I enjoy outdoor activities together with my friends, especially with my family. Outdoor adventures for me are not only for a change of scenery, but it also helps me regenerate my mental health. To keep the experience going, it’s essential to have good communication through the available devices (e.g., phones, etc.) necessary in this kind of activity. Besides carrying a personal phone, I recommend bringing a trusted walkie talkie device that would accompany me during my adventures if my phone dies out. There are a lot of walkie-talkie brands scattered in the market today that are high quality and affordable. In this blog post, I will be reviewing Retevis RT18 to determine if this product is worth a try.
- Brand: Retevis
- Range: 1.5 miles
- Power output: 0.5 watts / 2 watts
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS)
- Battery: rechargeable Li-ion battery
- Size: 2.05 x 0.55 x 5.12 inches (with fixed antenna)
- Weight: 0.18 lb
- Waterproof: no
- License needed: no (exclusive for FRS use only)
Scope of Delivery
When the package arrives, it should include the 2 RT18 radio, 2 Lithium batteries, two belt clips, 1 USB adapter, 1 Dual-line USB charger cable (39 inches), and 1 English user manual.
Compared to the other Retevis radios, Retevis RT18 is surprisingly small with its size of 2.05 x 0.55 x 5.12 inches. But it shouldn’t be underestimated as it’s almost as cost-effective as the other models of Retevis.
Setting up RT18 is relatively easy, and even before I could even start, I made sure to inspect the product first and read the manual included to ensure I don’t miss any crucial details. The first step for me is, in a switch off mode, I charged the radio first to ensure it was in its optimum state when I turned it on. To turn it on, press the radio’s power button for 2 seconds, and another 2 seconds to turn it off.
One of the features of RT18 that I find tremendous and convenient is its two-way PTT switch, one on the side and front. A red light will then appear around the front PTT button if you transmit the signal, and a green light when receiving signals to start sending and receiving a signal to the other radio.
Unlike the other models of Retevis, RT18 is not waterproof. I think it has something to do with its smaller and slimmer design. It is also indicated in the manual that the RT18 must be far from the moist environment.
The Retevis RT18 uses 2 Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The batteries have a capacity of 1,000 mAh that could last for at least 10-12 hours on a single charge. RT18 is recharged through its USB charger. Once the charger is plugged in, a red light indicator will appear around the front PTT button. One of the features I like about the RT18 is that it has a power-saving mode, unlike other Retevis models.
There are also some precautionary actions to keep in mind when handling the batteries. Like installing and uninstalling the battery, the radio must be switched off, or even when charging, etc.
RT18 has a maximum range of 0.5-1.5 miles; 1.5 km- 3 km, according to the manufacturer. To be more specific, the manufacturer claims RT18 still has a good signal at a 20-floor building, 0-1.2 km in a city area setting, and 1.5 km – 3 km in an open area. These ranges are for references only and vary in an actual location depending on the users’ setting, weather, and battery level. To reach this range, it has to have a watts output of 0.5 w – 2 w.
Retevis RT27 is a two-way radio that provides communications for two or more users. RT18 uses the FRS frequency band and has sixteen (16) available channels. The best about this Retevis RT18 radio does not need a license as these radios are designed and tested to meet the government-established radiofrequency exposure levels. If you ever plan to purchase this radio like me, it’s a must to control the device’s exposure due to Local Government Regulations. If you wish to transmit in different frequencies, a local government license is needed otherwise.
Retevis RT18 can be used in the USA, Canada, and European countries (e.g., Belgium, Germany, etc.) as the radios’ manufacturers have made sure to comply and meet the radio frequencies’ requirement (RF) of each country. To know more about which countries, I recommend reading the product’s manual.
The Retevis RT18 has surprisingly many functions and features despite its lightweight design. Its top main features are the VOX, Squelch & Anti-Jamming Technology, power-saving function, and the annular breathing light.
I will first discuss the Retevis Rt18 VOX feature. I like the VOX feature of the Retevis RT18 because it allows me to use the device and transmit signals conveniently through voice or hands-free. Without pressing any of the PTT buttons once my voice is detected, it will be immediately transmitted, and if I don’t speak, the radio is on standby and is in receiving state, thanks to the VOX feature. The Vox feature is enabled and disable through PC programmed software. Next, with level 0-9 Squelch of RT18, this allows me to transmit and receive clearly and efficiently as it blocks unnecessary noise caused by high-intensity signals. Additionally, RT18 has 50 CTCSS/208 DCS that eliminates unnecessary chats for smoother communication. Like the VOX feature, this feature is also activated through PC programming software.
The other features that I like the most with the RT18 are its power-saving mode. This feature helps me in using the radio in its optimum state. I also appreciate the manufacturer for adding the annular breathing light. It made it easier to notify signals, and I don’t know any other Retevis radio models with this kind of feature.
Is the Retevis RT18 worth your money? Based on my research online, FRS radios prices usually range from $15 – $100 a pair. I purchased mine for $29.99/team + shipping fee, and I think it’s not a bad deal at all. Given that RT18 design is super lightweight, it is still not behind the other models as RT18 still has VOX, Squelch, and other features that deliver quite superb performance.
- VOX feature is allowing me to use it automatically through voice or hands-free.
- Clear reception using the Squelch feature and the 50 CTCSS/208 DCS
- Two-way radio FRS frequency; Plus, less hassle as its license-free
- The lightweight design, easy to carry around
- Easier notifications of transmitting and receiving through the annular breathing light
- Convenient charging using its USB charging feature.
- Retevis RT18 is not waterproof, unlike other Retevis FRS radio models.
- There are quite several precautionary measures to take note of in handling the batteries.
- Downloading software programs is quite a hassle.
Conclusion – Retevis RT18
In summary, the Retevis Rt18 is worth it for its price. I am an amateur at this, but I did not expect to receive a cost-effective FRS radio. I did not expect it to function for a $29.99 price and lightweight to work as the other Retevis FRS radio. What I like the most about the RT18 are the VOX and squelch features, which are very important to me for good communication during outdoor activities. The last time my sister and I tried it here in our village, the signal was still clear even eight blocks away. I can’t always say for sure its overall quality as I’ve only tried it twice for a month now. But I surely recommend Retevis RT18 for outdoor activities and small-scale businesses.
Where can I find a user manual for the Retevis RT18?
Please click this link for a step-by-step manual of Retevis RT18: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1796635/Retevis-Rt18.html#manual.