Best Walkie Talkies in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 30, 2020
The walkie talkies originally used by the military and police have long since become common for campers, hikers, and other fans of the active leisure. Many manufacturers compete for this market today. We have selected 5 best market proposals to assist you in choosing your preferred radio. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Standards
Application
Frequency Range
Power
Communication Range
Number of Channels
Battery Life
Extras
Package Contents
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The emergency button, when you hold it for 3 seconds, will signal a loud alert. The IPX4-rated housing is protected against the elements. You can choose between 20 call tone alerts. The LED screen is segmented, so the information is presented in a concise and easily accessible way.

CONS

The headsets are janky (aftermarket ones will be better).

OUR VERDICT

The Motorola Talkabout T82 is a rugged travel companion that will enable the most extreme adventures. With these radios, you can go high or low, cold or hot, the environment and the conditions are irrelevant - these devices can survive them all.

detailed parameters
Standards

PMR

Application

Professional, Amateur

Frequency Range

446,00625 - 446,09375 MHz

Power

0.5 W

Communication Range

Up to 10 km

Number of Channels

16 channels and 121 privacy codes 

Battery Life

Up to 18 hours

Extras

iVOX/VOX, LED flashlight, 20 call tone alerts, Segmented LED screen, Roger tone, Micro USB connector, Battery level meter, Channel monitor, Channel scan, Dual-channel monitor, Keypad lock, Auto squelch control, Auto-repeat (scrolling), Battery low alert, Keypad tone (on/off), Silent mode (vibrate alert), Emergency features, IPX4 weatherproof

Package Contents

4 x radios, 4 x belt clips, 4 x lanyards, 4 x earpieces, 1 x carry case, 2 x mains chargers, 4 x battery packs, personalisation stickers, instruction manual

Weight

~ 200 g

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The CTCSS/DCS function reduces background noise. The bright LED flashlight will provide more illumination than most LED torches that walkie talkies integrate. The low battery alarm will make sure you know when the battery is approaching 0% charge.

CONS

The instructions are inaccurate at times. 

OUR VERDICT

The eSynic Long-Range Rechargeable Walkie Talkies remove unnecessary features, reducing the price without making the radios less efficient or effective. Plus, with the VOX (voice-activated transmission) feature, you can talk without even pressing the push-to-talk button, using the radios hands-free.

detailed parameters
Standards

PMR

Application

Professional, Amateur

Frequency Range

446,00625 - 446,09375 MHz

Power

0.5 W

Communication Range

Up to 3 km

Number of Channels

16 channels

Battery Life

10-12 hours

Extras

VOX function, CTCSS/DCS function, Volume control, Built-in LED torch, Low battery alarm, Power saving function, Chinese and English voice prompt, PC software programmable

Package Contents

4 x portable radios, 4 x earpieces, 4 x antennas, 4 x li-ion battery packs, 4 x chargers (USB cable version), 4 x belt clips, 4 x slings, 4 x user manuals

Weight

180 g

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The thickened alloy metal middle frame design allows the device to effectively dissipate heat and offers drop resistance. The enlarged PTT button allows you to comfortably and confidently press it while wearing gloves. The busy channel lock will prevent you from transmitting while you're receiving another signal.

CONS

The model has programmable functions but it doesn't include the software. 

OUR VERDICT

The Retevis RT24 gives you most of the functions of high-end walkie talkie but without the price tag that usually comes with them. It's a practical unit that is equally suitable for professionals and amateurs. Its robust exterior makes the model perfect for excursions to tough environments.

detailed parameters
Standards

PMR

Application

Professional, Amateur 

Frequency Range

446,00625 - 446,09375 MHz

Power

0.5 W

Communication Range

Up to 3 km

Number of Channels

16 channels

Battery Life

40 hours

Extras

VOX, Scanning, CTCSS/DCS, Scrambler, TOT, BCL, Wide narrowband, Frequencies step, Squelch level, Power saving, Voice prompt, Battery low alert, PC programming, Busy channel lock

Package Contents

2 x radios, 2 x batteries 2 x USB chargers, 2 x belt clips, 2 x slings, 2 x earpieces, 2 x adapters, 1 x English manual

Weight

193 g

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The Motorola Tlkr T92 H20 has 8 channels with 121 codes, a built-in torch, dedicated emergency button, and excellent dust protection. What's more, it's completely waterproof and can be submerged in water up to 1 metre for half an hour.

CONS
Can't stay underwater for too long.
OUR VERDICT

With so many useful features, this twin set is a must for anyone who can't live without adventures. No matter what it is you like to do - fishing, mountain climbing, hiking, snowboarding, etc. - with this pair of walkie-talkies, you'll never lose touch with the world.

detailed parameters
Standards
UHF
Application
Professional, Amateur
Frequency Range

446,00625 - 446,09375 MHz

Power
500 mW
Communication Range
Up to 10 km
Number of Channels
8 channels + 121 codes
Battery Life
Up to 16 hours with supplied batteries Up to 23 hours with batteries AA
Extras
Scan function, 20 call tones, iVOX/VOX (hands free), Keypad lock, Advanced flash light, Vibrate alert, Low battery alert, Emergency alert, IP67 waterproof
Package Contents

2 x radios, 2 x whistle belt clips, 2 x NiMH rechargeable batteries, 1 x car charger with 2 detachable USB cables, 1 x carry case, 1 x user guide

Weight
233 g with batteries
Warranty
1 year
PROS

The USB ports will let you recharge these walkies talkies even from laptops and power banks. Multiple power-saving features will make sure the radios can work for ~10 hours straight. The VOX feature will enable hands-free communication. 

CONS

The housing is a little flimsy. 

OUR VERDICT

The BaoFeng BF-88E sport a simple, comfortable, and efficient design at an affordable price. With these radios, you can explore the great outdoors. You can also fish and hunt, even at night. The walkie talkies will accommodate different workers as well, with the slim and ergonomic bodies facilitating it.

detailed parameters
Standards

PMR, FRS

Application

Professional, Amateur

Frequency Range

PMR: 446.00625 - 446.09375 Mhz

FRS: 462 MHz - 467 MHz

Power

0.5 W

Communication Range

Up to 3 km

Number of Channels

16 channels

Battery Life

~ 10 hours

Extras

VOX function, Volume control, Press-to-talk button, Built-in LED torch, Low battery alarm, Battery power-saving features, SP/MIC jacks

Package Contents

2 x Baofeng BF-88E radios, 2 x antennas, 2 x earphones, 2 x 1500 mAh li-ion batteries, 2 x USB desktop chargers, 2 x belt clips, 2 x hand straps, 1 x user manual

Weight

~ 200 g

Warranty

1 year

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Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR446

Almost Too Much

The Motorola Talkabout T82 is a professional package that, needless to say, amateurs can use as well, but most will find these radios a little excessive. Of course, there's nothing excessive about the integrated LED torch letting you read maps at night and see into bags and backpacks. There's also nothing excessive about the segmented LED screen presenting information in a concise and accessible fashion.

Is 20 call tone alert options necessary? Not quite, but the option is a welcome addition nonetheless. The 'welcome addition' list also includes a keypad lock, keypad tone, and the silent mode that uses vibration alerts. Even as professional walkie talkies go, this package is pretty robust, with the IPX4 enclosure protecting them from the elements and making sure that the radios can withstand the harshest conditions.

We can discuss easy pairing that enables quick and simple group call set-up. We can also discuss the respectable battery life lasting up to 18 hours. We can talk about the multiple emergency features and the functions that even more affordable models seldom come without. But even without mentioning these details, you can tell that the Motorola Talkabout T82 is cut from a different cloth. Setting aside the janky headsets, the 4 radios that come with this package are virtually flawless.

Review of Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR446 Walkie Talkie
Last updated price £110.95
Stock In stock
ASIN B077XTVFHQ

 

eSynic Long Range Rechargeable

Reducing Noise

The eSynic Long-Range Rechargeable Walkie Talkies come with fewer frills than the radios' competition and we can get behind this approach. Plus, it is not like this package is basic. No, not even close.

To begin with, the CTCSS/DCS function is excellent at reducing noise. The embedded LED flashlight is pretty bright, illuminating the way even at night with no ambient light to speak of. The VOX (voice-activated transmission) is also great in its own right, liberating the hands so that you can communicate without pushing the PTT button. There's a low battery alarm that will notify you when the battery is about to die. There's also a power-saving function that will make sure the battery does not die within the first 10 hours.

You can choose between Chinese and English voice prompt, which is not necessarily the feature that most users in the US will appreciate but we're glad it is there nonetheless. We're also glad that these walkie talkies are PC software programmable especially since the instructions that are shipped with the box are inaccurate at times, so relying on them 100% is not the smartest decision you can make.

Apart from that, purchasing the eSynic Long-Range Rechargeable Walkie Talkies will prove to be a pretty smart decision, and we're not even talking the set's affordable price into account.

Review of eSynic Long Range Rechargeable Walkie Talkies

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £44.95
Stock In stock
ASIN B07N2M7RF6

 

Retevis RT24

Take an Excursion but Take It with You

The Retevis RT24 has its flaws but considering what it offers and the price tag that it comes with, we couldn't really avoid adding this one to our list. Since it doesn't have a brand like Motorola behind it, this device offers practically every single function out there, a good chunk of which is usually reserved for some of the most expensive models.

But first, with its thickened alloy metal middle frame design, this thing doesn't just effectively dissipate heat but also makes the walkie talkie particularly drop-resistant. Even if it happens to fall from a really high place, there's very little chance it'll receive any substantial damage.

One thing that we really like is a larger-than-average PTT (push-to-talk) button. You'd think it doesn't make a world of difference but being able to comfortably and confidently press the button while wearing gloves can be a game changer.

In addition to the usual features, the model incorporates a low battery alert, so you won't be caught off-guard in a nasty predicament with a dead battery. On top of that, there's a power-saving function that will allow you to extend the battery life. Using the squelch level feature, you'll be able to control the background noise and enjoy a high-fidelity sound without the usual radio noise. Finally, there's the busy channel lock, a feature that will prevent you from transmitting a signal as long as you're receiving another signal.

Long story short, the Retevis RT24 gives you most of the functions of high-end walkie talkie but without the price tag that usually comes with them. It's a practical unit that is equally suitable for professionals and amateurs. Its rugged exterior makes the model perfect for excursions to tough environments. Plus, it comes with headphones, so you won't have to buy those separately.

Review of Retevis RT24 Walkie Talkies

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £29.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B06VWNRJDY

 

Motorola Tlkr T92 H2O PMR446 Waterproof 2-Way Radio

For Wildest Adventures

The Motorola Tlkr T92 H2O is a portable two-way radio, which is ideal for even the wildest and most extreme adventures. You can stay in touch with each other at a distance of up to 10 km in the open field or terrain.

The communication range, however, will decline in the presence of various obstructions (for instance, if you are using it in town). We believe, its most important advantage is its increased protection from various weather conditions. Don't hesitate to use it even in the pouring rain. Should your radio accidentally fall in the water, it won't drown, but will peacefully float on the water surface face up and wait for the rescue!

This walkie talkie can withstand the continuous submersion for up to 30 minutes. Besides, it will take no effort to find and retrieve the device, as an emergency flashlight will be activated as soon as it comes in contact with water. If suddenly your journey continued till night, with integrated white and red LEDs, you can easily read a map or chart, light your way or explore the location while preserving your night vision.

Should you find the built-in beam not strong or bright enough, then have a look at the selection of best portable flashlights in our reviews.

With this walkie talkie, you may enjoy your escape to the wilderness with absolute confidence. The emergency alert feature will allow you to instantly warn other members of your team of impending danger or a predicament you may have confronted. You can activate the alert button to transmit the alert siren or, alternatively, use the whistle belt clip in less extreme situations.

If you are contemplating an extended travel trip or adventure, no worries, even on rechargeable batteries the gadget will be powered for up to 16 hours of continuous use. You may safely continue your camping, trekking or hiking trip if you take along three spare AA batteries (which will last for another 23 hours).

Review of Motorola Tlkr T92 H2O PMR446 Waterproof 2-Way Radio

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price £80.95
Stock In stock
ASIN B01FDI6OKS

VIDEO
Motorola T92 H20 Review & First Impressions
 

BaoFeng BF-88E Rechargeable Long Range

Slim and Effective

The BaoFeng BF-88E are affordable and, for the most part, effective radios. They're slim and, featuring rubberised inserts, make sure that the radios do not slip away even from sweaty hands. But, despite the rugged appearance, they're not quite as strong as you'd expect, so we would advise against dropping them on a frequent basis. Barring this shortcoming, they're not much worse than the walkie talkie that cost much more.

The VOX function is present, letting you talk without even touching the PTT (push-to-talk) button. There's volume control, meaning that you can adjust the output, preventing people from screaming into your ear but also making sure that you can hear those who are usually otherwise quiet. Of course, the radios also incorporate low battery alarms, which means that you won't be caught off-guard. There are multiple battery-saving features, ensuring that these devices can last around 10 hours straight.

Borrowing inspiration from more expensive analogues, these walkie talkies also adopt LED torches so that you can read a map in low-light conditions or find something in your backpack without rummaging through it blindly. Provided that's something you want and/or need, the BaoFeng BF-88E will prove right up your alley.

Review of BaoFeng BF-88E Rechargeable Long Range Walkie Talkies
Last updated price £24.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07XKN1S27

 

What Is a Walkie Talkie?

The modern time frame requires that people keep in touch with each other all the time, and for this purpose, many rely on a cell phone. However, using a mobile phone is not always the best option in terms of convenience, especially for people of such professions as security guards, police, taxi drivers, truckers, sailors, construction workers, foresters, office and warehouse staff, sportsmen etc. That's exactly where such a digital device as a walkie-talkie comes in.

One of the main advantages of walkie talkies is that they do not require any other signal but the radio one to be used within the designated area, and the size of this area can be varied and expanded with the power of a transceiver used. Another obvious advantage of a walkie talkie is that it doesn't have any phone charges nor does it limit the time you can talk with other people.

Of course, a walkie talkie is unlikely to replace a smartphone, but if you often go for outdoor activities and look for a portable device to keep in touch with your friends or other people during trips, it's one of the best solutions to go with.

For people living an active life, we'd also recommend checking out our reviews of sleeping bags, kayaks, and night vision devices.

What Features to Compare

Frequency

The first important feature of these radios is the frequency range. The majority of walkie talkies operate in VHF and UHF channels.

VHF (Very High Frequency) channels use the frequencies from 134 to 174 MHz. The signal has an average penetration rate. This range is recommended for radio communication in the rural areas. As a rule, radio stations used for these purposes are bulky and have long protruding aerials.

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) channels include the frequencies from 400 to 470 MHz. Radio sets operating in this frequency range due to the high penetration rate of transmitted radio waves provide you with a reliable connection in the urban environment, inside of buildings, and in other areas with many obstructions. Before buying a transceiver you should collect information on the licensing of certain frequencies in your region or state.

There is also the FRS standard (462.5625 – 467.7125 MHz), which is applied to a license-free mobile short-range radio communication in the North and South America. This standard limits the power of stations allowed for use in the USA to 0.5 W maximum. There is a total number of 14 channels with 0.25 MHz frequency steps available. In a rugged country, woodlands, mountains, and for the marine use you should stick with transceivers of an LB channels' 30 through 50 MHz frequency range or VHF channels' 136 through 174 MHz frequencies.

One more decisive feature of a great impact is its communication range. This range is restrained by the power of receiver and transmitter of a particular radio station, and by the frequency used for communication. Usually, the figure announced in the manufacturer’s manual is valid for perfect conditions only (sunny weather, open ground without obstacles, the absence of power transit lines and other sources of interferences) and varies from 20 to 30 miles, but in fact, the actual range in a real environment might be smaller.

Extra Features

You may also be interested in extra features proposed by manufacturers. Many portable professional radios are highly resistant to external impacts and feature water-resistant bodies, for example, and comply with specific standards. Your station might be protected from raindrops or water splashes, and even after a submersion it can keep you in contact with your communication partner.

It is also common to provide a walkie talkie with the VOX function meaning its voice activation through the built-in microphone or the iVOX function, i.e. activation via the headset mic. The transmitter starts working when you begin to talk. And you do not need to keep Push button pressed to talk. This is especially convenient if you are driving or holding on to a climbing rope, or paddling in the boat — you can talk and continue doing what you need at the same time. Some radios allow storing communication channels in the memory and setting special ringtones for selected channels to know who is calling you.

Design / Conveniences

Finally, you should take a look at the design and convenience of radios since the materials, weight, controls and assembly may differ substantially. A decision might be based on the availability of informative display reflecting all necessary information, the possibility to replace the pre-installed antenna with a more powerful one, the location of buttons and controls on the case, and the ergonomics of the handset in general. The station may have a belt clip and a wrist strap to prevent its accidental dropping.

Sources:

1. Tara Tuckwiller Best Walkie-Talkies, ConsumerSearch. June 29, 2016.

2. Shannon Morel What should one consider when looking to buy a walkie-talkie (two-way radio) system for business use? Quora. October 24, 2011.

3. Chris Woodford Walkie-talkies, Explain that Stuff. March 9, 2016.

4. Walkie Talkie Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

5. Jeremy Laukkonen How do I Choose the Best UHF Walkie Talkie? wiseGEEK. July 21, 2016.

6. Two-Way Radio, Wikipedia. December 5, 2016.

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