You might be aware that long-range equipment has been a phenomenon. Nowadays, the development of high-tech brings us more advanced facilities. Emerging as the times require, Baofeng enjoys a high reputation in the world for making world-class radio communication equipment.
You may be interested in Baofeng radio, but have little knowledge to select a good one. Also, there are too many options and information available, which may cost a lot of time to find a favorable radio. Well, don’t worry. Here are our top picks for the best Baofeng radios to help you choose the right one.
Best Baofeng Radio Comparison Chart 2021
RX 65-108 MHz
RX 65-108 MHz
RX 65-108 MHz
Baofeng UV-5R V2+
RX 65-108 MHz
RX 65.0000-108.000/130.0000-179.9900/222.0000-225.9900/400.0000-520.9900 MHz
RX 65-108 MHz
The Best Baofeng Radio Reviews of 2021
1. BaoFeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio
- Upgrades from our Previous Generation UV-5R: Twice the Output Power (8 watts up from 4 watts output), New Hardened Durable Radio Shell, 30% Larger Battery, V-85 High Gain Antenna (Twice the Antenna Performance), USA Support + In-depth User Guide Included
- High / Med / Low Power Settings (8W, 4W, 1W); Frequency Range: 65-108 MHz(Only commercial FM radio reception) VHF: 136-174 MHz(Rx/Tx). UHF: 400-520 MHz(Rx/Tx); Broad (Wide) / Narrowband (Narrow) Selectable
- The BF-F8HP was designed in the USA and because not everyone is a radio-expert we really wanted to focus on providing an easier user experience! That starts with the new in-depth manual that guides you through the capabilities and customization of the BF-F8HP. On top of that the BF-F8HP also includes exclusive concierge customer help and warranty support. This concierge service is only available on select BaoFeng models such as the BF-F8HP, UV-82HP, and UV-5X3.
If you are an amateur or it is just your first time to use a Baofeng radio. BF-F8HP could be a perfect choice for you. As an improved version of the UV-5R model, it becomes better and offers various advantages that you will find useful. So this one is considered by many users as the best BaoFeng radio for amateurs.
This radio comes with high output power, along with a 2000mAh battery, which has three power modes, including 8W high, 4W medium, and 1W low.
Having a maximum power output of 8W, the BF-F8HP works great at higher ranges while medium and low settings are considered as power-saving. This is to say you can work with the radio for a long time and won’t be bothered by running out of battery.
Something else we like about this radio is the antenna. The antenna is the key component that affects the clearness of signals received. BF-F8HP radio features a 7-inch antenna that is sufficiently powerful to capture and transmit frequencies. This boosts its overall performance index and guarantees highly clear signals.
Another positive is that it comes with a user-friendly interface, along with an in-depth manual. The radio is easy to learn and very easy to operate. It was also easy to program. The radio is user-friendly, easily programmable, and has the capability to communicate in bands needed by others outside the HAM radio community.
But there is also an obvious downside. The radio isn’t water-resistant so that you have to protect it from being wet outdoors.
All in all, even if it is not waterproof, the features it comes with have made it an ideal radio for both beginners and amateurs.
- 3 power levels– can set to your preference
- 7-inch HGA antenna– helps ensure clear signals
- Large 2000mAh Li-ion Battery– for long time work
- User-friendly interface– easy to operate and program
- Sturdy materials– durable
- Not waterproof– needs special protect
- NoFTDI programming cable – you may need to buy one separately
2. Baofeng UV5RA Dual Band Two-Way Radio
People are always wanting to buy things of good quality and inexpensive. Baofeng UV-5R is an economical dual-band Baofeng radio that is still functional enough. Plus, it is a compact one that is convenient to carry. So this would be a good pick for you.
The first and foremost feature of this radio is the range of frequencies. This one has a frequency range from 65-108 MHz (FM radios), 136-174 MHz (VHF), and 400-520 MHz (UHF). Hence the radio transmission covers more comprehensively, equipping it a good commercial handheld ham radio.
Another worth-mentioning feature is considerable channels. It has a capacity of 128 channels. So you can store up to 128 channels on this radio, choosing from them with ±2.5ppm of frequency stability. Apart from that, you can also scan priority channels, and there’s also an option for the dual watch.
Besides, the UV-5R has a voice-operated transmit for hands-free use when you have something to do in your hand. Also, it displays a large LED screen along with an LED flashlight, which can offer you big help when you are outdoor at night.
In terms of its battery life, with a Baofeng battery life of 1800mAH, this will last up to 12 hours. Thus, it is a perfect choice to go far outdoors, like hiking with your friends. Also, there is also a power-saving mode with alert notifications for low-battery, time-out, and emergency to conserve battery to provide safety.
To sum up, this radio has a multitude of options for you to explore although the antenna could be more powerful.
- Compact package– portable to carry
- Powerful range of frequency– perfect radio transmission
- 128 channels– more choices
- LED screen and flashlight– easy to operate
- Long battery life– durable
- Less-powerful antenna– signals might be affected
3. Baofeng UV-82HP Dual Band Ham Two-way Radio
For anyone who wants a hand-held radio that has optional transmitting power, UV-82HP is the right one. When you use this model, you can choose to set it with a 1-watt speaker, also, if you like, it has a powerful 5-watt speaker too.
This radio features a 1800mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. And there is a charger and an adapter coming with the package. With this radio, you can get it charged conveniently, which means you don’t have to buy new batteries all the time, wasting a lot of money. Plus, there are battery condition alerts, helping you to know the amount of power left in the battery.
Another feature is that this radio provides you up to 128 channels. It allows you to program these settings and channels freely before initial use. That is to say, you have many more choices in selecting favorable channels as much as possible.
Besides, the radio comes with a built-in and powerful flashlight that can light up your way as you walk in the dark or just stay in a dark room. Namely, a bright large display that allows you to fix the darkness so that you don’t need to have a separate flashlight.
An amazing point is that you are allowed to change or add privacy tones up to 50 CTCSS and 104 DTCS. There are separate tones frequencies that strengthen your privacy.
However, it has a shortcoming. You have to buy a program cable and software to program it.
Overall, if you don’t mind spending some extra money on software, this radio can be a wonderful assistant to you, especially at night.
- Battery condition alerts– allow you to know the power amount
- 2 scanning modes– enhance privacy
- Built-in flashlight– easy to work at night
- Powerful radio 5-watt– louder and clearer
- 128 programmable channels– choose free
- Need program cable and software– spend extra money
4. Baofeng UV-5R V2+ Two-Way Radio
- Amcrest Direct (Amcrest Industries) is the authorized US Baofeng exclusive distributor of the UV5RV2BLACK. Amcrest offers US based warranty service out of our office in Houston, TX, (no shipping to China). You must ensure that Amcrest Direct (FirstVision) is your selected buying option to claim the US warranty.
- Frequency Range: 145-148 / 420-450 MHz. Metallic upgraded, durable housing. English user manual included.
- Upgraded 2018 Bright & easy to read two-color LED display. Compatible with UV-5R 3800mah and 3600mah Extended Batteries.
UV-5R V2 is affordable and easy to use the radio. If you are new ham who doesn’t know where to start, then get this radio and program it for your local repeaters then listen for weekly nets. It is perfect for you to stay in contact with other local Hams.
This is a very sturdy radio since it comes with a metallic upgrade and durable housing. You will love it because the strong housing will protect the radio to make it suitable for withstanding those harsh outdoor conditions. Therefore, this helps to assure you of a durable radio that would serve you for a long time.
Furthermore, the radio features a bright two-color LED display which helps you read easily. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the battery running out because it can connect to extended batteries of 7.4V 3600 and 3800 mAh power. So you can use it for a long time.
Additionally, it is a micro-mini multi-band FM receiver that can focus on you solely. With an intensive receive frequency coverage, this radio can provide supervision when offering local-area two-way amateur communication.
On the other hand, the speaker is with drawbacks. It is not loud enough because of a 700mw watt, which could bother you.
To conclude, this radio is user-friendly with so many functions if you don’t need it to be very loud.
- Updated LED display– helps read easily
- Monitoring capabilities– secure communication
- User-friendly– easy to operate and program
- Metallic upgrade and sturdy body– durable
- Compatible with UV-5R 3600mAh and 3800mAh– can use for a long time
- Interior speaker–not loud enough
- Flaky microphone jack– easy to be broken
5. Baofeng BF-888S UHF Two-Way Radio
- Walkie Talkie Model: Baofeng BF-888s;Each radio has a earpiece
- 1500mAh Li-ion battery; Low Voltage Alert; Intelligent Charging. Maximum Power Output- 3-5 Watt
- Frequency Range: 400-470MHz; 16 channel; 50 CTCSS/105 CDCSS
BF-888S UHF is for both commercial and personal use. It can be used for security guards, policemen, construction site workers, office, and retail sector and restaurant employees, hiking for cost-effective and better communication. So if you want to go hiking with friends in the woods, this is super suitable.
This portable radio is powered by a 1500MAh Li-ion rechargeable battery with an operating voltage of 3.7V. It has a power-saving mode that works well with the low voltage alert to extend battery life. Furthermore, it comes with an intelligent charging function that will stop charging when the radio finishes charging.
Additionally, there are 16 memory channels with programmable 105 CDCSS and 50 CTCSS tones. And you can change the channels conveniently by pressing the knob on the top.
BF-888S also is equipped with Voice Prompt and VOX function, which offer you a hands-free experience. So it is convenient to do something else while operating it with voice.
However, there are some talking limitations. If you want to talk to someone, make sure the other person is using the same device and in the same channel.
In a nutshell, there are various features and functionality to meet your requirements, no matter where you work. If you mind the talking limitations, just buy the same radio with your team members.
- Intelligent charging and battery saving– extend battery life
- Voice prompt and VOX function– set hands free
- Emergency and low voltage alert– provide security
- 16 different channels– more options
- Compact design– high portability
- Difficult programming– not easy for beginners
- Talk limitations– not flexible enough
6. BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio
- BaoFeng Tech is the only authorized BaoFeng & BTECH Distributor to honor the Manufacturer Warranty. Only BaoFeng Tech offers warranty claims without shipping anything to China. You must insure that BaoFeng Tech is your selected buying option when buying to be able to have the full USA warranty.
- What's New: Tri-band Frequency Range Display Sync DTMF Decode Incoming ANI Display Remote Stun, Kill, Revive, Inspect, and Monitor Selectable Frequency Range Scanning Remove/Add Channels from Scanning Right in Menu
- Recommended Accessories: Pair UV-5X3 with the Nagoya NA-320A Antenna for all-in-one antenna option. The PC03 FTDI Cable is recommended for easy computer programming - Uses CHIRP Software
If you have difficulty in programming the radio on the computer, then BTECH UV-5X3 Radio is designed to meet your Ham radio needs because it is the only radio with a built-in firmware.
UV-5X3 radio comes with a powerful dual-band V-85 antenna which enhances the transmission and reception abilities of the radio. And to make it more functional, there is another long 220MHz band antenna.
This radio has a tone, frequency, and channel scanning feature with an option to delete or add a channel. When you add or remove a channel, you can scan right in the menu to remove or add the channels. Alternatively, you can use special software or your PC.
Besides, unlike those usual radios which feature two bands, this one comes with a tri-band to make your communications swift. There are also filtering options that not only transmit and receive UHF and VHF frequencies but also include a 222-225 MHz frequency band.
This radio is in a compact design with a belt clip. If you want to carry it around with you, you can easily hang it around your wrist or hook it to your belt, which brings much more convenience.
However, the disadvantage is that the battery might only survive for several months, which means you need to change batteries after months.
In conclusion, this radio might not be powerful enough for some users. But it has its own uniqueness to make itself attractive. You can have a special experience by using it.
- Built-in firmware– don’t need to program it on a computer
- Add or delete channels– easy to set your preferences
- Belt clip– high portability
- Two antennas– help it more functional
- Three bands– flexible communication
- Shorter battery life– need to buy new batteries
- 5W power output– may not be powerful for some users
7. Baofeng Walkie-Talkie UV-5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio
- 128 Channels 50 CTCSS and 104 CDCSS Dual-Band Display, Dual Freq. Display, Dual-Standby, A/B band independent operation | High/Low TX power selectable: Busy channel lock-out(BCLO)
- Keypad Lock: Channel Step: 2. 5/5/6. 25/10/12. 5/25KHz | Voice companding: 50 CTCSS/ 104DCS coder & tone searching
- Tri-color background light selectable: 0-9 grades VOX selectable. Large LCD Display
Baofeng Tech is good at upgrading its products. As an upgraded version of the model UV-5R, UV-5RTP ranked among the most affordable ham radios in the market today with almost all advanced features. This version has tri-power settings to help you hear loud, clear audio from the receiver.
A remarkable feature is that UV-5RTP is powered by a rechargeable lithium-Ion 1500mAh battery with a battery life of about 12-14 hours. This battery-saving point helps you use it as long as you need. What’s more, the product comes with two batteries. That means when one is in use, you can charge the other. So you don’t have to worry about the battery problem.
As for the channels, it has a capacity of 128 channels, which you can name to improve finding efficiency and set priorities to ensure proper communication. You will never feel boring about it.
Surprisingly, this radio operates on squelch technology that is reliable and effective in making voice clear. The squelch circuitry in this radio is advanced and able to cancel noise during adverse conditions. With this, you’re guaranteed a clear sound even in a noisy environment.
Additionally, it features a prohibitively exclusive TIDRADIO 771 antenna which boosts your tracking range significantly. That feature helps you access all the possible frequencies for easy communication.
But the negative is that its battery power level can affect reach out the range. So if it is in low power, you will have a limited reach.
All in all, it is an advanced radio with multiple functions. If you deal with the battery issue, it could be an ideal choice for you to operate.
- Squelch technology– clear voice without noise
- 128 channels– more choices
- Sturdy structure– durable
- TIDRADIO 771 antenna– better access frequencies
- Long battery life– long work time
- Reach out range– could be affected by low battery level
- Limited frequencies/second –can only scan 3 frequencies each second
What to Consider When Buying a Baofeng Radio?
What is Baofeng radio? And why would you choose Baofeng? Are there enough advantages to using it? Let’s think about these questions briefly – and after that, we can look at the factors you need to consider when choosing one.
Most people use radios for socializing, outdoor operations, professional networking, and emergency wireless communication when the phone fails to work. They are becoming increasingly popular and advanced because of the significant pace it plays in our daily life.
However, you may not be very familiar with Baofeng radio. Baofeng Tech is one of the best Chinese radio tech companies out there, which produces design-versatile and cost-effective radios. So BaoFeng happens to be the most popular hand-held two-way HAM radio on the market.
These radios are quite functional, durable enough, and they come with a reasonable price tag. If you don’t want to be too dependent on a phone, a Baofeng radio could be a good choice.
However, choosing a suitable Baofeng radio in the market could be challenging because there are always too many products and each of them has a very detailed introduction. You may be bothered by specific searching.
Now let’s look at some of the brief and key points to consider when choosing.
Range of Frequency
The range of frequency is a key factor for radio because frequencies determine the functions of radio. Generally, Baofeng designs are mono, dual or tri-band radios which will support FM channels, VHF (Very High-Frequency), and UHF (Ultra-High Frequency). UHF and VHF bands above 30 MHz are licensed for ham uses.
All ham radios operate at different frequencies. UHF radios do better indoors as these waves have the ability to easily pass through obstructions, while VHF is best suited outdoors because VHF waves need open distances for transmission. So ideally, a Baofeng radio that can transmit dual-band frequencies can better meet your requirements.
RX 65-108/ 136-174/ 400-520 MHz
RX 65-108/ 136-174/ 400-520 MHz
RX 65-108/ 136-174/ 400-520 MHz
RX 65-108/ 136-174/ 400-520 MHz
RX 65-108/ 130.00-179.99/ 222.00-225.99/ 400.00-520.99 MHz
RX 65-108/ 136-17/ 400-520 MHz
If you are using a Baofeng radio for telecommunication, you want it to work for a long time so that you won’t be bothered by power-off. So the output power is essential for successful long-range communication.
Usually, a ham radio ranges between 3W and 5W in terms of power output. However, 8W, which is the highest power output, would be the best pick for better coverage. What’s more, you can consider one with adjustable power settings (high/low) to save battery life.
In more time, you may use the radio in outside areas. So a perfect one should be prohibitively tolerant of bad outdoor conditions. You’d better choose one with a strong structure to withstand breakage and damage. A metallic casing could be sturdy enough to allow durability.
Plus, water-resistance is also important. If you meet really terrible weather like a storm, a radio that is waterproof won’t stop working, leaving you in a struggle. To be worse, if the radio without water-resistance gets wet in the rain, you need to buy another one.
Using radios outside at night is usually unavoidable, and under this condition, you may encounter some emergencies and troublesome occasions.
So a backlight display option is super essential to protect you from dangers. Furthermore, BaoFeng has several designs with a large 3-color display, which provides you many nice choices.
The antenna has a big effect on the effectiveness of long-range communication, which is closely related to the efficiency of a radio. If you want to transmit or receive signals over long distances, you should check the power of the antenna.
A hand-held radio with a flexible and strong antenna can boost the signal strength to allow better wireless communication.
Another factor that affects the quality of long-distance communication is what the radio receives. Sometimes you can’t hear clearly from the radio if there is no signal-filter function.
Well, the squelch function in ham radio prevents distortion and unwanted noise from reaching the output speaker unless correct signals are achieved. Thanks to the squelch feature, it will make the portable ham radio silent to prevent the signal from going higher than the preset limit.
And BaoFeng radios feature the Tone receive squelch known as DCS, CTCSS, and DTMF that can produce access tones for a sub-audible repeater.
Many great options to choose from
As you can see, there are many great Baofeng radios on the market to suit almost any requirement. If you have decided you’d like to purchase one but are having trouble choosing, any of the picks in our review would be a great place to start your search.