note #5: 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.
So here we go with another radio review…maybe boring to some…tantalizing to others. And you may be disappointed when you are done reading this article. But…oh well….
This is the first substantial improvement in this line of Baofeng line radios. I started out years ago recommending the Baofeng UV-5R radio…I still highly recommend the Baofeng UV-5R radio.
So why am I writing this review? Ah, yeah…you might want this new version of the radio…if you have the need.
Technically the name of this radio is “BTECH UV-5X3” but don’t let that confuse you…it is a Pofung/Baofeng. And made by Fujian Nanan Baofeng Electronic Co in China. Yup, China. Now, that might not be a bad thing…I just wanted you to be aware of it. “BTECH” is just the American distributor of Baofeng radios. Pafung was originally created to be the international arm of Baofeng. So, Pofung, Baofeng, BTECH…all the same radio made in the same manufacturing plant in China.
You already know I love the Baofeng UVf-RA radio. If you haven’t already read that post <click here>. That article will give you a great background to build on…and allow about 85% of the BTECH UV-5X3 Radio to be understood.
Difference between UV-5R and UV-5X3 –
The addition of the 1.25M band and that is the only difference by in large. What is the 1.2M band? It is the 222MHz – 225MHz range of frequencies.
This frequency range is open to even Technician level licensees.
There is also another difference but far more minor. It is called “Sync” display. It allows you to program your radio to show Channel Name and the Frequency on the display. Yes, you lose the ability to display the second channel when you are in Sync mode.
And also, you cannot display three bands at the same time. You can’t monitor three bands at the same time.
Ease of Use –
This radio is every bit as easy to use at the Baofeng UV-5RA radio. And it has a couple extra features as well. I won’t get into them because they are so minor and I don’t use them.
Accessory Compatibility –
All Baofeng UV-5R accessories are supposed to be compatible with this tri-band cousin. However, as I have written about over the years…beware. Some batteries fit, other don’t. If you buy from Amazon then you can easily return anything that doesn’t work or fit right.
Battery Life –
Should be the same, or close to it, as the Baofeng UV-5RA. But, it will be better than the UV-5RMHP or BF-F8HP,,,if you are running those radios on their “high” power setting.
OK, down to the basics…Should you buy this radio?
No – Unless you have a specific reason for needing the 222MHz – 225MHz range of frequencies this radio is not worth the 150% higher price than the Baofeng UV-5RA radio. So, is there a need or mission for you using the 222MHz – 225MHz range of frequencies? If there isn’t then don’t buy the radio. Buy more Baofeng UV-5RA radios instead…or better or more accessories for the Baofeng UV-5RA radio.
Yes – If you have a specific reason for needing the 222MHz – 225MHz range of frequencies this radio is worth it.
Before you answer the mission/need for the 222MHz – 225MHz range of frequencies…write down that reasoning. Does it make sense? Can you get by on the hundreds and hundreds of other frequencies available on the Baofeng UV-5RA radio?
OK, now that you did that homework…you can make your decision and feel comfortable with it.
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