Walkie Talkie vs. Two-Way Radios

The Differences Between a Walkie Talkie and a Two Way Radio
September 13, 2022 by
Walkie Talkie vs. Two-Way Radios
Expert Mobile Communications Ltd.

You may have heard both terms used interchangeably, but their differences mainly exist in how users refer to the devices. While both devices are formally known as handheld transceivers used in sending and receiving radio transmissions, recreational or pleasure users are likely to refer to "walkie talkies", while professional users simply call it "two way radios".

The term, "walkie talkie" was first coined by Motorola, having engineered the first use of the technology for military use in 1942. It then spread to public safety and eventually commercial and jobsite work. By popularity, the generic trademark of portable handheld transceivers came to be known as "walkie talkies." So the Motorola Walkie Talkie became a genericized trademark or proprietary eponym.

The market for hand-held, portable, two way radio transceivers has grown since the advent of the Motorola walkie talkie of 1942. Multiple manufacturers now offer similar two way radio devices, which they don't call wakie talkies. Hence, by definition, all walkie talkies are two-way radios. On the other hand, not all two-way radios are walkie talkies. Continue reading to know their key differences.


What is a walkie talkie?

Technology may have advanced since the early walkie talkie, but the name has stuck with the public when referring to handheld transceivers with basic and limited features. Walkie Talkies are capable of transmitting voice communications that tend to have shorter range. Their build is normally of lower quality, and they are cheaper when compared to two-way radios. Typically, they are license-free and operate on one of the eight PMR 446 frequencies.

Walkie talkies also normally come in various vibrant colours; and can be found in high street stores that attract recreational and pleasure users.


What is a two way radio?


two way radio is normally the preferred term used by a majority of industry professionals. These devices can also be mounted on either a desk or vehicle dashboard for portability.

Two way radios are high-end, feature-rich radios used to facilitate efficient and effective communications in instances where a quality device is required within organizations, farms and businesses, including: businesses with large operations and/or large personnel base, government organizations who employ multiple moving parts (like hospitals, military, emergency services), and events (like sports, music festivals, and movie productions).

Two way radios tend to have a tougher build quality and are more likely to have an IP rating, which makes it ideal for various types of environments such as construction sites, mining sites and oil and gas sites.

Note that two way radios are also ideal for recreation or pleasure seekers. With their tougher build and advanced features, they can withstand a variety of the harsh environments usually braced by recreational users. Click to view the Hytera BD502i portable radio, our best seller for recreational users.


Whether you call it a two-way radio or a walkie talkie, Expert Mobile Communications can help you find the right solution for your needs – call us on (780) 539-3962 to chat about your needs. You can also shop online or use our live chat feature to "Talk to Us" and help you decide.

Click to view our inventory of two way radios for sale

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