They can be fun toys, great ways to communicate with friends, and essential items for various jobs, but what is a walkie talkie?
Well, the terms walkie talkie and two way radio are interchangeable in the United States, despite being different in their execution. A two way radio, like a motorola t7200 radio, is a radio that can send and receive signals (hence being two ways) so people can speak into it and be heard, and also receive messages from other people. One way radios only allow for the user to receive messages, but not speak them.
A walkie talkie is a two way radio that is portable since most official two way radios are connected to a desk or a car. Walkie talkies are battery powered and can be held in a hand while walking around, that’s what makes them so effective, especially for emergency personnel in the field.
A walkie talkie is a two way radio, but a two way radio isn’t always a walkie talkie. The main difference is how portable the radio is. If you can pick it up and carry it with you, then it’s a walkie talkie, if not then it is a two way radio.
Toy walkie talkies often have much less range then official ones, and that stigma often leads to people wanting to buy a professional two way radio. Only to discover that their radio isn’t portable and they really needed a professional walkie talkie. While they are both the same, you need to consider portability when it comes to making a purchase.
So, take the time to figure out what it is you need, and then use the correct terminology to get it. Whether portable or not, a two way radio is helpful in all sorts of situations, and you might end up using them more than you think.