With the recent release of the Taranis Q X7S, you now have even more choice when it comes to buying a Frsky radio controller. This is a quick article to highlight the differences between the QX7 and the QX7S to help you made up your mind on which one to get. We all know the QX7 is a great radio, but do the upgrades of the ‘S’ version justify the higher price tag?
The QX7 series is still the best R/C controller you can buy at the $100 price point. As for the upgraded version, if you can spare a bit more money the QX7S has some nice upgrades, but they are not essential (unless you are a pincher pilot), so if you can spare extra cash you will not be disappointed with the S version.
Reasons to get the standard Q X7
- It is cheaper (if you don’t care for the extra bits)
- Still the cheapest best radio you can get
- Has the same core radio hardware that is excellent (so performance is identical)
Reasons to get the upgraded Q X7S
- Uses better hall sensor gimbals (with better knobs)
- Comes with a neat EVA carry case with gimbal protectors
- Includes a battery and charger (can charge both 2S Lipo and Ni-MH)
- Built-in wireless telemetry to your phone (and for wireless trainer mode with another Q X7S)
- Better switches (that are also angled a bit better to be more ergonomic for pinchers)
So the extra $80 (approximately) is not a totally unjustified price premium when you consider the cost for all the extra bits (considering the 2x M7 Hall gimbals are $40 alone). But that said, most of us already have some spare batteries and a charger that we don’t need.
Where to Buy
What is new with the QX7S?
The most obvious features of the upgrades QX7S is simply the extra kit you get with the radio, but there are also a couple of subtle changes that can make the world of difference (such as the raised switches if you are a pincher pilot). Here we will quickly look at the changes
You get a nice carry case
The new carry case is definitely a nice addon, to complete the more premium feel that you are paying. It keeps your radio safe and makes it easy to carry around in, or out of your backpack.
You get an internal battery and charger
It is great to see that you now get a built-in battery pack with the Taranis. However, if you are flying radio control models, you probably already have a decent lipo charger, and you can pick up a small 2S lipo to use inside your Taranis for very cheap (not a great idea to use AA batteries). So having this battery and charger included is nice to have, but you are ultimately paying for something don’t need.
You get some hall gimbals
The main feature of hall gimbals is that they give you some extra precision, something that you will notice when aiming your FPV quadcopter through a tiny gap between trees. Using hall gimbals is a bit like getting a faster internet connection when you don’t use them you definitely notice the difference, but if you never tried them you might realise what you are missing out on. So depending on your pilot skill level, it is up to you if you want to justify the extra expense of these gimbals. You also get nicer and larger nuts on the sticks.
Better located switches
If you are a pincher, then you probably noticed a massive drawback with the initial QX7. When moving the sticks to the extreme, sometimes your knuckle can hit one of the switches, and if that switch was configured as the arm switch.. well that would mean the end of your flight. With the QX7S, the switches are now slightly raised and angled to avoid this from happening. This is a massive improvement if you are a pincher pilot.
You now get wireless features and a smartphone app
Again this is one of those features that only the more experienced/serious pilots will appreciate. This essentially lets you connect your Taranis to your smartphone (IOS and Android (soon)) to display real-time telemetry info on your device. However, more importantly, it also lets you change the settings from your phone which is also useful, particularly when at the flying field. Furthermore, this also supports wireless trainer functionality which again is a bit more convenient.
Another nice touch of the upgraded radio, is you get some extra leather-like vinyl on the front of the radio to give an even better grip. Particularly if you have sweaty hands. Not a gamechanger, but continues the theme of a series of subtle upgrades that make the QX7S a bit better than the standard radio.
Why get a Taranis anyway?
Frsky is currently the best option that I recommend to anyone who is serious about flying. Firstly the radio’s themselves are reasonably priced but have an unmatched level of performance and features. The firmware itself is open source so new stuff is always being added. Frsky also has a huge selection of receivers to fit just about any aircraft. All this fit together to make the Frsky radios fit around a community to make this one of the best radio control systems on the market today (for serious pilots). If you are starting out and want something cheaper Flysky radios are what you want to get.
When the QX7 was released we did a comparsion against the X9D+ for your reference, but for 95% of FPV pilots (assuming you are not a pincher), the QX7 is still the better option when it comes to value. But if you have the extra cash you will not be disappointed with the extras you get with the X7S. Also if you are a pincher, the S version is definitely the one to get.
Any Questions or Suggestions?
I hope you found this article helpful, if you have some questions, or want to add some information, or simply add your opinion please discuss below. Thanks for reading!