Are you looking for a walkie talkie for leisure or professional purposes? Whatever your specification is, the market offers a lot of options to fit your needs. It may be quite confusing to choose what works best for you, so thorough research must be done first to ensure that you will get your money’s worth. This review discusses the features and prices of two models from Retevis, namely RT21 and RT27. Read further to figure out which device is the best choice for you.
462-467 MHz (FRS)
yes, if FRS channels will not be used (amateur / FCC license)
no (exclusive for FRS use only)
rechargeable Li-ion battery
4.8 x 2.17 x 1.1 inches
4.13 x 2.32 x 1.33 inches (without antenna)
Scope of Delivery
Comparison – Retevis RT21 vs RT27
Since it already has the same frequency programmed, Retevis RT21 can be used directly, making it the best choice for anyone looking for an easy-to-use walkie talkie. Just switch the power button on, and press the PTT button to turn the transmitter on and the receiver off. It only has a few buttons for much more convenient usage. Additionally, it comes with soft buttons that are easy to adjust.
On the other hand, Retevis RT27 has a different and more complicated setup, unlike the previous model. To turn it on and adjust the volume, the power button must be switched clockwise. The channel knob must be rotated clockwise to switch between channels to change the channel up and counterclockwise to reduce the channel down. Press the PTT button to transmit a call, and then release it to receive a call.
RT21 is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant. There is no need to worry if it gets splashed with water as it comes with a compact shell. This feature also makes it drop and heat-resistant. Similarly, RT27 is not a waterproof device; however, its product details suggest that it is not water-resistant, unlike the previous model.
Both devices can keep up with light splashes of water, but they may malfunction once exposed to water for a long period of time. Although the devices do not have a waterproof feature, both have a protective sealed design, making them very durable.
When choosing a walkie talkie, considering its battery life is a must. You have to ensure that you can use it for a long period of time without recharging the batteries from time to time. Both RT21 and RT27 run on 1,100mAh Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which are said to last about 10-12 hours depending on their usage. Both batteries are rechargeable, and it takes around four hours to charge, but only Retevis RT21 offers a quick charging feature. Additionally, Retevis RT27 also has a USB charging feature for more convenience.
There is no need to compare both devices’ power sources since they use the same battery type. Both models can last long when they’re not used a lot, and it’s also a perfect choice for activities that require much longer use of walkie-talkies.
The Retevis RT21 can reach its range between 0.5 to 2.5 miles, depending on various conditions and obstructions. It has a power output of 2.5 watts. You can achieve an extended range if you use the device in an open field with no barriers. However, its range is restricted and reduced when used in the city, where there are many buildings and other interferences.
With Retevis RT27, it can only reach a range of 0.5 to 1 miles with 2 watts output. Just like the previous model, its range is dependent on obstructions. It works best in an open field, but it has a restricted range when used in the city due to interference.
The frequency band of RT21 is Ultra High Frequency with 400 to 480MHz and contains 16 channels to prevent call interruptions. On the other hand, RT27 has a frequency range of 462 to 467MHz with 22 channels available. Additionally, Retevis RT21 is highly operational over American FRS channels, and it is compatible with other radio models if set to the same frequency.
Both devices use an FRS channel, which makes it license-free, but it is stated that a license is required when the FRS channels of RT21 will not be used. If you want to purchase RT27, the device must be exposed to Local Government Regulations. If classified, you may need to acquire a local government license.
A walkie talkie with outstanding features is a must. We look for these features to ensure that there will be clear communication once the device is used and ensure that we are getting our money’s worth without compromising its quality. Now that both models’ primary functions have been discussed, let us go over the main features to compare which one works best.
For Retevis RT21, it has the following features that make it stand out from the other models:
- Easy to Use. With its soft and adjustable buttons, it is the perfect device for those who are looking for a model that is convenient to use.
- Durable. Its compact shell makes it heat and drop resistant. It has fall protection of one meter, so there is an assurance that it won’t break easily no matter how many times it will be dropped. Moreover, it also comes with a belt clip for portability and extra protection.
- Long-range transmission. It has an integrated antenna that can reach a maximum length of 2.5 miles, even when used in buildings and underground areas.
- Long battery life. With a battery life of up to 12 hours, you can enjoy longer hours of communication with your companions. Once the battery runs out, it can be recharged for 4 hours.
- Power-saving mode. It has an alarm that goes off when the battery is about to die, and the device automatically turns off when not in use. This feature also lengthens the battery life, which allows you to use it for a longer time.
- Secure Communication. Its Squelch feature reduces background noise in your surroundings, making way for undisturbed and smoother communication. Moreover, it operates with privacy and encryption as it has a discreet earpiece and a channel lock feature to prevent third-party disturbances.
- Innovative Software (VOX feature). Aside from having a few buttons for more convenience, it also has a voice command function, allowing hands-free communication.
- Bilingual. This device responds to commands in English or Chinese.
Meanwhile, Retevis RT27 does not fall behind in its features as it offers the following:
- Portable and Durable. It has a sturdy design, which makes it very durable. It also has large knobs that are easy to adjust, and its USB charger allows more convenience in charging the device.
- Long battery life. It uses the same batteries as the previous device, which has a battery life of up to 12 hours. It also has a low power alert to let you know when the batteries need to be recharged. Additionally, it takes around four hours to recharge.
- Wide Channel Coverage. Unlike the Retevis RT21 that only covers 16 channels, this device has 22 channels.
- VOX Feature. It allows hands-free communication while minimizing background noise. To use this feature, just press and hold the MONI key. Press once to set the volume, and press the PTT knob to confirm the action.
- Squelch Feature. With its adjustable Squelch level that ensures a clear reception, it can be used in a noisy environment as this feature blocks unnecessary background noise.
On Amazon, a pack of four Retevis RT21 costs $59.99, while a pair of Retevis RT27 costs $39.99. Given its features, these cost less than the other models in the market with the same quality and function, but RT21 is more budget-friendly since you can get two pairs for a low price.
With their similar features and affordable prices, both models have an overall excellent performance. Upon checking the price to performance ratio, Retevis RT21’s affordable price is reasonable as it is exclusively an FRS channel device. The features do not compromise despite its affordability. Furthermore, it is ideal for security purposes since it has a private and secure connection. Similarly, RT27 also offers an excellent price for its high-quality performance.
Conclusion – Retevis RT21 vs RT27
After everything that has been discussed, do you prefer Retevis RT21 or RT27? As I mentioned earlier, both offer similar features at affordable prices. The money you will spend on any of these models would be worth it, but you should consider the specific features you are looking for in a walkie talkie.
If you are looking for a walkie talkie for security purposes, Retevis RT21 is a go-to buy. It prioritizes safe communication with its hidden earpiece and a channel lock feature to avoid interferences from outsiders. It also has a long range of up to 2.5 miles, and it is ideal for those looking for a device that is easy to use.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a device to use for casual trips with your family or friends, you can rely on Retevis RT27. It is affordable for a high-tech device with noise-canceling and hands-free features. Just like the RT21, it also has a long battery life, so you do not need to worry about suddenly running out of battery. It also has a convenient USB charging feature, so it will be easier to recharge its battery while you are out on a trip.
Despite their excellent features, both devices are not waterproof, so make sure to keep them away from water or any liquid. Nevertheless, both still have excellent features for a walkie talkie.
What makes these devices even better is how both are affordable without compromising their quality. In my opinion, both products are highly recommended, so it is up to you to choose which device best suits your needs.