In this world of communication being out of contact even for a single moment, can cause a sizable damage. Especially when you are in emergency service, namely hospital, municipality and many more. To address those situations Baofeng came forward with their collection of various Ham Radios, which are simple in use, offers durability and most importantly affordable.
Apart from that, handling of various social gatherings also become simpler should you are connected centrally. In addition, an amateur radio enthusiast, who are licensed to use one, highly encouraged to try one of those. In order to help maintain uninterrupted communication, Baofeng has developed a world of ham radio over the years, immensely successfully.
With various convenient sizes, shapes and frequency ranges, they have established themselves as the dominating force of the market. From hundreds of models we have shortlisted 07 best Baofeng radios, to assist you to find the best fit for your needs.
Things To Check Before Choosing Your Radio
- How to choose the best ham radio?
Pick the best, out of what’s available in the market can be grueling, especially if you are an amateur. As the absence of practical knowledge always create a vacuum. Getting involved with any ham radio club could be an option to effectively address this issue. Besides, numerous content on the internet is enough to provide a basic understanding. Finally, the weight of a brand name, for example Baofeng- a trustworthy radio manufacture, always minimize the chance of being deceived.
- Assuring quality
The first and foremost thing to be ensured prior of buying a radio, is the quality. Widely contingents on for which purpose you are going to use it. You need to be aware of how well it operates at different frequencies. Build quality also needs to be checked, as its going to be used in rough conditions frequently as well as in various adverse environmental circumstances.
Materially invented and developed for military use. But its effectiveness gradually makes it the inalienable part of every security service. As a consequence, only authorized person can have one. Both the manufacturer and the user must have a license to use it. Don’t forget to make sure that the item you choose is developed by a licensed manufacturer.
- Hands comfort and carrying
As it’s a portable device and mostly being used in outdoor activities, its portability is a major concern. Various devices come with different advantages for carriage which you need to check beforehand buy one. But as it handled solely by hand, comfort in the grip is a must. Unease in use often leads to less usage, which eventually left you in a position where can’t use your stuff even after you have it. Your hurdles remain the same whereas it was supposed to be lessened.
Can be done in two ways. Analog and digital. Radio pros often do it by themselves, but if you are an amateur radio aficionado, it’s highly recommended that you do it from the service provider for the first time. Nevertheless, the manual that comes with the device is well enough to guide someone, notwithstanding some might find it grueling.
- Money is not being wasted
Our universal tendency of thinking the costlier one is the best, lead us to something which has staggering features. While most of the features remain unused. But smart people make rational choices by prioritizing their requirements. Going for expensive devices equipped with loads of features often leads us toward misspending.
Top 7 Baofeng Radio Reviews
1. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio
A dual band radio with walkie talkie type design, is widely considered as the natural transformation of Baofeng UV-5R series. Rugged integument considerably minimizes the risk of dropping from hand as it offers a strong grip. Notwithstanding, if slipped its sturdily built structure is more than enough to withstand any sizable damage. The output has been doubled to 8 watts, which impact is enormous in the way it functions.
To ensure the long lasting battery backup, the size of the battery (2000mAh) also increased; precisely 30 percent of the original one. A radio means to deliver uninterrupted as well as clear communication, which is due with the BF-F8HP, as it’s armed with V-85, a high gain antenna. Power setting has a variation of three options, low (1W), medium (4W) and high (8w). From where you can easily set your convenient mode.
An effective frequency range of 136-176 MHz and 400-520 MHz (Tx/Rx) will make the signal picking trouble free. In addition, also capable to receive commercial FM radio signal, an added advantage for the novice. Simple to program; anyone with basic knowledge can do it. Furthermore, to assist the user, the user manual is written very simply with all the necessary directives.
- Up to 24 hours of battery backup
- 3 different power settings
- FM radio supporting
- Sensibly priced
- Antenna performance isn’t as good as anticipated
2. BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio (Black)
Stepping into the world of two way radio communication was never been as easy as with the Baofeng UV-5R. Also, those who are in search of a backup option or just interested in enriching their collection, UV-5R is undoubtedly an option. Accommodates all the essential features a ham radio required in a compact structure, which is highly durable. For added safety a wrist strap also available.
1500mAh lion-ion battery will keep it operational for up to 12 hours, while the maximum power output is 4 watts. Besides, will considerably reduce the annoyance of charging it over and over again. Moreover, power saving mode also available to serve you for extended hours, while you are running out of charge. Battery power notification is available to assist you in this regard. 700mw speaker is fair enough to generate clear sound, regardless of any unfavorable circumstances.
For UHF the frequency range is 400 to 520, while for VHF it’s 136 to 174. Both the frequencies are under unwavering surveillance and will prioritize the station that take up the signal first. To add further convenience a built in LED flash light is there. The keypad will lock automatically in order to prevent any unwanted key pressing. Built in FM radio will keep you in touch with the world. All these conveniences come with a sensible price tag, which might surprise you.
- Compact, light-weight structure
- Removable antenna
- Dual display with dual frequency standby mode
- Power saving mode and keypad lock
- Fairly priced
- User manual could be more elaborated
- Power output isn’t that high
3. Baofeng UV-5R+ Plus UHF VHF Long Range Dual Band Ham Amateur Two Way Radio, Black
Should you are considering of buying a radio for outdoor activities, such as off-road car racing, emergency rescue operations, Baofeng UV-5R Plus is unquestionably one of the best options. It’s the upgrade version of the UV-5R through which Baofeng has rediscovered its creative force once again. Will completely change your experience of operating a ham radio. Up to date technology used along with improved quality ingredients in order to add more convenience for the user.
3800mAh battery included for extended working hour. You can keep it operational for 24 hours with 96 hours standby time by charging once. Programming is simple and can be done with both keypad and computer. Compatible with CHIRP and CPS. And the cable recommended for programming is Radioddity PC001 FTD, which is compatible with latest Mac OS, Windows operating system as well as Ubuntu system.
Highly reliable, especially in emergency situations with the ability to establish long distance communication. Well-built structure provides much needed protection while dropped from hand and also rain proof. In addition, all the Baofeng accessories included to give it a form of fulfillment.
- Long working hour
- 96 hours standby time
- Comfortable weight of 360g
- Improved battery performance
- 50 to 10 kilometer working distances
- Difficult to remove the battery
- Its advised to replace the antenna with a better one
4. BaoFeng UV-82HP (Blue) High Power Dual Band Radio
Mainly focused on amateur, UV-82HP from Baofeng is a portable handheld two way radio. In most cases, people get confused about the programming a lot, particularly the greener. It admissible that, except the pro user manual programming is quite a difficult task to perform. Notwithstanding, a computer with the right cable will make it a piece of cake for UV-82HP. The inclusion of CHIRP supported latest software makes it even simpler; just download the software and connect the UV-82HP with the computer. After all these, if any confusion arises well written manual is there to guide you onwards.
1800mAh battery is considered as a sufficient power source and generates enough power to make the speaker clear and loud. Even in harsh environmental conditions, you will experience the preciseness of the speaker. Just make sure that the antenna is in vertical position. You might get a staggering range of 50 km with this device while it’s in 8 watt power setting on a good weather condition. Functions incredibly at 5 watts with no background noise. A-V85 antenna used, which is removable and replaceable. Other features of Baofeng including FM radio and LED flashlight has been associated to make it a decent walkie talkie.
- Extended battery backup
- CHIRP can activate and deactivate the VFO switching
- Up to date A-V85 antenna
- English manual for better understanding
- Comparatively low price
- In adverse weather conditions, antenna performance might be compromised
- Exactness is questionable in areas where plenty of radio frequencies are available
5. BaoFeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio
Finding someone around you, who use a Ham radio and wasn’t very much confused as well as frightened at the beginning, regarding programming isn’t that difficult. Instead, it’s a common tendency of the user to program the device from the seller. But with this model from Baofeng anyone can do it by self. It can be done by using the keypad and if you are uncomfortable with that computer programming is there. All you need to do is download the program on your computer and connect the device through appropriate cable. In addition, an in detail manual also included in the package to assist you further.
The lockable keypad comes with backlight which makes it super convenient in the dark. The dual frequency display comes with customizable color option. 1800mAh battery is the guarantee for extended working hour; a much needed benefit for the user who work in remote area and doesn’t have the option to charge it instantly.
Volume is being controlled by the rotating switch attached to the top. On the right hand side there are a 2.5mm jack for headphone and a 3.5mm microphone jack. On the opposite side there are three buttons for call, push to talk (PTT) and monitoring in a descending order. Has a convenient range of 136 MHz to 174 MHz for VHF and 400 MHz to 520 MHz for UHF. Supports 128 channels and the power settings are 5 watts and 1 watts high and low respectively.
- 1800mah battery
- 128 channels
- Both microphone and headphone jack
- LED flashlight
- Antenna performance isn’t satisfactory
6. BAOFENG BF-888S Two Way Radio(Pack of 6pcs radios)
The thing that you will notice at the first glance on a BF-888S, is the absence of the keypad. But don’t need to be panicked, since Baofeng duly addressed that issue by including multiple buttons on left hand side, for standard functioning. Among them bottom switch used for power on/off of built in LED flashlight and the switch top of that used to activate monitoring.
Push to talk switch (PTT) has placed above those two, which is very comfortable in handling. On the right hand side, two ports available among one is for charging and the other for programming. Taking only 4 hours to fully charge the battery (150mAh) is impressive, but you need to keep note that it will last for 8 hours only. The limitation of channels (16) might not the ideal deal for experienced operators, but more than enough for the novice user.
As there is no keypad manual programming is not possible. On the other hand, as the device is CHIRP supported, a programming cable compatible with it and a computer will be enough to make it done. With respect to the conditions it will cover the 2 mile distance easily at a transmission power of 2 watts. Might struggle to ensure accuracy in areas where a lot of different frequencies are being operated.
- Quick charging
- Keypad less operation
- Emergency alarm
- Easy to put together
- Insignificant price
- Limitation of channel
- Not for large scale use
7. Baofeng Radio 8Watt Ham Radio Dual Band Walkie Talkie
A ham radio, which is designed for amateur uses, can offer 8 watts of output power is nothing less than a pleasure. And the device we are talking about is perfectly qualified to do that. Its staggering output watts considerably increased the range of the device to 20 km. In addition, when it collaborates with a TIDRADIO 771 antenna things become more exciting, eventually more sensational. TIDRADIO 771 is a high gain antenna which improves the range considerably in every dual band radio.
The option of switching between different power settings makes it more user friendly. When you need to reach a long distance set it to the maximum. On the other hand, you can easily conserve charge when you are communicating in shorter range by setting the lowest power option.
Supports 128 customized channels and it‘s not a big deal to program it, as it can be done both manually by lockable keypad and with a computer. Both the bands remain standby and the dual band display shows both the band at the same time. Availability of earpiece offers much needed clarity in hearing when you are in a noisy surrounding. Also plays an effective role in transmitting.
- Simple operation
- Dual band standby
- Display shows both bands
- More channels (128)
- Variable power settings
- In rough environmental condition, it’s advised to use an earpiece for clear sound.
Q: There is a widespread thought that Baofeng is illegal. Is it true?
Ans: No. There are no questions about the legality of Baofeng. But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) strictly advised for the users, not to use those apart from their designed use. These products are made for amateurs use only and must operate under the amateur user guideline. These are not certified under part 95. Which means using them in GMRS or FRS in extremely prohibited.
Q: Is there any impact of environment on radio operation?
Ans: As radios communicate through frequencies, there are some adverse effect of weather condition in radio operation. Especially in inclement weather it’s quite hard to establish an uninterrupted communication.
Q: Can I use a ham radio without an antenna?
Ans: It’s impossible to think about a ham without an antenna. To receive the signal appropriately antenna is a must.
Q: Will it be a rational decision to buy a used Ham?
Ans: Should you are a new user, it’s highly recommended that you buy a used radio to make yourself comfortable with radio operations. Learning something with a new device can be costly, as the chance of making it impair due to lack experience is high.
Q: Is license mandatory to operate a Baofeng radio?
Ans: Yes. And you can only use some selected amateur band provided by any amateur operator who has license to do that. If you get caught violating these rules, you might be sentenced by the authority or fined heavily.
Q: Is it mandatory to be licensed to buy a ham radio?
Ans: Not necessarily. You can get one, but uses will be limited. Getting the license doesn’t only mean to be authorized, rather learn how to operate it. Every equipment has its own specifications as well as sophistications, which you need to address properly to get the best out of it. On that note, buying one without knowing how to use it will be a preposterous idea.
Q: How difficult it to pass the license test?
Ans: It’s nothing about difficulties but a bit of time. Thousands of materials available online these days from where you can make yourself prepared. Even some websites offer demo questionnaires too.
Q: What is the impact of altitude on radio communication?
Ans: When it comes to communicating through frequency, altitude always has a role to play. When there are no obstructions in between, you will get a long range. And the higher you go the lower the interruption will be.
Q: What is the transmission range of Baofeng?
Ans: Solely relies on output power. Each model comes with the unique power setting, consequently the transmission range also varies. The higher the output power the greater the range is. Average Baofeng radios cover a range of six miles, as most of them have a power setting of 4 to 5 watts.
Effectiveness of ham radio brings it to mass level use from qualified use. There are hundreds of brands available in the market, but all of them are not reliable. The meretricious advertisement policy of manufacturer might entice you and to safeguard you from it we came up with this well researched article. When it comes to reliance Baofeng undoubtedly the best choice you have. Their sensibly priced products play a huge role in the rapid expansion of the radio industry and you can easily choose your best fit from the wide range of products they offer. Just be aware of your purpose and select according to your needs. Keep a tab on your pocket too, so that you stay safe from over spending.