When we decided to choose the best easy-to-fly drone we considered multiple aspects that it would have to fulfil in order to get our recommendation. We’ve decided that it should be fun to fly, tough in order not to break easily and to be easy enough for use to anyone as their first quadcopter. Our choice for the ultimate affordable beginner drone is the Holy Stone HS170 quadcopter. It fulfilled all of our requirements and we had lots of fun testing it for the purpose of our review.
We feel that anyone who is looking to buy a more expensive quadcopter should first start with this little flyer in order to get a hang of how the controls work. It will also save a lot of money since there are numerous videos to be found online where users bought an expensive drone with no previous usage experience and managed to break them the first time they started them up. The HS170 will be a perfect guide for beginners and will offer them an excellent learning experience. Plus, it includes three flying setting modes so as the users get better, they can advance through them and become true drone flying professionals.
Drone size: 5.3 x 1.6 x 5.3 inches
Drone weight: 0.9 pounds
“Headless Flight System” orients the quadcopter’s flight on the controller
Low-interference 2.4GHz technology radio control
6-Axis gyro stabilisation system for effortless recovery after stunts and sudden moves
Control range: 30-50 Meters
Flying time: 6-8 minutes
Charging time: 60-80 minutes (under current input 0.5A-1A)
Safety LED lights
The Retail Package Includes:
- Holy Stone HS170 quadcopter
- 4G Remote controller (AA batteries not included)
- 3.7V 350mAh Li-Ion battery
- 4 x Rotor blade guards
- 4 x Additional rotator blades
- USB charging cable
- User Manual
The HS170 Predator looks really attractive and there are four propeller bumper guards included to prevent any possibility of damage in case it runs into an obstacle during flight. The blue on black colour scheme looks great on the small drone and it offers nice visibility even when we flew as far as 50 meters away. The two front propellers are painted in white color and the rear ones are black so that the operators can always discern which way the quadcopter is facing.
When you first turn it on you are greeted with a nice show of colourful LEDs. These are not there merely to increase the visual appeal and in fact, serve the purpose to increase the visibility during the night and low-light flying time. Overall the plastic parts used on this compact flyer seem durable and we crashed it a couple of times to check if something will break. This little flying machine is tough and will endure light impacts and crashes with minimal damage.
The flight performance is excellent and it doesn’t matter if HS170 is flown indoors or outdoors since it will be easy to control and manoeuvre. There are three included speed modes to choose from and we recommend the first one for beginners, the second one for more experienced flyers and the third one for drone racing professionals.
The first low-speed mode offers easier and more manageable flying experience. It is dedicated for use with the first-time users and offers smooth and stable flight.
The medium speed setting adds more torque to the four motors and an increase in speed and agility of the little quadcopter. This mode is fun so we used it most of the time during our testing.
The third “fast” setting will dramatically change the way HS170 moves around and it turns it into a very manoeuvrable high-speed You will need great reflexes for this mode as the drone turns fast and flies even faster.
The 6-axis gyroscope is a great feature not often found in this price range and it is the main reason why the HS170 flies so stable and in a smooth and controllable way. We flew it in the windy conditions and found it to perform great even with stronger wind speeds at 50 meters of height.
Headless Flight System
The included “headless flight system” feature is great for both beginners and experts who would like to keep their quadcopter flying in a more controllable manner. There are cool flips and rolls the little quadcopter can perform although we didn’t use those much as they drain the battery faster and put more stress on the motors.
The included 350mAh battery is of decent capacity and depending on how the users fly the little drone it can last anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes on average. We recommend buying spare batteries in order to increase the flight time. The HS170 accepts up to 3.7V 400mAh capacity rated batteries which can increase the flight time for up to 10 minutes. The included charger refills the battery to full level in about an hour and 20 minutes.