Review: Frsky Taranis Q X7S TX | How does it compare to the QX7?

by Oscar

The Frsky Taranis Q X7S is an upgraded “Special” version of the popular Taranis Q X7. In this article we will take a look at the improvements on the QX7S, and help you decide whether the changes are worth the extra cost.

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Where to buy:

Please check out our guide on how to choose a radio transmitter for quadcopter.

QX7 vs QX7S, Which one should I get?

The two radios have nearly identical capability, the decision comes down to how much you value the upgrades on the QX7S.

The cheaper QX7 is an excellent radio for value, which should be enough for most people to get started flying multirotors. You can slowly upgrade the components too in the future if you wish: the gimbals, the switches, the case etc… This is probably the best TX you can buy for $100 right now.

Taranis Q X7 (Purchase | Our Review)

You won’t regret getting the QX7S either, because it’s just an overall better radio when it comes to quality and user experience.

With all the upgrades and accessories that come with the Q X7S, it’s actually a pretty good deal than upgrading the original QX7 yourself: M7 Gimbals + Lotus Stickends + NiMh battery + charger + carry case = $114!)

One of the reasons I like Frsky Taranis is because of the large number of Frsky receivers available

Here is a comparison table between the Q X7S and Q X7, listing all the differences.

  Taranis Q X7S Taranis Q X7
Price $199 $99
Colour Blue, Carbon White, Black, Green, purple, orange, blue
Gimbals M7 Hall Gimbals Stock Gimbals
Stick End Upgraded M4 Lotus Stock
Stick protectors for Transport Yes No
Switches Angled, softer switches More rigid switches
Battery & Charger 2000mah + Charger No
Wireless Trainer Capability Yes No
Carry Case Yes No

 QX7S vs X9D-Plus

You might wonder, at the $200 price point, you can also get the Taranis X9D-Plus, which has extra switches and sliders, and a larger screen.

But if you think about it, these aren’t really that big of a deal when it comes to mini quads. Some people might prefer the design of the QX7 series, not to mention the X9D doesn’t come with Hall sensor gimbals so you will have to spend extra for those.

Taranis X9D-Plus (Purchase | Our Review)

Let’s take a look at the QX7S changes…

The Taranis Q X7S comes with a really lovely soft travel case, with the following accessories inside:

  • FrSky Taranis Q X7S
  • 2000mAh NiMh battery pack (with balancer plug)
  • Charger & Power Supply – Can charge both 6-cell NiMh and 2S LiPo
  • Carry case
  • Neck Strap
  • A set of stickers
  • Instruction manual

The Q X7S has two different colour options: blue and “carbon fibre”.

Although the carbon fibre version costs about $37 more, it’s not made from real carbon, the pattern is only painted on. But still, I prefer the carbon fibre version because it feels and looks more professional and less like a toy :)

Frsky also made a small adjustment on the power button in this new version: you have to hold down the power button for at least 3 seconds to turn it on or off. This prevents the radio being switched on or off by accident.

The Taranis QX7S runs the latest OpenTX 2.2 so it saves us trouble updating the firmware, for now :)

Gimbals and Stick-ends

The Gimbals on the Q X7S are M7 Hall-Sensor Gimbals. The sticks feel a bit too tight for my liking, and the throttle has ratchet which I should adjust later on.

In this article I explain how to adjust stick tension and remove throttle ratchet in your Taranis Transmitter.

Why Hall Sensor Gimbals are better than the stock gimbals

The stock gimbals on the QX7 uses potentiometer and small brushes which can wear out more quickly over time than the hall sensor gimbals.

Hall sensor gimbals uses magnets to get stick position reading, which is more precise, more durable and smoother.

The upgraded Lotus stickends are great for both thumbers and pinchers compared to the stock.

The M7 gimbals cost $50 if bought separately, and the stick ends are $12. So these upgrades alone are worth $62 + an hour of labour!

Switches and Handle

The new switches have a softer feel than the original QX7, they are also slightly angled for better ergonomics.

There is now additional rubber grip on the front and side of the TX.

Battery and Charger

The X7S comes with a 6-cell 2000mAh Ni-Mh battery which is way better than using 1.5V AA batteries. AA batteries have such low capacity you would be replacing them very often.

When it comes to battery charging, I guess I am spoiled by the Taranis X9D, where I can just simply plug in the charger on the side of the TX.

On the Q X7S, you have to unplug the battery from the TX and connect it to the charger.

Not only this is inconvenient, I am not impressed by the battery wires either. The wires are hard plastic, not silicone, it’s more likely to be damaged due to mechanical wear.

I think I might modify the battery and just add an extra connector for charging so I don’t have to unplug the other one.

If you were getting the Q X7, you can buy the battery and charger separately for $16 and $20 respectively.

Wireless Trainer Capability

There is a built-in Bluetooth module inside the Taranis Q X7S, it allows you to connect this radio to another Frsky radio with the same wireless capability as a trainer wirelessly. This will also allow you to connect it to your phone and use the Frsky Telemetry App.

This wireless feature is new and will be available on other top end Frsky TX as well, such as the Horus and X10. Getting this in the cheap QX7S is quite cool, although I don’t really see myself using the trainer feature or getting telemetry data on my phone :)

More QX7S Photos

Here are photos of the top and bottom of the TX. There is Smartport next to the SD card slot, which you can use for flashing your Frsky receiver firmware.

Here is the back of the radio, and the external TX module bay.

Incompatibility with TBS Crossfire

The TBS Crossfire is an external transmitter module designed to provide long range radio communication.

However the Crossfire is not fully compatible with the QX7 and the QX7S, and some modification is required to get Telemetry working properly.

I don’t really plan to use the TBS Crossfire module because I am quite happy with the range that the QX7S has, therefore I have not read into the problem and fixes.

Currently, the Crossfire is fully compatible with the X9D so if you want to use Crossfire and avoid doing DIY mods, you should probably stick with the X9D for now.

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Jon 9th March 2021 - 3:03 am

I bought the blue X7S, and I just wanted to mention that it has an external socket on the bottom for charging the battery without taking the battery out of the transmitter.

CESAR PALERO 9th August 2019 - 5:25 am

Today I received my Taranis QX7S from (Ordered friday 2nd of august 2019).
To my amaze it came not only with the things mentioned here? but its also an upgraded version with the charging port on the exterior so you dont have to remove the battery to charge it every time..

What´s the kicker? It came with a FULL R9M Module already installed with the “8” Style Antenna also included!!!!!!!!!! No receiver though but this adds +70 bucks to the deal! I dont know if this was a special lot that had this bundled but I only paid 195bucks shipped for my QX7S. So get them while you can?

JimS 5th June 2019 - 5:28 pm

Hello Oscar,
I just got the Q X7S and love all its features and flexibility with OpenTx but I must admit I was really disappointed to read the Q7X doesn’t have the Bluetooth Trainor feature. Are you certain it wasn’t added recently into the new variant QX7 straight .. the one with the new 3pin battery charging port on the lower right outside of the case? I’d really like to know cause I plan to get a Trainor radio with bluetooth for the grandkids and friends but can’t find anyone who can confirm it’s not there. I like the Q 7XS a lot, but for the rare times I’d be using it training I hate to pay that much more for it.

Can you look into this and let us know?
By the way, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one disappointed to see the Q x7s case is really injected moulded plastic, not Carbon Fiber as advertised..

Joe 14th December 2018 - 1:52 am

I just received my Q X7S from Flite Test. It came with everything mentioned in this review as well as an R9M long distance module. It also now has an extra cable to attach the charging module to the new charging port of the radio. The package was originally priced at $185.99. However, I used a link on screen that gave me $20 off. It also qualified for free shipping!

Demetrio dario 25th February 2019 - 9:13 am

Can anyone give me an info about the CPU speed on both tx? Frequency? Wattage? On both tx?

Moritz Beyer 13th May 2018 - 8:01 pm

It is not that easy to connect with your mobile.
I would appreciate information on that.
If you are interested. ))
Best regards

Leo 11th May 2018 - 11:27 am

great comparison oscar! just wondering if i can put all the contents of my q x7 in a shell of an x7s? just because i want my q x7 to have a carbon fibre finish :)

Oscar 14th May 2018 - 5:02 pm

I don’t know for sure, but i think they are compatible.

Jase 11th February 2018 - 8:29 pm

I have no problem using crossfire module with my X7 – I think its because it was one of the very first batches Frsky released though ( it has no pins for the “S” port on the bottom of it. I think if you have three pins present there , it needs modding to use crossfire.

Simon 28th January 2018 - 2:58 am

Is it possible to add a six position rotary switch as per x9dplus? There appears to be space either side of the antenna, but is there space inside?

Oscar 29th January 2018 - 1:18 pm

i don’t think there is a spare port for an extra switch like there is with the X9D.

JayMax 13th January 2018 - 1:28 pm

I have the QX7 and for the battery I bought a 2×18650 battery box which I trimmed down a little to fit neatly in the battery bay and cut some foam to make a snug fit.

If you already have 18650 batteries this is a great option and Fatshark have just released HD3 Core goggles with an 18650 battery box too.

I carry a spare pair of batteries with me just in case, but with 3000mah I’ve never had to use the spares.

Oscar 16th January 2018 - 3:48 pm

sounds good, i am currently testing a few different battery options too hopefully i will release my findings in the future.

Kirk 23rd June 2018 - 11:10 pm

Found a 3800 mAh lihtium that will fit from Aloft Hobbies.

rookie 25th December 2017 - 3:23 pm

which alternatve battery is a good choice? want something to fit and uses all the space to get the most mah out of it. LiFe might be the best choise. anybody an idea?

Oscar 3rd January 2018 - 1:25 pm

Turnigy 2000mah/2100mah LIFEPO4 nanotech from hobbyking

blacika 21st November 2017 - 8:47 pm

i bought the carbon fibre version + with free r-xsr receiver for $185 at horusrc much cheaper than on gearbest

Oscar 28th November 2017 - 2:07 pm

yea that’s a really good deal, i have added more purchase options now.