The two most popular top end FPV Goggles are no doubt the Fatshark HD3 and HDO. Since the release of the HDO, I have been asked many times if it’s worth the extra cost to upgrade over the HD3. I have used both for a while now, so I will compare the two and try to help you decide which is more suitable for you.
In a hurry? Here is the summary.
Get the HDO if you have the budget. Fatshark didn’t pay me to say this, honestly the HDO is definitely the best in the market in terms of image quality thanks to the OLED screens. If you are interested in the HDO, make sure to check out my HDO review.
The HD3 Core is a more cost effective solution if you don’t mind the relatively lower clarity and contrast, and you won’t be disappointed! A lot of people still go for the HD3 over the HDO because of value. The FOV is also slightly bigger so that’s another plus.
If you are on the fence about the HD3, you might want to check out the Skyzone SKY03 because I think these are great alternative depending on whether or not you need external RX modules.
Finally don’t forget to check out my buyer’s guide on FPV goggles.
Where to Buy?
Fatshark HDO Goggles:
Fatshark HD3 Core Goggles:
Please check out the prices with the affiliated links above. It won’t cost you anything but help keep the website going.
Spec Comparison: HDO vs. HD3
From the outside, the newly released HDO looks nearly identical to the older HD3 – same white plastic case, but with black inserts on the top rather than dark grey. The specifications are also fairly similar apart from the displays.
|Fatshark HD3 Core||Fatshark HDO|
They both have 4:3 aspect ratio screens and 59-69mm IPD. There are module bay for external video receiver and audio output. Both goggles are equipped with the DVR, anti-fog fan and also support diopter lenses (for those wear glasses).
The HDO features the first and only OLED screens in goggles designed specifically for FPV. The OLED displays offer significantly better image quality compared to traditional LCD displays.
But the HDO has Smaller FOV…
The difference in field of view (FOV) has been the main reason holding people back from getting the Fatshark HDO.
The HDO has a smaller FOV of 37° compared to the HD3’s 42°. On paper that might sound like a step backward, but many reviewers including myself don’t find it to be a problem at all.
Wider FOV can indeed give you more immersive FPV experience, but it also often results in blurry edges for some people. And you would have to move your eyeballs more to look at the OSD. Smaller FOV generally works better for a wider range of users.
Personally, I can see the branches and obstacles in the HDO just as well as the HD3, if not better (image detail and resolution).
You can check out this page to see how FOV affects screen size.
Is OLED displays really better than LCD?
If you have ever used any FPV goggles other than the HDO, you should have an idea of what an LCD display looks like. The OLED screens are the main selling point of the HDO, and they give you better colours (higher contrast) and an overall clearer image compared to the LCD.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the side by side comparison videos below, comparing the HDO, HD3 and DomV2.
Apparently OLED also responds faster than LCD (pixels turn on and off faster). That could be another advantage for FPV racing but I didn’t notice that much difference personally.
Rapidfire/Clearview Module Support
The latest Clearview and Rapidfire modules are power hungry beasts, it’s good to know that the HDO supports them out of the box. With the HD3 you would have to do some DIY modifications, not super difficult but annoying all the same.
HDO Bugs Fixed
There were bugs in the first batch of HDO (including the unit I received): pixel line randomly appearing at the bottom of the screen, and firmware update “bricks” DVR (check my review for more detail). In the end I had to send them back for repair, but it’s all good now. By the way, the repair was free of charge because it’s under warranty.
Quite frustrating for those who ordered the first batch, but according to Fatshark, all the known bugs have been ironed out so that’s not something to be worried about if you buy them now.
HD3 vs. Dominator V3?
I have another article discussing the differences between HD3 and Dominator V3.
Why Get the HDO?
- Awesome OLED displays – better image quality
- Smaller FOV, but might actually work better for those struggle with blurry edges in the HD3
- Supports Rapidfire and Clearview modules out of the box
- Comes with battery
Why Get the HD3?
- $100 Cheaper
- Larger FOV