RadioTone RT3 Android ‘Smart Radio’ Review

After moving home a few months ago i unfortunately have nowhere to mount any antennas. I’d been looking online for other ways to try enjoy the radio hobby and decided to give ROIP (Radio Over IP) a go.

Now allot of people completely disagree with ROIP and using the internet to connect radio systems, some say ‘its not real radio’ which i suppose is right in some circumstances, but i think one great thing about the hobby is that there is so many different areas people can try an explore. Especially for people like myself that have limited options due to antenna constrants.

Anyway, enough about that. I ended up purchasing a Radio-Tone RT3 – and this is with i think of it.

I purchased it of Ebay, shipped from HongKong.

Unboxing

Upon opening the parcel you are greeted with a nice – fancy looking box.The same sort of box

you’d likely find a modern smart phone in.

 

Inside the box you will find:

  • Radio-Tone GT3          
  • GSM Antenna
  • Belt Clip
  • Micro USB Charger Cable
  • Usb Charger
  • Crappy Dangerous Mains Adapter

 

First thing to note is rubbish Mains adapter and USB charger. These are quite commonly sent with items from china but in my opinion are total crap and should be discarded of. They have no fuse. They don’t grip the pins of the plug very well, and they make contact with live contacts way before the plug is fully inserted. meaning if you’ve got you’re fingers on the pins while plugging it in then you may be in for a shock.

Luckily it charges of a standard Micro USB, So i’ll just use my phone charger or many of the other Micro USB charges around.

 

 

First impressions of the unit itself seems to be of a good quality. It feels robust and has a good weight to it. It feels as though it would survive a drop from a small height.

It fits very well in the hand  – well my hands anyways, but i do have big hands.

It has a tab on the screen, I was hoping this a permanent screen protector that would have been a nice addition, but it seems to be a temporary screen protector used for shipping?

 

 

The accessory port on the side seems to be like a Motorola style one, Maybe it is?

 

If anyone has a name or info on the pin-out, i’d appreciate it!

The quality of of this connector seems a bit rubbish to me. I can imagine the little copper pads getting dirty or corroding and causing issues.

 

 

 

The GSM antenna connector is some sort of pin with a thread near the top – not something i’ve seen before so i’m unsure if this a standard type or something device specific.

 


Powering up

On powering you’re greeted with a nice bright logo

 

 

Once booted – which is pretty quick – it loads to a very basic version of Android. There’s no ‘desktop’ type thing, you just swipe left and right through the apps. It comes with very few apps but does include Zello and Google Play.

I connected it to my Wifi and logged into Zello. I opened up the echo channel and gave it a test. The replayed audio was surprisingly very load an clear. I was impressed.

The one downside i quickly learnt was that the volume knob does nothing if the display is off, unlike a normal radio. This was a bit annoying as if you’re changing the volume on the fly you have to click a button to unlock the screen, then change volume, then click a button to turn the screen off again.

Also annoying is that if you turn the volume all the way down, It sounds as though the audio amp still clicks in if it’d trying to play audio – which gives you a quite little hiss when receiving, even though the volume is all the way down. Ideally it should automatically switch the device to ‘silent’ when you turn the volume all the way down.

Additional Accessories

I’d be interested in getting a charging dock for it, a case, and maybe a headset. The problem is the radio seems so uncommon that i’m struggling to find any.

Opon doing more research. it seems as though this specific device is not specific to Radio-Tone and is a common Chinese ‘Smart Radio Android PTT Phone ROIP  ‘ type thing (I’m still not sure what to call it too be honest).

A search on Aliexpress for ‘Android PTT’ will bring up a few radios which look identical. Whether they are or not i’m not sure, but i’d bet the accessories are.

‘Broadnet Systems’ Sell handsets that also seem to have identical cases to this model, again whether the internals are the same i’m not sure.

I may purchase some accessories and if i do, i’ll update this to confirm if they work or not.

 

If you have any questions or any information about this device please do leave a comment!

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “RadioTone RT3 Android ‘Smart Radio’ Review

  1. Scott Nimmo

    Liked your review of the RadioTone RT3 Android, tell me can you download other apps such as Echolink from the Android Play Store?

    73s

    Scott
    DU9/G6OJB

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Thanks Scott,

      Indeed you can install additional apps from Google play. I’ve successfully used Zello and TeamSpeak.

      The thing to watch out for is I’m not sure if Echolink allows you to define a ptt button. If it doesn’t then you may not be able to use the hardware ptt button on the radio with it.

      Reply
  2. Barrie Green

    Hi Tom, Great review, I have two of these……one of which I bought 2nd hand and it has a leather case which seems to be made specific for it…….it also had a belt clip attached to the case. I have been trying to source another one for the 1st one but to date without success.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi Barrie, Thanks! I’m afraid i can’t help with the case, since i did this review i’ve discovered the market seems to been flooded with different android based PTT solutions. Another common one is the ‘Sure F22’ which seems rather similar to the RadioTone RT3, if not identical, so it may be worth having a search for that.

      I checked our your marshalling site, i used to ride a little 125cc a year or so ago, is that what you use the RT3 for? If you are ever looking for radios id highly recommend these ones https://ukptt.co.uk/product/tt-121-hh-network-radio/
      I may be biased as it’s a site i just set up, but these are great radios with extensive range due to the fact they use the mobile phone networks, just like the RT3. The TomTalk TT-121 is just a bit more simple and robust.

      Hope you manage to find a case and safe riding!

      Reply

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