Review: Skyzone SKY03 03 FPV Goggles

Skyzone released the SKY03 FPV goggles back in February, but they weren’t perfect so they made a recall and tried to fix them. I didn’t get the first one so I am not aware of the previous problems. The 03 goggle I am reviewing is the latest version.

Learn how to choose FPV goggles in this tutorial.

Where to Buy

Update (July 26 2017) – Skyzone announced a price drop, from $499 to $399!

I spent a lot of time testing and doing this review, please support me by using the links above. It won’t cost you a dime, but the seller will give me a small commission when you buy the product.

Side by side comparison to the Fatshark HDO

The Skyzone SKY03 FPV Goggles has a shiny and glossy finish. There are black and white versions. I personally prefer white because it doesn’t get as hot under the sun. Some people are worried about having light leak with white plastic, I haven’t noticed any of that in my testing even on a sunny day.

Skyzone SKY03 FPV Goggles

Skyzone SKY03 FPV Goggles

Accessories including:

  • FPV goggles
  • Carry case
  • 4x Faceplate foam pads
  • Futaba data cable
  • JR data cable
  • 2x 5.8GHz antenna
  • AV cable
  • Power cable (barrel to XT60)

Skyzone 03 Spec

Here is the basic specifications of the 03 goggles:

  • Built-in 5.8GHz diversity video receiver – 48 channels, ABEFRL bands
  • FOV: 37 degree (feels more like 42)
  • Resolution: 800×600
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Only
  • IPD: 57.5 to 69.5mm
  • Built-in DVR (supports up to 128GB micro SD card)
  • Support 3D (side by side)
  • Support HDMI input (1080p), and AV input (e.g. external video receiver)
  • Input voltage: 7V – 26V (2S to 6S LiPo), [email protected]
  • Built-in Head tracker
  • Weight: 231g

Does it fit my face?

If a pair of FPV goggles doesn’t fit well on the face, it can cause light leakage and discomfort wearing it. It might even cause problems with blurry edges and focusing on the screens.

To accommodate different faces, Skyzone generously provides 4 faceplate foam pad options!

Out of the box the face plate is blank, you can choose a foam pad and stick it on.

I have no problems wearing the Skyzone SKY03, actually they fit even better than the Fatshark for me. I am very happy about that.

It’s enjoyable I can just pick a foam pad that works without going through all the DIY customization like I did with the Fatshark. (and I had to get the “trim-able” foam pad from Newbeedrone)

Left – Skyzone 03; Right – Fatshark (you can see the cuts on the faceplate foam)

For those with “smaller” faces, you can use the plastic inserts provided to thicken the edges of the faceplate. This ensures a perfect fit for almost everyone! Well done there Skyzone!

I didn’t get these in my review unit, but Skyzone confirmed they will supply this when you buy them. (I didn’t need them anyway)

Plastic insert used between face plate and foam pad

A close look at the Skyzone SKY03 FPV goggles

Same as the Fatshark’s, you can use diopters on the SKY03 (for those who wear glasses). The same ones from Fatshark work just fine, however they are a little loose and tend to slide around if you tilt the goggles. Maybe you can fix that with a bit of blu-tack.

On the right hand side we have the power connector and power button.

It’s pretty awesome that it takes 2S to 6S LiPo battery as input. It also comes with a barrel to XT60 adapter so you can use your existing 4S or 6S pack to power these goggles.

Fatshark users have been dreaming about a power button for a long time. You can find it here in the 03, you can turn it on by holding down the button for a few seconds, and hold it down again to turn it off. However I wish it’s an On/Off push button with LED light (like this one), it looks so much cooler.

For me, the biggest selling point of the SKY03 is probably the built-in diversity video receiver (VRX). The two SMA antenna connectors are located on both sides of the goggles, which makes it easier to mount your antennas as opposed to having them at the same place.

On the top of the goggles, you can find the cooling fan and all the buttons. The buttons are clearly labelled for what they do, but they are also used to operate the menu so it was confusing for me at first.

  • REC – DVR Record/Stop | Confirm/Enter | Hold to enter DVR system
  • Mode – Switch RF/AV/HDMI modes | Cancel/Quit
  • Camera – Enable front camera
  • Band – Switch 5.8Ghz Band | Up
  • CH – Switch channel | Down
  • Track – Head Tracker | Hold to enter menu

I guess I am too used to the “Fatshark eco system”, it took a few days but I got used to that now. I have asked them if they can use multi-directional joysticks in the future.

IPD sliders, SD card slot and all the connectors are underneath:

  • Headphone jack
  • TF – Micro SD card slot
  • AV output/input
  • USB port for firmware flashing
  • HDMI Input (Mini)
  • Head Tracker Output

There is a fan on top for cooling and preventing fogging.

The fan is on by default, unfortunately you cannot turn it off (correction, you CAN turn it off by pressing the power button once, manual didn’t mention that nor did Skyzone when i asked them, but it’s good to know!).

There are three speed levels you can select, but even at LOW it’s still a little bit loud. It’s no big deal, but I wish Skyzone can do something about that in future firmware update.

Under the fan, there is a tiny camera so you can see what’s in front of you without taking the goggles off.

I personally don’t find it that useful. First of all, the resolution isn’t high enough for precision work, not to mention you have no depth perception either.

Maybe it would be useful in situations where you need to pick something up quickly without taking the goggles off, or look around to see who’s around you before taking off…

Nontheless, it’s a cool feature :)

Another thing I really like is the graphical colour OSD menu. You can find all the settings in the Skyzone 03 FPV Goggles here, including the head tracker, displays, DVR, OSD, power and system.

The only thing I would change here, is to assign Brightness and Contrast to two dedicated physical buttons. I change brightness and contrast at least a few times when flying with different FPV cameras or lighting condition. It would be useful to be able to change them without going into the menu.

I nearly forgot to mention one last feature! The RGB LED panel!

The LED bar is able to display 3 colors, red, green and blue, or mixed colors, yellow, magenta, cyan and white. What’s better than LED’s to make you stand out in the field :)

Here is a gif animation showing some of the light patterns.

Screens and Optics

Skyzone claimed these goggles have 37 degree FOV, but when I compared them to the HDO, they definitely look larger, actually more close to the HD3’s 42°.

They also said they improved the optics, and they are not lying. These are probably the clearest screens I have seen in goggles. But the colour and contrast is still not as good as the HDO’s OLED displays.

The main let down for me is having blurry edges. No matter how I adjust IPD, I always get a tiny bit of blur at the corners and edge on one side. It doesn’t affect my flying but it makes OSD text at the corners harder to read.

Here is a side by side comparison to the Fatshark HD3.

DVR Quality

When comparing the DVR footage from the 03 and Fatshark, Skyzone’s has a higher resolution:

  • Skyzone – 720×576
  • Fatshark – 640×480,

Also the saturation seems to be higher, and therefore the colour looks better. There are different degrees of image cropping going on with both DVR (only very slightly).

Fatshark’s DVR is known to have “frame drop” issue when signal gets weak, it’s good to know that the 03 goggles don’t have this issue. (You can use DVR to time your race)

Overall I like the Skyzone DVR better when it comes to image quality, but file size is over 4 times bigger! For a 5-min video, Skyzone is 850MB while Fatshark is 190MB. An hour of recording would require nearly 10GB space, so make sure you get a big SD card for the 03 :)

However when I check bit rate, it seems weird. Skyzone shows really low bit rate but it doesn’t look that way in the playback, maybe it has something to do with the codec?

Another issue I have is that my video editor (Adobe Premiere CS6) doesn’t support DVR files directly. I have to convert them to MP4 first before I can import them. Maybe this is due to the different codec too (Skyzone said they use H.264).

Signal Quality

The built-in diversity receiver performed great! I compared it to my beloved Pro58 (flashed with Achilles firmware), and the performance is very close, if not better.

Here is the comparison video, you can also see the different DVR quality too. VTX was on 25mW, both goggles were using the same antennas pointing same direction.

Summary

Let me summarize all the pro’s and con’s of the Skyzone 03 FPV goggles.

Good Things

  • Integrated VRX – you can save money, and it performs really well too!
  • Very comfortable to wear – it might work well for most people’s faces thanks to the different foam pads options and plastic inserts they provide
  • No light leakage that i noticed, no more than the Fatshark I am using anyway
  • Super clear screens thanks to the “upgraded” optics
  • Bigger FOV than advertised – close to 42°
  • Takes 2S to 6S LiPo as input
  • Great value – during my review they’ve decided to drop price to $399
  • Very nice graphical color OSD menu
  • Better DVR footage video quality than Fatshark’s, DVR doesn’t drop frame with weak signals
  • Power button available, as many Fatshark users have requested
  • Front camera
  • Antennas connectors are separated on both sides of the goggle – easier to mount your antennas
  • RGB LED panel in front of the Goggles

Things to Improve

  • Blurry edges
  • Menu is a bit confusing to operate at first because each button can do multiple things
  • Editing software doesn’t support DVR files, need to be converted first
  • Doesn’t hold Fatshark diopters firmly, it slides around as you tilt it

Conclusion

I am feeling positive about the Skyzone SKY03 FPV goggles, just look at the long list of “good things” above.

If you prefer using fancy external modules, like the Clearview or Rapidfire, you are better off with a pair of Fatsharks. However if you just want an “All in one” solution, I would consider the Skyzone.

In terms of Image quality, I think the Fatshark HDO is still the best on the market at the moment, but $500 is a lot of money, and id doesn’t even come with a receiver!

At $400 you have the SKY03 as well as the Fatshark HD3. I compared them back to back, and I think the 03 has slightly clearer screens, it’s a shame that I am getting that tiny bit of blurry edge. But you save money on a good diversity receiver.

Yes, receiver module doesn’t have to be expensive these days. Take the Pro58 with Achilles firmware, It costs only $43, but it does take time to flash the firmware. Other good plug and play solutions like the True-D costs $80 or more, so it’s not that cheap either.

If you want to get a really fancy VRX module like the Rapidfire, I would probably still go for the HDO for the best possible video quality.

If you were planning to get the Fatshark HD2 or HD3, the SKY03 is a good alternative to consider.

Bugs Found During Review

Faulty Low Voltage Warning

The Goggles gave me low battery warning even when battery is fully charged. It turned out to be inaccurate voltage reading caused by bad cable connection. Skyzone gave me instructions on how to fix that.

If you have this problem, you need to take apart the goggles, unplug and re-insert the yellow ribbon cable as shown in the following image (both ends). I hope Skyzone fix this in all future goggles.

Unresponsive Button

The mode button wasn’t responding when pressed. It turned out to be a loose ribbon cable between the button PCB to the main PCB. Re-inserting the cable fixed that.

Firmware Update

There are some bugs found during the review, but were quickly fixed by Skyzone by releasing new firmware. If you buy them now it probably comes with the latest firmware, but anyway it’s pretty easy to update it yourself as shown in this tutorial.

13 thoughts on “Review: Skyzone SKY03 03 FPV Goggles

  1. Hélio Taborda

    Hello…
    Can you tell me please how do you take apart the goggles??
    I need to open my goggles but I’m afraid to broke something… ☹️
    Thanks for your help…
    Best regards

    Reply
  2. Vincent

    I recently bought this SKY03 and loving it. Only issue I had is the battery voltage detection. I’m using 2s (2x 18650 in FatShark case).

    The voltage detection seems to off between 0.6v to 0.8v. Example, SKY03 detects battery as 6.6V on my lowest point while I check the battery voltage is around 7.4v. A freshly charged battery at 8.4v is being detected as 7.7v upon hooking up to the goggle.

    Is there any fix to this beside taking it apart?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      It’s a ribbon cable issue according to Skyzone, you have to do it as shown in my review.
      It’s quite easy to take the goggles apart.

      Reply
      1. Danny Baughan

        My goggles never started out with the voltage fault but developed it over the last 2 weeks. I have stripped down and replaced the cable as mentioned above but to no avail. My readings are off by 1v – 1.2v.
        I’m not sure what can be done here.

      2. Oscar Post author

        sounds like an issue i’ve never experienced before, maybe check with Skyzone or your reseller?

  3. luke

    Does the input automatically switch to AV or HDMI when plugged in like the older models? I suggested they add at least an auto option after the recall. Handy when someone crashes too close to the race meet ground station, just yank the AV cable out and your internal RX kicks in.

    I noticed the HDO’s are blurry in the edges compared to Sky02 v+, are the sky03s more or less blurry than HDO’s?

    Reply
  4. Darren M Reeves

    I’ve both and after hours of flying different types of Rc, I find myself reaching for the Skyzones. I flew my racing quads, camera quads, wings, planes, glider, street car, and off road race trucks. I usually meet up with a friend so the HDO’s will get used or might throw them on eBay but it’s nice to have a good back up pair if something happens. Just received the 3d gear (camera & tx) and am excited to use once I get my mounts 3d printed.l, but the Skyzones are the winner for me…

    Reply
  5. Cedric CRISPIN

    Skyzone has been making some really cool diversity FPV Goggles since years…

    The Skyzone V02+S is still a very good option as well!

    I’m pretty happy they tried to fix all the issues. I think they should consider working with more FPV pilots in the future in order to avoid all these problems.

    Reply
  6. GhostMaster

    My Fan does not start when i start the googles, that’s on the menu somewhere, when you say the screens arent as good as the HDO i dont quite agree, ive tested both side by side and tweaking the settings in the SKY03 can match the HDO picture very close…
    The DVR bitrate is variable i think that’s why shows so low bitrate but the quality is like 2x better than fatshark…

    For me this is much better than any fatshark and the built in RX is very very good.
    They are also lighter than fatshark googles, that’s a good point too.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I think it might be the new firmware they asked me to flash few days ago. But I’ve found you can stop the fan by pressing the power button so all’s good now :)

      Reply

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