Reviews of Midland LXT330, GXT850, and Moto T9500 Review Summary

Reviews completed. I didn’t give final comparisons on each review, since I wanted each review to be its own separate entity.

All tests were done with “real people” in real environments where “real people” will use them. No laboratory or “controlled environments” were used. The terrain was a tyical suburban environmant with private homes, a few businesses and a lot of trees. If you are over water, or in an open area, you can expect ranges to adjust accordingly.


The LXT330 Midland scrores last in my reviews in all aspects. They work, and will do well on a budget. Not a lot of features or power.

The Midland GXT850 wins on durability and communications range. The waterproof case, and the belt clip, as well as its generally sturdy construction are good for rough use. The range is about average for a consumer-grade radio. They only marginally beat the Motorola. Sound quality is very good, with adequate volume under normal conditions.

The Motorola wins marginally on sound quality, and wins outright on ease of operation and features. The Motorola’s receiver is slightly more sensitive than the Midland’s, but not overwhelmingly so. The Midland’s Group mode is more involved than the Moto’s QT; but the QT is effective and is less complicated to use. I evaluate for the general consumer, and believe the Motos have a better balance between features and functionality. The scan function is amazing. It allows locking out of undesired channels, and displays the CTCSS/DCS tone of the channel being monitoed. This is superb! The belt clips on the Motos are terrible and could easily get broken. I’ve had radios with the same type of belt clips and have broken all of them in a matter of days.

I prefer the Motos for everyday use. However, I’m afraid they will get broken. They have a more comfortable feel, with a greater functionality. They are such nice radios that I’d hate for them to get damaged. They are a good “around the house” radio.

On the other hand, the Midlands are rugged and I’m not afraid of hurting them. As such, I’d be more apt to take them out on trips and such.

I prefer the Motorolas… but I give the Midland GXT850 the winning score out of all the radios. You need something you are not afraid to use.

Final thoughts:

All radios reviewed do work. All of them worked perfectly according to their design with no defects. There were no design flaws or instruction errors.

Preferences are a matter of personal opinion and the environment you plan to use them in. The Motorola and Midland GXT850 are recommended purchases. The Midland LXT330 is recommended for kids or “tough duty” where a low-budget radio would be effective.

My reviews are intended as a guide and your experiences may vary.

Great reviews! Thanks so much for posting this!

Just curious, did you have any preconceived impressions of Midland or Motorola that was validated or disproven by your testing? Did anything surprise you? If you’ve used older model Motorola or Midland radios, can you see an improvement with these new models?


Nothing really surprised me. I’ve had experience with both brands before and am aware of the strengths and limitations of consumer-grade radios. They were all well-designed and had no operational flaws. They are all quality products that will meet the needs of the consumer, provided the consumer is aware of such strengths and limitations.

Improvements in the newer models include the addition of Digital coded squelch (DCS) in addition to the standard CTCSS. On the motos, they allow you to lock out unwanted channels while scanning. Also, the motos display the CTCSS/DCS code on a channel while scanning. This makes the Motorola tops in scanning.

Use of DCS allows additional options to avoid interference. Most manufacturers now include DCS in addition to CTCSS, however older radios did not. This will help protect against someone “finding you” and causing harmful interference. Naturally, these tones do not prevent others from hearing you, and don’t create a clear channel, so pre-monitoring of a channel is always advised before transmitting.

Great review. I’m considering buying the T9500 but I am concerned about a terrible review I read on Amazon at:


It cites very bad sound quality amongst other things. Any comments from anyone on this?

I took a look at those reviews. I considered the sound quality to be well within acceptable standards. My experiences tended to differ from what was expressed there.

It is possible that what I reviewed, and as such, what is sold here, is an upgrade over earlier units.

It’s my opinion, you will like the radios.


I have helped a friend test his T9500’s and they are the best sounding radios I have heard to date. You will love the rich clear sound, you know exactly who you are talking to right away.