The Cobra CXT425 offers decent real-world range and a good array of features. Controls are simple and intuitive, and the CXT425 generally holds up well to use. However, its rechargeable batteries don't always hold a charge.
Good range compared to similar models. The Cobra CXT425's advertised 25-mile range is only realistic in perfect conditions, such as clear weather, with one radio on a mountaintop having a direct line of sight to the other radio in the valley below. One Amazon.com user who tested that claim says the CXT425 offered 26 miles of transmission range from one point in Salt Lake City to another. "The reception was good," he writes.
In more typical urban conditions, however, you can expect up to 2 miles of serviceable range; we found reports of 2 to 3 miles of transmission range in mountain foliage or on the road. Overall, reviewers say the Cobra CXT425's sound quality remains very good. "My husband and I were able to maintain contact up in the mountains with a couple miles and hills between us," writes one Amazon.com user. "We rarely had line of sight, but the signal was crystal clear."
Simplicity is a plus. Although the Cobra CXT425 does offer some advanced functionality, reviewers say it's easy to operate and that the instructions are easy to understand. "They can work pretty well for those who want a quick, intuitive interface," writes one Amazon.com reviewer. Notable features include the range extender (which overrides the auto squelch that would otherwise filter out weak transmissions), voice activation, weather radio reception and a scan function to find conversations in progress.
The radio's belt clip, on the other hand, is universally panned. Reviewers say it takes two hands to get the radio onto the clip in the first place and that the radio falls off the clip easily. They also criticize the fact that the lanyard meant to act as an additional safety measure attaches to the clip itself, not to the radio.
Leans toward the positive. The Cobra CXT425 draws mixed reviews for its durability and build quality; this is typical of any two-way radio. However, the criticism is often markedly vague -- one Amazon.com reviewer simply writes, "just avoid this particular model" -- while the praise is usually quite specific.
Examples of those specific, positive comments include notes from Amazon.com users that these Cobra radios have outlasted Motorola models, that they're "hefty enough that they don't feel like a toy and cheap enough that I won't be upset if they get dropped," and a comment that the CXT425 offers "quality construction... all in all a good value."
The CXT425 draws non-specific praise for what one BassPro.com reviewer terms "very good battery life," but seems to suffer from the same battery/charger issues that plague most two-way radios in this price range; several Amazon.com users say their charger wouldn't charge this radio's rechargeable batteries at all. You can, however, swap out the rechargeable batteries -- which reviewers say last for around seven hours of regular use, when they work -- for standard AAA alkaline batteries.
Review Credibility: Good More than three dozen users review the Cobra CXT425 on Amazon.com, and they assign it one of the highest overall ratings on the site: 4.1 stars. Customers compliment the CXT425's crystal-clear sound quality and are generally positive about its range and performance.
Review: Cobra Walkie-Talkie MicroTalk CXT425 22-Channel Two-Way Radio, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good Half a dozen BassPro.com users review the Cobra CXT425, and it earns a 4.3-star rating overall -- one of the highest ratings assigned to any two-way radio at this site. Several praise the radio for its range and clear reception, although they don't offer any specifics about exactly how far that range really is.
Review: Cobra CXT 425 Two-Way Radios, Contributors to BassPro.com, As of March 2013