note: over the next several days I will be posting a number of articles on handheld radios…specifically Baofeng…and which is the best to buy. Hold off buying any radio until you’ve read all the articles. You will be glad you waited.
OK…more radio stuff…hope you are ready for it.
So what about this radio? It is the latest version of its incredible grandfather…the Baofeng UV-5R. With an additional feature or two…and more power. I am not going to make this review painful or long…so here goes…
The primary difference, the only one worth going into detail about is the increase in power.
The original Baofeng work off of high/low power setting (4w/1w). This version has three power settings high/medium/low (8W, 4W, 1W). However, if you rad my review of the Baofeng UV-5RMHP radio that appeared first in 2016 and resurrected yesterday, you see where the antenna makes a huge difference the actual power you get when transmitting. And remember also, “power” doesn’t make a whole lot of difference when receiving…power when transmitting it the key.
Ease of Use –
As I have written about before…the entire Baofeng UV5 family is very easy to use. Well, easy to use if:
- You have it programmed correctly
- You use software to program it
- You use the manual(s) that I have produced
- You actually take the time to train yourself on the radio
- You keep familiar with the radio’s operational capability be using it as often as practical.
Bottom line…the radio is easy to use.
Accessory Compatibility –
Well, officially all the accessories that are compatible with the UV5 family are compatible with this radio as well. And just as predictably…some are, some aren’t. As I’ve written about before, sometimes accessories don’t fit exactly right…mostly batteries. Buy the accessory you want, try it, if it doesn’t fit right send it back. That’s why I love doing business at Amazon.
Battery Life –
If you run on high power all the time you will get less life out of this radio’s batteries than previous, lower power, versions of this radio. Batteries are fairly inexpensive so just buy more batteries if you need, and will be operating on, the high power setting.
If you don’t currently own a handheld radio this is a radio to seriously consider. It has a great pedigree and plenty of accessories to make it very useful. But, at $63 for the radio…it is well more than double the price of the Baofeng UV-5R radio. For me…if there were four members of my family and I was somewhat limited on funds…I would buy 4 Baofeng UV-5R radios rather than 1-1/2 Baofeng BF-F8HP radios.
That being said, if I $250 available to buy radios for my family of four, I would…Oh, wait…I would still buy the Baofeng UV-5R radio (4 of them) and and use the other $155 for much needed accessories.
All that being said…If I had the money and the NEED for 8wats of transmitting power then I would buy the Baofeng BF-F8HP Radio…but only if there was the need for the higher power capability.
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