Tom's Guide Verdict
The Holy Stone HS-Series HS110D is a neat drone that can fly and maneuver quite fast. It’s a good pick for the aspiring pilot who wants to try it out before committing to a more expensive drone.
A larger drone that can fly at decent speeds
Built-in 1080P camera
Video gets blurry and jittery as the drone maneuvers
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Size: 12.6 by 12.6 by 4.6 inches
Weight: 5.2 ounces
Camera: 1080P, 120-degree field of view
Flight time: 8 minutes per battery (2 included)
Charging time: 45 minutes
The Holy Stone HS110D is a simple drone that offers quite a few features for the price, including a wide-angle lens that shows a 120-degree field of view. It is also easy to fly and hovers nicely once you get the trim dialed in, which makes it a great pick for novice fliers who want to take videos. And, at under a hundred bucks, it’s one of the best cheap drones for the price. Read out full Holy Stone HS110D review to find out what else we liked about it.
Holy Stone HS-Series HS110D Drone review: Price
The HS110D costs about $100, which is a pretty competitive price for drones in this class. This price includes two batteries, a full set of four spare rotor blades and two LED covers, plus the clip-on blade protectors, the remote, and the clip-on device that holds your phone in place above the remote controller.
Holy Stone HS-Series HS110D Drone review: Design
The HS110D is a simple drone, with a curved plastic case made out of two pieces of plastic. Measuring about 13 inches from rotor tip to tip, It feels pretty flimsy, but extra parts for most of the easily breakable units are included: you get spare rotors, landing feet, and LED covers.
The camera clips below the body of the drone, with the camera facing forwards and a micro SD card slot on the back. This is the more reliable method of capturing videos, as it doesn’t rely on the Wi-Fi connection between the drone and the phone. However, the camera can’t be tilted or panned, and there is no gimbal stabilization. Around the camera are two landing feet, which clip into place on the drone body. The battery slides into the back of the body, filling most of the space. At the end of each of the arms is a rotor blade on top and a white plastic cover that fits over an LED below.
The remote controller is nearly as big as the drone itself, especially when you use the phone holder, which requires the removal of one screw to hold it in place. This large design means that smaller hands may have trouble reaching for the controls: I found that even with my moderately adult-sized hands, I had to stretch to reach the engine start button on the front of the remote. An LCD panel shows you the battery level (from 4 AAs that fit in the back) and other info, but most of the real info is shown in the Deerc FPV app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices (versions 7 and 4 or above, respectively). This is a simple but fully functional app that shows you a preview of the video and offers a few controls along the top of the screen to change the speed of the drone, stop and start the video recording, etc. You can also use on-screen controls to maneuver the drone, but these are not as responsive as the controller.
Holy Stone HS-Series HS110D Drone review: Performance
The HS110D is a simple drone to fly: just press the auto launch button and it takes off and hovers a few feet off the ground. Our review unit did require some tweaking to get it to hover still, though: it had a tendency to slip to its right and back until I adjusted the trim. Once this was done, it hovered fairly well, though.
The HS110D is a moderately fast drone, turning quickly and flying at a pretty good speed when you have the room to let it go. It certainly isn’t the fastest drone out there, but it has a decent amount of power on the higher speed settings, and the wide-angle view of the camera certainly gives a great feeling of speed when you are zooming low over the ground.
If you press the flip button on the top right shoulder of the remote and move the right stick, the drone does a flip in the indicated direction.
The video quality isn’t great, though: although the small 1080p camera captures a good amount of detail, it did tend to get shaky and blurry when the drone was maneuvering and got very nosy when the light was low. (You’ll want to check out our picks of the best drones for better cameras). Still, for the price, the video is acceptable and it provides a nice feeling of being on the drone itself that is quite thrilling when you maneuver hard and duck around objects.
Holy Stone HS-Series HS110D Drone review: Battery life
The HS110D comes with two 1000Mah Li-polymer batteries, which charge inside the drone with the included Mini USB cable. Each battery is capable of about 8 minutes flight, for a total of about 16 to 18 minutes in the air, depending on how aggressively you maneuver. The fact that you have to charge them in the drone itself means that you can only charge one at a time, a process that took about 45 minutes for each battery.
Holy Stone HS-Series HS110D Drone review: Verdict
The HS110D is a fun drone to fly, with a nicely responsive controller and a moderately good camera. As long as you aren’t expecting too much, that is: the video quality is rather poor and shaky as the drone bounces and tilts. The drone is also not as responsive or as fast as other similarly priced drones like the Ryze Tech Tello. But, for the price, the HS110D is a good option for the aspiring pilot.
Richard Baguley has been working as a technology writer and journalist since 1993. As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, he writes for Cnet, T3, Wired and many other publications.