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.
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:
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/2CSbFKG
- Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/2fqR5Je
- HorusRC: http://bit.ly/frsky-qx7
- Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/2zfCYLP
- Banggood – http://bit.ly/2BdozS1
- RaceDayQuads – http://bit.ly/2G6NonA
- HorusRC: http://bit.ly/2zZKE8l
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:
- HorusRC: http://bit.ly/2RpQbKn
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/2fqPQty
- Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fra32r
- GetFPV: http://bit.ly/2RXLQmI
Taranis X9D-Plus SE:
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/2pLFe94
- Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vkluwP
- GetFPV: http://bit.ly/2GcSRt7
- HorusRC: http://bit.ly/2G8OpeE
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.
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.