Radioddity FS-T2 Review
Cons: Poor battery life, no water resistance rating
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|Price||$34.99 at Amazon||$179.95 at Backcountry|
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|$69.99 at Amazon||$70 List||$29.98 at Amazon|
|Pros||Inexpensive, small, good range for its size||Easy to use, great range, great battery life, good weather resistance||Small size, solid range, water resistant||Excellent range, has an extraordinary amount of features/settings, good battery life||Inexpensive, small and light, water resistant, has privacy codes|
|Cons||Poor battery life, no water resistance rating||Large and heavy, very expensive||More expensive, poor battery life, questionable quality control||Difficult to set up and learn to use, has the capability to get you in trouble with the FCC||Poor range, inaccurate battery indicator|
|Bottom Line||Better range than the other small and inexpensive radios we tested, but still lacks the power and features of the bigger and more expensive models||Aside from its larger size, this radio performed with excellence all around, especially in ease of use||Battery life and the price are the two weakest points of the X-Talker 36 that otherwise has solid range, small size, and water resistance||Licensed ham radio operators will appreciate the amazing range and tons of features||While it has poor range, this inexpensive radio is our top recommendation in its price range|
|Rating Categories||Radioddity FS-T2||BC Link 2.0||Midland X-Talker 36||BaoFeng BF-F8HP||Midland X-Talker T10|
|Range And Clarity (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Weather Resistance And Durability (15%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Weight And Size (15%)|
|Specs||Radioddity FS-T2||BC Link 2.0||Midland X-Talker 36||BaoFeng BF-F8HP||Midland X-Talker T10|
|Measured Weight (Single Radio, with Batteries)||4.1 oz||11.0 oz||5.0 oz||7.8 oz||3.9 oz|
|Battery Capacity||1500 mAh||2,300 mAh||700mAh||2,000 mAh||1,000 mAh|
|Battery Type||Li-ion||Lithium Ion||NiHM, Alkaline AAA||Lithium Ion||AAA|
|Rechargeable?||Yes||Yes||Yes, or normal AAA||Yes||No|
|Charge Via USB?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||n/a|
|Battery Life Test Results (hr:min)||10:45||22:45||11:40||17:40||21:20|
|Frequency Range||462.5625 to 467.7125 MHz||462.55 to 467.71 MHz||462.5625 to 467.7125 MHz||65-108MHz (FM Receive only) 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz (TX/RX)||462.55 to 467.71 MHz|
|Dimensions (in) Body Only||2 x 1 x 5.9"||3.9 x 2.4 x 2" Body;
3.15 x 2.2 x 1" Mic
|1.30 x 2.20 x 6.10"||2 x 1.2 x 3.7"||2 x 1 x 3.5"|
|Privacy Codes?||157 available||Yes||121 available||Yes||Yes, 38 available|
|NOAA Weather Alerts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Clips to Pack?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No (mounts sold separately)||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
With a straight-line range of 2.4 miles, the Radioddity FS-T2 made calls over longer distances than other small and inexpensive models in our tests. It lasted less than 11 hours in the battery test, which was less than many similar radios. If you don't have any outstanding needs from your radio, and range is more important than battery life, this could be a fine, inexpensive option for you.
Range and Clarity
When we tested this radio along a straight stretch of unobstructed road, it made its longest transmission at 2.4 miles away. This, combined with an average score on our obstructed range test (over a hill with trees), put it a bit above average. Compared to radios of a similar size, it certainly has a better range than many of its smaller sized competitors.
While this radio had pretty good range for its size, transmissions do get fuzzy sooner than on other radios. We noticed static in all transmissions after about 0.8 miles in our unobstructed straight-line test. We could still understand the spoken transmissions up to a distance of 2.4 miles, though.
Ease of Use
The Radioddity devices provide average ease of use. They have a relatively easy to read display, and comparable button layout to many of the other radios we tested. We like that it has many features and more settings than many other low-cost options, but wish the computer cord to access these additional settings did not have to be purchased separately.
In regard to the button layout, we found this radio to be on par with many other less expensive options. If you have used a handful of other personal radios, navigation of the menu shouldn't be difficult. We did have to reference the manual to figure out what each setting code meant as it flashed on the screen while we navigated the menu. We also found ourselves wishing for a volume knob to make quick and efficient volume changes to combat variable ambient noise.
As mentioned above, these radios come with some more advanced options that can only be utilized by buying an additional cord to interface the radio with your computer. These features are a high/low transmission power, a timeout for long transmissions in case you accidentally hold down the PTT button in your backpack, and a clear tail feature that gives a notable click at the end of a transmission.
We did like the Y-shaped charging cord for easy charging of both radios in only one USB port. While some radios have the added convenience of being able to use regular batteries or the rechargeable pack, the Radioddity only fits its specific battery pack. This inhibits your options if you run out of battery without a way to charge but allows the radio to be smaller and lighter.
Weather Resistance and Durability
We found no notable signs of damage after many hours of use and getting bounced around in backpacks. The solid outer casing and lack of small breakable parts make for a set of radios that stands up to our tests. If something were to happen, these radios come with a 1.5-year warranty when you buy them from an authorized dealer.
One accessory to the radios was not durable or nearly as well made as the radio itself. The supplied headphone/microphone felt flimsy, did not fit well in testers' ears, and fell out repeatedly with active movements. While we like that you can use an external microphone/earpiece by just plugging it in, we recommend finding an aftermarket option that is higher quality if you plan to use that feature extensively.
While the Radioddity radios were solid in most conditions, we shied away from using them in wet environments. Radioddity makes no claims of water resistance or waterproofing, so we only tested it with some light sprinkles of water (which it passed). While it has a nice rubber cover over the headphone port, it has no cover for the charging port. If you are looking for something to take on your watersport adventures, we recommend looking for something specifically made to get wet.
Sending a 10-second transmission every 5 minutes, these radios lasted 10 hours and 45 minutes until the battery ran out. This is one of the poorest battery performances out of all the radios we tested, and less than half of the time of our best performers.
We did appreciate getting a warning beep each time the power indicator went down a bar. Once you go down to one bar of power, it beeps mid transmission, which is a helpful warning but could get a little annoying. Once the radio goes to 0 bars, it beeps every 12 seconds and will not make a transmission.
Weight and Size
Weighing in at 4.1 oz for one radio, the Radioddity is one of the lightest we tested. It is even less than half as hefty as other options we have tested. As far as carrying an important piece of electronic equipment, the size and weight of this radio will not slow you down.
If you are looking for a set of radios with solid range, features, and small size, this could be a good value purchase. If you are looking for a fully-featured radio with great range and water resistance, it would be worth spending more money somewhere else. Our value assessment would be higher if our experience with the battery life were better.
While this radio was not the best in any one category, it performed quite well compared to other small and less expensive options we tested. The range is better than other small options, and the functions of the radio are on par with its peers. Its most significant weak points are its short battery life and lack of water-resistant features. If you need a basic radio that is easy to carry and will not be used in challenging weather, the Radioddity could be a great option.
— Gray Grandy