Tag Archives for " Handheld "

November 26, 2017

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. You can find our top three handheld marine radios here.

Some of the features include:

  • check
    AquaQuake draining function
  • check
    IPX7 waterproofing
  • check
    Floating
  • check
    Float N Flash function
  • check
    Powerfull 550mW audio output
  • check
    Weighs only 7.8 oz​​​
  • check
    Dual and Tri-watch
  • check
    Instant access to channel 16
  • check
    Weather channels with weather alerts
  • check
    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.

  • plus
    Lightweight and slim
  • plus
    New USB charger is convenient
  • plus
    Good audio quality
  • minus
    NO DSC
  • minus
    No GPS
Read about marine radios
November 26, 2017

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.You can also find our top three handheld marine radios here.

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

  • check
    6/3/1 Watt
  • check
    Dual/Tri-Watch function
  • check
    Favorite channel function
  • check
    Tag scan function
  • check
    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.

  • plus
    Great built quality
  • plus
    Durable
  • plus
    Long battery life​​​​
  • plus
    Excellent radio signal
  • minus
    Not the most compact radio
Read about marine radios
November 25, 2017

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:

  • check
    Floating, submersible IPX7
  • check
    1850 mAh Lithium Ion battery
  • check
    Water Activated Emergency Strobe Light
  • check
    Oversized full Dot Matrix display
  • check
    WX & FM radio
  • check
    6W / 2.5W / 1W output power
  • check
    New E20 Menu system
  • check
    All USA and international marine  channels
  • check
     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.

  • plus
    up to 15 hours of battery life
  • plus
    Bright, large display
  • plus
    Emergency light
  • plus
    WX and FM channels
  • plus
    Great warranty
  • minus
    NO GPS
Read about marine radios
November 24, 2017

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
  • check
    1 or 5 Watts
  • check
    Submersible IPX7
  • check
    Floating
  • check
    Tri-watch
  • check
    1030 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • check
    AC Wall charger with charging cradle
  • check
    W2.4" x H5x3" x D1.5"
  • check
    8.3 oz
Uniden MHS75 VHF radio
  • check
    1, 2.5 or 5 Watts
  • check
    Submersible IPX8
  • check
    Floating
  • check
    Quad Watch Plus
  • check
    1040 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • check
    DC Charger
  • check
    W2.49" x H4.57" x D1.53"
  • check
    10.2 oz
November 22, 2017

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:

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

  • plus
    Long battery life
  • plus
    Loud and clear voice quality
  • plus
    Programmable LMC
  • minus
    Not floating
  • minus
    No built in GPS
Read about marine radios
November 17, 2017

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
November 17, 2017

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.

September 8, 2017

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:

  • check
    5W/1W output power
  • check
    Navigation function from current position to a specified waypoint
  • check
    Weather channel
  • check
    Submersible and floating , rated IPX7
  • check
    Flat key design
  • check
    Channel Scan/Memory Scan
  • check
    Dot Matrix Display
  • check
    9 hours of battery life
  • check
    Class D DSC receiver
  • check
    Float'n Flash
  • check
    50 waypoint memories
  • check
    Active noise cancelling
  • check
    AquaQuake draining function
  • check
    Integrated GNSS receiver
  • check
    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
August 20, 2017

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

Standard Horizon HX870 Floating 6W Handheld VHF with Internal GPS

Standard Horizon HX870 marine radio review
Standard Horizon HX870 marine radio review

If you  are looking for an efficient floating marine radio that includes a 66-channel WAAS GPS receiver and ability to transmit and receive distress calls? Look no further; the Standard Horizon HX870 VHF Marine Radio does this and much more. Built with its own powerful GPS/DSC receiver, buoyant die-cast chassis, and submersible waterproof construction, rest assured that you’ll effortlessly navigate the water like a true captain.

The Standard Horizon HX870 is the successor of the popular HX851 portable marine radio. Up until now, the HX870 remains one of the best handheld marine radios on the market today. The premium features tough construction waterproof design are just a couple of the reasons it is our favorite handheld radio.

The HX870 works with all US, international and Canadian marine radio channels and has a dedicated receiver for CH70 (DSC calling). During the set up, you are are able to choose your group setting - US, Canada or international. To activate distress function, hold DISTRESS key for 3 seconds. A special signal will be sent to all nearby vessels in a range of 5 miles. Make sure to register for MMSI number and set it up on your HX870 handheld radio. DSC signal with your coordinates will NOT work if you don't complete this step.


Design:

The VHF marine radio is one of the best models which include an easy to operate menu system perfect for non-tech savvy mariners and crewmen. The Standard Horizon HX870 comes with a 6 Watt VHF radio with a 2.3-inch screen size twice as large as its competitors. Focusing on intuitive and efficient design, its operating buttons are all positioned strategically near the screen for ease of use. It’s also waterproof and floats, a helpful feature should you drop it in the water.

Performance and Battery Power:

In event of any emergency or terrible weather condition, the Standard HX870 ensures that you can contact the coast guard or other boaters. It uses noise-canceling microphone technology that enables clear outgoing and incoming calls so you can send and receive clear messages without disrupting noises from your ship’s engine or the water.

With its built-in class DSC, you can simply push the distress button in order to send a message to the coast guard and other vessels nearby. It can save as many as 200 waypoints and 20 routes using its own compass page which shows COG, SOG, bearing, and distance to individual waypoints. With its unique and high tech compass page, you can see up to nine vessels in range!

When it comes battery power, the Standard Horizon HX870 comes with a long lasting 1800 mAh Li-Ion battery and a glow-in-the-dark gasket ideal for emergency use. The Standard HX870 also comes with a three-year warranty; many other radios only have a 1-year warranty.

Built in GPS:

The HX870 has the ability to receive weather alerts and has an assigned WX soft key to get current weather information. The biggest advantage of this portable VHF radio vs other VHR radios is built in 66 channel GPS receiver. The internal GPS antenna allows this radio to display your position either in a compass  or numerical style. You can log your GPS location at regular intervals using the LOGGER function. The HX870 also allows you to share your GPS position and request GPS positions from other vessels.

HX870 built in GPS receiver

Navigation: 

So what else makes this a top notch VHF radio? Built in navigation! You can store up to 200 waypoints on the HX870. Go to menu > NAVI> WAYPOINT and you will get access to your history, memory or manual entering of coordinates. The large display will show the compass with the coordinates of your final destination. This is extremely useful especially for smaller boats or kayaks where the space is limited and you want the radio to do it all.

In case of emergency:

If you ever end up overboard, the HX870 has a few things to help you in emergency situations. First of all, this is a floating radio that is IPX8 rated (30 minutes under 4.92ft of water). It also has water activated SOS strobe light. If the radio is dropped, it will turn on (even if it was powered off before) and start flashing an SOS light. 

MOB function (Man )ver-Board) will memorize the position information instantly if the radio is dropped into water.

submersible marine two way radio

The high capacity 1800 mAh Li-Ion battery with a 3 hour quick charge function will provide plenty of battery life for regular use. You can also use supplied alkaline battery tray that takes 5 AAA batteries.

Final verdict

If you are looking for a reliable, fully featured handheld marine radio, look no further! The  Standard Horizon HX870 is one of the best portable VHF radios on the market today!

Some of the features include:

  • check
    Floating with 1/2/6 Watts of Power
  • check
    ​​​Internal 66 Chanel WAAS GPS receiver
  • check
    Separate Receiver for CH70
  • check
    All USA/Canada/International Marine channels
  • check
    NOAA Weather Channel with weather alerts
  • check
    DSC
  • check
    Full dot matrix 2.3" display
  • check
    Navigate to a DSC Distress Call
  • check
    Water activated emergency strobe light
  • check
    MOB (man over-board) function
  • check
    Submersible, rated IPX8
  • check
    Waypoint navigation
  • check
    NMEA 0183 output
  • check
    1800 mAh Li-Ion Battery
  • check
    Alkaline Battery Tray
  • check
    Dimensions: W 2.44" x H 5.43" x D 1.69"
  • check
    3 year Factory Waterproof Warranty

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.

  • 4.4 out of 5 Stars
  • 162 Total Customer reviews
  • 71% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Display
  • High End Marine Radio For Serious Boaters
  • Reliable
  • Waterproof
  • White LED Illumination is not great
  • Rather Large
  • Higher cost
Read about marine radios


If you have bought or used this radio please feel free to leave a comment with your experience below to help others who may have questions.