Holy Stone F181C Drone Review 2019 – is the Holy Stone F181C quadcopter worth the money? Review of features, pricing, flight duration, battery, camera and more.
- Equipped with One Key Return & Headless Security System to assist beginners and help prevent losing...
- Altitude Hold Function: Powerful air pressure altitude hold function allows the drone to hover at...
- One Key 360° 4-Ways Flip (left,right,forward,backward), Continuous Roll For Perfect Action And...
- Come With Two Batteries (BONUS BATTERY) For Longer Flight Time.
- Range: About 50-100 Meters. Battery Flight Time: About 7-9 Minutes. Charging Time: About 80 Minutes....
Ever since its launch back in 2015, Holy Stone’s F181C quadcopter model has remained a highly popular entry level drone with flyers. The model comes with some awesome features for drones in its price range, but even so, we’ll be doing it an injustice if we say its popularity is owing entirely to its competitive price!
If you have some experience as a drone pilot, a quick gloss over the product features will already impress you. But our detailed review here is aimed at giving you a more comprehensive understanding of why Holy Stone F181C Drone is one of the best beginner drones that you can invest in and how you can benefit from acquiring this peach of a model.
Let’s get started with the product specs and features then.
Holy Stone F181C Product Specifications
Battery: 3.7 V, 750 mAh, easily detachable battery.
Flight Time: 7-9 minutes, in normal wind
Control Range: 70-100 meters
Charging Time: About 1hr 20 ms
Motor: 2.4 GHZ motor
Dimensions: 12.2 x 3.5 x 12.2 inches
Weight: About 14 ounces (without protective gears attached)
Camera: 2MP, 720p camera with operable in still and video modes
Storage: 2GB built-in storage with additional SD card slot for extendable storage
Features: Headless Mode, One Key Return, Altitude Hold function, 4-ways Flip, convenient LED lights
Price: currently $79 at amazon.com
Ok, now that we have done mentioning with the features, let’s plunge into the details which will give you a fair idea of what you can expect from this drone.
Ease of Use
We may start with the fact that unlike most professional drone models, this quadcopter does not require an FAA registration, which attests to the fact that this is quite a safe, easy and hazard-free model to operate.
You’ll still need to observe some precautions, though and not fly the drone where there are people, animals or children around. Also, it is advisable that children below 7-8 years of age do not handle it.
Now, as for the ease of use. It is pretty much a model that you can start using right out of the box. All you’ll need to do is to attach the blade protecting frames and the landing gear, using the tiny screwdriver that comes in the box; there is a separate camera slot at the bottom of the model, so make sure that camera is connected and if you’re planning to take pictures, switch on the camera mode. And finally, check the battery is connected and you are all ready to go!
However, we strongly recommend that you read the instructions manual carefully before you perform any of the above operations and launch the drone into the sky. A printed manual is included in the box and you may also download a handy pdf of the manual from the Holy Stone website.
Additionally, for beginner flyers, we would recommend that you choose a fairly open space (not too many trees, etc.) for flying the drones during the testing out period.
What’s In the Package?
The package includes pretty much everything you need to fly the model:
• The F181C drone
• 2 drone batteries
• 2 USB cable chargers
• The 2.4G remote transmitter
• 4 blade protecting frames
• 2 landing gears or slides
• An additional 4 propellers/rotating blades
• The user manual
• A screwdriver
So, the only thing you’ll have to buy separately are the 4 AA batteries required for the transmitter/controller. Everything else is in the box!
Now, let’s have a deeper look at the features we’ve mentioned above. This will help you appreciate the model for what it’s worth and will also, we hope, give you a good idea of why we are such a fan of this particular model.
At first sight, the drone doesn’t look too different from other miniature copters. But since it is made of quality materials, it will give you a good feel once you hold it in your hand. Nothing like the cheap plastic toy feeling that you get from most inexpensive drone models!
The design is neat and functional. You can easily detach the camera unit located at the bottom of the model. The same goes true for the motor. With the help of the screwdriver, you can detach the motor in no time. So replacement or repair of the motor will never be a headache and we would like to thank the Holy Stone manufacturers for their thoughtfulness regarding these matters.
The LED lights are also very thoughtfully placed across the model. It has a red light on the bottom and a blue one on the front plus a cylon ion headlamp located on its ‘nose’ which is great for orientation, especially when you are flying at night. In addition, there are blue and red indicator lights placed across the bottom of the blades and these lights will start to blink once the model is running out of battery.
Finally, we must make mention of the 4CH 6-axis Gyro system which gives great stability to this quadcopter. You will appreciate this especially when you are doing the flips. Despite its relatively lighter weight, the drone will stay stable and won’t careen out of control.
Build and Durability
One of the outstanding features of this model is its durability. To attest this, you may visit the Amazon customer review section of this model and you’ll find scores of reviewers praising the model for its durability, among other things. The first time flyers will especially appreciate this. Even with bumps or steep falls, the battery unit won’t dislodge easily and the propellers will also stay fine as long as you are using the blade guards. In short, notwithstanding its somewhat toy-like appearance, the unit is pretty sturdy. What is more, the drone’s solid structure is able to resist powerful breezes and will withstand winds of up to 10 miles per hour.
The F181C transmitter or controller looks very much like a joystick. So, most will have no difficulty handling the unit. You can control the drone speed, camera on/off, lights on/off, video/still mode with the control buttons. There is a little display box mounted on the head of the unit which will show information regarding speed, signal strength, battery status, camera mode and so on. However, there are some misleading reviews on the net which say that you’ll get live feed from camera through this display box. This is simply not true and at any rate, you don’t get the direct live feed feature with drones of this price range. However, you can always connect the unit with your smartphone to avail of this feature.
Other Convenient Features of F181C
Maneuverability: The Headless Security system makes the drone really easy to fly. It won’t fly backwards or spin out of control. The drone does have a tendency to bounce off the surface when it lands (the landing guard comes handy here), but once in air, it will fly pretty much without interruption.
Also, the Altitude Hold Function helps the quad to hover at a fixed height when you want it to. This is especially convenient for taking good quality pictures or video.
The One-Key Return feature is helpful when drawing back the drone and it prevents the drone from getting lost. In addition, this feature will also help the pilots from preventing the drone to advance too quickly.
The Four Way Flip is another great feature of this model. Flipping is something you master with practice and since flips are a great way to get excellent pictures from any perspective, it is a skill that is highly valued by the flyers. And the fact that this inexpensive drone gives you the opportunity to flip the model 360 degrees at all directions is a great plus since it is better to hone your flipping skills on a $80 model than on a $500 one!
Apart from the above, most customers appreciate the extra battery as well as the extra set of propellers included in the box. The two chargers also allow you to charge both batteries simultaneously. [Recommendation: Although you may have two fully charged batteries at your disposal, you shouldn’t fly the unit without a break. Give it an at least 20-30 minutes break after each flying session, otherwise the motors may burn out quickly.]
Finally, we must mention the excellent Customer Service provided by the Holy Stone company. Many reviewers on Amazon state that the company has contacted them on their own accord after reading the buyers’ review on Amazon (when the reviews mentioned some problems with the model) and provided them with quick replacements. We strongly recommend that you browse through the Amazon reviews section and you’ll get a fair idea of what we are talking about!
Comparison with Other Models
We’ll compare our present model with two entry grade drones. This, we hope, will provide you with a better perspective on the Holy stone model in general.
Hubsan X4 Mini RC
This model falls at almost the exact same price bracket as F181C. To begin with, both models are pretty sturdy and resilient. However, F181C excels when it comes to overall durability since according to the users of the Hubsan model, the propeller blades of the model are not too solidly built and they had to replace them pretty soon after they started using the model. Blades on the F181C, on the other hand, are much more durable. Also, the flyers don’t need to recalibrate the Holy Stone model every time they use it, but that is a must with the Hubsan model. The X4 model however boasts of two separate flying modes: novice and advanced, whereas F181C model operates on a single flying mode. However, the auto-flip feature of the latter pretty much compensates for this since the flipping operations make flying the drone both fun and challenging for new pilots. Finally, even if the picture is not of HD quality, you can shot video with F181C. The X4, on the other hand, does not have a video capture mode at all.
In terms of product features, the 509G model boats of some extra features as compared to F181C. It has a same 2 megapixel camera but with the FPV feature. The model uses 5.8GHz frequency for its FPV transmission which is pretty cool. Also, it has direct live feed display attached to its controller. In addition, it comes with a slightly better flying time of up to 10 minutes. But this JXD model is priced at about $96, which means you’ll need to shell out around $20 more for this model. Also, our verdict is that in terms of durability and stability, F181C fares much better than this model. This is easily corroborated by the fact that the 509G drone enjoys a 3.2/5 rating on Amazon (based on 25 customer reviews) compared to a 4.4/5 rating (based on 3,170 customer reviews) of F181C. The rest you can judge for yourself!