Holy Stone HS175D drone review

A 4K(?) drone with spares for less than half the cost of a DJI Mini 2. What’s the catch?

Holy Stone HS175D review
(Image: © Adam Juniper / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Given the price, the HS175D has real merit as a drone, let down by a clunky app and inaccurate promotion. If it didn’t claim to be 4K – which it isn’t – it might have earned more stars. The 2.7K video output is not too bad – while the other features are good for a budget drone with no gimbal. Why infuriate us from the outset?


  • +

    Accessibly priced

  • +

    Good quality travel case included

  • +

    No cable connection from controller to drone

  • +

    GPS capable

  • +

    Reliable 20 minutes flight time


  • -

    Despite promos this is NOT a 4K drone; shoots 2.7K

  • -

    Pre-flight process fiddly and involved

  • -

    Prone to drift

  • -

    App has some curious quirks

  • -

    AI modes have a lot of distance requirements

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The ultralight category – a drone that weighs 249g or below at take off – puts a drone on a similar footing as a toy. Aviation regulations still require respect, but in most countries there is less bureaucracy (or costs) to ownership. Understandably, then, this is a busy section of the drone market. At 217g the Holy Stone HS175D fits comfortably in it, so much so that the question becomes “what have they taken out” compared to weightier devices.

Holy Stone have also kept the cost of entry well below competitors, which begs the question “is this a toy?” and “does that matter?” We’ve had plenty of our favourite devices described as toys, so we think not. The more important question is whether you get good value, and a good experience, for the investment you make. Interestingly Holy Stone’s suggested age for this device is 14+ rather than 16+ on some of their pricier devices, which suggests they’ve certainly considered older children as potential users.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook