Android smartphone with built-in UHF transceiver

Over on Reddit, there’s a discussion going on about an Android smartphone with some sort of built-in UHF radio (FRS/GMRS). It appears to be a Chinese-made Android phone from Otium called the Otium V8. It’s for sale on Amazon for about $300.

Below is a screenshot from someone asking how it works. The frequency is a shared FRS/GMRS channel (in the U.S). I would expect a radio like this to be “channelized” and not show a frequency directly on the screen — which makes me wonder what other frequencies one might be able to enter…?

Courtesy of /u/rgansaldi

Courtesy of /u/rgansaldi

Are GSM phones with built-in radios common? Has anyone ever used one of these?

From the screenshot of the built-in PTT app, it looks like it has an adjustable power level, does frequency splits, PL/CTCSS, and even has a narrow/wide bandwidth selection.

What chip are they using to do this? Can it be tweaked with software to transmit/receive “out of range” in the 70cm ham band? I’m curious!

Matt Thomas, W1MST, is the managing editor of AmateurRadio.com. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “Android smartphone with built-in UHF transceiver”

  • Hans PD0AC:

    They’re not really common, but not new. There are GSM phones with a low power 70cm transceiver inside. They only ham I know of who bought one, sent it back because of numerous quality issues.

    Look for example on AliExpress.com for the Outfone BD-351 A83.

  • Matt W1MST:

    So that particular model had a user-programmable (direct frequency entry) transceiver “built-in,” Hans?

  • Hans PD0AC:

    Yes. It even had a number of memories if I remember well.

  • peter kg5wy:

    I also wonder about this. Why would anyone want a cell phone and a UHF transceiver in one package?

  • Matt W1MST:

    Why would they? Why WOULDN’T they?! 🙂

  • peter kg5wy:

    Why wouldn’t they? Why would they.

  • Glenn W9IQ:

    I seem to recall that a non cellular radio transmitter and a cell phone cannot be combined under FCC rules. I would need to do some research to confirm. Maybe someone else knows for certain.

  • Neil McGrath G7AQK:

    I spotted this similar looking radio/phone on Ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-5-Rugged-Android-4-2-Phone-IP67-GPS-Compas-WalkieTalkie-Laser-ZGPAX-S9-/201294952381

    It covers 400 to 470Mhz.

    Neil

  • Marty:

    I have big hopes for UHF/Smartphone hybrids, so much so I’m pursuing it as a business! These things are great 🙂
    The latest model is 4G + UHF + Android 5.1 + 8GB ROM/1GB RAM with all the usual bells and whistles of a modern smartphone.

    Please check out my products and let me know what you think? They’re really popular in Russia but the rest of the world hasn’t really caught on to it yet.

    My site is http://www.snopow.com.au

    Cheers,
    Marty

  • Hayden:

    The reason people want it is because put in the field we rely on mobile phones working better that the UHF.
    UHF gives you priority but that’s about it.
    If you find something nasty you call the commander, if you cant make radio contact you call the commander.
    If you feel like calling the commander than you do that.

    I was just listening to another departmen using the radios and it seems they even have prowords for “I’m just gonna call your mobile, your mic sucks”.

    Having phones and UHF combos would be a lot more professional considering how much were now passing around private phone numbers.

  • Sahil Patel:

    I am looking for a dongle kind of thing for Android devices to tap into leaky feeders. Something that can help me send and receive over leaky feeders. Am I thinking in the right direction? Can anyone help me with it?

  • Pete KD4OVI:

    give me some info to use the a cell phone to receive uhf tv station

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