What Is The Difference Between Walkie Talkies And Two-Way Radios?
There is a difference between two-way radios and walkie-talkies, which are universal to some extent. Technically, the two are different, although in some cases they can be the same. To understand the difference, we need to define these terms.
A two-way radio is a radio that can work in two ways, that is, it can both send and receive radio signals, not just receive. Two-way radios can work in half-duplex mode or full-duplex mode. Half-duplex allows the radio to transmit or receive in turn, but not at the same time. Full duplex allows the radio to transmit and receive at the same time. Two-way radio is also commonly referred to as a radio transceiver because it can send and receive radio communications. In either case, the radio has two ways of working; it can send or receive.
The walkie-talkie is a portable two-way radio, especially one that can be held in your hand. This type of radio, also known as a handheld walkie-talkie or HT, allows you to talk on the radio while walking, hence the name walkie talkie.
Now that we have defined these terms, let us consider the arguments. Are these terms interchangeable? Yes and not.
By definition, walkie-talkies are two-way radio, but two-way radio is not always walkie talkie. This is because some radios are not portable handheld devices, such as mobile radios installed on vehicles, desks, or wall base stations.
However, it can be one. In fact, most (if not all) manufacturers of commercial, CB, FRS, GMRS, marine, radio, and amateur portable handheld radios or walkie-talkies usually do not call their products as "Walkie Talkies", but rather " Two-way radios".
Considering the history of walkie talkies, this is understandable. It originally referred to the portable backpack transceiver used in the military during World War II. Recently, it has been linked to consumer-grade FRS radios. For a long time, the term has also been used to refer to ultra-low-power radios sold as toys. Although this stigma has been misguided, it still exists today. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that some people avoid products labeled as walkie talkies in search of "real" two-way radios.
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