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Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
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- VibraCall vibration alert or 20 different call tones
- 11 weather channels (7 NOAA) with alert features
- 22 channels each with 121 privacy codes for superior interference protection
- Pair of two-way radios with up to 35 mile range
- iVOX hands-free communication without the need for an audio accessory
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From the manufacturer
Motorola Talkabout MR350 is the ultimate communication tool for the serious outdoor enthusiast. With a range of up to 35 miles* and loaded with every possible radio feature, you know that with the MR350, you are ready for the extreme outdoors. Lightweight and rugged, with extra large buttons to help you operate even with gloves on, the MR350 is built to handle any challenge without weighing you down.
- 22 Channels, each with 121 Privacy Codes.
- NOAA Weather Channels and Alerts.
- Built-in Flashlight
- IP-51 Rated
- Dual Power
- PTT Power Boost
- iVOX/VOX Hands-free
22 Channels, each with 121 Privacy Codes
With 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, totaling 2,662 combinations, it is easy to find an available channel.
|Range: Mountain to Valley/Open Water/Neighborhood||Up to 35 / 6 / 2 Miles||Up to 35 / 6 / 2 Miles||Up to 35 / 6 / 2 Miles|
|IP Rating||IP-51: Dust protection and protection from dripping water (vertically falling drops).||IP-51: Dust protection and protection from dripping water (vertically falling drops).||IP-51: Dust protection and protection from dripping water (vertically falling drops).|
|Channels||22 channels, each with 121 privacy codes||22 channels, each with 121 privacy codes||22 channels, each with 121 privacy codes|
|11 weather channels (7 NOAA) with alert feature||✓||✓||✓|
|Push-to-Talk (PTT) Power Boost||✓||✓||✓|
|Emergency Alert Button||✓||✓||✓|
|Battery Life||23 hr. alkaline (3 AA) or 8 hr. NiMH||23 hr. alkaline (3 AA) or 8 hr. NiMH||23 hr. alkaline (3 AA) or 8 hr. NiMH|
|Packaging Contents||2 radios, 2 (AA) NiMH rechargeable battery packs, 2 belt clips, 1 dual drop-in charger, 1 charging adaptor, 1 emergency preparedness checklist, 1 User's Guide||2 radios, 2 NiMH Rechargeable battery packs, 2 belt clips, 1 dual drop-in charger, 1 charging adapter, 2 earbuds with PTT Microphone, 2 extra faceplates (blaze orange) 1 emergency preparedness checklist, 1 Accessories sheet, 1 User Guide||3 radios, 3 (AA) NiMH rechargeable battery packs, 3 belt clips, 1 Triple drop-in charger, 3 earbuds with PTT Microphone, 3 extra faceplates (blaze orange, lime green & yellow), 1 charging adaptor, 1 emergency preparedness checklist, 1 Accessories' sheet, 1 User Guide|
Motorola Talkabout MR350R 2 Way Radio
Top Customer Reviews
I experimented with 3 different models of Walkie talkies in the mall with my wife. First we tried the 5 mile Motorola. I was on one end of the mall inside Macy's and she was on the other side in Nordstrom. She could not even hear me.
We tried the 10 mile Motorola. This time she could hear me press the talk button and a few garbled words, but that was it. We could not communicate.
We tried these 35 mile ones last. We were able to hear each other just fine. Not bad considering the distance and the number of obstructions.
I have also tried this on the open road for car to car communication and it can reach the horizon. If you want more power, you will need to get a license and buy a 5 watt radio.
This Radio has many nice features you would normally find in Professional Radios 5 times the price of this.
UPDATE SEPT 25, 2009-
This radio has a really nice feature I just discovered. It has the hands free iVOX capability. It will broadcast when it hears a sound. There are 3 levels of sensitivity. I tried it as a baby monitor. I left my wife and baby while they were asleep and turned on the radio to High power on one of the GMRS channels(I have an FCC license by the way, so I can use this channel). I drove about 1 mile to my brother-in-laws house. The Radio worked as a long range baby monitor! It was impressive considering that the radio was indoors and I was not line-of-site, and it reached a mile. Very amusing.
I would advice getting an FCC license so that you can use the High power GMRS channels legally. With these radios, it is about 1.5 to 2 watts. If you use the FRS channels 8 to 14, all walkie talkies including this will only use 0.5 watts. Channels 1 to 7 are GMRS/FRS channels. You cannot legally use the high power PTT button if you do not have an FCC license. Channels 15 to 22 are GMRS channels where you can use the High power mode exclusive to GMRS radios. Go to the FCC website and pay the fee for a GMRS radio license, it is good for your immediate family for 5 years. It is worth it if you use it all the time.
****Update October 26, 2009****
I will now detail what I have found out about my Motorola:
1. In door range - This is the mall slayer. Go to any mall and give your kids one and you will be able to talke to them pretty much anywhere they are.
2. Audio Quality - Very clear and very loud.
3. Outdoor Range - It has almost the same range as my Icom professional radio which has 3 times the power. That is basically because outdoor range is more about antenna height rather than power.
4. Flashlight - Very useful when you go camping. You dont have to bring an extra flashlight. It is bright. Excellent for emergencies.
5. iVox - Hands free operation. Very useful as a 1 mile baby monitor.
6. Call button - I can call the other radio so that they know I am trying to call them so they can pick up the radio.
7. Emergency button - It will send an alert so that the other person knows you are in trouble.
8. Weather channels - I use it to find out the weather, specially before going Kayaking.
9. Privacy Codes - it has so many Privacy codes so you will never be disturbed by other radios.
10. QT - You can restrict the radios that you hear to only Motorolas.
11. Scan - well most other radios have this too.
12. 2 power settings - You can either transmit on .5 watts or 1.5 watts, depending on the button you press. Unless you are using FRS channels 8 to 14 which are hardcoded to use .5 watts.
13. Vibrate feature - In case you are in a noisy place, this is useful.
14. Ease of use - It does not get easier. Instructions are clear and it is intuitive.
1. I am still trying to find one.
********UPDATE December 27,2009*********
I conducted another Distance and clarity test:
1. My Icom F21 UHF 4 watt Professional Handheld Radio(same one Police/Sheriff use. $380 for a pair)
2. My Motorola MR350($59 a pair)
Parameters of the Test:
I have a 40 Watt GMRS Base Station at home. My Home is by the Beach Blvd. I will drive North on beach Blvd and at every quarter mile, I will get down from the car, and transmit. I will transmit first with the Icom, then the Motorola. I will also note down if I can hear a reply back and how clear the reply was.
Result of the test:
1. Icom- was able to transmit and receive clearly up till 3 1/4 miles. It then started to become choppy from that point.
2. Motorola - was able to transmit and receive clearly till 2 3/4 miles. It then started to become choppy from that point.
1. Icom - There were times I had to ask my wife to repeat herself because it sounded a little muffled.
2. Motorola - Just like listening to an FM radio. Loud and crystal clear.
Although the extra power of the Icom gave it a slight advantage in range, about 20%, you can buy 8 pairs of these Motorolas for the price of the Icom. Let the result speak for itself.
Note: This test was meant to show that the Professional Radios only have a slight advantage over the Motorola. The distances were that far because I have a base station with a 10 foot mast and an external J-pole GMRS tuned antenna. Hand held to hand held still follows the laws of physics so it is the same as I mentioned at the beginning of the review, .5 to 1 mile in the city. Completely different story if you are on an elevated position. Distance in miles = Square root of the Height(in feet) x 1.4.
*****UPDATE FEB. 04,2010******
I would like to now discuss the Cost savings of this MR350 over Professional Radios.
My Motorola MR350 is still going strong. I have since bought more Professional Icoms and have had to go through the hassle of tweaking them and programming them manually to get them to function the way this Motorola does when you first take it out of the packaging. I had to buy these Icoms because I am a member of a GMRS Radio Group here in Orange County and Los Angeles and I need the repeater functionality and external antenna.
If you buy a professional radio, you will have to pay to have it programmed. It can cost from between $20 to $80 each time you need to have something programmed. I bought the software and equipment to program my Icoms and they were very expensive. Again, this is something you will never have to do with the MR350.
Batteries on my Icoms cost about $60. That is even more than the cost of this MOTOROLA!!! Not to mention that I had to buy an external battery pack for my Icoms costing $45 so that I can use Energizer AA batteries. The Motorola can use the included rechargeable battery, or you can use Energizer.
I have my Motorolas fully charged all the time so if ever the big earthquake hits LA, this will be my primary survival gear together with my Swiss Army Knife.
In a cost perspective, the Motorola MR350 wins hands down. You will easily spend about $650-700(hardware and software) to equip a pair(2) of Professional Radios to have some(not all) of the features of this Motorola MR350. At the end of the day, cost will always be a factor when we purchase anything.
Hope to talk to you on the air.
******UPDATE APRIL 19,2010*******
I just bought another set of Motorola MR350 radios. I leave a pair in my car for emergencies where I cannot use my car mounted Mobile UHF radio. I still think these are the best deal on any UHF radio.
******UPDATE OCTOBER 26,2010*******
I just wanted to update all of you since it has been 1 year since my original post. The 4 Radios and the batteries are still working great. That being said, one of the nice people to comment, mentioned that one or both of his new units were defective. Unfortunately, that is not unique with Consumer radios. Once you receive your radio, whatever you buy, please test it right away. If you find that something is not right, tell Amazon that the unit is defective, then exchange it for a new set. That is the nice thing about Amazon. And if you have more issues, drop me a comment, and I can point you to other radios that you may like. I collect radios and I have tried most of them already so I can save you the trouble of deciding.
Also, he mentioned that there is a site that you can get a free replacement faceplate for the MR355 which has the Repeater capability and all of the features of the MR350. The catch is the original faceplate of the MR355 is camo. The free replacement faceplate will make the MR355 look much more discreet. Look into that radio as well. From what I hear, they are almost the same price. Oh, and I also have that MR355 radio, but never take it out because I have not replaced the faceplate yet. I will eventually.
******UPDATE FEBRUARY 2, 2012*******
I am so happy to announce that all 4 Motorola MR350 radios are still working. I still take them with me everywhere and have not had any problems with them. I have accidentally dropped them a couple of times so they have some scratches here and there, but they still work fine. I am really happy all 4 radios have lasted this long, almost 3 years for the original pair.
If there are any situations you would like me to test, please let me know and I will do my best to document a proper test for it. Let me know.
******UPDATE AUGUST 27, 2012*******
Again, I am happy to report all 4 radios still work. Now I would like to talk about the best new radio I have seen from Motorola, the MT352R. It is basically very similar to the MR350 except that it has a better rechargeable NiMH battery. It has double the battery life of the MR350. It also has a new method of charging. It does not use a charging station anymore. You just plug a mini USB cable to the bottom.
That is great, except that it is a much larger radio, so you have to consider the bulk of this before buying it. I have only seen it but I am about to buy a pair and see if this provides. I was really hesitant to buy it because it did not look as sleek as the MR350 which has served me well.
Once I get it, I will let you know if it is even worth paying the extra money, for what appears to be the same radio.
Another thing I wanted to discuss is the repair of these consumer radios. If the radio is still under warranty and Motorola will replace your radio as long as it was not due to user error. Once the warranty is over and your radios break, you have to buy a new radio as they do not repair radios out of warranty. Motorola used to do repairs, but no one really availed of it because it costs $50 or more to repair a radio. People just bought new ones. That goes for all handhelds available. So, the moral of the story is, if your radio is still under warranty, bring it to Motorola(or whatever radio you buy) and they will give you a new radio. Do not wait as the warranty could lapse.
I hope that helps you guys.
********UPDATE December 3, 2012*******
All 4 MR350 radios are still ticking. I am happy to report though that I have purchased a pair of Motorola MT352R radios. It will be arriving soon, and I will do a very comprehensive side by side test between my favorite, the MR350 vs the contender, the MT352R. Please give me about a week to get the radios, perform the tests and analyze the results. I should be able to post the findings by December 14, 2012. It should give you enough time to decide whether to buy this for xmas.
********IMPORTANT UPDATE December 4,2012*********
I received the Motorola MT352R this morning and proceeded to perform the comparison testing between the MR350 and the MT352R. Please go to my review of the MT352R so you will be able to see the results of my testing. Motorola MT352R Giant FRS Weatherproof Two-Way - 35 Mile Radio Pack - Silver
In a nutshell, they have the same features except for the IP-54 weather resistance. The main difference between them is size, distance, battery life and most important of all, price. Is 20-30% more distance worth paying 40-50% more(depending how much the current price is of course)? That is your choice. I still prefer the MR350 because of the very slim form and proven reliability. The MT352R is as big as an ICOM handheld. The MT352R has a better battery, but the MR350 has great battery life to begin with.
Please read my review of the MT352R so you have a better idea. I hope that helps.
********UPDATE April 29, 2013*********
I have had these radios for 4 years now and they still work just fine. I still highly recommend them.
Wow. How time flies. I have had these 4 MR350R radios for 5 years now and they still work fine. I still have them in my pocket and car. Really great. My Daughter was 1 when I bought my first set. She is now almost 7. I actually hide a radio in her school backpack so that she can call me if there is an emergency in school. Thankfully, the only time she called was because I was late picking her up.
I use smartphones and computers for communication too, but radios have their use. Use the right tool for the job.
**********UPDATE MARCH 23, 2015**********
It has now been 6 years since I wrote my original review in 2009. I bought a new kit that has the newer higher power rechargeable batteries the Motorola 53614 NiMH Battery Upgrade Kit as a birthday gift for my radios. They are still serving me well and I have just packed them into my bag for a long trip. Thank you so much to everyone that has sent me questions. I too learn from testing your scenarios, If there is a situation you would like me to test, please let me know, and I will try my best to get you an answer.
*******UPDATE November 2016********
I can't believe it has been 7 years since I wrote this review. I am happy to report that my MT350 radios are still in use. I have gone through 6 mobile phones already since then. But my radios are still ticking. I am so happy that so many people are getting back into Radio.
All of these Motorola products have the following properties:
1. As stated elsewhere, their practical range is about a mile or two under realistic conditions. This is more than sufficient for activities such as camping, skiing, fishing, shopping and beach-going. Even for car-to-car communications during convoy-style road trips.
2. These are consumer-grade products, and they are low-priced accordingly. Their knobs will come off if you pull, and if you drop them onto a hard surface they will break. So don't do those things.
3. The plastic belt-clips they come with break immediately. Instead, it is possible to rig a lanyard to hold them.
4. Built-in flashlights are very handy on camping trips. They are not terribly bright but it is sufficient to prevent tripping over rocks and branches.
5. We long ago ditched the rechargable batteries and put Alkalines in them before each trip. Rechargable was a nice idea but did not pan out for all-day use.
And if anyone wonders why bother with these when we all have cell phones, 3 points
a. Group communications. These are BROADCAST radios useful for GROUP activities. Sure there are "walkie talkie" phone apps, but not everyone will agree to install & configure, and they are battery-drains.
b. Inexpensive. You really want to pull out your $400 smartphone on a ski lift?
c. Battery life. A set of fresh alkalines will last a few days at least.
i. They are lightweight but not too small.
ii. Because of i. they do feel cheaply made, a bit toy-like.
iii. For the money, may not be the best but we own them and use them anyway.
i. Feel a bit more durable than the MR350R
ii. Though they are lower power, but in practice this has not mattered.
iii. Lower-price, but no flashlight
iv. Smaller, so better for kids or to tuck in a ski-jacket pocket.
MC220R (not sold on Amazon currently)
i. Junk. Do not buy. A few have stopped working, or only work when you squeeze the battery case.
MS350R, which we currently prefer over other Motorola models.
i. Same features as MR350R, and same price.
ii. Waterproof. We bought these specifically for poolside and waterpark use.
iii. Case feels more rugged, though I will not subject them to a drop test.
iv. Heavier and slightly larger than MR350R, which may be a pro or con depending on your taste.
In summary, we were not terribly impressed by any of them when we first got them three years ago. But they still work and they've been tremendously useful within their limitations, so my opinion has improved over time.
Finally note that now, for the same $30 per handset, one can buy an amateur / professional quality 5W handheld (e.g. BaoFeng), Of course to use that much power one must be licensed and the units must be programmed-- one doesn't just open a blister-pack and hand them to kids.
Still, it shows that these Motorola radios are not good deals as far as technology goes, we are paying a price for convenience.
I bought 3 sets so that we each have one while camping or when we go on cruise.
They have done a great job in communicating with each other where cellular signal is not present.
My kids love to play with them around the house too. They are sturdy. The audio control knob of one of the unit came off as kids were playing with them, but other than that we have had no issues.
The range I get is around 4-5 miles in a forest which is amazing and much more than I expected.
They came with rechargeable batteries and a charging unit. And you can put normal AA batteries in them too. I always take extra batteries with me in case I do not find any power to recharge them.
Overall a good buy and I am satisfied with them.