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Motorola T460 Review (Rechargeable Radio)

Motorola T460 Review (Rechargeable Radio)

I finally got round to piecing together the Motorola T460 review a few weeks after the T600 review. It took a few weeks coming because my head needed clearing of everything T600.

Without that time gap, testing the T460 wouldn’t feel like something new. Because from experience, walkie talkie models from the same manufacturers usually share several features and functions it can be hard telling them apart.

It turned out that long timeout was the correct decision. Except for technical details and functions linked to the absence of some features relative to the T600, testing the T460 felt rather familiar. The sort of feeling you get from using an old trusted device.

That said, I’d make a conscious effort not to make this Motorola T460 review read like a Motorola T600 vs. Motorola T460. No matter temptation to do that, the T460 deserves to be treated like a walkie talkie that can stand toe-to-toe with the best in the same price range.

Motorola T460 Review: Complete User Experience

Out of the box and appearance

I have to say I liked how light the T460 felt when I took it out of the box (by the way, there are two units in the box). I was sure it wasn’t going to weigh above 7 oz even with the battery pack attached. I could imagine a bunch of parents getting this for their kids based on the weight and size which is compact and small enough for kids to carry comfortably.

The casing is made of durable plastic material that is made to withstand rough handling and weather. All the ports (for connecting earpiece or charging cables) are sealed with rubber flaps to prevent water, dust, snow, etc, from getting into it.

A quick check showed it has an IP54 rating. That means it is weatherproofed against rainfall and snow. But with a rating like that, you can’t submerge it in water.

If you like upgrading the stock antenna of your walkie talkie for better reception and transmission, you would be disappointed with the fixed antenna on the T460.

On the left side of the radio are four buttons. Two of these are dedicated push-to-talk (PTT) buttons for high and low power transmissions respectively. The other two are the flashlight on/off switch (the flashlight is located at the top) and emergency button.

More buttons can be found on the front of the 2-way portable radio. The illustrated user’s guide listed them as the call tone, monitor, scan, menu, and mode buttons.

As you’d expect from a device of this size, the display is fairly small. However, even though it is packed with several icons representing different features, the letters and numbers are not too small. You can read them easily.

But you might take a while to become familiar with all the icons on the display. Some of the icons are for Roger tones, Low/High power, Keypad lock, call tone, VibraCall, the transmission/reception status, VOX, weather alert, and noise filtering.

That might seem quite a lot to take in at once. On any given day though, you won’t find most of them necessary.

Finally, the pack includes 2 rechargeable NiMH batteries for each unit and a bunch of accessories. The accessories you get include a pair of micro-USB wall charging cables, 2 belt clips, one user guide, and an accessory brochure.

Usability and Performance of Motorola T460

As I expected, setting up the T460 was uncomplicated. Once you figured how to remove the back cover and insert the rechargeable battery, you are good to go.

I packed all the things I’ll need for the camping trip and headed out to the pickup point where I met the rest of the group. Most of us were strangers to each other but shared interest made conversations easy and soon enough, we were all on first name terms.

We arrived at the base camp after several hours. I didn’t use the T460 the first day because it was all about setting up camp and understanding the ground rules. But from the second day right up to the end, several activities were thrown at us. We got into it thick and fast.

Needless to say, my T460 was with me every inch of the way for all the activities we engaged in.

I loved the way it was easy to hold the device. The grip was nice and allowed me to operate the buttons easily. It didn’t matter that on some occasions, I had to use gloves.

I have to say that first time users would love the intuitive and simplicity of the 2-way portable radio. For instance, switching between the NOAA weather mode for real-time weather alerts and back to a two-way communication mode was simply a matter of pressing the mode button.

Hitting the menu button followed by the +/- button are all you need to scroll through and change channels quickly. By the way, the device comes with 22 channels and a further 121 privacy codes if you want to talk privately with a party.

With these two, you have over 2000 channel combinations to choose from. Add the quiet talk (QT) mode to the mix and experience the quiet and easy pleasure of getting an unoccupied channel for private communication.

The monitor button worked as well as should be expected from a budget walkie talkie. It was able to disable the signal filter and scan through available channels while everything, including static, being transmitted on a particular frequency was heard clearly.

The built-in flashlight became really useful the day we got delayed after a long hike. We found ourselves about an hour from base camp when it got dark. Many of us didn’t pack our flashlight. A mistake.

The built-in flashlight helped to illuminate the path ahead of me. In that situation though, I wished the beam was super bright. It barely showed the way ahead up to a few feet only.

Range

For a group not widely spread out, you wouldn’t wish for a better communication device. I was able to contact other radios and base camp from a couple of miles away without any problem

As usual, it was simply a matter of pressing and releasing the PTT button if you want to receive or transmit messages. The high-power PTT button for longer range didn’t help much due to the dense foliage and numerous trees.

It is noteworthy that even at the furthest range possible, audio clarity for reception and transmission was excellent. In a few situations, you might encounter problems with audio modulation though.

Battery performance

I think Motorola did a good job with the battery. It is pretty solid. The rechargeable battery lasted way above the stated the 10 hours battery life the day we stayed out really late. This could be because the device wasn’t in constant use.

In any case, you wouldn’t have to worry about dead or dying batteries since the device can also be powered by 3 AA batteries. I swapped it in just once and it took me back to base camp.

The next day, I continued using it since the rechargeable battery wasn’t full yet by the morning after plugging it to charge overnight. Apparently, it takes about 8 hours to get it fully charged.

As for the AA batteries, they powered the radio the whole day without getting a low battery warning from the walkie talkie. That was nice.

I think USB charging should be the default charging mode of all outdoors 2-way communication devices. It is so flexible. You don’t have to worry about how or where to charge as long as a power source with a USB port is near you.

Other features

  • VibraCall alerts to set it on silent mode
  • VOX function so your hands can be free to handle other tasks while using the 2-way portable radio.
  • Emergency alert to transmit an emergency siren by pushing a button.
  • It comes with a Keypad lock to prevent you from accidentally changing your preferred settings
  • Low battery alert to give you a fair warning on the battery’s status

Pros

  • Lightweight, compact and durable
  • Great price
  • Low power consumption in idle state
  • Flexible charging options
  • Dual power source
  • Had great cross-brand compatibility
  • 20 call tones to choose from
  • Emergency alert feature

Cons

  • Loud static regularly interrupt channel scanning
  • Low audio modulation during transmission

Conclusion

Initially, I thought by the time I come to put together this Motorola T460 review, I’d have a hard time finding nice things to say about it. But Motorola, as is usual with most of their walkie talkies, have got another winner, at least for that price range.

The T460 is a compact, rugged, lightweight radio you could use for many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, skiing fishing, etc.

The design is basic with a bunch of very useful features. These include the decent range, 22 channels with enough privacy codes, weather alerts, and weather frequencies, and of course the dual power and flexible charging options that are now a must-have in modern two-ways.

Like most basic devices, it is not hard to use.