The FrSky Taranis X9D was the long champ in the field of RC fliers for a long time till it got surpassed by the X9D Plus edition with extra features. Well, FrSky had managed to upgrade that model yet again and provides users with the FrSky X9D Special Edition with few more upgrades and a really cool looking carbon fibre body! Let us see what is in store for us with this radio from FrSky and see what features are waiting for us to use.

 

Initial Impressions


The unboxing experience is similar to the FrSky Taranis X9D Plus edition. You get the following in the package:

 

  • Taranis X9D Plus
  • Charger
  • Lanyard (Neck strap)
  • Battery (pre-installed)
  • Carry Case
  • 1GB SD Card (pre-installed)

 

As expected, the contents of this package are pretty much the same as its predecessor. An excellent carry case along with a charger brick for charging the built-in battery along with a lanyard and gimbal protectors.

The Build Quality

The build quality is slightly improved as compared to its predecessor with upgraded gimbals, pots and switches which provide a more “premium” feel.

The best part of this radio, in my opinion, would be the very good looking and slick carbon fibre body casing which gives it a rather cool look!

The control gimbals on the FrSky Taranis X9D Special Edition is the upgraded M9 hall-effect gimbals and will provide you with a smooth feeling and precise control as it is relatively more accurate and better quality than the traditional potentiometer based gimbals you find in the standard version of the X9D. This is usually the main part people look while upgrading their radios as the stick feel and quality is one of the most important factors for any good radio.

In the switch department, they feel slightly better than the X9D with a more robust and tighter feel but this is not a noticeable difference.

 

Features

The FrSky Taranis X9D Plus Special Edition comes with a few extra features compared to its sibling, the X9D. A vibration motor comes standard with the transmitter that allows for haptic feedback which could be useful when it is too loud to hear the auditory feedback

A really cool update is the dual colour display the transmitter comes with, the dual colour options are yellow/orange and blue/white. This is really cool as you can adjust it to your mood or liking. Personally, I like the blue/white ones compared to the orange as it is more brighter and easily visible as well.

 

The reverse side of the FrSky Taranis X9D Special Edition is just like the back of the standard variant of the X9D series which houses the Mini USB port flanked by two 3.5mm jacks -  one for audio output in case you want to connect a headphone or a speaker and the other is for buddy boxing which is also called the trainer port.

 

At the bottom of the radio is where you will find the battery compartment which houses the NiMh battery that comes with the TX and on top, you find the JR module bay for external RF modules such as the Team Black Sheep Crossfire micro or full-size module or the ever-popular FrSky R9M. The module bay pins also double as a receiver updating pins for flashing latest firmware.

Ergonomics

Coming to the ergonomics or the feel of the radio, it is exactly like its predecessor with a traditional boxy and bulky shape which I’m personally not a fan of, but it is certain that a lot of people love this traditional design as it is good for pinchers and thumbers alike and provides great grip and a solid overall feel in the hand for better piloting. From an FPV pilot point of view, this might not be much relevant though.

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen a quick review of the FrSky Taranis X9D Special Edition and its features and also how it stacks up against its younger siblings and the rest of the competition. If you already own a FrSKy X9D Plus, you probably might not want to upgrade to this one but rather just swap your stock gimbals for the hall-effect ones and perhaps even change your radio shell to this carbon fibre shell as we discussed in the previous article about changing radio shells for FrSky to get almost the same features.