The Garmin Rino 530HCx combines a powerful FRS/GMRS receiver with a robust GPS device to create a pricey but well-liked companion for outdoor fun. Users love the GPS positioning aspect of this radio, as well as the myriad of built-in features such as the ability to add to the included basemaps via MapSource cards, a barometric altimeter, electronic compass and the option of hands-free communication. Many praise the ruggedness of the unit, and several attest to its ability to hold a charge for much longer than the stated 14 hours. A few owners complain about the complicated features, but most say it's fairly easy to use. Most are very happy with the range of the device and feel that the radio is a good value, despite its steep price. If you don't need GPS capabilities, the Motorola MR350 (*Est. $55 per pair) is a full-featured two-way radio with good range and a much lower price tag.
There aren't very many professional reviews of the Garmin Rino 530HCx, but About.com and GPSLodge.com weigh in with test-based reports. There's also a good selection of user feedback at a wide assortment of sites on the Internet. Those include Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Cabelas.com and elsewhere.
About.com's GPS guide Fred Zahradnik awards the Garmin Rino 530HCx a score of 4 out of 5, praising the full feature set and the rugged construction. However, he says the complexity of the 530HCx takes time to master. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Garmin Rino 530HCx: Two-way Radio, 'Find Others' Features, Fred Zahradnik
This review at a GPS-centric site focuses more on the GPS features of the Garmin Rino 530HCx, but it is still worth a read by all. Scott Martin does not provide a rating or a recommendation, but he does say that the 530HCx is a great tool for the outdoors.
Review: Garmin RINO 530HCx Full Review, Scott Martin, Aug. 26, 2007
Nearly 50 users have contributed to the Garmin Rino's rating of 4.2 out of 5, including a rescue instructor who says the radio surpassed his expectations. Complaints are few and center around the complicated features and menu options, though most found the radio easy to use.
Review: Garmin Rino 530HCx 2-Way Radio with GPS/FRS/GMRS, Contributors to Amazon.com
Around 70 users weigh in on the merits of the Garmin Rino 530HCx radio and the result is an average score of 4.7 out of 5. Users praise the GPS capabilities in particular. A couple of users say the screen is too small, and some say the recharging clip is cumbersome to use and inconvenient.
Review: Garmin Rino 530HCx 2-Way Radio with GPS/FRS/GMRS, Contributors to Walmart.com
Over two dozen customers collectively give the Garmin Rino 530HCx a score of 4.6 out of 5 on this outdoor outfitter's website. Many of the reviewers are hunters who can't say enough about the utility of the GPS positioning. While some say it takes time to learn all the features, they add that it is definitely worthwhile to do so. Most also say that the radio was worth every penny they spent to buy it.
Review: Garmin Rino 530HCx GPS/FRS/GMRS, Contributors to Cabelas.com
On a scale of 1 to 10, the Garmin Rino 530CHx earns a score of 8.6 from more than two dozen consumer reviewers. The chart of review results gives a quick snapshot of the attributes of the product and how reviewers weighed in on each of them. Positive feedback abounds, with a few complaints here and there, primarily regarding the perceived bulkiness of the device.
Review: Garmin Rino 530HCx Portable Navigator, Contributors to PCNation.com
This outdoor gear retailer has collected over a dozen consumer reviews of the Garmin Rino 530HCx radio, and its cumulative rating stands at 4.5 out of 5 stars. This site also gives a quick reference section at the top of the reviews, giving shoppers an instant view of the product's pros and cons. Ninety-three percent of the reviewers would recommend this radio to a friend.
Review: Garmin Rino 530HCx GPS 2-Way Radio, Contributors to REI.com