- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

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

Reviews Summary for Baofeng UV-5R
Baofeng UV-5R Reviews: 223 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $60
Description: Micro sized dual band 2m/70cm radio.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Baofeng UV-5R.

Page 1 of 23 —>

VE7REN Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2014 19:52 Send this review to a friend
i agree,,junk  Time owned: more than 12 months
I tried to like this radio,but it is cheap feel,poor sensitivity,and just plain junk.. sold it,and bought another yaesu handy.. love it .
N0FPE Rating: 0/5 Dec 17, 2014 16:01 Send this review to a friend
yes Junk  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have to agree..these toys are junk. I bought one just to have in the go bag. You know, something cheap so i would not care if it got busted. well I had NO problem programming it with the Chirp software and a true to life Kenwood programming cable, not a POS off ebay. BUT if I used it for more than 5 minutes it got hot and the screen would start blanking out. And of course the stock antenna is a big piece of junk. After fighting the screen problem for a few months I sold the POS to someone else. even at the cheap price its not worth the trouble. I sure as heck would NEVER rely on one of these junk radios in a real emergency. I will stick with my Motorola and even the Alinco handhelds that I have. As they say " you get what you pay for" and with the UV-5R your paying for junk and thats what you get.
W4HH Rating: 0/5 Dec 17, 2014 14:04 Send this review to a friend
Junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This thing is junk. I bought one from Amazon three months ago; here is my experience.

Yes, you can turn it on, punch in a frequency and listen to the traffic. You can even punch in a repeater offset and work through repeaters with it. But that's about it.

If you want to load it up with several repeater pairs (some of which require tone to open the repeater), a couple of simplex frequencies, a weather channel, and a few public service frequencies, be prepared to be VERY frustrated. Programming this thing with the instructions provided or even with the instructions you find on the 'net is all but impossible and requires the patience of Job. You will carefully punch button after button only to find the radio decided it didn't like the sequence and you're back to square one.

There is programming software available for free download -- after which you must download the drivers and purchase a USB cable. Even then, programming is iffy. I tried three computers -- one running XP, one Vista, and one Win 7. Downloaded the software and drivers, bought a USB cable from eBay, and could not get it to work on any of the three computers. After several times of uninstalling and reinstalling, I was able to program the radio with the XP computer.

To make matters more confusing, there are different models of this thing -- there's the UV-5, UV-5R, UV-5A, and God only knows how many other variations -- programming and button functions vary from model to model -- so much so there is confusion even among the "experts" who post instructions to the various Baofeng blogs.

Earlier today, I tried to add a couple of repeater pairs and delete one manually. I wound up deleting everything in memory.

The radio with the USB cable, antenna, battery, and charger are now in my garbage can.

If you want a superb VHF-UHF handheld with expanded receive coverage, go for the Yaesu FT-60R. It sells for $149 from ham radio dealers. The FT-60R is a proven Japanese design that is now being manufactured in China under Japanese quality control. The FT-60R has been around for years; easy to program; reliable programming software available from RT Systems; many accessories available. And, unlike the Baofeng junk, the FT-60R will take a lot of abuse -- it's a REAL handheld radio, not a junk toy. (Or, buy from ebay a Yaesu FT-51 -- probably the best VHF/UHF handheld ever made).

By the way, I have been licensed since 1958. I've owned a lot of equipment -- HF, VHF, UHF, antenna farms, linear amps, BIG antennas, separate xmtrs and rcvr, trncvrs, little antennas, fixed, mobile, handheld, homebrew from scratch, kit, and commercial gear. I know junk when I see it and this is junk.
LISTENER007 Rating: 4/5 Nov 26, 2014 01:43 Send this review to a friend
Nothing to show off about but not bad for the price..!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this UV5R radio as the result of seeing so many reviews, most good and a few not so good. I simply figured that on average it had to be worth the try and if it doesn't work out, I wont cry over the loss of money because this radio, for what you get, costs next to nothing. On most more well known brands, we're expecting good points to surface immediately so the natural thing is to now look for the bad points. I mean we can never be totally happy with a great radio, can we..?? We have to find something wrong with it, even if it's just for our own vanity.. Well with the UV5R, first time fire up was an unknown quantity and I didn't know quite what to expect.

It looks quite a nicely built unit, super compact and apparently full of features. It does look very similar to a radio with another more well known brand name on it, and indeed appears to be a clone, but then again, what consumer product is truly unique today. Programming the UV5R took a little longer than expected, mainly because the manual that came with it was quite scant. Many settings were simply left up to the owners imagination as to how they should be used. OK, most of it is second nature to us hams and/or anyone with an ounce of knowledge upstairs but a few settings needed a proper description before a proper setting could be employed, and that's where the owners manual fell flat on its face, it doesn't have any in depth description at all. I have noticed that all my Chinese made radios share this common poor feature with their manuals. Most Japanese radio manuals go out of their way to give you almost too much info whereas it seems Chinese manuals go out of their way to give you next to nothing..

The UV5R has 128 memory channels, easily filled by me and once set, the radio could now be put to task. Oh by the way, my UV5R suffered from the audio mute phenomena, whereby there was no audio for some reason, no matter what you did. It all stemmed from menu option No8 - Button or Keypad BEEP - Set this to "ON" if you are suffering the same trouble and your audio will most likely return. You'll just have to live with a beep sound when certain buttons or features are used..

Price was this radios biggest draw card. It cost peanuts (but you don't get a monkey thrown in for free - Hahahaha). No use really putting a price in here as they are getting cheaper every time I look. Ok ok, I handed over the equivalent of about $40 US for mine (Oct 2014) when at one stage about a year ago and even as close as six months ago, they are almost double that. For such a low priced radio of this nature you'd expect to get a toy of something that could be absolute rubbish but you actually get a very nicely made and featured unit which is aggressively marketed and although you don't get a silk purse, you get far more than a sows ear..

Good points...
* Receive sensitivity is fantastic
* Good audio from the tiny speaker (for a H/H radio ayway)
* Battery life is truly great. You get the equal of about 1 hour per every 100ma of the batteries rated output e.g,, the 1800ma battery yields up to about 18 hours & the 3800ma battery gives upwards of 38 hours of "listening" with "some" PTT'ing to boast about
* Very small and compact - fits into the smallest pocket

Not so good points...
*Selectivity takes a bit of a dive with the expense of the great sensitivity. This radio can overload a bit in busy traffic, bringing on some unwanted noise and interfering with your listening
* Squelch has to be set via the menu. Rotary knobs are far better for this important necessity
* The "dual" display monitoring thing is strange to say the least. You have two VFO displays upper and lower,, so a dual band display - right..!! Well Yes and No. Yes, because you can monitor both but No because as soon as one jumps into life the UV5R locks onto that one and the other is blocked out until the monitored one ceases life, then the radio quickly searches both displays again for the first signs of life. If it happens to be on the other display this time, it will lock onto that one, so it is very possible to half listen to two conversations between two different QSO'ing groups or sets of individuals, totally confusing you as to what's being discussed and by whom. It's happened to me on several occasions, jumping from one VFO display to the other in this manner. For the first few days, I thought my radio was faulty because of this slightly weird feature, until I found out it was "SO".. You can't have dual simultaneous receive. It reminds me of somebody standing in the shower with a raincoat on - what's the point..?? It's almost a bogus feature really, or is it just strangely "unique"...

Highly annoying point - Just the ONE...
As mentioned - the "audio mute". This happens to "some" UV-xx's and is brought on by turning OFF the keypad/button BEEP - menu option 8.. So, if you had audio, then had not, and you remember turning the BEEP function OFF at some stage, roughly at a similar time as you lost your audio,, turn it back ON, and it will be fixed - some strange and weird science going on here.. This cost me many hours of frustration trying to remedy it but I finally did it, with several four letter words thrown in for free (some in everyday use and the others made up along the way)..

Apart from the above good and not so good, I kind of really like the UV5R. It's tiny but full of useful features and really performs well, if you set all the small niggles aside. If you just set and forget and then just use it, I reckon you'll more than get your money's worth out of this radio. Undoubtedly, the best feature is its cost, or the lack of it, making it truly well worth looking at.

Just remember though that you are paying very little, so DON'T expect absolute perfection. You wont get it here. You WILL however, get a functional little beauty though. I'm sure of that...
N8ZEE Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2014 17:49 Send this review to a friend
Great Value  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 3, my buddies, 11 of them have at least one. I have two Yaesu radios, and you cannot compare them with the Baofengs in how they are built, but holy cow, look at the price difference. My radios and my buddies have had nothing go wrong with them, and the acc, for the radios, batteries, are really low cost. I have used Baofeng radios for over 14 months, and nothing has gone wrong with them. I have one in each car, and one in the house, I always take one with me hiking or geocaching. Give one a try, you will not go wrong.
G0APM Rating: 0/5 Oct 31, 2014 10:54 Send this review to a friend
Junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

Harsh words but after trying 4 in an attempt to get a good one I gave up.

Various faults:
Failed to program
LED not working
UP button not working

I bought the radio for a friend and ended up with a millstone around my neck trying to sort the damn thing out.

Just to add. I own a UV-5R+ which has had no such problems and works perfectly.

Was supplied by a well known supplier which was fully "Fulfilled". I nearly wore their damn locker out.

But an FT-60 instead.
N8ZEE Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2014 20:25 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Have 3, have purchased 7 more for friends after they saw how mine worked. Everyone still happy, and a couple of them bought more for members of there family.. I can truly say, the best investment you can make for the money. I have two Yaesu VX-6, which are better made, waterproof, but I leave the Baofengs in both cars, and one in my pack. I look at them as throwaways if something goes wrong. Invest in one and you will not be sorry.
N7IBC Rating: 0/5 Oct 4, 2014 15:56 Send this review to a friend
2nd Boefang piece of garbage  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having received a Boefang BF-F8+ last week which failed to program or even be recognize by the computer, I figured the UV5R was a better bet.
So, in my infinite wisdom,(lacking),I ordered in a UV5R to replace it. It looked good, felt okay, but, it had a dead receiver, right out of the box. I tried a reset, and still dead. I am done with these, at least based on the track record at this point.I do have a UV82L and it works okay for right now.I am not hopeful for a survival from these two past experiences but will stay hopeful for this one.
N3IG Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2014 05:23 Send this review to a friend
UV-5RA Great Value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I could not resist, a $35 dual band. I have wasted more money than that before so if I had to throw it away, live and learn.

After getting it I actually thought about selling my high priced HTs. Mine has better receive than my FT-60 or TH-F6A and everyone tells me that it sounds fine on transmit. I know a lot of hams that own at least one and only one has had a failure.

I agree with the comments about using Chirp, I hit something in the menu and changed the language to some kind of oriental and could not begin to read anything to reset it. Luckily I had my configuration saved in Chirp and a download to the radio saved the day.

Would I recommend? The Kenwood is sold and the Yaesu is in the box, the UV-5RA is with me everyday.
G3VGR Rating: 4/5 Jul 19, 2014 10:46 Send this review to a friend
Good value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought mine for 35 at the Friedrichshafen rally. It was easy to program with CHIRP. I changed the supplied rubber duck for a Nagoya NA-701 and I'm very pleased with this rig on both 2m & 70cm. Originally, I wanted a FT60R, but at less than 1/3 of the price, the UV-5R is all I need for my infrequent visits to the VHF & UHF bands
Page 1 of 23 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.