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Spektrum NX20 vs. iX20 Transmitters Compared: Better than iX20SE?

Spektrum NX20 vs iX20 Transmitter

In the showdown between the Spektrum NX20 and iX20 transmitters, the price tag tells part of the story, hinting at a clear winner in terms of features. However, the true value lies in suitability for the user’s needs. Both models bring their strengths to the runway, catering to a broad spectrum of RC hobbyists. While the iX20 includes all the foundational functionalities of the NX20, it goes several notches higher with additional features. What exactly sets them apart? We’re about to dive into a detailed comparison, breaking down the specifics to empower you with the information needed to make a wise and informed selection for your RC adventures.

Tip: The special edition of the Spektrum iX20 transmitter, known as the iX20SE, stands out from the standard iX20 primarily due to its upgraded gimbals. These gimbals are made of aluminum, enhancing precision and comfort in control, thus offering a higher level of handling accuracy compared to the iX20.

Detailed Base Comparisons

FeatureNX20iX20
Channels2020 (expandable with X-Plus module)
Display5-inch color screen, non-touch5-inch color touchscreen, high definition
GimbalsStandard plasticHall-effect sensor, quad-bearing gimbals
ProgrammingWheel-based programmingTouch and voice-activated programming
TelemetryBasic telemetry compatibilityAdvanced telemetry with real-time graphics and voice alerts
ConnectivityWi-Fi onlyWi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity
Voice AlertsNoneCustomizable voice alerts with headphone and Bluetooth options
Spektrum Airware TechnologyBasic Airware experienceUpdated Airware with new features and dark mode
CaseStandard boxSpecial edition aluminum dual transmitter case
Ideal UserBeginners and budget-consciousAdvanced users and competitive pilots
NX20 vs. iX20

Channel

Both transmitters provide 20 channels. However, the iX20 has an added advantage as it can be expanded with the X-Plus channel expansion module. This module is sold separately, and if you need more channels, you will incur additional costs. By using the module, you can add up to 8 extra channels. This is simply done by inserting the module into a compatible receiver, binding it to the iX20, and then assigning the extra channels to any function you desire.

In terms of channel expansion capabilities, the iX20 is superior because it offers the flexibility to increase the number of channels beyond the standard 20, making it more adaptable for advanced use where more channels may be necessary for complex controls or functions.

Displays

The iX20’s display is the clear winner here. It’s a 5-inch touchscreen, very responsive, waking up in seconds, and works 250% faster than older models. The display is high-def, which makes it easy to navigate and change settings quickly. It even syncs with Google Play for app updates. The NX20, meanwhile, has a 5-inch screen too, but no touch feature and slower refresh rates. So for tech-savvy users, the iX20 offers a more advanced and user-friendly experience.

Gimbals

The Gimbals of the NX20 transmitter are upgraded with magnetic encoders for advanced precision, low maintenance, and exceptionally smooth operation. They offer adjustable stick length and tension. On the other hand, the iX20 features Hall effect sensors and four-ball bearing gimbals. They provide enduring accuracy and a super smooth feel, conveniently adjustable from the front. Overall, the iX20’s gimbals appear more advanced and ergonomic compared to the NX20, making it the superior choice in this regard.

Responsive capacitive touch technology

The iX20 is all about that touch tech—super responsive capacitive touch technology, which is pretty much the gold standard for smartphones. It means anything from timers to voice alerts in programming is just a tap away. Plus, it’s sensitive to a light touch on switches or sticks, so you won’t mess up any settings mid-flight. The NX20, on the flip side, sticks to non-touch with programming done via a scroll wheel. Bottom line: for a smooth, modern touch experience, iX20 is your go-to. The NX20 is more traditional, with no touch included.

Speech-to-text functionality

The iX20 ups the game with its speech-to-text feature. It’s a game-changer for setting up custom telemetry warnings or reports just by having a chat with your transmitter—talk to the iX20 SE, and it listens and converts what you say into text. The NX20? It doesn’t have this feature at all. So if you’re into hands-free setup and making things easier while you’re multitasking, the iX20 SE is the clear winner here with its voice-to-text coolness.

Built-in telemetry compatibility

Both the NX20 and iX20 have built-in telemetry, but the iX20 takes it to the next level. It gives you live stats like battery voltage and motor temp, and works with Spektrum’s smart tech for batteries, ESCs, and receivers. The iX20 shines with its graphical displays that make reading data a breeze, and you can even get voice alerts when telemetry exceeds your set limits. Plus, you can customize your telemetry dashboard and adjust the display to your liking. The NX20 has the basics, but the iX20 delivers a more advanced, interactive experience with its superior telemetry features.

PROGRAM MIXES

The iX20 rocks the program mixes game—it’s packed with the most options ever in a Spektrum radio. You can tweak to your heart’s content with a curve for each position, making it super flexible. Say you’re setting up flight modes; you can have up to 10, each with its curve. This means less fuss to get your setup just right. The NX20, well, it doesn’t offer program mixes, so if you’re into customizing your controls for different scenarios, iX20 is your champ, hands down.

PROGRAMMABLE VOICE ALERTS

The iX20 is a real talker when it comes to programmable voice alerts. You can set it to announce flight modes or telemetry data without needing to glance away from your flight. Got an alert? The iX20 will speak up. Plus, you can type in exactly what you want it to say. And if you want to keep it to yourself, plug in some earbuds or sync up some Bluetooth earpieces—no noise complaints from the crowd. The NX20? Silence. It doesn’t have voice alerts. So for keeping informed without losing sight of your flight, the iX20’s got your back.

Spektrum Airware

Both the NX20 and iX20 are equipped with Spektrum Airware tech, giving you intuitive and straightforward programming. But the iX20 brings the latest updates to the table—it’s got a fresh user interface, new features, and enhancements. You’ll find a smart telemetry dashboard with real-time graphics and pre-set BNF model templates for Bind-N-Fly aircraft. Plus, there’s a high-contrast dark mode for better visibility. While the NX20 keeps things simple, the iX20 amps it up with more advanced and visual software features, making it the more tech-forward choice.

Wireless connection

Both transmitters, the NX20 and iX20, offer Wi-Fi connectivity. With the NX20, Wi-Fi is your ticket to easy product registration and firmware updates straight out of the box. However, the iX20 takes wireless to another level with not just Wi-Fi, but also Bluetooth and USB connections. This triple threat allows automatic updates for the Spektrum AirWare Touch app, downloading model setups, and adding third-party apps. Bluetooth means you can pair up with almost any device, like wireless earphones or your phone for voice alerts. So, for wireless options, the iX20 is ahead with more ways to connect and interact.

Box

The NX20 comes with a standard box, which is fine for everyday use. But the iX20? It ups the ante with a special edition aluminum dual transmitter case. This isn’t just any case—it’s about safety with style. Whether you’re heading to the local flying field or competing with top pilots around the world, the iX20’s case is designed to make a statement while protecting your gear. So, if you want to transport your transmitter like a pro, the iX20’s case is the clear winner.

Conclusion: Which is better for you?

When deciding between the NX20 and the iX20, it comes down to your needs and where you are in your RC hobby journey.

For beginners, the NX20 offers a solid starting point. It’s user-friendly and provides all the essential features you need to get flying without overwhelming you with complexity or breaking the bank. It’s a smart, budget-conscious choice that doesn’t skimp on quality.

Intermediate and advanced enthusiasts might lean towards the iX20. Yes, it’s pricier, but the investment brings a suite of high-end features like advanced telemetry, programmable voice alerts, expanded connectivity with Bluetooth and WiFi, and customizable controls for precision flying. The iX20 is particularly valuable for those looking to fine-tune their experience or compete at higher levels.

Ultimately, the best transmitter is the one that matches your current needs while allowing room to grow. Choose the NX20 for a solid, reliable introduction to the hobby, or step up to the iX20 if you’re looking for advanced features and performance.

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