Adventure Outdoors

Best Cheap Walkie Talkie

We’re sure you’ve heard of some horror stories about people buying some walkie talkies for cheap but turns out to be a little more than children’s toys in terms of appearance and functionality. From the cheap plastic that does not inspire any confidence in its durability to the lack of basic transmissions even when you’re in a wide-open field with no obstructions at all, we’re guessing that you will prefer to avoid any such disappointments. Thus, here we have a list of some of the budget and cheap walkie talkies that do not compromise on their basic functionalities.

What is the Best Cheap Walkie Talkie?

To decide on the absolute best cheap walkie talkie, we have examined dozens of good priced walkie talkies and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they experienced and shared, we have shortlisted the top 9 cheap walkie talkies for you to consider, including their most important features, to help you make an informed decision.

On top of that, to make it easier for you, we have also compiled a list of key/ critical things and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to consider before buying good priced walkie talkies. You can find it further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best cheap walkie talkie.

1. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.3 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 1.1 x 1.9 x 5.2 Inches (2.8 x 4.9 x 13.3 cm)
Range: 16 miles
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries

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Motorola T100 Talkabout radio is appropriate for both indoor activities like shopping and outdoor activities like camping and hiking. It operates wirelessly and can cover a distance of about 16 miles. It is water resisant and it is powered by 3 AAA batteries. The radio can also receive and transmit signals from other FRS walkie talkies regardless of the brand. It has an auto squelch system feature that mutes unclear signals and also block you from receiving other radio transmission. But the batteries can not be replaced as it is made impossible to access the battery compartment and you can not also charge the batteries.

Pros

  • Water resistant,
  • Can transmit and receive signals from other FRS radios no matter the brand,
  • Built-in flashlight that gives you a low battery alert,
  • An auto squelch feature that reduces and prevent interuption from other channels.

Cons

  • Inabiltity to remove the battery compartment for replacement,
  • Batteries can not be recharged.

2. NOAA Retevis RT49 Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 2.9 Pounds (1.3 kg)
Size: 10.3 x 9.1 x 4.9 Inches (26.2 x 23.1 x 12.4 cm)
Power Source: AA batteries

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The Retevis RT49 Walkie Talkie comes with rechagearble batteries and a lanyard which is great for kids so they dont lose it. They have an LCD display and a big keyboard so it is easy to see and use especially in the dark. It also has a NOAA Weather Scan and Alert feature which is excellent for giving alerts when there’s risk of adverse weather.

It has an IP65 water resistant design which helps protect the device from water and its effects. It however cannot be soaked in water. It is a hands free device which means it is sound and voice activated, it is also hands free therefore it is excellent for when you are having hands on activities.

It has a built in flashlight that is excellent for when you are out in the dark. It is a decent device for the price and the featires it comes with.

This device is best for communicatiuon within the neighborhood or for your children when they are out playing and you want to keep tabs on them.

Pros

  • Has a NOAA Weather Scan and Alert,
  • LCD screen and keyboard,
  • It is hands free,
  • Water and rain proof,
  • Has crystal clear sound.

Cons

  • Poor reception,
  • Short battery life.

3. Cobra HE150G 16-Mile 2-Way Radios

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.4 Pounds (0.2 kg)
Size: 8.6 x 7 x 1.3 Inches (21.8 x 17.7 x 3.3 cm)
Range: 16 miles
Battery Life: 21 hours
Power Source: AAA alkaline or rechargeable batteries
Continuous Talktime: 10 hours

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Designed for kids, the Cobra HE150G 16-Mile 2-Way Radios don’t look like toys and have an excellent transmitting range. Since these are lightweight and compact, both you and your kids can carry them during the trips. These are very easy to use as there are only a volume knob, channel select button, and PTT button. Since the radios have only two channels, you might catch somebody else’s conversation. But in most cases, this shouldn’t be a problem because you can switch to another channel.

Once your mate starts the conversation, you’ll get a call notification and then a confirmation tone when the channel is clear.

A durable belt clip will help to save a bit of space in your backpack. But at the same time, it makes it tricky to remove the back lid when it’s time to replace the batteries, so keep that in mind.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design,
  • Power-saving feature,
  • Call alert and confirmation tone,
  • Excellent max range

Cons

  • Might get interference,
  • Tricky to remove the back lid

4. Topsung M880 FRS Wakie-Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.2 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 6.3 x 3.2 x 2.4 Inches (16 x 8 x 6 cm)
Range: 4-16 miles
Battery Life: 72-96 hours
Power Source: 6AA batteries
Continuous Talktime:

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Topsung M880 two way radio is a quality walkie talkie that has the ability to cover a long range of about 4-16 miles. The radio portability also makes it light and easy to be carried around by children for a long period of time. Also, they utilize 6AA batteries which gives it a long stand-by time that is usually up to 3-4 days. Furthermore, the two way radio is made up of smart automatic software that helps you to store memory and other settings and also block squelch noises. It can also send notificatons concerning low battery and switching to power saving mode automatically. While the customer service for this brand is good, the cost of always having to replace the rechargeable batteries frequently might be something to bear in mind.

Pros

  • Light-weight and child-friendly,
  • FCC warranty for return in 30 days,
  • Functions like the auto squelch system that blocks white noises automatically

Cons

  • Battery is not durable.

5. MOICO 22 FRS Channels Long Range Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.9 Pounds (0.4 kg)
Size: 6.3 x 5 x 3.3 Inches (16.1 x 12.7 x 8.4 cm)
Range: 3-5 miles

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MOICO walkie talkie is a 22 FRS channel radio that can be used for both indoors and outdoor activities like camping. It has the ability to transmit signals through a long distance of about 3-5 miles. You can transmit information by pressing the push to talk button or by using VOX voice activation. The VOX has a great sensitivity, after you activitate it, you can put the radio in front and around your upper body so that it can pick your voice and send signals directly without using the push-to-talk button. However, it also gives clear and quality sound to the receiver when you transmit signals. It also has an LCD screen that gives a green backlight for visibility at night. You should also know that it is difficult to access the battery compartment because of the belt clip obstructing it.

Pros

  • Water resistant,
  • Suitable for both indoors and outdoors actvities,
  • Light weight and portability,
  • In-built LED torch for emergencies and flashlight,
  • Transmits quality sounds.

Cons

  • Poor battery quality,
  • Difficult to access the battery compartment due to the belt clip.

6. Radioddity GA-2S Long-Range UHF Radios

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.7 Pounds (0.8 kg)
Size: 4.7 x 2.4 x 1.1 Inches (12 x 6 x 2.8 cm)
Range: 1.5-3 miles
Battery Life: 96 hours
Power Source: 1500mAh Li-ion batteries
Continuous Talktime: 7 hours

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For those looking for an inexpensive set of 2-watt walkie-talkies, the Radioddity GA-2S Long-Range UHF Radios are an excellent option with standard 16 channels and a slim design. Additionally, you can program it with CHIRP software and customize side button functionality.

In the package, you’ll find charging stations, belt clips, earpieces, wrist straps, and micro USB cables that you can use to fill up the battery on the go. On top of that, these radios allow hands-free operation.

A minor concern, though, is a channel knob with unclear numbers. Next, some owners weren’t happy about their flimsy design. Given the price and the accessories you get, it is still a great set with 50 CTCSS and 105 CDCSS.

Pros

  • Slim and lightweight design,
  • Battery saving mode and VOX feature,
  • Programmable with CHIRP software,
  • Customizable side button

Cons

  • Channel knob numbers are hard to read,
  • Might feel a bit flimsy

7. Pxton 16 Channel Long Range Walkie Talkies with Earpieces

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 2.8 Pounds (1.2 kg)
Size: 8.3 x 1.9 x 2.4 Inches (21.2 x 4.8 x 6 cm)
Range: 3 miles
Battery Life: 8-96 hours
Power Source: 4 lithium ion batteries

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Pxton 16 channel long range walkie talkie is a radio that is powered by 4 lithium ion batteries which can last for about 8-12 hours when the walkie talkie is in continous use. The two-way radio offers you up to 16 available channel that you can select from by rotating the knob on the radio . Also, their customer service is good and efficient as they allow you to return the radio within 30 days of use if you have any defects spotted. However, do notw that that this hand-held radio does not have a display screen.

Pros

  • Strong battery quality,
  • Water resistant,
  • Light-weight and portability,
  • 30 days warranty by efficient and responsive customer service,
  • Automatic functions like low battery and VOX voice activation transmission.

Cons

  • No display screen,
  • Battery can not be used for more than 24 hours.

8. Rechargeable License Free FRS Two Way Radio with Flashlight

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.1 Pounds (0 kg)
Size: 4.9 x 1.9 x 0.9 Inches (12.4 x 4.8 x 2.3 cm)
Range: Up to 5 miles
Battery Life: Up to 18 hours with 1500mAh rechargeable Li-ion Batteries
Power Source: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery

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The Rechargeable Walkie Talkies may be small in size but it has all the basic functions of a walkie-talkie. Its rugged and sturdy design is built to survive a 1.2m drop and has a function that prevents kids from easily switching channels, which might be a big issue if you’re trying to locate your kids on a camping trip. Another handy feature is its flashing low battery alert to remind you to recharge to prevent any unexpected power failure. Seemingly designed for family-use in mind, the walkies tend to run on the smaller side in order to suit children. This may lead to some adults finding it flimsy. However since this walkie is very child-friendly, it may be a good option for those taking their kids out camping.

Pros

  • Has a channel protect function that will prevent kids from easily switching channels,
  • Has 22 channels and 121 privacy codes,
  • Rugged and sturdy design built to survive 1.2m drop,
  • Flashing low battery alert.

Cons

  • Comparatively smaller in size to a standard walkie,
  • Maximum working range may not always be as advertised.

9. LUITON Rechargeable 3-Watt Outdoor Mini Walkie Talkies

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.2 Pounds (0.1 kg)
Size: 3.7 x 2.2 x 1.5 Inches (9.4 x 5.6 x 3.8 cm)
Range: 8 miles
Battery Life: up to 8 days
Power Source: 1500mAh Li-poly battery
Continuous Talktime: 6-12 hours

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For those searching for ease of use, try the LUITON Rechargeable 3-Watt Outdoor Mini Walkie Talkies. These have 16 channels that work within the 400-470MHz range using CTCSS/DCS privacy codes. Additionally, you’ll get VOX for hands-free operation, time-out timer, scan, low battery alert, and squelch.

Although there are no call alerts or battery indicators, they are powerful enough to provide clear signals even when used in buildings. Just like with typical Baofeng walkie-talkies, you can reprogram them via CHIRP software.

In the package, you’ll find belt clips, earpieces, and chargers. Unfortunately, the earpieces aren’t of the best quality, but the overall price tag of this kit is very affordable.

Pros

  • Pocket-sized and lightweight,
  • VOX, scan, TOT, low battery alert, and squelch,
  • Reduce interference,
  • Programmable with CHIRP software

Cons

  • Cheap earpieces,
  • No call alerts or battery indication

Verdict

Following all the research, comparisons and information we have gathered about these top cheap walkie talkies, we can confidently say that Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio is the best cheap walkie talkie out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Cobra HE150G 16-Mile 2-Way Radios as an affordable alternative.

Lastly, if you are looking for something with all the best features made with high-quality materials and would like to consider all the premium options out there, we strongly recommend the NOAA Retevis RT49 Walkie Talkies.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Cheap Walkie Talkies

Price

There are a few factors that determines the pricing of walkie talkies. The power output is one of which. The most expensive walkie talkies usually have the highest power output. The higher the output, the farther the radio transmission. The type of frequency used by a walkie talkie also determines the price point. Hand-held Radios with Ultra High Frequency (UHF) are usually the best because the waves are shorter and can penetrate areas of interference. There are also digital radios that transmit signal in a complex way than the analog radios (VHF and UHF), making communication easier and clearer to understand. The more expensive radios use a stronger battery power than other radios. Lithium ion battery is an example of a strong battery. it has the ability to fast charge and it is not prone to memory loss. And it is also lighter than other batteries. The durability also matters. A quality and expensive walkie talkie must be able to function for a long period of time. The type of headphone and other accessories that comes with the radio also determines the quality and price of the radio you want to buy.

Battery Life

Usually, a walkie-talkie battery shelf life can lasts up to 18 to 24 months. Currently, most of the walkie-talkies come with rechargeable batteries that you can use and recharge multiple times before their final point of exhaustion.

The component that determines the battery life of a walkie-talkie is the cell. There are two types of cells: premium-grade cells and low-tier cells. Each type has its impact on capacity and cycle life. Generally, picking a walkie talkie with premium-grade cells will ensure a longer capacity of 10% more than the standard one.

Most of the Motorola build models have used premium-grade cells.

Durability

When we take walkie talkies on expeditions, chances of it getting damaged are high. They can be kicked, smashed, or dropped by mistake no matter how much care you put into handling them. A good walkie-talkie should have a casing made of ideally steel or plastic and most of its parts should be able to resist any small hurts. Water-proofing and dust-proofing are major factors to determine the durability of a walkie-talkie. It can be tested through an IP number passed by International Electrotechnical Commission for each device. The combination of these two numbers will tell you of the protection level of a walkie-talkie. For instance, it is 0-6 for dust resistance and 0-9 for water resistance. The higher the number is, the better the protection will be.

Range Of Coverage

The range of a walkie-talkie is one of the most important factors to look for when buying this device. Regardless of solid construction, a good walkie-talkie set should provide an optimum range coverage of 25 to 30 miles on limited frequencies of 400-512 MHz with some ultra-high frequency range.

The range coverage may vary due to unclear whether or location-based obstacles. It can be increased by optimizing the built-in components like antenna and signal receivers that may also enhance its overall functionality. Always remember that range coverage of a walkie-talkie set largely depends on the weather, location, distance, and geography factors.

Channels And Privacy Codes

Not all the walkie-talkies in the market are private and secure. If you want to build safe and reliable communication, you need to have a privacy code enabled walkie-talkie set to function on specific channels.

Privacy codes are an effective way of communication via radios while you need an end to end encryption. It is beneficial to have privacy and interruption-free communication. These days, advanced walkie-talkies are coming with Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) or CDCSS (Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System) that lets you set your privacy codes to keep others away from your channels.

Emergency Features

Emergency features such as lone worker, man down, and GPS locator come in handy while operating commercially or professionally. They are mostly useful in places like outdoor nature settings, oil rigs and even for health workers.

Emergency features in a walkie-talkie set are essential to ensure the safety of the user. These services as standard in most manufactured models, and sometimes you can also programme and customize it. Always remember to activate it before use and be sure they are working properly before going off the grid.

Questions and Answers About Cheap Walkie Talkies

What is the difference between a walkie talkie and a 2 way radio?

All walkie talkies are portable two-way radios but not all two-way radios are walkie talkies. Two-way radios can come in the form of a half-duplex or full-duplex mode. The former allows the radio to receive and transmit in turns (but not simultaneously) while the latter allows simultaneous receiving and transmitting. Thus, all walkie talkies are half-duplex two-way radios.

Which is better UHF or VHF walkie talkie?

UHF (ultra high frequency) walkies are suitable for usage both indoors and outdoors. The waves do not travel as far as VHF but they do a better job at penetrating obstacles between the transmissions. VHF (very high frequency) walkies are generally more suited for surroundings which has almost no obstructions and tends to operate best at ‘near-the-ground’ tranmissions. Thus, it is more suited for outdoor terrains.

Are walkie talkies good for emergencies?

Walkie talkies are great as a form of communication during emergencies and can be quite reliable. They can be an excellent replacement for cases of emergencies when phone and network lines are down. This is because they rely on radio waves to communicate and it also functions on batteries which can be easily swapped with any other household items that uses batteries. The modern brands and models have additional nifty features that can be a lifesaver during emergencies. These includes VOX activation, weather alerts, SOS signals etc.

What is VOX mode on a walkie talkie?

VOX, also known as “voice-activated transmission or exchange” allows for users to start transmitting without having the need to press any button. It is made possible because it detects sounds over certain frequency threshold and activates the trasmission, which makes it perfect for hands-free operation of the walkie talkie. Most walkies have both a PTT (push-to-talk) and VOX function.

Can I use a walkie talkie without a license?

Some walkie talkies require licenses to operate. This mostly applies in the US, so if you’re from other country, you should do a proper check and research on whether walkies in your area require licenses to operate. In the US, if you’re using a walkie labelled “FRS/GMRS” or “GMRS” which stands for “General Mobile Radio Service” then yes, you will require a license. You will need to pay a fee and file FCC forms to register it.

Can walkie talkies pick up other walkie talkies?

All walkie talkies that operates on the FRS and/or GMRS frequencies (found in majority of walkies) are capable of transmitting to one another. Simply tune in to the same frequency and ‘channels’, though channels might be listed differently in various walkies. If you encounter some issues, try to turn off the DCS (Digitally Coded Squelch) or a CCTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System) functions which might interfere with the frequency.

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