allows you to quickly adjust which mode you are in mid-flight. Intermediate mode comes with significant speed, and advanced mode is truly an advanced mode, so there's a good range of skill required. This drone would be nice both for people who are just starting out, as well as those who are pretty familiar with flying.

Flight
The drones feel very responsive during flight. Because of the build in gyro, they remain mostly level during flight. On Expert mode, the drone is extremely sensitive, which allows you to make really sharp, banking turns. I'd consider myself somewhat of a beginner in terms of flying ability, and I feel most comfortable on the beginner setting. The drone is able to change horizontal direction quickly, though it's a little slow to descend at some times (but not enough to be annoying). I was surprised that, even flying this outside, the drone was incredibly stable, much more so than the larger F181W, especially when the wind picked up. Below you'll see a video I made demonstrating flight features.

Build Quality/Integrity
Because the drones are so light, it's more difficult to break them just from falling under their own weight. That being said, they are a bit fragile due to their size. While there are guards on the propellers to prevent you from breaking the propellers, the set does come with extra propellers in case you break some.

The plastic does feel a little cheap, specifically the removable colored cover. Durability was sacrificed a bit in favor of weight in this regard.

 

Extra Features

Pros

 

Cons

Overall, I would suggest these drones for anyone who is a beginner to intermediate, as they allow a lot of room for improvement, and come in at a low price

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