|If you want a compact, very easy to use, hand held radio that has full unlocked 136-174 MHz VHF coverage, 400-470 MHz UHF coverage; an unlocked, dual sim, quad band cell phone; and basic internet access in one package, then the Puxing PX-D03 is that radio.|
The Cell Phone: is an unlocked quad band, dual sim card, medium to low end cell phone. It has the usual cell features such as an MP3 player, FM radio, hands free operation, micro sd card expansion slot, alarm, calculator, calender, etc. It also has a few unusual features such as a world clock, currency converter, measurement converter, a file manager, and programmable off/on times.
Additionally, the phone supports basic text messaging, multimedia messaging, and basic internet web acess including web based e mail.
It does not have bluetooth capability.
I placed my AT&T sim card in my PX-D03 and it immediately recognized the AT&T network. Further, after an afternoon and evening of fidling, I was able to configure basic WAP internet access to allow me WAP access to the internet, including my Hotmail web based E mail account. Web acess is slow, but usable.
The cell phone can be used independently of the dual band radio. A separate cover is included that can be snapped on the back of the cell phone in lieu of the radio. The cell phone has it's own independent battery and charge port, making it completely autonomous. It is the typical bar size phone, and very slim and lightweight.
It comes with a headset that doubles as an FM radio antenna, and attaches to the phone via what appears to be a proprietary connector. The FM radio (and MP3 player) can also be configured to play through the loudspeaker on the back of the radio module. The headset serves the radio module as well as the phone.
The Dual Band Radio: is designated as "interphone" by its manufacturer. It attaches to the back of the cell phone in lieu of the back cover, and uses the cell phone display and keypad for its control, thus it is dependent on the cell phone and cannot work independent of the phone, even though it has its own, separate, internal battery pack.
The device comes with a drop in charger and it appears that both cell phone and dual band radio will charge simultaneously from either the drop in charger or the cell phone charging port. Both batteries are high capacity, lithium ion chemistry.
The radio module has a ptt switch, and all of the usual features: vox, ctcss, dcs, programmable transmit offset and direction, and independent entry of transmit and receive frequency (which should msake it possible to tx in one band and rx in another, although I have not tried this), channel scan, frequency scan, etc. Output power is claimed to be between 1.5 - 2.0 watts on high power. There is also a low power setting. All of the pertinent operating parameters are displayed on the screen. The dual band radio can be placed in the background and the cell phone screen brought forward while the dual band radio continues to operate, and vice versa.
There are 128 channels that can be programmed with an alphanumeric tag. There is a loudspeaker on the back of the radio module, and a flashlight and led tx/rx indicators on top of the radio module.
In addition to the handset, the device comes with a leather case, a dual band antenna, and a uhf antenna. The antenna connector is a recessed reverse SMA fitting.
The device can be programed to give priority to the interphone, cell phone, or either device can be powered off while the other continues to function.
Ease of Use: is shockingly good. The device comes with a compehensive manual, but the easiest way to learn to use the radio is to just sit down and play with it, going through the menus. It is very easy and intuitive to program, including dual band radio channel programming, and is perhaps the best of any modern HT I have used in this regard. The only area where I had any real difficulty was in setting up the internet access, because I was completely clueless about how to do this. But I was still able to get that working. The screen is bright, colorful, and easy to read.
Programming cables and software are available.
Summary: I think this is a great device. I was tempted to give it a 5, but there is room for improvement.
Bluetooth capability would be a great addition to the device. Smart phone capability would be incredible.
It will be interesting to see if this type of device remains a niche, or becomes widespread. I sure like the one I have.