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ICOM M605 Review – New Premium Class VHF Marine Radio

ICOM M605 review
ICOM M605 review
Read about marine radios

ICOM M605 is the new flagship VHF fixed mount radio in the Icon line up. This is a fully featured high end radio that allows a lot of flexibility connecting additional devices. You will find a powerful commercial grade class D DSC receiver (more about it later), integrated GNSS receiver (GPS, Glonass and SBAS), beautiful 4.3" color LCD display with night mode, built in AIS, 30W 2-way Hailer with Horn function, NMEA 2000 backward compatible with NMEA 0183 and ability to connect up to three controllers! As I said, this radio has pretty much every feature you may wish for. Let's review some of those features.

4.3" Color LCD Display - First in its class!

ICOM M605 is the first VHF fixed mount radio with a color LCD. DOT matrix displays are nice, but after you look at this 4.3" display with wide viewing angles, it will be hard for you to go back to other radios, they will feel outdated. ICOM included NIGHT MODE for operation at night which changes background to dark background and displays text and icons in dark red. This color LCD can finally display nice graphics, making navigation through menu more intuitive. 

Connect up to 3 Controller Devices

If you have a larger boat, you may want to have additional controllers that can control ALL functions on ICOM m605 VHF radio. ICOM M605 can be connected to 3 external controllers. You can use RC-M600 (works ups to 50m away) with its beautiful display or connect a more portable HM-195 handheld controller (works up to 18.3m away). Put one on flybridge and another in office corner or sleeping area, and you will always have communication by you. Intercom function is included so you can use it to talk between external controllers and the main unit.

ICOM RC-M600

ICOM HM-195 - check on AMAZON.com

Integrated AIS receiver

As we previously covered in our ICOM M506 review, AIS is a must have when you navigate through heavy traffic areas. The AIS plotter screen will display nearby vessels, and you could also choose a target on this display and call them directly using DSC without having to enter MMSI code (requires AIS transponder).

Integrated GNSS Receiver

ICOM M605 has the latest GNSS receiver which works with included UX-241 antenna. You no longer have to get an external GPS device to fully take advantage of AIS and DSC functions.

Some of the additional features include:

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    4.3" Color LCD​​​
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    25W or 1W of output power
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    Class D DSC receiver 
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    Hailer with 30W power
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    Horn and Foghorn
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    Weather channel with weather alerts
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    Dual Watch/Tri-watch
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    Adjustable backlight
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    AquaQuake water draining
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    Intercom function
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    Voice auto recorder - last 120 seconds
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    Active noise cancelling
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    IPX8
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    274 (W) × 114 (H) × 121.5 (D) mm

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

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    Great screen
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    Excellent audio quality
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    Compact
  • minus
    Expensive, yet nobody else makes such a beautiful display
Read about marine radios

ICOM IC-M25 Floating Handheld Marine Radio Review

Icom IC-m25 VHF handheld radio
Icom IC-m25 VHF handheld radio

ICOM IC-M25 is the lightest and slimmest floating VHF handheld radio on the market. It weighs only 7.8 oz! That's pretty light considering that it still has a 1500 mAh battery which is enough to power this handheld marine radio for up to 11 hours. If you drop the radio in water, Float N Flash function will flash the red LED light on the back and the screen of the radio at the same time. It works even if the radio is off.

ICOM IC-M25 now includes a new charging cable - Micro USB type B (a type of connector used by many smartphones today). That potentially can eliminate a problem of having too many chargers and cables laying around. 

Overall, this is a decent radio for someone looking for a floating VHF radio but does not need more advanced features.

Some of the features include:

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    AquaQuake draining function
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    IPX7 waterproofing
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    Floating
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    Float N Flash function
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    Powerfull 550mW audio output
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    Weighs only 7.8 oz​​​
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    Dual and Tri-watch
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    Instant access to channel 16
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    Weather channels with weather alerts
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    W2.2" x H5.3" x D1.2"

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

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    Lightweight and slim
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    New USB charger is convenient
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    Good audio quality
  • minus
    NO DSC
  • minus
    No GPS
Read about marine radios

Icom IC-M73 Handheld VHF Marine Radio

Icom IC-M73 radio
Icom IC-M73 radio

Icom IC-M73 is a professional grade handheld VHF radio with some great features built in. The rugged slim design fits well in hand, and feels very comfortable in use. Icom was able to fit a very large capacity battery - 2,000mAh which provides up to 17 hours of operation time. IC-M73 has a large bright LCD display, which is very easy to read even on very sunny days. 

So what can you find on this radio that is not available on some other entry level marine radios? Well, let's take a look at some of its high-end features.

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    Last call voice recording function automatically saves incoming calls for 1 minute.
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    700mW Loud Audio - BTL amplifier that doubles the audio output
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    Bass Boost Function that further improves voice quality
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    AquaQuake water draining function
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    Active noise cancelling, that reduces background noise to up to 90%
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    IPX8 - submersible plus waterproofing (4.9ft under water for up to 30 minutes, vs 3ft for 30 minutes in IPX7 waterproofing)
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    Optional VOX headset and adapter allowing handsfree  operation

As you can see, there are some real benefits stepping up to a higher end VHF handheld radio and ICOM IC-M73 is a a very good choice. Compare this radio to some of our best rated VHF Handheld radios on this page.

Some other features include:

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    6/3/1 Watt
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    Dual/Tri-Watch function
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    Favorite channel function
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    Tag scan function
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    Rapid desktop charger and cigarette charger

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

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    Great built quality
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    Durable
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    Long battery life​​​​
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    Excellent radio signal
  • minus
    Not the most compact radio
Read about marine radios

Standard Horizon HX210 Floating VHF Handheld Radio

Standard Horizon HX210 vhf marine radio
Standard Horizon HX210 vhf marine radio

Standard Horizon HX210 is the new model in the marine radio line up. This lower priced radio features a redesigned case with a large capacity battery (1850 mAh Lithium Ion battery), which should be enough to power it for about 14-15 hours. This radio can float, which is a huge plus.

We also like the automatically activated emergency strobe light. If you drop the radio into the water, it can flash on and off, flash SOS or set to stay on continuously. This function works even if the radio is turn off. Really nice feature to have!

Standard Horizon added WX and FM radio bands (76MHz to 108MHz), which can be useful if you are out kayaking for example. The new Dot Matrix display is one of the brightest and biggest in this category. 

Some of the features include:

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    Floating, submersible IPX7
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    1850 mAh Lithium Ion battery
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    Water Activated Emergency Strobe Light
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    Oversized full Dot Matrix display
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    WX & FM radio
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    6W / 2.5W / 1W output power
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    New E20 Menu system
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    All USA and international marine  channels
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     110 VAC and 12V DC 3-hour quick chargers

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews.

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    up to 15 hours of battery life
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    Bright, large display
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    Emergency light
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    WX and FM channels
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    Great warranty
  • minus
    NO GPS
Read about marine radios

Standard Horizon HX150 Review

Standard Horizon HX150 VHF marine radio
Standard Horizon HX150 VHF marine radio

Besides making some of the best feature packed handheld and fixed mount marine radios, Standard Horizon also designs and manufactures entry level/budget radios. HX150 is a great example of a compact handheld marine radio that provides good quality communications and decent battery life.

This would be a good VHF marine radio for kayak fishing or other activities where you don't want to carry too much weight and may not need GPS function (if you do, get the Standard Horizon HX870). This radio is floating and submersible (rated IPX7). Compact designs allows it to be stored in smaller compartments and pockets. The radio's power is variable, so if you want to preserve battery life, switch to 1W mode, and if you are further away and need a stronger reception - 5W mode is there for you.

Operating this radio is straight forward. It has a decent size LCD screen, 16/9 dedicated key, preset buttons, key lock etc. Overall, this is a great little radio. It is comparable to Uniden MHS75, but there are a few differences. Let's take a look at them:

Standard Horizon HX150 VHF marine radio
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    1 or 5 Watts
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    Submersible IPX7
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    Floating
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    Tri-watch
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    1030 mAh Li-Ion battery
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    AC Wall charger with charging cradle
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    W2.4" x H5x3" x D1.5"
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    8.3 oz
Uniden MHS75 VHF radio
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    1, 2.5 or 5 Watts
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    Submersible IPX8
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    Floating
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    Quad Watch Plus
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    1040 mAh Li-Ion battery
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    DC Charger
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    W2.49" x H4.57" x D1.53"
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    10.2 oz

Standard Horizon HX400 Handheld Marine Radio Review

Standard Horizon HX400 Handheld Marine Radio
Standard Horizon HX400 Handheld Marine Radio

Standard Horizon HX400 is a unique VHF radio in the Standard Horizon line up. It has two features that makes it really stand out, and you will have to decide for yourself if that's what you need.

First of all, I want to start by saying that it has a crazy big capacity Lithium-Ion battery - 2300mAh! That is enough to power this handheld radio for about 17 hours of operating time. Just for comparison, our best rated HX870 has a 1800mAh battery life. If you are out on water for a long time and don't want to think about recharging the radio, this might be the VHF radio for you. It is capable of quick charging (takes around 3 hours to fully charge it).

Second important feature is LMC capability - programmable Land Mobile Channels. You might have a need for it on land, and this handheld VHF radio has the ability to work with LMC. A dealer can program up to 40 channels in the 137-174Mhz range (VHF or High Band). Typically, LMR radio frequencies are used by public safety personnels. 

Communication is crystal clear, loud and the built in noise cancelling works really well. The built in loudspeaker is rated at 700mW of power, which is plenty loud. It is not floating, but it is rated IPX8 (just make sure the battery cover is closed properly).

Overall, this is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a high quality powerful VHF handheld ratio with a long battery, but don't need all the features found in the high end radios.

Some of the features include:

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    2300 mAh Lithium-Ion battery
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    Programabble Land Mobile Channels
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    Built in noise cancelling and voice scrambler
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    NOAA weather channels and weather alert
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    All USA, Canadian and international marine channels
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    Tri-watch
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    3 year warranty

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    Long battery life
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    Loud and clear voice quality
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    Programmable LMC
  • minus
    Not floating
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    No built in GPS
Read about marine radios

Uniden Atlantis 270 Handheld Marine Radio Review

Uniden Atlantis 270 marine radio
Uniden Atlantis 270 marine radio

Uniden Atlantis 270 replaced the popular Atlantis 250 handle marine radio. Having mostly the same specifications, this is a good radio for anyone who is looking for a budget VHF radio. The power output has been increased to 6 Watts, providing a slightly stronger signal (you can still regulate output - choose 1/2.5 or 6 watts). There is a shortcut key "BOOST" which basically enables full 6 Watt power output for a short time.

Dual and Triple operation allows you to monitor up to 2 Coast Guard/Hailing channels plus a regular marine channel (pretty standard these days). All NOAA channels are also available on this radio.

Another difference between this radio and the discontinued Atlantic 250 is the upgraded body that is now rated JIS7/IPX7 - it can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

The addition of squelch feature enables to filter some background noise, but be careful with it, since you may not hear weak signals (they will be filtered out).

Overall, this is a good handheld radio with a good battery life, easy to read display and all the basic filters included. It lacks GPS, and is rather large. For those people who desire some high end features like GPS, look into the Standard Horizon HX870 which is one of our favorites handheld radios.

Some of the features include:

    • 6 watt VHF Select between 1, 2.5, and 6 Watts for short and long range communication
    • 9 weather channels
    • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
    • Submersiable to 1 meter for 30 minutes
    • Button Key Lock
    • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
    • LCD Display
    • Rechargeable Lithium Ion 1100mAh battery
    • Instant Channel 16/9
    • Tri-Watch
    • 120v/12v Charger Included
    • Reasonably Priced
    • Dimensions - 5.35 x 2.44 x 1.53 inches

    • Inexpensive​​​
    • Reliable
    • Good power output
    • IPX7 water protection
    • Squelch level
    • Easy to read display
    • No built in GPS

Uniden Atlantis 250 – Budget Handheld Marine Radio

Uniden Atlantis 250 handheld vhf radio
Uniden Atlantis 250 handheld vhf radio

Uniden is well known name among communication device manufacturers and has a full line of VHF handheld and fixed mount marine radios.

Uniden Atlantis 250 was introduced in 2011 and have proven to be a decent choice among budget marine radios. This particular radio does not have high end features found in more expensive radios, but what it does have is a strong reception and signal transmitting (thanks to the switchable 1/5watts power output), rugged waterproof construction, all NOAA weather channels with weather alert to keep you safe, as well as a 10 hour batter life from NiMH battery pack. You will stay always connected thanks to the 16/9 triple watch.

The Uniden Atlantis 250 has since been replaced with Uniden Atlantis 270 - Read review HERE.

Some of the features include:

    • 5 watt VHF Select between 1 and 5 Watts for short and long range communication
    • All NOAA weather channels
    • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
    • JIS4 Waterproofing
    • Instant Channel 16/9/Triple Watch
    • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
    • Backlit LCD Display and Backlit Keyboard
    • NiMH and Alkaline Battery 
    • Instant Channel 16/9
    • Tri-Watch
    • Waterproof
    • 120v/12v Charger Included
    • Memory Channel Scan
    • Reasonably Priced
    • Limited 3 Year Warranty
    • Dimensions - 3 x 2 x 6 inches

    • Strong and solid communication 
    • Inexpensive
    • Backlit Display Display
    • 16/9 Tri watch
    • Reliable
    • Not submersible 

This radio has been discontinued, please go to UNIDEN Atlantis 270 page.

Icom M93D Handheld VHF Marine Radio Review

Icom handheld marine radio
Icom handheld marine radio

We have a new addition to our professional handheld VHF marine radios line up by the industry leader Icom - the newly released ICOM M93D. This is the world"s slimmest Floating DSC marine radio, achieved my adopting new flat sheet keypad.

The radio looks great and the screen is fantastic. It has a 2'3" viewing area, high contrast full dot matrix technology. Having a large display makes it easy to read GPS information, compass screens as well as displaying all the crucial information.

Of course when we talk about high end handheld marine radios, we should not forget about the basic features. This one has a dedicated Class D DSC receiver as well as GNSS receiver. GNSS receiver combines information from GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and SBAS, and provides an extremely accurate information about your location.

9 hours of battery life is among the best in its class and you also have a battery indicator to monitor battery status.

We also like the Flot'n Flash function, which allows the radio to flash built in light while floating. 

Overall, this is a great radio and comparable to Standard Horizon HX870

Some of the features include:

    • 5W/1W output power
    • Navigation function from current position to a specified waypoint
    • Weather channel
    • Submersible and floating , rated IPX7
    • Flat key design
    • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
    • Dot Matrix Display
    • 9 hours of battery life
    • Class D DSC receiver
    • Float'n Flash
    • 50 waypoint memories
    • Active noise cancelling
    • AquaQuake draining function
    • Integrated GNSS receiver
    • Dimensions - 2.24" x 5.69" x 1.52"

    • 5 out of 5 Stars
    • 2 Total Customer reviews
    • 100% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
    • Large Easy to Read Display
    • High end features like GNSS
    • Reliable
  • Expensive
Read about marine radios

Uniden MHS235 Review

Uniden MHS235 VHF marine radio
Uniden MHS235 VHF marine radio

Uniden MHS235 is a top of the line VHF marine radio from UNIDEN. Uniden is quite famous for making two way radios, and this model is specifically designed for marine use. This well made rugged case is JIS8 rated - meaning that it is usable for continuous submersion in water under specified pressure ( 5ft for 1 hour without damaging the radio). 

As you would expect from a high end radio, there is a GPS receiver with built in DSC function as well as GPS compass. Once you press the red distress button, an emergency signal with your coordinates will be transmitted every few minutes until you receive a response. Let's say you are thrown off the board or your boat sunk, UNIDEN MHS235 will be floating and sending signal - life saving feature!! 

Transmitter power select lets you choose from 3 power modes - 1W, 2.5W or full power 6W. This UNIDEN marine radio has dual and triple power watch - simultaneously monitor weather channel and 2 Coast Guard Distress/Hailing channels. All NOAA channels  will get you weather alerts, also extremely useful when you are out on the water.

Something that we don't see so often is the temperature measuring tool that lets you measure water and air temperature. ​There is a also a built in SOS function - this Uniden vhf marine radio will be flashing built in LED light in SOS pattern. 

The display on UNIDEN MHS235  has a backlit and can be reversed, meaning you can switch between light background and dark background. You can also pull up built in compass on it.

Overall, this is a great radio that you can find on sale for under $200. Check current price and reviews HERE.

Some of the features include:

  • 6 watt VHF Select between 1, 2.5, and 6 Watts
  • All NOAA weather channels
  • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
  • Submersiable to 5ft for 1 hour
  • DSC with GPS
  • GPS compass
  • Compass
  • Instant Channel 16/9
  • Tri-Watch
  • Floats
  • Water and air temperature measuring
  • Glow in the dark with key lock
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty
  • Dimensions - 2 x 2 x 2 inches

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.1 out of 5 Stars
  • 538 Total Customer reviews
  • 60% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • High end features
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Extra safety features like Glowing and SOS flash signal
  • Comes only with a 12V car/cigarette  charger
Read about marine radios
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