I've long noticed the pairs of small hand-held consumer radios on offer to allow for contact between persons/groups, and have on occasion used one as part of a group activity as well. They are of limited range, with two options available--FRS and GMRS, with the latter reportedly giving greater range, at the cost of requiring a license, or so last I heard.
As I understand it, all the FRS-spectrum radios have a maximum range of about 2 miles, and less in rough terrain. The GMRS radios, however, advertise ranges of "up to" everything from 10 miles to 35 miles, more or less. In addition, it seems as if every maker, from Motorola to Midland, makes about 5000 different models, many of which are indistinguishable by primary technical features except for perhaps claimed range.
So, query for those in the know--why the big differences in reported maximum range, esp. for products with minimal, if any, price difference? Why the plethora of models? Is the last primarily marketing?
It would seem reasonable to me for a company to make about a half-dozen different models, distinguished by things like presence/absence of GMRS, weather channels, VOX capability, and maybe battery type. When I Googled Motorola's consumer two-way radios, however, there were two pages of different models to look at. Yikes!
What are the pros and cons of features, etc., and how might one make a well-informed choice in the face of so many options?