The Motorola MH230R two-way radio is a favorite of parents keeping track of children and adults traveling in a group that want to stay in touch. Its bright yellow color and large buttons make it easy to find and use, but the MH230R's range is very limited and it's plagued by apparent battery problems.
A few hundred yards in thick woods. Reviewers say that the Motorola MH230R radio's transmissions only reach a few hundred yards in thick woods or over irregular terrain, so it shouldn't be the two-way radio of choice for most hunters. We did find a few reports of better range -- for example, one woman says she went almost 5 miles in the city before transmissions broke up completely. That's the exception, though, and most reviewers 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 further.
As a general rule, those who enjoyed this radio the most used it to keep in touch with children out playing in the neighborhood, when driving vehicles with no great distance between them or communicating from within the same building. For a better range, the Midland GXT1000VP4 (*Est. $80 per pair) is an excellent choice.
Just the essentials. The Motorola MH230R is a basic model, but it does have all the essential functions including NOAA weather radio reception, voice activation and a noise filter. Reviewers say it's a surprisingly good value, and they like its large, easy-to-manipulate buttons. The MH230R's bright yellow casing makes it easy to spot if you happen to drop it.
The MH230R can be recharged on the go via a mini-USB port, but the necessary cable doesn't come with the radio; you have to supply your own.
Fairly rugged for a basic radio. The Motorola MH230R stands up well to everyday abuse. Parents who hand these radios off to children say that dropping the radio several times isn't an issue. One Amazon.com reviewer's daughter accidentally left hers outside for an entire Maine winter; the father writes that when they found and charged the radio in the spring, it still worked.
This radio's biggest weakness is its batteries. A Walmart.com reviewer points out that because the charger doesn't turn off automatically, it shortens the life of the rechargeable battery packs. Several Amazon.com users say their radios began to turn themselves off unexpectedly; one reviewer purchased four units and had three fail within six months -- apparently because of defects, not hard use. Another Amazon.com reviewer, a skier, says the MH230R won't transmit at all in cold conditions.
When in proper working order, reviewers say the MH230R's rechargeable battery pack can last for about 12 hours of sporadic use, a bit better than the eight hours promised by the manufacturer.
Review Credibility: Very Good Amazon.com has a wealth of reviews for the popular Motorola MH230R two-way radio; more than 400 reviewers have rated it, averaging out to an overall score of 4 stars. This model is particularly popular with parents, who use it to keep in touch with children out and about in the neighborhood.
Review: Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good Just over half a dozen Walmart.com users rate and review the Motorola MH230R sold here in a triple pack, and it earns an overall rating of 4.3 stars. One review in particular is highly useful; the user is accustomed to working with Motorola radios and notes high and low points, plus the general functionality of the MH230R, in some detail.
Review: Motorola MH230TPR Triple Pack MH230R Rechargeable Two Way Radios, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of March 2013