The FrSky X9 Lite are some things to seem out for. It resembles the Taranis X9D Plus in its looks and yet it’s only a fraction of the value. But most significantly it comes with Frsky’s latest communication protocol – ACCESS. In this mini-review article, let us see how the FrSky X9 Lite stacks up against its bigger brothers and if it is a value for money product from FrSky.

The Radio

 

It looks like Frsky is trying very hard to push this radio, they're currently selling it for less than $60-$70 counting on where you're getting it from. My prediction of the ultimate price is around $80 when the promotion ends.

The FrSky X9 Lite is an entry-level radio, aiming at the FPV drone racing market. In my opinion, however, it doesn't replace the X9D Plus but perhaps it replaces the QX7 to some extent since tons of their features actually overlap, and at the same time, the X9 Lite is slightly cheaper :)

It comes with the newest ACCESS protocol (vs. ACCST on older radios), and it'll support both OpenTX and ErskyTX open-source OS.

Here may be a summary of the features:

  • Ergonomic design – same shape because the X9D-Plus
  • Compact – smaller and lighter than the X9D-Plus
  • Comes with the newest ACCESS protocol
  • Supports spectrum analyzer function
  • High-speed module digital interface
  • G7 Noble potentiometer gimbal (it’s saying it’s not hall sensor gimbal, unsure if this will 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'll play simulators
  • Taranis X9 Lite Appearance

 

The FrSky X9 Lite is almost identical to the Taranis X9D Plus at an initial glance. However, there are some key differences once you look a bit closer, and it’s actually considerably smaller and lighter in weight. It’s almost an equivalent size to the Jumper T12.

It has an equivalent LCD display compared to the Taranis Q X7 with a resolution of 128×64 pixels.

 

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

So here are the differences from the X9D-Plus.

 

Image credits from Oscar Liang

 

Firstly, they replaced the power slider with a push-button just like the QX7.

They have also removed 3 switches and 1 potentiometer (pot) within the new radio. You now have 5 switches and 1 pot remaining, which should be quite enough for FPV quads anyway. Although there are not any more sliders, it shouldn't be a problem for multi-rotors as they're not normally used for usage.

The gimbals appear to be an equivalent one within the Taranis Q X7 (non-special edition). Just pot gimbals, not as durable or good as the hall sensor gimbals, but work just fine for the for most people and given its price, I will not complain.

For menu navigation, they replaced the three push with a roller button, which jogs my memory the Jumper T16. It’s an excellent addition because it’s very user-friendly, speaking from experience.

On the rear of the radio, I noticed they replaced the quality JR external module bay with the mini-module bay, an equivalent one within the X-Lite. It’s a nasty choice unless they did it intentionally to form it difficult for people to use the Crossfire, which is understandable as they're “at war” due to the backlash from Team Black Sheep for apparently ‘cloning’ their crossfire module as well as making it difficult to use with the QX7 radio.

If you would like to run the long-range RC system, you'll get the Frsky R9M-Lite module, which is designed for the mini-module bay. But actually, with some modifications, it’s been proven doable to run Crossfire on a mini-module bay. But the best way would be to buy the newly launched Crossfire Nano TX which is designed to work with the ‘mini’ module bay? The nomenclature is quite confusing, I know.

The FrSky X9 Lite uses two 18650 Li-Ion cells in series, but no built-in charging capabilities (you need to remove the battery for charging). Not the best option, but something is better than nothing, right? Especially at this price point, I’d say its fine.

Conclusion

The FrSky X9 Lite is a great beginner radio from FrSky which ticks most boxes for a starter. It has a good form factor, has a good jog wheel, good buttons and a sufficient number of switches. It is basically an X9D version of the QX7 which for some people are a perfect balance. For the price, I would definitely suggest this radio as it is quite a good bang for the buck.