Motorola APX Series vs RCA RPX Comparison: Why pay $5,000 for a Public Safety Radio?

If you are responsible for procuring P25 CAP Compliant Public Safety Radios for your department, you have no doubt encountered a salesperson pushing Motorola products. Most likely, one of their pricey APX series radios was offered.

However, when looking at the kind of budgets most municipalities are working with these days, the Motorola APX can be an outlandish investment for them. Once all the “extras” are factored in, just ONE of these radios could set you back a whopping FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

It’s ridiculous.

Here you are trying to serve the public and you cannot do your job effectively because you either have to work with outdated radios, or invest an arm and a leg in new ones which you really cannot afford.

p25 rcaBut there is a better choice. RCA, one of the pioneers in two-way radio communications, makes P25 radios which are just as good as Motorola’s, but at a FRACTION of the cost.

Don’t take my word for it. Let’s compare the top-of-the line P25 radios from Motorola (APX 6000) and RCA (RPX4500/4600) and let the facts speak for themselves:

Clarity

Motorola and RCA both come out winners in the clarity department, so it’s a tie. Motorola has its “Adaptive Audio Engine” to enhance sound, while RCA uses the AMBE+2TM Vocoder for crystal clear, loud communication.

Encryption

Again, both radios offer encryption so your communications stay secure from prying ears. Motorola has no advantage here.

Handling

Both radios feature extra-large controls to enable operation even when gloved. Again, the units are on equal footing.

Durability

Both the Motorola and the RCA units are military-grade tough, meeting MIL-STD 810 C, D, E, F, G rating to remain operational under the most severe conditions.

Waterproofing

Both radios are waterproof in even extreme circumstances. The Motorola unit has a higher IP68 rating (4 hrs at 2 meters) compared with RCA’s IP67 (30 mins at 1 meter). Unless you plan on swimming with your radio, this extra waterproofing is likely not needed nor worth the extra expense.

 “Extras”

Here is where the two brands differ markedly. Yes, Motorola did pack a lot of “stuff” into the APX series. Things like firmware updates over WiFi, Bluetooth, texting, an RFID chip built into the volume control. But boy do you pay dearly for them.

For most people we talk to – these extra things are useless. All they need is a rugged, dependable radio which sounds loud and has a great battery life – like the RCA RPX4500/4600.

rca rpx offer

Warranty

Here is an important area where RCA is a clear winner: We offer a 4 YEAR WARRANTY on the RCA radios we sell. How long do you get with Motorola? Two measly years. Such an expensive radio with such a short warranty is not good.

As you can see, the ridiculously expensive radio does not have any clear advantage over the more affordable one, and in fact the short warranty is a liability.

So you need to ask yourself, is it better for me to have ONE radio with a bunch of fancy bells and whistles I will probably never use, or do I get FIVE radios which meet or exceed all the requirements of fire departments and other emergency personnel when faced with life-threatening situations?

If you would like me to send you a unit to test out, no strings attached, just call me at 877-401-3659 from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time and I will send you one. I promise you that you’re going to love it.

Ben Burns