The NX-1300 has been Radiotronics best selling radio of 2020 and with good reason, the entry-level hand portable is the direct replacement for the TK-D340 having been released at the back end of 2019. There are many entry-level radios on the market including the hugely popular Motorola DP1400 and Hytera PD705LT to name a few, but Kenwoods latest release has caused a shake up in the Radiotronics sales charts.

The Kenwood NX-1300 is a UHF radio with its VHF equivalent being the NX-1200. There are two variants that are available for both the UHF and VHF version of this radio which includes a basic model with a black box design and a second with both a screen and partial keypad.

Kenwood NX-1300 Kenwood NX-1200
NX-1300DE3 No Display & Keypad NX-1200DE3 No Display & Keypad
NX-1300DE2 Display & Partial Keypad NX-1200DE2 Display & Partial Keypad

As mentioned in the prior paragraph this radio has both a UHF and VHF equivalent with different model numbers. In order to save confusion and to help with readability I will be referring to both radios as the NX-1300, this because the radios are identical in both appearance and features that they have. The screen and display models will be mentioned briefly towards the end of this blog post, although our main focus will be on the DE3 version.

The best place to start when looking at all radios are the basic fundamentals. A UHF two-way radio, the NX-1300 has a maximum of 64 channels which would be sufficient for the majority of medium to large sized business’. These channels can be split over 4 zones, each with 16 channels, allowing for different sectors of your business to have their own private channels to ensure no cross communications between the teams.

The NX-1300 is an analogue/digital hybrid meaning that it can be used as a transitional radio, when switching from an older analogue system to a new one. The new NX-1300 radios can be programmed to have your old analogue channels alongside the new digital ones, with these analogue channels then being replaced by digital ones when all of the older analogue radios are out of circulation.

Aesthetically the NX-1300 is a relatively compact radio standing at just 123mm in height, 54mm in width and 33mm in depth whilst having the KNB-45L battery attached. The weight of the radio is only 295 grams meaning that alongside its small stature it is also lightweight. This doesn’t affect the radio’s ruggedness though, the NX-1300 is extremely durable having been tested to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G ensuring that it is capable of performing in a variety of environmental conditions from temperatures as cold as -30°C all the way through to tropical temperatures of 60°C. Alongside its ability to perform between a drastic scale of temperatures, the NX-1300 also has an IP55 rating. This Ingress protection rating ensures that not only does the radio have a limited protection against dust intrusion, but is also safeguarded against jets of water from all angles ensuring that it can be used outdoors even when raining.

The reason that the NX-1300 has been so well received is due to the amount of features that it has in comparison to its relatively low cost. In this section of the blog we will look into these features but break them into their respective categories of which there are operational and safety.

There are many features that come as standard with the NX-1300 that aid in the operation of the radio. In order to ensure that communications don’t end up meshed, busy channel lockout is a feature present to ensure that should someone be already transmitting onto a frequency then a second person can’t until the initial transmission has finished. Another feature that in a way will work hand in hand with busy channel lockout is the time-out-timer. The way in which this feature works is that a pre-programmed time limit is set, this will then stop a transmission at this point to stop a single radio locking up a frequency for long periods of time. Alongside stopping people from taking too long of a time to deliver their message, this will also stop people accidentally transmitting and locking up a frequency without even realizing they have done so.

Voice annunciation is another operational feature that will help the user should they be working in an environment with low lighting conditions. When changing channels or zones, the radio will announce to the user the number that they have switched to, ensuring that they are on the right channel before they begin to transmit. Another feature that would help in low lighting conditions is the 7-colour LED indicator that is located at the top of the faceplate which indicates such signs as selective power “on”, selective call alert and a battery level indication.

Due to the NX-1300 being a digital radio this gives the user the various calling options. As previously mentioned the radio is capable of operating on both analogue and digital frequencies, meaning that within an instance the user can switch between the two. Alongside this the radio is capable of both group and individual calls, meaning that if a conversation needs to be kept private between two people then this is absolutely possible.

The next set of features to speak about are the ones that help keep workers safe on location. As with all radios, the NX-1300 has an emergency button that when pressed will send an alert to other radios within the network to notify other operators there may be an issue. This feature is fairly standard and usually expected on two-way radios but we thought it was worth a mention either way.

Call interruption is a feature that allows a user to interrupt all ongoing transmissions to relay a message to workers. This is usually used in emergency situations and commonly will only be something that certain radios are capable of performing, these radios are usually in the hands of managers or foremans in order to ensure that it is only used when necessary. The next safety feature is Lone Worker, this monitors the activity levels of the radio and should it be inactive for a pre-set period of time a beep will sound. If the user does not interact with the radio then this will send an alert to other radios within the network, this notifying colleagues that there may be a worker in danger.

Due to the NX-1300 having the same Kenwood 2-Pin connector as the TK-D340 this means that the audio accessories are interchangeable between the two, this as well as the two radios also using the same batteries, chargers and belt clips.

There are multiple battery options available for the NX-1300 although the two most commonly purchased are the KNB-45L and KNB-69L, both batteries are lithium with the former being 2000mAh and the latter a high capacity 2450mAh. When it comes to chargers there is the single pod KSC-35S, this charger is the ideal choice if you’re purchasing a small amount of radios or if you need a charger in a specific location within your building such as a reception desk. This pod can also be used in collaboration with the KMB35 charging platform in order to create a 6-way charger.

Radiotronics stocks a large variety of earpieces although the most commonly purchased is the acoustic KHS-8BL, this the ideal choice when working in an environment where there are high levels of noise. Radiotronics also offer a variety of earpieces including D-Shape, over the head and alternative acoustic earpieces.

Earlier in the blog post we mentioned how there was a version of the NX-1300 that has both a display and partial keypad. The DE2 model has all the features that the standard NX-1300 holds although it has a larger channel capacity of 260. At an additional cost due to having the screen and keypad, Radiotronics have supplied this radio previously alongside the DE3 black box model to be used by managers and workers in similar positions.

The NX-1300 overall is a fantastic radio that can be used in a variety of workplaces, its modern styling makes the radio a perfect fit for customer facing environments but it would fare just as well in a construction business due to its ruggedness. It’s 64 channels which even the largest of organizations would struggle to fill, offer multiple zones that can be split for different sectors of your business, thus meaning that the warehousing team isn’t having to listen to the office staff communications and in hand helping to improve the efficiency of the workplace. Due to its competitive price the NX-1300 has quickly become the best selling radio from Radiotronics, if you’d like to find out more about the radio then you can check out its product page here.