The RT648 is the European and UK PMR446 version of the FRS (US) RT48. As usual from Retevis, this is a solid bit of kit. It’s not without its niggles though so here are a list of the pros and cons.
You can check out the full specs for the RT648 radio on the Retevis website.
• Great price & value for money for an IP67 radio
• Genuinely waterproof. I tested it for 30 minutes underwater. I wouldn’t recommend this but it’s good to know!
• It floats (good job really)
• Solid construction. Very nicely built
• Clear volume and channel buttons which provide enough feedback
• USB charging
• Battery can be charged in the base when not attached to the device
• Supports scrambling function
• Very loud speaker (see cons also)
• Voice announcement is off when the speaker volume is down
• Large size means it’s easy to operate with protective gloves on
• Battery capacity is a mere 1500mAh. The battery life is fine but a unit of this size could easily contain a bigger cell
• Speaker audio is a little harsh and tinny
• Some may find the unit too big. It’s pretty bulky but this depends what you’re after
• PTT physical feedback could be a little more obvious
• IP67 rating means it uses a multi-pin programming cable. Yet another cable to buy (yes it’s different from some other Retevis products)
• Another piece of programming software to install. Why can’t Retevis consolidate all of them into one (like Chirp).
SHOULD YOU BUY THE RT648?
Yes, there are a few cons but really this is great value for money. I contacted Retevis and asked them about the battery capacity. This is primarily to keep the unit within a certain budget. Personally, I would happily pay a premium to get a top notch 2,500mAh battery. This would put it way ahead of the Motorola XT420 business alternative.
If you need that extra level of ruggedness, this is not a bad radio at all. I can imagine these being perfect if you’re working on a construction site or maybe organising parking for an event. You need something that simply doesn’t care about the rain and is a good size in the hand and loud enough to hear in an environment with a bit of noise.