Reviewers agree that the Midland GXT1000VP4 is a tough radio that can handle rugged terrain and conditions. It's rated to resist light rain or splashing water, and quite a few users say it offers crystal-clear sound, even in dense forests or among tall city buildings. The Midland radio is feature-rich, but reviewers say the controls remain decently intuitive.
Great sound quality. As is typical for two-way radios, the Midland GXT1000VP4 falls far short of its advertised 36-mile maximum range. Users say it performs relatively well in thick brush or dense city buildings, however. One user posting to Newegg.com reports getting 4 miles of range with no obstructions, before they started hearing static. A couple of hunters posting to BassPro.com say they could get "clear as a bell" reception at 7 miles, in at least one case from high ground with a clear line of sight.
Estimates for range within the city tend to average a mile or slightly more, even with tall buildings, houses and trees between the transmitting and receiving radios. "While driving in the neighborhood I could call home from 2 miles away in heavy obstruction and traffic in a closed truck," writes one user at GanderMountain.com.
"Sound quality was very good," writes a prolific radio reviewer known as "jwilkers" at TwoWayRadioForum.com. He notes that using the radio's whisper mode -- which increases the microphone sensitivity and gain -- with a headset dramatically improves reception.
More than a basic radio. Midland offers two similar radios, the Midland GXT1000VP4 and Midland GXT1050VP4. The only difference between them is the number of animal-call alerts they feature. The GXT1000VP4 has 10, including cougar, duck, crow, wolf and turkey; the GXT1050VP4 has 15. The 1050VP4 also comes with camouflage outer casing as opposed to the GXT1000VP4's black. Those points aside, they're both the same feature-rich radio on the inside.
Some of the best-loved features include the weather radio reception and weather alerts, nine levels of voice activation, the vibrate alert for silent calls and whisper mode. We found a few scattered comments that this radio has almost too many features, but most find something they appreciate, and most say the controls are fairly intuitive.
Other noteworthy features include an SOS siren to signal your location in an emergency, the ability to call just one nearby radio instead of everybody in your group, the ability to monitor two channels at once and an auto squelch to remove background noise. The LCD screen is backlit, and you can switch the radio to silent mode to disable all tones.
The GXT1000VP4 comes with a car charger and headsets -- welcome additions that you must usually buy separately, although we found several comments that the included headsets don't work so well. The spring-loaded belt clip also drew mixed reviews; testers with CampingLife.com liked it, but a few user-reviewers panned it without offering specifics.
Water-resistant, not waterproof. Although the Midland GXT1000VP4 (and GXT1050VP4) is advertised as waterproof, it's more accurate to call it water-resistant because it's only rated for protection against light rain or splashing water.
Reviewer "jwilkers" says the GXT1000VP4's batteries exceeded what he calls a "typical day of use" -- eight hours of life during a power-on test. Once the rechargeable batteries run dry, you can substitute 4 AA batteries, a feature that Lisa Densmore with CampingLife.com says comes in handy since "this radio seemed to burn battery power quickly when used frequently."
The GXT1000VP4 and GXT1050VP4 receive significant praise for being durable. "The durability is fantastic in comparison to my old Motorola Talkabouts," writes one user posting to Newegg.com. Another one, posting to BassPro.com, writes that he "ran this radio through a run & gun course with running, jumping, crawling on ground; this is a tough radio." CampingLife.com also recommends it as "solidly built" and the best choice for going outdoors in bad weather.
That said, we did find a couple of comments from Newegg.com users that the radio's rechargeable battery pack wouldn't hold its charge, plus one or two complaints that the radio was dead immediately or within a week of arrival. In general, however, reviewers agree that it's a good choice for handling tough conditions.
1. Camping Life Magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good Lisa Densmore recruits teens and pre-teens to help her test four two-way radio models on the edge of Montana's Beartooth Mountains. They test the radios while bushwhacking and in and out of vehicles; they also conduct controlled distance tests. Densmore describes the Midland GXT1000VP4 as "solidly built" and a "great value," and recommends it if you expect to be outdoors.
Review: FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio Shootout, Lisa Densmore, Dec. 14, 2011
2. Field & Stream
Review Credibility: Very Good The online editors of Field and Stream assign the Midland GXT1050VP4, which is almost identical to the GXT1000VP4, a 4-star rating in this very brief review. Their testers feel some of the GXT1050VP4's features are unnecessary, but say the controls are well-placed and easy to use.
Review: Midland GXT1050 Handheld Radio, Editors of Field and Stream, Nov. 6, 2009
Review Credibility: Good Just more than a dozen BassPro.com users review the Midland GXT1000VP4, assigning it an overall rating of 3.9 stars. Most like the GXT1000VP4's crystal-clear sound quality, although the advertised range disappoints a few.
Review: Midland(R) GTX1000VP4 Two-Way Radios, Contributors to BassPro.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good More than a dozen GanderMountain.com users review the Midland GXT1050VP4, which is nearly identical to the GXT1000VP4. It earns an overall rating of 4.4 stars, and owners generally praise its range and sound quality, even when used in heavy woods or among city buildings.
Review: Midland GXT1050 Walkie-Talkie, Contributors to GanderMountain.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good Although more Newegg.com customers have reviewed the GXT1050VP4 than the GXT1000VP4, the reviews posted for the latter are more helpful. Five reviewers chime in, assigning this radio an overall rating of 4 eggs out of 5 possible.
Review: Midland GXT1000VP4 50-Channel 30-Mile Waterproof 2-Way GMRS Radio, Contributors to Newegg.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good A forum moderator identified only as "jwilkers" posts numerous comprehensive reviews to TwoWayRadioForum.com. In this case he reviews the Midland GXT1000VP4 recommending it as a robust, sturdy model with excellent sound quality.
Review: Midland GXT1000 Review, "jwilkers", Aug. 23, 2009