Do you want to spend as little as possible on a radio, yet to have all the necessary features to fly FPV drones and wings? Radiomaster T8 Pro could be the answer! It’s cheap, loaded with OpenTX and multi-protocol TX module, and it’s very small and easily fits in your bag, but is it for you?
Learn about radio transmitters in this buyer’s guide.
Where to Buy?
You can get the Radiomaster T8 Pro from these vendors:
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-9fa6
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-d23m
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-k2bd
There’s a non-pro version which is slightly cheaper but doesn’t’ come with the screen and lacks some other features. I think the Pro version is worth the extra, the screen is super handy and it’s not that much more really.
The radio comes with a manual, USB-C cable, and a back cover (not shown here).
Features and Specs
- Transmission power: 20dbm
- Internal antenna gain: 2dB
- Built-in 3.7v 1000mAh Lithium battery
- Built-in USB-C battery charging
- OpenTX Firmware
- Up to 16 channels
- Clip on 128×64 LCD Screen
- High-precision quad ball bearing HALL Sensor gimbal
- Voice support: Yes (SD Card required and not included)
- 2.4GHz Multi-protocol module (CC2500 chip), supports the following protocols:
- Frsky D8 / D16 (ACCST 1)
- Futaba S-FHSS
- Graupner Hott
- Weight: 274g, 230g without screen
Closer Look at the Radiomaster T8 Pro
The T8 Pro has a game pad style shape which works great for pinchers. The form factor is very similar to the Frsky X-Lite. Battery indicator lis ocated under the neck strap hook (5 LED).
The screen and menu navigation buttons are totally functional. With OpenTX, it works just like a higher end radio such as the Frsky Taranis X9D or Tango 2. The LCD backlight is bright and visible under sunlight and viewing angle is excellent.
It’s even got trim buttons below the screen!
The screen is foldable so it can easily fit in your bag.
However, the T8 Pro DOES NOT support external module despite of having pins on the back, those pins are strictly for the screen only.
On the back of the radio, there are folding finger rests (which I don’t find useful), and there’s anti-slip texture on the back of the handles.
There are only 4 switches, but enough for most FPV drone pilots.
Speaker is located on the bottom.
On the top, you have the trainer port, SD card slot and USB-C connector which is for playing FPV sim as well as charging the battery. The battery is not removable so you should make sure you fully charge the radio before going out to fly. Every full charge provides about 3 to 4 hours of power time.
It doesn’t come with SD card which is necessary for storing OpenTX files (for example voice feedback files and images). Here’s my SD card recommendation.
There’s also an unused antenna port which for an SMA or RP-SMA connector if you want to use external antenna for better range. In order to do that, you have to take the radio apart and replace the internal antenna with an IPEX to SMA cable by yourself. The internal antenna is absolutely fine for park flying, you should get 400-500 meters range easily with Frsky XM+ or R-XSR receivers.
Those aren’t the most smooth gimbals out there, but they get the job done. If the TX16S Max Edition gets a 8/10, I’d probably give these a 5/10. By the way they are not designed to have adjustable spring tension, so don’t bother to try. Maybe you can change the springs in order to adjust the stick tension, but as far as I know there aren’t direct spring replacements yet.
You can change the stick ends, they take M3 thread stick ends.
Here’s the manual if you want to learn more.
So, Is the T8 Pro the Best Budget Radio?
Let’s compare the Radiomaster T8 Pro to its competitors – namely budget gamepad style radios.
TBS Tango 2
I am not even going to compare the Radiomaster T8 Pro to the TBS Tango 2 (review), the Tango 2 is just a much higher quality radio that sits on higher price range. If you have the budget, I truly believe the Tango 2 is a better radio. Get the Tango 2 here: https://bit.ly/3cWgTVF.
BetaFPV LiteRadio 2
The BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 has no screen, and it’s tedious when it comes to changing radio settings as you have to connect the radio to your computer. The extra cost for the screen is worth it IMO, not to mention the gimbals are also nicer on the T8. Also the LiteRadio 2 only support Frsky protocol while the T8 Pro has a multi-protocol module, making it a much more powerful option.
I think the main competitor of the Radiomaster T8 Pro is the Jumper T-Lite (review).
If you are looking for the smallest, cheapest worth having OpenTX radio right now, it would be either the T-Lite or the T8 Pro, they both have similar price tag and form factor.
Things that the T8 Pro does better:
- The T8 comes with internal battery, so you save a few bucks on that
- T8 Pro has slightly better ergonomics, feels nice in hands and the grip is better than the T-Lite
- Gimbals quality on both radios are on par, with similar feel, smoothness and travel
Things that the T-Lite does better:
- T-Lite supports external module (although it requires heavy DIY modification) while the T8 Pro does not
- The T-Lite runs on a single 18650 Li-Ion battery, meaning you can easily replace in the field. You can’t do that with the T8 Pro
- T-Lite supports a wider range of RC protocols (but if you only use Frsky it really doesn’t matter)
- The external antenna provides slightly better range than the T8 Pro’s internal antenna
- You can adjust gimbal tension on the T-Lite more easily
- As on 11 Jun 2021, the T-Lite is $13 cheaper on RDQ ($76 vs $89)
Hope the info helps! Happy flying.