Standard Horizon HX870 Marine VHF Radio Review

Standard Horizon HX870 ReviewStandard Horizon’s HX870 offers quite a few significant upgrades over the HX851. The HX870 offers a larger screen and a brand new graphical interface that’s much more intuitive than the somewhat complicated plain text menu it replaced.

As with all Standard Horizon electronics products, the HX870 is built to resist the typical nicks and dings that all marine radios endure.

If you accidently drop the HX870 into the water (or if you get tossed overboard with it), it won’t give out on you. The HX870 is certified waterproof. Plus, because it’s equipped with a strobe light that powers on the instant it comes in contact with water, the HX870 is easy to find– even in the dark.

However, HX870 is that it’s not so good for night navigation because of the fact that its backlit display is rather bright. Also, it is bulky compared to most handheld marine radios. Aside from those two minor faults, if you’re looking for an all-around excellent portable VHS/GPS/DSC communications device, the HX870 is a great choice.


  • Large screen. The HX870’s screen is twice as large compared to the HX851.
  • Updated interface. Because of its graphical menus and soft, easy-to-push buttons, it won’t take you very long at all to learn how to use the HX870.
  • Better battery. The HX870’s 1800 milliamp battery will make it through several days of intense usage.
  • Floats in water. If you drop this radio in the water, no worries– it floats.
  • Emergency strobe light. This unit’s strobe light beacon helps you locate it in the dark.
  • Comes with charging rack. All you need is a few hours of charge time and you’re good to go.
  • Handheld operation. With the HX870, you get all the power of a mounted VHF/GPS/DSC radio in the palm of your hand.


  • The bright white backlight can blind your eyes if you’re trying to navigate at night.
  • The HX870 is rather big and bulky compared to other nautical radios.
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