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Reviews For: Baofeng/Pofung BF-F8+

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

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Review Summary For : Baofeng/Pofung BF-F8+
Reviews: 12MSRP: $38 - $55 depending on dealer
Not a UV-5R copy! Has upgraded chipset like the GT-3 and UV-82. Same case style as UV-5R so previous UV-5R accessories will fit. Better performance than UV-5R models.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K4DFH Rating: 2016-09-11
Very Impressed! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Price ~ $26.00
Audio ~ ****
Transmit ~ Untested
Functionality ~ *****
Durability ~ *****
Documentation ~ **

As I came out of a long period of inactivity, I dug out my old Yaesu FT-470. As luck would have it, the battery was too far gone to take a charge. As I shopped for a battery, I found them pretty pricey; $27 to $35. I resorted to Ebay. As I searched, I couldn't find a deal on the battery, But I found the Baofeng BF-F8+ for less than the price of the cheapest Yaesu battery I had found. Not expecting much of a Chinese radio at this price I quickly checked a few reviews. They seemed favorable, so I bought one. Even after the favorable reviews, I wasn't expecting much; I was pleasantly surprised!

This little radio is built like a brick! I *is* all plastic, but it is solid. I have only one complaint, and it is minor. It has an inverted display, and the backlight doesn't stay stay on as long as I would like. You can, however, press and hold the flashlight (yes, it even has a flashlight) button to light the backlight. This also cancels the squelch, but that is a minor annoyance. I was concerned about reviews that said it is difficult to program. I didn't find this to be true. Programming from the menu is straightforward once you learn the abbreviations. I have not yet been able to get CHIRP to recognize it. I use Linux, so I haven't tried the programming software that came with the radio. Audio is clear (checked on the, yes, FM broadcast receiver), if not quite as full as I would like. 2m is not active in my area, and I have tried several days and have not found a soul to give me a radio check, though it does key the repeaters. I will edit when I get a radio check. Battery life is nothing short of phenomenal!

The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is documentation. It is pretty clear as far as it goes, but it is not very thorough. For example, there are clear instructions on how to program the memories, but it is not clear how to call them, and there are no instructions at all on operations.

All in all, except for the documentation, I would say it is a great little radio. It seems comparable to my FT-470 and at the $26 I paid for it, it came in for less than the Yaesu battery. I found an extended battery for $10 on Ebay For less than the price of the most expensive Yaesu battery, I got the radio and *2* batteries. I don't think you can beat the value.
KF5SKS Rating: 2015-06-22
Great Value Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought my BF-F9v2+ on Amazon. Works reasonably well for what it is. I have Yaesu HT that receives a bit better, but that is likely due to the difference in antennas. I have tested it on 2M and 70cm without any issues or failures to perform. Have upgrade antenna coming which should help with the receive.
VE5EDE Rating: 2015-06-11
Good Radio...Disappointing Display Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This radio is billed as being an upgrade over the UV-5R. Looks the same, feels the same, takes the same accessories, which is why I bought it. My subjective observation is that the receiver sensitivity and selectivity are slightly improved.

Again, when one reads the instruction manual (and many hams don't) before posting a review, you won't end up ranting at length about the mono-colour display. That is this radio's major selling point. And a beautiful display it is too....when the light is on. When the light is off, only bright sunlight can give you the faintest clue as to the reading on the display. Pretty, but simply impractical.

One point off for the display. Otherwise a darn good radio for the price.

73 de VE5EDE
KT0DD Rating: 2015-04-23
Good Value Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought mine (5 Watt version) from Radio Mart before he quit carrying them. Mine is a BF-F8+ but has the tri-color display which I questioned as a re-labeled UV-5R so I emailed Baofeng China and they said they actually made both the tri-color and black / white type display BF-F8+.

Mine has been a good value, working over a year now, and still going strong. Only glitch is the number 0 memory loses it's programming randomly. Keypad is wearing as I carry it in a shirt pocket.

I'm buying BF-F8HP's from Baofeng Tech now as they have upgraded theirs with a better antenna and battery, and they say they always have the most current firmware models in stock as they have theirs shipped in by air and not by boat.

For $49.95 you can't expect Motorola quality for this price, but it is much better than a bubble pack radio.

Earlier 4-star review posted by KT0DD on 2014-08-10

I tried a UV-5R but sold it as my Wouxun radios performed better. Bought a BF-F8+ just to see about any improvement and was pleased. It's almost as good as my KG-UV2D Wouxun for 1/2 the price. Still comes with crappy UV-5R antenna so I swapped it out with the UV-82L antenna and it was a great improvement. For the price (including antenna upgrade) it is a great value. I really like being able to use my leftover UV-5R accessories (6 X AA battery pack and 3600mah Li-Ion Battery) YMMV
AF5CC Rating: 2015-04-23
Worthless Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought one of these off of Amazon-It was the BF-F9HP, which is the same HT. Wouldn't even go to the 440-450mhz range, so it couldn't be used on US repeaters. Did a full reset, still wouldn't do it. Luckily Amazon has a liberal return policy so sent it back the next day. Won't buy another. An 8 watt HT sounds great on paper, but not if you can't use it on the 70cm repeaters. Each generation of Baofeng HTs gets worse than the previous ones, so much for progress.

Earlier 4-star review posted by W5TD on 2014-12-13

I have had a Baofeng UV3R for a couple of years and really liked it. Briefly tried a UV-5R and it seemed pretty good as well. I was looking to get something that did 5 watts and was at a friend's house last month and he offered me his Baofeng F8+ and a bunch of accessories for a very nice price. I sold the accessories for the same nice price, so the HT was free! Can't get a better deal than that.

I was used to Baofeng programming, but this one was a little different. Like most Chinese HTs, the manual is pretty limited at best. I went crazy trying to get repeaters stored into memory. I did exactly what the manual said but it wouldn't store the offset. Finally a google search gave the answer-for some reason you can't store repeater offsets in memory if the dual watch is turned on. The manual never covered that, it should have.

The HT feels pretty solid, has good receive audio, and I get good transmit audio reports with it as well. I have no trouble making it into the local repeaters with the stock antenna, and it receives the broadcast FM band well also. Does have a little selectivity problems at times on broadcast FM, but it really isn't optimized for that.

There are 2 things the UV-3R had that I wish the UV-F8+ had:

1. The ability to plug the charger right into the HT instead of needing the drop in charger-one less thing to carry with you when you travel.

2. Memories to store the FM broadcast band stations as well. Since you can directly enter their frequencies with the keyer, not a deal breaker, but it would be nice.

I am sure you could fine one of these for $40 or so on Ebay or amazon. That is a great deal for a dualband 5 watts HT. I gave it a 4 because of the rather quirky programming is requires. Still, I got it programmed by hand fairly quickly once I figured out the repeater/memory issue. Really don't need the programming cable and software that everyone says is required.

Wish Baofeng made a 222/902 version of this, or one with 1.2g on it. Maybe soon!

KC9FSH Rating: 2015-03-01
Great Radio for the price Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I picked up a BF-F8+ after the battery pack on my Yaesu FT-270 stopped taking a charge and I have to admit that I am pretty impressed with this cheap radio.

Using a programming cable and Chirp, I quickly programmed a few local repeaters into memory and was on my way. Soon after that I talked to another station and I asked how the audio sounded and they thought it sounded great and they were surprised that I was using a Baofeng.

The battery life is very good, even with the stock battery. I participated in a 18 hour volunteer event and the battery lasted the entire event and continued to work off that same charge for about a week of having it on for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day.

The stock antenna isn't the greatest but it worked for me until I was able to get a Nagoya NA-701.

Overall I would buy another one of these radios if mine died.
MATTJ Rating: 2015-02-19
Love it Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I love mine and does everything it should. The overall rating for this radio is kind of unfair. One bad one because he just happen to get a lemon, another bad one because the person does not know how to use it, Which gives the overall rating only a 3 something. Programming this radio by hand is a breeze once you understand it, so I am not sure where the fuss is there. Anyway I love mine!
K8WRS Rating: 2015-01-29
UV-5R Better Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I would have given it a "4" except unlike the UV-5r the display is set to "one" Dark Background with white number display that cannot be changed even, though the menu gives you a choice it will not change.
It is very, very hard to read in daylight and you have a very difficult time knowing if the radio is on or off, day or night.
A very bad move by the company.
The UV-5r has a bright screen and is easily read.
So it seems like a step backward for the new model.
On the plus side the Baofeng radios do not draw power from the battery when off as does the Wouxon or even my Yaesu VX-5R.
The extended battery is the most prized addition.
Don't believe the UV-5ra can use the UV-5r battery. It can be connected after grinding part of the battery away but it hangs over on the sides and is very sharp, not a good fit.
VK4FIAT Rating: 2014-12-13
Good price on dual band- mods not required. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I know all the reviews are all personal experiences and preferences, so you see negative and positive will always be there.

For me, I like the colorful lights (TX/ RX), the annoying low battery voice prompt (that you need to wake up in the middle of the night to turn it off), yes they talk (English and Chinese language), so be-careful that you keep it in English, not unless you can understand Chinese. Roger beep that the Yeasu HT's doesnt have. no Modifications required (130-174/ 400-520), intermod on my area quite normal(my Yaesu and Icom can get it too), FM radio station receive just a flick of the button, flash light (that keep me visible on the road/ tracks (when I'm jogging), I'm a fair weather jogger and rider, so waterproof/ IP67 not required and its cheap.

Overall I give a 5, as a HT with dual band, wide coverage TX/RX and less that $45, cant fault that.
KK6NOH Rating: 2014-10-16
Why the hate? Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have no idea why everyone seems to hate the baofeng radios, especially the BF-F8+. I own two of them and wouldn't give them up for anything. I get consistent good signal reports and comments on how great my audio is. Most people don't believe me when I say I am using a HT much less a baofeng. The only negatives it has are as follows

1. The antenna that comes with it is rather limited. If you want to limit range on purpose for limiting interference or survival reasons then it will work fine. As far as I am concerned, no matter what HT you buy step one is buying a better antenna. Period. Rubber ducks suck.

2. The squelch on 2 meters is not adjustable. Its either on or off. Big deal.... they have it set just right anyways.

Thats it... really it is. The radio is dirt cheap, is capable of transmitting way outside what other average duel band HT's can, Its accessories are cheap and easy to get, the battery lasts ridiculously long, and most of all it just works. As for the average whining about it being hard to program..... have any of you tried programming your average modern tv? Its waaay harder. The baofeng is so stupid easy most people just over complicate it. You want to program the imput frequency? just type in the frequency and save. Want the output frequency programmed? type it in and save. BAM done! who the heck needs chirp? Its totally unnecessary.

Oh I might mention. I own two of them. I have plans to buy another 20. Get them while you can before some moron politician decides its too good a deal to be legal and bans it.