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CLPe Plus & CLP446e Product Breakdown


The original CLP446 two-way radio from Motorola is a radio that’s hugely popular in North America but not so much in the United Kingdom. Motorola have recently released an upgraded version of the original, with two variants, both the CLPe Plus and the CLP446e have all the makings of a radio that could be hugely popular across multiple industries in the UK.

The newly released CLPe radios are separated only by the fact that one requires a license and the other doesn’t. The license free version of the radio has an output power of 0.5w, this is a limitation that is placed on all unlicensed radios due to using public channels. The licensed version of the radio has an output power of 1w, although this doesn’t seem like a great difference, the licensed radio is capable of being used with a repeater* allowing for the extension of communications over longer distances where required. In the table below is a breakdown of each radio.

*Additional Purchase

Model SKU License Output Power Signalling Channels
CLP446e CLP0166BHLAA License Exempt 0.5W Analogue 16
CLPe Plus CLP1166BWLAA Licensed 1W Analogue 16

Aesthetics

Aesthetically both the CLP446e and CLPe Plus are identical, the sleek design of this range means that it is ideal for customer facing working environments. Standing at 90mm in height, 51mm in width and 25mm in depth whilst weighing only 95 grams means that the CLPe radios are the true definition of compact.

Although small, this doesn’t mean that the radio isn’t rugged and reliable as it has an IP54 protection rating. This Ingres rating not only ensures that the radio has a limited protection against dust intrusion, but also means that it is safeguarded against splashes of water from all angles. The CLPe has also been tested to military specifications, passing MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G/H. By passing these tests it ensures the radios reliability in a variety of environmental conditions, ensuring that it will work seamlessly in temperatures as low as -30°C all the way through to 60°C.

Although a small radio, the CLPe is packed full of physical features that help assist the user in the day to day use of their radio. For a company requiring a grab and go radio, the CLPe couldn’t be any easier to use as front and center there is a large textured push to talk button. Atop of the radio is an accessory jack, when inserting your selected earpiece into this a simple push and twist will lock your accessory in place to ensure that it doesn’t easily disconnect whilst working. To turn the radio on there is a power button on the upper left outer edge, with the volume controls being located on the left outer edge.

Features

One major draw to the appearance of the Motorola CLPe radio is its smart status glow ring. Due to the relative simplicity of the radios appearance this glow ring will notify the user of various factors of their radio, with some of these being seen below.

As seen in the image above the glow ring has a status symbol to let you know what section of channels your current selection is in. Channel announcements are present on the CLPe to let the user know exactly what channel they’re on when switching, this ensures that the user won’t spend time transmitting on to a channel with no response.

VOX Voice Activation is a feature that when using compatible accessories will allow for the radio to be used hands free, when speaking the microphone will pick up the users voice and transmit onto their currently selected channel. This feature is only recommend for use in quiet work environments, when being used in workplaces with high levels of noise their will be continuous interruption.

In terms of safety features both the licensed and license exempt radios have the capability to escalate a call.  This feature will allow the user to initiate an important call or alert users on another channel to immediately communicate a message in high-risk situations, keeping your teams and assets safer when an incident occurs or if there is a change to the schedule.

Accessories

In comparison to other radios from Motorola there aren’t a great deal of accessories that can be used with the CLPe two-way radios due to its unique accessory connector.

One of the major upgrades the latest CLPe radio has over the previous model is that is has a remarkably superior battery life. Supplied as standard with a HKNN4013 1800mAh Li-Ion battery, this will allow for the CLP446e to be used for up to 20 hours in a 5/5/90 duty cycle, whereas the CLPe Plus can be used for 18 hours in the same cycle.

There are 3 different earpieces that will allow the user to communicate with colleagues without having to touch their radio. 2 Ear hanging earpieces, one with a short and one with a long cord are available, this alongside a surveillance earpiece that allows for the earpiece to be hidden in circumstances where needed. All 3 of these earpieces have an inline microphone and push to talk button, take a look at the table below for the details of each.

SKU Style Inline Cord Length Radio Model
PMLN8077 Ear Hanger Mic & PTT Standard CLPe Plus & CLP446e
PMLN8125 Ear Hanger Mic & PTT Short CLPe Plus & CLP446e
PMLN8190 Surveillance Mic & PTT Standard CLPe Plus & CLP446e

When it comes to charging options as always there is a single pod charger, the PMPN4018 is the ideal solution should you only be purchasing one or two radios, or if you need a separate charging station for a specific area of your business such as the reception desk. The PMPN4020 is a 6-way charger that obviously would be our recommended if purchasing 6 or more CLPe radios. Radiotronics would recommend this style of charger as it allows for you to have a centralized location for your radios, with some businesses even implementing a check in/out system to help keep track of radios.

Conclusion

Overall Radiotronics would highly recommend both the CLP446e & CLPe Plus, but only in certain environments. Where the CLPe would be a great solution in hospitality or retail due to its sleek design, in environments where there is a high chance of the radio being dropped or damaged such as construction these radios don’t quite reach the levels of the DP1400 or DP4401e.

With minimal features, the CLPe gives the user exactly what they need, with such a simple design this allows for the radio to be picked up and used by almost anyone with little to no training. The glow ring surrounding the PTT button allows for users at a glance to see battery levels and current channel range, whilst channel number announcement notifies the user exactly what channel they’re transmitting on to.

If you would like to learn more about either of the two radios you can check out the CLP446e‘s product page by clicking here or the CLPe Plus by clicking here. Alternatively if you’d like to speak to a member of our sales team to learn more you can call us on 01425 533 533.

 

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Motorola DP1400 Product Review


The Motorola DP1400 has been one of Radiotronics best selling radios since its introduction to the market. An entry level device, the DP1400 does all the basics well and this is what has made it such a popular choice across multiple industries. With a simple black box design the DP1400 is a radio that can be picked up and used by anyone with little to no training, but this doesn’t mean that it has to be used this way. The DP1400 can be programmed with features to help increase both safety and efficiency within the workplace, with these aspects being touched upon later on in the blog.

The DP1400 has been designed for use in a variety of work environments. Whether you’re working in a customer facing position or on a building site, the DP1400’s ruggedness matched with its sleek design essentially makes it a jack of all trades. Radiotronics have previously supplied this radio on both purchase order and hire contracts to many different institutions across the United Kingdom. The reason that the DP1400 is so popular is due to its price in comparison to the quality of radio you are receiving, as of the 18/11/2020 Radiotronics has the DP1400 listed at £104.50* for the standard analogue version making it the best pound for pound value for money two-way radio available on our website.

*Price accurate as of date stated.

Basic Features

The Motorola DP1400 comes analogue as standard although an upgrade to digital signaling is possible. Having 32 channels provides the perfect communications solution for small to medium sized enterprises and these channels can be programmed with analogue, digital or a split between the two signaling types if required. The DP1400 is available to purchase as either a UHF or VHF variant, with UHF being predominantly used in built up areas and VHF being used in workplaces that are outdoor based such as farming.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph the DP1400 comes analogue as standard with the digital upgrade carrying a fee. Analogue signaling is more than sufficient for day to day communications, although by upgrading to digital you are guaranteeing crystal clear communications over extended distances in comparison to analogue. If you have existing analogue radios and are looking to add to your fleet, should you purchase the digital upgrade you can program your new radios to have both analogue and digital channels, with the analogue channels being replaced by digital after the original analogue radios have been taken out of circulation.

In terms of dimensions the DP1400 is a fairly compact radio standing at 128mm in height, 62mm in width and 42mm in depth whilst weighing just 350 grams. The size of the DP1400 means that it fits comfortably in the palm of the user’s hand, or can be carried via one of the available carrying solutions with minimal to no strain felt by the operator. Although it’s a relatively small device in comparison to other Motorola radios available, the DP1400 is an extremely rugged device having been tested to military specifications. The MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G rating ensures the radio’s reliability in varying environmental conditions, alongside its ability to seamlessly operate in varying temperatures from as low as -30°C through to 50°C. Alongside its military specifications, an IP54 rating ensures that the DP1400 has a limited Ingres against dust intrusion whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water from all angles.

There are also many operational features that the DP1400 has in order to ensure efficiency whilst using the radio. A channel scanner can be programmed into one of the available channel slots which will continuously cycle through the channels only stopping when a transmission is found. This feature is ideal for use in situations where a worker may not necessarily need to respond to a message but needs to hear any transmissions that are being made by other workers. In terms of ensuring channels don’t become blocked there is the option to add a time out timer to your radios, this is a pre-set amount of time that a transmission can go on for before it will automatically be stopped, this also ensures that a channel doesn’t become locked if a radio user begins accidently transmitting without realizing it. The final operational feature to talk about is busy channel lockout which is as simple as it sounds, should someone already be transmitting onto a channel then someone else can’t use that channel until the other person has finished.

Safety Functions

The DP1400 has multiple features that aid with the safety of the operator whilst performing their role within your organization. No matter the industry that you work in, the safety of workers is always high on a businesses list of priorities, therefore any additional features to help with that are something that Radiotronics would always recommend.

As standard almost all two-way radios have the ability to be programmed with an emergency button and the DP1400 is no exception. When adding an emergency button to your radio this gives the operator an extra level of comfort, knowing that should they have a safety or security issue that arises at the press of a button other members of staff will be notified in an instance. A second safety feature, Transmit Interrupt, allows for a user when needed to cut off all ongoing transmissions with their own priority message. This feature is usually only programmed to higher-up members of staff’s radios to avoid it being abused, although if required it can be added to all radios to ensure if required all members of staff have these capabilities.

Lone Worker is an advanced safety feature that is an optional extra when purchasing your DP1400. In the previous paragraphs we mentioned the use of an emergency button that would send an alert to other radios when the button is pressed which is the opposite of how lone worker works. Should the radio be inactive for a pre-programmed period of time a beep will sound to the users radio, if this beep isn’t responded to then an alert will be sent to other radios within the network to let them know that a radio user may be in danger.

 

Accessories

Motorola is a company that tends to produce a lot of accessories for their radios, ensuring that no matter your requirement there will be an accessory to suit your needs. Due to the DP1400 being available in both UHF and VHF variants there are many different antennas to choose from but the main thing to ensure is that the band of your antenna matches that of your radio. The two types that Radiotronics currently have available include both whip and stubby antennas, we would always recommend using stubby antennas as with whip antennas people sometimes have the urge to hold their radio via the antenna which in turn breaks the wires inside.

The DP1400 comes as standard with the 1400mAh NiMH PMNN4251 battery. This battery will allow for the radio to be used for around 8 hours therefore making it more than suitable for shift work. Another battery that will allow 8 hours of operation is the PMNN4253 1600mAh Lithium slim line battery, as it states in the name this battery is slim line making it smaller in hand which allows for easier grip when holding. The PMNN4253 is an optional upgrade when purchasing a DP1400 from Radiotronics.

If you require your DP1400 to work for longer periods of time then we would advise purchasing a higher capacity battery, although this comes at a price the benefits of this far outweigh the small additional cost. The two batteries that Radiotronics would recommend can be seen in the table below.

Battery Capacity Chemistry
PMNN4254 2300mAh Lithium
PMNN4258 2900mAh Lithium

There are numerous charging options available to you depending on the number of DP1400’s that you purchase. A single PMLN5191 charger pod allows for a single device to be charged, these chargers are commonly purchased by businesses for locations such as a reception desk whereby the post will be manned constantly. These pods can also be used in collaboration with the Radiotronics MOTRACK for an expanding radio fleet, should you only be purchasing a couple of radios but have the intention of buying more further down the line then this charging solution is ideal. The PMLN5191 pods are simply screwed into the MOTRACK base meaning that at any time your charger can be expanded from a single radio all the way up to a 6-way charger.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one multi charger then there are two options available for your Motorola DP1400 radios. The PMLN6600 is a genuine Motorola 6-way charger that is available with both a UK and EU plug socket, whilst there is also the aftermarket Nexis MOT1 12-way charger that will charge your radios fully in 2 hours.

The final accessory group to talk about is the earpieces that are available for the Motorola DP1400. The deciding factor for earpieces usually comes down to the noise levels within your workplace. For environments where there are high levels of noise a covert earpiece would be the best fit, this is because the earpiece feeds directly into your ear canal. For quieter environments a on/over the ear piece such as a D-Shape or headset will suffice, the table below shows the different options available to you.

Earpiece Style Extra
PMLN6530 Covert 2 Wire Inline Mic PTT
PMLN6535 D-Shape Inline Mic PTT
PMLN4445 Lightweight Headset Boom Mic Inline PTT

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far in the blog then you’ll be well aware of how well thought of the Motorola DP1400 is at Radiotronics. As mentioned at the very start of this blog this radio is the ideal choice if you’re looking for an entry level two-way radio, but that doesn’t mean that this is its only purpose. Due to it being capable of being upgraded to digital the DP1400 can be used as a transitional radio between an old analogue set of radios to new and shiny digital DP1400’s.

Although not jam packed full of advanced features the ones that have been chosen by Motorola for this radio help aid with both the safety and efficiency of workers. The black box design of the DP1400 means it is extremely user intuitive and can be used with little to no training, something that many companies look for when purchasing a new set of two-way radios for their business.

If you’re wanting to find out more about the Motorola DP1400 then you can check out the product page on our website by clicking here. If you’d prefer to speak to one of our sales representatives then the number to call is 01425 533 533.

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Kenwood NX-1300: The TK-D340 Replacement Product Review


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.

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Motorola CLP Accessories UK Price Reduction

Motorola Solutions has announced that, as of today 1st August 2020, the following items will reduce in price.

  • IXPN4028B – CLP Single Charger – New Price £59+VAT, Old Price £68.00
  • IXPN4029B – CLP Multi Charger – New Price £175+VAT, Old Price £224.00

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Motorola Launches MOTOTRBO CP100d

Motorola CP100d

Building on the success of the Motorola MOTOTRBO CP200d and with the form factor of the CP185, the all new Motorola CP100d is a cost-effective digital portable two-way radio packed with features.

Motorola CP100d
This image is available for commercial use. Email marketing@radiotronics.us

Note: Motorola CP100d is for the North American market. For the EMEA model, see the Motorola DP540.

FULL DETAILS COMING SOON. BOOKMARK THIS PAGE AND CHECK BACK IN 2-3 DAYS.

Update: LKP Version Confirmed

Motorola CP100d (LKP)

Update: Price Confirmed!

Motorola Solutions has confirmed the price as $329 for the NKP version and $399 for the LKP version.

Motorola CP100d Pricing

Motorola CP100d Accessories

We have a comprehensive list of accessories for the Motorola CP100d on our main U.S. website.

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It’s Official: The UK Government Recommends Two Way Radios In The Workplace To Help With Social Distancing

The UK government is officially recommending the use of two way radios as a communications tool to help with social distancing in the workplace. Using [two-way] radios means that employees do not always need to work closely together in order to communicate.

Go directly to: our range of portable two way radios.

On 23rd Mar 2020, the UK government announced that movement in the country would be restricted to help combat the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe. That effectively meant that very few workplaces could continue to stay open. Millions of UK businesses closed down as a result.

UK Government Workplace Advice

On Sunday 10th May 2020, the British government announced that the UK was to start to make plans to get back to work and has released guidance to employers that says:

Reducing movement by discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites, for example, restricting access to some areas, encouraging use of [two-way] radios or telephones, where permitted, and cleaning them between use.

Two way radios are ideal for short-range communications between employees and Radiotronics is delighted that the government have endorsed the use of radios in the workplace to reduce the chances of contact.

The UK government also recommends that two-way radios should be cleaned between use.

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Motorola DP4000 & XPR7000 Series Carrying Solutions – Carry Cases, Waistcoats & Belt Clips

This page is designed to be a reference guide to carrying solutions for Motorola DP4000 & Motorola XPR7000 series two-way radios.

Note: We have a separate guide for DP2000 / XPR3000 radios here.

Here’s a handy matrix table to help you find the correct carry case for the Motorola DP4000 series.

Radio Model Carry Case Material Belt Clip/Loop Size Belt Clip/Loop Type
No Display & No Keypad Carry Cases
DP4400
DP4400e
PP4401
DP4401e
XPR7350
XPR7350e
XPR7580
XPR7380e
PMLN5845A Nylon 3″ (7.62cm) Fixed
PMLN5839A Hard Leather
PMLN5846A Swivel
PMLN5843A 2.5″ (6.35cm)
Display & Keypad Carry Cases
DP4600
DP4601
DP4600e
DP4601e
or
DP4800
DP4801
DP4800e
DP4801e
XPR7550
XPR7550e
XPR7580
XPR7580e
PMLN5844A Nylon 3″ (7.62cm) Fixed
PMLN5838A Hard Leather
PMLN5840A Swivel
PMLN5842A 2.5″ (6.35cm)
Replacement Carry Case Belt Loops
All Models PMLN5610 Hard Leather 2.5″ (6.35cm) Swivel Belt Loop
PMLN5611 3″ (7.62cm)
Other Carrying Accessories
All Models HLN9985B Plastic Waterproof Bag
4200865599 Leather Tool / Radio Belt Only
NTN5243A Carry Case Strap
HLN6602A Nylon Universal Nylon Chest Pack
RLN4570A Break-A-Way Chest Pack
RLN4815A Universal Radio-Pack & Utility Belt
Spring Belt Clips
All Models PMLN4651A Plastic / ABS 2″ (5cm) Spring Clip
PMLN7008A 2.5″ (6.35cm)
PMLN7296A 2.5″ (6.35cm) Vibrating Spring Clip

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Top 10 Compact Two-Way Radios

A compact radio can be useful for a variety of different working environments. You may be in need of a two-way radio that is small and easily concealed, or even one that isn’t overly complex and easy to use for your operators. Radiotronics has a variety of these types of radios on our website, but if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for they may be hard to find. This is why we have put together this blog post counting down what we believe to be the ten best compact radios currently on the market.

There will be multiple different factors that we will take into consideration when ranking these radios including the cost, the amount of advanced features it has and the overall quality of the radio.

10. Kenwood PKT-23

Kenwood’s PKT-23 is one of the Japanese companies leading options should you be looking to purchase a compact radio. Simple to use, the PKT-23 is an ideal solution should you be looking for a two-way radio that requires little to no training. With all of its function buttons being located on the face plate of the PKT-23, this ensures that the radio is extremely simple to use.

There is one main reason this radio is so low down on this list and is both why we love and loathe this radio, and that is how basic it is. On the one hand the PKT-23’s simplicity is a blessing as it makes it the ideal solution for workplaces that only require a simple communications system, allowing for quick communications across short distances and with the PKT-23 that is exactly what you get. On the flip side due to the basic nature of the radio, this means that it is lacking many safety features that other radios on this list have, along with only having a channel capacity of 8 which limits communications.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely Compact                                                 • Reduced Range
• Simple To Use                                                           • Extremely Basic
• Little To No Training Required                             • For Smaller Work Forces
• 8 Channel Capacity

Price Ex. VAT £91.66
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band PMR446
Analogue or Digital? Analogue
Channels 8
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 85 x 46 x 21
Weight in Grams 110

9. Hytera BD305LF

Our number nine is the BD305LF from Hytera. A license free radio the BD305LF is a radio that can be a fit for many different working environments. If it wasn’t for the fact that other radios in this list have access to more features and/or are licensed radios the BD305LF would be much higher up the list.

An extremely lightweight radio, the BD305LF is the true definition of a compact radio. The BD305LF is capable of operating as both an analogue and digital radio, meaning that you are able to talk with older analogue license free radios and new digital ones such as the BD305LF using separate channels. A major advantage to using these radios is the way it’s charged, the BD305LF can simply be plugged into a wall via the use of a Micro-USB just like you would with a smart phone.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• USB Charging                                                            • Reduced Range
• Dual Mode Capable                                                  • Minimal Features
• Modern Design
• VOX Voice Activation

Price Ex. VAT £75
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band DMR446
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 16
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 101 x 49 x 26
Weight in Grams 140

8. Motorola SL1600/SL2600

The SL1600 and SL2600 from Motorola come in at 8th place on our top 10 list for compact radios. With only slight differences between the two, the SL2600 is the slightly upgraded version of the two with a full display and 256 channels in comparison to the SL1600’s LED light display and 99 channels.

Motorola released these radios with the hospitality working environment in mind, their sleek design ensures that they wouldn’t look out of place even in the high end restaurants and hotels. With these radios being licensed this means that your potential range will be much better than other members of this list, available for purchase with both UHF and VHF frequencies, the SL1600 and SL2600 can be used in highly built up areas or in wide open spaces. One feature that both of these radios both have is the Lone Worker, although this isn’t necessarily something that would be required in hospitality environments it is a good feature to have should it ever be required.

The radio featured in the image is the SL2600 model.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Crystal Clear Audio                                                • Higher Price
• Licensed Radio
• Dual Mode Operation                                             
• VOX Voice Activation
• Sleek Design

Price Ex. VAT £181.51 (SL1600) £199 (SL2600)
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 99 (SL1600) 256 (SL2600)
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 126 x 55 x 22
Weight in Grams 169

7. Hytera BD505/BD555

Although the BD505 and BD555 are both feature rich radios, the reason that they place so low down on our top ten is due to the fact that they’re relatively new and are a similar price point to the hugely popular Motorola DP1400 and Hytera PD705LT.

As mentioned both the BD505 and BD555 are some of the newest radios from Hytera having been released in 2018. With a modern look, this doesn’t detract from these radios being fit for purpose in even some of the harshest of environmental conditions. There are numerous differentiating factors between the two radios with the BD505 being a 40 channel non-display model and the BD555 a 256 channel device with a single display, on the BD555 the display is located at the top of the face plate and shows the current channel and battery life remaining.

The radio featured in the image is the BD555 model.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Licensed Radio                                                          • Lacks In Safety Features
• Modern Design
• Dual Mode Capable
• Display & Non Display Available
• User Friendly

Price Ex. VAT £124.99 (BD505) £149.99 (BD555)
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 40 (BD505) 256 (BD555)
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 108 x 54 x 29
Weight in Grams 220

6. Motorola XT420/XT460

Our number six isn’t actually a single radio, it is the XT400 models from Motorola. The XT420 and XT460 are some of Motorola’s leading license free radios, and because of this are trusted in a variety of industries as a go to radio. The slight difference between these two radios are that the XT420 is a standard black box styled radio, where the XT460 has both an 8 character display with 3 action buttons below.

These radios are the best of both worlds offering outstanding professional grade quality at an affordable price, and although the Motorola stalwarts are license free this doesn’t hold them back when it comes to features. Both the XT420 and XT460 have a total of 16 channels programmed to PMR446 analogue frequencies, these channels are capable of being cycled through via the use of a channel scanning feature meaning that a transmission will never be missed. These radios are also compatible with the previous Motorola XTNi radio.

The radio featured in the image is the XT460 model.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Low Price                                                                   • Analogue Only
• User Friendly Design                                               • Reduced Range
• VOX Voice Activation
• With and Without Display
• Backwards Compatible

Price Ex. VAT £75 (XT420) £99.99* (XT460)
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band PMR446
Analogue or Digital? Analogue
Channels 16
Ingres Protection Rating IP55
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 105 x 55 x 35
Weight in Grams 180

*Radiotronics Sale Price

5. Kenwood TK-3601D

The next radio in our top 10 is the TK-3601D from Kenwood. Although this is license free, it stands apart from other radios alike due to a number of factors. The TK-3601D has 32 channels programmed to DMR446 frequencies, this meaning that not only is there more channels to transmit on, but due to being a digital radio this means that the transmissions both sent and received will be crystal clear.

As all radios in this list the TK-3601D is a compact device but there is something special about the design of the TK-3601D. Simple to use with minimal buttons and a small display showing the user their current channel and remaining battery life, the TK-3701D would be ideal for use in a variety of smaller working environments whether they be customer facing or not. Due to the radios size and the accessories that are available, the TK-3701D can be easily concealed allowing for a smart appearance from your staff.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely User Friendly                                         • Reduced Range
• Easily Concealed
• Dual Mode Capable
• IP67 Ingres Protection

Price Ex. VAT £205
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band DMR446
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 32
Ingres Protection Rating IP67
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 97 x 54 x 27
Weight in Grams 160

4. Icom IC-F52D/IC-F62D

In fourth place we have a pair of two-way radios, although this sounds amiss, the IC-F52D and IC-F62D are the same radio but at the same time they’re not. Icom, the producer of these radios, tend to keep each frequency band to a specific product name. In this case the the IC-F52D is a VHF radio and the IC-F62D is UHF.

Although the Icom radio is small in size, its IP67 Ingres protection rating ensures that it will continue to operate even after being submersed in water whilst also being safe from dust intrusion. The IC-F52D/62D are capable of performing mixed mode operation meaning that should you have existing analogue radios they can still be used alongside your newer models. The 512 possible channels means that these radios are an ideal solution should you have a larger workforce, these channels can be split across groups meaning that individual areas of your business can have their own private channels.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Feature Rich                                                              • Expensive in Comparison
• IP67 Ingres Protection
• Extremely Compact
• Dual Mode Capable
• Crystal Clear Audio

Price Ex. VAT £399
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 512
Ingres Protection Rating IP67
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 92 x 56 x 29
Weight in Grams 215

3. Hytera PD365/PD365LF

The PD365 from Hytera is one of the most feature rich compact radios available to purchase. It’s sleek design means that it stands apart from the crowd in a market that is fiercely competitive. Available as both a licensed and license free model, having the choice between the two means that both short and long range communications can be achieved. Ideal for use in environments where appearance is key, the PD365 wouldn’t look out of place in high end establishments such as hotels and restaurants.

Something that makes both the PD365 and PD365LF an exceptional product is it’s ability to wireless charge. When purchased with a compatible battery and charger, simply place your radio into the holder and your radio will charge allowing for easy access from the unit should the radio be needed quickly.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Available As Both Licensed and License Free    • Lacks In Safety Features
• User Friendly Interface
• Wireless Charging
• 3-Line Monochrome Display
• VOX Voice Activation

Price Ex. VAT £137.5 (L) £122.15 (LF)
License or LF? Licensed & License Free
Frequency Band UHF/VHF & DMR446
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 256 (L) & 16 (LF)
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 106 x 54 x 23
Weight in Grams 180

2. Motorola CLP446

The radio that we have chosen as our number two is the CLP446 from Motorola. Although the radio has been available to purchase in the UK for many years, it’s popularity hasn’t ever reached the heights that it has on the opposite side of the Atlantic. A huge success in America, the CLP446 is a license free, compact two-way radio that is easily one of the smallest available on the market from a major manufacturer. Ideal for use in a variety of working environments, due to its small stature the CLP446 is easily concealed making it an ideal solution for customer facing positions where appearance is everything.

The CLP446 is available as both a standard wired version and a Bluetooth capable model, when purchasing the Bluetooth CLP446 this will allow for the use of wireless accessories such as microphones and earpieces.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely Compact                                                  • Reduced Range
• Ideal Beginner Radio                                               • Small Number Of Channels
• Extremely Easy Use                                                 • Reduced Functions
• Wired or Bluetooth Versions Available
• Voice Assisted Operation

Price Ex. VAT £149.99
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band PMR446
Analogue or Digital? Analog
Channels 8
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 88 x 50 x 19
Weight in Grams 68

 

1. Motorola EVX-S24

The EVX-S24 from Motorola is a product name that you may have heard before in association with the brand Vertex Standard. In 2019 Motorola absorbed the company into their own, transferring across some of the companies most popular radios such as the EVX-S24 and branding them Motorola.

One of the smallest radios within this top 10, the EVX-S24 is the true definition of compact. Although it is small in stature, what the EVX-S24 has as features more than makes up for what it lacks in size. VOX Voice Activation can be used with compatible accessories, this allowing for the hands free use of the radio within the workplace should it be needed. Safety features such as Lone Worker and an emergency button ensure that the users of the EVX-S24 can send out a quick alarm should they find themselves in danger.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely Compact
• User Friendly
• Crystal Clear Audio
• Lone Worker Capable
• IP67 Waterproof

Price Ex. VAT £165
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 128
Ingres Protection Rating IP67
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 91 x 55 x 31
Weight in Grams 215

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