The FRS200 was up and running as soon as we popped in the requisite four AAA batteries. In our tests, the radio s sound quality was excellent. Its range was comparable to that of most FRS radios we ve tested--one mile under average conditions, two miles under ideal conditions. Unfortunately, we ran into a few snags when we tested some of the radio s more advanced features. The call button, supposedly used to transmit a short call tone to others tuned to the same channel, transmitted nothing but static. Another feature that emits a short beep when the talk button is released (to let the others in your group know that you ve finished transmitting) was more annoying than useful. Also, the radio s button layout is cumbersome. For example, the backlight button is integrated with the push-to-talk button and is far too easy to press accidentally. Finally, switching channels was more difficult than it should have been because the up button is recessed.
The FRS200 is a little thicker than an average FRS radio, but overall it s compact and fits nicely in your hand. The construction of the FRS200 isn t as good as that of the more expensive radios, nor is its overall design, but with such a low price, these tradeoffs are expected. The radio supports all 14 channels assigned to FRS use, along with 38 subcodes per channel, so you shouldn t have trouble finding an available frequency.
Overall, if you can live with the FRS200 s minor faults, we think you ll find it a surprisingly good bargain. --T. Byrl Baker
- Relatively inexpensive
- Many features for the price
- Poor button layout
- Call feature didn t work in our tests
Features : 14 channels and 38 subcodes *Easy push-to-talk operation *Call button *2-mile range *Backlit LCD
Product dimensions :
Product weight : 0.05 pounds
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