Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O Review

Photo of author
Written By Martin C

Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O

We like the Motorola T503 for those that are planning for casual or occasional use for fun outdoor actiities near the water.  Its waterproof design and rugged features make up for its mediocre battery life. Overall, the Motorola T503 H2O is a solid choice for those expecting heavy usage in or around water, as you can feel confident the device will survive the conditions.

Key  Features:

  • Rugged waterproofing
  • Up to 35-mile range
  • Hands-free capability
  • NOAA Weather Alerts + Emergency Button

Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O Review

Our Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O review covers the pros and cons of this unique walkie talkie, which is well-respected for its waterproof and rugged design. We like the Motorola T503 for those that are planning for casual or occasional use for fun outdoor activities near the water. We would not consider them for individuals or families seeking high-powered and/or long battery life walkie talkies (if you are, we recommend the Midland LXT630VP3.) Overall, the Motorola T503 is a solid choice for those expecting heavy usage in or around water, as you can feel confident the device will survive the conditions.

Motorola T503 H2O Features

The Motorola T503 shines when it comes to its waterproof design and easy-to-use features. It performed strongly even when exposed to rain and waves, though you still would not want to submerge for it extended periods of time. Like most consumer FRS walkie talkies, it claims up to 35 miles of range but you can expect 1-2 miles in most conditions, which is actually better than most models at this price. With NOAA weather channels, an emergency alert button, and iVOX/VOX hands-free capacity, the T503 is decently versatile and suitable for outdoor use, especially if there’s a potential emergency situation. The T503 comes with other Motorola standards, like a backlit display, keypad lock, and power-saving battery features.

Battery Life and Charge

The T503 can be powered either with 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries or 3 AA batteries. Motorola claims that the NiMH batteries provide around 9 hours of battery life, while the AA batteries upwards of 25 hours, but from our observations it’s a bit lower. If you expect a full day’s use on the NiMH batteries, you should plan to charge it nightly. If you use AAA batteries, you’ll get longer life but you should definitely bring extra batteries if you will be on a trip or outdoors for several days in a row.


The Motorola T503 weighs about half a pound, and has dimensions of 1.5 x 2.40 x 7.78 inches. This makes it a fairly lightweight and portable walkie talkie, which is great if you plan to take it to the lake or river. Any adult will use this product easily, and it’s also easy and small enough to be used by children.

What Comes In The Box

You’ll get two T503 walkie talkies along with 1 charging cable. Also included are two belt clips, which makes hand-free use easy, and the 2NiMH rechargeable batteries.

Motorola T503 H2O Warranty and User Manual

The Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O  comes with Motorola’s standard one-year warranty for Talkabout series products. You can find more details on the warranty here. In general, Motorola will cover any issues caused by a manufacturer’s defect or a similar production-based issue. That said, they will work with you to resolve the issue and want to ensure you’re a happy customer.

You will receive a full user manual in your package, but we’ve included the full Motorola T503 User Manual here for your convenience, or if you want to check it out before you order.

Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O Walkie Talkie Conclusion

When you’re searching for a waterproof walkie talkie, or at least one that is water resistant, you are likely to come across mostly Motorola and Cobra products. Both brands have committed to producing strong waterproof options, and to that effect their models do well. Overall, the Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O certainly lives up to its expectations there, as we can feel entirely confident of its waterproof design. For an RV trip, a day at the lake, or other casual activities, we’d highly recommend the Motorola T503. But given the battery life situation, if you’re planning an extended trip where you don’t want to worry about charging the walkie talkie or swapping batteries, but still want the waterproof feature, we’d recommend you go with the Cobra CXT1045R-FLT Camo, which has a bit better battery life and similar water-proofing design. You can read our full Cobra CXT1045R-FLT review here. That said, the Motorola Talkabout T503 H2O is still a very strong option, and will fit the needs of most walkie talkie buyers at a competitive price!