Review: Fatshark HDO2 FPV Goggles

Imagine Fatshark released a new goggles even before Orqa could get their FPV.ONE out of the door. Well, that might be happening! Fatshark just announced their next FPV goggles, the HDO2.

The new Fatshark HDO 2 is going to replace the HDO (Aug 2018). They are clearly coming after Skyzone’s SKY03O, especially the Qrqa’s FPV.ONE as they have the same screen resolutions. The HDO 2 will also provide better support to the Byte Frost system with its 1280×720 resolution and switchable 16:9 aspect ratio.

Before we begin, don’t forget to check out my FPV Goggles Buyers Guide to learn all the technical terms.

Where to Buy HDO2?

Fatshark HDO2 New Features

Here is a list of notable features of the Fatshark HDO2:

  • Upgraded OLED screens
  • The revolutionary power button !
  • Adjustable focus
  • Integrated Fan Control
  • Adjustable Fit Faceplate
  • Supports 2S and 3S LiPo Input (7V – 13V)

Power button to turn the goggles on and off without unplugging the battery.

Adjustable focus to replace diopter lenses, designed for those who wear glasses, covering the +2 to -6 range.

Integrated fan control for adjusting fan speed level and switching the fan on and off with a button I presume. There is a DIY fan control mod for the older Fatshark goggles.

The HDO will come with the carrying case, lens cleaning cloth and a 2S 18650 case (same one you can buy from Fatshark).

User Manual Leaked (29 Oct 2019)

The Fatshark HDO2 manual was leaked on the internet. From the manual we learned a lot more about the HDO2 specs and features.

Specs

  • FOV: 46°
  • IPD: 54mm – 74mm
  • Focus: +2 to -6
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 and cropped 16:9 selectable (TBC)
  • Resolution: 1280×960
  • Supports AV input and HDMI input
  • Supports Audio output
  • Input voltage: 7V-13V (2S/3S Li-)
  • Power Consumption: 320mA at 7.5V (no RX module), 770mA at 7.5V with Rapidfire
  • DVR supports SD cards up to 32GB
  • DVR record bit rate 6Mbps, MJPG compression, 30FPS, in AVI file format
  • DVR is upgradable via SD card
  • Dimension: 169.2x80x45.5mm
  • Weight: 206.8g

The OLED panels in the HDO2 has the same resolution as the ones in the Orqa FPV.ONE. I expect them to have matching performance, however we don’t know if they offer the same image quality at this stage yet.

Buttons, Ports, RX Module Bay

Power Modes

The power modes might be confusing for some. According to the manual:

The HDO2 is shipped in Legacy Mode (like the HDO, HD3 and all older versions).

If you connect a battery to the HDO2, it will automatically power on and it will power off when the battery is removed. A short press of the Power Button will turn on and off the fan while in this mode. If you hold the button, the HDO2 will continuously beep to remind you the headset is in Legacy Mode and the goggles will not power down.

If you want, you can change the input power to use the Power Button to turn on and off the headset. To do this, you need to remove the Expansion Bay door and move the power mode jumper from Legacy Mode to Button Mode as show below.

While the headset is in Button Mode, a long press of the power button will turn on and off the goggles, while a short press will change the fan speed.

Note that Fan speed is proportional to the input voltage. If the headset is being powered from a 2S battery, maximum speed is recommended, and we recommend lowering fan speed if using a 3S battery. The low battery alarm also exhibits different behaviors for 2S and 3S. It is designed to work for 2S and may not provide much warning for 3S. We recommend not relying on the low battery indicator if you are using a 3S source as it will provide a very limited time window in which to return and land safely.

Here is the manual if you want to learn more: https://drive.google.com/open?id=19FMTQE50eZ_KLRZx02C1zZGDywOEZeX_

HDO 2 vs. HDO

At first glance, the HDO 2 might look quite similar to the the HDO, but there are some changes/improvements.

First of all, there is now a power button that many people have been asking for. It’s not only responsible for turning the goggles on and off, it also controls the speed of the fan (two levels). However it comes with something called “legacy” and “button” mode, which is slightly unnecessarily confusing for the users in my opinion.

Faceplate is smaller, and the fan is now powered directly from the barrel connector (no longer need to plug in the 2S balance port), and the fan turns on as soon as you plug in the battery. However you can’t turn the fan off, though the fan speed can be turned down. Note that the maximum speed is proportional to the battery voltage, e.g. on 3S the fan is faster than being on 2S. The face plate foam pad quality is similar to that of the HDO, also fake leather.

The most noticeable change is probably the optics, which are now circular instead of rectangular like all the older Fatshark models.

Fatshark also managed to extend the IPD range, between 54mm and 74mm. That covers an even wider audience, and it helps to minimize blurry edges. Due to the housing design of the older Fatshark goggles, the minimum IPD was limited around 61mm (I know they claim to have 59mm minimum IPD, but my own measurement is 61mm). Quite a few people complained they couldn’t get the whole screens to focus due to this. Now that shouldn’t be a problem anymore, assuming the number Fatshark provided is accurate.

The focus adjustment is another awesome feature, it basically moves the optics in and out independently so both your eyes can get the best possible focus. However that also means you can no longer use dipoter lenses in the HDO 2. If you have astigmatism, or if you have eye sight outside of -6 or +2, then you might have trouble using these goggles.

Anyway, with both the focus adjustment and narrower IPD adjustment, I suppose most people would be able to fully enjoy the larger 46 degree FOV without much blurry edge, which is amazing if you never try larger FOV like this before.

The locations of the buttons and connectors remain more or less the same.

The DVR in the HDO2 is still the same old DVR you get in the HDO and their older Dominator goggles, which is slightly disappointing to be honest. They are using better quality DVR in their Recon 3 (a box goggles made by Fatshark), and there is the PowerPlay (an external DVR), it’s slightly annoying they aren’t using any of these newer technology in their latest flagship FPV goggles.

Regardless, the Fatshark HDO 2 is definitely better than the HDO in every way: the improved OLED panels, the wider field of view, the ability to change screen settings, the ability to adjust the focus, the wider and narrower IPD. All of these at the same price as the HDO.

HDO 2 vs. ORQA FPV.ONE

Here are some of the major differences between the Fatshark HDO2 and Orqa FPV.ONE FPV goggles.

HDO 2 FPV.ONE
Price $500 $650
Resolution 1280×960 1280×960
Aspect Ratio 4:3 (native), 16:9 4:3 (native), 16:9
FOV 46° 44°
IPD 54mm – 74mm 56mm – 74mm
Focus Adjustment +2 to -6 No
DVR Old (30fps, 6mbps) Better (60fps, 18mbps)
Headtracker Not included Built-in

The Orqa is more expensive for sure although the specs of the OLED screens and field of view are similar. But you do get more features with the FPV.ONE, for example HD DVR, OTA firmware updates, head tilt alarm, auto standby, and FPV.Connect (a feature that enables you to broadcast and live streaming your flight on social media.

We will have to wait and see what kind of user experience the Orqa brings to the table when it comes out for a more thorough comparison.

Edit History

  • 29 Oct 2019 – News published about the release of HDO 2 FPV goggles
  • 08 Nov 2019 – Updated specs and review

15 thoughts on “Review: Fatshark HDO2 FPV Goggles

  1. TheMightThor

    Glad to see others recognize fatshark miscues here. To me, as i look at specs and see/read reviews, all i see is a rush to market of the old standards plus new panels. Fatshark does have a well oiled machine when it comes to production but they always seem to strive for good enough and not the best. Logically thinking here, yes they can mass produce very quickly providing the following: they use parts available in other models of their goggles, the make very little adjustment to the goggle mold, they only test the panels and nothing else, there fore selling customers an HDO with new panels to compete with Orqa, in other words a Just good enough product, not the best product they could have researched and refined. then they social media the heck out of it to drum up hype. i am sad for their customers who fall for this. i think the biggest give away on how much they did or did not research this, is the exclusion of a really good DVR like Orqa is going to offer. this in and of it sells screams, rush to market, no research, just sell the same old snake oil and claim it cures cancer.
    I’d love to see some one compare the internal parts against the old HDO and lets see how much they have in common. Orqa at least is trying to bring a new fully flexible module to market with accessories Fatshark never thought of. ok thanks for reading i feel better getting all the out.

    Reply
  2. sidjej

    These are all reasonable updates to a proven goggle, with the typical fatshark-facepalms (legacy-mode power button?!?!?!). However, fatshark really needs to think about its distribution channels to Europe. Whereas the goggle costs 499USD in the US it’s price jumps to somewhere between 650 and 700USD in Europe, which is makes the goggle far too expensive, especially considering that the goggle is obviously manufactured somewhere in china probably shipped from there to the local distributors. And yeah, i know, the Orqas are even more expensive…. which is why they will fail eventually, if they ever get produced in mass.

    Reply
  3. Paul Hope

    Ok, some of the improvements are what people have being doing for years but I dont understand all the strong negativity here. Better late than never to address these things Imo. What is wrong with the new HDO2’s that makes them so meh exactly? Are you guys pissed off due to pre-ordering the Orqas? Remember you can still cancel your order for a refund.

    I’ve been looking forward to Orqa releasing their goggles with the possibility of buying them due to the higher res and wider FOV… but now that the HDO2’s are coming out.. and being 150 dollars less, this is really great news for me… and my wallet.

    These will most likely be my first pair of fatsharks.

    Reply
  4. ChrisP

    Alright.
    All these new upgrades on the HDO2 are what hobbyist have already implemented to their Fatshark goggles while voiding the warranty in the past. I think it’s impossible for Fatshark to think of something new and innovative.
    This is Fatsharks rendition of a day late and a buck short.
    The power and fan button are upgrades that us hobbyist in the FPV community have already done to their goggles.
    This explains why it’s taking FatShark so little time to release these HDO2’s to the FPV Market. Because it requires very little re-tooling and no field testing.
    Yeah,the 60fps DVR would have been nice but that would require Fatshark to actually change the original mold to their Dominator series.
    The only good thing about these goggles is how they’ll be compatible with the Byte Frost system. That’s about it.

    Reply
    1. Philip G Thayer

      They had to change the mold for the new optics adjustments. Best thing about these is improved OLEDS and Focus control. Would have loved a better DVR like the SKY030 and I could care less about a power button (which isn’t on DJI either).

      Don’t forget FS came out with OLED almost 2 years ago so this is 2.0! Nice job FS, I ordered this morning.

      Reply
  5. Robert L Beaubien

    Amazingly, their stupid statement that people wouldn’t notice a 37° FOV, now they are back to a more reasonable 46°. I might actually purchase these.

    Reply
  6. Mark Pfeifer

    The adjustable focus lenses sound good…unless you have an astigmatism or need a RX with prism in it. Frankly, adjustable lenses with no slot for diopters is an unwanted “upgrade” since I already have lenses in my prescription for my hd2s.

    Reply
  7. flexd

    “It seems kinda dumb, but we did it anyway” should be Fatshark’s official slogan.

    I like my HD3s, but there is so much that could have been done better.

    Reply
  8. peter pan

    why oh why fatshark….such a mess…. power button with “legacy mode”?! battery depending fanspeed?! low power alarm that doesn’t really work on 3S? same old murky DVR (with the same annoying slot)? feels crusty. well, let’s see how positive things like adjustable focus plays out….

    Reply
  9. Isaac

    It’s a shame they didn’t include the new 60fps DVR in the Scouts in the new flagship, seems kinda dumb that $200 goggles have a better DVR..

    Reply

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