Motorola Talkabout walkie-talkies review

4 out of 5
£70

For

Rugged, tough, rechargeable batteries included

Against

Only two-mile radius

Getting out and about is one of the great charms of the summer, but then getting out and about can also mean that your mobile phone bill racks up as you try to keep in touch with friends also out and about whether it’s a sponsored walk or a festival. In steps Motorola with the Talkabout walkie-talkie.

The pack consists of two units, two rechargeable batteries and a charger that, wait for it, allows you to charge both units at the same time. On the verge of embarking on a mammoth 100km walk for charity, we decided to put them to the test in a situation that was make or break over 24 hours. The Pocket-lint team took one while the support team took the other. The result over the day was very positive.

For a walkie-talkie and especially anyone who remembers the days of portable CB Radios, the units are small, light and robust. Through out the day the units got a beating, either by the British weather or by the sheer amount of use they got and at the end, not a scratch or a dent. The manual boasts roughly two miles of reception and on the whole across the hills of the South Down Way this was fairly accurate making it ideal for the team to talk to our support crew some 20-25 minutes out from the checkpoint.

So you don’t get cross wired with someone else there are eight different preset channel frequencies to choose from and a further 38 interference eliminator codes to separate the signal further. Setting these up or changing mid-way through a conversation is and was easy and there were a couple of times when we got cross wired with someone else on the same frequency.

To alert the person at the other end the units come with a ring button and then communication is carried out via the standard walkie-talkie protocol of push to talk, then wait to listen.

In our test we started the day at seven in the morning - 12 checkpoints and 19.5 hours later and they were still going strong. One of the units was starting to lose power, but still we had given them a good run with plenty of liaising at each checkpoint and in between where possible.

Verdict

So are they a five-minute wonder where you think you’re on some secret mission and want to spout “Roger”, “Over and out” or “Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Alpha, Romeo, Tango” all the time? Not in the slightest in fact, if you’re planning any group event where you are all in the same vicinity, but apart this is a great tool for the job, whether you’re walking stupid lengths across the countryside, going to the summer festivals or even skiing in the alps these are sure to be one gadget that comes in handy and the beauty of it all is that there is no price to pay once you’ve bought them - unlike the phone you really can rabbit on. Just remember to recharge them.