Review: Frsky Taranis X9 Lite Radio

by Oscar

The Taranis X9 Lite is something to look out for. It resembles the Taranis X9D-Plus in some way, and yet it’s only a fraction of the cost. Most importantly it comes with Frsky’s latest air protocol – ACCESS.

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Update Sep 2019: Frsky also released a X9D+ 2019, basically a full size radio of the X9 Lite, which I personally prefer. Check out my review for more.

Disclaimer: I don’t actually have the radio, I am only giving you my opinion on this radio based on information I have.

Further Reading:

Where to Buy

The Frsky Taranis X9 Lite is a budget radio, it’s even cheaper than the QX7.

It seems like Frsky is trying very hard to push this radio, they are currently selling it for only $60-$70 depending on where you are getting it from. My prediction of the final price is around $80 when the promotion ends.

Frsky Taranis X9 Lite Radio

Key Features of the X9 Lite

The Taranis X9 Lite is an entry level radio, aiming at the multirotor / FPV / drone racing market. In my opinion, however, it does not replace the X9D-Plus. But maybe it replaces the QX7 to some extent since a lot of their features actually overlap, and the X9 Lite is slightly cheaper :)

It comes with the latest ACCESS protocol (vs. ACCST on older radios), and it will support both OpenTX and ErskyTX open source operating system.

Here is a summary of the features:

  • Ergonomic design – same shape as the X9D-Plus
  • Compact – smaller and lighter than the X9D-Plus
  • Comes with the latest ACCESS protocol
  • Supports spectrum analyzer function
  • High-speed module digital interface
  • G7 Noble potentiometer gimbal (it’s saying it’s not hall sensor gimbal, not sure if this can be considered a feature :) )
  • Supports wired training function
  • Haptic vibration alerts and voice feedback
  • Takes two 18650 batteries – but no internal charging
  • Micro USB port – you can play simulators

Taranis X9 Lite Appearance

Let’s take a closer look.

The Taranis X9 Lite looks almost exactly like the Taranis X9D-Plus at first glance. However there are some differences when you look closer, and it’s actually considerably smaller and lighter in weight. It’s almost the same size as the Jumper T12.

It has the same LCD display as the Taranis Q X7 with a resolution of 128×64 pixels.

Here is my review of the QX7 and X9D-Plus.

Frsky Taranis X9 Lite Radio size compare QX7 and X9D-Plus

It has a micro SD card slot, haptic and voice feedback just like the Taranis X9D-plus. The trainer port, Smart Port and Micro USB port are located at the bottom of the radio.

So here are the differences from the X9D-Plus.

Firstly, they replaced power slider with a push button, a bit more like the QX7.

Close up comparison between Taranis X9D-Plus (left) and X9 Lite (right)

Close up comparison between Taranis X9D-Plus (left) and X9 Lite (right)

They have also removed 3 switches and 1 potentiometer (pot) in the new radio. You now have 5 switches and 1 pot remaining, which should be more than enough for FPV quads anyway. Although there are no more sliders, it should not be an issue for multirotors as they are not normally used.

The gimbals appear to be the same ones in the Taranis Q X7 (non special edition). Just pot gimbals, not as durable / good as the hall sensor gimbals, but work just fine for the most part.

For menu navigation, they replaced the three push button with a roller button, which reminds me the Jumper T16 I recently reviewed. It’s a great addition because it’s very user-friendly, speaking from experience.

 Comparison between Jumper T16 (left) and X9 Lite (right)

Comparison between Jumper T16 (left) and X9 Lite (right)

On the back of the radio, I noticed they replaced the standard JR external module bay with the mini module bay, the same one in the X-Lite. It’s a bad choice, unless they did it on purpose to make it difficult for people to use the Crossfire, which is understandable as they are “at war”.

If you want to run long range RC system, you can get the Frsky R9M-Lite module, it’s designed for mini module bay. But actually with some modifications, it’s been proven doable to run Crossfire on a mini module bay (update Sep 2020: TBS released Crossfire Nano module for this radio).

Frsky Taranis X9 Lite TX battery 18650 module bay

Not my nail!

The Taranis X9 Lite uses two 18650 Li-Ion batteries, but no built-in charging capabilities (you have to remove the battery for charging). Not ideal, but forgivable given the low price.


It’s an interesting radio. Should I get this radio and do a more in-depth review? Let me know what you think.

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Andrew (srtdre) 28th March 2021 - 9:01 pm

Note to all gimbals are basically the same except the faceplates in which in order for the m7 advanced gimbals to fit 5mm at most has to be milled from faceplates outside edge as it would seat in radio. Mechanicals and plugs are all same.

Modoc FPV 21st July 2020 - 4:38 pm

There is a X9 lite S which has hall gimbals and Li-Ion charging plus 2 momentary buttons.
It should be the ideal drone FPV radio. Would like to hear a review.
How small is it? Competition for Radios like the Tango 2?

Hyper 8th July 2019 - 7:42 pm

Did you end up getting this radio? Seems like a pretty good option for those with smaller hands as well as kids/teens who may not have $200 to shell out for a radio. Curious if the latency is as advertised.

Oscar 15th July 2019 - 5:10 pm

Nope, Not getting it yet. Not a fan of tiny radios…

Kyle Wilcox 1st July 2019 - 2:16 pm

M7 Gimbals will not fit the radio without extensive modification. They are to big and the mounting depth is different.

Ed 13th June 2019 - 1:41 pm

Yes would love to know if the M7 gimals are a straight swap in for the “G7″s in the X9 Lite.
This info would be great before a purchase is made, currently considering X-Lite Pro, if the M7s fit in the X9 LIte, then the decision is made for me.

Dustin 23rd May 2019 - 1:10 am

Just a heads up, opentx is doing nightly builds for this radio that include support for csrf and accst D16. Might not be the dud that everyone is expecting. I also have a strong suspicion that it can be upgraded with M7 hall gimbals. I’m working on confirming this as people are starting to receive horusrc pre-orders.

PK Steffen 17th May 2019 - 3:48 am

Don’t buy it. It isn’t backward compatible with your old receivers. They are doing the new protocol with encryption to lock out the competition and pricing it cheap to get us to buy one. This stinks as bad as sending letters to retailers. We don’t need encryption (they do to stop reverse engineering like they did) and we don’t need another 8 channels. Wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Ollie 15th May 2019 - 9:56 pm

Sold my Horus X10S because could not get used to the size – handling.
Didn’t feel nice when flying.

They should have made a X9D incl Hall sensors, good switches with colorscreen like the Horus and the latest option Access AND the current Accst And also the compatability with Crossfire,

Now bought the Jumper T16
And seeing the reports regarding the email from Frsky to their dealers i’m glad i bought the Jumper T16

Oscar, keep up the good work! really enjoying your reviews

richard 15th May 2019 - 9:39 pm

I have a qx7 radio and it has been great but of late frsky seem to have lost the plot, aggressive negative business decisions, poor communication with clients and pushing of product that isn’t ready. They have shrunk their slice of the market and I don’t see this radio changing that.

Mark Pfeifer 15th May 2019 - 2:06 pm

I love my Taranis, but FRsky isn’t getting any more of my money. They are playing catch up now and obviously are getting desperate. Bad karma, FRsky?

Chicken FPV 15th May 2019 - 4:34 pm

I think they have f&%$# up… Love my X9D Plus SE but if I have to buy another radio it wont be from frsky.

ched999uk 15th May 2019 - 2:03 pm

Interesting that you mention T16. Josh Bardwell is suggesting that FRSky have sent emails to their retailers basically saying stop selling Jumper T16 or we will stop supplying you FrSky products!!!

Sam 15th May 2019 - 11:17 am

Given Frsky’s dodgy dealings and how cheap this looks, I’d rather go with a T16. Frksy has really damaged their own reputation.