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Midland X-Talker T10 Review

This radio is small, light, and packs plenty of battery life, but lacks the range of larger radios
Midland X-Talker T10
Credit: REI Co-op
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $30 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive, small and light, water resistant, has privacy codes
Cons:  Poor range, inaccurate battery indicator
Manufacturer:   Midland
By Gray Grandy ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 26, 2020
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 9
  • Range and Clarity - 30% 3.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 5.0
  • Weather Resistance and Durability - 15% 6.0
  • Battery Life - 15% 7.0
  • Weight and Size - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

If you want a very small radio that you will forget you are carrying, the Midland X-Talker T10 is a good option with some assets that make it stand above other small radios. In this small of a package, none of the walkie talkies meet the standards of the larger ones, but the Midland X-Talker gets closer than many of its rivals. It stands out with good water resistance and excellent battery life, but we found it to have poor range and a far-from-accurate battery indicator. If you are buying a radio for a sport like climbing where the range isn't that important, but the size is, you could be a good fit for the X-Talker. As a bonus, it has pre-programmed privacy codes to improve communication among your group when there is lots of radio traffic, which most budget models lack. Among models in its price range, we feel that this model offers the best value, earning it our Best Buy Award. Again, if a large range is your priority, it's unlikely that any model in this price range will suffice for your needs.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Midland X-Talker T10
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$189.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$70 List$35 List
$34.89 at Amazon
$35 List
$29.99 at Amazon
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Pros Inexpensive, small and light, water resistant, has privacy codesEasy to use, great range, great battery life, good weather resistanceExcellent range, has an extraordinary amount of features/settings, good battery lifeSmall and lightweight, inexpensiveInexpensive, small, good range for its size
Cons Poor range, inaccurate battery indicatorLarge and heavy, very expensiveDifficult to set up and learn to use, has the capability to get you in trouble with the FCCNot that easy to use, just adequate rangePoor battery life, no water resistance rating
Bottom Line This radio is small, light, and packs plenty of battery life, but lacks the range of larger radiosThis excellent radio is easy to use and offers great, reliable performance from sunny days to stormy onesThis radio has amazing performance, but requires a ham operator's license to be used legallyAverage performance across the board in a small packageCompared to other inexpensive and small radios on the market, this radio has better range and comparable features but falls back in battery life
Rating Categories Midland X-Talker T10 Backcountry Access... BaoFeng BF-F8HP Motorola Talkabout... Radioddity FS-T2
Range and Clarity (30%)
3.0
7.0
10.0
4.0
4.0
Ease of Use (25%)
5.0
8.0
1
4.0
5.0
Weather Resistance and Durability (15%)
6.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
4.0
Battery Life (15%)
7.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
3.0
Weight and Size (15%)
8.0
3.0
4.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Midland X-Talker T10 Backcountry Access... BaoFeng BF-F8HP Motorola Talkabout... Radioddity FS-T2
Measured Weight (Single Radio, with Batteries) 3.9 oz 11.0 oz 7.8 oz 4.0 oz 4.1 oz
Battery Capacity 1,000 mAh 2,300 mAh 2,000 mAh 1,000 mAh 1500 mAh
Battery Type AAA Lithium Ion Lithium Ion AAA Li-ion
Rechargeable? No Yes Yes No Yes
Charge Via USB? n/a Yes No n/a Yes
Battery Life Test Results (hr:min) 21:20 22:45 17:40 19:30 10:45
Frequency Range 462.55 to 467.71 MHz 462.55 to 467.71 MHz 65-108MHz (FM Receive only) 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz (TX/RX) 462.55 to 467.71 MHz 462.5625 to 467.7125 MHz
Dimensions (in) Body Only 2 x 1 x 3.5" 3.9 x 2.4 x 2" Body;
3.15 x 2.2 x 1" Mic
2 x 1.2 x 3.7" 2 x 1 x 3.5" 2 x 1 x 5.9"
Channels 22 22 100+ 22 22
Privacy Codes? Yes, 38 available Yes Yes No 157 available
Keypad Lock? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
NOAA Weather Alerts? Yes Yes No No Yes
VOX? Yes No Yes No Yes
Scan Function? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Clips to Pack? Yes Yes No (mounts sold separately) Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

In the sub-class of small radios, the X-Talker is quite well equipped. It has some water resistance and really strong battery life but lacks the range and ease of use that some of the larger radios possess. This radio is also one of the cheapest options available, so it offers pretty good value for your money.

Performance Comparison


Midland X-Talker T10 walkie talkies - the x-talker fit nicely in our hand and worked fairly well...
The X-Talker fit nicely in our hand and worked fairly well considering its small size and reasonable price.
Credit: Caroline Miller

Range and Clarity


The X-Talker performed poorly in our straight-line range test, not even connecting at our first checkpoint one mile from the start line. This put it very low in comparison to other radios in the test. Surprisingly, its range didn't drop significantly when exposed to forested and hilly terrain, so it gained back some clout with those tests as the other radios dropped their range in the tougher terrain.


There was a large difference in the real-world range between the budget-friendly models we tested. Despite many of these models being marketed to transmit over dozens of miles, our experience with these types of radios was in the 2 miles or less range, and consistency was hard to find.

Midland X-Talker T10 walkie talkies - the midland x talker's size and range are better suited for rock...
The Midland X Talker's size and range are better suited for rock climbing than backcountry skiing.
Credit: Caroline Miller

Ease of Use


Changing channels and volume settings is never as easy with buttons as they are with knobs, but a lack of knobs makes for a sleeker design here. While the X-Taker has a good display screen, our testers found that its button-based menu system was harder to operate than it needed to be. You will quickly learn the ropes after reading the directions and become accustomed to how to change the settings you want to, but it could be easier with some twist knobs. The small size of this radio made it hard to operate with a gloved hand, but that is an obvious trade-off for its small overall size.


We appreciate that this model does come with 38 privacy codes, which can block out chatter on highly-trafficked radiowaves when everyone in your party utilizes the same privacy code. It's the only model in its price range with this feature. It also has a scan feature, can receive NOAA weather alerts, and has a keypad button lock. The keypad button lock is a handy feature when you want to keep your radio on but stuffed inside a pack or a tight pocket. It prevents inadvertent channel changes, which would put you out of reach from members of your party.

Midland X-Talker T10 walkie talkies - the midland x talker has a clip, but it isn't as secure as we would...
The Midland X Talker has a clip, but it isn't as secure as we would have liked for more intense activities like skiing or biking.
Credit: Caroline Miller

Weather Resistance and Durability


This radio is in the small group of those that came with a water resistance specification from the manufacturer. Its manual just say that it is water-resistant, but that its one year warranty does not cover water damage. It took a shower of water from a hose and our wet fall hikes with no problems. Its casing seemed up to the challenge of surviving the bumps and scrapes that come with a life in the outdoors.


We appreciate this protection in our investment, despite its price being low anyways. Communication becomes increasingly important as weather turns foul, and being confident that your radio won't peter out in moderate precipitation while you transmit a message to your partner(s) is a real benefit.

Midland X-Talker T10 walkie talkies - while midland will not support a warranty claim for water damage...
While Midland will not support a warranty claim for water damage, their claim that the X-Talker is water-resistant was upheld when we got it wet in our tests.
Credit: Gray Grandy

Battery Life


This is an area where the Midland X-Talker performed very well. It lasted over twenty-one hours total in our battery life test (sending one 10-second transmission every five minutes), putting it in the top group of finishers in that test. This model runs on non-rechargeable alkaline batteries (three AAA).


While the radio lasted a long time in our battery test, its battery indicator on the screen was very confusing. We were confused to see that the battery indicator showed full when standing by, but it showed the battery had lost charge when we pressed the transmit button. This discrepancy between battery indications continued throughout the test in various fashions. We did appreciate that as the radio was in its final minutes of function, it dimmed its screen to channel power into making more transmissions.

Unreliable batter indicator. Even when the battery is low, the...
Unreliable batter indicator. Even when the battery is low, the indicator shows that it is full when in stand-by mode.
Only when the transmission button is depressed does the indicator...
Only when the transmission button is depressed does the indicator change to show the low battery status.

Weight and Size


At 3.9 ounces and 5.5 inches tall, the X-Talker is one of the more slight radios in our test. It fits nicely in jacket pockets, waist belt pockets of backpacks, and clipped to a strap. We could easily forget that we were carrying the radio until we needed it.


Clipped onto our shoulder strap, this model rides along just about as discrete as possible for a modern walkie talkie. We like the clip but don't trust its sturdiness enough to keep it clipped outside of a pack or pocket when skiing or mountain biking downhill.

Midland X-Talker T10 walkie talkies - the midland x talker was nice and small so it fit in most jacket...
The Midland X Talker was nice and small so it fit in most jacket pockets, but needed a bare hand for efficient operation.
Credit: Caroline Miller

Value


As one of the cheapest radios we tested, the Midland X-Talker performed quite well for the price. It narrowly missed earning our Best Buy Award for its strong value. It has pretty good performance but lacks the range to have it hit all the bases. It is by far the cheapest option we tested with any water resistance. If you want a solid radio in a small package but a huge range isn't key, this could be a good buy.

Conclusion


We like the size and water resistance of the Midland X-Talker T10. The battery life is great, despite a lackluster battery indicator. It is easy enough to operate to make work and the price is quite hard to beat. Its poor range is simply the norm for this price range. You can pay triple the price to get a better radio, but if your budget won't allow it and your needs don't demand much range, this model is our top recommendation, winning our Best Buy Award.

Gray Grandy
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