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Motorola R7 vs. Motorola Ion

What Two-Way Radio is Best for Your Business?

Motorola recently released their MOTOTRBO R7 two-way radio. Delivering Next-Gen loudness, clarity, and noise-canceling capabilities, the R7 seems poised to become an important communication solution for many organizations.

At the same time, the MOTOTRBO Ion Smart Radio includes a number of unique features, such as its Open App ecosystem on the Android platform and Gorilla Glass 3 Touchscreen, that make it the better choice for some businesses and industry verticals.

At MCA, we possess the expertise to help you upgrade your business’s communications infrastructure. As a preferred partner of Motorola, we can assist you in developing a comprehensive communications solution on the MOTOTRBO systems. We can also provision and maintain all the two-way radios in your fleet.

The purpose of this article is to help you decide between the Motorola R7 and Motorola Ion as your communication solution from MCA.

Between the two, which two-way PTT radio will work best for your business?

What Stands Out About MOTOTRBO R7’s Audio Quality?

Motorola’s R7 two-way stands out among other models, including the Motorola Ion, for its unparalleled audio quality. 

The MOTOTRBO R7 was purpose-built to be heard in environments with especially loud background noise. With its powerful, high-performance speakers, the R7 delivers louder and clearer audio with a greater range than any other two-way radio on the market.

When Motorola designed the R7, they set out to solve three critical problems: audio quality, coverage, and durability. Importantly, in terms of durability the R7 is the first chemical-resistant two-way radio. This makes it an ideal fit for such industries as healthcare, as the R7 is durable enough to withstand cleaning with disinfectants.

But the audio quality and coverage is truly what makes the MOTOTRBO R7 stand out. It possesses the following audio features:

Adaptive Dual Microphone Noise Suppression: This capability enables your work teams to hear each other clearly in even the loudest environments.

Automatic Acoustic Feedback Suppression: The R7 eliminates any feedback from other radios, making it ideal for situations in which many radios are in use in close proximity.
Intelligent Audio: Your R7 will monitor background noise to intelligently adjust speaker volume given the sound quality of your environment.

Other Key Features of the Motorola R7

  • Wired and wireless options (Wireless RSM and WM500 compatible)
  • IP68 Rating – The R7 can be submerged in water of 2 meters for 2 hours
  • IP66 Rating – The R7 is rugged enough to withstand direct impact from high pressure water jets
  • Intrinsically Safe – Can be used in hazardous environments without any risk of ignition or fire.
  • Compatible with all MOTOTRBO LMR Systems
  • Slim, sleek, and compact design for easy portability
  • IoT connectivity capabilities
  • Large, intuitive display screen
  • Call playback feature for listening to older messages

A Future-Proof Radio

The Motorola R7 manual refers to this radio as future-proof and “Ready for Tomorrow.”

But what does that mean?

With its wide variety of connectivity options, including Bluetooth 5.0, sensors, collaboration apps, and Wi-Fi with WPA3, the Motorola R7 is a two-way radio designed to meet your business’s future applications.

Featuring a wide-variety of software applications, such as sensors that detect gas leaks, you will be able to integrate any new software releases into your R7 two-way radios. 

The businesses that will benefit most from provisioning Motorola R7s into their fleet are those who require communication in especially challenging and noise-polluted environments. 

Additionally, for organizations and users currently using  the Motorola XPR7000e, the R7 offers better audio, a larger display screen, and more.

If you’re considering upgrading your current LMR system, but wonder if your LMR will be relevant in the future, you should consider the benefits of the MOTOTRBO R7. When paired with MOTOTRBO Capacity Max or Capacity Plus radio trunking systems, the Motorola R7 offers a communication solution that will be compatible with future video security and IoT applications.

The Benefits of the Motorola Ion Smart Radio

The Motorola Ion Smart Radio was designed to offer a communications solution that could double as a data solution for your business. With its Open App ecosystem, the MOTOTRBO Ion provides both a voice and data solution in one device.

With the versatility to connect not only to your LMR system, but also public and private broadband networks, the Ion expresses perfect interoperability with Motorola WAVE PTX, a PTT app that instantly connects your teams across different locations, devices, and networks.

One of the major differences when it comes to the MOTOTRBO Ion is its versatile computing capabilities. In essence, the Ion Smart Radio combines the best in smartphone computing with the functionality and reliability of PTT radio communication.

Motorola Ion offers a full range of “smartphone” apps on its Android Platform, including full access to Google’s suite, multimedia functionality, ticketing, barcode scanning, and more.

If you’re in warehousing and logistics, for example, the MOTOTRBO Ion gives your employees clear and reliable communications from one end of your facility to the other. At the same time, your employees radios can be deployed to scan and locate boxes entering your warehouse.

We will discuss how your industry decides what radio is the better match for your business, but the Motorola Ion is typically for businesses that require both PTT communications, as well as support for managing workflows.

While the R7 provides the best audio coverage and clarity, the Motorola Ion is unsurpassed when it comes to its current versatility and the number of applications it has to improve workflow and business efficiency.

Other Key Features of the Motorola Ion

  • Ruggedized unbreakable touch screen made from Gorilla Glass 3
  • IP68 Rating – Submersible in 2 meters of water for up to 2 hours
  • Intrinsically Safe – Will not ignite or start a fire in hazardous conditions
  • Rear-facing camera
  • Side-Button Integration

Industry Use Cases for the MOTOTRBO Ion

We mentioned above that the MOTOTRBO Ion Smart Radio could be leveraged to improve efficiency in logistics and warehousing. Some other industry use cases also come to mind.

If you run security operations at a university or college—or at any organization—and need access to security camera footage, the Motorola Ion delivers full multimedia on its glass display screen. 

The apps that can be accessed by Motorola Ion users give them the ability to track and fill work orders and scan barcodes in retail businesses of all sizes and variety.

The number and variety of apps that you can deploy on the MOTOTRBO Ion to increase operational efficiency benefits a number of businesses and industries. From Oil and Gas to Healthcare, the Ion paired with WAVE PTX gives you the ability to manage all your communications from a single, unified platform.


Now that we listed all the benefits of both the MOTOTRBO R7 and the MOTOTRBO Ion, we can answer the question of which radios you should buy for your fleet.

The Motorola Ion is considered a converged communication device. The Ion converges your voice and data, giving you the ability to unify your communications ecosystem. 

If you want a PTT two-way radio that offers a number of applications, the Ion is right for you. If you want video analytics and surveillance footage on your radio, then the MOTOTRBO Ion Smart Radio is the right choice.

On the flip side, the Motorola R7 is considered a collaborative two-way radio. It is meant to be paired with other devices in your communications ecosystem. To put it another way, the R7 doesn’t have the same smartphone capabilities as the Ion.

But the MOTOTRBO R7 possesses audio quality that has no equal among two-way radios. The Ion is rugged, and has great audio quality, including dual microphones and noise suppression, but it does fall short in comparison to the audio features on the R7.

Choosing the Right Two-Way Radios for Your Fleet

When it comes to selecting the right radios for your communications ecosystem, MCA provides the expertise and support you need through each step of the process.

If you’re considering upgrading your current two-way radio fleet, we offer cost-effective solutions and the best customer service throughout the entire lifecycle of your devices.

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