Walkie talkies occupy a unique place in the tech sphere today. On the one hand, you might think that in a world where everybody has a smartphone, walkie talkies are obsolete. On the other hand, however, there are some things walkie talkies can do that smartphones can’t and very possibly never will, at least not how we think of them today.
For example, smartphone screens are notoriously fragile. Drop a walkie talkie on the ground, even a hard cement surface, and a sturdy model will have a good chance of surviving. Do the same with your smartphone and you’ll have a cracked screen and an expensive smashed paperweight on your hands.
So walkie talkies are still important, and the reasons for that come in loud and clear with the Retevis RB615.
Features of Retevis RB615
Some of the most important features offered by this model include:
- Measures 11.9 x 5.5 x 2.3 cm, weighs 93 g
- Two Lithium ion batteries (included) required for operation
- 40 dB
- 7 v
- Has a “Wireless Clone Function” that allows you to match up settings on multiple walkie talkies at the same time with one broadcasting to the rest
- Vibrates when it receives signals
- Meets European requirements for a license-free walkie talkie
- Can be used right out of the box
- Two alarm modes, Local and Remote, which can be used for emergency situations
- Long distance performance with a call radius of up to 3 km
- 16 channels
- 360 rotatable degree back clip
- Hands-free VOX capability
- 10 call tones
- Squelch option helps limit background noise
There are a lot of positive features to point to with this model, starting with the fact that it can be used immediately. Whether you’re looking to use walkie talkies for work purposes, for something such as fishing or security work, or you are looking to use it for recreation, one thing you definitely don’t want is a long, tedious setup process. This model bypasses that frustration by offering walkie talkies that are ready made and easy to use. They even come with the Lithium batteries necessary for their operation.
The Retevis RB615 talkies are also reasonably lightweight and compact, making them easy to clip onto your belt or stick in your pocket.
The Local and Remote alarms are a nice touch. The former makes a loud beeping sound, which can help alert those in your immediate vicinity that you are in need of assistance. The latter is a distress signal that can be blasted out to those far away. The combination of the two increases your chances of being able to get help when you need it most.
This model offers 16 different channels, which is by no means the most on the market and is frankly at the lower end of the spectrum. That said, it is still more than enough for most purposes. The quality of the calls is generally high, helped out in part by the Squelch option, which helps block out background noise.
The RB615 model vibrates when you get a call, too, so if you’re talking in a noisy area, this can help notify you of an incoming message. It can also help if you take advantage of the hands-free VOX feature. This can be especially useful if you need to talk to someone via walkie talkie while using your hands for something, such as fishing or working with tools.
Wireless Clone Function
The Wireless Clone Function is an interesting case. In theory, it allows you to set the channel settings for one walkie talkie and then extend that to the rest of those you are using. In practice, however, this can sometimes be difficult to do, and only those in your immediate vicinity may get the message. Still, it’s a nice touch, and one which can help you set a bunch of walkie talkies to the same channel at once. Anyone who has had to deal with several walkie talkies for a major project before knows that the process of setting and checking them can be tedious, so even if it isn’t always perfect, this function is definitely a step in the right direction.
Finally, this model meets the requirements for European license-free walkie talkies which, along with the other features mentioned above, speaks to its overall quality.
Pros and Cons
Now that we know what we are getting into, let’s check out pros and cons.
There are a fair few good selling points for this model, starting with the fact that it is quite lightweight at just 93 g. If you are tired of hauling around heavy, bulky options, this may be a good replacement. It can broadcast to up to 3 km away, which is a pretty decent distance for a model of this kind. As mentioned, it can be used the second you take it out of the box, which makes it that much more accessible. Add to that the VOX capability, limiting of background noise, and Local and Remote alarms, and it’s fair to say you get a decent list of features, especially for a model so small and relatively low in price.
As mentioned, the Wireless Clone Function, while a nice idea, can have hiccups sometimes. In addition, some have found the speakers a tad loud for them. That said, both of these are minor complaints compared with the litany of positives.
Our rating: 4.2 / 5
The Retevis RB615 is, for its size and style, an all-around solid outdoor walkie talkie set. It is a good example of a compact, accessible walkie talkie knowing its audience and positioning itself perfectly to suit their needs. This isn’t a walkie talkie that’ll offer every bell and whistle out there, but for its size and style, it offers quite a bit. If you are looking for a solid all-around walkie talkie at an affordable price and want some good features such as VOX capability and background noise cancelling to boot, this is a good model to consider.
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