Midland GXT1000VP4 is a popular walkie talkie. It’s an expensive option, especially when compared to formidable budget walkie talkies. That may give one pause and make us wonder how this popular device justifies its price tag. This Midland GXT1000VP4 Review takes an in-depth look at what makes this device tick. And how well it stands to pitfalls common to walkie talkies.
Midland GXT1000VP4 — Pros And Cons
- Feature-rich: If you want a walkie talkie with a lot of options and features, this is it
- Crystal clear sound quality on device
- Good signal strength and range
- Ergonomic use and functions
- Water-resistant with JIS4 weatherproofing
- Works with included rechargeable battery pack, or 4 AA batteries
- Headset audio is average, the mic is below average
- The tiny screen is annoying during setup
- Complex menus
Features Of Note
First Impressions And Build Quality
A thick and sturdy plastic body covers the Midland GXT1000VP4. It gives an impression of durability, and I expect this device to handle some bumps and rough handling without giving up.
The device is about 8-inches in length and is lightweight enough to be used in a single hand. Well, the second hand will have to be put to use to access some options and functions, but for most general scenarios, this is a device where a single hand can do the trick.
A belt clip is included in the box. It is made from plastic, but sports a metal hinge and spring. You can expect it to be fairly durable. The clip provides an easy way to carry the walkie talkie and makes hands-free access more convenient.
A rubber cap covers the headphone and microphone ports. This keeps the area dust free and also helps make the walkie talkie water-resistant. The JIS4 weatherproofing means the device will hold up to rain, and perhaps some water splashing over it. Do not expect it to come out unscathed after being submerged in water, or being out in the rain for too long.
About The Screen And Display
The screen size is dissatisfying and small. It’s not much of a problem during conventional use, but once you dive into menus and options available, it gets annoying. You cannot see the full menu options on the screen, and instead, have to deal with cryptic abbreviations.
The features are what make this device, and the tiny screen makes accessing those features a chore. If you excuse the small screen size, the display is fairly good. It is black and white, but crisp, and remains visible in various lighting conditions.
The LCD has a backlit orange light that comes on when you press a button and makes the contents on the screen more visible. If there is no activity, the light turns off after a few seconds to conserve electricity.
Battery And Charging
Midland GXT1000VP4 comes with a rechargeable battery pack and dock for recharging. Place the walkie talkie on the dock, and you will hear it “click” into position and charging will begin. The initial charge for first use takes about 24 hours, and subsequent charges come in at half that time.
There is a battery charging indicator. However, there is no indicator to suggest the charging has been completed. For that, you’ll have to rely on the battery indicator in the display. A “battery life extender” option can be put to use to increase battery life during standby.
Being able to swap the battery pack is a great option. When necessary, you can remove the battery pack and replace it with 4 AA batteries.
Midland GXT1000VP4 — The Walkie Talkie In Use
Setup And Options
It has always been said that the options and features available are what make the Midland GXT1000VP4 an excellent walkie talkie. And that part is true. Setting up those features, though is absolute murder!
The menu options are complicated and crazy. The screen is too tiny to show them clearly. So, you go to the manual to help you navigate, and run into a mess of options. Proper categorization would have made life so much easier. It doesn’t help that the screen uses abbreviations, and though they’re noted in the manual, it’s nowhere close to being intuitive.
However, once you brave this labyrinth, the rewards are worth it. Setting up is not impossible, or very difficult, it’s just annoying.
Walkie Talkie In Actual Use
For the ergonomics it lacks in setup, Midland GXT1000VP4 makes up in use. The buttons are large and clear and can be easily pressed and manipulated. Even my ham hands and thick fingers had no trouble.
The unit is not bulky and most operations can be handled by a single hand. Switching it on requires both hands, and so does the volume since a rotary switch needs to be moved.
Voice clarity on the unit is crystal clear, and there is no cause for complaint. That one comes with using the headset. The sound here is average, but the microphone is no good. Transmitted voice is practically reduced to a whisper. Things would be so much better if the mic on the headset was better.
A hands-free mode frees users of the necessity of push to talk. I find this VOX feature very handy, especially where constant contact is a necessity.
To add to the conversation, you get access to 142 privacy codes. That opens up a whole range of options, and you can be fairly confident that others are not dropping in on your conversation.
Midland GXT1000VP4 Range
The advertised range for the Midland GXT1000VP4 two-way radio is 36 miles. In practical scenarios, don’t expect to get anywhere close to the advertised range. Real-world use puts up terrain, buildings, trees, even non-ideal weather – all of which can reduce coverage.
A realistic range, in my opinion, is about 1.5 miles, provided the users are not separated by blocks of buildings or hills. In those cases, the range goes down further.
Frequency Use And Other Features
Midland GXT1000VP4 uses 50 GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) channels. Make sure you have a license to operate it, though unlike ham radio, it does not require a test.
A very useful feature is the NOAA channel scan and weather alerts. The walkie talkie scans 10 weather channels for information and provides an alert if a NOAA weather alert has been issued.
Finally, there’s an SOS feature. Once it is activated, a distress locator signal is relayed by the walkie talkie. Please note, the SOS is for actual emergencies, not to ask your hunting buddies or skiing buddies to wait up.
Midland GXT1000VP4 Review — Is It Worth It?
While the device is not without its shortcomings, it is worth the price if you need the extra features included. Our Midland GXT1000VP4 review sees the headset microphone and complicated initial setup as negatives. However, once the device is fully setup and configured, it is smooth sailing and without hiccups.