Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X Review: Do You Need to Upgrade?

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RCHobby Lab’s Author: Daniel Henderson
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Reviewed by Marshall Abrams
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Reviewed by Marshall Abrams

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Caddx has just released their latest FPV goggle, the Caddx Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X. This is the successor to their popular Avatar HD goggles and brings some exciting new features and capabilities.

In this in-depth post, we’ll be taking a close look at the new Caddx Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X to see how they stack up against not only the previous Avatar HD goggles, but also competitors like the DJI FPV Goggles V2 and Skyzone SKY04X.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Unboxing & Overview of Features
  • Design, Fit & Optics
  • Teardown & Internal Hardware
  • RF Performance & OSD
  • Latency Testing & Benchmarks
  • HDMI, Analog & Avatar HD Modes
  • Thermal Performance
  • Final Thoughts

Let’s get started!

Unboxing & Feature Overview

To kick things off, let’s take a look at what comes in the box with the new Avatar Goggles X:

  • Caddx Avatar Goggles X
  • Face padding
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Power cable
  • User manual
  • Carry case

The goggles themselves have an all-new design compared to the originals. The shell is made of plastic with metallic gray panels on the top and bottom. The front has some glossy panels that house LED bars for status indication.

The antennas are now mounted on the top corners like the DJI FPV Goggles V2, instead of on the sides. This should provide better reception and minimize blocking from your head.

Here’s a quick rundown of the main features and specs:

  • Dual 1080p OLED displays (unchanged from original Avatar HD)
  • 50° field of view
  • IPD adjustment: 54 – 74mm
  • Diopter adjustment: +2 to -6
  • Supports 720p or 1080p on Avatar HD up to 100fps
  • HDMI input & output
  • Analog AV input
  • Head tracking gyro sensor
  • Built-in DVR for Avatar HD only
  • Removable/upgradeable mainboard
  • Built-in WiFi & Bluetooth
  • 6S max input voltage

One major upgrade is the switch to mini-HDMI for video input/output. The original goggles used a USB-C port which was prone to reliability issues.

Caddx has also added HDMI input so you can use the goggles with other HDMI video sources like the HDZero system. Analog AV input is still provided via a 3.5mm port.

The Avatar Goggles X also introduces head tracking capabilities thanks to a built-in gyro sensor. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity open up options for wireless control/configuration apps.

And Caddx made the mainboard removable to allow for future upgrades. More on all of this later in the teardown section!

Now let’s move on to…

Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X Specifications

Size and Weight185*188*68mm
448g (excluding batteries)
574g (including batteries)
Communication Frequency5.725-5.850GHz
Transmission Resolution1080p 100fps, 1080p 60fps, 720p 100fps, 720p 60fps
Transmitter Power(EIRP)FCC:<30dBm; CE:<14dBm; SRRC:<20dBm; MIC:<25dBm
Screen Resolution1920*1080/100Hz
Screen MaterialOLED
GimbalsHall sensor gimbals
Adjustable stick tension
CNC metal gimbals available
Power Input7-26V(2S-6S)
Operating SystemEdgeTX open source firmware
Pots and Sliders2 potentiometers
2 sliders
PortsTrainer port
Headphone jack
Multi-protocol module bay
External module bay (with adapter)
ChargingUSB-C charging port
Charges internal batteries
Battery2x 21700 batteries (not included)
Haptic FeedbackBuzzer for alerts and notifications
Battery voltage

Design, Fit & Optics

In terms of design, the Avatar Goggles X have more of a boxier aesthetic versus the curved and rounded originals. I think Caddx took some design inspiration from the DJI FPV Goggles V2 here.

The metallic gray plastic shell feels solid and durable. The face padding is soft and comfortable, more like the V2 and Skyzones than the stiffer leather-like material on the V1 Avatars.

It attaches securely with velcro and is easily removable for replacement/cleaning. The headstrap is elastic and adjusts to fit, though the top strap is just a basic rigid plastic piece.

Weight & Dimensions

Compared to the original Avatar HD goggles, the new Avatar X are a bit lighter but have a larger footprint:

  • Caddx Avatar HD V1: 330g with antennas
  • Caddx Avatar X: 317g with antennas
  • DJI FPV Goggles V2: 306g with antennas

The Avatar X sits right between the V1 goggles and V2s in terms of weight. It’s narrower front-to-back than the V1s but not quite as compact as the DJI goggles.

I think Caddx found a nice balance of weight and size reduction while retaining dual high-res OLED displays.

Optics & Lenses

The optics and lenses are completely redesigned on the Avatar Goggles X. Caddx claims they optimized the lenses for improved clarity and minimal distortion.

I found the image quality to be good overall. The OLED panels themselves are nice and crisp with vivid color and deep blacks.

However, I did notice some blurring and vignetting (darkening) in the corners, especially around the OSD elements. This was most noticeable on the bottom left.

No amount of diopter adjustment helped eliminate it completely. This is similar to issues I’ve seen on the DJI FPV Goggles V2, likely due to the optics design and angle of the displays.

The increased field of view to 50° likely contributes to it as well. I much preferred the crystal clear edge-to-edge image I get on my Skyzone SKY04X goggles.

On the upside, using some of the thicker foam face pads for the DJI FPV Goggles V2 helped improve the bottom vignetting for me on the Avatar X. So there are some options to improve it.

The IPD and diopter adjustments work smoothly. And the removable front plates could allow installing prescription lens inserts for glasses wearers.

While the optics aren’t perfect, I wouldn’t call them terrible either. It’s still a big step up from something like the old Fat Shark Attitude V5’s.

For me, the Skyzones still have the best optics but the Avatar X aren’t far behind. The DJI goggles are at the bottom for optics in my opinion.

So there’s a quick look at the design and optics on the new Caddx Avatar Goggles X. Next up, let’s open them up and see what’s inside!

Teardown & Internal Hardware

To pop open the Avatar Goggles X, you first need to remove the face padding. There are two exposed screws visible plus several more hidden under the velcroed padding.

Once you remove all the screws securing the padding, it detaches completely to expose the internals.

Here’s what we find inside:

  • Cooling fan on right side
  • Button cell for the proximity sensor
  • Power distribution board
  • Separate I/O board for HDMI and AV in/out
  • Mainboard with SOC chipset
  • Ribbon cables connecting boards

The layout inside is very neat and well organized. The mainboard is centered on top with the fan and I/O boards on the right side.

Removing two screws lets you detach the front plate covering the mainboard. Here are the key components:

  • Caddx Owl SOC (same as V1 goggles)
  • 64MB SPI flash chip
  • SKY85405-11 power amplifier
  • Rafael Micro R820T2 tuners
  • Panasonic MN86471A video switch IC
  • Qualcomm QCA9377 WiFi/Bluetooth module

The Owl SOC and RF components appear unchanged from the V1 goggles. But the added WiFi module and upgraded video switch chip are new.

To remove the mainboard completely, you need to disconnect the video/power cables and antenna UFLs. It’s not any simpler than on the V1 goggles though.

Overall, the construction seems very solid with quality components used throughout. The modular design allows access to components and does enable future upgrades.

Now let’s talk about the RF performance and on-screen display…

RF Performance & OSD

Since the Avatar Goggles X use the same Caddx Owl transmitter/receiver system as the V1’s, RF performance is nearly identical.

You get a single transmit antenna and 3 receive antennas. However, the new goggle places the transmit antenna on the right side versus the left on the V1.

So depending on your mounting preference, you may need to move your RHCP patch antenna to the other side.

I did notice the OSD flickering that could happen on the V1 goggles was greatly reduced on the Avatar X. The upgraded SOC likely helps stabilize the video processing.

The 100Mbps 1080p mode at 100fps performed flawlessly for me. Latency felt on par with the 720p low latency mode, very minimal. This is a promising new mode for the Caddx Avatar system.

No surprises here, the RF system works just as well here as the V1’s. And it’s great to see improvements on the OSD stability and new high FPS 1080p mode.

Speaking of latency, let’s go over some bench testing next.

Latency Testing & Benchmarks

To evaluate the overall latency of the Caddx Avatar Goggles X, I performed some detailed lab measurements.

I compared it to the DJI FPV Goggles V2 and Skyzone SKY04X, two of the top competitors.

Here’s a summary of the results:

  • Skyzone SKY04X: 1-2ms first pixel latency, avg. 18ms full frame
  • DJI FPV Goggles V2: 16.5ms first pixel latency, 33ms full frame
  • Caddx Avatar Goggles X: 17ms first pixel, 32ms full frame

The Skyzones have class-leading performance with essentially instantaneous image delivery.

But the Avatar X and DJI Goggles V2 tested very closely in overall latency. However, the DJI Goggles do exhibit more frame-to-frame variance.

So while the Avatar X can’t quite match the Skyzones, I’d say its latency is completely acceptable and on par with other high-end goggles.

Throttle response feels crisp and real-time with the 100fpsAvatar HD mode. I had no issues racing or freestyle flying with them.

Next let’s go over the additional functionality – HDMI, analog AV, and wifi/BT.

HDMI, Analog AV, and Advanced Features

One major upgrade with the new Avatar Goggles X is the addition of HDMI input and output. The predecessor only had USB-C output.

The mini-HDMI port worked flawlessly for me. Output mirrors whatever format the goggles are set to, 720p or 1080p, high/low latency.

HDMI input also supports 1080p 100fps from the Caddx HDZero VRX module with no issues.

Having simultaneous input and output is handy for recording your HDMI feed via an external capture device.

The goggles also still provide an analog AV input via 3.5mm connector. Image quality was on par with other goggles though it is fixed at 4:3 aspect ratio.

No controls or DVR are available for analog AV though. You have to adjust brightness/settings via the Avatar OSD. And recording would require an external capture device.

The other major new features are integrated WiFi/Bluetooth and a head tracking gyro.

Caddx has said they plan to release a mobile app to connect to the goggles via WiFi. This could enable wireless updates, footage download, goggle adjustments, etc.

Lots of potential here but no concrete details yet. The head tracking gyro also isn’t utilized currently but could enable features like head-based gimbal control in the future.

Overall the additional connectivity options make the Avatar X much more versatile and future-proof. But lack of analog DVR is disappointing.

Thermal Performance

Next I wanted to examine the thermal design of the new Avatar Goggles X. There are heat-generating components inside that need cooling.

Caddx incorporated a fan on the front right side that pulls in air and circulates it inside.

The main exhaust vents are along the bottom of the face mask area, below your nose. There are also top vents on either side.

To test it out, I ran the goggles on a bench while monitoring temperatures with a FLIR camera.

Here are the results:

  • Fan side stays cool, around 30°C
  • Opposite side gets hot, over 50°C near mainboard
  • Bottom vents exhaust the most heat

The fan does keep the right side and center reasonably cool. But there is a big gradient to the left side.

The hotspots near the mainboard reached over 55°C. Some small improvements to the cooling path could help even out temperatures.

While not critical, lower internal temps would also help reduce fogging. Overall though, adequate performance given the compact size.

FAQs About Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve gone through all aspects of the Avatar Goggles X in depth, let’s summarize some final thoughts.

Who should get the Avatar Goggles X?

  • New Caddx Avatar HD users – This will be the go-to goggle for the ecosystem moving forward with all the latest features.
  • Racers/Freestylers who want low latency – With 100Mbps 1080p support at 100fps along with minimal latency, these are a great choice for FPV sports.
  • Anyone needing HDMI input – If you want compatibility with systems like HDZero or DJI while sticking with Caddx, the HDMI input is a must-have.
  • DIYers and tinkerers – The modular design and removable faceplate offer opportunities for modifications and customization.

Who might want to stick with the V1 Avatar HD goggles?

  • People 100% focused on Avatar HD – If all you care about is core Avatar performance, the V1 likely offers better value.
  • Those sensitive to optics issues – If edge distortion really bothers you, the crystal clear optics of the V1 can’t be beat.
  • Analog DVR users – Lack of DVR on analog input could be a deal breaker if you rely on this feature.

So in summary, the Caddx Avatar Goggles X bring some major new functionality and are clearly the future of the platform.

Optics could be better, and analog DVR is sorely missed. But overall, they offer great performance and versatility at a really nice price point.

I hope this detailed review gave you all the info needed to decide if the Avatar Goggles X are the right choice for your FPV needs!

Let me know if you have any other questions. And please consider supporting RC Hobby Lab on Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee if you found this review helpful.

Happy flying!

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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.

1 thought on “Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X Review: Do You Need to Upgrade?”

  1. I thought with the OG avatar goggles that there was no input for attaching an anologue receiver? Hence, no analogue anything not just DVR

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