What is the Difference Between a Walkie Talkie and a Two Way Radio?

Another one of the most common questions asked is, 'what is the difference between a walkie talkie and a two way radio?' Answer: They both refer to the same definition of a handheld radio. But within the industry walkie talkies and two way radios are spoken about differently.

What is a Walkie-Talkie?

A walkie-talkie is a phrase used to describe a handheld radio. No matter which type of handheld radio is being used, it can be referred to as a walkie talkie. After all, you can walk and talk at the same time.

The definition of a walkie talkie is: A handheld portable two-way radio

If you are within the two way radio industry then you will likely define a walkie talkie as a consumer two way radio that is licence-free, (non-licenced, unlicenced, PMR446). An example would be the Motorola Solutions Talkabout range or any walkie talkie that you can purchase from a store. In the UK that could be Argos, or in the USA Walmart.

These walkie talkies are made from lower-grade plastics, usually with bright colours, basic functionality, and fewer features that are used by non-commercial operations or for leisure activities or used as a toy.

What is a Two Way Radio?

A two way radio is a phrase used to describe all radios which can send and receive radio signals. This includes both hand-portable radios and vehicle or office mount radios.

The definition of a two way radio is: A radio that can transmit and receive radio signals

If you are within the two way radio industry you will likely class all two way radios outside of the licence-free class of radios as a two-way radio. To operate a licenced two way radio an Ofcom Business Radio Licence is required by law. Each country will have its own communications regulator.

These two way radio are made from high-grade plastics, usually black, have greater functionality, greater signal coverage, can be programmed with specific radio frequencies, have many features and are used by lots of different commercial sectors as an integral part of their overall health and safety management.

When a Two Way Radio Is Not a Walkie Talkie?

Simply put, a two way radio is not a walkie talkie when it is fixed in places, such as a vehicle or mounted in an office.

With all that being said, no matter whether you refer to a device as a walkie-talkie or two-way radio, everyone will be able to understand what is being communicated.

Our Thoughts

As you can see a walkie talkie is the same as a two way radio except when the two way radio is in a fixed place. Realistically there will not be any communication barriers if you refer to a handheld radio as either a walkie talkie or two way radio. We have detailed some common walkie talkie frequenctly asked questions we can help you further.