Motorola SL300 Review

The Motorola SL300 is the latest offering from a company who has over 75 years of experience. Motorola continues to offer the same sturdy and technologically advanced radios.

The SL300 portable radio comes in a super small package with the ability to communicate at a range expected of larger radios. Keep reading for an in-depth SL300 review.

Motorola SL300 Basics

The SL300 offer reliable functionality in an ultra-thin and rugged package. This VHF radio is ideal in the event halls, school events, or out in the field.

Included with the Radio

Included with the radio are the battery, charger, and clip. Motorola claims the estimated battery life is twelve to fifteen hours. There is a two-year warranty available.

LED Screen

The display is an LED light matrix located behind the radio's outer plastic housing. The lights shine through the outer shell making the screen shatterproof.

There are 19 x 5 LEDs used for the display. Information displayed includes current channel, battery status, and volume level.

Size and Dimensions

This VHF radio is less than an inch thick with a stubby antenna. The design has a rugged feel with curved edges and solid construction.

The unit's dimensions are 4.95H x 2.17W x 0.87D. It's a lightweight 5.96 ounces.

Voice Confirmation

The radio confirms actions through voice prompts. This allows for operation of the radio without having to look at the radio.

Power

For VHF broadcasting users can expect one to two watts of power. For UHF broadcasting, the power level is 403-470MHz.

Waterproof

The SL300 has received an International Protection Marking of IP54. The outer shell protects against water sprays and limited ingress of water and dust.

The Good

The SL300 offers powerful communication in a tiny rugged package. Buyers are able to integrate it into their existing systems.

The range and sound quality rival that of most larger models. Users have the ability to program this radio to meet their needs.

MOTOTRBO Compatibility

Communications have the ability for prioritization. Transmissions deemed critical will interrupt less important communications.

MOTOTRBO technology is mainly utilized in industrial and corporate settings. This technology lets companies integrate their digital two-way radios into their IT network.

Digital and Analog

Both digital and analog radio waves transmit from this radio. This allows for seamless integration into any system currently utilized.

Digital waves are more square and have a rigid stepping action. Analog waves are continuous and smooth.

Sound Quality

For such a small radio, it produces loud and clear audio. It also provides quality sound at low audio frequencies thanks to its wide audio frequency response programming.

The microphone included in the radio is powerful. The CPS can adjust the level as needed for the environment.

Range Max Technology

This advanced technology delivers communication quality equal to 4-watt digital radios. The Motorola SL300 portable radio actually has 1 to 3 watts of power.

Simple Operation

The buttons are intuitively placed for easy operation with one hand. The power buttons and channel switch buttons are located on the top.

The volume control buttons are located on the side. The push to talk button is also prominently placed.

Dual Capacity Direct Mode

There is no need for a repeater with the two slot TDMA DMR. This double capacity for the twelve channels comes standard.

Interrupting Ability

Supervisors can interrupt employee's conversations. This is important for critical or time-sensitive information.

MicroUSB Ability

Easily charge and update programming with the micro USB connectivity. There are a large number of accessories to make connective the SL300 even easier.

The Bad

While the Motorola SL300 offers many advantages, there are a few negatives that need to be acknowledged. The shatterproof screen is limited in display and the cost is high.

Price

Depending on the source, this radio can cost anywhere from three to four hundred dollars. Compared to other handheld radios, this price is high for the limited functionality.

Limited Display

Users can find that the display can be cumbersome. Given the limited display, the screen does not function smoothly.

This display also slows down channel scanning. The channel number first flashes for a few seconds, then the channel name.

This method makes scanning through the 99 channels slow and tedious. Supposedly, a "fast toggle" option to scan ten channels at a time. Except it is not mentioned in the user manual.

Ham Radio Frequencies

To be able to use the standard 25 KHz channels of ham radios, users need an Entitlement ID Number. To get this ID number, companies first need a paid MOTOTRBO subscription.

Antenna Size Difference

The antenna connector is much smaller on this radio in comparison to other MOTOTRBO portable radios. While this isn't a problem per se, it should be kept in mind when attempting to connect to an external antenna.

No Bluetooth

In a world where it seems everything is Bluetooth capable, the SL300 is lacking. This is not the radio to buy for use with Bluetooth enable accessories and devices.

MOTOTRBO

If owners want to fully utilize all of the programming features this radio has to offer, MOTOTRBO is needed. The CPD software is what allows the radio to be configured into an existing system.

The programming process can be quite time-consuming. Motorola recommends consulting with professionals fluent in MOTOTRBO software for proper programming.

Limited Character Length

There is a limitation of four characters when naming contacts. Users will have to memorize the talk group ID numbers to know who they are communicating with.

The Verdict

In conclusion of the Motorola SL300 Review, this VHF radio is hard to beat. It stands out among the portable radio options for its thin size and rugged build.

The powerful range and many channels make it adaptable for any system currently in place. The micro USB gives it connectivity for charging and programming.

The price is steep for a single radio, especially when it's intended use is with multiple other radios. The display is also limited given the amount of information that users will want to see.

SL300 not the handheld radio for your company? Check out these other great handheld VHF radios.

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