Mobile phones are not sufficient when you want uninterrupted and secure communication. That is why buying a walkie-talkie is another choice, especially if you’re going to enjoy indoor and outdoor activities without compromising quality communication.
However, it’s challenging to choose what kind of walkie-talkie you want to buy because there are many market options.
This guide will review two walkie-talkies suitable for indoor and outdoor activities, namely, Retevis RT22 and Retevis RT27. I hope it will help you decide the best walkie-talkie for you.
462-467 MHz (FRS)
462-467 MHz (FRS)
no (exclusive for FRS use only)
no (exclusive for FRS use only)
rechargeable Li-ion battery
4 x 2.1 x 0.78 inches
4.13 x 2.32 x 1.33 inches (without antenna)
Scope of Delivery
Comparison – Retevis RT22 vs. RT27
When comparing both devices for Retevis, I found out that they have almost the same setup, except for a few parts. Since Retevis units do not have many buttons, it’s easy to familiarize yourself with the functionalities. What you need to do first is to charge the battery as per instructions from the manual.
The compact size of Retevis RT22 only has room for a few controls and buttons, but it’s highly functional. But before anything else, Retevis RT22 does not have a channel selection knob. You need to set up the channels to configure it in software on your computer.
To test it for me, I plugged in the battery then rotated the knob (located at the right side) to turn it on. Then, I press the PTT button and place the device 1 inch away from my lips to test the communication.
Turning on the device is the same as Retevis RT27, but a green light appears when it’s ready to use. Unlike the former device, Retevis RT27 has a channel selection knob between the antenna and the power/volume knob. According to the manual, you need to rotate the knob clockwise to increase the channel number. On the other hand, you rotate counterclockwise when reducing the channel number.
I also found out that it has the same usage as Retevis RT22 when I test it for communication. Click the PTT button to speak, and release it when you want to receive a message.
Meanwhile, both devices do not have waterproof capabilities but have different unique features that make them durable.
Retevis RT22 has an anti-fall component and dustproof feature. This means it won’t easily break when it drops because of the cover.
Retevis RT27, on the other hand, is not waterproof but slightly water-resistant. It can keep up with water splash and light rain. But, make sure to avoid submerging the device into water, or else you’ll meet a broken Retevis RT27 in no time.
Thus, both devices are not recommended to use near large bodies of water.
Both devices use rechargeable Li-ion batteries for the battery, which are the same for mobile devices nowadays.
Retevis RT22 has a 1000mAh battery that can last up to 8 to 12 hours of continuous use. The good news is, it can last more when you don’t use it continuously. It has a power-saving feature that activates once the battery is almost running out.
Moreover, it has multiple-charging support, which allows you to charge multiple handsets at the same time without overcharging. Batteries usually take 3 to 4 hours to charge fully.
Meanwhile, Retevis RT27 uses 2 Lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 1100mAh each. Despite the higher number of mAh, it only lasts for about 7 to 11 hours. However, you can recharge it once the battery runs out using a USB or a charging dock. Once you connect the charger, a red light will appear.
Generally, the declared ranges from brands are under ideal conditions and may vary according to certain conditions.
For Retevis RT22, the range can reach up to 2 miles with a maximum of 2 watts. In contrast, RT27 has a range between 0.5 to a slightly higher than 1 mile with 3 watts output.
You can also use both devices indoors with few obstructions, and you’ll still get clear communication. However, obstructions can decrease the range for these devices.
Hence, you need to use it in an open field to enjoy the maximum range of communication. But in most cases, ideal conditions don’t happen. Other factors such as terrain and weather conditions can also affect the range of the devices.
Both devices use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band. Retevis RT22 has a 400-480 MHz frequency range, while Retevis RT27 can transmit and receive a frequency of 400-470 MHz.
For Retevis RT22, you need to program the channel before operating it. It has 16 channels and the same frequency as the handsets, making it easy to receive and transmit a message.
Meanwhile, Retevis RT27 uses 22 channels available to tweak by rotating the channel selection knob.
Most importantly, both devices are for Family Radio Service (FRS) use only. You don’t need to get an FCC license to operate it.
Since we have discussed the necessary information for both Retevis models, it’s time to dive deeper into their features. Let’s first explore Retevis RT22 and see what it offers:
- It can reach up to 2 miles under ideal conditions.
- It cancels a noisy background to have clear communication with the other person.
- Adjustable Audio Quality
- To have the best audio quality, adjust the Voice Activated Transmit from level 0 to 9. Setting it to a higher level means more noise is canceled out.
- Power-saving feature
- It automatically activates when the device is almost at the end of its battery life or not used within 10 seconds. It allows you to extend the use of the walkie-talkie.
- It allows multiple devices to charge all at once without overcharging. Charging can last up to 3 to 4 hours.
- Low-battery indicator
- The low-battery indicator activates when the battery is about to run out. It starts blinking to notify you to charge the device right away.
- VOX feature
- You can communicate with your walkie-talkie hands-free.
- Integrated antenna
- The integrated antenna allows the device to penetrate through buildings and minor obstructions. In this way, the message is conveyed without interruption.
- Channel-lock feature
- It prevents uninterrupted communication by setting the walkie-talkie to one channel.
- Emergency alerts
- This feature alarms you if there’s an emergency going on from the other line. It’s ideal if you prioritize safety and security in a walkie-talkie device.
- Compact and durable size
- It is perfect to use wherever you go, and you can place it inside your pocket without losing it. It comes with a sturdy cover and belt clips to secure the device in place.
For Retevis RT27, these are the specifications:
- Range of up to 1+ miles depending on various conditions
- High-quality clear communication
- VOX Feature
- To make use of the VOX feature, press and hold the MONI key (located at the left side of the device) to open. To set the VOX level from 0 to 9, press the MONI key again. Then, press the PTT button to confirm.
- Call Tones
- Adjustable Auto Squelch
- This feature blocks all noise caused by high-intense signals. If you set it to a high level, then the noise is filtered out. Otherwise, you can hear some noise when you put it to a lower level.
- To make use of this device’s auto squelch feature, turn it on to hear the background noise while turning it off to cancel the noise background.
- SCAN Function
- Retevis RT27 does not have a program to set a channel. Hence, using the SCAN function allows you to auto scan channels.
- Busy Channel Lockout
- It prevents other people from using the same channel frequency.
- The battery lasts up to 7 to 10 hours of continuous usage.
- Dust and water-resistant
- USB charging
Whenever there is a USB outlet, you can charge the device in a charging dock quickly.
Both devices have VOX, Adjustable Auto Squelch, and Channel-lockout. Retevis R22 has more features it offers compared to its counterpart, including multiple-charging capacity, power-saving, and low-battery indicator. However, Retevis R27, despite lacking from latest specifications, prides itself on being dust and water-resistant. As long as you use it outside water activities, it’s fair to use it.
When comparing the prices, Retevis RT22 is more expensive than Retevis RT27. The former starts at $25.99 for one set and $17.99 for the latter device. The website also offers to buy the devices for two or more sets, whichever you prefer.
Both Retevis models had crystal clear communication when I tested both in an area with few obstructions. However, Retevis RT22 is priced higher because it has more high-end features than the other one. As mentioned above, it has a more extended range, longer battery life, multiple-charging capacity, and emergency alert features.
If you desire a walkie-talkie with these features, I can recommend Retevis RT22 for you. However, if you’re looking for a budget device without compromising audio quality and clear communication, I can vouch for Retevis RT27 for you. It’s perfect for walkie-talkie amateurs, plus it’s more affordable.
Conclusion – Retevis RT22 vs RT27
The prices for Retevis RT22 and RT27 do not fall far from each other. Besides, both still offer high-quality audio and seamless communication, along with VOX and Auto Squelch Features. Additionally, both devices serve the same purpose – to use them for indoor and outdoor activities.
If you want a compact and durable device with longer battery life, Retevis RT22 is definitely for you. It also comes with a multiple-charger capacity to charge all your handsets at once. Plus, you don’t need to worry about emergencies because of the emergency alert feature it offers.
On the other hand, if you prioritize an affordable and water-resistant walkie-talkie, I recommend Retevis RT27 for you. I was able to get a clear reception even when it’s in contact with a light splash of water. The noise-canceling and the hands-free feature is worth it for the price (which you can also enjoy by using Retevis RT22, by the way). However, it falls short on battery life, lasting the device for about 7 to 11 hours.
I cannot say which the best walkie-talkie is because it will depend on what you want. But if I were to choose, I recommend Retevis RT22. It has more features than the counterpart and has the clearest reception when I tested it. It may not be water-resistant, but it’s okay for me as long as a walkie-talkie is durable and does not break easily.
However, both are affordable and worth it for the features they offer. Choosing one over the other is not that difficult once you know what kind of walkie-talkie you need.