Best Handheld VHF Marine Radio With GPS

No worry, here we have managed a review covering some of the famous and widely used handheld marine radios that offer a built-in integrated GPS functionality.

Using an external GPS might be a hassle, and this is why you might love to use such a radio that has a built-in internal GPS receiver. 

Best Handheld VHF Marine Radio

Our selected GPS functionality capable radios are waterproof, lightweight, compact, and even some of them offer remarkable advanced features and benefits that we’ll tell you in the review section. 

Never miss the content, and stay connected with us till the end because, at the end of the post, we’ll give you a guide on how to pick the right marine radio with GPS!

1. Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld

The Standard Horizon HX890 handheld marine radio is the first pick on our list. This model offers all the essential features, making it one of the most popular devices among customers.

The first point we can notice about this device is it has a Built-in Integrated GPS Receiver that can be used to send your exact and current position to your coast guard or others while transmitting an emergency call.

Although most handheld marine radio offers 5 watts of transmitting power, in the case of this Standard Horizon HX890, you’ll notice it gives 6-watts, and the power labels are selectable, which means you can select your preferred power label based on your requirements. 

The speaker offers 700mW load audio, and the noise-cancelling function will ensure clear communication during your conversation. Although the 2.16-pound weight doesn’t seem lightweight, it would be an effortlessly transportable device to maximum users.

The 9.88 x 7.36 x 4.09 inches size seems compact enough, and where you’ll see a large 1.7″ x 1.7″ Full-dot matrix display. It has a selectable display mode where you can set day and night mode. The device offers impressive ergonomics because of the round case design.

One of the advanced features is the MOB (Man OverBoard). This feature will allow you to automatically make a waypoint at your current position and let you enable a “Go-To” easy navigation line to take you back to the admitted (Man OverBoard) location.

DSC (Digital Selective Calling) feature is a must for these days, and this model also offers the capability to make a DSC call.

Pros:

  • Round Case Design
  • Built-in GPS Receiver
  • 1800mAh high capacity Li-ion battery
  • Group Monitor Function
  • Submersible IPX8
  • Clear Audio Quality
  • NOAA Weather Channels
  • Day and Night Modes

Cons:

  • USB charging is NOT supported
  • High-priced

2. Cobra HH 500 FLT BT GPS Handheld

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In addition to using a built-in GPS functionality to a VHF radio, Having a Bluetooth-enabled feature is also a great way to make calls directly from your mobile phone! We’re telling this because the Cobra MR HH 500 WFLT has these two features, Bluetooth and GPS. 

The unique feature of this MR HH600 is the rewind. It will let your device record the last 20 seconds of the previous incoming transmission. So if you miss the call, you can get help from the button and replay that transmission.

The unit is 6 watts, and you can select between 1, 3, and 6 watts with the low, medium, and high keys. You’ll notice a 16 written button on the device. This button is only for an emergency. 

There’s a lot of information shown on display to watch. You can monitor your battery status, weather information, the transmitted signal, strength, channel status, time & date, and more. 

It has a noise-cancelling mic that blocks background noise for clear communications. It’s got a burp which they call a burp speciality for expelling any water that’s trapped within the speaker.

Anyone who wants an excellent value-for-money VHF radio that’s packed full of features will need to read the user manual with this Radio to get the most from it, but this model has got a massive range of functions and features.

The entire pack includes all the necessary tools such as the drop-in battery charger, AC charger, and 12V DC charger, antenna, owner’s manual, spring-loaded belt clip, wrist strap, and LiON battery pack.

Pros:

  • Guarantee Clear Communication
  • The Radio comes ready to use
  • Built-in GPS and Bluetooth Feature
  • The Display Shows Enough Information
  • In-depth User Guide
  • Live Weather Updates

Cons:

  • The price seems a bit high due to its Bluetooth function

3. STANDARD HORIZON HX870

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The HX870 is another VHF radio from the Standard HORIZON brand. If we highlight the top three judgments why we selected this one, the reasons would be:

  1. Integrated GPS Receiver
  2. Lightweight
  3. Quick charger

The device offers a fully rechargeable battery, and in addition to using the provided battery, you can also use double batteries based on your needs. 

It floats, and if you drop the device in the water, the LED strobe light will automatically flash to let you know!

The built-in GPS feature combined with an expansive display is excellent to date on any VHF marine handheld. And this is what makes it the perfect emergency radio. 

The entire operating system is automatic, anyone with less technical knowledge can use this device by learning a bit about it, so if you’re a beginner, it might be a perfect item for you to try!

The scanning function works faster, and the speaker audio quality is clear (it has a noise-removing feature). There is an adjustable low battery alarm available with the device that would be pretty helpful to mitigate the spare battery charging problem. 

Pros:

  • USB Data Port
  • Water-Activated Emergency Strobe Light
  • Built-in GPS
  • Audio quality is clear
  • Fast Scanning
  • IPX8 waterproof rating

Cons:

  • No charge status LED on the cradle.

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4. Uniden MHS335BT 6W Class D

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If your intention is only to buy the best handheld VHF marine radio with GPS and Bluetooth functionalities, the Uniden MHS335BT would be a great companion for even the most dangerous seas. 

The device is fully submersible in design that is implemented to manage the weather and the waves. 

With the device, you’ll get the Uniden Marine smartphone application free of cost, and you can use the app via Bluetooth to set up your Radio and text message other radios. Of course, the other Radio should be text message capable!

Another best part of their application is you can take advantage of optimal performance for your Radio by keeping your Radio’s firmware up to date!

Their GPS receiver is WAAS supported and will work smoothly worldwide. The NOAA weather channels will also help you to get live weather updates. You can navigate to your saved locations using the compass screen.

On the other hand, the water-activated MOB and water emergency strobe light are great features to ensure better safety in the open water. Their noise-removing feature works for both sides transmitting and receiving.

The overall battery life is good. It would give you at least 6-7 hours backup without any hassle, but it’s always better to keep an additional battery for your Radio. This will assist you in the event of urgency.

The Radio can handle three safety channels and weather channels consistently. Not only that, you can program channels and set them to scan!

According to their user guide, the battery will take a maximum time of 3-4 hours to charge fully. 

Pros: 

  • Super durable
  • Submersible design
  • Integrated GPS Receiver
  • Uniden Marine smartphone app (Android and OS) available
  • Waypoint Navigation
  • 6 Watt Transmit Power

Cons:

  • You’ll be costed well to buy this item

5. ICOM M94D VHF Marine Radio

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This M94D is packed with some outstanding features. For instance, it’s the first handheld VHF to combine AIS receivers, enabling you to track and control AIS-equipped vessels.

It’s ipx7 waterproof rated, and it even floats if you happen to drop it overboard. This Radio’s backlit dimmable LCD is wide enough to read icons and text precisely and stays viewable at any point, even in bright sunlight.

The M94D is produced for sea use with 6 watts of output power active. Noise-cancelling technology and a fifteen hundred milliwatt speaker help you hear and be heard out on the water.

It implements all VHF and weather Channels and supports four-digit channels functions like favourite channel and dual watch tri-watch make it straightforward for boaters to control essential conversations.

It’s effortless to scroll through the channels or improve things like display brightness or squelch using the directional control pad. What sets the M94D apart is its built-in AIS receiver letting boaters track AIS targets on an adjustable range ring.

The display is designed to help keep you safe in crowded waterways and shipping lanes. The M94D lets you select targets on display to get more information. Built-in GPS gives your exact location and lets you plot up to 50 waypoints for fishing spots or overboard man events if dropped overboard.

The device floats and automatically flashes to aid location even when switched off the icon’s aqua quake. The function uses sound and speaker vibration to remove any residual water from the grill after a dunking. 

This ensures clear transmission and sound even when wet with these features and others like distress signal calling.

Overall, the ICOM M94D VHF marine radio makes a great backup communication system for ocean-going fishing boats.

Pros:

  • 10-hour battery life
  • The AIS is easy to use
  • Ocean-Ready Features
  • Favourite channel function
  • Supports 4-digit channels
  • Dual watch and Tri-watch Support 

Cons:

  • It is not possible to carry it in your pocket
  • The price can be a fact

How To Pick The Right Marine Radio With Gps!

After endless research, we have found that there are not enough radios available with GPS functions. I can’t understand what’s the reason behind this issue!

Best Handheld VHF Marine Radio

However, don’t worry because we have tried our best to find the reviewed radios that are fully GPS integrated! Now the point is, are there any noticeable things to look at before buying a marine radio with GPS?

Yes!

You should consider some critical points before getting your favourite one. The noticeable things are:

  • Transmit Power
  • Battery
  • Noise-cancelling Function
  • Price

Transmit Power: Most handheld VHF marine radios are now offering 6 watts, which is the maximum. You can find some models that come with 5 watts of transmit power. 

Picking a radio with six maximum watt power would be a better deal. In addition to selecting this maximum watt power, you also have to make sure that the administration is selectable to choose your preferred watt based on your current needs. 

Battery: when you use your Radio with a built-in GPS function, ultimately, this extra function will consume more battery power. So we always recommend buying a radio that has maximum battery power. For example, your Radio should have at least a 1500 mAh battery. 

Noise-cancelling Function: When you are in your boat, there may be a lot of nonsense sound around you, which may cause problems while you are talking.

To avoid such an issue, the only option available for your Radio is a noise-cancelling feature. This function will let your device remove the nonsense sound around you and clear the voice that you will hear from others.

Although Most radio manufacturers think this is a common feature that should be included, you’ll still face some models that don’t have this function. So be earnest and must look at this feature before making your decision.

Price: You may already have noticed that the highlighted radios are highly priced! And we think that the price is high due to the inclusion of GPS in them. 

Just look at some other models that don’t have built-in GPS. You’ll see a massive difference between their prices. So you have to buy them at a high cost!

Summing-up: 

A handheld VHF radio with built-in GPS functionality is a great device that offers advanced benefits, and if you have such a device, you don’t need to use external GPS in your boat. 

But buying the best handheld VHF marine radio with a GPS feature is not an easy matter. A massive number of facts can confuse you with which one to buy and which one to skip!

However, following our list will ensure you’re on the right path because all our picks are thoroughly researched and have a significant number of features!

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References: 

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