Motorola TALKABOUT T72 Two-Way Radio Review

Motorola TALKABOUT T72 Walkie Talkie Review

Motorola are one of the biggest brands for walkie talkies, and as such they've got quite a few different models in their line-up. The Motorola TALKABOUTT72 is more towards the entry-level of things. But how does it stack up? Let's take a closer look!

Read More: Top 10 Best Walkie Talkies

Design & build

First up, let's talk about the design of these walkie talkies. Compared with most other two-way radios, the T72 is fairly compact, and fits nicely in the palm of the hand. This makes it a solid choice when you want to travel light. Alternatively, while they are a bit more expensive than other walkie talkies that are specifically branded as "children's walkie talkies", they would be a good choice for that purpose as well. They're nice and easy to hold for kids to hold, and not too difficult to get to grips with either.

The casing is IP54-rated, which means it's weatherproof. It's not strictly waterproof as you couldn't submerge it in water completely (unlike the larger Motorola T92). It will survive being used in the rain, though, which is great for use in the UK. It's also nice and brightly-coloured, which means you're less likely to lose it than a standard black walkie talkie.

The Motorola TALKABOUT T72 also boasts an integrated LED screen. To be honest, most users won't look at the screen much, apart from the initial setup process. That screen is backlit, though, so when you do need to use it, it's easy to see and read at-a-glance.

As for the build quality, for a radio of this size, we were very impressed with the T72. Obviously, it's not as heavy-duty as a radio that's specifically built for use on a building site or the like. For what it is, though, it's very nice solidly built, and a world above the kind of cheap build quality that you get with two-way radios that are specifically made for children. Even when compared to radios that are only about £10 cheaper, the build quality is significantly better on the T72. If you're looking for radios that you want to put through some heavy use, you'd definitely be making a good choice with these.

Finally, it's probably worth mentioning here how the charging of the radios works. Each T72 comes with its own rechargeable battery. This can be charged via the included desk chargers, which also have magnets to keep the radio in place and ensure they're charging. Alternatively, there's a rubber flap on the side that covers a micro-USB port, so you can plug the radios straight in to the mains.

 License-free walkie talkies

The T72s are what's known as "license-free" walkie talkies. As the name suggests means that they'll work straight out of the box, and you don't need to pay for an additional license for a frequency to use them on. On the one hand, this means they are a lot cheaper than their licensed counterparts- you could purchase six T72s for the price of a single licensed radio. It also means that they will work with other license-free radios. So, if you've got other Motorola walkie talkies that you wanted to use these with, you can just pair them up.

On the other hand, though, since all license-free walkie talkies use the PMR446 frequency band, you might experience a fair amount of interference or chatter if using them in an area where a lot of other people have license-free models. Thankfully, though, there are still 16 different channels to choose from, as well as multiple subcodes on each to get a little more precise. In practise, we'd definitely recommend that the first thing you do when you get these radios and take them out the box is to change that default frequency. We know from experience that most people tend to never change it from the standard 0-0 frequency- which means it does get quite crowded!


As for range, the maximum stated range by Motorola for the T72 is 8km. However, it's important to note that is maximum range. Unfortunately, this only means when you're using the radios under perfect conditions. Practically speaking, that means from one mountaintop to another with a clear line of sight. Let's be honest: you're not going to be taking these up Everest, so it's unlikely that you will achieve that 8km.

In reality, you could expect up to about 1km in a built-up area, and up to about 4km in the countryside, which should be plenty of range for most people. And again, it's important to note that licensed radios, which have a higher transmission power so a longer range, do cost significantly more than the likes of the T72, so if you're wanting to balance range and cost, we'd probably still recommend that you go for a license-free model.

Ease of use

As a fairly simple two-way radio, the Motorola T72 is naturally pretty easy to use. It's a PTT radio, which means "push to talk", so you've got this little button on the side, you just press that to start transmitting and let go when you want to stop.

As mentioned earlier, it's license-free, which means it should work with any other Motorola license-free walkie talkies that you've got. It's also got an easy pairing button on the side. Simply press and hold that on one radio, and then on your others, and they'll all automatically tune in to the same channel. 

The battery life of the Motorola T72 is also worth mentioning: up to 24 hours, which is really impressive for a license-free walkie talkie. Most don't get anywhere near that, and it's doubly impressive for a radio of this size.

Additional features

As for additional features, the T72s come with a belt clip (which is detachable) and a carabiner clip, which means you can hook them on to your clothes or rucksack if you need to use them handsfree. We did say earlier that these were PTT radios, but that's a nice segue onto our next feature: VOX functionality. This is also known as "voice-activated transmission", and basically means when you've got that setting switched on, the walkie talkies are always listening out to see if you're speaking. When the microphone picks up sound, it automatically starts transmitting, and then when you stop, it will stop, so you can use these radios completely handsfree as well.

And finally, underneath that little rubber flap that has the charging port, there's also at the other end a 2.5mm headset jack. So if you've got a headset for walkie talkies, you can use it with this.

Motorola TALKABOUT T72: The Verdict

Despite its small size, the Motorola TALKABOUT T72 still boasts all the features and functionality that you'd expect from a larger radio. With solid build quality and reliable range, it's a great all-rounder- especially at this price!