When you’re off the grid, the Motorola T800 can keep you connected – pretty much just like any other 2-way push-to-talk radio set. However, what makes this radio set so special is what it does when it is connected to your smartphone using Bluetooth. The Motorola Talkabout app gives you a range of communication choices that go way beyond just the push-to-talk option.
In this review, I talked about the Motorola T800’s specs, what it can do, and its pros and cons. Let’s start with a quick overview first.
- Brand: Motorola
- Range: 35 miles
- Power output: 0.5-2 watts
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
- Battery: NiMH Rechargeable Batteries or 3 AA Alkaline Batteries
- Size: 7.52 x 2.2 x 1.28 inches
- Weight: 0.47 lb (with batteries)
- Waterproof: yes (IPx4)
- License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)
Scope of Delivery
The Motorola T800 is a pretty handy gadget to have when you’re off the grid and don’t have access to mobile services. The radio acts as a modem when you connect it to your smartphone, and you can send messages, locations, maps, record statistics, and tracks, and even control the radio settings.
You can even get emergency alerts and weather reports so that you stay safe. You can easily pair your radio to other radios; this device is compatible with all GMRS and FRS radios types.
Setting up the Motorola T800 isn’t difficult. The first thing you need to do is insert the batteries. Most of the time, the rechargeable batteries have some power in them, but it’s best to charge them fully before you use them.
The next step is pairing the devices. You cannot communicate with each other privately if your T800 radio sets are not paired. It is best to read the user manual before you try pairing your devices. The good thing is that the instructions are simple and it really easy to pair. All you need to do is press and hold the pairing button. Once the display shows that the pairing is complete, you can release the button.
That’s it. Once I figured out which pairing button (thanks to the manual!), it was extremely simple to set up my T800 radio sets.
The Motorola T800 is weatherproof. It has an IPx4 rating, which means that it is pretty waterproof. So, if you’re stuck in the rain or snow, then you don’t need to worry about your walkie-talkie getting damaged. This is a great plus when you’re off the grid with no other way to communicate.
The Motorola T800 uses a pair of NiMH rechargeable batteries – which are included in the pack. You also have a mains charger and a micro-USB cable adapter. This means you can recharge the batteries using your laptop or another power source with a USB port.
The NiMH batteries come with a 90-day warranty, and they can last up to 14 hours. However, this battery life will depend on usage.
You can also opt for 3 AA alkaline batteries if you don’t have a way to recharge the NiMH ones. If you use these disposable batteries, then you get a battery life of up to 25 hours. Once again, it will depend on how much you use your Motorola T800.
My advice is that if you’re going off the grid, then it’s best to carry a ton of extra batteries so that you have access to communication on your T800. I used the USB charging cable to charge my T800 batteries using a mobile power bank. So, when I started my trek in the morning, I was at 100%. After using my radio for about 10 hours, I still had a little less than 50% charge left.
The T800 is supposed to have a variety of ranges – depending on where you are.
- The mountain to valley range is as much as 35 miles.
- The open water range is about 6 miles.
- The neighborhood range is about 6 miles.
When I tested the walkie-talkie, I found that I could not reach these ranges. Beyond half a mile, communication became difficult. However, when I read the customer reviews on Amazon, many said they were getting a communication range of 6 miles in the open and as much as 2 miles in the city.
The good news is that you can significantly increase the walkie-talkies range when you pair them with your smartphone and use the Talkabout app.
The company says that these are the maximum range tested under ideal conditions, which most of us will not really have.
The frequency range that the Motorola T800 operates in is 462MHz to 467MHz. This Ultra High-Frequency range makes this walkie-talkie a great buy. It gives you great coverage both outdoors and indoors. And since this is the most popular frequency for walkie-talkies, you will be able to connect with other radio sets with ease.
While you can use the FRS band for free, this walkie-talkie also has the option of using the GMRS channels. If you use the GMRS channels that you will need a license.
The features are what make the T800 so special.
First of all, let’s start with the way it looks. It’s sleek and has a stylish design. The walkie-talkie is just about 7 inches from the antenna’s tip to its base and weighs about 4 pounds. This means that this set is light and small, which is a big plus when you’re out in the wilderness.
If you’re planning to go mountaineering or doing so other extreme activities where you need your hands free, then the loop at the base of the walkie-talkie allows you to clip it to your belt. You can even use that loop to strap the T800 to your arm.
The hidden display is amazing! It only lights up when you press a button or if you are using it. This feature helps you save a lot of power. The keypad lock and the battery level indicator also help you from using up your walkie-talkie power needlessly.
The Motorola T800 also has an in-built flashlight, which is yet another handy feature if you need to find your way around in the dark.
With 22 channels – each with their own 121 privacy codes – you won’t have a problem finding an open channel. The 2.5mm headphone jack allows you to communicate more easily.
Other items in the pack include a lanyard, a user manual, a Y-cable with dual micro-USB chargers, 2 belt clips, 2 NiMH batteries, 16 personalization stickers, and a case store the walkie-talkie and its accessories.
You also can get 7 different types of alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US.
At $74.99 on Amazon, the Motorola T800 is more expensive than other walkie-talkies in its class.
- You can use the T800 as a normal push-to-talk walkie-talkie. But the Walkabout App can really beef up this device. You get to download maps, share locations, and send messages with this app. Another great thing that the app does is increase the range of the device, which helps a lot when you’re off-grid.
- This device is straightforward to use. Setting it up takes hardly any time, and the channel knob, the PTT button, and inserting batteries are all very easy. This is a walkie-talkie even novices will have no problem handling.
- What I love about the T800 is its battery life. The two NiMH rechargeable batteries last quite a long time – up to 14 hours. Since I tested it myself, I can vouch for the battery life.
- The Motorola T800 is weatherproof. This means that it can easily withstand the kind of water splashing you would get while rafting or when it’s raining, snowing, and so on.
- The design of the T800 is great. It not only looks good, but it’s also functional. The hidden display that lights up only when you use the walkie-talkie is also another great feature.
- When I tested the T800’s sound, it was pretty clear and mostly static-free. I was able to understand what my partner was saying very clearly.
- When I tested the Motorola T800, it was easy to communicate, but I found that these walkie-talkies worked best when there were open lines of sight. So if you’re using the T800 for peak-to-peak, peak-to-valley, open water, or close-range communication, you should be fine. However, if you’re using this device in a place with many obstructions, you will find the range and quality of communication going down.
- The NiMH batteries require 11 hours of charging time. This can be quite a downer – especially when you’re not near a power source.
Conclusion – Motorola T800 Review
The Motorola T800 is a nifty little device that is great for camping or other fun activities. However, their range does come in as a negative for more extreme activities when the conditions are not quite ideal. Despite the issue with range, I still feel that this walkie-talkie is a great device overall and can be quite handy when you’re outdoors.
Where can I find a Manual for the Motorola Talkabout T800?
The manual comes as part of the package. However, if you need another one, you can get it on the User Manual Site.
Is there an App for the Motorola T800?
Yes. It is called the Motorola Talkabout and is downloadable on your smartphone (Android and iOS).
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