- 1 Baofeng Radio Buying Guide
- 2 Top 7 Product summary
- 3 Reviews of the best BaoFeng radio reviews
- 4 Choosing the best BaoFeng radio
- 5 Conclusion
Baofeng Radio Buying Guide
Looking for the best BaoFeng radio out there? Well, we think can help you with that. With the large number BaoFeng models available, it is rather uneasy to find the right one. To save you time on research, we’ve picked more than 5 great Baofeng Radio models for you to consider!
Top 7 Product summary
|Product||Frequency range||Channels||Output power||Things liked the most||Things disliked the most|
|BaoFeng UV-5R V2+||136-174/400-480 MHz||128||5/1W||Supports extended batteries.||Inconvenient programming|
|BaoFeng BF-F8HP||65.0MHz-108.0MHz (FM only),
136-174Mhz VHF & 400-520Mhz UHF
|128||8/4/1W||Powerful antenna.||Flimsy charger.|
|BaoFeng UV-5R||65-108 MHz (FM only) VHF: 136-174 MHz, UHF: 400-520 MHz||128||4/1W||Cheapness.||Weak-ish antenna.|
|BaoFeng UV-82HP||65-108 MHz(FM only) VHF: 136-174 MHz, UHF: 400-520 MHz;||128||7/5/1W||Dual/single PTT.||Rounded base.|
|BaoFeng BF-F9 V2+||65-108MHz (FM only), 145-155 MHz and 400-520 MHz||128||8/5/1W||Supports extended batteries.||Tough to program.|
|BaoFeng UV5RA||136-174/400-480 MHz||128||4/1W||Cheapness.||Weak-ish antenna.|
|BaoFeng BF-888S||UHF: 400-520 MHz||16||5W||Great if you just need UHF.||Has only 16 channels.|
Reviews of the best BaoFeng radio reviews
Baofeng Radio US Green UV-5R V2+
At first glance, BaoFeng UV-5R V2+ seems not to differ too much from the other models. However, it does differ from the other radios reviewed quite substantially.
The first feature unique to UV-5R V2+ is its automatic band detection which eliminates the need for a separate button entirely. During input, this means one less action performed, which should make this model more convenient.
The other remarkable thing in this radio is that it supports extended 7.4V 3800mah and 3600mah batteries. Not all buyers will need this, but this is a big plus for those who require as longer battery life as possible.
Baofeng Radio UV-5R V2+ also has two power modes – 5 and 1W – to allow you to choose between range and battery life.
The frequency range of UV-5R V2+ is VHF 136-174 and UHF 400-480 MHz, which is pretty typical for BaoFeng radios. It also has 128 customizable channels.
The thing that we didn’t like in this radio is that it is particularly difficult to program without computer software. This is the same for other BaoFeng radios, but UV-5R V2+ seems to be the least convenient in this regard.
You could get a programming cable to make customizing the radio easier though.
BaoFeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio
BaoFeng BF-F8HP is one of the better and more high-performance radios we reviewed. It is by no means the priciest BaoFeng radio out there, but it is rather good.
The first thing to catch the eye in this radio is its 8W peak power output. Thanks to this, BF-F8HP should be great at long ranges.
On the other hand, to help with power saving, BaoFeng equipped this radio with two other power modes – 4 and 1W.
The high-gain 7″ antenna of BF-F8HP radio is notable as well. It offers increased signal transmitting quality over standard BaoFeng antennas, which should be able to complement the radio’s high power output.
Another thing that we liked in this radio is its capacious 2100mah battery. It isn’t the most capacious battery in the world, but it should be good for long outdoor sessions.
Lastly, BaoFeng BF-F8HP supports the 65-108 MHz frequency range, albeit it only receives commercial FM radio.
The thing that we didn’t like about this radio is its flimsy charger. For the price BaoFeng asks, you’d really expect a better charger out of the box.
BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio (Black)
We think that BaoFeng UV-5R is a great model for those who want to get an inexpensive radio. This isn’t the cheapest model on the reviews, but it is quite cheap nonetheless.
As you’d expect, such an inexpensive radio is rather simple when compared to its pricier brothers. UV-5R is a great radio, but it doesn’t have fancy features in it.
On the other hand, we think it has more than enough for amateur users.
Interestingly, UV-5R also supports the 65-108 MHz frequency range (only commercial FM radio). Besides, it has 2 power settings – 4/1W – which offers some flexibility for the users.
On the other hand, the lower power rating of UV-5R means that it will be less good at long ranges. Its antenna also isn’t very powerful, so this radio is a better choice for short ranges.
BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Radio
BaoFeng UV-82HP is priced around the same as BF-F8HP we reviewed earlier, but it is a rather different radio.
The most remarkable feature in this model is its dual/single Push-to-Talk capability. Dual PTT allows you to communicate with two groups from a single device, if you didn’t know.
Another unique feature of this radio is that VFO in it can be disabled.
BaoFeng UV-82HP is also rather powerful with its 7W peak power, so it should be great at long ranges. It can also be tuned down to 5 and 1W for battery saving.
A thing that some people may also like is that this radio supports the 65-108 MHz frequency range.
Now, as great as this radio seems, it has some issues.
First of all, the included earpiece is cheaply made, so you should be ready to replace it with a better one.
Secondly, this radio has a rounded base that prevents it from standing on flat surfaces. Not everyone will feel this, but it is a thing that should be kept in mind.
Baofeng Blue BF-F9 V2+
BaoFeng BF-F9 V2+ is another radio that is a great pick for long-range communication. However, it doesn’t have too many fancy features on board, unlike UV-82HP, for example.
This isn’t a bad thing: some people just don’t need things like switchable VFO or dual PTT. If you need range most of all, then you’ll probably want something like this radio.
With its 8W peak power, this radio should be excellent for long ranges. And when battery life is more important than range, the 5 and 1W power modes can come in handy.
Like the UV-5R V2+ we reviewed in the very beginning, this radio supports extended BaoFeng batteries. If the base 1800mah aren’t enough for you, you could go and get a 3800mah battery.
A thing that some people may also like about this model is that it supports the 65-108 MHz frequency range.
The one thing that we didn’t like in this radio is its inconvenient programming, just like it was with UV-5R V2+. Again, you could get a programming cable for much more convenient programming on a computer.
Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio
BaoFeng UV5RA is a rather good yet inexpensive BaoFeng radio. It is a good pick for those who don’t need anything fancy.
Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio costs about the same as UV-5R we examined earlier. But it differs from UV-5R a little bit.
It doesn’t support the 65-108 MHz frequency range. You should probably go for this model instead of UV-5RA if you don’t need that range: why have something that you won’t even use?
Otherwise, UV-5R and UV-5RA are pretty much identical. Meaning that they share the good and the bag, with the bag being its weak-ish antenna.
And, while the power range is low – 4/1W – there is some degree of flexibility in this BaoFeng radio.
BaoFeng BF-888S Walkie Talkie
BaoFeng BF-888S is the most different model on today’s reviews. Whether that’s good is up to you.
The thing is that this radio doesn’t have a display in it. The main result of this is that this radio can’t be programmed on the go: you would need to get a programming cable to do it on a computer.
Besides, checking your current settings may be less convenient with no display.
On the other hand, if you don’t need any programming or other fancy features, the absence of a display shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Remarkably, BaoFeng offers BF-888S in 1-, 2-, and 20-packs. So this radio is not only cheap but also rather easy to get in bulk.
If you liked this radio, there are two things that you should keep in mind.
Unlike all the other radios that had 128 memory channels, BF-888S has only 16. Besides, it only supports the UHF 400-520 MHz frequency range, which may or may not be a downside depending on your needs.
All these “cons” don’t mean that this radio is bad: we wouldn’t include it on our list if it was. Rather, it is a cheap BaoFeng radio built for amateur users who need few channels and UHF.
Choosing the best BaoFeng radio
Now, to choose the best BaoFeng radio from the reviewed models, you need to know what to look for and what you need. Let’s now see what you should keep in mind with these radios.
VHF vs UHF
This is the first thing to look in any radios. There is a lot to be said about the differences between VHF and UHF (very high frequency and ultra-high frequency), but we’ll keep it simple for you.
Generally speaking, UHF radios work much better indoors, while VHF are more suitable for long distances. That’s because UHF waves can go through obstacles, while VHF waves require open distances for transmitting.
The choice of one or other depends on where you will be using your BaoFeng radio. For more flexibility, you could and probably should get a radio that has both UHF and VHF channels.
Number of channels
All the BaoFeng radios we reviewed had channels in them, some more, some less.
Channels allow you to divide the frequency range for specific uses. For example, this would be useful when creating separate communication channels in a restaurant for waiters, kitchen staff, and maintenance.
In addition, channel separation makes sure that conversations from different frequencies don’t mix up.
Depending on what you will be using your radio for, you may need many channels, or you may need none. You should neither have too many nor too few channels, so you have to take into account your needs when looking for channel numbers.
The more the wattage, the more powerful the signal is, and with it, the longer is the range of the radio.
For long-distance uses, wattage would be more important since it plays a bigger role when two devices are far apart. If those are the conditions you’ll be using a radio in, you should probably get a radio with a higher wattage.
Obviously, among the 7 models reviewed, there was one that we particularly favored. It was BaoFeng UV-82HP.
It was the most unique and the most functional radio we examined. It supports several frequency ranges, dual/single PTT, has a powerful 3-mode transmitter, and it allows you to disable VFO.
In the end, we think that it is the most versatile radio we reviewed. It can be used both up close and at long ranges, not to mention the benefits its unique features offer.
Now, remember what we said when listing things to look for in radios: you should get the radio that suits your needs. While UV-82HP is a very versatile model that can satisfy many people, not everyone will need its benefits.
In the end, if you liked UV-82HP, maybe you should buy it. Or any other model that you think is the best BaoFeng radio for that matter!
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