Motorola is a world famous 2-way radio
manufacturer that has been manufacturing business band radios for decades. It's only natural they
would want to expand into the GMRS market.
Motorola GMRS has many UHF handies available. Motorola, too, no longer manufactures FRS only
handies, but all their handies now have both GMRS and FRS channels. The FRS channels automatically switch
to low (500 mW) power and the GMRS channels operate anywhere from 1 watt to 5 watts, depending on model.
The Motorola lineup offers handies anywhere from relatively inexpensive to fairly pricey.
Motorola advertises that their handies will work from between 10 miles to 35 miles (exactly the same range
that Cobra advertises...). However, these are under optimal conditions that you won't see in the
city or the burbs. Optimal is on a lake, boat to boat, or on a mountaintop, with a clear view of the
ground. Realistically, these Handies will have much less range in "real life" than advertised, because
of buildings, trees, hills, and other obstacles, interfering with the signal.
Most models include a charger, but some do not. If you plan on using your handie for more than a few
minutes each week, it may be worthwhile to get a rechargeable model. Transmitting with these handies
will eat up a lot of disposable batteries.
Recently, Motorola has introduced a new mode which operates on the license free
900 mhz band using "frequency hopping", similar to CDMA cell phone technology. The big
advantage to this type of technology is that it's virtually impossible for someone else to eavesdrop on you or
interfere with you. The handies are license free and use 1-watt. No higher wattage models are
available. These 900 MHz handies are priced very similar to their business band
handies, so they aren't for folks looking for an inexpensive handie to keep track of the kids in the
neighborhood. In fact it seems Motorola is marketing their handies for the business user, as they advertise it
as a "Digital on-site portable radio".