Handheld VHF marine radios offer convenience of a portability and easy of use. They usually have adjustable power ranging up to 6 watts and work well on short distances. Since the antenna is built in, the effective radio range isn't as long as a 25 watt fixed marine radio with external mounted antenna.
The best handheld VHF marine radios will have: large display (up to 2 1/2 - 3"), long battery life (1800mAh capacity), submersible (look for IPX8 - submersible waterproof rating of 4.92 feet for 30 minutes), floating, clear voice audio, DSC and even GPS receiver.
We put together a list of some of the best selling radios on the market. Click on each radio to read detailed review.
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.