Holystone HS200 sUAS (drone) Review
Arrival – the unit could have been mishandled. I received one really bent propeller. Luckily I ordered the extra batteries and repair kit, knowing I was an inexperienced pilot. Foreseeing wreck, I did not disappoint me.
User Manual: I found it lacking.
More of a toy feel. Very light and thin. But strong. See below
Price point is very good. I wanted to make sure I could fly before I invested on a more expensive unit.
Battery life is advertised at 10 minutes flight time. I got almost 75% out of my third cycled batteries. I flew 7:16 min indoors. Also kept the drone at 6 feet or less above ground level “AGL”. I am 6 foot tall and drone was always below my leveled line of sight. Less battery power to climb.
How long will it fly outside? At 50 feet above mechanical wind effects. I expect a significant decrease in flight time due to obviously different environments.
Pairing: 16-20 seconds. I felt this was a very expedient pairing process.
Flying with iPhone – applications offers the ability for FPV (First Person View). Whether used with the controller or stand alone. No sensory feedback however. Found that it was too easy for me to be off the controlling areas and had to glance at the screen to place fingers back to their correct location. (This could be due to my lack of experience.)
Controller: I did not have this issue with the provided controller. Easy. You could feel the joysticks continuously. No presentable latency at 10-15 feet from either controllers. Don’t know the effect larger distances from the controllers will have on responsiveness.
Resilient very durable. Learning to fly inside presents multiple obstacles. I hit many. Drone still going. The aforementioned bent prop must have been be placing heavy object over the unit while on transport. I have hit most if not all the obstacles I have in my living room and the HS200 is in one peace. While so thin and fragile feel it takes a licking and keep on ticking.
Altitude hold: a big plus for a novice pilot and for the flight time. I never hot the ceiling as I had in the past with micro helicopters.
Camera: I am happy with the footage and stills I am shooting. Keep in mind it is just a 2MP camera. But I think the camera’s purpose is FPV and it is good enough for that purpose.
One press take-off: very helpful for control and energy management.
Headless Mode: I have not tried the headless mode. I want to gain experience before I discover what I expect to be a great plus feature to pilots.
sUAS Registration: The HS200 published weight is 108 grams. At 453.6 grams per pound the HS200 weight is 0.24 lbs. well below the lowest weight required by the FAA for registration. I am flying inside so far. No need to register since I am not in the National Airspace System “NAS”.
Make sure to visit www.faa.gov/uas for updated information and requirement on fly in the NAS.
Over all comments: I am very pleased with the HS200 sUAS. Becoming a kid in my Livingroom has been fun. Despite its small and light weight it is a resilient unit. I have had some time of fun and relaxation. It’s fun to see my piloting and directional input errors causing my CFIT. Controlled Flight into Terrain.
I am currently awaiting on a call to teach a continuing education class on 14 CFR Part 107 rules. I am required to provide the drones for the class. I know I could order several of these units, with the confidence that my potential student, regardless of their experience level, could wreck my HS200 and it will keep going for the next student to try.