Uniden XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack review

Uniden XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack review: UHF radio goes smart


We live in a world with smart light bulbs, smart security cameras, smart cars, and many more. These devices become smart because we link them to our smartphones with an app, and suddenly, we have much more functionality. Indeed, the smartphone revolution has smartened up many devices, even our washing machines. One device that, until now, has avoided the smart revolution is the UHF two-way radio. This review looks at the Uniden XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack, a bundle of in-vehicle two-way radios, an external antenna, and a handheld radio.

Uniden XTRAK PRO Ultimate Pack review

Price (RRP)$999.95
WebsiteUniden Australia
Warranty5 years
Manual or Support pagesUser guide
Country of ManufactureChina
About:Uniden Australia Pty Limited is part of the Uniden Corporation of Japan, operating globally in America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. Since its establishment in 1966, Uniden has become a global leader in wireless communications and a major global brand in consumer electronics.

What makes the XTRAK Pro smart?

When it comes to how you interface with a two-way radio, whether handheld or in-vehicle, not a lot has changed over the years. There is a press-to-talk button, a channel selector and a volume button. A screen displays the channel and allows you to enter a basic menu to change other settings. So unlike many other devices with a fancy touch screen, the two-way radio has stayed pretty dumb.

XTRAK APP Radio settings
Controlling setting from the app

Uniden now sells its Pro models in the top-end XTRAK radios that add Bluetooth connection and smartphone connectivity. The smarts come from your connected Apple or Android phone and the XTRTAK app. Once connected, you can adjust any radio settings from the app with two or more XTRAK Pro radios, track locations and send messages using the UHF connection. This becomes relevant when you are out of mobile phone coverage. After all, mobile phones only cover 27% of Australia’s land mass.

XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack – what’s in the box?

The XTRAK Pro is Uniden’s top-of-the-line two-way UHF smart radio available in in-vehicle mobile or handheld, supporting location tracking and text messaging. The Ultimate Pack is a bundle with everything you need to set up a vehicle for exploring Australia.

Uniden XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack
What is in the Box

In a large box designed to fit the AX970S 3.0dBi Antenna, you will find an XTRAK 80 Pro UHF Mobile Radio with all the fittings to mount in your vehicle. This includes a 2m extension cable for the remote microphone and magnetic mic mount. Also in the box is the XTRAK 50 Pro handheld with a charging cradle that will support either a 12-volt cig lead or 240-volt AC charger, meaning you can charge the handheld at home or in the car. Additional accessories for the handheld are a speaker mic and an earpiece mic for hands-free communication (voice-activated transmit must be switched on).

By buying these items in a bundle, you effectively get the $250 antenna for free versus buying all the components separately.

XTRAK 80 PRO and XTRAK 50 Pro features

Both models are built to a high-quality standard with a 5-year warranty. Common features include 80 channels, large OLED displays, loudspeakers, and an instant replay function allowing you to replay audio you missed and will operate up to 17km in ideal locations. If you want privacy, whether on a job site or in the bush, as UHF is an open channel medium, you can use a quiet filter mode to filter out non-members of your group. A further level of privacy can be used by activating a voice scramble feature.

XTRAK 80 Pro smart UHF radio features

The XTRAK 80 Pro can replay up to six minutes of received audio transmissions. There are three programable smart keys to quickly access your favourite features. Up to 100 extra channels can be programmed in the 400-520Mhz range for more specialised applications. Audio from the unit can be played back from the handset, the unit itself, an external speaker jack, Bluetooth speaker or a combination to ensure you get the best audio experience.

The 80 Pro requires either a DC 12 or 24-volt supply to operate found in a car or truck.

XTRAK 50 Pro smart UHF handheld features

The XTRAK 50 Pro can replay up to four minutes of received audio transmissions. There is one programable smart key to quickly access your favourite feature. Power output can be reduced from 5 watts to 1 watt to reduce power consumption on transmission. If you drop the handheld in water, it is designed to withstand 1-metre depth for 30 minutes, and thus also means it is resistant to dust. On the top of the unit is a handy LED torch, and the same button can be used to lock the keys if you want to ensure you don’t accidentally change the channel.

Battery life is quoted up to 30 hours at 1W or 20 hours at 5W while using transmit & receive 5% of the time. The display has a 5-level indicator to judge the battery level. Charging time is up to four hours.

ATX970S Antenna Features

The ATX970 antenna is a 3.0dBi gain antenna, which will work well in hilly areas. Its heavy-duty construction and stainless spring mean it will take a knock or two, whether in a car park or from a branch. It is black, has a 4.5-metre radio connection cable and a total height of 702mm. The antenna can be removed or locked on with an Allen key, and a handy dust cap is provided to protect the connection when removed.

Using the XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack

For those new to two-way radios, check out our sister publication Small Business Answers guide. We previously reviewed the Uniden XTRAK50 handheld, which is the same model without the smarts. The same quality of build and reception is evident in the release of the PRO models. The previous key takeaway was the audio reception quality, which is also apparent in these new models.

The XTRAK 80 Pro OLED screen is a step up from the previous models’ LCD screen, allowing better viewing in all lighting conditions. The big improvement for me is a simple magnetic mount for the handset, enabling it to snap in and out of its holder versus the older thread the lug into the holder solution.

Installing the 80 Pro in my car was easy as I replaced an older unit; the brackets and power cables were the same. Those with less 12-volt DIY experience should seek the assistance of an auto electrician.

The smart features of the XTRAK 50 & 80 Pro are straightforward and helpful within the app, but setting up the app requires the navigation of the radio menu. I initially struggled to set this up, partially due to failing to read the instruction manual. Who reads an instruction manual these days?

Note that Bluetooth only works with a Bluetooth Audio device or the smartphone app. I could not get both of them to work at the same time, and this may be fixed at a later time as both units do support software updates via the app.

The Bluetooth audio works well, allowing a more powerful speaker to broadcast incoming conversations. Again, I initially struggled with the setup. Even following the instructions, you must reprogram the radio’s smart key to pair with the Bluetooth speaker. Also, note that if you set your car audio system up as Bluetooth Audio, you cannot use that same audio system to play music while connected to the XTRAK radio.

XTRAK Pro location tracking

I tested the location tracking in suburban Sydney; however, this feature only comes to life when you have no mobile data coverage.

XTRAK pro App
Arrow is one Xtrak Pro, and M is the other.

Let’s say you came into a bush camp late at night without mobile coverage. Using two XTRAK Pros, you could talk to one another, and text one another but more importantly, see the other party on a map relative to your position. Another scenario might be to monitor the kids’ location as they wander the caravan park. A geofencing feature is also available, so you receive an alert if the kids walked outside a defined area on a map.

Your favourite locations or tracks can also be recorded and shared with other XTRAK Pro users. The chat or text function is useful for leaving a message if the other party is not currently in earshot of their radio. This is also useful for sending numbers or measurements where reception issues may cause verbal communication to be misinterpreted. The text message can also not be read by others without being an accepted contact, meaning private information can be transferred without others listening in.

GadgetGuy’s take

The Uniden XTRAK Ultimate Pack bundles up an in-car and handheld radio ready for workers and explorers to communicate in and out of the vehicle. This bundle is not cheap but ensures you have a quality setup that will work in the toughest conditions and have the best audio experience. While the location tracking features have many applications, it will only work if all participants in the group use an XTRAK Pro product.

Finally, the UHF two-way radio has gone smart. When paired with your smartphone, you get the smart features and can now navigate the radio’s settings more easily. As this product matures, expect to see new functionality enabled by radio software updates.

Uniden XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack
With the Uniden XTRAK Pro Ultimate Pack, UHF radios have finally entered the smart age. Location tracking and app features are welcome additions, making it a helpful system for outdoor workers and explorers.
Value for money
Ease of use
Excellent audio
Quality construction
Smart functions, including location tracking
Bluetooth setup can be tricky