The Midland GXT1000VP4 gets more consistently positive ratings than any other walkie-talkie we've seen. Most reviewers agree that it delivers crystal-clear sound, even in dense forests or among tall city buildings. They also say its build is sturdy and splash-proof, and it combines a wealth of features with reasonably intuitive controls. However, we saw a few complaints about durability problems, mostly focused on the battery pack and charger.
Great sound quality. As is typical for two-way radios, the Midland GXT1000VP4 falls far short of its advertised 36-mile maximum range. The reviews at user sites give wildly differing estimates of the actual range; one owner could send across 30 miles of desert, while another couldn't span even one city block. The average estimate appears to be at least a mile in the city or suburbs and several miles in open country. Users say the radio delivers a crystal clear signal when it is in range, even in thick brush or among city buildings. A prolific reviewer at TwoWayRadioForum.com, known as "jwilkers," reports getting a clear signal with "ZERO noise" in a crowded hotel.
More than a basic radio. Both professionals and users appreciate the Midland radio's features. Hunters who need to avoid loud noises particularly appreciate the whisper mode, which transmits hushed speech clearly, and the vibrate alert for silent calls. Users of all kinds like the NOAA weather radio and weather alerts, which warn you of severe weather in your area. A few reviewers think that this radio almost has too many features, but most still find it reasonably easy to use -- at least once you've read through the manual. Midland also offers this radio in a camouflage finish, the Midland GXT1050VP4. It comes with five extra alert tones that double as animal calls, but aside from that, the two models are identical. Ignore the claim of 50 channels; this is a standard 22-channel radio with "extra channels" being nothing more than regular channels with a pre-set and non changeable privacy code.
Sturdy, but not always reliable. Most reviewers describe the construction of the Midland GXT1000VP4 as very sturdy. Although it's advertised as waterproof, reviewers say "weatherproof" would be more accurate: It can stand up to light rain or splashing water, but not submersion. The walkie-talkie's weakest point appears to be the rechargeable battery. While most reviewers say the battery life is good (at least eight hours in tests by "jwilkers"), we see quite a few complaints about faulty battery packs that are weak, won't hold a charge or randomly stop working. Midland backs the radio with a three-year warranty, but an Amazon.com reviewer warns that the battery pack and charger are not covered.
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1. Camping Life Magazine
CampingLife.com recruits teens and pre-teens to test four two-way radio models on the edge of Montana's Beartooth Mountains. Lisa Densmore describes the Midland GXT1000VP4 as sturdy, weatherproof and "hunter-friendly," with useful features like vibrate and whisper mode. Overall, she says, it's a great value, especially for outdoor use.
Review: FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio Shootout, Lisa Densmore, Dec. 14, 2011
2. Field & Stream
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 radio's features are unnecessary, but they say the controls are well placed and easy to use.
Review: Midland GXT1050 Handheld Radio, Dan Saelinger, Nov. 6, 2009
There are more than 1,000 owner-written reviews here for the Midland GXT1000VP4 and the closely related Midland GXT1050VP4. The walkie-talkie has an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5, with praise for its range, battery life and features. There are some durability complaints, however.
Review: Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair) (Black/Silver), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
A forum moderator identified only as "jwilkers" has conducted extensive tests of the GXT1000VP4, evaluating range and quality in various settings. The reviewer recommends the radio highly, saying it offers crystal clear sound; good battery life; and a sturdy, splash-proof build.
Review: Midland GXT1000 Review, "jwilkers", Aug. 23, 2009
There are about 50 reviews at this retail site for the Midland GXT1000VP4. Users give it 4.3 stars overall, and 91 percent recommend it. Most owners praise its clear signal and ease of use, but a few say the range is too short.
Review: Midland GXT1000VP4 2-Way Compact Communication Radio (Pair), Contributors to BHPhotoVideo.com, As of April 2014
We found about 35 reviews here for the Midland GXT1050VP4, which is nearly identical to the GXT1000VP4. Ratings here are more mixed than at other sites, averaging 3.5 stars out of 5. While many owners praise the radio's range, clarity and reliability, others say all three are inadequate.
Review: Midland GXT 1050 VP4 Radio Pack, Contributors to Cabelas.com, As of April 2014
There are roughly 35 reviews here for the Midland GXT1050VP4 (the pricier version of the GXT1000VP4). Owners give it 4.4 stars out of 5 overall, and 94 percent of them recommend it. Reviewers praise the radio's clear signal, durability and features, but a few say the range is too limited.
Review: Midland X-tra Talk GMRS 2-Way Radio with 30-Mile Range, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of April 2014