The Holy Stone F181C is a popular beginner drone on Amazon. It has altitude hold and a 720p camera. You can opt for either the basic version or upgrade to the F181W with WiFi FPV. Both have a ridiculous number of 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon. This got us wondering, are these drones really better than the competition, or is Holy Stone gaming the system at Amazon?
Who is Holy Stone?
We have been around the drone world long enough to know that there are drone manufacturers and there are drone branders. Holy Stone looks to be the latter. They contract drones to be made by other companies like Syma, MJX, and others. This doesn’t mean they are bad drones – they can’t be bad with all those 5-star reviews.
Savvy consumer drone brands like Holy Stone can lock in their own unique designs and test drones for quality control before stamping their brand on it, and that’s what Holy Stone is able to do. They only seem to sell on Amazon and their own site, so they are truly an “Amazon brand”.
Really 5 Stars?
We would love to show you the star ratings from Amazon, but they don’t like us to do that. CHECK AMAZON for the latest prices and ratings.
We know that there are Amazon sellers that game the system by sending free product or by reimbursing reviewers. We turn away offers to post Amazon reviews all the time. This is a common way for brands to quickly get 50 positive reviews.
While Holy Stone may (or may not) be doing this, they certainly are not sending out 1000 free drones to get all those reviews. 1000 happy customers don’t lie, Holy Stone must be selling some good quads.
Now let’s take a detailed look at the F181.
The Holy Stone F181 Camera
The F181 has a decent 720p camera. Don’t expect high-quality HD photos, as this isn’t the best drone for that. It will take good photos and videos outdoors and in good light, but there isn’t any stabilizing software, so you’ll see every move, shake or jiggle that you make with the drone. You also can’t pitch the camera down by hand or remotely, like you can on some other drones.
Holy Stone F181C vs F181W
The big difference between the F181C and F181W is the addition of FPV on the F181W. Otherwise, they are basically the same. FPV (first person view) means that you will be able to get a live video feed from you drone in real time. It will stream the video via WiFi to your smartphone through a free app. It is nice to be able to see what the drone sees while you are flying. If you are interested in that you’ll want to pick up the F181W version.
Holy Stone F181 Features
The F181 is a fairly stable drone, especially with the addition of altitude hold. Altitude hold allows the drone to hover without having to worry a lot about controlling the throttle of the drone. It also has headless mode, multiple speeds and can even flip with the push of a button.
The F181 will give you a flight time of up to 10 minutes and a maximum range of 100 meters. In practice, 8 minutes is probably more reasonable. If you are flying WiFi FPV that signal typically has a range of up to 50 meters if you are lucky.
Should You Buy a Holy Stone F181?
The F181 earns a lot of praise from Amazon customers for its durability. It is a solid option for a beginner, but there are a few other drones that we’d recommend. Keep reading for more info.
|Order the F181C||Order the F181W|
The Force1 F100 is a similarly sized drone but has a few distinct advantages. It has more powerful and efficient brushless motors. That will give it a longer flight time of almost 20 minutes. It also has a better range of up to 500 feet. It also comes with 1080p action camera that you can use with the drone or take off and use as a stand-alone camera. It is definitely worth looking into.
|Learn more about the F100||Order the F100|
Every month we update what we believe are the best drones on the market. Check out Best Drones Now. We have also created the one-of-a-kind Half Chrome Drone Cipher™. You answer a few questions and we’ll pair you with the best drone for you.
|Best Drones Now|
Do you want to search by price? Click on your menu above or we can break it down for you. Check out drones under $50, from $50-100, from $100-200, from $200-500 or over $500. Maybe you like a good Top Ten list, we’ve got you covered.
|Drones by Price|
If you want to learn more about taking great pictures or flying FPV then check out our comprehensive guides on those topics. Also take a look at our articles on how to choose the right drone for great aerial photos or for getting started flying race drones. Learn more about drones and how to get the most out of them in our Drone Academy. In the Academy we also detail some of the advanced testing we do, including our recent addition, drone thrust testing.
I Want Videos…
|Half Chrome YouTube Channel|
This website contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. For full details visit the disclosures and disclaimers page.