When working in a customer facing environment where appearance is key, it is important to have a radio that is in keeping with staff members’ uniforms. The SL4010e from Motorola is designed for these forward facing workplaces, yet the radio isn’t just a pretty face as it offers a vast array of functionality to help with the daily running of your business.

The replacement for the hugely popular SL4000e which was discontinued in 2019, the SL4010e similarly to its predecessor has the look and feel of a mobile phone. Standing at 121mm in height, 55mm in width and 23mm in depth whilst weighing just 174g means that this is one of the smallest radios available on the market currently. Its small stature doesn’t affect its ability to perform in adverse conditions as it has been tested to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G, this alongside having an Ingress protection rating of IP54 which ensures a degree of protection against dust whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water.

Basic Functionality

Before we take a deep dive into the more advanced features of the radio it is important to let you know the basics of the SL4010e. There are 1000 channel slots available on the radio, it is highly unlikely that you would need to use this many as usually a business would only have a maximum of 16 channels programmed, this to make it easier for workers to find the correct frequency without scanning endlessly.

Should you have a larger workforce that is within various teams or operational areas, your channels can be split into groups to allow individual sectors of your business to have their own private channels so that communications do not become crossed. Only available as  a UHF model, due to the SL4010e being digital only this ensures that the quality of communications remains high and offers crystal clear transmissions over extended distances.

The SL4010e radio can also be used in a communications system concurrently with other types of radios. Although this radio is great for customer facing users, it wouldn’t be as ideal in a kitchen or for a member of the door team as they would commonly require a more robust radio.

Carrying Solutions

As mentioned many times previously this radio is designed for hospitality environments, there are multiple carrying solutions that can be used to either keep the radio hidden or make it look as part of the operators uniform which have been listed below.

  • Motorola PMLN6074: Wrist Strap that allows for the user to operate their SL4010e in an instant, although only useful when both hands aren’t required.
  • Motorola PMLN5956: Radio Holster that attaches to a belt or trousers, allows for quick release of the radio when needed or for accessories to be used for hands free use.
  • Motorola PMLN7040: Leather Case that has clear cover over the keyboard and display which ensures the radio stays clean whilst still being able to be used. Accessories can still be used with the radio for hand free use whilst attached to a belt or trousers.

In order for your radio to stay out of sight, the PMLN5956 holster or PMLN7040 case would be the ideal solution for your workers. Pairing this with an earpiece will allow for the user to operate and communicate without having to touch their radio. There are many different options that are available where it comes to earpieces therefore it’s best to choose one that suits your environment. When there are high levels of noise an acoustic earpiece would be best suited as this feeds the sound directly into the ear canal, whereas in a quiet environment an ear hook or D-shape earpiece would be sufficient.

Advanced Features

Moving onto the advanced features of the radio. The SL4010e is Bluetooth capable meaning that it can be used with compatible Bluetooth accessories. The PMLN7851 is the most commonly purchased BT accessory, the style of the earpiece is an ear hook earpiece with microphone and PTT button that not only improves efficiency of communications but looks professional in appearance. Alongside the wireless connection of accessories, the SL4010e’s Bluetooth can also be used to send audio, data and used to track the indoor location of a radio*.  The radio also has the benefit of integrated WiFi which allows for the radios to be updated wirelessly, meaning that communications can continue without having to take a radio out of circulation. *Additional software purchase.

The faceplate of the radio is home to both a full alphanumeric keypad and a high definition 5-line colour display. The screen has a built-in photo sensor that adjusts the screen’s brightness depending on the lighting conditions that the radio is being used in, ensuring that the operator experiences as little eye strain as possible whilst using the radio. When working in a darkened room or outside at night, with the adjusting screen brightness this ensures that the user won’t be disorientated when first activating the screen.

Alongside the adjusting screen brightness, the SL4010e also has a vibrate alert function. This allows for the user to set their radio to vibrate rather than ring when receiving calls or messages, this paired with previously mentioned screen sensor allows for the radio to be used in covert operations or situations whereby you may not want people to be aware that you are in communication with another person.

The full alphanumeric keypad allows for the operator to easily navigate the menus of their device, alongside allowing for custom 280 character texts to be sent to other radios within the network. These texts are commonly used where the message being delivered is less urgent, pre-programmed texts can also be added to the radio to make text messaging even easier with your SL4010e. As the SL4010e is a digital radio alongside the ability to text message, it is also a possibility for users to make both individual and group calls with contacts. Individual calls can be used where a conversation between workers needs to remain private, whereas a group conversation can be used to relay new information or new instructions to an entire team.

Safety Features

Although the SL4010e is marketed as a radio for non dangerous working environments it still has numerous safety features as standard as well as upgrades. An emergency button can be added to the radio so that when pressed an alert will be sent to other radios within the network notifying other workers that the radio user could have a security or safety issue.

Lone worker which does not require an upgrade is a feature that monitors the activity levels of the radio, should the radio be unused for a pre-programmed period of time then a beep will sound on the device. If this beep remains un-responded to then an alert will be sent to other radios within the fleet to notify them that the user of said radio may be in danger. Man down works in a similar way to Lone Worker, although rather than monitoring activity levels will monitor the orientation of the device, therefore if the radio is laid on its side for a pre-programmed amount of time a beep will sound and the same sequence will be followed. Although Lone Worker is a feature that can be added to your radio for free, Man Down is an optional software upgrade that comes with a charge.


In this blog we have already spoken about a few accessories that are available for use with the SL4010e including carrying solutions and the Bluetooth PMLN7851 earpiece.

When choosing a charger there are two different options that are available to purchase. There is the option of purchasing a single charger (PMLN6704), which also has an extra battery slot behind the radio charger for an additional battery to be charged simultaneously. The second option is the PMLN6686 6-way charger, this allows for all of your radios to be kept in a single location whilst charging. Depending on the environment that your radios will be used in it may be worth mixing and matching the chargers you chose, in a restaurant you may want a multi-charger for the majority of radios, but a single charger at the front of house or in the managers office.

Having previously touched on the available Bluetooth earpiece there is also the option of having wired accessories, the environment and levels of noise within it will factor into your decision when purchasing. For workplaces where there are high levels of noise the acoustic PMLN7158 earpiece is inserted directly into the ear canal, this ensuring that all messages will be heard no matter the level of noise. This earpiece also has an in-line microphone and PTT button, allowing for you to communicate with colleagues without having to touch the radio body. For environments where the levels of noise are generally lower, the smart looking PMLN7159 D-Shape earpiece sits comfortably over the ear rather than in it, this earpiece also has an in-line microphone and PTT.

SL4010e Round Up

In conclusion to the SL4010e, as has been mentioned quite often within this blog post the radio is an ideal choice should you be working in hospitality although retail could also be thrown into the mix alongside. An extremely compact yet feature rich radio, the SL4010e is one that wouldn’t look out of place even in high end establishments due to its design. Safety features such as man down and lone worker can be programmed to the radio, although these aren’t entirely necessary as they are more commonly found on devices whereby there is a risk of injury at work. Bluetooth can be used on the radio for a number of reasons including the connection of compatible accessories whilst also allowing for indoor location tracking with the required software.