I have reviewed several walkie talkie sets recently and most of them are pretty much the same. This one is rather different in that it has a less colourfull and more commercial look to and this time uses rechargeable phone type batteries rather than the more common AAA’s. Although marketed for children, this neat little Walkie Talkie set does not look or behave like a toy. With a range of up to 3 Km over 8 channels, this set is capable of more serious use.
In the mid-market branded product box were the two radios, two wrist straps, two belt clips, two batteries, two Charging cables and a well printed and easy to read User Guide.
Unlike many rival units with the stub antennas are not screwed in but are fixed in place. The belt clips lock in place on the rear of the radio with no need of the screws used with other kits. All the controls are on the front of the unit below the tiny backlit LCD screen. Rather than the more common rotary dials, the radios here have a grommet protected bay housing the power in port and Headphone socket on the top. On the side is the large Press To Talk (PTT) button. The front panel houses the microphone, LCD display and buttons for Up, Scan/Lock, Down., Lamp/Monitor, with between them the larger Menu/power button.
Operating the set is easy enough and in fact, my set worked straight from the box with no configuration needed other inserting the batteries. Power the two units on and using the menu and Up/Down buttons set each handset to the same channel, mine both defaulted to channel 8. When a channel had been selected press the PTT button to call the other handset on the selected channel. The receiver unit should tune to the same channel or use the monitor button to search for transmissions. There is no ring tone as such, just press PTT and start talking, release to allow the other handset to reply. Each handset will beep and the status icon change on the LCD screen as you switch over. If the two headsets are in sight of one another you can switch the LED torch on to make identification easier.
There are more advanced features available. For example, you can also use VOX mode to use voice detection to switch from transmitting to receive without using the PTT button but this works when best using a headset and is probably more trouble than it is worth. There are several other more arcane features which most users will probably never need to use. More advanced still users can download industry-standard software to modify and change the options preset in the handset software but that is not something I would wish to attempt.
For such a low price corner have inevitably been cut. This has been done not at the expense of the key features of the walkie talkie set but rather by not including some non-essential add-ons. That means there are no cases included, no mains adapter, no headsets, only 8 channels are supported and there are no voice prompts.
The range is said to be up to three miles over a line of sight flat surface but far less in built-up areas. I have not tested these limits but can confirm that it works for me all around the house and garden and to a nearby field about a mile away. That is enough for my needs, anything more and I would use my mobile phone. Battery life is good with up to four days on standby or eight hours talk time.
This is a good quality entry-level transceiver kit, works well and is easy to use. Build quality seems fine for the price with the only corners cut being in the area of non-essential accessories. This would be a great buy for those who need to keep in touch locally, farmers, builders, events organisers, security teams and that do not want the colourful design of the more child-orientated rivals. The crazy low price makes it doubly worth giving it a try.
Good Build Quality
Easy to Operate
Only 8 Channels
No Protective Cases
No Headsets Included
No Voice Prompts