Imagine Fatshark released a new goggles even before Orqa could get their FPV.ONE out of the door. Well, that is happening! 18 months after the release of the HDO, Fatshark finally announced their next FPV goggles, the HDO2.
The new Fatshark HDO2 is going to fully replace the previous HDO goggles. With recent heated competition from the Skyzone’s SKY03O and Qrqa’s FPV.ONE, I think the HDO2 is the answer from Fatshark to retain their dominance in the FPV goggles market. It’s especially interesting to see how the HDO2 compares to the Orqa as they both have the same spec displays.
The HDO 2 will also provide better support to the new Byte Frost HD system with its 1280×720 resolution (switchable 16:9 aspect ratio).
Before we begin, don’t forget to check out my FPV Goggles Buyers Guide to familiarized yourself with all the technical terms.
Where to Buy HDO2?
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/hdo-2
- RDQ: http://bit.ly/330JEg0
- GetFPV: http://bit.ly/2NnWX3s
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K2F21v
Fatshark HDO2 New Features (Oct 2019)
If you already have the HDO, you’d be extremely excited about the new features from the Fatshark HDO2:
- Upgraded OLED screens (bigger, sharper, brighter)
- The revolutionary power button !
- Adjustable focus
- Integrated Fan Control
- Adjustable Fit Faceplate
- Supports 2S and 3S LiPo Input (7V – 13V)
Long press the power button can turn the goggles on or off without unplugging the battery. Short press the power button can change fan speed and turn the fan on/off. Previous fan control is only possible by performing the DIY fan control mod on older Fatshark goggles.
Adjustable focus to replace diopter lenses, designed for those who wear glasses, covering +2 to -6 range.
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 (Nov 2019)
The Fatshark HDO2 manual was leaked on the internet. From the manual we learned a lot more about the HDO2 specs and features.
- 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, however we don’t know if they offer the same image quality at this stage yet.
Buttons, Ports, RX Module Bay
HDO2 – the improved HDO (Jan 2020)
At first glance, the HDO 2 might look quite similar to the the HDO, but there are some changes/improvements.
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.
Image quality is great as expected, so much sharper than the previous HDO. I’d say it’s now on par with the Skyzone 03O, but the FOV is much bigger (how much bigger?). It’s really immersive, and no blurry edges too!
On my first day with the HDO2, I was flying with a cheap camera at first, oh man, the image was just awful, you can almost count the pixels because of the over-sharpening and low-resolution from the camera. But as soon as I switched over to another quad with the Runcam Phoenix Oscar Edition, I was completely blown away by the clear, smooth beautiful image (shameless plug). I didn’t feel this so strongly with an FPV goggles of lower screen size and clarity, but with the HDO2, it seems to “magnify” all the imperfections from bad camera, it just becomes unbearable to look at.
However, the included foam pad in the HDO2 is bad, and it’s just too thin for me. There is light leak in the nose area, and it puts too much pressure on the cheekbone and my eyelash are touching the screens making them dirty quickly. I’ve seen multiple people complained about the same issues online. I’ve heard NewBeedrone is developing an aftermarket foam for the HDO2, which is supposed to address some of these issues.
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. And you can knock the switches out of position when carrying the goggles in the bag, and you’d have to adjust it every time.
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. At least for me I didn’t get any blurry edges.
The DVR in the HDO2 is 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.
And the HDO2 is still FAR BEHIND Skyzone SKY03O in terms of settings and user interface. There are only 5 settings you can change in the goggles, contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness and power (OLED luminance).
For optimal viewing experience, I had to tweak the settings slightly. But I don’t think there is a best for all settings you can just copy. It hugely depends on your FPV camera (and its settings), and the lighting condition. For the Runcam Phoenix (default settings on a sunny day) I am having good result with these settings:
- contrast 16
- brightness 13
- saturation 10
- sharpness 7
- power 63
The location of the buttons and connectors remain more or less the same.
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.
You need to get your own battery for the HDO2. It comes with a case for the 18650 cells, so the best solution is to get two 18650 and you are good to go. This is the 18650 I recommend getting, and how to charge them.
In the HDO, I used to get black screens when hitting / tapping on the battery, i guess it was something to do with battery connector? Anyway it’s no longer an issue in the HDO2.
And finally, you don’t have to update the firmware this time after purchasing the HDO2, it already has the latest firmware installed in the factory. It was a nightmare with the previous HDO, the firmware even bricked the goggles and I had to send it back for repair.
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
Although the Orqa and HDO2 have similar spec displays, the Orqa is $150 more expensive than the HDO2. Here are some of the major differences in feature between the Fatshark HDO2 and Orqa FPV.ONE FPV goggles.
|Aspect Ratio||4:3 (native) and 16:9||4:3 (native) and 16:9|
|IPD||54mm – 74mm||56mm – 74mm|
|Focus Adjustment||+2 to -6||No|
|DVR||Old (30fps, 6mbps)||Better (60fps, 18mbps)|
The Orqa is more expensive although the specs of the OLED screens and field of view are similar, but for a reason. First of all, the Orqa has better DVR. If you want to have similar DVR quality with the HDO2, you’d have to spend $90 on the PowerPlay. And the Orqa comes with antenna while the HDO2 doesn’t. But if you prefer to use your own choice of antennas, this doesn’t matter IMO.
With the Orqa, you can buy the FPV.Connect module which gives you additional features, such as OTA firmware updates, head tilt alarm, auto standby, and live streaming your flying on social media.
But the HDO2 has focal length adjustment so you don’t need to use diopter lenses anymore to get a sharper image (for most people), and this feature is still missing on the Orqa.
The two goggles look completely different, so it also depends on which look you prefer.
Did you know that the DJI FPV goggles is also around the price range of the HDO2 and Orqa?
- 29 Oct 2019 – News published about the release of HDO 2 FPV goggles
- 08 Nov 2019 – Updated specs
- Jan 2019 – Updated review