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TBS Tango 2 Vs Jumper T16 | Complete Comparison

Here at Phaser FPV we've received quite a few messages asking what controller they should get or which controller is better between the two, so we figured we would write a post that compares both along with the pros and cons of each. 

TL / DR

If you are an FPV racer/Quad exclusive flier and don't intend flying long-range over 5-10km and don't care on flying crossfire receivers exclusively, Tango 2 is for you.

If you fly wings, planes, and quads, and also want to break the range barrier 10km+ and also have a lot of smaller quads on other protocols such as FRSKY and Spektrum then you may want to consider Jumper T16 + crossfire module instead.

Tango 2

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable @ 345 grams.
  • Great new switch design - They won't break!
  • Gaming controller style design that feels like a full-size controller
  • Folding-gimbals for safe storage in a bag
  • In-built Crossfire transmitter, no external module needed

Cons

  • No potentiometers sliders for planes
  • Locked into Crossfire protocol - You can't use FRSKY etc.
  • Cost per receiver is more expensive that other protocols.
  • Can't use old models with non-Crossfire receivers
  • 250mw max crossfire power.
  • You may need to buy a lanyard loop and lanyard if you want it to hang from your neck.

View Tango 2 products

T16

Pros

  • Full size and does EVERYTHING you would need.
  • Has potentiometers, Sliders and  more switches.
  • Supports every receiver protocol EXCEPT Crossfire. (TBS Crossfire addon required)
  • External JR module bay for full-size Crossfire (up to 2W)

Cons

  • Weighs 890g with batteries
  • Higher chance of damaging switches in drop or bump / Switches break over time.
  • Requires external module for Crossfire

View Jumper T16 products 

Form Factor

The biggest difference between the Tango 2 and the T16 is the form factor. The T16 has the more traditional controller form factor which closely resembles the Taranis X9D+. The weight of the T16 is 890g with two 18650's so it will require a neck strap for most people to use. The Tango, on the other hand, has taken on a more progressive form factor, going for a gaming controller style form that still feels like a proper controller in the hands. The weight of the Tango 2 comes in at 345g with it's in-built battery which makes it a lot easier to hold in your hands without a neck strap.

When it comes down to the comfort of either pinching or thumbing, it is a personal preference as both are fully capable of doing both. The best thing you can do is to find someone with either controller and test it out yourself and see which one you like. If you're near Phaser FPV, come in store and test them out yourself!

Tl;dr

  • T16 has traditional form factor, Tango 2 has a controller form factor
  • T16 is 890g whilst Tango 2 is 345g
  • Both can pinch or thumb
  • It's a personal preference. Test out for yourself!

Usability

Both the T16 and Tango 2 run OpexTX which is the best controller firmware out at the moment in terms of the GUI and functionality. The main difference comes in the physical hardware. The T16 is your traditional controller which features 8 switches (2-pos, 3-pos and momentary) and 4 potentiometers which are all customisable and programmable. This is great if you use your transmitter for drones, helis or planes or have various different modes on your Betaflight model.

The Tango 2 has changed the game completely with its switch design, featuring streamline switches which are less prone to being damaged in a drop or bump. It has 4 switches (2-pos and 2-pos) and 2 momentary buttons so it's more focused towards the drone and basic plane and heli market but can still be used with limited functions on planes and helis with lots of accessories and functions. The Tango 2 Pro also has folding gimbals which are great for chucking into a backpack and protecting the gimbals.

The charging on both of these is also super simple with in-built USB-C charging which is a great upgrade from your traditional LiPo or NiCAD battery charging. 

Tl;dr

  • Both controllers run OpenTx
  • T16 has lots of switches and potentiometers
  • Tango 2 has new streamline switches, less prone to breaking
  • Tango 2 has fewer switches than T16
  • Both have USB-C charging which is great
  • Tango 2 Pro has nice folding gimbals 

Control Link

Probably the deciding factor between the two controllers is the control link. The T16 features an in-built multi-protocol 2.4GHz transmitter which is able to communicate with various receivers such as FrSky, Flysky, Spektrum, Futaba and Hubsan. It also has an external JR module bay on the back for external modules such as the TBS Crossfire Long Range module. So if you're wanting to use Crossfire, you're going to also need to buy an external module as well. This wide variety of protocols allows you to pick and choose between receivers based on cost and reliability.

The Tango 2 is the first controller to have the TBS Crossfire protocol in-built. This means you don't need an external module to operate all of your Crossfire-based aircraft. The downside of this is that there is no external module bay to stick a FrSky XJT module or anything similar so you are locked into the Crossfire ecosystem. This means you'll need to be prepared to pay more per receiver than other protocols and all your previous non-Crossfire quads will no longer work without a Crossfire receiver, however, if you're just starting out this won't effect you. The Tango 2 can also only go up to 250mW, which is still plenty of range, but if you're after more range, you'll need a controller like the T16 which can support the external Crossfire modules which can go up to 2W (modules start @ 134.90).

Tl;dr

  • T16 is multi-protocol and can do FrSky, FlySky and many more
  • T16 has external module bay for modules like TBS Crossfire
  • T16 has more freedom in choosing a receiver
  • Tango 2 is locked on Crossfire only
  • Tango 2 can only go up to 250mW and can't use external modules
  • Can't use older models without upgrading them to Crossfire receivers for Tango 2

Other Notes

The cost difference between the Standard Edition Tango 2 and the T16 is negligible so when comparing them, the price isn't a factor. It's only if you want the addition of the folding gimbals that you need to decide if that's a feature you would really need.

When comparing the quality of the two controllers, both were as good as the other. They both have a nice feel in the hands and the gimbals both felt nice and smooth with easy adjustability. The addition of grip tape on the Tango 2 and rubber grips on the T16 gives them both a sturdy feel in the hand and confidence to hold with only one hand. 

Conclusion

In the end, it comes down to personal preference as to which controller you end up using and the unique conditions you operate in. Someone flying through the Swiss alps might prefer the T16 for the external module bay whereas someone bando-bashing likes the folding gimbals on the Tango 2 Pro to quicky toss in a bag and go. The one recommendation we can make is to try and get a feel for both controllers and decide if you are prepared to be locked down to a single protocol.

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2 thoughts on “TBS Tango 2 Vs Jumper T16 | Complete Comparison

  1. avatar Phaser says:

    Hi Eric,

    You may be quoting USD on the Crossfire nano. We are based in Australia and our Nanos are $59.50. RXSR here is now $43. You make a good point about noting the extra cost of the Crossfire module on a Jumper setup. We will add that to the review.

  2. avatar Eric says:

    How is crossfire more then other recievers? The RXSR/FrSky is 30$ crossfire nano is 30$. Hell even Spectrum is 30$+. You mention a crossfire 2w module but fail to mention its another 200$ on top of TX.

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