The GME TX6600S has only been on the market for a month. We get hands on for a quick look at this Australian-made handheld UHF.
The TX6600S is the latest handheld from Australian manufacturer GME. It’s not a stretch to suggest this premium Handheld UHF is everything you want and so much more.
It’s been awhile since GME manufactured any of its handheld UHFs in Australia, and that’s simply due to the cost and competition in the market. But, in late 2019 GME began looking into local production, and those plans accelerated thanks to COVID-19. Enter the TX6600S.
The TX6600S was designed with commercial operators in mind and has some cool, advanced features that go along with that. Things like, user programmable channels, IP67 ingress protection, multiple transmission levels and power saving modes. On top of that you have accessory ports that are screw-in to ensure a long-term stable connection.
Packing in so much tech and usability means the TX6600S is on the larger size when compared to a number of others on the market, including GME’s other handheld units. But compared to some of those other units you might cross-shop it with, the TX6600S feels meaty in the hand, giving you the confidence it’ll take a beating and keep on keeping on.
Personally speaking, I don’t think anyone’s ever criticised the quality of GME radios made overseas, and I have a TX6100 that is still going strong after 10 years of hard use. However bringing the production of this unit to its home base on the outskirts of Sydney will help GME fill the gap of an Australian-made handheld UHF.
This unit has only been out for about a month now and I haven’t had a great deal of time to play around with it out in the field but I have noticed a few key things.
- It feels amazingly good in your hand, to the point where I don’t want to pick up another handheld UHF again.
- Voice announcement of channels was something I didn’t know I needed in my life.
- The variable power bands are handy to decide if you are after battery life or power. I accidentally left it on in the car; 0.1W and low volume for almost three days and it was still going. Just.
- While it is not quite as strong, I was receiving almost all the transmissions as my XRS330 with 2.1dbi antenna. Basically, I noticed the signal strength had to hit 3 (out of 9) and then the handheld would start receiving. There is obviously a lot at play in terms of antenna gain, position in the vehicle and all sorts but It still shows that a good handheld can be a viable in-car option.
- The volume and clarity of the speaker are as good as the XRS-330, if not a touch better.
One of the things I do have to commend GME on highly is the packaging. There is no plastic packaging in sight. When you open up the box the unit is tightly nestled into a perfectly formed cardboard mould with the antenna beside it and the charger above it. Clean, simple and recyclable.
At this point, my only gripe is the price. At $429, the GME TX6600S Handheld UHF is a hit to the hip pocket but I get the feeling that with my basic requirements, I’m not the ideal target market. In saying this, when you combine it with an in-car vehicle charger (RRP $119.95) it is still a touch cheaper than the XRS range and much more versatile.
Stay tuned for our full review on the TX6600S coming very soon to MotoFomo.
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