Uniden Two Way Radio – Latest Buying Guide,Reviews & New Uniden Walkie Talkie Roundup
Uniden is a very trusted name when it comes to communication by two way radios. With their main headquarters in Japan, Uniden has developed a solid reputation for producing wireless consumer electronics like two way radios,cordless phones, business communication systems, scanner, marine radios, and more. They are known for quality products that meet the demands of their customers, and their new line of radios is sure to please many people.
Thankfully, I was able to get a hold of several of the new 2016 two way radios so I could try them out and give our loyal readers an idea of what to expect. Having tested two way radios\walkie talkies from other manufacturers, I was definitely excited for the opportunity to use Uniden two way radios and see what they have to offer.
As with some of my other reviews, I was able to conduct some hands-on tests with four models: the GMR2035-2, GMR3050-2C, GMR3055-2CKHS and the GMR4055-2CK. After looking at all these radios, I think the GMR3055-2CKHS is the best all-around radio for everyday use.
The Four Uniden Radios I Tested
The GMR3055-2CKHS has a great range at 30 miles, has plenty of channels and privacy codes to choose from, and comes with a charging cradle for the radios. The charging cradle is MicroUSB, so you can even charge the radios by connecting them to a computer or laptop. This set also comes with earbud speaker and microphone cables, which are essential for hands free use.
All in all, I think this is the best Uniden radio for your money. It is well under $100, so you get a lot of features and accessories for the price. It is more expensive than some of the other models I looked it, but it is also less expensive than Uniden’s top-of-the-line models. You won’t find some of the features I’ve seen from other radios, like Bluetooth connectivity, but for everyday use around the neighborhood or while outdoors, this radio easily does the job.
If you need radio communication for more heavy duty use, then my second choice is what you are looking for. The GMR4055-2CK uniden walkie talkie that is designed to stand up to more rigorous use, especially outdoors. Its range, at up to 40 miles, is slightly more than my #1 choice. However, the price tag is also higher. But, spending that extra money also gives you a power boost feature in case terrain or distance is causing problems. This radio is also water resistant and has an emergency strobe light, which should definitely appeal to all the outdoorsman reading this.
Coming in next is the GMR3050-2C uniden two way radio, which has the same range, channels, and privacy settings as my #1 choice. This model is about $10 less than my top choice, but you don’t get a charging cradle or hands free headsets. Many of the other features are the same, though, so if you don’t need a cradle or the ability to talk hands free, this model would work very well for you.
Rounding out the radios I was able to conduct hands-on tests with, is my budget choice – the GMR2035-2. You should be able to find this model for under $50, which is much lower than all of the other models I looked at. If you need two way communication for shopping or car caravanning as two examples, and aren’t worried about great range or privacy channels, this radio will work just fine.
Although I wasn’t able to conduct extensive hands on tests with all the new 2106 radios from Uniden, I was able to look at a few others, as well.
The GMR4088-2CKHS uniden walkie talkie would be a great choice for outdoorsman or hunters. With a camouflage pattern and hands free headsets, this radio was made for outdoor use. It has a great range – up to 40 miles. This radio has the same number of channels and privacy codes as some of the other radios, with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. There is also a power boost option to make sure you can communicate. The radios can receive and broadcast weather alerts and are water resistant. With an included charging cradle and headsets, the GMR4088-2CKHS is sure to find its way into the packs of many fans of the outdoors.
Kicking it up a notch in both range and features is the GMR5095-2KHS. This radio can communicate up to 50 miles, which is up there with radios I’ve reviewed from other manufacturers. Unlike some others, though, this one is also submersible. Of course, you can’t throw it in a lake, leave it there overnight, and expect it to work. But, it does meet JIS-7 industry standards, which means it can be submersed up to 3 feet for 30 minutes, and will still work. In other words, it’s okay if you drop this in the water while boating or hiking along a river. It also floats, so if you do drop it, you’ll be able to quickly find and grab it. You can also direct call other radios in your group, while keeping everyone else’s radio quiet. As you can see, this radio has a lot to offer!
If you want all those same features, with a camouflage pattern, then you will like the GMR5088-2CKHS 50 mile uniden two way radio. It has the same features as the previous radio, including a 50-mile range, 22 channels, and included charging cradle and headsets. You can also do direct calls with this radio, get weather alerts, and choose from almost 300 privacy codes. This radio also floats and meets JIS-7 standards for operation after being in water. There’s also an emergency strobe light. All of this is wrapped up in a camouflage pattern that is intended to blend in with different habitats throughout the year. This radio has hunting and camping written all over it.
Table of Contents
- Why My Opinion Matters
- Who Else Likes My #1 Choice
- Who This Article is For
- Great Second Option
- How I Picked the Radios
- My Choice for Those on a Tight Budget
- How I Tested the Radios
- What Other Radio Brands are Out There
- My Top Choice
- Wrapping Things Up
Why My Opinion Matters
It makes sense to wonder why I’m writing this article and if I am even remotely qualified to review two way radios. Well, I certainly think I am and hopefully you will too, after reading on a little further.
First, I’ve used two way radios for years, both personally and professionally, in a wide variety of environments. I’ve used different kinds, makes, and models of radios around the house, during road trips, camping, and more. I also spend a lot of times outdoors, so the radios I used get tested in many different situations.
Another use for radios I’m very fond of is helping keep in contact with my kids. They are both teenagers and like to go down the block or around the corner to visit friends. With two-way radios, I have immediate communication with them without the need for an expensive cell phone or costly data plan.
I mentioned using radios professionally, which I’ve done for over 20 years as a communications specialists. I’ve been in organizations that build communication systems over long distances, where keeping in contact is vital to the job at hand as well as everyone’s safety.
Basically, I’ve been using two way radios regularly for many, many years. I believe I have the experience and knowledge to provide you the information you need about these radios. Hopefully you are convinced now too, and will keep reading.
Who This Article is For
Really, this article is meant for anyone and everyone. But, it is definitely focused on anyone that is interested in two way radios and is considering buying something in the near future. If you have kids, radios are a great resource. They are rugged, relatively inexpensive, and are incredibly easy to use…as in, “push the button and hold it” to talk easy. Even young kids will figure out how to use them quickly.
All the folks that like the outdoors, like campers, hikers, hunters, and others, could also benefit from reading this article. Especially if you haven’t incorporated radios into your gear. Two or more people out hunting will be very glad to have some two-way radios clipped to their belts. Particularly if it’s my top choice, since it comes with hands free headsets that won’t scare off any game or animals.
Anyone that likes to take road trips would also benefit from reading this article. Using two way radios from Uniden is a great way to keep in contact with other cars. It is also a great way to keep the kids entertained. They can talk to siblings or other family members in another car, without needing to keep asking for their parents’ cell phone.
All the “preppers” out there will also benefit from this article. Adding some two way radios to your kit is a great way to keep in contact with your family members, especially if cell towers are down during a big emergency or disaster. Just recharge the batteries regularly, and you have instant – and private – communications with the rest of the people in your party.
In other words, this article could be beneficial for just about everybody. So, thanks for reading along so far, now let’s start getting into the good stuff!
How I Picked the Radios
Deciding to test radios was a no brainer for me. You should be able to tell by now, I’m a big fan and user of them. I’ve looked at other brands before, but I hadn’t been able to get my hands on some Uniden radios. So, when the opportunity presented itself to check out their new 2016 line of radios, I jumped at the chance.
It was also important for me to check out radios from different Uniden lines. I wanted to do this to make sure I got an idea of different features, options, and specifications available across a variety of Uniden radios. This also meant I’d be able to look at radios that are useful in different environments and situations.
From there, it was just a matter of getting ahold of different radios. Thankfully, I was able to do just that. I also didn’t want to jump to the conclusion that the most expensive model would be my top choice , just because it would likely have more options and features. In this case, my top choice wasn’t the most expensive Uniden model, which should make many of you happy.
I was also looking for radios that would be good in different environment and situations, which turned out to be the GMR3050-2C. With quite a few features, great range, and a price tag just over $50, this is an excellent option for anyone looking for a good, all around two way radio.
With a range of up to 30 miles, this radio will work well in urban and rural environments. Of course, like every line of sight radio, the terrain and obstructions around you will play a part into the actual range you get. This is the same with any two way radio though, so don’t think this is unique to this model or Uniden radios. Uniden says they test their radios on the tops of mountains and down in valleys, and based on what I’ve seen I’m comfortable saying they are exaggerating their range specifications.
One thing that can be frustrating with two way radios, is getting interference from other people that are talking on the same channel. The GMR3050-2C gives you 22 channels to choose from and also operates on industry-standard frequencies, so this radio can also be used to communicate with radios from other manufacturers.
This model also lets you choose from 121 different privacy codes, which can be assigned to individuals in your group to help segment and protect your communications even more. With the combination of 22 channels and over a hundred privacy codes, it isn’t difficult to settle on a combination that will keep other people from interrupting your communications.
This radio’s battery is rechargeable, which is very convenient. To make it even more convenient, the radio can be charged with the included USB cable or any USB mini cable. Anywhere you can charge a USB device, including a wall outlet, a laptop, or with a car charger, will also charge up this radio.
Another nice feature of this radio is the ability to set 10 different call tones. With this feature, you can set call tones for different radios, so you know who is calling you. You can also set a call tone on other radios so your friends and family will know it is you calling.
As you should be able to tell, the GMR3050-2C is a great choice for an all-around radio that will work in a wide variety of environments and situations. It also has a nice price tag, which made it very appealing to me.
Well, now that you’ve learned why I chose these Uniden radios, let’s get into how I tested them to see how well they operated and the different features they offer.
How I Tested the Radios
As a fan, and avid user, of two way radios, this is definitely my favorite part of this process. Getting to use different radios for several days, and in this case weeks, makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.
Basically, I used each of these radios for about a week each. My family had a long road trip recently, which took us to different parts of the U.S.A., so we got to use the radios while traveling and in different parts of the country.
Like other tests I’ve done, I roped my family into being part of my test group. This was important to me for several reasons. First, it is always good to get other people’s opinions. Also, I have kids, so it’s important to see how well the kids like them and how easy it is for them to use them. Of course, like most family trips, we ran into quite a bit of inclement weather, which gave me the opportunity to try out the water resistant features of the models with that feature.
I did make sure I used each different radio the same way, with the same people. We tried them during the day, at night, in cars, around the house, in the woods, and more. I intentionally did this to give each radio a fair shake and make sure I was properly comparing the radios to each other, as well as other radios I’ve used.
Ok, I can finally talk, and brag, about my top choice, the Uniden GMR3055-2CKHS. This radio is affordable, has a great range, and includes a bunch of nice features. I feel this radio will work in a wide range of uses and locations, so although it wasn’t a piece of cake to pick one radio as the best, I feel this is the best choice for everyone’s hard earned money.
The first thing I liked about this radio was the range, which is 30 miles. My family and I tested the limits of the range during our road trip and Uniden is not stretching the truth when they advertise the range. Naturally, you won’t get 30 miles of communications when there are tall buildings or big hills between you and the person on another radio. But as I said before, this is true for every line of sight radio.
Although it might not be a big deal to everyone, I also like that this radio comes with several accessories. Some radios just come with the radio and a couple batteries, but Uniden throws in a couple very useful accessories with the GMR3055-2CKHS. With a charging cradle and two ear pieces, this radio comes with everything you need to get up and running quickly.
Although the charging cradle might not be extremely practical while outdoors or on the road, it is very convenient to charge the radios around the house. Just set the radios into their cradle, make sure it’s plugged in, and sit back and forget about the radios until you need them. There’s also a MicroUSB charging cable, so anything that charges a USB device will also charge these radios. I have a small solar panel that will charge solar devices, so I was able to charge the radios while my family and I were trekking through the woods one day.
The GMR3055-2CKHS also comes with a pair of ear pieces, which make hands free use very convenient. This was really nice when we were out in the woods and hoping to see some wildlife. By putting the earpiece in our ears, we were able to keep the radios from blaring our kids’ questions. The radios also include a VOX feature, which activates when you speak, even if you aren’t using a headset.
A large number of channels is also important to me, to make sure it’s easier to communicate without someone else jumping into the conversation. Uniden designed their radios to operate on industry-standard frequencies, which means you can use a Uniden radio to communicate with radios from other companies. I really like this feature, since it makes it easy to add some Uniden radios to any you already own.
There are also 121 different privacy codes to choose from, which when combined with the 22 channels, make it very easy to have uninterrupted communications. The privacy codes are nice because you can set a code for each of the radios in your group, to keep anyone else from interrupting you.
This radio also includes weather alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, which is great if you use the radios while camping or spending a few days on the trail. The last thing you want to do when outdoors is get surprised by severe weather like a thunder storm. Thanks to NOAA alerts, this radio will keep that from happening.
As I hope you can see, this radio has a lot to offer at a very affordable price. It stood up to all my tests and each of my family members liked it, so making the GMR3055-2CKHS was not a terribly difficult decision.
Other Usefull Two Way Radios Buying Guides & Two Way Radio\Walkie Talkie Reviews
- The Ultimate Two-Way Radio Buying Guide
- Ultimate Two-Way Radio Headset & Ear peice Buying Guide for Hunting,Skiing,Biking and Cycling – Expert advice
- The Best Midland Two Way Radios For Camping, Hiking, Boating, Fishing or Just Playing Fetch With Our Dog
- The Best Motorola Two-Way Radios And Walkie Talkies
Who Else Likes My #1 Choice – Uniden GMR3055-2CKHS
Naturally, it would be nice to have other people’s opinions to back up what I have to say about my top choice. The first thing I normally check to get other people’s opinions is Amazon, because it’s simple to do and gives a good idea of what other people thing. Well, Amazon users give this model an average rating of 4.2 out of 5, with nearly 80% of the customers giving it 4 or 5 stars.
There are also some very positive reviews on eBay, which is another site with a wide range of users and customers. There weren’t too many other reviews available for this radio, or other Uniden models in their new line, which is to be expected. Once more and more people get their hands on this model, though, you will start to see a lot more positive reviews and high rankings.
Great Second Option – Undien GMR4055-2CK
If you want another option from Uniden and don’t mind spending a little more money than my top choice, you should consider the GMR4055-2CK. Although it costs a little more than my #1 choice, it is still less than $100 and comes with a few more features.
The range is a little better than my top choice, at 40 miles. Like my top choice, this radio comes with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, so it shouldn’t be hard to find private communications. This radio will also communicate with other Uniden radios, as well as two way radios from other manufacturers.
This radio comes with a charging cradle and can be charged with a USB charging cradle. Unlike my top choice though, this one doesn’t come with a headset. You can still do voice activate communication though, so it can be used in hands free mode. You just won’t be able to keep the radio from scaring off animals if you use it on a hike or while camping.
The GMR4055-2CK also has a few other feature not included with my top choice. First, the power boost option lets you save the radio’s battery for when you really need it. By using the power boost only when you need to get through some trees or buildings, you can use the power boost mode to get the extra oomph you need.
This radio is a good choice for those of you that get a lot of rain. Like my top choice, you can get NOAA alerts to warn you of pending severe weather. Should you decide to stay out in the rain though, you don’t have to worry about breaking this radio. That’s because it meets industry standards for level 4 water resistance. You can’t throw this radio in a lake, but using it in the rain or splashing some water on it isn’t a big deal.
This Uniden model also comes with an emergency strobe light, which can be used for many different things. If you need some quick light but don’t want to dig out your flashlight, this radio will do the job. You can also use it to get the attention of other people or as an emergency signal if you get into serious trouble.
The Uniden GMR4055-2CK has a lot to offer, which is why it is my number two choice, and it could have been my top choice, too. It’s that good of a radio.
My Choice for Those on a Tight Budget – Uniden GMR2035-2
If budget is your top concern, and it is completely understandable if it is, then the Uniden GMR2035-2 is a great choice. This model comes in under fifty dollars and still gives you some good options and the ability to communicate with family and friends.
The range, at 20 miles, isn’t as good as my top two choices, but will probably be plenty for many of you. A range of 20 miles will be plenty for around the neighborhood, during a road trip, or even around the campground.
You get 22 channels to choose from, but you don’t get the privacy codes included with the other models I looked at. Like the others, though, you can communicate with other radios from Uniden as well as radios from other manufacturers.
The GMR2035-2 comes with six rechargeable AAA batteries, three for each radio. The battery life is great and the radio has a battery meter to let you know when you need to replace, or charge, them.
These radios are smaller than the other models, so they don’t take up much space and aren’t very heavy. They don’t feel poorly made, though, and are rugged and durable. You can also do a channel scan to see which channels are free, or see who else out there is communicating at the same time you are.
For anyone on a tight budget, who is looking for a good starter set or wants to add a couple radios to what they already own, the Uniden GMR2035-2 should definitely be on the list of radios to consider.
What Other Radio Brands Are Out There
A few names will probably be very familiar, like Motorola and possibly Midland. Each of these companies produces a wide range of radios with a lot of different features. If you are looking for some advanced features, like Bluetooth connectivity to use a radio with a wireless headset, Motorola has a radio with this feature.
Uniden is certainly a worthy competitor with these other brands, based on their new line of 2016 radios and all of the features they offer. There are other companies that make two way radios, like Cobra, BaoFeng, and Amcrest. It’s a good idea to look at different brands and models, so feel free to check out other models. But don’t forget to include Uniden models in your search, especially the ones you’ve been reading about here.
Wrapping Things Up
By now, you should have a grasp on what the new 2016 line of radios from Uniden has to offer. You’ve read about several different Uniden radios and also seen how I ran them each through different tests in a variety of situations and environments.
After testing and reading up on all the different radios, I’m convinced the GMR3055-2CKHS is the top choice from the 2016 line. It has a good range, a solid set of features, and includes accessories that some of the other radios don’t include. These accessories make the radios more useable and save you the money it would cost to purchase them separately.
Coming in a very, very close second was the GMR4055-2CK. It costs a little more than my #1 pick, but has a great range at 40 miles. It is also water resistant, includes a power boost for those times when you need a little extra power, and has an emergency strobe light.
I also walked you through the GMR3050-2C, and my choice for those on a tight budget, the Uniden GMR2035-2C. Finally, I also briefly touched on some of the other radios from Uniden’s 2016 line and what they have to offer you.
Hopefully you now have a good idea of how well designed and made Uniden two way radios/walkie talkies are, as well as how useful and beneficial they can be. Thanks for reading along and I hope your next choice for a two way radio serves you well and turns out to be something you will enjoy using and benefit from.