When I had my first drone flight with a teeny-mini, Chinese knock-off, joke of a drone, I lost control of it the moment I panicked, and one thing’s for sure: the more I panicked, the more mayhem ensued. You wouldn't want that to happen to you right?
Of course, any sane person would immediately want their expensive toy back on the ground during that fearful moment, but fear often gets the better of the pilot in you.
Fear not my friends in flight! This Holy Stone F181 review will show you why there’s no need to pray for your toy to come back.
What makes the Holy Stone F181 rc quadcopter drone stand out above other drones is this feature. With the press of a button, your drone will instantly hover towards the transmitter’s position if it is still within range and is in Headless mode (More on this later).
I love this feature that's why I placed it on top. Usually, beginners tend to be over-enthusiastic about their new toy and try to take it to places where even the sun doesn’t shine.
This feature lets you do that and somehow guarantees that your Holy Stone F181 quadcopter drone will come back safe and sound.
Another awesome thing I’d like to point out is the FPV real-time transmission.
The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to see what the drone is seeing at a very wide angle. The feature is perfect for those who like aerial photography and..err...spying on their neighbors(?).
PSA: Spying on your neighbors is BAD and WRONG. It's...
While the drone flies, you can see in real-time what your drone is hovering over, which gives you a better grasp of what is happening.
It’s easy to use and easy to find because it comes with a mobile app for your device - you don’t have to undergo a long and arduous setup. Perfect for fly-happy fellows.
The Holy Stone F181 quadcopter drone has a 6-axis Gyro stabilization feature which is nice because it means you won’t be having problems with keeping it steady in the air.
This feature also gives you the ability to fly the drone both indoors and outdoors without having to worry about wind. Plus, its nimble architecture makes it easy to handle.
To add more to its stable feature, it can also do 360-degree flips and not explode so there’s that...but I don’t see it going for higher altitudes because it will get tossed around by the high wind speeds up there.
You also have the Headless mode which orients the drone towards the direction of your transmitter. This is a neat feature when you don’t want to worry about steering or getting your drone home.
More than a hundred dollars is already a decent price, so it's only expected for this drone to have these features.
Now don’t be fooled by this drone’s weight because its cells sure pack a punch.
With the batteries boasting a 6-9 minute actual flight time, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to shoot extended clips or even fly longer.
It only takes around an hour to an hour and a half to fully charge which makes it pretty dandy especially for impatient drone users.
On the other hand, it pays to purchase extra batteries and a charger for continuous use.
You can also include spares when you buy the Holy Stone F181, or you can just order them after since they come around pretty easy.
The camera is a built-in 720p camera which pretty much falls off the preferred 1080p HD category, but it has a feature offering a 120-degree Wide Angle viewing capability.
With its 120-degree view capability, it is perfect for capturing scenes and it also gives you the fish-eye feel of it. Good feature if you ask me. Not necessary, but if it comes with it, then lovely.
With some recordings I made, the camera offers decent quality. By decent, I mean you can see an outline of a person and make out most details.
Some clips are grainy though, but if you have good lighting and you’re filming outdoors, the quality is nice.
F181’s Real-Time Transmission integrates with the camera, and it's what I love the most about it. The Wi-Fi connection allows you to see where and what your drone is flying over.
Aside from serving as a transmission channel, the Wi-Fi integrates the interface of the App and the camera's visuals.
Overall, the camera is decent but if you’re looking to buy a Go Pro and mount it on the drone, don’t bother because the drone has trouble lifting extra weight.
After reading the bulk of my Holy Stone F181 drone review, you’re probably deciding on putting your hands on this baby. Considering that this is still an entry-level drone, it is a bit expensive compared to other entry-level drones.
However, seeing as the F181 has really convenient features like the availability of a Return Home button and a surprisingly long battery life, the hefty price tag seems kind of worth it.
Can it suffice as a good camera? No.
I mean sure, 720P is lovely and the quality is decent, but decency is far from excellence and that is what every self-respecting photographer or videographer wants. Since you can’t mount a camera on the drone, it’s not advised for professional “endeavors”.
Despite being priced at over a hundred dollars, I think that the features of this drone prove to be cost-effective.
After my Holy Stone F181 review, I think it is fair to say that I’d still recommend this to everyone. Ideally, this is for people who would like to know the ropes in drone piloting, and safe to say some drone enthusiasts too with its decent camera.
If you aren’t too confident about your drone piloting skills, sick of losing them to the wind or trees, and have a knack for surveillance drones, then this might just be your holy grail.