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Uniden BearTracker 885 Review

Uniden BearTracker 885
  • Quality
  • Features
4.8

Summary

If you need a scanner and CB radio then you can save some space with this high-end radio hybrid from Uniden.

It’s not just a CB radio it’s a scanner too – giving you access to local Police / Fire / Ambulance / DOT radio traffic. The BearTracker 885 hybrid is a useful radio that not only saves space as you don’t need two separate units but offers some great features. Let’s take a closer look.

Uniden BearTracker 885 CB Radio

Key Features

  • 40-Channel CB Radio
  • Digital and Analog Police / Fire / Ambulance / DOT scanner
  • NOAA Weather Channels with Alert function
  • Mic Gain
  • RF Gain
  • SWR Meter
  • ANL / NB
  • PA Function
  • 7-Color LCD Display
  • SD Card

Also in the box

Noise-cancelling microphone, 12 V DC power cable, GPS Receiver/RJ45 cable, mounting bracket kit, window-mount antenna, user manual.

What’s Great

The fact that this radio includes a scanner is a fantastic idea. It would be a mistake to compare it to one of Uniden’s full-featured and dedicated scanners but despite its limitations it is a great feature to have. It is easy to select which of the four services you want to monitor, either; police, fire, ambulance or DOT. Using your GPS location the scanner will scan the local frequencies with information coming from a Nationwide scanner database giving you nearby public safety transmissions. You can get free updates via the BearTracker Update Manager which is updated weekly. So, if you are going somewhere that shows an update you can get the latest version quickly and easily.

There are certainly no compromises with the CB radio. It is full of all the features you’d expect to find on any high-end unit. It’s better to think of this as a high-end CB with scanner capabilities.

While using the CB you can also receive public safety calls which is a nice (and very useful) touch. Together with NOAA Weather and Alerts it makes the radio very useful when on your travels.

In use the CB is clear in both receive and transmit. I received some quite distant signals that had good clarity and received comments about the quality my transmission – in part due to the included microphone which proved to be quite good.

What’s Not So Great

As mentioned above the scanner won’t compare to a high-end and dedicated scanner but its a welcome feature if you mainly plan to use the unit as a CB radio.

I certainly love the CB function but just wish it could also scan the CB channels. It’s not a really big deal but would have been a nice extra touch.

Verdict / Bottom Line

The marketing promotes the BearTracker 885 as a legal alternative to radar detectors but, let’s face the fact that a public safety announcement is not the same thing. It’s not going to help you avoid a speeding ticket, although let’s face it, you shouldn’t be doing that anyway!

The sound quality is excellent in both receive and transmit, there are plenty of features that you’d expect on a high-end CB.

For someone that wants a fully featured scanner then you are better of buying a separate unit. However, if you want a great CB radio that also has a fairly good performing scanner build-in with the benefit of saving some space, then the BearTracker 885 is a great choice.

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