Skyzone finally released their first OLED FPV goggles – the SKY03O! It uses 1024×768 OLED display panels, with a FOV of 35°. The SKY03O FPV goggles also improved on face-plate and foam pads for better fit and minimized light leak.
Table of Contents
Table of Content
- Where to buy?
- How it compares to Fatshark HDO
- Is FOV too small?
- No 16:9 Ratio
- Full specs and unbox
- Closer look
- Built-in receiver module
- OSD Menu
- Sleep Mode
- Battery Options
- How to Update Firmware
I am extremely excited about this new OLED FPV goggles from Skyzone.
Lower IPD? Power button? 4S and 6S LiPo compatibility? OSD menu? Battery voltage monitoring? Fan speed control? Display adjustments on hue, saturation and sharpness? Fatshark doesn’t have any of these, but the cheaper Skyzone has managed it all with the SKY03O!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Fatshark, I want to see them succeed, but frankly their development has been too slow and I don’t see much innovation in their new goggles.
By the way, it’s SKY03O – Zero Three O, not o3o or o30. They basically took the SKY03S and upgraded the screens to OLED, hence the letter O at the end.
There are a lot of technical terms used in this review, if you are new, please take a look at my FPV goggles buyer’s guide to learn all the basics first.
Where to Buy SKY03O FPV Goggles?
According to BG’s site, they are currently offering a discount for pre-orders.
Available in lots of colors and skins: White, Black, Red, Camouflage, Diamond Midnight Blue, Vagary Ice Blue, Amber, Super Glossy Metallic Orange, Super Glossy Metallic Black Rose
Skyzone SKY03O vs. Fatshark HDO
There are currently three OLED goggles in the FPV space, Fatshark HDO, Skyzone SKY03O and Orqa FPV.ONE. Since the Orqa is not released yet (and honestly it’s way beyond my budget), I will only compare between the SKY03O and HDO in this review.
You can see my full review of the HDO here.
|1024 x 768
|960 x 720
|57.5 – 69.5 mm
|59 – 69 mm
|Fan Speed Level
|2S – 6S
** HDO is supposed to support 1080p with HDMI input, but in my testing I can only get 720p to work. See my HDO review for more info on that.
Fatshark was the first to introduce OLED panels to FPV Goggles and I am one of the first to try them. After using them for nearly 2 years now, I don’t think I would ever go back to the old LCD screens. That’s how good OLED screens are!
I am glad there is finally some competition in the market, and there are so many things the SKY03O is doing better than the HDO.
The difference doesn’t stop there between the HDO and SKY03O. The screens are actually different too.
Although they are both OLED panels, the Skyzone appears to edge out the HDO which I didn’t expect. To keep it brief, the SKY03O image has higher contrast and shows the detail better than the HDO, I guess the higher resolution isn’t a lie.
I spent a long time trying to record the screens so I can show you the difference in a more objective way other than just words.
The Fatshark HDO I have is nearly 2 years old, and the SKY03O is brand new. I don’t know much that has affected the test, but I did my best to make sure the test was fair and hopefully this is useful.
Is 35° FOV Too Small?
Some people probably are shaking their heads right now at the 35° field of view (FOV), but I am not.
As I mentioned in my HDO review, when you have wider FOV, you will very likely get blurry edges. And that’s exactly the problem I had with the previous SKY03 goggles.
That could have been the reason why Skyzone brought down the FOV (or it could be a display limitation). Anyway, I don’t get any blurry edges with the new SKY03O, the whole screen is crystal clear for me.
But is it smaller than the HDO?
Honestly when I was testing the HDO and 03O back to back, I didn’t even notice the FOV difference, they looked about the same screen size. If you are happy with HDO’s FOV you should be fine with SKY03O’s.
You might find this FPV goggles FOV comparison tool useful.
No 16:9 Aspect Ratio
The SKY03O doesn’t support 16:9 aspect ratio at the moment, and I don’t think it ever will. According to Skyzone, this is a hardware limitation with the 4:3 panels. 16:9 OLED panels can easily do 4:3 by leaving black strips on the left and right sides of the screen, but for some reasons it’s not that straightforward with the 4:3.
As far as I know most people fly 4:3 cameras these days because it’s the best aspect ratio for FPV – as the wider vertical FOV helps flying fast more than horizontal FOV. Most cameras can switch between 16:9 and 4:3 in the settings. Anyway you can still fly 16:9 FPV cameras with it, but the image will just look a bit squashed.
Full Specs and Unbox
Here is a full list of specifications and features for the Skyzone SKY03O FPV goggles.
- Resolution: 1024×768
- FOV: 35°
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- IPD: 57.5mm to 69.5mm
- Built-in 5.8Ghz Diversity Receiver Module, supports 48 channels in 6 bands including Race Band; On-screen RSSI indicator
- Available modes: RF Normal, RF Racing, HDMI IN, AV IN and DVR Playback
- Built-in fan for defogging and cooling, adjustable fan speed
- Front LED for cool display effects
- Input Voltage: 2S to 6S LiPo Battery (or 7V – 26V DC)
- Supports head tracking; Pan : 180°/120°/90°; Tilt: 120°/90°/60°
- Weight: 261g
Accessories Include the following:
- 1 x SKYZONE SKY03O FPV Goggles
- 1 x Carry Case
- 1 x Micro USB Data Cable
- 1 x JR Data Cable
- 2 x 5.8Ghz 2dBi Dipole Antennas
- 1 x AV Cable
- 1 x Power Cable with XT60 Connector
- 2 x Face-plates of different curvature
- 2 x Foam pads of different nose size
Let’s Take a Closer Look the SKY03O
The Skyzone SKY03O has a glossy finish, but still feels kind of plasticky like the previous releases. However it does come with a huge range of colors and skins options. Mine is the unique camouflage which really stands out from the the crowd.
Starting from the top, the layout is the same as the previous SKY03 goggles.
The fan on the Skyzone is incredible. Fan speed level is adjustable from level 1 to 16, and you don’t have to plug in the clunky balance lead to power it like they do with the Fatshark’s.
It can be a bit noisy when the fan is running at high speed and you are flying indoor, but you can slow it down.
Mind you it’s also a cooling fan for the electronics inside the housing, so I recommend keeping it running at all times to avoid overheat. I think the goggles just shuts down when it gets too hot, especially in summer weather. If this happens you know you should increase the fan level.
Can you believe it? The SKY03O has a power button!
Holding it down for a few seconds turns the goggles on and off. Fatshark users have been asking for it for years and still not getting it. (we have to DIY)
One quick tap on the power button turns off the fan, fantastic! :) I wish Skyzone would use an LED latching switch in the future, IMO it’s easier to use and looks way cooler!
On the left we have the following buttons
- REC – DVR Record/Stop | Confirm/Enter | Hold to enter DVR system
- Mode – Switch RF/AV/HDMI modes | Cancel/Quit
- Search – Enable front camera | hold to enable Auto-Search feature
On the Right, we have these buttons:
- Band – Switch 5.8Ghz Band | Up
- CH – Switch channel | Down
- Track – Head Tracker | Hold to enter menu
I told Skyzone when I was reviewing the SKY03, that their buttons are slightly too complicated to use (each button has too many functions). Coming from Fatshark, it will take some getting used to.
I hope they will eventually listen and change them to something more user-friendly, like multi-directional joysticks for example.
Inputs/Outputs, IPD, SD Card
Now let’s move onto the bottom of the goggles – all the connectors are located here, as well as the IPD adjustment switches and SD card slot.
They moved the power jack to the bottom of the goggles instead of on the side. And you can also find the head tracker output here.
On the other side, we have HDMI input, AV input, AV output, Micro USB port (for firmware update), audio jack and SD card slot. It’s easier to take the SD card out than the Fatshark’s design.
The SKY03O has a front camera as all other premium Skyzone goggles do.
In my opinion it’s really not that useful (I’ve never had the need to use it personally). Some uses it to help find the radio without taking the goggles off. Here is an example image from the front camera of the SKY03.
Faceplate, Foam Pad and Headstrap
The “leather” foam pad is very comfortable to wear. It’s installed with velcro, so you can easily replaced it when wore out.
It comes with two faceplates of different curvature, you can try and see which one fits you better. There are also two foam pads for different nose size to minimize light leak. This is just awesome!
The headstraps is the best I’ve seen, a lot wider than its predecessor’s and the Fatshark’s. It feels very comfortable and secure. I think you can get something like this custom made for the Fatshark but usually cost quite a lot.
Diopter Lens Slots
There are diopter lens slots in the SKY03O, compatible with Fatshark’s diopters. And they’ve fixed the loose slot issue from the SKY03, the lenses now stay tightly and doesn’t move anymore.
Front LED Bar
There is an RGB LED bar on the front of the SKY03O goggles, with many different display patterns. Looks pretty cool at night :) Here is a gif animation I made with the SKY03 (same LED bar and effects).
Built-in Receiver Module
With the Fatshark and Orqa, you spend a lot of money getting the headset, and you still have to spend more on a decent receiver module.
The Skyzone SKY03O comes with the receiver, so you can save a bit of money there, and it’s actually a pretty good one too. Performance is comparable to the popular True-D and the Pro58.
But it’s unfortunate there is no module bay for external receiver modules. This is perhaps the most disappointing news for some people, because they might want to use the ImmersionRC Rapidfire or other Fatshark style modules that do 2.4Ghz for examples.
Update (15 Sep 2019): Skyzone might release a detechable external module bay you can buy separately for the Skyzone 03O goggles. I will make a new post if this happens.
Update (Jan 2020): now available: http://bit.ly/2FO0tRn
Anyway, make sure you get some proper antennas, such as a patch antenna and an onmi-directional CP. The stock dipole antennas do work but not the greatest for the decent signal and range.
I love the OSD menu so much!!! It’s easy to use, and provides all the important information I need. Simple things like the voltage of the goggles battery, how much space is left in the SD card, how long it’s been recording for… You don’t need other equipment to check no more!
The first page of the menu is the head tracker settings.
Second page is display setting – brightness, contrast, saturation, hue and sharpness. It’s great to have the last three which are missing from many other goggles.
But I wish there is an easier way to change brightness and contrast without going into the menu every time. Because all my quads have different cameras and flying in different times of the day require changing these settings frequently.
The third page is all about DVR.
The forth page is about the goggle’s OSD (not related to Betaflight OSD or camera OSD).
One cool feature is “OLED Luminance”, it gives you full control on how bright you want the OLED screens to be. You can turn it all the way up to 8, but even the default level of 3 was a little too bright and gives me a headache. Level 2 seems to be just right for me. Still, it’s useful to have this option in case you fly on a sunny day and need brighter screens.
The last page in the menu is system setting, you can adjust fan speed here, calibrate battery voltage, and format SD card.
In the menu, you might have seen “sleep mode” and wondered what it is.
It’s a really cool feature, the goggles turns off the screens if it’s been left idle for too long (timer options: 1 min, 3 mins and 5 mins). This is designed to prevent OLED screen burn in (individual OLED pixel decay). The screens turn back on as soon as you pick up the goggles.
The idle status is determined by the accelerometer inside the head tracker. Such a clever implementation.
But if you are very still during flight and the Goggles doesn’t detect your head movement, it will also shut down the screens. It might sound impossible, everyone moves their body during flight right? Well it did happen to someone I know, guess they might have a gimbal mounted on their head LOL To prevent this, I guess you should set the timer longer than your flight time, or simply set it to off if you don’t want this to happen at all.
I think Skyzone should allow longer timer like 10 mins or even 20 mins to cover long range flights. They can even make it better by adding beeping before entering sleep mode as a reminder to move the head, or turn off the goggles if not in use.
DVR Quality and Features
Comparing to the Fatshark DVR, the Skyzone is more superior – the DVR footage looks better.
Testing with a PAL camera, bit rate appears to be similar and resolution is only slightly higher (from File Property in Windows)
- Skyzone SKY03O – 688×576 / 14Mbps
- Fatshark HDO – 640×480 / 14Mbps
However the resulting file size of the 03O DVR is nearly 3 times larger than that of the Fatshark, maybe due to the fact that the Skyzone uses H.264 codec?
For a 5-min video, the Skyzone is 570MB while the Fatshark is 190MB. An hour of recording with 03O DVR would require 6GB to 7GB of space, so make sure you get a large micro SD card – 32GB or 64GB should do nicely.
See my SD card buyer’s guide for recommendations.
The SKY03O DVR also has the following features:
- Recording is saved automatically when you disconnect power – you don’t lose DVR anymore when you forget to press the stop button
- It doesn’t record static (no signal) – however when you only lose signal during recording it will continue to record through the static
- There is no frame drop issue with the SK03O DVR
The SKY03O FPV goggles doesn’t care what battery you use, as long as it’s within 7V to 26V DC (2S to 6S LiPo). Basically you can just pick up a battery for your quad and power your goggles with it.
But if you are looking for one that works with a wider range of FPV goggles, a 2S is probably a better choice:
How To Update Firmware
The steps of updating goggles firmware and DVR firmware are exactly the same as the SKY03 and SKY03S, I have a tutorial explains how.
But, when updating firmware, you have to press a button to enter bootloader mode, and this button is very hidden and hard to reach. I wish Skyzone could make firmware update easier in the future.
Fatshark killer confirmed.
Skyzone nailed it with the SKY03O, probably one of the best goggles I’ve tried so far. They are ahead of Fatshark in many ways, especially when it comes to user interface (OSD menu), listening to user feedback and giving users full control of their goggles.
And the SKY03O’s OLED screens are frankly the best on the market right now.
I hope to review the Orqa FPV.ONE too when it’s out. It is nearly twice as expensive as the SKY03O and doesn’t even come with a receiver. The 03O is on pre-order for $428 as we speak (Aug 2019).
You can buy the Skyzone SKY03O from these vendors, buying via these links supports the blog.
Here is a summary of all the goods and bads of this goggles I’ve explained in my review.
- OLED screens are even better than the HDO’s, higher contrast and clearer image overall
- No more blurry edges!
- The screen luminance can be adjusted
- Sleep Mode to turn off screens when idle and prevents OLED display burn in
- It has a power button!
- The IPD adjustment is 2mm wider than the HDO (57.5mm to 69.5mm vs 59mm to 69mm), great news for those who are after narrower IPD
- The built-in receiver module works really well, has auto-search and Race mode
- DVR footage image quality is better than Fatshark’s
- DVR is saved automatically when powered down
- It can be powered by 2S to 6S Lipo, you can basically use any LiPo you have
- Two face-plates of different curvature, and two foam pad of different nose sizes
- Wide headstraps – secure and comfortable fit
- HDMI and AV input supported – you can connect it to your computer and play FPV simulators
- Diopter lens slots available
- You can calibrate goggles battery voltage, and my unit seems to be reporting correct voltage out of the box
- Adjustable fan speed
- Built-in head-tracker with cables and output channel setting
- Housing quality and design can be improved
There is no module bay for external receiver modulesyou can get the detachable receiver module bay for other external modules
- No 16:9 aspect ratio support
- The operation and buttons are slightly too complicated
- FOV is smaller than the previous SKY03 and Fatshark HD3, but very similar to the HDO
- Warranty support is not as good as Fatshark’s
- Firmware update is a little too complicated
- Need dedicated buttons for changing brightness and contrast