Best Cheap Walkie Talkie — Getting The Bang For Your Buck

Buying a walkie talkie doesn’t necessarily have to burn a hole through your pocket. There are several feature-rich and useful budget choices available. Buying the best cheap walkie talkie isn’t merely an exercise in frugality, but also a focused approach for desirable features in a walkie talkie.

Top 7 Budget Walkie Talkies In 2019

  1. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece
  2. eSynic Rechargeable Walkie Talkies with Earpieces
  3. WisHouse FRS GMRS Walkie Talkies
  4. KOOBETON Walkie Talkie, KT-888S
  5. FLOUREON 4 Packs Walkie Talkies
  6. Quansheng UV-R50 Rechargeable Dual Band
  7. Baofeng UV-82 VHF UHF FM Transceiver

Considerations For Buying A Cheap Walkie Talkie

Cheap Is Not The Same As Low Quality

Cost is often mistaken for quality. While there is an undeniable relation between quality and cost, it is not the final word. A good quality product can be acquired at a price that defines value. The only thing to give up would be some bells and whistles,

Focusing on the features you need makes it possible to buy the right fit. Not spending money on features you don’t use is frugal and skillful.

Similarly, keeping your eyes fixed on the price tag to randomly buy a walkie talkie might end up costing more in terms of product longevity and value.

Distance Covered And Battery

The active distance a walkie talkie can handle is a key consideration. While you don’t necessarily have to go for long-distance coverage, a good range is necessary. A powerful battery that can last a day of hiking is an excellent parameter to consider. Many people also consider walkie talkies for hunting and even skiing. In all these considerations, distance covered by a walkie talkie and its battery life make a huge difference.

Top 7 Cheap Walkie Talkie Reviews

1. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios with Earpiece

Arcshell Long Range Two-Way Radios operate in the frequency range of UHF 400-470MHz. Each of these walkie talkies has 16 pre-programmed channels, accessible by means of a mechanical rotary switch. 

Each turn of the rotary switch triggers a synthesized voice informing users of the channel. A slight annoyance, but a necessity considering there is no screen available. The frequency of each channel is programmable. 

Power comes from a 1500mAh battery, which can conveniently last a day. It takes 2.5 hours for a full charge, which can last anywhere from 8 hours to 96 hours, depending on the usage of the walkie talkie. 

Speakers used are fairly good, and keep a decent voice clarity. Additionally, users may use the walkie talkie hands-free, relying on the included earpiece for communication.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Good sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Good battery backup

Cons

  • Water-resistance is perfunctory
  • No included cable or accessory for correctly programming transmission frequency

See it on Amazon

2. eSynic Rechargeable Walkie Talkies with Earpieces

eSynic Rechargeable Walkie Talkies with Earpieces

eSynic Walkie Talkie could very well be a twin of the Arcshell we just saw. The looks are similar, as is the operation and pricing. This one too operates in the UHF range around 426MHz and has 16 pre-programmed frequency channels accessed via a rotary mechanical dial. Unfortunately, there is a programming cable in the box to manage/customize those frequencies. Be sure you are authorized to utilize the frequencies it runs at, or you could risk running into trouble with the law and FCC. 

Its Li-ion battery holds 1500mAh of charge and will power the walkie talkie for eight hours or more, depending on the usage. A full charge can take 2-3 hours. The included earpiece can be attached to the walkie talkie for hands-free operation. The avowed communication range is 2.5 km, though it is going to be significantly lower in most practical use scenarios.

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Fair battery backup

Cons

  • No included cable or accessory for correctly programming transmission frequency
  • Below average sound quality

See current price on Amazon

3. WisHouse FRS GMRS Walkie Talkies

WisHouse FRS GMRS Walkie Talkies

WisHouse FRS walkie talkie operates in the GMRS range. This small walkie talkie has a tiny screen to show relevant information. You can use Push to Talk (PTT) for speaking over the channel, though there are settings to do away with that. 

There is no included battery. The walkie talkie can operate using 3 AA batteries, or you may use a rechargeable NiMH battery. Interestingly, a charging jack is available. There are several color and bundle options available. These could be purchased as a pair, or a 4 pack. The advertised range for this walkie talkie is 2-3 miles of an open field. Expect it to reduce dramatically in practical use where there are any obstacles between the users.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Several color options
  • Good battery life
  • Very easy to use

Cons

  • Questionable longevity

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4. KOOBETON Walkie Talkie, KT-888S

KOOBETON Walkie Talkie KT-888S

Right off the bat, I’ll say the Koobeton is a sibling of the eSynic and Arcshell walkie talkies we saw above. It’s not just the looks, it’s pretty much the same where specs and operation are concerned. 

Well, it does have a built-in flashlight which the Arcshell lacks. So, well, I guess that’s something!

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Good battery life
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Poor water resistance
  • No cable or accessory to program frequency channels

See it on Amazon

5. FLOUREON 4 Packs Walkie Talkies

FLOUREON 4 Packs Walkie Talkies

Since we are on the topic of look-alikes, the Floureon and WisHouse walkie talkies are pretty similar doppelgangers as well. Both brands do have varying color options, so I guess there is some difference as well!

Floureon walkie talkie operates on the FRS and GMRS bands, with 22 channels available. It requires 3AA batteries for operation, and a tiny screen keeps you updated with current information.

Pros

  • Simple and convenient to use
  • Excellent value for money
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Questionable longevity

See buying color and quantity options on Amazon

6. Quansheng UV-R50 Rechargeable Dual Band

Quansheng UV-R50

Quansheng UV-R50 takes a proper ham radio approach to walkie talkies. It operates in the frequency range of VHF:136-174MHz UHF:400-520MHz FM Radio:65-75MHz&76-108MHz. It is PC programmable – and be sure you do make use of that to employ frequencies you are licensed to use.

There are two power modes available. Modes can be changed from 1W to 4W easily at the flick of a button. Power comes from a 1600mAh Li-ion battery, which can keep it powered for several hours.

Other notable features include flashlight, FM radio, and emergency alarm.

Pros

  • Excellent battery backup
  • Good material quality

Cons

  • Sound quality could have been better
  • Loud! 

See it on Amazon

7. Baofeng UV-82 VHF UHF FM Transceiver

Baofeng UV-82 - Best Cheap Walkie Talkie

Baofeng UV-82 is a well-priced and feature-rich amateur radio. It has two power settings available, going at 5W and 1W. The frequency range goes from 65-108 MHz (Only commercial FM radio reception) VHF: 136-174 MHz(Rx/Tx), to UHF: 400-520 MHz(Rx/Tx). A small screen provides information on the frequency in use, battery available, and more. 

Power comes from an 1800 mAh battery. It provides excellent backup and can keep the ham radio running for several hours. The radio is PC programmable, and it makes good sense to use it to make sure you’re on the right frequency. Connection to the PC is established via PC03 FTDI Programming Cable.

Just so there is no confusion, keep in mind that Baofeng is rebranding as Pofung for its sales outside China. So don’t be surprised if your walkie talkie comes with a Pofung label instead of Baofeng.

Pros

  • Convenient to use
  • Multiple power output options
  • Good range
  • PC programmable and manual programmable
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Voice clarity could have been better
  • The included manual isn’t very helpful

Buy now on Amazon

Budget Walkie Talkies Have Great Features

Getting the best cheap walkie talkie takes some effort, but the options available do not disappoint. A comparison with high-end walkie talkies would be unnecessary, but with a focus on features, the budget models perform admirably well.

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