The Motorola MH230R two-way radio is a fairly basic model, with fewer features than most competitors. Its bright yellow color and large buttons make it easy to find and use, and its sound quality is good -- but only within its very limited range. It's also plagued by mechanical problems, especially with the battery.
Limited range. We found varying reports about the Motorola MH230R's transmission range. A few users say they got a strong signal over as far as 3 miles in mountainous terrain, but the majority say they can only put about half a mile of distance between these radios in real-world circumstances. Any dense foliage or terrain obstacles shorten the range still further. However, users say they produce clear sound at close range, even when transmitting through solid walls. Many owners say they're very helpful in malls, on building sites and on shipboard.
Covers the basics. The Motorola MH230R is a basic model, but it does have all the key features users like most, including NOAA weather radio channels, voice activation and a noise filter. Owners also find it quite easy to use. Buttons are large and easy to manipulate, and the bright yellow casing makes it easy to spot if you happen to drop it. Their biggest complaint about usability is that it's hard to recharge the walkie-talkies because they don't fit securely in the charging stand. The MH230R can also be recharged on the go via a mini-USB port, but the cable isn't included with the radio.
Not too reliable. Complaints about faulty units pop up occasionally with any two-way radio, but they're particularly common with the Motorola MH230R. A couple of reviewers at Amazon.com say that they purchased multiple units and most of them failed within one year. The battery pack and charger are particular weak points. A Walmart.com reviewer points out that because the charger doesn't turn off automatically, it shortens the life of the rechargeable battery packs. After a while, the radios may begin to turn themselves off unexpectedly. The outer shell of the walkie-talkie, however, is sturdy. Users say it stands up well to being dropped repeatedly and even dunked in a river.
Nearly 900 owners review the Motorola MH230R at Amazon.com, giving it 4 stars out of 5 on average. They get very mixed reviews for transmission range, but most owners agree that they are sturdy and have a long battery life. We saw many complaints about faulty chargers, however.
Review: Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
We found more than 100 reviews for the Motorola MH230R at Walmart.com. Users give it an overall rating of 4.3 stars, and 9 out of 10 recommend it. Owners say they work great on shipboard or inside buildings, but as at Amazon.com, there are many complaints about their limited range.
Review: Motorola MH230R 23 Mile Two-Way Radio with 22 Channels, 121 Privacy Codes, NOAA Alert, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of April 2014
The Motorola MH230R gets about 50 reviews at this retail site, including those on this page and some for the three-pack on a separate page. Overall, it gets about 4.5 stars out of 5 from owners, who say it's easy to use, durable and attractive. Nearly 95 percent recommend it.
Review: Motorola MH230R Talkabout Two-Way Radio (Pair), Contributors to BHPhotoVideo.com, As of April 2014