Holy Stone F181W Review

From the many choices we have to pick a drone today, there are those that can easily be spotted because of its many advantages. The Holy Stone F181w is definitely one of them. However, what is that makes this model so special? Can we safely say this is one of the best and cheap drones for beginners in the market? If you’ve been considering buying this drone, then I suggest you read through because you’re about to find out if that is a good idea or not.

HOLY STONE F181W OVERVIEW

The F181W surely does have a special charming attraction to many drone hobbyists and even photographers. Holy stone is usually with Excellent Build quality.  Holy Stone F181W drone is also equipped with amazing build and hardware quality like other drones. Another very notable feature of this drone is the camera. This comes with 720P 120° Wide-angle HD Wi-Fi Camera. This means the camera quality is HD to take pictures and record videos. Wide angle lens helps to take pictures with good coverage area and rotate around when needed. A notable feature in this drone is FPV (first person view). FPV enables you to record videos and take pictures through the drone camera real time. You can see the view from the sky in real time using your smartphone.

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ALL ABOUT HOLY STONE

Holy stone group of companies was founded in 2014. They are known for the innovative drones they manufacture which offer professional level features due to the effort they put into their production section. They make use of advanced technologies in the manufacture of their drones and sell them to customers all over the world. Holy stone satisfies customers in countries like Japan, America, France, Germany and so many more.

Features of Holy Stone F181W

Flight range

Along with the flight time, the flight range is also important, because it allows you to know how far the drone can go without losing the signal from the transmitter. In this case, this drone has an operating range of 50 to 100 meters or 164 to 328 feet.

Camera

Holy stone f181w cameraThe F181w comes fully fitted with a 2MP camera. This camera is able to record videos at 30 frames and take snaps 720p resolution. This probably doesn’t mean much to you so I’ll try to demonstrate it. This camera can’t be considered as a professional camera, it is far away from that. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless, the truth is its really nice camera for “fun” purposes. It’s not better or worse than other cameras in this price range drones. Videos and photos are stored on the default 2GB SD card which comes included in the package. 2GB should be enough for all your needs. In case it’s not, you can easily insert SD card with more storage space (4/8/16GB).

Altitude hold function

This is a powerful feature that allows the drone to stay hovering in the air when releasing the throttle stick. This is especially useful for taking pictures and shooting video.

Ready to Fly

The Holy Stone F181W comes ready to fly. It’s already assembled, and you just need to do a few final touches before firing it up. This includes inserting the battery, attaching the propeller attaching the camera with an SD card inserted (card not included). The package also includes four extra props, landing skids, and protection frames, two batteries, two USB charging cables, a 2.4Ghz remote controller, a screwdriver and of course the user manual.

One Key Return

Holy stone f181w This is another great feature that makes Holy stone’s F181w drone so special. The one key return allows you to get the drone back when you don’t seem to find a way to land it back close to you. This prevents the drone from being lost and at the same time assists the beginners with landings (the part of the process when most crashes occur).

Speed levels

Holy Stone F181w has several speed levels. As you practice and get better at maneuvering, you can switch to a higher speed to challenge yourself. There are four speed levels; low, medium, high and expert. Start on low and practice the basics. Then gradually try flying faster. At the expert level, you can try some fancy aerial maneuvers or FPV racing.

3D Flips

Holy stone 3d flipsWith the latest technology of 6-Axis Gyro flying control system, it can fly very stable and take better pictures and it can finish the 3D roll with one key, it is very easy to use even for the beginner.

Headless mode

When the drone is up in the air and hard to see, it may be difficult to control its direction if we don’t know where its “head” is. This is why the headless mode feature is very useful. The drone will always respond to your command from the transmitter and will stay synced with your position as a reference. This will avoid the drone going backward and away from you, while it is facing right at you, when in reality what you intended to do was to bring it to you.

Flight performance

If you’re a beginner you’ll probably find it a bit difficult to fly in “speed” mode. We highly recommend your first flights to be in 30-50% speed range. In the other hand, if you’re already experienced in flying drones, I believe you’ll be fine with high-speed mode. Since this is a medium size drone, you can easily fly it outdoors. It’s not very wind resistant so be careful about that. Overall, F181 is a stable flyer that’s good for both indoor and outdoor flights. I prefer night flights in my garden because I just love to see those LED lights in the air above my house.

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Controller

F181 controller comes with a controller that resembles a typical PlayStation or Xbox joystick. It’s very comfortable to hold since most of us are familiar with joysticks. You’ll need to insert 4 AA batteries before you can turn it ON. Batteries are not included in the package so you’ll have to buy them separately. They should last for a month minimum.

On the top, we have a little display. Don’t get fooled by some fake reviews that claim you can see a live feed from the camera on that display because you can’t! It’s used only to display some crucial information such as battery status, signal strength, drone speed and LED lights status (on/off). That’s where the use of this display ends, there is no way to make it receive a live feed from the camera. I’m saying this only because of some fake reviews who are not telling truth, this should not be a reason not to buy this drone.

Design and durability

Holy Stone F181 design is quite common for a quadcopter. It would be like if I told you it’s the most beautiful drone I’ve ever seen or something like that. But I like it, it looks good and when you hold it you can feel it’s not some cheap toy. Build quality is good in my opinion. It has LED lights on the bottom, which is a common “feature” in all new drones. Blue lights forward, and red lights backward. This will make your life much easier if you decide to fly it at night, which I especially like. One cooler thing about F181 is LED light on its nose; this should help you determine its position when flying it during day or night.

PROS

  • Comes assembled and ready to fly.
  • Good camera.
  • Two batteries for double the flying time.
  • Safety and easy-fly features.

CONS

  • Cannot handle anything stronger than a mild wind.
  • Some parts such as the camera module are a bit delicate, and the wires can easily get loose.
  • Gets hot quickly, so you have to break after every 10-minute flight to avoid damaging the internal components.

SpecificationsHoly stone f181w specs

  • Dimensions: 2.6(L) X 3.3(H) X 12.6(W) inches
  • Weight: 4.9 ounces
  • Video recording: 720p
  • Battery: 3.7V 750mAh Lipo Battery
  • Flying time: 7-10 minutes
  • Charging time: 70-90 minutes
  • Transmission range: 100 meters
  • FPV range: 30-50 meters
  • Multiple speed control
  • Emergency stop button

AMAZON CUSTOMERS REVIEW

1st Review

Sure, I chose the Holy Stone F181w because of the features and low price to some extent but most of all; the great things said about their support! I have found this to be true. Use the email ca@holystone.com. The other did not work well. The drone is incredibly stable. It flies like a dream. Beware of mild to strong winds outside as the drone is not all that heavy or powerful.

Be ready on the speed switch in case you need that extra burst of power! I had a few motor failures (some my fault). I contacted Holy Stone and replacement was handled straight away without leaving me with a feeling that I did anything wrong and they were doing me a favor. GREAT customer support! (As others have noted). I replaced the motors myself. They directed me to a video on you tube and after that, I authored a motor replacement guide in PDF format.

2nd Review

We received the Holy Stone F181w drone as a Christmas gift for me and my daughter. We learned to fly it and we were working on filming while hovering. The camera works great with the phone app. The drone is very sensitive to any kind of wind so if you fly outdoors you will have to fly on the leeward side of a building as we did.

I rated these 5 stars because of the customer service reply we had to a major problem. While attempting to fly it out doors on a very calm day my daughter synced the drone to the remote and calibrated the gyro. She depressed the take off button and the drone shot straight into the air at full throttle with no remote control input. The drone continued at full throttle until it was barely visible in the air…. 500 ft or so. It was then that it caught an upper breeze and began to drift away and no matter what we tried it would not respond to any remote control input or emergency shutdown procedures listed in the manual (read the manual!)

CONCLUSION

The Holy Stone F181W is the best drone you can buy for an affordable price with modern features such as FPV live view, gravity sensor, and great wide angle camera.  The F181W is a surprisingly fun and easy quadcopter to fly and, though small and light, packs a lot of features into a small package.

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