These days, it’s difficult to find camera drone models that don’t feature a folding design. But bucking that trend is the Holy Stone HS700E; it resembles DJI Phantom models but in a smaller, lighter and ultimately more portable package despite not folding for transportation and storage. It’s not the most recent model in the Holy Stone line-up and was first available on Amazon in June 2020.
Holy Stone drones are most readily available from the online retailer, which makes purchasing them convenient wherever in the world you’re based. The HS700E is one of the company’s more expensive models currently available, but at $299.99/£289.99 (opens in new tab) it remains a budget model that will appeal to beginners and those on a budget looking to buy a drone.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that such a low price means a serious lack of features, but the HS700E has a few tricks up its sleeve that may surprise you. It also flies well making it a good option for beginners, but the good overall package is let down by poor image quality which we’ll discuss in detail later. This doesn’t mean the drone isn’t worth considering, and it may not be one of the best drones on the market right now, but its low price and flight features make it an attractive drone for beginners and those on a budget.
Holy Stone HS700E: Design
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- Resembles the design of DJI Phantom models
- Small and lightweight despite the design
- Uses a foldable controller with a small info screen
Sporting a non-folding design, the HS700E looks like the previous generation of drones with an overall design that’s reminiscent of the DJI Phantom series. But at 380x230x125mm and weighing in at 19.64oz / 557g, it’s much smaller and lighter. This non-folding design means that the drone’s propellers need to be detached each time the drone is packed into its case for transportation or storage, but these are easy to install and clearly labelled to ensure the propellers are attached to the correct arms.
The motors are reasonably powerful and combined with the large propellers the drone can remain steady when hovering. Battery life is respectable from the 2800mAh Li-ion batteries with a reliable advertised flight time of 21 minutes per battery. The batteries are charged using the included USB-C cables that can be plugged into a USB charger or any USB charging socket which is…