In a previous article, we have talked about how FrSky X9D was the de-facto choice in RC for a while till it got replaced/upgraded with the FrSky X9D Plus edition. 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 dig right in and see what the new radio from FrSky offers us and whether it is worth the money.

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 the X9D Plus, the contents are pretty much the same as well. You get the excellent case that is perfect for carrying your transmitter and its accessories without any worry as it is a hard case with good foaming and protection for your device.

The Build Quality

The FrSky X9D Special Edition has the same build quality as its predecessor but with slightly upgraded switches, pots and feel.

It also comes in this very nice looking carbon fibre body that I believe everyone would dig because let’s face it, CF is always uber cool ;)

The gimbals on the X9D Plus SE is the upgraded M9 hall-effect gimbals which will provide you with a super-smooth feel and precise control as it is more accurate than the traditional potentiometer based gimbals you find in the standard version of the X9D. This is the second most noticeable upgrade you will find in the Special Edition over the standard edition.

Coming to the switches, they are of decent quality and the switches are nice tactile ones with good ‘clickiness’. They are supposedly better quality than the ones found in the standard X9D but it is barely noticeable.

Features

The X9D Plus SE comes with a few extra features than its younger brother the X9D. It comes with an in-build vibration motor for haptic feedback which can be useful during crowded or noisy environments where you cannot hear the audio feedback from the in-built speaker.

Another noticeable update is that the display now comes with a dual colour screen. You can choose between a white or a blue colour backlight for your display, thus giving you some degree of customization and let us face it, it is cool ;)

  • Haptic Vibration Feedback System
  • Removable 5dBi antenna (RP-SMA connector)
  • Dual Backlight Colours (Blue & White)
  • 16 channels with internal XJT module with ACCST firmware
  • 64 mixers, 9 flight modes
  • 16 custom curves with 3-17 points each, 32 logic switches
  • 60 Model memory which is expandable with the SD card (comes with 1GB SD card)
  • Audio Speech outputs
  • USB and SD card slot for unlimited memory, and firmware upgrades, sound editing.
  • Traditional JR Style module bay for external RF modules

The backside of the FrSky X9D Special Edition is exactly like the back of the standard variant. It 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 also called as a trainer port.

At the bottom, you 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 FrSky R9M or the Team Black Sheep Crossfire micro or full-size module. The JR module pins are also used to flash or upgrade your receivers to the latest firmware.

Ergonomics

Coming to the ergonomics or the feel of the radio, it is exactly like its predecessor. It is bulky and has a traditional radio shape. I’m personally not a fan but it is obvious that a lot of people love this design as it is good for pinchers and thumbers alike and provides great grip and a solid feel in the hand. For racers this might not be points they are looking for but for freestylers or fixed-wing fliers, this will be a great feeling radio.

 

We have seen a quick review about the FrSky X9D Special Edition and its features and also how ti stacks up against its younger siblings and the competition. If you already own a FrSKy X9D Plus, you 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.

Whatever may your decision be, the FrSky X9D Special Edition is a solid radio for all RC lovers.