What is the best and smallest handheld two way radio with the longest range?

Question by dltrink: What is the best and smallest handheld two way radio with the longest range?
I'm 24 and have dealt with two-way since I was 9, but need help researching and finding what would be the best handheld radio with the most wattage output.

Best answer:

Answer by wires
Commercial handheld radios are pretty much limited to 4 watts of power for UHF and 5 watts for VHF. The unlicensed radios are typically limited to 1/4 watt. You can't get any serious range going handheld to handheld. The lower power and small antenna limits the reach. Depending on terrain (buildings, trees, water, hills, etc) you might get 5 miles or so. The unlicensed radios claim 1 mile but seldom get this far. You would need to use a repeater to boost the signal strength and range. You can pay for repeater access from a 2-way radio shop. You can also become a ham and use a ham repeater. Kenwood radios are a good value. Motorola is good but tends to be pricey. Icom is also a good brand. There are many other brands available.

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