FrSky X-Lite Pro RCGroups Review

Jason Cole reviews the FrSky X-Lite Pro as a radio for Discus Launch Gliders (DLG). Check out his thoughts below.

Splash

Introduction

Channels: 24
Weight: 398g with battery
Operating Voltage: 6-8.4V
Operating Current: 190mA @ 7.4V
Operating Temp: -20C ~ 60C (-4F ~ 140F)
LCD Resolution: 128x64
Model Memory: 60 (Expandable with micro SD card)
Charging: USB balance charge
Price: $199.99
Manufacturer: FrSky
Available at: Aloft Hobbies

When the X-Lite radio first came out I thought it offered a lot of value for DLG Pilots. Discus Launch Gliders require you to spin around quickly and throw your plane. Doing that with a large, heavy and expensive radio is not ideal. The X-Lite allows you to feel freedom in launching without sacrificing programming functionality. It's light, it's affordable and can handle all the programming you'd want in a DLG.

Now the X-Lite Pro is here and while it is going to be popular for FPV and drone racers, it has some great new features that make it even better than the original for DLG pilots. This review is going to cover the radio itself and talk about its features as they relate to DLG pilots.

Video

X Lite Pro RCGroups (7 min 8 sec)

What's in the Box

  • X-Lite Pro Transmitter
  • Carry Case
  • Gimbal Protectors
  • Hardware and Hole Covers
  • Manual
  • Decal Sheet

Other Items Needed

  • (2) Li-on 18500 batteries
  • Micro SD Card

New Features

The X-Lite Pro has some awesome upgrades over the original X-Lite. Looking at the two radios side by side the differences are subtle externally, but the finish with the blue and matte black make the Pro look much classier. The gimbals are now CNC metal gimbals and they feel great. The stick tension was about the same as the original so I did go in and shorten the springs to increase the tension to my preference. The gimbal stick ends on the Pro are the same size as the original, but they are much more aggressive now which help them stick to your thumbs better. The two rear "short" switches on the Pro are now taller than before which I like. The original switches were so short they were hard to use and I ended up replacing them with longer switches. The best external update though for DLG pilots is the momentary buttons on top. These buttons can be used to activate launch mode or anything you want really. They are placed in a great spot ergonomically and even though they are fairly small buttons, they are easy to find without looking so quick turns are no problem. Another welcome update is the Pro has built-in USB charging which balance charges the batteries. No more taking the batteries out to charge!

There are also some under the hood updates on the Pro, the new ACCESS protocols being chief among them. The Pro is not backwards compatible so you will need to update your receivers to ACCESS firmware in order to use them. Currently there is a limited selection of receivers with firmware updates available, but FrSky is planning to grow that list soon. I updated my G-RX6 receivers to the ACCESS firmware. ACCESS brings in some really nice features like 24 channels, lower latency transmission, wireless binding and updates, Channel Re-mapping, up to 3 receiver telemetry handling, longer telemetry range, 6-axis motion controls, wireless trainer, spectrum analyzer and a power meter. Those are some seriously powerful features. The receiver registration and binding process was quick and easy to do. I like not having to press the bind button on the receiver after it has been registered to the radio to bind it to my model.

Ergonomics

Until last year I was flying a normal sized radio for my DLG's. It was very heavy compared to the X-Lite and I never felt completely comfortable during the discus launch. The X-Lite is much smaller and lighter compared to normal sized radios so I decided to give it try. It fits in my hands nicely and feels very comfortable. The Pro has the same feel to it as the original. It's like a gaming controller and those are made to feel great in your hands. The lighter weight makes a tremendous difference for me and I now have no worries about inadvertently throwing my radio along with the plane. The only drawback here is the gimbal sticks are shorter in length than full size gimbals. On paper, it means lower resolution as you have a smaller area of movement for the same servo travel. In the real world though, I can't tell much of a difference. After just a flight or two to get used to it, it starts to feel normal. Shortening the stick tension springs also gave me a better feel for where the sticks are so that is something you may want to consider. The key for me is that it feels great and natural to fly with. The switches and buttons are all easy to find and use, even the wheels are easy to use and could be setup for camber adjustments if you like.

Now let me caveat the above by saying that I am a thumbs only flyer. Meaning I only rest my thumbs on top of the sticks. The X-Lite radios are ideal for thumbers, but what about pinchers? Pinchers use both their thumbs and index fingers on the sticks. One way isn't better than the other, it just comes down to how you learned to fly and what feels better for you. While you can go pinch style with the X-Lite, I have heard from others that it isn't very comfortable. Just playing with it in my shop, I can see what they mean. The smaller size and shape of the radio doesn't provide a comfortable way to hold it while pinching the sticks compared to larger radios. If you are a pincher, you'll probably want to try it out to see for yourself before buying one.

Conclusion

I am really digging the X-Lite Pro. I was already using the standard X-Lite for my DLG's and micro drones and the Pro takes it up a notch or three. My favorite features are the metal gimbals, USB charging, and the momentary buttons. These are quality of life updates that make using this radio for DLG flying a joy. It feels great in my hands and the only thing I needed to mod was the stick spring tension as a personal preference. The new ACCESS protocols are great, but receiver choices are currently limited. All of these features along with the lightweight design and ergonomically friendly grips make the X-Lite Pro a solid choice for DLG pilots.

Check out the FrSky X-Lite Pro webpage here

RCGroups.com Review Policies

Our intent is to provide fair and unbiased reviews so that consumers can make informed decisions regarding new products. Some things you should know about our review process:

  • RCGroups.com review items are provided by hobby manufacturers and suppliers, some of whom may be RCGroups advertisers.
  • Review products are sent directly to independent reviewers, chosen by RCGroups.com.
  • RCGroups.com reviewers are not compensated by either RCGroups.com or the reviewed item's supplier. However, they are allowed to keep the review items at no charge.
  • Published reviews reflect the opinion of the author.
  • When a conflict arises between a review sponsor and a reviewer (which is rare), RCGroups attempts to work out a satisfactory solution for all parties. In some cases, this may mean that a finished review will go unpublished, or be subjected to editing for technical accuracy. RCGroups reserves the final say as to whether an article is fit for publication.

It is always our intent to provide a place for honest and open commentary, and to put the needs of our visitors first. If you feel that something we've published is inaccurate, please let us know using the contact form.

Thread Tools
May 08, 2019, 11:56 PM
Registered User
scott page's Avatar
What is the process for "receiver registration"??

You seem to limit the attraction of this radio to smaller close range aircraft. Many times I piloted electric sport planes to the edge of sight using the original X-lite. Which is to say - there is nothing that keeps this from being an every day full range transmitter - depending on how many switches and pots one needs. In the end I returned by my traditional size transmitter because I was not comfortable having my flying buddies laughing behind my back when I toted around my toy size transmitter.
May 09, 2019, 12:22 AM
Registered User
I have been kind of interested in an X-lite, but the original was off-putting with the dumb battery situation (having to buy weirdo sized batteries and a weirdo charger to charge them..) Then there was talk of quality issues with the caps, etc.. No thanks.

But if I understand correctly, if I got this, which with USB charging at least negates the need to buy some dumb extra charger, I would have to go reprogram all my receivers? That's ridiculous, so that would kill it for me.. I mean I'm an ordinary Joe kind of flyer with 20+ models, mostly simple park foamies and a few quads, all for LOS, so I don't need all the rocket science extra features anyway. But having to yank 20+ receivers and update them? No thanks..
May 09, 2019, 03:20 AM
Registered User
GoatZilla's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott page
You seem to limit the attraction of this radio to smaller close range aircraft. Many times I piloted electric sport planes to the edge of sight using the original X-lite. Which is to say - there is nothing that keeps this from being an every day full range transmitter - depending on how many switches and pots one needs. In the end I returned by my traditional size transmitter because I was not comfortable having my flying buddies laughing behind my back when I toted around my toy size transmitter.
That's kind of sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herrsavage
I have been kind of interested in an X-lite, but the original was off-putting with the dumb battery situation (having to buy weirdo sized batteries and a weirdo charger to charge them..) Then there was talk of quality issues with the caps, etc.. No thanks.

But if I understand correctly, if I got this, which with USB charging at least negates the need to buy some dumb extra charger, I would have to go reprogram all my receivers? That's ridiculous, so that would kill it for me.. I mean I'm an ordinary Joe kind of flyer with 20+ models, mostly simple park foamies and a few quads, all for LOS, so I don't need all the rocket science extra features anyway. But having to yank 20+ receivers and update them? No thanks..
You might be able to pick up a module for the expansion bay that speaks the existing protocol for backwards compatibility.

Ultimately though you don't strike me as the target demo for this class of TX anyways.

Stick with your old equipment and your awesome 20+ model fleet.
May 09, 2019, 06:22 AM
Registered User
There definitely are multi-protocol modules (search Vantec) which work well on the original X-Lite, and should work on the PRO version.
I use them for the DSM and HiTec protocols, but they may cover the Frsky protocols as well - check before you buy
Last edited by mitchellj; May 09, 2019 at 06:25 AM. Reason: Fix typos
May 09, 2019, 06:26 AM
Registered User

UK Stockist?


Has any-one found a UK stockist for this yet?
May 09, 2019, 06:55 AM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellj
Has any-one found a UK stockist for this yet?
T9HobbySport are the FrSky 'Premier' dealer for the UK ... 15 in stock at the moment:

https://www.t9hobbysport.com/frsky-t...dio-controller
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
May 09, 2019, 07:20 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott page
What is the process for "receiver registration"??

You seem to limit the attraction of this radio to smaller close range aircraft. Many times I piloted electric sport planes to the edge of sight using the original X-lite. Which is to say - there is nothing that keeps this from being an every day full range transmitter - depending on how many switches and pots one needs. In the end I returned by my traditional size transmitter because I was not comfortable having my flying buddies laughing behind my back when I toted around my toy size transmitter.

It’s similar to the old binding process for registration. You put it in registration mode, hold down the bind button on the receiver and power it up. It then pops up in the radio and you select it.

DLGs are not close range aircraft. We often fly them extremely high and far away to the edges of our sight. The X-Lite radios are full range systems.
May 09, 2019, 07:55 AM
Registered User
Looks like a good radio for the type of powerboat racing we do. There space for a neck strap?
May 09, 2019, 07:56 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
There are some 3D printed covers that have neck strap attachments.
May 09, 2019, 08:10 AM
Electrons were young...
Hopefully they can/will offer the switch and momentary buttons as a mod to the existing X-Lite. Would be an awesome upgrade.
May 09, 2019, 08:41 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by mt_100
Hopefully they can/will offer the switch and momentary buttons as a mod to the existing X-Lite. Would be an awesome upgrade.
The io lines aren't there on the X-Lite board to support the additional buttons.
May 09, 2019, 08:47 AM
Electrons were young...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mawz
The io lines aren't there on the X-Lite board to support the additional buttons.
Bummer but understandable.
May 09, 2019, 12:31 PM
formerly Juddkleinman
Mountain Soarer's Avatar
Do you have to use the ACCESS protocol or can you run your old RXs as is and do without the features ACCESS provides?
May 09, 2019, 12:44 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
You have to update the receiver to ACCESS firmware in order to use it with the Pro or S.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Product FrSky New Arrival - Taranis X-Lite S and Pro AndreaHuang FrSky 184 Today 09:44 PM
Discussion FrSky - New - Taranis X-Lite - S and Pro - X9 Lite - R9M Lite - MPM Lite Jet_Flyer Radios 1994 Today 08:46 AM
Discussion Can't connect Frsky x-lite Macbook Pro FPVFreerider snevahd FrSky 0 Aug 25, 2018 03:44 PM