I have been asked to do a review of the Motorola T600 H2O. So, after checking it out and using it for a couple of weeks, here are my thoughts about this walkie-talkie – its features, functionality, price and my overall impression of the device.
- Brand: Motorola
- Range: 36 miles
- Power output: 0.5-2 Watts
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
- Battery: NiMH rechargeable batteries or 3 AA Alkaline batteries
- Size: 7.78 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 0.40 lb (without batteries)
- Waterproof: yes (IP67)
- License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)
Scope of Delivery
When I unboxed the Motorola T600 H2O Walkabout, there were 2 neon green devices with black highlights. I found the device sturdy, but a little on the heavy side.
The radio has two PTT (Push-to-Talk) buttons, both located on the left side of the handset. The second is for high-power transmissions and it uses a massive amount of battery, so I would recommend using it sparingly. The on-and-off switch is located on the upper left corner and you also get a removable belt clip. That belt clip doubles up as a whistle, which is a great way to contact your group in case of an emergency.
As part of the box, you get a USB charger, 2 NiMH batteries and a user guide.
The one thing I look for is the ease of setup in a radio, and this walkie talkie is definitely easy to setup. The battery hatch is easy to open and close, though the first time you do it can be a little tricky. But once you do, all you need to do is pop the batteries in and switch the device on.
While there aren’t too many settings and the menu does not have a long list of options, the user interface does take a little getting used to. It’s not something you will get on the first few tries. Therefore, if you’re buying the Motorola T600, I would recommend that you practice using this device and getting familiar with all its features before you take it out with you.
The Motorola T600 has an IP67 rating, which means that this device can survive a 30-minute dunk in water and still work. This is because its body is covered in thick neon-green plastic and all the buttons are waterproofed.
In fact, this radio’s resistance to water is its biggest plus. While other radios will stop working if you drop them in water, this one won’t be affected at all!
The Motorola T600 has a dual battery capability, so you can use the 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries that come along with the pack, or you can use 3 AA disposable alkaline batteries instead.
If you use the rechargeable batteries, then you’re look at a battery life of about 9 hours. And then you need to charge these batteries for about 8 hours before you can use them again. I didn’t need to switch to the alkaline batteries despite using the radio for the whole day. The downside is that if you do not have a charging unit, then you will get only a one time use from these batteries.
If you switch to the disposable batteries, you can get a use of about 23 hours. So, my advice would be to always carry extra alkaline batteries with you – especially if you’re going off the grid with no access to a power source.
The low-battery alert is a feature that I found very helpful. This way, I was able to change batteries before the set went off.
Officially, the Motorola T600 has a range of 36 miles. But that’s under ideal conditions – something most of us will not experience. When I use this radio, I got a pretty good signal for a couple of miles in a hilly terrain. In the open, I was able to get as much as 6 miles, which is pretty good.
If you’re expecting that 36-mile range, then you will be disappointed. Even the best radios will give you a normal range of about 3 to 6 miles, so getting the 2 to 3 miles with this set.
Like all Walkabout radios, the Motorola T600 is designed for both the FRS and GMRS frequencies. The frequency range is from 462MHz to 467MHz.
A word to the wise. If you’re using the FRS channels, then you don’t need a license, however, if you plan on using the GMRS frequencies, then you will need to get a license from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).
Here’s something else about the frequencies you need to know. When you’re using the FRS frequencies, you can use only the 0.5Watt power button. Even if you press the 2Watt high-power button, you will not get a power boost. All you will do is waste your battery life. The 2Watt power is reserved for the GMRS frequencies.
Some of the features of this radio are really great! If you drop it in water, it floats face-up and the flashlight automatically lights up, which means that you can find it easily – especially in the dark. The flashlight has both the white and red LEDs (the red is supposed to help with night vision).
The Motorola T600 also has an emergency alert feature and if you activate it, it will emit a loud siren sound which will quickly be followed by a 20-second transmission.
The radio also has a hands-free VOX function, but I did not find it as good as some other walkie-talkies in the market.
You get 22 channels, with 11 of them being weather channels. 7 of the 11 weather channels are NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). You also have an alert feature in case bad weather is headed your way.
You also get 20 different call tones, all of which can be customized – a fun feature! Other features include a dual watch, backlit display, the battery meter, a priority scan (which is great if you’re connect to a group), the Auto Squelch to reduce interference, a keypad lock, a time-out Timer and a Nuisance delete option.
Currently, the Motorola T600 is going for $82.50 on Amazon and for $119.95 at REI. Its list price is $120.
Compared to other brands in its category, the Motorola T600 is a little pricey. However, the range of features you get justify that price.
- Waterproof (one of the best in terms of being waterproof)
- Floats and the automatic flashlight
- Good range – especially when there are not obstructions
- Easy to Use
- Plenty of channels
- Scan feature for group communication
- Whistle on belt clip
- Large buttons, which means you can use them with gloves on.
- iVOX/VOX function not as good as other devices in the same category
- User interface
Conclusion – Motorola T600 Review
The Motorola T600 has some really great features, decent battery life, and a good range. The built-in security codes are also a great plus, as are the numerous weather and regular channels. The split frequencies also help a lot.
This device is perfect for those who spend a lot of time on the water. However, if waterproofing is not a high priority, then this set may be on the more expensive side for you
Where can I find a manual for the Motorola T600?
The user manual comes along with the pack. But if you need one, you can get it on the Motorola Solutions website.
Best Lists with this Walkie Talkie
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- The 5 best Walkie Talkies for Skiing
- The 5 best Walkie Talkies for Snowboarding
Comparisons with this Walkie Talkie
- Midland GXT1000VP4 vs Motorola T600
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- Motorola T480 vs T600
- Motorola T503 vs T600
- Motorola T600 vs T605
- Motorola T600 vs T631
- Motorola T600 vs T800