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Reviews For: Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R
Reviews: 267MSRP: 60
Micro sized dual band 2m/70cm radio.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
BI1PUL Rating: 2023-06-15
A Chinese person's view of UV5R Time Owned: more than 12 months.
In fact, in China, we call this machine "God machine", which is not praising this machine, but lamenting the high cost performance of this machine, in China, this machine has ¥100, converted into US $14, that is to say, only spend ¥100 can become a ham. This greatly lowers the entry barrier to ham, and even some people who are not ham, but hotel managers or off-road clubs will buy this machine, because this machine has a keyboard and screen, easy to call. But the quality of this machine is really not comparable to Yaesu and icom machines, the harsh sound and poor logic of use are the shortcomings of this machine. ham in China, no one will take this machine as the main tool, most people just buy it to understand ham's hobby, and will buy a better machine to replace him soon, and then the UV5R will become a backup machine. Anyway, this machine is worth trying for those just getting to know ham, it can let you know what ham is first, but I definitely wouldn't recommend this machine as your main machine in the long run.
KC3TEC Rating: 2022-11-20
Great radio for the money Time Owned: more than 12 months.
In spite of all the negativity ive read on many forums, they are a decent radio.
And at such a low cost ( even for someone on fixed income) if it does get broken its easy to replace.
At times ive had to spend some time in the bucket of a lift truck or jlg manlift, and if the radio dropped and broke i would probably be annoyed more than anything.
I do know you might get the cold shoulder from some lids when they find out your talking to them on a baofeng.
For a first timer, yes i do recommend them,
Also if they do get a better radio later, it doesnt hurt to keep the baofeng as a spare.
I own the uv9r plus, with a fresh battery its output is 9 watts ( average tests of multiple units range from 7 to 10 watts) still more than the ht issued by the fire dept.
While its not a drake, yeasu, or an icom its still a good bang for the buck
But i do recommend two things, get a good antenna, and get or build a good filter.
9W6KGR Rating: 2022-11-20
It does the job Time Owned: more than 12 months.
In short, this model is dirt cheap and does the job I want. I have been a 4x4 expedition driver since 2011. We travelled to some remote parts of Borneo (Malaysia & Indonesia). A reliable handy is compulsory as we want to avoid being stuck in the middle of nowhere. I am also really particular about the ability of the radios that I used on these trips. I have tested many handy models, including Yaesu FT-270R, FT-4X, Wouxun KG-UV1DP, TYT TH-F8, Baofeng UV-5R and many others. It does the job, in this case, which means - high ToT for about 180 secs is not a problem, duplex mode is also excellent, and the batteries last long (at least 9-10 simplex hours). I have used this model since 2011, upgraded the default antenna to Diamond RH951S for better reception, and replaced the battery with 3800 mAh (I have 4-5 3800 mAh batteries as backups). Thus far, the model has yet to let me down terribly. I keep one unit in my sedan car and one in my spouse's car.

From the 28th of Oct - the 6th of Nov, 2022, I was with the Medical Team at Borneo Safari 2022 - As the main radioman, I looked after 11 4x4 cars that carried 36 crews, including surgeons, medical officers, staff nurses, and drivers. All the vehicles are equipped with VHF rigs, and the crews hold at least a handy VHF. The main role of the medic team is to support the competitors, competing throughout the thick jungle. I have the privilege to operate and observe the use of many handies, including this Baofeng UV-5R. This handy is sturdy and can be fully relied upon. We brought at least two or more spare batteries. The radio performed (simplex mode) without failure throughout the awful terrain - serious rains, deep mud and river crossings. Bear in mind that these doctors did not know how to operate the handies that much. However, the user-friendly features of the radio made my job run easier than I presumed.
KB7QDX Rating: 2021-08-23
Don't drop one but, definitely buy a few. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've purchased 4 of these radios, 3 uv-5r's and 1 bt-5r. They are a winner when you consider feature vs price. Voice feedback and Extremely long battery life are the big pluses with this radio. I've given them to my son's and retain two myself. All of my other HTs are Yaesu.
They are tedious to manually program but, with Chirp a breeze. For only $25, one goes into my Get Home Bag and one sits in the basement for my wife during tornado warnings. I'll probably pick up one or two more for gifts or as backup comms for the cars.
K3BR Rating: 2021-07-23
A new Baofeng UV-5R HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Licensed in the '70's, so I've personally been through alot of gear, including VHF/UHF. I have to give this HT a must have rating. NEVER mind all of the whining and crying re: manual programming. Watch a couple of you tubes and patiently follow along, punching keys. You'll get it. If you don't, trash your ticket, you don't belong. It works fine although I wouldn't immerse it in water or drop it on concrete floors. But, if it stops working, I shall place it in the round file and get another. For only $24.00 (that includes tax).
73 es Best DX de K3BR.
M7DUN Rating: 2021-03-20
It's cheap! It's plastic! Yet it's fantastic! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The UV-5R should be a stock for any ham. They are cheap, cheerful and excellent for what they are. A $30 HT.

Mine was my first radio and I've upgraded the antenna to a Nagoya NT-771. That made a big difference. It's no longer my main radio, but it's the one I have available in the background just to listen in.

If you can afford better, there are a lot better out there. But for what it is, there is so much to love about it.
N7KOM Rating: 2020-11-23
Good for the money, but you'll outgrow it Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This was my first radio. Great little rig, but I found myself quickly outgrowing it. I discovered SOTA (summits on the air) and it is terrible for that. It is easily overwhelmed by nearby FM signals.

If you want a radio to keep in your go bag, get it, but plan on spending more money for your day to day rig.
KJ4DGE Rating: 2020-11-23
Still keep going Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Like VE5CQ stated. These radios are what are getting future HAMs into the hobbie. Have bought and basically given away many to a VEC who uses them for merit badge work for the BSA. They can take a lot of abuse and keep on working. If they stop working, no one is out a ton of money. I agree also that the original UV5R that took so many negative hits from the ham community when it was first released years ago is pretty much gone. Even these 25.00 radios offer superior updates today. Yes they are not a TH-74A or a FT-65, never meant to be.

If you want to compare oranges to oranges then buy a better radio but the UV5R will still be around. It has its place in the world as a much as a burner cell phone. Cheap, does its job, and is not cried over if its lost or broken.
VE5CQ Rating: 2020-11-22
An Historic Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
More hams on fixed income, retired, shut-ins and Handi-Hams have gotten on the air with this one single radio than any other in history. I recently gave an exam to a visually-impaired op, and for a mere $35 he had a radio with voice readout. No one can beat that. No one. When a young man who has spent his life in the dark can become completely proficient with a radio in just a few hours, that counts big!

Better still, the radio itself is being constantly upgraded in terms of both software and circuitry. The first UV-5Rs look the same as the new, but have earlier engineering. If you get a fresh/new radio today, it is vastly improved. Intermod and selectivity issues are a thing of the past. You can read the Version number by referencing the instructions...which become more readable with every upgrade by Baofeng.

While not quite as durable as an Icom 2AT, you'd be surprised how much abuse it can take in terms of heat and cold and shock. One examiner's UV-5R was mistakenly left behind in a parked pickup truck all winter in temps as low as -46. When he found it in the spring, the truck wouldn't turn over, but he clicked the UV-5R on and immediately worked the local repeater. Another examiner and I give them as gifts to new hams, and over the years, they all still work.

Many hams officiously suggest one must spend a lot of money to be a ham. None have yet to impress me with their homebrew skills. I personally know hams with top licenses in numerous countries/languages who are proficient in CW at 45 wpm who only use a UV-5R. Expensive equipment does NOT equal operating skill. In fact, most lids have the very best equipment, though, thankfully, the reverse is not always true. I also own some radios by the big names, but tend to use the UV-5R most, thinking if it breaks or if I lose it I'm not out much. Problem is, they just keep working. That and the broadcast quality audio have made a surprised convert out of me.

AB4KA Rating: 2020-08-06
When you have to get the cheapest radio possible Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this out of morbid curiosity, thinking "for $25, how bad can it be?"

It works, it's cheap and it's a good back-up (I keep it in my backpack when I go to work so I've got communications if a zombie apocalypse breaks out), but I really wouldn't want it as my primary rig. The transmit audio is poor and the radio is extremely susceptible intermodulation interference, and it's widely known for having dirty transmitted rf signals (see the ARRL info on it).

I really don't recommend this as a first or primary radio, especially for new hams. Spend a few bucks and get a better radio. HT's of much better quality aren't all that expensive anymore in the grand scheme of things. You can do better. A lot better. Recommending these to new hams is doing them a disservice.