Have you ever dreamed of flying a non-toy drone, but your finances get in your way?
The Holy Stone HS720E and DJI Mini 2 allow you to enjoy a pleasant flying experience without breaking the bank. You can buy these drones for less than $500.
The HS720E has a 4K camera, a sturdy design, and intelligent flight modes for learning to fly without spending a lot on a high-end drone. The DJI Mini 2 offers a top-notch camera with interesting filming modes for content creators.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
But which one to buy?
In this article, we’ll summarize each drone’s pros and cons. We’ll also discuss why you may want one or the other.
Finally, we’ll explain what you can expect from these two budget-friendly and capable drones.
Holy Stone HS720E overview
Dimensions: 13.27 x 9.45 x 2.28 in
Weight: 495 g
Max Range: 1.0 km
Max Flying Time: 23 mins per battery
Camera Still Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Camera Shutter: Electronic
Live View Quality: Up to 4K@30
Video Resolution: Up to 4K@30
Internal Storage: No
External Max Storage: 128 GB microSD card
- You get a bundle with a semi-hard case perfect for travel
- The bundle comes with two batteries for a 46-minute flight
- It’s packed with smart features like follow-me mode
- The EIS helps it to shoot stable images with little to no jittering
- It’s more suitable for the complete beginner thanks to its low price
- It lacks a three-axis gimbal
- You need to register it since weighs more than 250 grams
The Holy Stone HS720E provides a flight experience similar to commercial drones costing at least $1,000.
It has a sturdy design for rugged usage. You can hard-land it without feeling you destroyed the drone. However, you must avoid landing it on uneven surfaces, as it lacks proper landing gear.
It has a wind resistance that can withstand up to 31 mph winds, so it hovers in place decently even with wind gusts.
As it comes in a bundle, you get two batteries. You can fly up to 46 minutes for uninterrupted fun without paying extra.
Its weakest point is the camera. It lacks a gimbal, so the images can look robotic, but you don’t need to worry about unclear images. EIS corrects excessive jittering.
It’s easy to use follow-me, circle-me, and waypoint modes.
From the price perspective, you will have a hard time finding a drone with these features that’s capable of flying smoothly and precisely.
DJI Mini 2 overview
Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photo, 31 Mins Flight Time, OcuSync 2.0 10km HD Video Transmission, QuickShots, Gray.
Dimensions: 9.65 x 11.37 x 2.20 in
Weight: 249 g
Max Range: 15.7 km
Max Flying Time: 31 mins per battery
Camera Still Resolution: 4000×3000
Camera Shutter: Electronic
Live View Quality: Up to 4K@30
Video Resolution: Up to 4K@30
Internal Storage: No
External Max Storage: 256 GB microSD card
- It comes with a three-axis mechanical gimbal
- It has a 1/2.3’’ CMOS camera sensor
- You can install a 256GB V2 high-speed microSD card
- You can film in cine mode for professional cinematic shooting
- It can shoot in RAW for crisp imagery
- It’s way more expensive than the HS720E
- It doesn’t come with smart features like follow-me
The DJI Mini 2 provides a sublime camera experience.
This drone has a three-axis gimbal that allows you to shoot in 4K. Your pictures will always be crisp, with high color accuracy.
You can improve the footage using ND filters and even the pro shooting mode.
Consider this pro mode isn’t as complete as high-end drones. However, it allows you to set enough parameters for gorgeous cinematics.
This drone also comes with smart features for filming fun recreational videos of your family BBQ or a trip to the beach, but it lacks intelligent flight modes like follow-me, circle-me, or waypoints.
Another amazing feature is its cine mode.
This camera mode makes the drone fly as slow and stable as possible, so you get gorgeous cinematics where time seems to pass slowly.
It can fly up to 31 minutes with one battery, so you get enough time for a complete flight experience using all the camera modes.
Its biggest downside is that for the total beginner, it can look expensive. Still, you won’t get this level of quality for a lower price.
Holy Stone HS720E vs. Ruko F11GIM (In-depth comparison)
You need a clearer, in-depth description to help you decide which drone to buy. Let’s have a look with a side-by-side comparison.
Build and design
Both drones have incredible quality and can withstand hard landings and rude usage.
Their arms attach safely to the body thanks to their strong hinges, providing a sense of quality only found in well-made drones.
If you look at them from above, you can only differentiate them as the HS20E has a Holy Stone logo on the upper side of the body.
But they have their differences, starting with the landing gear.
The Mini 2 has a front landing gear that gives extra protection to the forward engines.
This drone supports its rear belly with two tiny legs, giving it a proper gap between the ground and the rear engines to be safe.
Those engines are lower than the forward ones, so they can easily suck in debris when they take off in dirty environments.
The HS720E doesn’t have proper landing gear, only four legs on the belly. This means this drone lands safely on leveled areas with an acceptable gap from the ground.
To solve potential issues with debris, Holy Stone positioned the forward and rear engines high from the ground and at the same height.
Of the two, the only drone suitable to land in uneven locations is the Mini 2. The front landing gear gives it stability to stay on foot on slightly angled surfaces.
However, we only recommend landing both drones on a clean and flat surface on a landing pad.
Weight and size
Here the clear winner for recreational pilots is the DJI Mini 2.
You can avoid the registration process, as this drone is only 249 grams.
This drone is pocket-friendly, weighing almost the same as a flagship phone such as iPhone 14 Pro Max or Samsung S23 Ultra. You can carry it in your daypack without worrying about developing back or shoulder pain.
If you want to store it in your pants pockets, it fits nicely for quick storage.
Weighing almost double the Mini 2, the HS720E requires registration. It’s also bigger than the Mini 2. Holy Stone made this drone to withstand hard usage, so it has stronger materials that weigh more.
The HS720E can be troublesome to carry all day in a daypack. Holy Stone gives you a carrying case for this drone and its accessories.
There is no comparison between the two cameras.
DJI mounted the Mini 2 camera on a three-axis gimbal for a superb stable image. This mechanical hardware allows the camera to eliminate undesired blur due to the drone’s movements in the air.
With its cine mode, you fly this drone at very slow speeds where it gets max stability in windy conditions. With the help of the three-axis gimbal, the drone can now produce crisp footage full of color.
Plus, this drone can save the footage in RAW, where the image has all its detail. You can equip the Mini 2 with a 256 GB U2 microSD card for maximum storage.
On the other hand, the HS720E camera only shows that drones can take pictures and film, but your footage won’t look nearly as professional as with the Mini 2.
The HS720E footage looks kind of pale and overexposed. You can’t correct this issue, as it has no ND filters available.
Due to its lack of a gimbal, your videos or shots will have a jittering effect that Holy Stone corrects with EIS. You can still film in 4K, and with EIS, your shoots will look acceptable to record a family reunion.
Both drones have impressive remote controllers, but the DJI is superior. It gives you an unmatched signal strength with the drone for continuous flight most of the time.
On the other hand, the HS720E receiver lacks signal strength with the drone, so you can face several disconnections if not flying in an obstacle-free area.
That said, both drones provide a fun flying experience. With detailed live-view on your mobile device through their apps, you experience the beauty of having a 1080p view without glitches.
The DJI Mini 2 flies for eight minutes more than the HS720E on a single battery.
However, the HS720E comes with two batteries for a total flight time of 46 minutes.
So do you need to buy another DJI Mini 2 battery?
You should, but DJI batteries are far more expensive than Holy Stone, so you’ll spend way more to increase flight time.
In this area, the HS720E wins thanks to its powerful and cheaper batteries. With this Holy Stone drone, you won’t need to buy anything else that doesn’t come in the package.
Per regulations, you can only fly a drone at a visible range almost 500 meters from you.
Both drones achieve that distance when the wind isn’t too strong and you fly them in obstacle-free areas.
Even so, the Mini 2 has 10 times more flying range. This means it has an improved signal and can reach long distances without losing it.
The HS720E can lose its signal due to interference, as it doesn’t come with a reliable remote controller, making it hard to get to 500 meters if the area isn’t clear.
The winner is the Mini 2, which effortlessly achieves the max flight ranges stipulated by authorities.
This section can be the one that makes you decide which drone to pick, as some users only buy a drone for these features.
Both the HS720E and Mini 2 have safety features as return-to-home. Once these drones sense a loss in signal for several seconds, are low in battery, or are out of the preset boundary, they’ll start an automatic landing procedure to the place they took off.
The Mini 2 has various Intelligent Flight Modes that automatically take short and fun videos, but you’ll recall that it lacks follow-me, circle-me, and waypoints. If these three modes are a must for you, skip the Mini 2 and get the HS720E.
The cheapest drone of the two is the HS720E. The main reason is that it lacks the proper camera and gimbal the DJI Mini 2 has.
However, it’s still an amazing drone to practice the necessary skills to become a master drone pilot.
For a cheap price, you get a drone capable of flying for 46 minutes. You also gain the ability to experience intelligent flight modes like waypoints and follow-me that are usually only found in pricy drones.
The Mini 2 costs more, but you get the best camera of the two by far.
So there isn’t a clear winner, as it depends on what you value the most. If camera quality is a must for you, the Mini 2 wins. But if you want a drone only to learn the basics and have fun without breaking the bank, the HS720E wins.
» MORE: Best Beginner Drones Under $300
Ease of use
DJI is a master when delivering drones that fly smoothly, and the Mini 2 is proof of it.
Although it has less wind stability than the HS720E, it captures and maintains without disconnecting the signal from the remote controller and GNSS systems for extended periods.
This means the Mini 2 can hover in place in windy conditions without too much issue, as it recovers its location thanks to its accurate GPS modules.
Consider that in windy conditions, your Mini 2 battery drains faster.
The HS720E has two GNSS receivers that capture GPS signals to maintain the drone in a fixed position, but its receivers aren’t as good as the DJI option.
However, it’s heavy compared to the Mini 2, enhancing its stability in wind gusts. The Mini 2 recovers its position quicker thanks to its top-notch GPS module.
Flying these two drones is quite easy, guaranteeing a stable flight even in windy conditions.
Why choose the Holy Stone HS720E over DJI Mini 2
With the HS720E, you get a drone packed with intelligent features and enough battery life for almost 50 minutes of fun flying.
This Holy Stone drone is also sturdier and has more wind resistance than the DJI Mini 2. This help this drone fly easily, as wind won’t move it as effortlessly.
Its only downside is that the camera doesn’t produce the same professional footage as the Mini 2. However, it’s unbelievable that the HS720E has these kinds of features for the price.
Why choose the DJI Mini 2 over Holy Stone HS720E
Are you a pilot eager to use your drone for content creation?
If the answer is affirmative, the DJI Mini 2 is a no-brainer.
First, you get a drone that doesn’t need prior registration to practice taking the most exciting footage of your life.
Second, you get a drone from the most recognizable drone manufacturer. Many people have this drone and have solutions for common bugs and improvements.
Third, you get a three-axis gimbal camera with a CMOS sensor to save the footage in RAW format.
Finally, it comes with camera modes that allow you to take short, fun videos in modes like Dronie.
Thanks to the cine mode, you can also shoot cinematic videos that make you feel nostalgic.
What’s better: Holy Stone HS720E or DJI Mini 2?
The HS720E is a drone for the complete beginner. Occasionally, you can treat it rudely, landing hard on the ground and using it without much care.
This doesn’t mean it’s an invincible drone, only that it’s robust enough to handle that kind of use.
With the HS720E, you will learn how to fly a drone properly, as it resembles a more expensive drone. You can fly it at different speeds and use almost all smart modes as high-end drones.
Pick the Mini 2 if you want a more capable drone and don’t mind paying extra.
The Mini 2 is also an amazing drone with different flight modes and great performance.
From the support perspective, DJI and Holy Stone give fast and accurate feedback at acceptable timeframes. You will always get a reasonable response from them.
- Holy Stone HS720E vs. Ruko F11 Pro (Here’s My Choice)
- Holy Stone HS720E vs. Ruko F11GIM (Here’s my Choice)
In which scenarios can I use these drones?
The HS720E is purely a recreational drone, but it’s far to be a toy. It’s a tool to build experience to eventually fly more expensive drones.
On the other hand, you can use the Mini 2 for recreational and commercial purposes.
Although DJI designed this drone for recreation, its camera is so good you can sell its content. You can provide YouTube channels and stock footage websites with photos and videos.
Only consider that when you use the Mini 2 for commercial purposes, you must register it first.