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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Baofeng UV-5R Help

Reviews Summary for Baofeng UV-5R
Baofeng UV-5R Reviews: 215 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $60
Description: Micro sized dual band 2m/70cm radio.
Product is in production.
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K4CLL Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2015 06:49 Send this review to a friend
Great For The Money  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
For 39.95 you can't beat this little radio. People cry about the programming, but some folks barely can operate the on off switch. It is not a small FT 1000D , but it gets the job done for cheap! The battery last longer than most and I am sure some are defects, but for the power out and everything considered, it works great!
K7ZX Rating: 4/5 Jan 24, 2015 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio for the money!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the UV-5R V2+. For the same price as a BP-8 repack for my old Icom 2-AT I got a brand new dual band HT that really works! It fits in a shirt pocket, weighs about the same as a pair of gloves and runs for a LONG time on the included battery. It "hears" just as well as my FT-817ND and puts out a solid 5 watts on high power. The included cell-type speaker/mic isn't very good--no biggie. The manual gives NO instructions on how to program all the offsets, tones, etc., so I ordered a genuine Baofeng programming cable--about $14. Once I found the correct port on the laptop, programming with CHIRP was a snap. I experienced a few glitches, but inventive programming cured those. You have to be careful to enter EVERYTHING you want the radio to do. Caveat--the "skip" function does not work, so the radio will scan any channels you program, even if you put the "s" on some of them. The "anchor" for the strap (which I don't use) is connected to the metal frame of the radio, so it provides a nice place to clip on a "tiger tail" 1/4 wave wire to use for marginal reception when you're not holding the radio.
WA8MEA Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2015 13:49 Send this review to a friend
For the price, it is worth it.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I base my five stars on a $35 transceiver. One has to be realistic. If for any other reason, the FM band capability alone would be worth the $35 to me and many others. My fellow hams are amazed when I tell them what I am talking on. Crystal clear audio. I am programming manually, mainly because the extra software/cable was a total waste of money. And the freeware online doesn't work much better. However, between discussion forums, the Nifty card I purchased for the radio and the radio's instruction manual, I have been able to piece together the programming of frequencies, offsets, tones and other bells and whistles.
KM4FMK Rating: 3/5 Jan 23, 2015 09:25 Send this review to a friend
Cheap but works well  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had 2 of these radios (one bought, one won) for several months now. I have had a chance to put them through their paces. The same company makes other similar models that has the same list as below (BF-F8+, UV-5R variants, and so on).

1. Cheap price
2. LOTS of extra addons available for low prices (SMA antennas, 3800mAh battery, AAA or AA battery kit, 12VDC power kit, and more)
3. dual band (2m/70cm)
4. FREE programming software available
5. small, but expandable (the 3800mAh battery helps make it bigger if you prefer)
6. Some vendors (409shop) are now selling replacement parts if you don't mind opening it up and soldering it yourself.

1. cheap price brings cheap build quality, do not expect to drop it constantly or leave it out in the extreme heat/humidity/rain and expect it to work after that (if it does, probably not for long).
2. Junk stock antenna, essentially negative gain, only good for a few miles direct line of sight.
3. Like most HTs, the 1 or 4Watt output has very limited distance unless you're out in the open or using aftermarket/external antenna.
4. Manual is useless, poorly translated "chinglish". For a much better manual, do a search online for the BF-F8HP manual (hams worked with Baofeng to produce a much better manual, sadly they only include it with that F8HP).
5. Difficult to program, especially for long time hams used to other radios programming. While others may be "frequency, tone, save", these Baofengs are "frequency, save, tone, offset, offset +/-, save" making it more difficult to manually program. Some radios have automatic offset, these do not.

1. Stock battery (1500-1800mAh) matches other common HTs, providing 12-36 hours of use. Luckily there is an aftermarket 3800mAh battery available which can extend that to 2 days with heavy talking or up to a week with just scanning/monitoring the frequency.
2. Regarding the heat issues some mention: These radios are for short, quick comments, not long winded drawn out conversations lasting 30+ minutes. Typically they do get a little warm, but anyone saying it is too hot to touch after a while has self control issues with their long drawn out diatribes, not a radio problem. We've all heard these hams. If you're one of these kinds, don't bother with these radios.
3. The aftermarket items takes a mediocre radio and turns it into a beast. Stock its only good for a day and a few miles. With an aftermarket or external antenna and the expanded battery, it becomes a longer distance radio lasting for days.

I personally use mine with either the Nagoya NA-701 antenna (NA-771 is too long for this small radio), or the mag mount Tram 1185. I don't talk much so the stock battery typically lasts 2-3 days between charges, with it on 12+ hours per day.
KD0DUJ Rating: 2/5 Jan 21, 2015 14:21 Send this review to a friend
ovreall use  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This radio is a pain to field program and have to use remote speaker mic to xmit and it is not user friendly and is the worst radio ever built.
KK4YMB Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2015 21:51 Send this review to a friend
Your First Ham Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a no frills inexpensive easy to use and easy to program when you purchase a usb programming cable starter radio. Upgrade the stock duck antenna to a nagoya 771. For longer talk times also upgrade to the larger battery.

I have put mine through hell with little regard to its well being just to see if it would last long enough for me to get my $34 shipped out of it.

Surprisingly it has held up to the abuse, and has had absolutely 0 issues in the last year. Everyone should have a couple of these just in case.
K7XRL Rating: 4/5 Jan 17, 2015 18:01 Send this review to a friend
UV5R V2+ version  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Like many others, this was my first radio. It is cheap enough to be disposable, and it works. I have gotten mixed signal reports based on antenna type and location, but with the right antenna and conditions I get into the repeaters just fine with good reports.

They are susceptible to induced noise if you transmit with the radio close to a noise source like a wall wart transformer. Make sure you are clear of noise sources and have a clean power supply.

Programming is not as bad as some make it out to be via the keypad. However CHIRP is a far superior method. Using CHIRP you can program in a welcome message, alphanumeric channel tags, and select default transmit power for each saved channel.

CHIRP also allows you to program band limits, and disable transmit on selected channels. I have some public safety channels and NOAA weather Chan els programmed with transmit disabled so I can use the radio to monitor those frequencies without the risk of accidentally transmitting out of band.

My biggest gripe is the lack of an S meter and the fact that some features cannot be programmed manually. Also the emergency panic button is a waste of a perfectly good button.

The stock antenna works well enough for a small antenna that doesn't catch on everything, but you really need a better antenna to get the most range from it. Fortunately better antennae are cheap too.

Battery life is good for about 2 or 3 days of casual receive only use.

Case construction is solid, if a bit clunky looking. I did have to tighten up the but on the antenna connector after a few weeks of carrying it around, but that was easy enough.

For the price it's a great value. Cheap enough to have a few.
KA8ZYZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2015 15:52 Send this review to a friend
Great value and works well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First off, I won't be replacing my Yaesu FT-60 or FT-250 with the Baofeng UV-5R. But for the price ($33.99/free shipping) it's a steal. It appears to perform very well on 2 meters. I haven't tried 70cm yet.
And once you get into the groove for programming manually, it works very well. For a dual band radio with standard 88-108 FM receive at the specified price, what's not to like?
This is not a radio I would use in a go to/emergency type situation unless it was all that I had available. But it does work and perform well. So well in fact, that I recently ordered another UV-5R and a spare battery. It seems that Baofeng is upgrading the IC's they are using in the UV-5R now. So if you do get one off ebay or otherwise look for the "new improved chip set" in the advertisement.
W0RUS Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2015 18:37 Send this review to a friend
Awsome  Time owned: more than 12 months
$36.10 delivered from Hong Kong to my door. About two weeks waiting time. Programing was a pain, but, at this price and I've owned two of these units now for over three years, you can't beat these HT's. I've even dropped one of them a couple of times from waist high, not even a crack!
Cant go wrong with these HT's !
AB8RL Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2015 18:55 Send this review to a friend
VERY GOOD!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased for $39 from R & L shipped. The radio has exceeded my expectations. Works great! Programs easily with CHIRP. Very good receiver - good audio - easy on the battery. Their are a lot of YOUTUBE videos on the UV-5R that are very helpful. The menu system is not that bad once you understand it. The radio is small - compact and fairly well built for the price. It works for what I wanted. If you told me 5 years ago you will be able to buy a VHF/UHF handheld for $39 I would have said your crazy. Best bang for the buck I ever purchased.
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