Two-Way Radio Review: Motorola XPR7350

Motorola XPR7350The Motorola XPR7350 two-way radio is rugged, powerful and packed with the latest digital communications technology.

The XPR7350 is part of Motorola’s 7000 Series of MOTOTRBO digital two-way radios, which feature technology that brings the digital age to construction sites, oil platforms, distribution centers and just about any other workplace where workers rely on sturdy push-to-talk radios.

Among the highlights:

  • GPS tracking — If your people face any kind of on-the-job hazards, from traveling winter roads to drilling for oil in remote deserts, GPS tracking can be a life-saver in an emergency because search-and-rescue simply becomes a rescue if you know where the worker is.
  • Bluetooth connectivity — The radio can be connected wirelessly to external devices like an earpiece or headset, and it can link with devices that can send voice signals over the Internet.
  • Big data — The XPR7350 is optimized for use in advanced digital communication networks. Everything a digital radio does generates data you can analyze with software to detect inefficiencies and streamline your operations. Motorola also provides a suite of data applications for features like “man down,” which can call for help if a worker gets injured and can’t make the call.
  • Advanced water and dust resistance — The 7000 series is built to the IP57 standard, which means it can be submerged for up to 30 minutes and remain undamaged and will not let dust particles in.
  • Intrinsically safe — Used with a specific battery, the XPR7350 will not emit any kind of spark that could cause problems in volatile or explosive environments.

Digital vs. analog: a quick review

7000 Series radios work in both digital and analog mode. You can buy the XPR7350 in analog mode and switch to digital later with a simple software upgrade. Digital has some key advantages to analog:

  • Better voice quality — The 7000 Series is programmed to tune out background noises and optimize voice communications. Digital transmissions are clear to the limit of a radio’s range, so there’s far less static.
  • Encryption — The process of encoding voices into packets of digital data makes it easy to encrypt transmissions and keep conversations secure.
  • Lower power requirements — The 7000 Series radios use up to 40 percent less battery power than analog models.
  • Internet connectivity — Voice signals are encoded into packets of digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet — essentially creating global range for digital radios.

Should I get the 7350 or 7550?

The XPR7350 is a sleek alternative to the XPR7550, which adds a keypad and a five-line, four-color LCD display.

Wouldn’t anybody want all the extra features in the XPR7550? It depends on your business. If you anticipate your radio users needing to spend a lot of time keying in numbers and reading messages in a display, by all means help them out (also, you can get more robust use of MOTOTRBO digital features with the 7550). But if you can just hear your work crews saying, “All I need is radio that’s easy to use without all those bells and whistles,” the XPR7350 is the way to go.

Going without the digital display and keypad also saves a battery life and makes it easier to train people to use the radio.

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