Actually there are two countries, two major powers, Rune-Midgard and the Schwartzwald Republic (if you get what world I'm working in you are a geek and I say 555 to you, sir). Schwartzwald Republic is a lot more technologically and magically advanced than Rune-Midgard (I mean come on they have an Industrialized city built around the world's first and only factory and another city floating in the clouds). Their technology I would describe as magical steampunk, where both things can be used in the invention of...things.
What I want to do is radio technology. I have two Schwartzwald spies and a Rune-Midgard army team that they infiltrate. I want the spies to be able to communicate with one another discreetly, I'm thinking secret service earbuds type thing here. I also want the army guys to be able to contact one another in case they get split up, I'm thinking more of a hand-held walkie-talkie sort of thing, two per team (since when teams are 4 people apiece and they always make sure to split up into pairs because anything less is just suicidal here).
What I've got so far is that the Rune-Midgard device is gonna be shoddy. Constantly on the fritz, pretty experimental. Doesn't work for long distances (100ft at the most maybe) and usually doesn't work when they need it to. The Schwartzwald tech would be better, probably up to 300ft or so, and actually usually being functional.
Neither team has mages with them; the only people magically skilled are skilled in healing/holy magic. So if something magical goes wrong they wouldn't be able to fix it (not that that's necessarily a bad thing--for me), and if it'd be something requiring a constant or occasional magical power source, they wouldn't be able to keep it running in the field.
Any ideas on how I can explain this without it seeming too, "Ah, he just wants it in there to be cool." I want to make it fit in my very fantasy setting without it looking out of place.