MJX G3 and D43 (In-Depth Review)
The MJX G3 FPV headset and D43 5.8G FPV monitor are two new MJX products that were released together with the new Bugs 8/6 FPV racer. Based on my initial impressions of these new products, they will probably sell for less than $100 each, covering the entry-level segment for FPV gear.
Although MJX had sent us a set for review, both the G3 and D43 aren’t available yet at any online retailer or MJX’s official eBay store. I was told that they will be available soon so do check the MJX store regularly if you’re keen on getting one. When the G3 and D43 are sold together as a kit, they are referred to as the G3S.
First, let’s begin with the G3.
Product Highlights (G3)
- 3 adjustable head straps
- Removable D43 FPV monitor (sold separately)
- 385g (with D43 installed)
The G3 is unlike any other conventional FPV headset around in the sense that it doesn’t have its own built-in monitor. This is because it was designed specifically to be used with the D43 monitor. A slot at the front of the G3 allows you to insert the D43 in and it is secured with a simple lid. No tools are required to do this and inserting or removing the D43 is very easy.
The only downside I can see with this design is that you cannot access the buttons on the monitor without first removing it from the G3. This makes on-the-fly adjustments to your monitor impossible while you are wearing the headset.
Overall the build quality of the G3 is quite decent considering it is an entry-level product. It may not have the same level of detail and finishing as other sub-$100 FPV headsets such as the JJRC F01 but neither is it too shoddy. The main body has an all plastic construction with matte finishing and two color tones. There isn’t any rubber coating on its main body so getting a hold of it with sweaty hands can be a bit difficult though not really a serious issue.
Due to this simplicity, the G3 is quite light weighing in at 385g with monitor installed. In contrast, the JJRC F01 weighs significantly more at 480g. The G3 is also a bit more compact compared to other FPV headsets (with exception of dual screen goggles such as Fat Sharks).
The G3 features 3 adjustable head straps and adequate foam face padding. Due to its lighter weight, the straps and padding do a great job in keeping the whole unit secured to your head. Headsets that weigh more can feel a bit wobbly when worn and that extra 100g or more can feel somewhat uncomfortable over long periods of time since the extra weight puts more pressure on your face and neck muscles.
Product Highlights (D43)
- 4.3″ display
- HD 720P resolution
- 32 FPV channels
- 300m reception range (with C5830 FPV camera)
- Dual function design (stand-alone monitor and FPV headset)
- Micro USB charging port
- Removable sunshade
The D43 features a 4.3″ display and a 32-channel 5.8G FPV receiver. Interestingly, MJX has chosen not to include any external antenna. Instead, the D43’s antenna is hidden. This was probably done to create a cleaner appearance — a decision driven purely by aesthetics and probably to make it more appealing to the mass consumer. The D43 doesn’t even have an antenna connector for attaching external antennas of your choice.
Indeed, this is a bold move by MJX when all other manufacturers include removable antennas on their FPV headsets with the exception of DJI. These headsets do look goofy with large antennas sticking out up front but they do have excellent FPV reception. An FPV headset with no external antennas may seem less attractive to the niche market of serious FPV enthusiasts but I believe this design approach will make the D43 more appealing to the mainstream consumer. MJX has obviously been inspired by DJI’s approach to consumer drones. Make it simple and buyers will come in droves.
Without an external antenna, the reception range on the D43 is certainly no match when compared to headsets with external antennas. The D43 can receive FPV transmission from the Bugs 8 up to a distance of about 300m with a clear line of sight. This, however, isn’t an issue because the D43 was designed primarily for the Bugs 8 which has a radio control range of less than 300m. It is only an issue if you intend to use it with other drones with 5.8G FPV that can travel well beyond 300m.
Beyond 300m, there is zero reception. Reception is solid at distances of 80m or less. At these distances there is hardly any breaking in reception. At around 90 to 250m, there are occasional breaks in reception. These distances are not ideal if you’re flying fast through tight spaces relying on FPV alone. Another thing to note is that the D43’s internal antenna behaves somewhat like a directional antenna. This means reception is at its best when the monitor is facing the drone. Turn away from the drone and reception starts to suffer.
Operating the D43 is fairly simple. There are only 4 buttons and 1 power switch. Charging is handled by a micro USB port. This means you can use your phone’s charger which keeps things simple. The buttons allow you to control the grid, contrast, brightness and channels. The channel button allows you to toggle around the 32 FPV channels. A single press lets you switch to the next channel. Pressing and holding the button turns on auto-scan which will scan all 32 channels until an FPV feed is found.
Display quality is decent on the D43 and images appear sharp with adequate contrast. The screen displays signal strength (RSSI), channel status, battery level and SD card status. There is also a grid that can be turned on or off. There is no video recorder on the D43 since the Bugs 8 already has a memory card slot in its supplied camera.
The D43 can be used as a stand-alone FPV monitor mounted onto the Bugs 8 transmitter (radio controller) via a ball joint and mount or it can be inserted into the G3, converting it into an FPV headset. This dual purpose use of the D43 gives it plenty of value and I believe MJX is the first and currently only brand to have such a product. When used as a stand-alone monitor, the D43 can be fitted with the supplied sunshade to improve screen visibility.
Overall, the D43 has an excellent design with decent build quality. It is very compact, reasonably light and has a dual purpose design which is great. The screen’s display quality is also quite good.
Like the Bugs 8 and the Bugs 3 that came before it, MJX has come up with another winner in the G3 and D43 combo. It is quite impressive how this niche brand comes up with one winning design after another. These two products aren’t perfect and they do have their drawbacks but there’s plenty to like about them.
The D43 has a very limited FPV reception range due to the lack of an external antenna. To make matters worse, there is no external antenna connector which means users who are looking for an FPV headset/monitor to receive video transmission in the 500m to 2000m range will have to look elsewhere.
On the positive side, most beginner FPV pilots will be fine with the limited range since many will not be flying beyond 500m anyway. Both the D43 and G3 also feature very simplified and easy to use designs with reasonably good construction, comfort and materials. The tool-less approach for both products also makes things simple to use.
Although there is still no official word on how much the D43 and G3 will cost, I believe it will be in the ballpark of $100 which makes it a highly attractive option for beginners who are looking for an affordable and versatile FPV headset which also doubles as a stand-alone FPV monitor.
MJX G3 and D43 (G3S kit)
- Dual purpose FPV monitor and headset
- Light and compact
- Good display quality
- Limited FPV range (up to 300m)
- Built-in antenna
- Monitor buttons cannot be accessed when installed in headset
- No connector for external antennas