We at this site spend a lot of time reviewing the best and most well designed radios on offer today. Some of these products are specially made for specific functions and can fetch intimidating prices for smaller companies that nonetheless are eager to compete. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a quick look at one of Motorola’s cheaper models and see how it compares with the big boys.
With a utilitarian, somewhat pedestrian design, the Motorola CP040 is a million miles removed from the sleek, sexy contours of the MotoTRBO SL4000, or even the rugged, hardwearing face of the Motorola DP3400. The design is perfunctory, modest and unambitious, but looks can be deceiving.
A sturdy, capable model, this is a great choice for warehousing and agriculture (as pointed out on the Motorola site).
It only makes use of four channels, but is incredibly easy to use as a result, very much a ‘press and play’ radio. It also keeps contact over a surprisingly large range.
19 hours of battery life shows good durability (when in battery saving ‘low’ mode, anyway), while the ability to switch between broadcasting to multiple users or a single one is a very welcome function indeed.
Although clearly designed as a budget model, the CP040 has a lot of functions that we have come to expect from far-more pricey radios.
Believe it or not (and we even had to read it twice!), the CP040 is available at less than £100. OK, at £99 it’s not a lot less, but it still beats the better models by half (and then some). Indeed, there is a feeling that Motorola could actually charge a little bit more for this device and easily get away with it.
Making great use of Motorola’s much-vaunted ‘X-Pand’ technology, the CP040 provides excellent audio quality with every message, so there’s no real loss in sound quality (unless you obsessively compare the CP040 with the really high-end models and we aren’t going to do that here).
The belt clip (an optional extra) holds the radio in well and everything is generally sturdy and nicely made.
The CP040 may be lacking some of the more fancy features and extras that some of its peers can boast about, but as a standard, basic two-way radio, it is incredibly difficult to find fault with it.
The CP040 has been designed with mid level business use in mind, yes, it lacks the ‘boys own adventure’ ruggedness of Motorola’s outdoor models or the discreet, professional modernity of their urban, security orientated range, but it makes up for this in spades with a solid, reliable performance that won’t break the bank.
Perhaps it’s not the best product of its kind that the market can offer, but it is a very long way from being the worst and, in addition, it genuinely offers excellent value for money.
Customers may want something a little bit tougher and more overtly safety-conscious for use on building sites or battlegrounds. Perhaps they’ll also want something a little more slender and/or trendy for customer interaction, but otherwise, the CP040 suits its design-niche perfectly.
This is a great little device for basic business radio use and it’s hard to imagine it letting anybody down. Strong, reliable and high performance, the CP040 combines a thoroughly satisfying user experience with a pleasantly manageable price tag to create a wholly likeable (not to mention highly recommendable) product.