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 F181 is definitely one of them. However, what is that makes this model so special? Can we safely say this is one of the best drones under 200 dollars in the market?
This is what we are about to discover, and this undisclosed review will touch on the good, the bad, and the ugly about the F181 model. If you’ve been considering buying this drone, then I suggest you to read through because you’re about to find out if that is a good idea or not.
As you know, here at RC Hobbies on Air, I like to be plain honest and tell all my findings about the gadgets I review. In the case of drones, I have found that we can go through a 9-step process that will reveal everything an enthusiast of drones needs to know about these devices.
Let’s then put the F181 drone from Holy Stone to the test
If you’ve read my site in the past you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Amazon, and the reason being is that they provide lots of useful details to buyers, which can mean the difference between a happily-ever-after type of story and a horror thriller that will disappoint you forever.
However, if you go to Amazon and only scratch the surface of this product, you’ll find pretty basic information, which can be said about most quadcopters and doesn’t really help you differentiate the good from the bad.
I’m a firm believer that in order to differentiate drone models, these have to be measured using the same scale, or you’ll end up comparing inches with centimeters, and that won’t be helpful for our purposes here.
The new version of the Holy Stone F181
The F181G comes with a camera, you can live-stream video and have the FPV experience. If you ask me, the FPV experience is fantastic, and I don’t mind spending a few extra dollars to have it.
Starting with the budget and your round number
Like I’ve said in the past, before actually choosing a drone, it is important to look at your pockets and see what is in them. This is why I always suggest to first pre-define a round number in terms of the budget we have for this new drone.
The Holy Stone F181 is a clear choice for beginners, so the magic number I suggest in my step by step process post, of 100 USD works perfect for this one, since the price of this gadget is around 100 USD.
At this point, we can say we have the first step covered.
Is it your intention to find one of the best drones for beginners?
If so, you’ve hit the jackpot! Because the Holy Stone F181 drone is already recognized as one of the best drones for beginners in the market.
However, this little gadget is more than just a basic drone, because for the price you’re paying, a lot comes with it inside of the box.
Since you can have access to an FPV experience with the F181G version of this gadget, it can be very useful for some of the toughest tasks you can imagine. Also, its versatility and easiness to maneuver makes it perfect for the beginner pilot to have some rough landings (more on that later).
I really can’t tell you the many things you can do with this drone, since it has everything on it to perform like the most expensive gadgets on the market right now.
I won’t lie telling you that this is better than a DJI Mavic or Phantom model, because we are talking about different level drones here, but I will tell you that in terms of applications, this drone is a very good starting point to every pilot. Plus, the price on it is ten times lower than one of the most advanced drones in the market right now.
How does this drone and regulations get together?
The F181 drone can be registered under both the Special Rule of Model Aircraft or the Small UAS Rule. Just a few months before the writing of this post, you could fly for recreational purposes only without the need to register your drone, however that has changed now and you need to register you F181.
However, the process is now pretty straight forward and can be done online in a very easy way. The cost so far is a symbolic fee of $5USD and the registration is good for 3 years.
This process can’t be skipped and paying those $5 will help you avoid fines and other legal issues, so please make sure you operate your registered drone and following all the requirements.
We are getting deeper now – The Holy Stone F181 Camera
Ok, so let me start saying that both versions of the F181 come with an HD (720p) camera attached to it. The camera comes inside the box but not assembled on the drone, so a little bit of assembly (very simple) will be required here.
The images and videos you can capture with the drone are of decent quality, and these can be stored in an SD card so that you can copy them to your computer for further editing and composition.
Although the 2MP camera is decent enough, keep in mind that this drone does not come with a gimbal (and it’s not designed to have one). This means that the normal vibration of the drone will make your image a bit shaky, and thus, it is not recommended for professional photography.
However, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this can be a great first step in aerial photography to learn the basics about piloting a drone and taking shots or capturing footage at the same time.
The flight time has a lot to do with your drone choice
This is the part that doesn’t get me all excited about the Holy Stone F181. Like in most basic drones, the batteries are the biggest downside of these. In this case, flight time is not that bad, 7 -10 minutes in normal operation and another 80 to recharge.
Even though I don’t consider this to be a downside of the drone, because the batteries technology is the way it is, I think other companies like DJI have worked very hard on this to increase the flight time of their drones while reducing the recharge time of their batteries.
Check the options below in case you want extra batteries. The first item is pretty much everything you need, but it has very few reviews so far, so in order to give you more options, I put as well the other two items in case you want to buy them separately. Besides they have more comments and higher ratings.
However, not everything is lost, since the drone comes with an extra battery, also, a set of additional batteries and a multiple charger can be purchased as well, and the price is not that bad.
This will help you get more out of this fantastic gadget. Oh, and something I want you to remember is that most drone manufacturers recommend waiting 10 minutes between flights to keep your drone in great shape and avoid any damage to the drone.
Another great win for the F181 Drone – The Spare Parts
One of the main things I always say to beginner pilots is to keep an eye on spare parts. It is important to get a set of spare parts right when you buy the drone, and not when the drone needs them.
The reason why I say this is a great win for the Holy Stone F181, is because the drone comes with a set of spare blades (which are the parts that get damaged the most) and like I mentioned before, an extra battery right inside the box.
But again, a complete set of spare parts is available from the manufacturer, which is a great signal about the company behind this model. It means that Holy Stone worries about delivering a good customer experience and at the same time, they have done a good engineering work to define the parts that will get the most damage.
In the case of the F181, I think that even with the spare blades included, it is still a good idea to get the spare parts set when you get the drone.
The ARF Drone that every beginner wants
As you know, an ARF drone is an Almost Ready to Fly device that will need a bit of assembly prior start flying.
As I mentioned before, be prepared to assemble the camera, which is not a big deal. Also, the landing gear will need a bit of your help to be on the right place. And the battery as well is something that will need assembly every time you charge it.
Other than that, this drone has nothing else that needs assembly. And once you put all these pieces together the flying gadget will be ready for the fun.
There are no complicated steps here, and that is because quadcopters are all about being user friendly. The Holy Stone F181 is not the exception.
And what about the comments and reviews online?
Ok, so this is one of the sections where I’ll talk about the features of the drone that make it so incredible. But first, let me tell you that this drone has more than 80% acceptance rate and it is based on over 3000 customer reviews.
This is a great indicator that we are talking about a great quality device, and that is backed up by people reviewing and commenting based on their experiences with this device.
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 reference.
This will avoid the drone going backwards 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.
One Key Return
This is another great feature that makes this 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).
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.
It comes with a 6-axis gyro, which allows the drone to perform all sort of rolls and one key 360° 4 -ways flips. It has the freedom to move in every direction, and the maneuverability as well as the performance is stunning. The stability on this device as well is pretty neat, so I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed.
Along with the flight time, the flight range is also important, because it allows you to know how far can the drone 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.
First Person View is a great feature that drones can offer. The Holy Stone F181G model has this capability. What really gets people excited about the FPV is that it is like if you were flying with the drone, and the aerial view always shows the beauty of the world we live in.
In order to enhance this feature, you can use a pair of goggles and live-stream the video right to your eyes. This is a great way to maximize the FPV experience.
Time to wrap up the budget and consider everything you want to get
At this point, you have enough information about why this drone is so fantastic, and a great choice for beginners.
When fine tuning your budget, remember to consider spare parts, extra batteries if that is your choice, the registration fee, the goggles if that is what you want to do, as well as any other addon that you want for your drone.
The Holy Stone F181 drone is a great device, and I think if you decide to get this one for you, there is no way you are making a mistake.
If you think there is something else that needs to be considered here, please let me know via a comment or contacting me directly on the contact us page.
Finally, push the social buttons on this page to share this review with others and let them know about this fantastic device.
Till the next one!