Motorola MR350R Review

A walkie-talkie set is a necessity when you need to stay in constant contact with a person in your vicinity – especially if you are in the great outdoors. Whether you’re out on a hunting trip, or you’re on a camping trip, this little device can keep you connected even when your mobile phone is out of its coverage area. So, if you’re in the market for a 2-way radio set, then here is my review of the Motorola MR350R.

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Specs

  • Brand: Motorola
  • Range: 35 miles
  • Power output: 0.5-1.5 watts
  • Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
  • Battery: NiMH rechargeable battery or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
  • Size: 7.6 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 0.32 lb
  • Waterproof: yes (IP51)
  • License needed: yes,  if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)

 

Scope of Delivery

The Motorola MR350R allows you to communicate clearly over distances and also has in-built emergency features in case you are stuck in an emergency situation. This radio set is convenient for camping trips, sporting events, family outings, and other such activities. These devices are lightweight, compact and have extra-large buttons so that you can operate them even if you have your gloves on.

 

Setup

The Motorola MR350R comes with detailed setup instructions. It tells you how to use the walkie-talkie clearly. There is a detailed picture of all the control buttons and how each feature works.

To start, you need to install the batteries. You can either use 1 NiMH battery pack or 3 AA alkaline batteries. Once you have put the batteries in, all you need to do is switch on the radio set.

To communicate with others in your group, you need to ensure that all the devices are set to the same channel. You all also need to have the same Interference Eliminator Code. Once you have these basics in place, you can use your new walkie-talkie set.

I would recommend that you first go through the instructions and practice communicating at various distances to make sure the sets work before you take them on your trip. This way, you get to familiarize yourself with your walkie-talkie and also find out if there are any glitches with your device.

 

Waterproof

This walkie-talkie is not waterproof. It has an IP51 rating, which means that it is dust-proof and has protection from vertically drizzling water. However, it will not survive if it is dropped in water. And it is not weatherproof, so you need to be careful with this radio set.

 

Power Source

This radio set also has a dual power feature – you can use the rechargeable batteries or AA alkaline ones. If you use the regulated alkaline batteries, you get can use the walkie-talkie for up to 23 hours. It is recommended that you use AA Polaroid batteries for the best battery life. However, if you use the rechargeable batteries, don’t expect a battery life of more than 8 hours at the most.

A set of two walkie-talkies come with a dual drop-in charger where you can recharge both devices at the same time. You also get an AC charger and a USB mini car charger. Yet another way of charging these devices is by using the USB cord to connect them to your laptop or power bank.

 

Range

Under ideal conditions, this radio set has a range of as much as 35 miles. But more realistically speaking, the range over open water is just about 6 miles and in an urban area that range decreases to a maximum of 2 miles.

The good news is that this device comes equipped with a PTT (Push-To-Talk) Power Boost, which extends the transmission range. When you press the Power Boost button, the power output goes up and this in turn increases the radio set’s range. And when you don’t need to use the Power Boost feature, you can conserve battery life.

 

Frequencies

The Motorola MR350R is a hybrid radio set, which means that it uses both the lower-powered FRS (Family Radio Service) frequencies as well as the higher-powered GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) frequencies.

If you plan to keep all 22 channels active, it would mean that you would also be using the GMRS frequencies. If you do so, then you would first need to get a license. To get this license, you first need to fill in the required forms which are available on the FCC’s website (the Federal Communications Commission).

 

Features

This radio set is 12 inches long and 8 inches wide, so it isn’t the smallest walkie-talkie in the market today. However, its ergonomic design means that it can fit into your hand comfortably.

The Motorola MR350R features 22 channels each of which come with their own 121 privacy codes, which offers increased protection from interference. There are also 11 weather channels, of which 7 are NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) channels. This means that you will know if bad weather is heading your way.

The eVOX feature offers the benefit of a hands-free feature, which is quite convenient if you’re doing something that requires the use of both hands.

This device comes will 20 different call tones and has the VibraCall vibration alert. You also get low-battery, roger beep and busy channel alerts. The backlit display allows you to read messages in the dark.

The radio sets are also equipped with auto squelch, which suppresses background noise so that communication can be clearer.

When you buy the Motorola MR350R, it comes with the drop-in charger, two radio sets, two NiMH rechargeable battery packs, one charging adapter, 2 belt clips, a user’s guide and an emergency preparedness checklist.

A special feature that I really liked is the Emergency Alert feature. With this feature, if you are in trouble, you can send out an emergency signal to others in your group.

 

Price

On Amazon, the Motorola MR350R is priced at $349.95 at the time of my writing this review. When I checked Walmart, the price quoted was $59.89, however, the product was out of stock. It was also not available on many other online stores. I found out that you could buy a used MR350R radio set for as little as $10 (eBay).

If I go by the price listed on Amazon, then I would say that this radio set is way too overpriced. Also it is important to mention that the MR350R  will not be produced any longer. It Is replaced by the Motorola Talkabout T460.

 

Pros

  • The Motorola MR350R has a built-in LED flashlight.
  • Large Buttons allow using the device with gloves.
  • Up to 23 hours of battery life.
  • The walkie talkie can withstand the weather to a sufficient extent (IP51).
  • Integration of 11 weather channels and an emergency signal feature.

Cons

  • Motorola has stopped production of the MR350R 2-way radio.
  • The belt clips that come with this radio set are rather flimsy and can break easily.

 

Conclusion – Motorola MR350R Review

The Motorola MR350R is a pretty decent radio set to own. It has some really great features that are really worthwhile. The customer reviews are also overall very good about this walkie-talkie.

However, at current prices (on Amazon), I would not recommend that you buy this walkie-talkie. There are cheaper ones available that offer the same quality. Furthermore, the production on this walkie-talkie has been discontinued, which means that if you have any problems with the radio set, there isn’t much you can do about it.

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FAQ

 

Where can I find a manual for the Motorola MR350R?

The user manual comes as part of the package, but if you do not have one, you can get it on the Motorola Solutions website.

 

Which accessories for the Motorola MR350R are useful?

Here are some of the useful accessories for the Motorola MR350R:

  • Batteries and Chargers
  • Headphones, Microphones, Earpieces
  • Carry Accessories and Cases

You can find all the accessories here.


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