And although it may seem obsolete to talk about Walkie Talkies in the 2019, in truth there are many applications and situations in which the immediacy of the transceivers remains the most suitable choice. Xiaomi (or rather Mijia) knows this very well and is already at the second version of her concept of Walkie Talkie.
Mijia Walkie Talkie 1S - Design
The new version looks even more minimal and appealing thanks to weight reduction (43% less) and size (41% thinner). Made with a sturdy polycarbonate it can contain the weight a only 130g which together with the contained measures (55 x 12 x 18 mm) make it a perfect companion for any sporting activity.
The controls are all at hand. On the left side we find the PTT (push-to-talk) button along 2cm and made of rubber allowing a discreet grip and above all the identification without having to lay the eye on the device. Even the on / off switch, located just below the PTT, is well thought-out since it is small enough to avoid accidentally operating it.
On the right side there is a rubber door that protects the accesses to the MicroUSB port (for charging) and the earphone jack. Immediately below is a button dedicated to different functions: a pressure interrogates the battery status; a double press activates the FM radio; a long press starts the connection with a bluetooth device.
At the front is a large and clearly visible position LED matrix display which guarantees excellent visibility even under direct light. Immediately below the audio channel selection and frequency selection buttons when used as an FM radio.
We complete the aesthetic-instrumental overview by citing the comfortable and sturdy back clip that allows you to firmly attach the transceiver to many surfaces as thick 4 mm. Moreover, taking advantage of a adapter the clip allows the walkie talkie to be attached to any accessory compatible with the GoPro and most of the action cams (handlebar support, shoulder support, etc.)
Mijia Walkie Talkie 1S - Features
We have two possible transmission modes available. 20 VHF channels (0.5w from 136MHz to 174MHz) which guarantee greater autonomy but a maximum transmission range of 1Km. 20 UHF channels (3w from 403MHz to 470MHz) which, albeit at the expense of autonomy, allow you to expand the coverage up to 3 km (in my tests up to 2.5km).
You can also add to the PTT + companion app additional 20 customizable channels.
The battery is from 2190mAh, albeit lower than the previous version, it allows a continuous use of approximately 16 hours in the 3 watt mode (long range) and well 120 hours of stand-by with a single charge that requires just under 3 hours.
In addition to the expected transmission / reception operation, the walkie talkie is equipped with some useful add-ons that guarantee added value.
The 3.5mm jack allows you to take advantage of any headset or headset equipped with a microphone. Even the helmet apparatuses are compatible and coupled with hands-free function that activates the push-to-talk automatically, become useful tools during the motorcycle trips.
The integrated speaker is from 0.5w but it has a much larger output surface than the previous version and indeed allows an almost doubled volume. Thanks also to the sound quality, always clean even at high volumes, the Walkie Talkie is very suitable for noisy environments or placed in a corner of the room as a speaker.
The Mijia Walkie Talkie 1S is also equipped with 4.2 bluetooth support to match the appropriate BE501 headset which is a perfect companion since it has a PTT button. Other bluetooth headsets can also be used using the PTT + app for pairing, but in this case you will need to use the PTT button on the walkie talkie itself.
We complete the technical equipment with the comfortable FM radio, rather basic though with automatic frequency search.
Mijia Walkie Talkie 1S - App Companion
The Mijia Walkie Talkie 1S can be managed either via the well-known app We Home selecting the Chinese server which, however, allows only a few operations: choice of language for audio feedback (Off, English, Chinese); activation of the "hands-free" mode; activation / deactivation of notification sounds; software update.
Much more extensive is the dedicated PTT + app that thanks to the XDA forum it is possible to exploit in English and that includes many interesting tools in addition to the functions already present in the MiHome app.PTT + app download in English
An interactive map will show us the GPS position of all the Mijia Walkie Talkies that are transmitting on our channel, allowing us to have a general picture of the dispositions of all our interlocutors. Via the map it is also possible to start one "tracking" mode which allows you to record the route taken. Finally from the map it is possible to use measuring tools for distance and altitude.
Unlike the MiHome app, additional settings are available on the PTT +. It is possible to activate energy saving, lock the occupied channels, select the squelch level and the type of band (Wide or Narrow).
Mijia Walkie Talkie 1S - Conclusions
Walkie talkies in general remain the most sensible alternative when there is the need for a point / multipoint transmission (in a group) and this is why the market for this device has remained alive throughout the last decades. Xiaomi has interpreted her version of transceiver for amateur use but that guarantees high performance and quality for a price as always very competitive.
In this renewed version, the Walkie Talkies have become a pleasant device to use, convenient to carry and that above all works well and immediately after being discarded.
Performance, both in terms of autonomy and transmission range, and the power of the audio, all positively surprised me. Not to mention the support for bluetooth devices gives it that touch of smart that makes the difference in terms of comfort.
GPS tracking is an extra benefit that can be useful in many situations and certainly distinguishes the Mijia Walkie Talkie 1S from other more common competitors.
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It impresses with its design, excellent performance, smart functions (GPS and BlueTooth) and the truly excellent value for money
- Limited size and weight
- Good performance
- Minimal design
- Audio feedback only English and Chinese
- English companion app only via XDA