The Skyzone SKY03O FPV goggles are my first non boxed, FPV goggles. So I am not going to compare it to Fatshark’s HDO’s or any other goggle of that style for that matter.
This is just a plain review of these goggles and what someone switching from boxed goggles might expect. I have been rocking boxed goggles for almost three years. First it was a set of DIY 3D printed ones, then I upgraded to the Quantum V2 and that is what I have been stuck with for the past two years.
I have now been using the Skyzone SKY03O for over a week and feel confident to tell you what I think about them.
I did not want to commit to expensive Fatshark style goggles when I was starting out with FPV. Somewhere down the road Orqa announced their goggles and I decided to wait for those. When they finally launched their kickstarter I backed out - somehow it did not feel right to me. I was then eyeing the Fatshark HDO’s but could never commit to those because I simply felt, that they are not worth the money for the feature set. If I drop that kind of money I at least want a high quality DVR and a power button (apart from a great image and fit of course).
Then the Skyzone SKY03O hit the market and got praise from basically everyone, so I decided to finally get my first set of non boxed, FPV goggles.
At first I was sceptical because they do not have a module bay, but I was already so fed up with my clunky boxed goggles that I decided I could live with the integrated receivers.
I was quite scared when I first got the goggles and thought it will take me a long time to get used to this new style of goggles, but that was a total misconception. After about two or three packs, I got used to them - to a point where I do not want to use my boxed goggles ever again.
The screens are amazing, the image is so clear and bright, I can see details I was not able to see with my boxed goggles. I think this is how people feel when upgrading from their HDO’s to the DJI HD system.
There are a lot of different image related settings you can adjust in the system menu like contrast, sharpness and brightness. You can increase the brightness of the OLED screens to a level where they will burn your retina away.
The OLED screens have a resolution of 1024*768 pixel and I was not able to see individual pixels. The screens also seem to be of high quality - no dead pixels.
The goggles come with two different face-plates to guarantee a perfect fit on different kinds of faces. And it works great, I have absolutely no light leak with the rounder face plate. Each face plate has it’s set of foam and a sticker to mount the foam to the face-plate. The foam comes with velcro, so you can easily swap it out once it is time to replace it.
The diversity receivers are integrated into the goggles. I was not sure if I should put it in the good or bad section, but after using the goggles for some time, I think that the receivers are pretty decent, definitely better than what i had on my boxed goggles.
For someone just starting out this is a great feature since they do not have to pay for an extra module. If you prefer to run your own external module you can easily do this by using the AV in on the bottom of the goggles.
I like the quality of the DVR, in the system menu you can even set it up in such a way that the DVR starts recording as soon as a video signal is detected - a super handy feature. The DVR supports memory cards up to a capacity of 128GB.
The DVR records to a mov container using the H.264 codec for video and Raw 16-bit PCM for audio.
The fan is a great addition, apart from cooling down the internals it also prevents fogging of the screens - a problem I constantly had with my boxed goggles. There are 8 different speeds you can set this fan to, although the higher settings tend to dry my eyes out, so I keep it at 3.
The goggle will start to beep after some time if it lies around un-attended. You can also set the amount of cells you are powering your goggles from, that way you will be notified when the battery runs low.
The goggles have an integrated, front facing camera, so if you are just swapping your batteries, you don’t even have to take your goggles off, just switch to the front facing camera and you are good to go. At first I thought this is just a novelty feature that I am not going to use, but to be honest, I used it quite a lot in the first days when flying my whoop from the couch and swapping batteries - but I don’t know if I am going to use this heavily in the long run.
Further the goggles rock an LED up front - sure a fancy, although pretty useless feature. I prefer to keep it off. In the system menu you can adjust it to different colors. I could imagine this feature to be useful if you are flying with people that have the same goggles in the same color and you want an easy way to tell them apart.
The goggles can be powered with anything from 2-6S, a (decently long) XT60 to barrel plug cable is included. The battery itself is not included - I would recommend getting a big 2S battery - something in the range of 3000mAh. Personally I use old 3S, 2200mAh LiPo’s. But you could also use an 18650 battery pack if you prefer.
If you go with 2S you can re-use this battery on different goggles since almost all of them take (at least) 2S batteries.
The googles have a headphone jack, an AV in jack, an HDMI In jack and a USB port. They even come with an integrated head tracker.
The goggles come in quite a lot of different colors and patterns, which I really like. I decided to go with the blue one, because I wanted to stay away from the dark colors for fear of them heating up in the summer and I really liked the blue. And it does look gorgeous in real life.
I am sure you will find a color scheme that will fit your taste.
Skyzone can be easily reached via Facebook messenger, they answered all my questions before I purchased the goggles in a timely manner and they also responded quickly when I ran into some issues after the purchase.
They are also open to feedback and generally very patient while talking to you.
There is also a user group on facebook where you can get help from the community.
The foam on the face plate could be a little thicker. Also my nose gets pinched slightly by the face plate, this could possibly be solved by a thicker foam, although I am not sure if it would not be necessary to increase the nose cutout slightly on the goggles themselves.
The IPD adjustment could use one or two more clicks in the widest direction, but maybe that is just me - I have slightly fuzzy corners, but I can move the goggles on my face in such a way that I only have them on the top or bottom. Also I am normally wearing glasses and do not yet have matching Diopters for the SKY03O - I will report back once I have got them made, quite possibly that might change.
Although having an auto record feature where the DVR starts recording as soon as a video signal is detected it does not stop recording when the video signal is lost - this would really be a great feature.
Another gripe with the DVR is, that it will not save the recording if you simply unplug the battery, you either need to manually stop the recording or power down the goggles via power button to make sure your files are saved. Because of this I lost a couple of my first flights.
Skyzone only gives us two linear, non polarized antennas - I would have loved to see more decent antennas, maybe a patch and a lolipop. I am pretty sure, no one is going to use those linear antennas. But I get why they add them - it makes the kit complete and an absolute newcomer will be able to take it out of the box and use it right away.
After receiving the goggles I upgraded to the latest firmware at that time and a strange problem with the system menu popped up. I was randomly not able to navigate through the system menu and the goggle would simply freeze when trying to do so. I would need to power cycle the goggles. Sometimes I was able to enter the system menu. I could not reproduce how.
This is when I got heavily involved with customer support on Facebook. They were kind enough to send me previous versions of the firmware, and flashing an older version solved this issue.
Support told me that I am the only one having this issue, but they will look into it and try to find a solution. They offered me to send them my goggles for debugging and replace them once they received them. I was hesitant to do so, just because I fell in love with them and don’t want to give them up for a month. I suggested they first send me a new pair and then I would return mine, but that was a deal they were not willing to do.
To a certain extent I can understand them, but I wish they would have accepted my deal - I even offered to pay for shipping to HK myself.
What I absolutely do not like is the finish of the goggles. The shell does not fit perfectly in one spot and I do not seem to be the only one having this issue. I thought maybe they were just sloppily assembled, but that does not seem to be the case - it seems to be an imperfection in the mold of the shell.
For some this might not be a big deal, and it does not make any difference in the function of the goggles, but I think for the price you pay, you can expect the case to be of perfect fit.
I initially wanted to put this topic into the bad or ugly section, but I do not think it would be fair. Of course you will not be able to wear your glasses with this goggle form factor, but Skyzone provides slots on all their goggles for Diopters. And there are a couple of companies that will make lenses for you that will replace your glasses - one of those companies is “Optik Fischer” from Germany.
They offer custom made lenses matching your prescription for your FPV goggles. The price is fair - if you consider you already paid around $500 for the FPV goggles. Aroundn $80 is totally worth it to get the absolute best experience possible.
The goggles are definitely not perfect, but I think they are worth the price tag. If you are coming from boxed goggles, this is a massive step up. The image is beautiful, they are very compact and the quality of the DVR is pretty good.
It is really a totally different experience and I do not want to go back to boxed goggles - ever.
If you already have goggles of this style, especially the HDO’s, I do not think, that the SKY03O will be such a great improvement, although a lot of people switched from the HDO’s to the SKY03O because of the better screens.
I would recommend the Skyzone SKY03O to everyone who is interested in this style of goggles, or anyone who wants a great FPV experience from the beginning when entering the hobby.
Personally I wish I would have switched to this goggles earlier.
Skyzone seems to be a company that listens to their customers. Chances are, that all the gripes I have with this version will be fixed in the next version:
- Better finish of the shells
- Receivers as module - it would be great if a receiver would be included but one that could be exchanged with say, a rapid fire module
- A couple more clicks for IPD adjustment
- Thicker foam and maybe a face-plate matching bigger noses
- DVR improvements (I asked about auto stopping a recording and Skyzone told me, that they will consider this feature in a future version of their firmware.)
- Firmware history on the download page: It would be great to give the users a choice to downgrade to older versions of the firmware, just in case something goes wrong in the latest firmware