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Reviews For: Baofeng/Pofung UV-B6

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

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Review Summary For : Baofeng/Pofung UV-B6
Reviews: 34MSRP: 53
Dualband, Dual Display 136-174 MHz and 400-470 MHz Handi Talkie
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KF6IIU Rating: 2023-05-25
No FCC Certificate, Do Not Buy Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was given this radio. It has good audio quality on RX, long battery life on RX, and the usual Baofeng features. Not totally impossible to set up channels by hand. I use it to monitor local repeaters or listen to FM stations. However, this radio is not FCC certified so it is illegal to use on *any* frequency in the US. It will quite happily transmit on any frequency in its VHF or UHF RX range. It does have a China CMIT ID, 2012FP1945, so you may be able to use it in other countries.

This radio is *not* th33 same as the UV-5 series.
N7OKN Rating: 2016-09-10
Frequency pair programming is excellent Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I haven't read any reviews talking about the programming on this radio. This radio seems to be completely different than the other UV Series radios. All that needs to happen to program in a frequency pair into one of the memories is to enter a frequency in VFO, it's PL tone, and offset. Then the memory button at the bottom works like other main line radios; just two clicks and it's programmed. None of this programming transmit and receive frequencies separately. I wish that Baofeng had written their software this way for their other radios. This feature alone makes it a Best Buy in my opinion, but there are many other features of this radio listed another reviews that makes it a winner.
UT7UX Rating: 2016-07-17
Excellent value but far from an ideal Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I tried UV-B5, the only one version with rotary encoder. What can I say?

1. Value. For about thirty bucks it really is not bad.
2. Audio is good. TX has no serious flaws; RX is clear and loud. Not perfect but good indeed.
3. Rotary encoder (B5 only) and near standard keyboard layout. * 0 # are on their places where everyone expects to see them.
4. Small, lightweight, sturdy body and good battery. Even included antenna is better than ID-51A's antenna.
5. Optimal backlight level of neutral almost white color.
6. Tons of cheap accessories and Kenwood-compatible headsets, programming cables, etc. CHIRP compatible and its own programming software is also available for free.

1. Poor receiver. No, terrible receiver! It meanly becomes deaf when a strong signal presents nearby. You cannot hear any interference; there is no typical garbage you can hear on an overloaded superheterodyne. Nope, the receiver just shuts up and keeps audio off as if nothing is going on. Somewhere far enough you may find the receiver has an excellent sensitivity and catches weak signals well. But in a city where interference is a rule it becomes deaf.
2. Dramatically slow scanning.
3. Space for channel name is limited to six symbols.
4. Inconvenient menu. It seems not possible to set it up w/o manual as menus have not understandable names and options. Programming a memory channel is a real pain; don’t even try to do it and only use PC programming.
5. A vast room for firmware improvement.

Reasons to buy it:
1. It is cheap. You’re risking with near thirty bucks. In worst case you’ll get a fun toy.
2. This could be your third backup radio.
3. This radio could be used in remote areas where is no interference and where its good sensitivity could be welcome.

Reasons not to buy it:
1. If you’re a newbie and have not enough experience with HTs, you may get a false impression. Good radios from big three and other famous brands could be much better. If you’re in budget, try used ones of better quality.
2. You’re going to operate mostly in areas with a strong interference.
3. You’re going to use it with car or base antenna.

I tried my one mostly to use with Bluetooth APRS TNC. In a city it was deaf. Local digi did hear me well but I didn’t hear it at all. The same TNC with TH-F7 (euro version of TH-F6) with same rubber duck did hear digi w/o problems. So I had my one sold while it was in like-new condition. However the price (and rotary knob) forgives a lot so I still give it 4 of 5.
K0JTA Rating: 2015-12-11
Unbeatable!!!!!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had five of the UV-5R series, all but two were different "versions" of the base radio. (The "different versions" had to do with cosmetics, it turned out! -Even though some users of the "new model" of the UV-5R had stressed that the transmit audio was indeed better, fixed, or whatever, I found that they ALL had noticeably poor transmit audio.)

My main complaints of the UV-5R series:
(1) The TRANSMIT AUDIO was quite poor. (This is referenced to on-air reports and by my two service monitors; I was barely able to achieve 5 Khz of TX deviation but only if I spoke very FIRMLY and close to the mic.)
(2) The receiver would "fold up" if I was in a strong RF-rich environment. (Close to my repeater, as an example.)

I first got the UV-B5, as I liked the thought of the rotary knob. (I ignored others complaints that the knob was fussy or intermittent at times.) I found that the UV-B5 had EXCELLENT TRANSMIT AUDIO in comparison to the five UV-5R radios that I had. I also had to admit or agree that the rotary knob was indeed "intermittent" at times. This, plus then fact that this model had to drop the LED in order to add the rotary knob, which is simply DUPLICATING THE ACTION OF THE UP-DOWN BUTTONS on the radio caused me to return the radio to Amazon.

I got a UV-B6 as a replacement. This one also had excellent transmit audio, as compared to the UV-5R series radios.

I have also found that the S-meter actually WORKS! (The UV-5R metering is either going to display a one-bar or all-bars display..!)

The receiver in the UV-B6 (and the UV-B5!) is a lot better in so many ways. The UV-B series receiver does not overload anywhere as easily as the UV-5R series! -As a matter of a fact, I have NOT been able to duplicate the RX overload situation that I had found on my previous five UV-5R series radios.

At first, I did not like the ergonomics of the UV-B5/6 radios. I very quickly changed my opinion, as the slightly rounded case is a lot easier and more comfortable to hold and to handle. (I was surprised!)

I have sold all of my UV-5R radios!!

I purchased a second UV-B6 from Amazon for well under $30 as a hot spare.

For the money, this is an unbeatable unit!!
N0DZQ Rating: 2015-11-28
UV-B5 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had the option of the B5 or thr B6. I chose the B5 because of the rotary selector. I replaced the OEM antenna with a Diamond SRJ77CA and was happy with the performance. So happy, matter of fact, I ordered a second B5. If you want to pay for a brand name hand held... go for it. These work just fine for my needs.
KE5UT Rating: 2015-09-09
Impressive Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is the second UV-B6 that I got; I returned the first one due to performance issues. QC issues make the radio a hit or miss but when it is a hit, it is good. (Price may have something to do with QC, though). Hot receiver, good xmit audio, long battery life and of all things, a good FM receiver. I prefer the flashlight to another tuning knob. Frequently I lock the radio when on my waist so not much of a loss without the knob. Overall, when it works, it is a really good buy at about $32. I don't miss the VX-6r which this replaced.
M0KFO Rating: 2015-06-14
Works well, excellent value Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Well, first off, I don't know what people expect for £20/$30 delivered. I've had mine for over 6 months and it has been faultless.

It certainly is as well made as the big three. Secondly, it isn't a scanner and isn't marketed as one, so why would anybody compare it to one?

The RX is superb, much better than the other Baofeng models and the s-meter actually works, instead of showing +5 or +0. The B5 model (better than B6) actually has a rotary type VFO control.

I also have a UV-5R type radio as well, the Intek KT-980HP, it is like the BF-F8HP, but without all the problems. The B5 is far superior to that model, except power.

The front end is by far the best on these radios, only being matched by the newer GT-3 models.

Yes, it does have a voice feature, just turn it off if you don't like it, don't expend all your time and energy posting about it.

What is there not to like, it's 20 notes delivered and works well. There is free software (CHIRP) to use and makes it easy to program.

Now, the big three have a lot of their stuff made in China for them, but they keep their current price tag, guess who's being taken for a ride?
KG4ZUD Rating: 2015-06-12
Pretty good for the price. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This review is about the UV-B5, the version with a rotary selector knob instead of the white LED, and it has an emergency button. Otherwise, these are the same radio.

First of all, this does NOT have the quality of a Japanese radio. Anybody who says that they will never buy a "big three" radio again must not have very demanding needs. With that being said, this IS a pretty good radio **for the price**. Yes, it works (mostly). But there are some cases where this radio falls short and an Icom , Kenwood, or Yaesu would work just fine. It is up to you to determine if these cases matter enough to spend the extra money.

First, the good. This unit seems sturdy and reasonably well built. It is a nice, comfortable size, and fits well in the hand. It has a broadcast FM tuner, and the speaker is loud and sounds great. It has an actual volume knob (no buttons to press), plus the volume knob doubles as a power switch when you turn it. No soft buttons that cause your battery to be slowly drained even when turned off.

Now, for the worst of the bad -- scanning. First, you CANNOT set or clear scan skipping on any channel without hooking it up to a computer. HORRIBLE. Do you scan the local repeaters? Is there a QSO or net going on that you want to skip scanning? Too bad unless you want to hook this up to your computer and re-program it. HORRIBLE. This is just a firmware fix, and yet they have not fixed it. And if you ARE scanning, the scan speed is pretty slow -- 2 or 3 channels per second. For some this might be OK, but you should know about it. This is supposedly the case for the UV-5R also. Also, according to Miklor (one of the leading experts on Chinese radios), you should not use CTCSS on the receive side unless you REALLY need to because it is not always reliable, especially during scan.

The next bad spot is the RF receive performance. I tried hooking this up to a small mag-mount car antenna, and sometimes something is coming in so strong that it swamps the front-end. When hooked up to the included ducky, it receives fine. My Yaesu VX-3R work perfectly hooked up to the same antenna in the same location using the same signals, so Yaesu knows how to make a front end. It is amazing to see the Yaesu receive a repeater full quieting while the Baofeng (Pofung) hears nothing but static. With that being said, I doubt that you would have a problem with any HT antennas. This is just something to be aware of. According to PD0AC (great blog, btw), this unit still does FAR better than the UV-5R, so this is probably the best of the cheapie HTs.

The final things are just minor annoyances. There is a "voice" feature (which you should turn off) that announces the channel you are on, as well as speaking menu options. The thing is, most menu items have voice names, but not all. Why would it be that hard to fix? Still, this is only an indication of the lack of attention put into the firmware, as you should probably leave the voice off. The other thing is the stupid "alarm" button on the top. If you actually needed help, you have just jammed the channel of the people who would be likely to help you. This seems more like a good source of accidental QRM. Also, the channel selector knob seems a little stiff. To fix this, pull it off and push it back on, just not as snug. It appears that the knob, when pushed all the way on, touches the case. Not a huge deal, but just another indication of lack of attention to detail.

So, overall, it gets four stars. It makes a great backup HT. If you do not scan much and don't need to use an external antenna, you may be quite happy with this. It is not anywhere near the quality of a Yaesu, but it is also 1/5 the price. It has warts, but if you can live with them, this is a good deal. At this price, it is practically disposable, so you can feel free to take this some place that you would be afraid to take a more expensive unit.
OZ9ELS Rating: 2014-12-09
Best China radio I have owned Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The radio is a Baofeng UV-B5 (Same but with channel-dial and without LED)
Compared with any of my previously owned HT its sound quality on both transmit and receive is as good or better (This includes Alinco, Yaesu, Icom and other china radios).
With a battery time of more than 5 days, packed with all nessasary features, nice casing this is my absolute favorite HT.
I do my radio programming with a standard Kenwood-like-HT-Cable and the free program CHIRP - This is better than any Yaesu program I have stumbled upon.
I do not expect this radio to last for 10 years, but the cost/quality is still good.

Display is only 6 digit, 14 segment (not dotmatrix)
The screws for the belt clip is too short.
Manual left things to be desired.

For the price of 26 GBP send from UK this is a winner in my book.
KJ7WT Rating: 2014-09-28
Great rig for the price Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I actually have the UV-B5. I also did the backlight mod, which works great. I use this radio for pretty much all my vhf/uhf work (casual QSO's, nets, etc.) and it has performed flawlessly. I bought some SMA/BNC adapters and have a variety of antennae, including a J-pole, a 5/8 wavelength groundplane, a mag-mount dual-band mobile, and a couple of on-radio types. The stock antenna works pretty good, although I use a 7.5" aftermarket whip for the most part. I have bought an earpiece with an inline mic, and a speaker mic, both of which work well. I gave it a 5/5 rating because it works well, was inexpensive, has so far been completely reliable, has good battery life, is rugged (don't ask how many times I've dropped it!) and has good audio. I would like to have an extended-life battery, and a combo battery/12V charger setup, and perhaps we will see that happen in the future.