Design - 8/10
Features - 8/10
Range and Sound Clarity - 8/10
Price - 10/10
Retevis is a Shenzen-based company that is known for its communication products. One of the great things about these Chinese walkie talkies is that when bought in bulk, they are dirt cheap. However, the biggest flaw with them being cheap is that there is a failure rate and it is a real problem. Depending on your work flow, this may or may not suit you. This walkie talkie has seen a lot of sales in the past two years.
The Retevis H-777
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On opening the box containing 10 units, we can see that it contains 10 Retevis H-777 2-way radios. The box also has 10 antennas. There are 10 earpieces and ten battery packs included as well. There is an equal number of charging docks too. As far as accessories go, there are ten belt clips and hand straps present in the box as well. All of this for just about 15 dollars per piece.
At around 200 gm, these radios feel really light on the hand, which is a good thing if you will be carrying it around all day.
The walkie talkie works on the UHF frequency range of 400-470 MHz. This is not ground breaking, but it should get the job done for you. There are 16 memory channels present as well. There is a CTCSS and DCS function present as well. The squelch on it isn’t over done, but the audio quality is not the greatest of all time on this unit. When the battery gets low, there is an alarm which plays out. The unit automatically switches to a power saving mode at a certain percentage. Since this is a Chinese walkie talkie, you can find that there are two voice modes, one in Chinese and one in English. Thankfully the default is English, and not Chinese.
You can easily scan for channels or use privacy codes within a channel depending on your use case with these radios. There is an LED flash, which gets the job done and is pretty average as a feature.
The Brilliant Earpiece
The redeeming feature of these walkie talkies is how good the custom earpieces are. The entire experience is pretty awesome. The fit of the earpiece is near perfect. It stays in the ear as well and does not fall off with time. Since all units come with earpieces, this means that everyone can talk hands-free, while doing some sort of work. This is great for factories or churches.
For the most part, these radios work really well. They are long lasting too. I have tried using this radio outside and inside, and most of the time the communication was clear and came through. While within range, these walkie talkies work perfectly fine. The battery lasts about eight hours of active usage. At best, you can expect ranges of one mile on this unit. So, you can assume that at the price, you get phenomenal range and quality.
A look at the ports
These radios are not meant for long range communication, instead, the use case for these is for small work environments. I have seen ranges of about one mile on this thing, and after that, it becomes useless to even try. This really depends on the number of obstacles and the kind of setting that you plan on using these radios on. If your environment has very few obstructions, you should expect a greater range. Otherwise, don’t expect too much.
These radios can be programmed to your needs as well. You will need to purchase a programming cable and download the bf-480 software, along with the necessary drivers. You can then set up the channels as per your requirements. I tried setting up one private channel, and it worked flawlessly. This can come in handy if you have a couple of high-level management and some people working under them, and you don’t want conversations getting mixed up on a public channel. There is also a lock feature, which automatically locks a channel if it senses that the particular channel is busy.
You can program in an emergency support as well if you so desire it. It sends out an alarm to some people in case the emergency button is pushed.
One of the good things that I have been seeing and hearing about Retevis is how great their support channels are. After sales support is a big problem, and Retevis is quite quick to answer queries on e-mail. They have also replied to almost every review on Amazon. They even reply within hours and minutes sometimes. This is pretty good, and this kind of support is not going to be there for a big-name company any day. I suppose this is to alleviate the Chinese product fears that people tend to have. I’d say that they have been successful in doing that.
There seems to be a lag of one second on this device when you push the PTT button in order to talk. This gets frustrating if you are used to instant communication like I am. However, you get used to the delay. It is however entirely possible that this might hamper your workflow. There is no display on this unit, there is no NOAA weather support, and the range does not make it a walkie talkie that can be used everywhere no matter what. The plastic isn’t the most confidence inspiring, and I am certain it isn’t the most durable piece either. However, at the price, these radios are throwaways when they fail.
For the price, these are great basic walkie talkies which can be used for low to medium level noise environments. For the price, it is an instant recommendation. There are very few walkie talkies which can offer a value for money on this scale. This walkie talkie could easily power your entire business arrangement.