Retevis RT22 70cm Budget Handheld Radio

Retevis RT22

The Retevis RT22 is another ultralight 70cm radio meant to throw in your pocket, purse, or bag without weighing you down. How does it stack up to other offerings? Read on and find out!

The Retevis RT22 is basically a Baofeng BF-888S in a smaller format with a non-detachable antenna and a battery that can not be removed. This could be a good thing depending on what you are looking for.

Using a Retevis RT22 might be an excellent choice if you need a radio that could potentially be used as an unlicensed FRS radio one minute, and quickly serve as an amateur radio on licensed frequencies. While I think these are legal on FRS frequencies, please check for yourself before use.

Personally I prefer the Baofeng BF-T1 to this Retevis RT22 as it has a screen and more channels but this radio will last longer on a single charge, has a better speaker, and is easier for someone who doesn’t use radios often all the while costing about the same.

That being said, this Retevis RT22 is a nice little radio for the money which as I said is easy to use, but is also easy to hook up to a computer and program.

One thing I am not overly pleased with on the Retevis RT22 is that it requires you to use the specific Retevis RT22 programming software, it does not work with CHIRP at this time (technically older RT22s will work, but the newer ones have upgraded firmware which CHIRP can not identify, so I expect CHIRP to work eventually).

The Retevis rt22 programming cable is actually just a standard Baofeng programming cable.

A great feature for this little Retevis RT22 is that there is no belt clip on the radio, instead, there is a separate piece that clips on to your belt and then the radio can clip into it. It reminds me of several cellphone cases I have seen that do the same thing. While I really don’t care for using this setup as the Retevis RT22 is too small to really sit well on my belt, I do like the fact that the back of the radio is perfectly smooth so it glides into a pocket easily.

Looking at the Retevis rt22 specs the radio stacks up well against other radios in the same price range such as the Baofeng BF-T1. The specs line up with others such as the Baofeng BF-888S, Arcchell AR-5 and AR-6, and others but the lack of a replaceable antenna will probably restrict the Retevis RT22 distance compared to the others.

Since the Retevis RT22 is so small, including the battery, it charges with virtually any USB port, including the ones on the side of your laptop. You can also use the included wall wart or almost any wall charger for a cellphone or tablet that has a standard USB-A connection as output.

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Photos

Retevis RT22 Test Results:

Screen readability N/A
In-hand feel Good
Included antenna Unknown
Construction quality Good
Belt clip Good (separate)
Programmability Good
Transmit audio CLICK TO LISTEN
Maximum power output (2m/70cm) N/A /1 watts
Size 134 * 57 * 22 mm
Actual weight 3.8 oz
Retevis RT22 manual CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Programming software CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Retevis RT22 Overall score
Retevis RT22 SRD spectrum analysis
Retevis RT22 SRD spectrum analysis
If you are interested, click here for an article on how I test radios.

 

FEATURES:
  • 16 channels
  • Time-out timer(TOT)
  • Battery saving function
  • VOX function
  • Monitor
  • Low battery voltage warning
  • Scan function
  • Squelch level
  • USB charger
PROS:
CONS:
  • Works pretty well
  • Thin and light
  • Very inexpensive
  • CHIRP programmable
  • Separate belt clip making it super slim
  • Charges from virtually any USB ports with included cable
  • The antenna is not replaceable
  • The battery is not easily replaceable

Conclusions

The Retevis RT22 is a pretty good performer for an ultra-cheap two-way radio that can be used on both the FRS and amateur bands. The battery lasts quite a while, the speaker is pretty good for its size, and overall it is remarkably nice for a $15 radio.
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I hope you enjoyed my Retevis RT22 review!

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