Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Rugged, good value radios but range exaggerated
on 20 September 2013
These walkie talkies appear to be quite solidly constructed although I note they are sometimes wrongly described as shockproof and waterproof when in fact this model is most definitely not - you need to buy one of the more expensive Motorola models for that. These radios are simple to operate and offer a decent range of options - plenty of channels to choose from, an intuitive menu system, a backlit display, pocketable yet solid construction, an accessory connection for things like headsets/in-ear wires. There is even a decent and undesratandable manual. I also like the fact that it comes with a rechargeable battery set but that you can also use standard batteries in the radios if this rechargeable battery in time becomes dead, as they often do eventually. The range is exaggerated though - 8km is very optimistic - perhaps if you are hiking with nothing blocking line of sight, then this may just be achievable on newly recharged batteries. Used in a built up city or town environment the range is drastically reduced, but of course this happens with ALL of these weak consumer walkie talkies - it's only the more powerful commercial ones that you need a licence for, that have a decent range on them. An example, with my wife holding one unit in the kitchen of our home, in a built-up urban area, and me in my car, the effective range on a full charge was about 0.25 miles at best. Go outdoors and it will be increased of course, but any built up areas will bounce the signal around and lower both receptionj clarity and range drastically. I have read glowing reviews of this model from skiers who take the radios to the piste and have achieved good range there. Paintabllers also rave about these units, as do skirmishers etc. I think this model is overkill as a gift for kids to play with - it's also worth reading the radiation warnings in the manual before you rhink about handing over a PMR walkie talkie to kids as a plaything. When within range these radios are clear and work well, and they also have a monitor feature where you can use them like a baby monitor. Another nice feature is channel scan, where the radio will scan all available channels and lock on to a broadcast if it finds one - at that point you can press the talk button and your handset will immediately switch to that channel for you - neat ! So, decent features, quite well made, but range, well, the stated 8km is in absolute ideal conditions - in the countryside with no built up areas or hills/mountains blocking the signal. If you do use the units for hiking keep them dry because they are not rainproof !