Walkie talkies occupy a unique place in the tech firmament. On the one hand, you might be forgiven for thinking of them as an obsolete relic of a pre-smartphone era. On the other hand, you would be wrong for doing so because walkie talkies are still used by specialists in many industries, ranging from security guards to construction workers to fishers and beyond. Their hardy nature and ability to get local reception from one another in spots where that might be difficult for a smartphone to get a signal.
Enter the DeWalt dxpmr800. DeWalt is one of the big names on the market for all manner of handyman products, and walkie talkies are no exception, so let’s take a closer look at this model and see whether they live up to the brand’s reputation.
Features of DeWalt DXPMR800
Among the most important features offered by the DeWalt dxpmr800 are:
- Measures 184.8 mm x 65.5 mm x 55 mm, weighs 350 g without batteries
- Comes with one 1000 mAH rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery per walkie talkie
- 16-hour maximum battery life
- RF Output of 500 mW
- Can be used license-free with 16 channels
- Can communicate with other 446
- Has five different levels of sensitivity for VOX capability for hands-free communication
- Automatic 10 second shutoff helps save battery life
- Shock resistant, can withstand a 2 m drop, and is both dust and waterproof
One of the most important things to consider when looking at different walkie talkies is how they actually work in relation to what you expect of them. You need to make sure that you’re not just getting something that can transmit over a wide area, but that they can meet other needs you might have as well.
To return to those aforementioned construction examples, jobs such as those require a walkie talkie that is hardy and can withstand a beating. When you’re busy working on a house, office, or other major construction project, you need to be able to talk to clients without worrying about the durability of the walkie talkie should you drop it. Tools get dropped in the course of work. That’s just a natural part of having a construction job. However, while hammers and drills can withstand a fall, smartphones will smash to pieces if dropped on the average construction site floor. The same holds true for some other walkie talkies – but not this model. It is built to be durable and absorb the shock and impact of such falls.
In addition, it is designed so as to combat another common problem – battery life. The last thing you want when you’re in the middle of a hard construction job is for your walkie talkie to go dead. That’s likewise true if you’re out at sea radioing back to people who are on land or on another boat from yourself. The 16-hour battery life is already a pretty good answer to that, as it’s more than you might expect from other models on the market. However, this unit goes a step further by also offering a unique 10-second shutoff feature. If you are in the middle of speaking to someone during a job, you might not be able or willing to turn your walkie talkie off every time you finish speaking. This can be especially true if you literally have your hands full – hence the VOX hands-free functionality. DeWalt’s model deals with that issue directly by shutting off if it is switched to that aforementioned 10-second shutoff mode, allowing you to save battery life without having to turn off the model yourself.
Pros and Cons
Now that we know what to expect, let’s check pros and cons of the DeWalt DXPMR800 walkie talkies.
As mentioned above, this model is sturdy enough to take a licking and keep on ticking (or transmitting). It also has a lot of channels, and these can be used license-free, making this an incredibly easy model to simply pick up and use right out of the box.
The battery life is likewise excellent, and is arguably the biggest reason to get this model. There are plenty of models with good battery life, but this offering from DeWalt offers a triple threat unlike few other packages in the combination of VOX capability, 16 hours of battery life, and the 10-second shutoff feature. Many other walkie talkies lack one or more of these features. Here, they make for a walkie talkie that can be used for hours on end with ease without having to spare a thought to battery life.
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One thing that may plague your thoughts while using this unit, however, is where exactly your walkie talkie is should you choose to put it down. Unlike many other models, this unit does not come with good clips for hooking this on your belt. You’ll, thus, have to find your own or just be content setting it down and remembering where you put it. That can get difficult if your job spans several hundred meters or even a few miles, such as lumberjacking and forestry jobs. In addition, the talk button is located on the front, an abnormal choice. The awkwardness is somewhat mitigated by the fact that VOX functionality is so good and you can just use this hands free anyway, but it’s still a weird quirk of this model.
A bit more annoying is the fact that this model does not have great range in urban centres, dropping down to a kilometre or less in several cases. That isn’t an issue unique to this walkie talkie, so it’s not fair to ding this unit too much for that, but it’s still something to think about.
Our rating: 4.5 / 5
No model is perfect, and that’s true of the DeWalt dxpmr800. Still, the pros definitely outweigh the cons with this model, with VOX functionality and battery life helping to make the difference. If you’re looking for something that can be used for hours hands free, or simply a durable, affordable walkie talkie, this is a good option to consider.
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