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Baofeng UV-5R Review

The Baofeng UV-5R is one of the most economical options you will find on the market. If you are looking for a two-way radio that is inexpensive but still delivers the goods, this one is a great choice. The more you learn about this product, the easier it will be for you to make the right decision. Need basic information about two-way radios? Bookmark this for later: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/radio/two-way/about/.

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Design

The first thing you need to know about the Baofeng UV-5R radio is that you will need to obtain an FCC license to actually transmit with it. This is because this device offers access to Amateur Radio Services and GMRS. You will not be required to have a license for any of the FRS frequencies. You also don’t need licensure for simply receiving transmissions.

This radio’s programmable keypad gives you full customization options. You can choose to do so from the keypad itself, or by hooking the device up to your computer via USB cable. The latter option is probably going to be the easiest by far. The included software has a very straightforward user interface. You shouldn’t experience any problems with programming this radio to match your needs. 

The design of this radio also includes a light on the top of the device that serves as an LED flashlight. This can be very useful when you need to find your way in the dark. You can activate this function by simply pressing the Moni button, which is on the left side of the radio. But if you want a more professional-looking design for your radio, check out our review of the Midland GXT1000VP4 radio.

When you buy this radio you’ll also get a lithium-ion battery pack, antenna, earphone mic/headset, belt clip, hand strap, user manual, adapter, and desktop charger. The antenna that this device uses has a VHF range of 136 to 175 megahertz, and a UHF range of 400 to 520 megahertz. There are 128 different channels to go through, offering you plenty of options. (Learn more about two-way radio frequencies on this RRD article.)

Measuring 8 by 4 by 5 inches with a weight of 1.05 pounds, this radio is not the lightest model available on the market. There are, however, a number of other devices that are far more unwieldy than this one. It has a fairly sturdy design, especially considering the price. While it might not last forever, you’ll most likely be able to hold onto this device for a good long while.

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Features

Priority Channel Scanning

Baofeng UV-5R gives you priority channel scanning to make finding the ones you need a lot easier and less time consuming overall. It will be sure to make using this device at least a little bit easier on a regular basis.

PC Programmable

You will be able to program the keypad functions on this radio using your PC. All you need is a basic USB cable to connect this device to your computer. This gives you a means of improving its performance in a very noticeable way.

Low Battery Alert

The LCD display on the front of this radio will give you a low battery alert to let you know when it is time to start recharging.

Backlit LCD Display

While this radio’s LCD display is a bit on the small side, the backlighting does provide you with optimal readability at all times.

Rechargeable Battery

The rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack that this device uses will provide you with 12 hours of use on a full charge. You may be able to find other devices that offer more, but it isn’t bad for what you pay overall.

Timeout Timer

This device’s LCD display will turn off after a certain amount of time without activity. This can be of great help when it comes to conserving battery life.

PROS:

  • Easily programmable: You will be able to program this handheld two radio’s keypad precisely how you want without any complicated steps.
  • Surprisingly durable: While you might not expect a lot in terms of durability at this price point, you should get years of use with minimal wear.
  • Budget-friendly: The extremely low price of this radio makes it a great choice for frugal shoppers who are on a tight budget.
  • Ability to use external antenna: If you want to extend the receive range of this radio, you can always use an external antenna to get the job done.
  • High visibility display: The display on this radio is fairly bright and should give you excellent readability in a variety of lighting conditions.

CONS:

  • You shouldn’t expect a great range for transmitting and receiving with this radio.

Customer Reviews

There are quite a few customer reviews from people who have been using this radio for upwards of three months. These reviews mostly consist of positive comments and praise, though there is the occasional negative remark as well. A lot of people claim that their radio is still in good condition and works well after weeks and weeks of regular use. These reviews often mention this device’s simple design and how easy it is to use as a whole.

 Baofeng UV-5R review vs. Baofeng UV-5RA

The Bao UV-5R has made quite a few noticeable improvements over the UV-5RA model. This includes the maximum range, which was increased from 0.9 to 1.1 miles. The UV-5R also gives you frequency options that the other one does not, including MURS and GMRS. It is also worth mentioning that it also has an easier to use design with more customization options. This ultimately helps you get the most out of the money you spend. Here’s another BaoFeng radio you should see: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/radio/two-way/baofeng-bf-f8hp-review/.

Baofeng UV-5R Review Conclusion

With all of the handheld two-way radio options that are available, it can seem like choosing the right one is nearly impossible. The Baofeng UV-5R is definitely the best device of its kind in this price range. If you are searching for the most economical option, this one should satisfy your requirements. You might not get some of the bells and whistles you would with more expensive models, but you probably won’t really need them. This is also a great radio option for those who aren’t planning on communicating over a very long distance in rural areas.

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William

This article is written by William Johnson, the founder of RRD. William is passionate about radar detectors. His interest in reviewing and testing radar detectors from different brands started nearly 10 years ago, when his own radar detector then (a cheap and brand-less detector he bought online) failed to detect and radar gun nearby.
William

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