Walksnail Goggles X review: Enjoy a Crispy Colorful Skyline!

Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X

FPV (First-Person View) goggles, such as this Avatar HD Goggles X, are specialized eyewear used primarily in drone racing and other remote-controlled activities to provide an immersive visual experience. They allow the pilots to see precisely what the drone’s camera is capturing in real time, giving the sensation of flying from the drone’s perspective. The FPV headset receives the video feed from the drone’s camera through the VTX (video transmitter). Currently, there are two major digital FPV systems: DJI and Walksnail. HDZero is a third system with only a small market share.

The second-generation Walksnail Goggles are designed for upgradability and multi-system compatibility. They feature a replaceable VRX module, HDMI IN & Out, and AV-in for legacy 5.8GHz analog systems. It should also be noted that the 1080P screen of the Goggles X has a field of view of 50°, slightly more than that of the Goggles V1 (46°).

Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X: What did CaddxFPV change?

Disclosure: I received this FPV headset in a product review collaboration with CaddxFPV. Product specs and quality may vary according to the manufacturer’s reliability, so I cannot guarantee that you will get a unit that performs the same as seen in my review.

CaddxFPV is a well-established company that specializes in producing high-quality FPV cameras, primarily used in drone racing and freestyle flying. Two years ago, they stopped developing products for DJI systems and joined the Walksnail system.

Last month, along with the GoFilm 20 CineWhoop drone, CaddxFPV also sent me the Goggles X for review. Having previously used the Avatar VRX module with Walksnail drones, which offered a budget-friendly solution but not the simplest way to enjoy FPV, I was eager to test this new FPV headset.

Unboxing

Unboxing

At a glance

The review unit I received came in a zipper carry case with the following accessories: XT60 power cable, AV-in cable, Quick-start guide, and lens cleaning cloth. The case has an internal mesh pocket for small accessories, allowing the FPV headset to be safely stored and transported.

The Goggles X has a similar form factor to the Avatar Goggles V1 (FatShark Dominator HD) and the DJI Goggles 3/2/Integra. It weighs a reasonable 315g—about 155 grams less than DJI’s latest FPV headset. The weight difference comes from the lack of a battery—the Goggles X requires an external battery pack. Instead of the basic fake leather strap, I would have preferred a T-strap, which provides a better and more comfortable fit. The headset has plastic housing and a nice mix of charcoal and piano black finish.

Walksnail Goggles X vs DJI Goggles V2
Walksnail Goggles X vs DJI Goggles V2 size comparison

All the controls are found at the top-right corner. In addition to the 5D mini joystick, it has only the Back and Record buttons. On the top are two hot air exhaust holes; avoid covering them during use.

Controls
5D joystick, Back, and Record buttons

Flipping down to the bottom side of the goggles, we have an AV-IN port, HDMI Input, HDMI Output, Micro SD slot, and the two IPD adjusters (pupil distance and diopter). The power port is on the right side and can accept 7-26V, making it compatible with 2S to 6S batteries. I should mention that there is no ON/OFF switch on the goggles; when plugged in, the goggles start and stop when the battery cable is removed.

HDMI IN & OUT and AV IN ports
HDMI IN & OUT, AV IN ports, and micro SD slot

To ensure excellent signal strength, it is equipped with four stubby antennas (one in each corner, in a slightly angled position). If you prefer a patch-type antenna, this can be easily installed, but remember that it will replace the two LED panels in front, which is the mojo of the design. When making the antenna upgrade, consider that three are receive-only, and one can receive and transmit simultaneously.

Stubby antenna
Stubby antenna

CaddxFPV is working on a new digital VRX module for the Goggles X that promises a five times better range (up to 20 km/12.43 miles). This makes sense, considering the headset’s modular design.

Pricing and availability

The Goggles X can be purchased for $459.00 from CaddxFPV’s online store. After being out of stock for a long period of time, it is now available for orders again. Combo packs, including Avatar HD PRO or V2 Dual-antenna kit, are also available. Spare face plate foams can be ordered for $9.99. The Walksnail Patch Antenna V2 for Avatar Goggles X is priced at $25.90, respectively, the Walksnail Redbird Antenna V2 (2pcs) for $15.90).

User experience

The sponge foam padding is comfortable and follows the contour of the face well without letting in light. The face plate foam attaches to the headset using Velcro, so it can be easily replaced when worn out.

face plate foam
removed face plate foam

The goggles feel light without a battery, but if you attach the 4S battery with a velcro strap, it becomes a bit uncomfortable. I will look after a 3D print dedicated holder case for two LI-ION cells, which might give a better experience. Of course, the power cable is long enough to keep the battery in your pocket.

Battery
Using 4S 3000mah LIION attached to the head strap

When I’ve got my head in the Goggles X and am basically blinded, it’s easy to reach up all the controls and make the desired settings.

To adjust the lens width distance for your eyes, use the slider knobs underneath the goggles until everything looks sharp. Moving left or right can increase/decrease interpupillary distance (IPD), or you can adjust the diopter from -6 to +2 by rotating. If you have astigmatism and none of the adjustments improve sharpness, you must use prescription contact lenses (can’t fit using glasses!).

Proximity sensor
1080P lens and proximity sensor

The Goggles X’s screen is bright and vibrant enough to see everything clearly. The 1080p image is crispy and rich in details. Despite the built-in fan, I encountered a minor fogging effect. Also, the lens gets stained easily because it is close to the eye. The proximity sensor between the two lenses turns on/off the LCDs to reduce power consumption and extend the OLED displays’ lifespan. The configurable multi-color (red, green, or blue) LED bars in front make the design unique and remind you if you forgot to unplug the battery after use. Using a CNHL 4S 3000mah LI-ION battery, I got around four hours of working time.

Front panel LED: Red, Blue or Green
Front panel LED: Red, Blue or Green

The setup between the Goggles X and my GoFilm 20 drone was seamless. I simply pressed the bind button on both devices, and they paired in a second. If the firmware version on the VTX and VRX is different, a warning message appears at startup.

Despite its promise of a more than 4km (2.5 miles) range, I got a stable signal in a radius of only 800-1000 meters with the CaddxFPV GoFilm 20, which has a dual-antenna Walksnail Moonlight kit onboard.

Canva mode and OSD recording

The Avatar HD digital system fully supports BetaFlight OSD, and you can display all OSD elements. In addition to the stock fonts, you can use custom color fonts (download Sneaky FPV fonts from here), making your view more fancy. However, the Goggles X can’t record the OSD—just draws it on the live view.

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When recording, the Goggles X saves three files, one with the actual video and two with OSD data (*.srt and *.osd). To overlay the footage with the OSD, you will need to combine the three files using the Walksnail OSD tool.

Is there any mobile APP for the Walksnail Goggles X?

The Goggles X is marketed with a mobile app that features wireless firmware upgrading, a map mode for locating the drone, live viewing of the goggles screen, and even direct sharing to social media. After searching for the app with no luck, I contacted CaddxFPV to see if they could send me a Goggles X app beta release. Unfortunately, it is still in the early development stage, and they could not provide an exact date for when it will be available to the users.

Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X colors

Walksnail Avatar HD Goggles X colors

HDMI IN\OUT and AV-IN ports

By long pressing (for 5 seconds) the “Back” button, you can toggle between the built-in VRX, HDMI, and CVBS analog signal inputs.

Even though digital FPV provides a much more impressive user experience, I still own a couple of analog FPV drones. The Goggles X’s AV-in port allows external 5.8GHz VRXs, such as the Hawkeye Little Pilot Master or the BDI Digital Adapter, making it flawlessly compatible with these old analog drones. The screen format is limited to a 4:3 aspect ratio in AV mode.

Hawkeye Little Pilot with Avatar HD Goggles X
Hawkeye Little Pilot analog receiver for Avatar HD Goggles X

Thanks to the HDMI input, it can be used as an external display on your laptop, PlayStation NVR, or other devices with HDMI out. This allows you to use it with computer drone simulators.

The HDMI output is handy for connecting your Avatar HD Goggles X to a big TV screen or streaming live using an external device such as the YoloBox.

What’s new on the Avatar Goggles X compared to the older Avatar Goggles v1?

Besides a more stylish design, the new Goggles X significantly upgrades the original Avatar headset. I marked the areas where each model shines in the table below in red.

Avatar HD Goggles v1Avatar HD Goggles X
Release dateNovember 2022October 2023
Screen resolution16:9 1920x1080p16:9 1920x1080p@100fps
Field of view (FOV)46°50°
Focus (diopter) adjustmentYesYes
IPD range57-70mm54-74mm
Replaceable lensesNoYes
Presence sensorNoYes
HDMI OutNoYes
HDMI InNoYes
USB Type-C outYesNo
AV In (Analog FPV)NoYes
Modular VTXNoYes
Built-in GyroNoYes
Bluetooth/WiFiNoYes
Mobile APPNOUnder developing
Canvas ModeYesYes
Input voltage7V-21V (5S)7V-26V (6S)
Price$559.00 (Sold out)$459.00

Walknsail Avatar HD Range Hack: Unlocking FCC Mode and Enabling High Power TX modes

The Walknsail Avatar HD system’s range is extended by unlocking FCC mode, which can be done through the Goggles X. To be consistent with the RF regulation in all regions, the headset comes in CE mode out of the box with only four available channels and 25mW transmission power. Switching to FCC mode unlocks all eight channels (8 channels) and enables high RF power levels.

FCC channels enabled
ALL FCC channels enabled
CH01CH02CH03CH04CH05CH06CH07CH08
CE573557705805N/AN/AN/AN/A5839
FCC56605695573557705805587859145839

Enabling FCC mode is straightforward and can be done using this official guide. After downloading the two configuration text files, avatar_std.txt (unlocks all eight channels) and avatar_pwr.txt (unlocks 1000mw and 1200mw TX power), you must copy them on the Goggles X’s micro SD card. If everything is done well, after rebooting the headset, you will see 8 channels and up to 1200 mW power settings.

Compatible Walksnail VTX kits
Compatible Walksnail VTX kits

Compatibility

The Avatar HD is compatible with all Walksnail VTXs available right now, regardless of power and number of antennas -check the full list below:

  • Walksnail Moonlight
  • Walksnail Avatar HD Pro (single and dual antenna)
  • Walksnail Avatar HD Kit V2 (single and dual antenna)
  • Walksnail Avatar HD Micro/Nano
  • Walksnail Avatar HD Nano Kit V3
  • Walksnail Avatar HD Mini 1s
  • Walksnail Avatar HD Mini 1s Lite

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