Are you looking for a portable two-way radio that is light enough and user-friendly enough that even your kids can easily use it during your outdoor activities? Are you looking for such a radio that is also within an affordable price range?
I think that the Motorola T200 Talkabout Two-Way Radio might be just what you are looking for. Below is my review of this model.
- Brand: Motorola
- Range: 20 miles
- Power output: 0.5 watt (FRS) / 2 watts (FRS/GMRS)
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
- Battery: NiMH rechargeable battery or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
- Size: 6.42 x 2.13 x 1.24 inches
- Weight: 0.4 lb
- Waterproof: no
- License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)
Scope of Delivery
The Motorola T200 can come with two or three two-way radios handsets per package, depending on the seller. The package also includes belt clips for each handset, an AC charging adapter, two NiMH rechargeable battery sets, a user’s guide manual, and a one-year warranty card.
Once you have installed the batteries and turned the handset on successfully, you will have to set the handsets to the same channel and interference elimination code.
You can find a list of channels and frequencies in the enclosed user’s manual. After that, the handsets are ready for use.
The Motorola T200 is not waterproof so take extra care when using it near open waters and the like.
The Motorola T200 has two power options. This means that you can use either rechargeable batteries or alkaline batteries to power it.
The package includes NiMH rechargeable batteries, and operating the handsets on these batteries will make it last up to 12 hours. The package also includes a micro USB Battery Charging Adapter that you can use to recharge the NiMH batteries.
Another battery option is to use 3 AAA alkaline batteries that will make handset use last up to 29 hours, but these are not included in the package.
According to the manufacturer, the maximum range for the Motorola T200 can reach up to 20 miles. This is given if the walkie-talkies are used in ideal conditions.
Ideal conditions include several factors, such as the walkie-talkies being used within a clear line of sight or with the least amount of obstructions, and in the best weather conditions.
The Motorola T200 can be used within the 462 to 467 MHz frequency range. This range covers 22 channels, and each of these channels has 121 Privacy Codes. It can be operated as Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).
You do not need to obtain a license to operate these walkie-talkies in the US if you are only using it for FRS. The channels that are exclusive to FRS operations are channels 8 to 14. However, if you want to use channels 1 to 7, as well as channels 15 to 22, you need to get a license because these are shared with the GMRS system. This is a requirement set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
To know more about the FCC rules and regulations that cover FRS operation, you can read it here.
The Motorola T200 does not have that many buttons and knobs but has enough for you to be able to use it almost instinctively even for the first time you use it. It also has 20 call tones so you can personalize the sound that your family or team will hear before you speak. It also has an auto squelch feature so you can reduce the background noise when no one is transmitting or speaking into the radio. It has a keypad lock that comes with a passcode to ensure that you do not accidentally change your personalized settings.
Take care not to accidentally press the scan function though while the handset is unlocked because you can easily activate this and mess up the communication. The only way to reset this to your previous setting is to turn the handset off then on and re-configure the right channel again.
The Motorola T200 has battery-saving features. It is Eco Smart, so it does not burn through its power while on idle and has a time-out timer that locks the handset when it is not being used. It also has a distinct battery alert that will alert you if the battery is about to run out. Despite all of this, though, the battery life does not last as long as the manufacturer advertised.
The Motorola T200 handsets are reasonably durable so these will not break easily even if dropped a number of times.
Compared to other walkie-talkies, the price for the Motorola T200 falls within the medium range. Looking at its price to performance ratio, it is affordable and good for its price.
- easy to use
- signal is clear enough
- does not require a license if used within FRS channels
- range may easily be limited and hampered if not used within the most ideal conditions
- handsets are not waterproof
- features may be too limited if you plan to use if for professional, heavy-duty functions
Conclusion – Motorola Talkabout T200
The Motorola Talkabout Two-Way Radio T200 does have its limitations. Because it transmits on FRS/GMRS frequencies, its range will not be that broad. Given the built-in features of the radio, its range may be easily limited if it is not operated within the best conditions.
So, if you will use it in areas that will have a lot of obstructions like densely wooded forests or places with a lot of concrete, this may hamper the range and signal strength of the walkie-talkie. The Motorola T200 is also not waterproof. So, if you plan on doing activities that involve getting wet or going on outdoor trips that will be near open waters, this might not be the ideal handset to purchase.
However, if you are not scouting for a two-way radio that will serve heavy-duty purposes, the Motorola Talkabout Two-Way Radio T200 will do the job well enough.
This walkie-talkie is suitable for beginners and family use because it is lightweight and comfortable enough to operate so that even kids can use it. It is also affordable and functions well enough for its price.
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