XT420 Two-way Radio Review

The Motorola XT420 is another of our best sellers here at Radio Solutions. It is a radio that bridges the gap between basic walkie talkies and licenced radios and is often regarded as a great licenced free radio for professional use. We therefore wanted to put the XT420 to the test to see whether it lives up to its reputation or whether one of its cheaper or more expensive brothers are better options.

XT420 Range

As with our previous radio reviews, range is a good place to start. Looking through the data sheet the stated range is listed as 16250 m2, 13 floors or 9k in the line of sight. The important factor to consider here is that radios are rarely used in a ‘line of sight’ setting and you are therefore unlikely to experience this range. When tested in a realistic setting we averaged just over 2km depending on what obstacles are between the two radios. This is similar to what we experienced when testing the Motorola XT180.

XT420 Durability

When comparing the XT400 range with cheaper models, one of the main selling points is its durability. The XT420 is built with of a robust water and dust resistant metal casing that meets US Military standards and has an IP55 rating. When comparing this with the IPx2 rating of the XT180 it is clear that the XT420 will be the more durable option. To test this durability (in the name of science) we dropped the XT420 from varying heights up to 1.5m and with a few cosmetic scratches the radio was still completely functional.

XT420 Features

The feature list of the XT420 is similar to that of the XT180 with features such as Advanced Voice Activation (VOX) and the ability to speak with different workgroups quickly with the touch of one button. The notable difference between the two was the increased battery life of the XT420 of 20 hours. During testing we again didn’t get quite that time but managed an impressive 16 hours with extensive usage during these times which was 5 hours more than the XT180.

XT420 Our Verdict

We found the XT420 to be a great radio that is worthy of its reputation as one of the best professional licenced free radios that money can buy. In comparison with cheaper models it looks and feels more professional and whilst some may be hesitant as to whether it is worth the additional money, the durability factor makes it perfect for industries such as construction where the radios are likely to take a knock. If range is your primary factor in purchasing a radio; and you require more than 2km, then you would be better off looking into licenced options such as the DP1400. However if licensed free is viable for your needs and you are looking for a radio that will last then you won’t go far wrong by purchasing the Motorola XT420. It is worth noting that there are other similar models in the XT400 range including the XT460 which comes with a screen.

If you would like more information on this radio please call our team on 01745 335811