Eton FRX5 Weather Radio Review

If you’re going for camping, then one of the most essential tools you could carry is a weather radio. Even if a weather radio doesn’t come at the top of your checklist, it can potentially save you from life-threatening disasters. You never know how uncertain the weather can be, thus, by having a good weather radio at your disposal, you quickly be informed about hurricanes, fires, tornados and even terrorist attacks.

There are a variety of manufacturers of weather radio out there, so picking the best one can be a bit tedious. If you’ve been searching for a good weather radio, then the chances are that you may have heard of the FRX5. It’s a latest edition to the range of Eton weather radios.

Over the years, Eton has earned a good reputation in the market, and most of their products provide satisfactory results to the users. But does the FRX5 live up to the hype? In this detailed review, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about it so you can decide for yourself.

Pros

  • Signals the users with different sirens, colours and even voice.
  • Splash proof and ruggedized build, making it extremely durable.
  • Made to last and can easily withstand the tests of time.
  • Great quality weather band reception.
  • High volume range, making it easier to hear the news even in loud noise.

Cons

  • Buttons are small and covered under the handle.
  • The rechargeable batteries cannot be replaced.

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General Specifications and Features of Eton FRX5 Weather Radio

Build Quality

A weather radio is prone to go through a lot of wear and tear. You never know the kind of environment it may be exposed to. Therefore, durability comes as a pre-requisite for designing a great weather radio. Fortunately, FRX5 meets the mark in this aspect. It has a ruggedized design and is also splash proof.

Reception Quality

The whole idea behind purchasing a weather radio is ensuring that you’re able to prepare for disasters. However, if you’re not able to get a good reception, then it completely defeats the purpose. With that said, the FRX5 does a great job with all of its bands, namely: AM, FM, NOAA Weather as they offer an excellent reception.

Audio Quality

Another deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a weather radio is the overall radio quality. Although you wouldn’t want to, but in case you’re stuck somewhere with a hurricane outside, the last thing you would want is for the noise to overwhelm the sound of your radio. Fortunately, Eton has done a great job with the sound quality of FRX5.

Even if there’s a metal concert going on outside, the radio still provides a clear and crisp sound quality that you can easily understand. In fact, the full volume of the radio might just be too much for your ears to handle.

Alert Function

The FRX5 also comes with a handy alert function. If you’re out camping, then you’re likely going to need some rest. You never know what may happen while you’re asleep. Thus, to stay prepared you can set on the alert mode on your FRX5 and the NOAA weather emergency alerts are broadcasted to you. Moreover, with the help of Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E) technology, the broadcasts further get customized according to your location.

In a nutshell, if you’re trying to get in some rest during your trip, then this radio will offer the peace of mind you require.

Rechargeable Battery

Perhaps where this radio truly excels is its plethora of battery charging options. It has a rechargeable lithium battery that charges with AAA batteries, a hand crank and solar panels. However, keep in mind that solar power may take up to 5 hours to fully charge your radio. Nonetheless, it is a great feature to have because when you’re out in the wilderness, the sunlight is the only friend that you have.

Charges Smartphones & Tablets

When you’re travelling, you never know when you may get access to a power outlet. Thus, to make your life easier, the radio also offers a fast charging feature for smartphones and tablets. There can be a variety of scenarios where this feature would be useful. If you somehow get separated with your group while travelling, and your phone runs out of battery, then this feature can be a true lifesaver.

With that said, just make sure that you bring your power cable along so you could connect your phone to the battery pack of the radio.

Digital Display & Alarm Clock

Not many radios out there offer a digital display, so this is another area where the FRX5 excels at. Its sharp display adds a nice and modern touch to the radio. Furthermore, it also has an alarm clock which can prove to be a handy feature. When you’re wandering in a remote area, it’s easy to lose track of time. So setting up alarms can help you keep a track of things and you wouldn’t have to rely on your phone for that.

Headphone Jack & Aux

Who doesn’t love music? However, rather than listening to the lame old songs that radio stations often play, you could listen to your own tunes. This is indeed a unique feature that you would not find in many weather radio out there. Thus, make sure that before you embark on your journey, you prepare a good playlist to keep you accompanied.

You can play the songs either by using the headphone jack, or insert use its AUX-input slot to connect it to another device. This is also where you’ll probably fall in love with the crisp sound quality of the radio.

LED Flash Feature

You cannot always rely on torches. As you never know when they may run out of batteries. Thus, leaving you in pitch black darkness. This is why, you’re also going for find a LED flash feature in FRX5. If you’re trying to navigate during the night, then the bright LED flash of this radio will illuminate your surroundings to make it much easier for you to reach your destination.

Moreover, in case there’s an emergency, you also have a red emergency beacon that can be seen from far away. Also, the buttons are also glow in the dark. These small details sure display the level of focus and attention to detail Eton has put while manufacturing this radio.

Drawbacks of Eton FRX5 Weather Radio

No Battery Replacement Slot

Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of FRX5 is that it does not come with a battery replacement slot. Although Eton has mentioned that in its specifications, but you will not find it on the radio. This can be extremely bothersome because even if the batteries are rechargeable, their output may decrease overtime.

Moreover, in the worst-case scenario, there’s also a chance that the batteries may completely stop functioning. If there was a battery replacement slot, you could’ve prepared for such a situation by carrying an extra pair. However, there’s no such option on this radio to begin with, so all you can do is hope it works fine.

Small Buttons

Although some people may think that we’re nit-picking, but believe us when we say that its buttons are annoying. If they were only small, then it may have been bearable. However, the nail on the coffin is that they’re also hidden under the handle. So if you wanted to look straight towards its button from above, then you would not be able to.

We do not know why they’ve done this. Whether they were trying to provide protection to the buttons or have any other reason, but it certainly didn’t work out.

Should You Buy Eton FRX5?

After going over all of its specification, the good and the bad, you may have found your answer that whether FRX5 is worth it or not. However, if you’re still scratching your head, then in a nutshell, it isn’t a bad investment. It offers everything that a good radio should, and while, there are some drawbacks, they can be tolerated. Perhaps, FRX5 could’ve even been considered one of the best weather radios out there if it wasn’t for its irreplaceable batteries.

If you’re able to look past that flaw, then overall, you can purchase this weather radio for your next trip.

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Conclusion

Although it may sound like an unnecessary expense to some people, but a weather radio can be a literal lifesaver. With so many options in the market, the FRX5 is also certainly a great addition. The overall quality of the radio is pretty decent, and it’s durable enough to survive even the harshest environment. Even though it comes with a couple of cons, the pros outweigh them, making this radio a must for all the travellers out there.

So we hope after reading this review you are now aware of all the specifications of FRX5 and if it’s worth the investment for you.

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