Retvis RT34 Video Walkie Talkies: Spy Kids?

    Hello, this is TheTechBoy with a review of the Retevis RT34. These walkie-talkies were sent to me by Retivis to do a review of them. 


Pros:
  • Interesting Design
  • Front Facing Camera 
Cons:
        
  • Short Range
  • Limited Security 
  • No VOX

Design/Specs:

    These walkie-talkies have some interesting specifications. There is a VGA camera on the front for video chatting and a 2.0-inch LCD display. The front also features the speakers and the microphone hole. Retevis sent two green and orange walkie-talkies molded in the shape of robots. . On the left side of the walkie-talkie, there is the flashlight button and the Push To Talk Button. On the bottom there is the flashlight. On the right, there is the charging port and reset button covered by a movable robotic arm. This arm can be unscrewed in exactly 8 twists. Do not screw it too tightly, or the arm will break. 

    The walkie-talkies arrived with a Micro USB Charger that splits so you may charge the devices with the same cable, the rechargeable batteries, the user manual, and the clip that you can use to clip the device onto your pants. The Micro USB cable is not the best, with the rubber seal exposing a tiny piece of cable at the splitter. 



Setup:

    The walkie-talkies are pretty easy to set up. You can use the clip to detach the battery cover, place the included AAA batteries into the walkie-talkies and place the battery cover back on. Turning the walkie-talkie on only requires pressing and holding the flashlight and Push to Talk on until you come to the Retivis screen. These walkie-talkies actually use WiFi to communicate with each other, and you may decide which walkie-talkie will be the WiFi transmitter (referred to as A) and the receiver  (referred to as B). You may start the paring process by holding both buttons simultaneously. Use the oblong PTT button to select ''A'' or ''B'' and you may use the flashlight button to switch between A and B. This is kind of complex and parental assistance may be needed to set up WiFi. However, using the toy is pretty easy to use. 

                                          Screen showing Select wifiAP_41A5. The bottom left corner shows a battery icon with two green bars. Screen showing A mode AP_41A5. The bottom left corner shows the low battery signal.


Communication and Reliability:

    Communication is pretty easy, although children may need to learn to wait to speak after holding the PTT button. When sending voice transmissions, a mic icon comes onto the screen, and when you are listening a speaker icon comes onto the bottom of the screen. Voice quality is not very good, but usually, you can make out what the person is saying. Sometimes the voice sounds garbled when getting spotty reception and the camera falters in lowlight performance. The screen displays the footage from the other camera/walkie-talkie in grainy VGA footage. The camera is bad but useable. Unfortunately, you can not line your face up with the screen like in a Duo or FaceTime call because you can only see the other person. You cannot see yourself. The camera also does not have any wide-angle, and it can only see straight ahead.  

The orange walkie talkie screen is showing a blue and white mic icon in the middle of the screen. The Green walkie-talkie's screen is showing the battery icon in the bottom left corner. The battery is showing one green bar. The speaker icon is a white icon in the  bottom center.
Speaker and Mic icon on Screen



       However, the range on the walkie-talkies can be spotty and they go out of range really quickly, even in the same house. I know these are WiFi walkie-talkies, but I would have preferred a better antenna for better reception. At most I may have gotten 50 to 100 feet of the range. (I was outside and another person was inside) This is decent but not as good as other walkie-talkies half the price. Outdoors is better, with maybe 60 -100 ft of range, but when nearing out of range the voice gets garbled. Pressing the button induces some lag, as the transmission does not come instantaneously. The walkie-talkies are pretty reliable while in range, only rarely will the button not work. I find pressing the direct center of the button produces the best results. 

     The battery life is okay. It seems like you get 20 to 30 minutes of battery life on the devices, and they will work while charging. There is a screen timeout on the devices. The flashlight on the bottom is okay, but a little dim. You can see the immediate area in front of you, but it is not much.  You are able to activate/deactivate the flashlight by pressing the flashlight button twice. Flashlight activation is hit or miss which is not a good thing. I drop-tested the orange walkie-talkie by dropping it onto the wood floor twice, there was only a little rattling inside but the speakers and microphone worked. The speakers are pretty loud, but unfortunately for some parents, there is no volume control and the speakers can get very loud. The speakers were loud enough to activate a Google Assistant smart speaker. I spoke into the mic and said "Hey Google." The receiver picked up the transmission and the speaker activated. 

Security:

    Because these are WiFi communicators the security of these walkie-talkies is imperative. I am not impressed. The walkie-talkies use an open WiFi network; if only one receiver is on, I could connect to the network and access the admin panel. I could not access the camera or voice but nevertheless, these security holes are a point of concern. I could also change the name of the network, but all it did was create a new router. Lastly, I could make the hotspot on my phone the name of the network, and the walkie-talkies would connect.   These walkie-talkies are most likely sending the voice and video data across an unencrypted network (they are using an open network) thus the transmissions can be intercepted and that could be potentially dangerous. Thankfully there seems to be a limit on the number of devices that can connect, so this attack may not work when both devices are connected. Nevertheless, this needs to be addressed. 

4 green bars on a black background with the 4th higher than the 3rd the 3rd higher than the 2nd and the 2md higher than the 1th. There is also a Green curved WiFi signal indicator on the right.


 Comfort:

    I like the robotic design of the walkie-talkie. The walkie-talkies are really small and should be easy for smaller hands to grip. I like how the charging port is hidden with the robotic arm. However, the screen on the orange robot is easy to scratch with a fingernail. The robots are pretty easy to hold, but not particularly ergonomic. The walkie-talkies do get very slightly warm and sticky when the user is holding them with sweaty hands in the 90-degree Texas sun. This is not a problem because it is not getting very hot, and it could not injure a child at all. I also found the green one (the same one used outside) to get a little warm while charging. 




Conclusion:


   These walkie-talkies are very interesting. They have an interesting design and they transmit a grainy video to the other screen. They are pretty easy to use, but an adult may be needed to help set up the devices. Also, when you go out of range it shows the WiFi name which may be confusing. Also, security concerns abound, but because the walkie-talkie can be set up quickly, an attacker would have to be very quick with the attack thus making it unlikely that an attack could happen. The walkie-talkies also are 50 dollars for the range and security issues you get, along with the lack of volume control and a voice-activated mic. This would be easier than pressing and holding. I do not know if these walkie-talkies should be 50 dollars.  The walkie-talkies are fun to use, and the volume is nice. My general location was able to be identified in the dark, so the cameras were not at a total loss. Children can also use these toys in many other ways, such as toy spy/security cameras.  

I think these walkie-talkies would have been good as baby monitors, as you would not need to be far from the crib. I have actually used this as a wireless camera so the potential is there, but the lack of any wide-angle would make using this as a baby camera hard.    In all these walkie-talkies are a very fun and interesting tech toy.  

Do you think this would make a good Back to School Gift? Let me know in the comments.

Tech Talk To You Later!!

 

 

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Please make the comments constructive, and vulgarity will not be tolerated!

Retvis RT34 Video Walkie Talkies: Spy Kids?

    Hello, this is TheTechBoy with a review of the Retevis RT34. These walkie-talkies were sent to me by Retivis to do a review of them. 


Pros:
  • Interesting Design
  • Front Facing Camera 
Cons:
        
  • Short Range
  • Limited Security 
  • No VOX

Design/Specs:

    These walkie-talkies have some interesting specifications. There is a VGA camera on the front for video chatting and a 2.0-inch LCD display. The front also features the speakers and the microphone hole. Retevis sent two green and orange walkie-talkies molded in the shape of robots. . On the left side of the walkie-talkie, there is the flashlight button and the Push To Talk Button. On the bottom there is the flashlight. On the right, there is the charging port and reset button covered by a movable robotic arm. This arm can be unscrewed in exactly 8 twists. Do not screw it too tightly, or the arm will break. 

    The walkie-talkies arrived with a Micro USB Charger that splits so you may charge the devices with the same cable, the rechargeable batteries, the user manual, and the clip that you can use to clip the device onto your pants. The Micro USB cable is not the best, with the rubber seal exposing a tiny piece of cable at the splitter. 



Setup:

    The walkie-talkies are pretty easy to set up. You can use the clip to detach the battery cover, place the included AAA batteries into the walkie-talkies and place the battery cover back on. Turning the walkie-talkie on only requires pressing and holding the flashlight and Push to Talk on until you come to the Retivis screen. These walkie-talkies actually use WiFi to communicate with each other, and you may decide which walkie-talkie will be the WiFi transmitter (referred to as A) and the receiver  (referred to as B). You may start the paring process by holding both buttons simultaneously. Use the oblong PTT button to select ''A'' or ''B'' and you may use the flashlight button to switch between A and B. This is kind of complex and parental assistance may be needed to set up WiFi. However, using the toy is pretty easy to use. 

                                          Screen showing Select wifiAP_41A5. The bottom left corner shows a battery icon with two green bars. Screen showing A mode AP_41A5. The bottom left corner shows the low battery signal.


Communication and Reliability:

    Communication is pretty easy, although children may need to learn to wait to speak after holding the PTT button. When sending voice transmissions, a mic icon comes onto the screen, and when you are listening a speaker icon comes onto the bottom of the screen. Voice quality is not very good, but usually, you can make out what the person is saying. Sometimes the voice sounds garbled when getting spotty reception and the camera falters in lowlight performance. The screen displays the footage from the other camera/walkie-talkie in grainy VGA footage. The camera is bad but useable. Unfortunately, you can not line your face up with the screen like in a Duo or FaceTime call because you can only see the other person. You cannot see yourself. The camera also does not have any wide-angle, and it can only see straight ahead.  

The orange walkie talkie screen is showing a blue and white mic icon in the middle of the screen. The Green walkie-talkie's screen is showing the battery icon in the bottom left corner. The battery is showing one green bar. The speaker icon is a white icon in the  bottom center.
Speaker and Mic icon on Screen



       However, the range on the walkie-talkies can be spotty and they go out of range really quickly, even in the same house. I know these are WiFi walkie-talkies, but I would have preferred a better antenna for better reception. At most I may have gotten 50 to 100 feet of the range. (I was outside and another person was inside) This is decent but not as good as other walkie-talkies half the price. Outdoors is better, with maybe 60 -100 ft of range, but when nearing out of range the voice gets garbled. Pressing the button induces some lag, as the transmission does not come instantaneously. The walkie-talkies are pretty reliable while in range, only rarely will the button not work. I find pressing the direct center of the button produces the best results. 

     The battery life is okay. It seems like you get 20 to 30 minutes of battery life on the devices, and they will work while charging. There is a screen timeout on the devices. The flashlight on the bottom is okay, but a little dim. You can see the immediate area in front of you, but it is not much.  You are able to activate/deactivate the flashlight by pressing the flashlight button twice. Flashlight activation is hit or miss which is not a good thing. I drop-tested the orange walkie-talkie by dropping it onto the wood floor twice, there was only a little rattling inside but the speakers and microphone worked. The speakers are pretty loud, but unfortunately for some parents, there is no volume control and the speakers can get very loud. The speakers were loud enough to activate a Google Assistant smart speaker. I spoke into the mic and said "Hey Google." The receiver picked up the transmission and the speaker activated. 

Security:

    Because these are WiFi communicators the security of these walkie-talkies is imperative. I am not impressed. The walkie-talkies use an open WiFi network; if only one receiver is on, I could connect to the network and access the admin panel. I could not access the camera or voice but nevertheless, these security holes are a point of concern. I could also change the name of the network, but all it did was create a new router. Lastly, I could make the hotspot on my phone the name of the network, and the walkie-talkies would connect.   These walkie-talkies are most likely sending the voice and video data across an unencrypted network (they are using an open network) thus the transmissions can be intercepted and that could be potentially dangerous. Thankfully there seems to be a limit on the number of devices that can connect, so this attack may not work when both devices are connected. Nevertheless, this needs to be addressed. 

4 green bars on a black background with the 4th higher than the 3rd the 3rd higher than the 2nd and the 2md higher than the 1th. There is also a Green curved WiFi signal indicator on the right.


 Comfort:

    I like the robotic design of the walkie-talkie. The walkie-talkies are really small and should be easy for smaller hands to grip. I like how the charging port is hidden with the robotic arm. However, the screen on the orange robot is easy to scratch with a fingernail. The robots are pretty easy to hold, but not particularly ergonomic. The walkie-talkies do get very slightly warm and sticky when the user is holding them with sweaty hands in the 90-degree Texas sun. This is not a problem because it is not getting very hot, and it could not injure a child at all. I also found the green one (the same one used outside) to get a little warm while charging. 




Conclusion:


   These walkie-talkies are very interesting. They have an interesting design and they transmit a grainy video to the other screen. They are pretty easy to use, but an adult may be needed to help set up the devices. Also, when you go out of range it shows the WiFi name which may be confusing. Also, security concerns abound, but because the walkie-talkie can be set up quickly, an attacker would have to be very quick with the attack thus making it unlikely that an attack could happen. The walkie-talkies also are 50 dollars for the range and security issues you get, along with the lack of volume control and a voice-activated mic. This would be easier than pressing and holding. I do not know if these walkie-talkies should be 50 dollars.  The walkie-talkies are fun to use, and the volume is nice. My general location was able to be identified in the dark, so the cameras were not at a total loss. Children can also use these toys in many other ways, such as toy spy/security cameras.  

I think these walkie-talkies would have been good as baby monitors, as you would not need to be far from the crib. I have actually used this as a wireless camera so the potential is there, but the lack of any wide-angle would make using this as a baby camera hard.    In all these walkie-talkies are a very fun and interesting tech toy.  

Do you think this would make a good Back to School Gift? Let me know in the comments.

Tech Talk To You Later!!

 

 

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