RadioMaster TX16S Mark II Radio Review

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RCHobby Lab’s Author: Daniel Henderson
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward

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The RadioMaster TX16S has been one of the most popular radio transmitters for FPV drones since its release a few years ago. Now RadioMaster has refreshed the TX16S with the new Mark II version, with some nice improvements.

In this hands on review, we’ll take a close look at what’s new and improved in the TX16S Mark II.

Overview of the TX16S Mark II

The TX16S Mark II comes in two versions – the standard edition and the max edition, just like the original TX16S. The max edition has some differences like metal gimbals, an adjustable antenna mount, and a foldable handle. But for this review we’ll be focusing just on the standard edition.

The Mark II is available in a few different variants:

  • Internal ExpressLRS or Internal 4-in-1 multi-protocol module
  • Hall sensor gimbals or metal gimbals (EG01)

So you can choose whether you want internal ExpressLRS or multi-protocol, and you can choose between the plastic gimbals or metal gimbals. Most people will probably choose the 4-in-1 multi-protocol with metal gimbals. But the ExpressLRS only version is good if you just want that and will add an external module.

The internal ExpressLRS module is the same HappyModel EP2 that is seen in other radios, with 250mW max output power. For higher power ExpressLRS you’ll want an external module.

New Features

Here are some of the biggest new features and improvements in the TX16S Mark II:

Built-in EdgeTX Support

The Mark II now comes pre-loaded with EdgeTX instead of OpenTX. It’s still OpenTX compatible if you want to flash that firmware, but out of the box it has EdgeTX installed with full touch screen support.

The touch screen works very smoothly with EdgeTX. You can navigate through the menus and settings just by tapping on the icons and buttons on the screen. The touch screen on the TX16S was already very responsive, now with native EdgeTX support it’s even better.

Even if you don’t use the touch screen much, it’s great to have it working properly in EdgeTX. You still have all the same buttons and controls as before too.

Upgraded Gimbals

The gimbals have been upgraded to v4.0 in the Mark II. The hall sensor gimbals still use plastic sticks like before, but now use the electronic circuitry from the metal AG01 gimbals for improved performance.

The gimbal adjustments have also been moved to the front of the radio for easier access. And the top mounted S1 and S2 dials now have a stronger centering detent, which is great for people who wanted a more pronounced center click.

The sliders on the side also seem to have more of a positive click when centered as well. Overall the gimbals have a more premium feel while still using the same plastic arms.

Face Plate Improvements

According to RadioMaster, the face plate molding has been redone for better fit and finish. Comparing it to my older TX16S, the Mark II faceplate does feel more solid with less creaking when twisted.

Not a huge change, but if you look closely you can see they’ve improved the underside attachment points for a tighter fit. It’s minor details like this that show the refinements they’ve made.

Better Audio

The Mark II now has stereo speakers, one front-facing and one downward firing speaker. There’s also now a 3.5mm headphone jack for plugging in headphones or earbuds.

The audio sounds clear whether using the speakers or headphones. Nice to see upgrades to the audio system.

Other Enhancements

Here are some other small changes and upgrades found in the Mark II:

  • The battery door has been re-designed for easier opening and closing
  • Faster 2A charging circuitry with reverse polarity protection
  • Optional flat rear grip is included in the box
  • Stronger detents on sliders and dials

Again, just minor enhancements across the board to improve the overall fit, finish, and performance of the radio.

ExpressLRS Overview

Since one of the big new features is the internal ExpressLRS module option, let’s take a closer look at how it performs.

The internal ExpressLRS module is the HappyModel EP2, running the latest ZORRO ExpressLRS software.

In the radio settings, we can configure the ExpressLRS module just like an external module. You can set the frequency, RF power, and all the other options.

One thing to note is that the maximum RF output power is 250mW, since this chip is limited to 250mW. That’s still pretty good power, but if you need more range you’ll want an external 1W ExpressLRS module.

The nice thing about having internal ExpressLRS is that you don’t need an external module bay if you just want to use ExpressLRS. You can use the external module for Crossfire, Ghost, R9, etc.

Binding to quads is easy using the built-in ExpressLRS Lua script that handles binding and configuration. Everything worked flawlessly in my testing with various quads.

So in summary, the internal ExpressLRS module performs very well and it’s nice that you can choose this option if you want a radio dedicated to ExpressLRS. But the 4-in-1 multi-protocol version is probably the best choice for most pilots.

Long Range Testing

To test the long range capabilities of the internal ExpressLRS module, I took it out to a local flying field on a clear day. I flew my quad out to about 1.6km (1 mile) straight line of sight with the stock whip antennas.

The video feed started breaking up around 1km, but the RC control stayed solid all the way out to 1.6km before I lost the link. So that’s pretty impressive range from the 250mW internal ExpressLRS module!

I was still getting some intermittent telemetry data at that far distance. But of course an external 900mW or 1W module would provide even more range if needed.

The range I got here should be more than enough for most pilots. But it’s nice to know this radio can still go way further when paired with a high power external ExpressLRS module.

EdgeTX Features

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the features in EdgeTX on this radio…

menus### menus

Navigating through the EdgeTX menus and settings feels very smooth with the touch screen. You can tap on the icons to open menus, long press to move things around, and swipe between screens just like a smartphone.

Of course you can still use the buttons too, but the touch integration is very nicely done.

Sticks View

One cool screen is the “Sticks View”, which shows a visualization of your stick positions, switches, and trim buttons. This can be handy to see what each control is doing.

There are a bunch of options here to show as much or as little info as you want. Having this visual feedback for your controls is great for beginners learning the sticks too.

Telemetry Screens

Like OpenTX, EdgeTX has a huge amount of telemetry screens that can be customized to show the data you want. You can set it up to show battery voltage, current, cell voltages, RSSI, Rx battery, GPS coordinates, and tons of other telemetry data.

The telemetry screens are highly customizable, so you can tweak it to get all the info you need in flight. And it’s easy to scroll through the different telemetry pages with the page buttons.

Model Setup Screens

The model setup menus are similar to OpenTX, but with some small UI tweaks. All the settings like rates/expo, dual rates, trim, switches, etc. are there and easy to navigate.

If you’ve used OpenTX before it’s all very familiar. The main difference is just having touch support in these menus, but otherwise it’s the same OpenTX we all know.

Other Features

Here are some other EdgeTX features worth mentioning:

  • OpenTX model import works flawlessly
  • Full LUA scripting support
  • Works great with simulators like Liftoff and Velocidrone
  • Supports microSD for model storage, photos/audio, firmware flashing
  • Haptic vibration feedback (great for simulators)
  • Audio speech announcements of switch positions

EdgeTX shares all the power and flexibility people love about OpenTX, with a more modern and polished interface. It feels like a nice evolution of the OpenTX system.

Who Should Get the TX16S Mark II?

The TX16S Mark II improves upon the original in nearly every way. But who should consider upgrading to the Mark II?

  • Pilots getting their first full-featured radio – the Mark II fixes some small annoyances of the original and provides a better experience out of the box. Plus having the latest EdgeTX and internal ExpressLRS module option is great for new pilots.
  • People wanting touch screens – if you like using the touch interface, the Mark II’s built-in touch support in EdgeTX is awesome.
  • Anyone needing upgraded gimbals – the smoother and higher quality gimbals alone could be worth upgrading for some.
  • Pilots wanting internal ExpressLRS – if you only want to use ExpressLRS and don’t need other protocols, having it built-in is convenient.
  • People needing the latest features – EdgeTX, touch, better audio, faceplate improvements…the Mark II is just more refined all around.

For many pilots, the original TX16S is still a fantastic radio that doesn’t need to be upgraded. But the Mark II does offer meaningful improvements that make it a worthwhile upgrade for many.

Summary of Improvements

To recap, here are the biggest improvements with the new TX16S Mark II:

  • Comes loaded with EdgeTX and has full touch screen support
  • Upgraded gimbals with better performance and feel
  • Option for internal ExpressLRS module (250mW)
  • Improved fit and finish on the faceplate
  • Stereo audio speakers + 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Faster 2A charging with reverse polarity protection
  • Optional flat rear grip included
  • Detent improvements on switches and controls

It’s an incremental upgrade overall, refining and tweaking an already great radio. But these changes add up to make the Mark II a compelling new revision of a modern classic.

Downsides and Cons

No radio is perfect, so there are a few downsides to mention:

  • No internal charging – external charging is faster, but built-in charging would be convenient
  • Can’t upgrade internal module – the module is soldered inside, so you can’t change it out later
  • Less customization – EdgeTX offers less GUI and scripting customization vs OpenTX
  • Smaller user base – EdgeTX doesn’t have as big a community for help/mods as OpenTX
  • No wireless trainer link – Trainer port is wired only

Again, these are mostly minor complaints in an otherwise excellent radio. But it’s still good to discuss areas that could be improved in the future.

TX16S Mark II vs. Zorro

The other new hot radio people are talking about is the TBS Zorro. How does the TX16S Mark II compare?

Here are some key differences:

Gimbals – Zorro has higher quality metal gimbals stock. The Mark II metal gimbals are optional.

Size – The Zorro is more compact. TX16S has a larger form factor.

Default Firmware – Zorro runs ExpressLRS Lua. Mark II runs EdgeTX. Both support OpenTX.

Adjustment wheels – Zorro has wheels for adjusting parameters. Mark II uses buttons.

Wireless trainer – Zorro has built-in wireless trainer mode. Mark II requires wired trainer port.

Power options – Zorro can run off 18650 cells or 2S. TX16S requires 2S only.

Price – Zorro is more expensive. Mark II offers better value.

There is no definitive “better” radio here – they both have pros and cons. The Mark II offers more features at a lower cost, but the Zorro has a more refined and compact design.

I’d say the Mark II is better for people who want maximum customization and features, don’t mind the larger size, and want to save money. The Zorro is ideal for pilots who want a smaller radio with high quality gimbals and a streamlined interface.

Both are excellent choices that come down to personal preference. The TX16S Mark II and Zorro are the top multiprotocol radios you can buy right now.

Final Thoughts

The new RadioMaster TX16S Mark II takes an already fantastic radio and makes it even better. The improvements across the board result in an even more polished and capable transmitter.

Here are some final pros and cons:


  • Smoother upgraded gimbals
  • EdgeTX touch screen support works great
  • Model import from OpenTX is seamless
  • Internal ExpressLRS module option
  • Faceplate and hardware improvements
  • Great value and features for the price


  • No wireless trainer mode
  • No built-in charging
  • EdgeTX has less customization than OpenTX
  • Gamepad style not for everyone

While not revolutionary, the Mark II offers very meaningful improvements over the original TX16S. It continues to build on the solid base that made the TX16S so successful.

The TX16S Mark II looks poised to take over as the new favorite gamepad-style radio for FPV pilots. It offers an unbeatable mix of features, performance, and value.

RadioMaster knocked it out of the park once again with their latest revision. The TX16S Mark II receives our highest recommendation as one of the best all-around radios you can buy today for FPV drones and RC planes.

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Written By Daniel Henderson

My name is Daniel Henderson and I'm an avid FPV pilot and videographer. I've been flying quadcopters for over 5 years and have tried just about every drone and FPV product on the market. When not flying quads, you can find me mountain biking, snowboarding, or planning my next travel adventure.

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