Should I Buy Taranis X9D+, QX7 or X-Lite?

by Oscar

Spoiler alert: I have used all these radios for a long time, and I personally prefer the X9D Plus over the QX7. However there are features in the QX7 and X-Lite that might interest you more, so bear with me until the end of this article.

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If you are new to the hobby, make sure you check out this radio buyer’s guide first.

Why Get the Taranis QX7?

It’s amazing how cheap the QX7 is, and yet it offers pretty much all the features you will need to fly a mini quad, even some basic RC planes and wings.

The Taranix Q X7 is not a perfect radio, but it’s definitely one of the best value radios you can get today. See the review of the QX7.

Some people like the angular shape of the Q X7 radio, but I personally prefer the round corners of the X9D.

The most likable thing in the QX7 for me, is probably the menu navigation button. It’s so much more user friendly than the push buttons on the X9D :)


Frsky offers two versions, the basic QX7 for just around $100, and the upgraded version, QX7-S. As mentioned in my review of the Taranis QX7S, the upgrades are actually worth it if you don’t mind the higher price.

But then it’s getting close to the price bracket of the X9D-Plus… so you might want to really think about which one to get :)

Product Pages for the QX7:

Taranis QX7-S:

Why Get the Taranix X9D?

It’s no secret that I like the ergonomics of the X9D more than the Q X7, it just feels “smoother” to hold. Of course, this is mostly a personal preference.

If you plan to use a long range system, it’s good to know that the X9D works with TBS Crossfire module out of the box without any mods. That’s not a problem though if you use Frsky R9M, it  works perfectly on both X9D and QX7.

The X9D comes with a NiMH 2000mAh battery that actually works really well. With the Cheap version of the QX7, you have to purchase the battery separately. The X9D+ also has an internal charger so you don’t have to remove the battery for charging, which is way more convenient.

The X9D’s screen is bigger and of higher resolution, so it’s easier to read. It also has two extra sliders on the sides while the QX7 doesn’t have any sliders. In my opinion, that’s really not that big of a deal for those who only fly mini quads.

However, the additional switches on the X9D will come in handy when you want to do some complex functions in the future.

Micro SD card is included in the X9D. Although any 2GB card would do nicely and they are pretty cheap to get. But having to buy this separately for the QX7 is annoyance all the same.

Finally, I find the location of the USB port on the X9D slightly better than the one in the QX7 for flying FPV simulators.

Frsky offers two versions, the basic X9D-Plus, and the special edition (SE). When I started, I bought the basic version, and slowly upgraded it over time by buying those upgrade parts separately. My Taranis X9D is now basically the Special Edition :) I could have probably saved a fair amount of money and DIY effort if I just bought the X9D SE.

Product Pages for the X9D-Plus:

Taranis X9D-Plus SE:

So Should I Get the QX7 or X9D? Just Tell Me!

It’s hard to go wrong with either of these for flying racing drones, these radios are pretty much the standard in the hobby today.

Apart from the differences we mentioned, the QX7 and X9D are similar otherwise when it comes to build quality, OpenTX interface, and range.

The QX7 is really good value for the money. It does pretty much everything you need to do when it comes to mini quad.

When holding these radios in my hand, I just like the feel of the X9D+ slightly better. Some people might disagree since it’s very much a personal preference. If you don’t trust me, please go to a meet-up and borrow these radios and see which one you like better. :)

The bigger screen in the X9D also makes it easier to read and operate.

Overall, I would recommend the X9D+ Special Edition, I got it and I have never looked back since. If you are on a tight budget, you won’t be disappointed getting the QX7 (basic edition) either :)

Further reading: There are lots of mods you can do on the Taranis X9D.

Wait… How about the X-Lite?

If you are interested in the X-Lite, please see my review for more detail.

It’s tiny, great if you travel with your gear often. But realistically, it’s not that much smaller than the X9D or QX7 when you put it in the backpack.

I have to say the build quality definitely feels better than its bigger brothers (both internal and external). You can tell Frsky put in a lot of effort in the design and production of the X-Lite.

Overall, it works as intended for mini quads. Comes with OpenTX and you can do complex functions on it. Even has its own long range external module, so you can totally fly long range with it.

However, it’s just not my cup of tea unfortunately. I find the gimbals and sticks too small, and lack precision for accurate flying. I also fly wings, the X-Lite isn’t an ideal radio for that either.

I do enjoy the X-Lite for flying micro quads and tiny whoop where you don’t need much precision. But it won’t replace the bigger transmitters for me anytime soon.

Product Pages for the Taranis X-Lite:

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AK 16th June 2020 - 2:34 am

I wonder if the QX7S with ACCST is better than ACCESS i.e. exclude some protocols? Would the ACCST be a good first radio?

Oscar 22nd June 2020 - 12:42 pm

As your first radio, i think it makes more sense to get the TX16S. Not only it supports ACCST, it also supports many other protocols and it has a lot more features than the QX7. Here is my reivew: Review: Jumper T18 Radio Transmitter – Better than T16 and TX16S?

Jason 29th May 2020 - 2:19 pm

Mario, Spektrum is a giant in the rc wing and car world, but out of it’s league when it comes to quads. They have tried to adapt to accommodate quads, but it’s not very fluent. You have to go around your elbow to get to your ass to set them up for a quad. Walkera used them as an oem tx, and look what happened. It’s not the only reason they faded out, but it didnt help. On top of the setup pains and limitations, the sticks feel loose and imprecise more like a toy version of a tx. Not taking anything away from their accomplishments in RC over the past 15 years, I’m not knocking them at all! I exclusively use Spektrum with my truggy’s and bashers! However, just as I wouldnt use a Frsky (if they made one) for a ground RC vehicle, it’s a tough sale for quad racers to use Spektrum when there are so many other more fluent choices :)

mario 20th February 2020 - 10:39 pm

It is a pity that you do not mention the Spektrum side. If I am not mistaken, Le Drib, uses them. (or before the dji thing). It is a full stack of options as the FrSky. They have even more compatibility, in case you do other RC things.

I understand this might be your opinion, but your pages are getting a general interest. Like mine. ;)

I have been redirected to this page from the main:

So beside the specific title of this page, I think that Spektrum transmitters deserve their space.

In particular:

– handling: They are just fantastic, better then frSky. Please try in your hand a dx7 (FrSky) and a dx6e (spektrum). You can pinch.

Raphael 14th October 2019 - 12:58 pm

Nice jobs! What about the new x lite pro vs these one?
I think u’ll like it because they fix the lack of precision.
Hope u’ll compare it soon
See u

Cedric GRANDSEIGNE 9th February 2019 - 6:17 am

X-Lite is the way to go for me. all these 3 radios have the same firmware OpenTx, which the opposite of basic for wings, plane and gliders, it is just top end in terms of programming capacity. nobody needs such a radio when flying drones, no programming in the radio is really necessary when you have a OSD on your FC.
so why the X-Lite for me, because of the ergonomics and the limited throw of the sticks: some say it is not precise, I say it is precise, but given the limited throw, you have to adapt your settings. why do I like the limited throw? because I can’t use full throttle on my X9D, even with the 60° one, and I like to have even throws on both sticks, and 4 directions.

Jamall Johnson 6th July 2021 - 10:29 pm

I need help and i have taranis lite and need help to bind them with my tiny whoop can you help me please