As some of you know I am a fan of the MotoTRBO radios. I have a Motorola XPR 6550 which is a very nice TRBO DMR radio, but they are expensive and Motorola has horrible policies like they charge an arm and leg for the programming software and features that the radios already support support out of the box in hardware like AES-256 encryption are expensive options you have to pay to unlock if you want to use that feature. So while Motorola Radios are EXCELLENT in quality you definitely pay for it in the pocketbook.
Anyway that doesn't stop DMR from being an excellent standard, and now finally a sub $200 Chinese radio has come along that is DMR TRBO compatible.
First a quick Disclaimer. DMR is the radio standard, but with-in DMR there is MotoTRBO (Called TRBO on forward) and Hytera (not Tytera which is a chinese company trying to sound like Hytera). Hytera DMR radios will not talk to MotoTRBO radios and vice-versa. In the U.S. virtually 100% of DMR radios go by the TRBO standard so if you buy a DMR radio it is important that you buy a TRBO compatible radio.
So for under $170 shipped you can have a TRBO radio and programming cable shipped to your house, Really that's under 1/4 the price of an XPR with software and programming cable from Motorola
The Tytera MD-380, Like the Motorola XPR is a single band radio. so you have to select VHF or UHF, sorry no dual band TRBO here
I went with UHF because all the TRBO repeaters in my AO are UHF, so the decision was kind of a no brainer, I would have prefered VHF, but oh well.
My first impressions are: It's obvious the XPR is a nicer radio, but the TYT MD-380 isn't bad. It has a solid feel to it. There are a few minor corners that were cut. For example the MD-380 channel selector knob has markings in all black making it impossible to read