BaoFeng radio is something all radio enthusiasts love to have. Whether you are testing the waters or are an experienced user, there’s one for every one. When it comes to choosing the best BaoFeng radio for your use, there is often an apprehension owing to the technical jargon that fills the specification sheets. We are here to help you navigate your way through the countless technical terms.
This guide puts together the basic information about BaoFeng radios, a table containing bird’s eye view of the top six products and review of top three.
Top 6 Baofeng Radios Table
|1. BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio||5||$$||4.6|
|2. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio||8||$$$||4.5|
|3. BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Radio||7||$$$||4.4|
|4. Baofeng 2-Pack UV-5R V2+ *UV-5R V2+ Plus* Dual-Band||8||$$$||4.4|
|5. Baofeng Yellow BF-F9 V2+ HP 8Watt Tri-Power||8||$$$||4.2|
|6. BaoFeng UV-82WP (T-56) Dual Band Two Way Radio Ham Waterproof Transceiver Full Kit||5||$||3.6|
What Is a BaoFeng Radio?
These are low cost radio sets designed to work with a wide frequency range, which makes them suitable for both commercial and personal (hobby) purposes. Their affordability and ability to operate in both Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) ranges make them useful in hospitals, event management, security, crowd management solutions and many more similar settings.
- Legal Perspective. Ham radio transceivers require license before you can use them so we strongly recommend checking with state authorities for local licensing requirements.
- Wattage. To keep it short, higher the wattage, greater your radio’s range. This doesn’t mean you can buy any wattage you can afford, as there are legal restrictions, usually of the order of 0.5 watt.
- Dual Band Support. It allows you to monitor two frequencies at once that can be any combination of UHF and VHF. It comes in handy in situations where you want to track the conversations being transmitted on two frequencies simultaneously and choose to transmit on either of the two.
Top 3 Best Baofeng Radio Reviews
1. BTECH UV-5X3 Tri-Band Radio
If you are looking for an affordable Tri band radio that actually performs well across frequency range, this is what you’re looking for. In case you are wondering, the BTech in its name stands for Baofeng Tech, which is the only authorized dealer that honors manufacturer warranty without you having to ship your unit to China.
Once you have unboxed a radio, programming is a major challenge and this one is one of the easiest units to program – as long as you make it a point that sometimes you might need to select BTech instead of Baofeng. This has some marked improvements over the UV-5R. It now allows you to add or remove channels from your scan list without the help of a computer, which considerably enhances its usability. What’s more – you can now scan specify a frequency range to scan without having to go scan the entire range.
Its inability to resume a scan without the user having to re-enter the range is a bit of an annoyance. Despite this, UV-5X3 is clearly the best BaoFeng radio and strikes that perfect balance between price, functionality and usability.
2. BaoFeng BF-F8HP Radio
BaoFeng’s UV-5R was a blockbuster product and over the years we have seen several enhancements over it. BF-F8HP is the third generation product, aimed at users looking for larger battery and higher power.
A dual band radio facilitating two way communication, the BF-F8HP gives you the option to run it in three power modes – 8W/4W/1W. Other than VHF and UHF frequency range, it works well in the 65 to 108 MHz range – giving you access to commercial FM stations. Other than the power option, its new 2000 mAh battery is a welcome addition. The best part is it maintains backward accessory compatibility with the original UV-5R.
If you are looking for a long lasting, easy to operate, improved version of the UV5R+ on both transmit and receive functions, BF-F8HP is a great option at a reasonable price.
3. BaoFeng UV-82HP Dual Band Radio
UV-82 series from BaoFeng has been a classic, churning out one solid performer after the other and this one pushes the envelope further. Simplicity is something that doesn’t get associated with radio sets but this one changes that with its dual push-to-talk, programmable switch for simplified operation. It gives you 128 channels that can be easily programmed, thanks to its comprehensive 80 page user manual.
Depending upon the distance you communicate over, you can choose from 3 power levels (1/5/7 Watt) to optimize battery performance. We recommend using CHIRP software for scanning and editing channel lists. An 1800 mAh battery, high gain antenna, earpiece with remote mic, adapter and a couple of belts and clips that ship with the package make it ready to operate out of the box.