Both devices from Uniden have great performance. You have the BCD996P2 that features exclusive capabilities limited to Uniden and the BCD536HP is one of the easiest to program scanners that Uniden has ever created.
They are two similar products in terms of features, but which one is better? Let’s find out.
Features of Both Police Scanners
They are similar products but when we dive deeper into the features, we can get a clearer picture as to which product comes out on top.
The BCD536HP does not require any programming, which is why setup is so easy for new users and it’s the easiest to use scanner Uniden has come out with to date. The SD card is factory programmed and comes with all the radio systems in US and Canada.
The free Sentinel software can be used to update the database (which is updated by Uniden on a weekly basis).
The BCD996P2 has exclusive features unique to Uniden such as its memory system but it does require some light programming. In terms of ease-of-use, the BCD536HP takes the cake.
Location Based Scanning
Both devices offer location based scanning, which is a huge plus. The BCD996P2 has a GPS function that makes this easier. However, the BCD536HP allows you to set your location by inputting your zip code or GPS coordinates.
The BCD536HP has a slight edge due to the auto-locate feature. This is very useful to have, especially when you have no idea where you are. The system will automatically assist you in pinpointing your location.
Both are SD card compatible with the BCD536HP coming packaged with one included.
The BCD536HP has a range control that allows you to set how far your scanner can reach from your location. The BCD996P doesn’t seem to have this function but it can tune automatically to nearby signals with the Close Call RF Capture Technology.
One other large advantage of the BCD536HP is the Wi-Fi capabilities. You can connect the app to your mobile device whether it be your smartphone or tablet and control your scanner remotely.
This is something the BCD996P2 is unable to do, but if you won’t be scanning away from your device, it’s not a feature that is pressing to have. Although the BCD996P2 scanner can also be pc programmed or controlled (without Wi-Fi).
Instant Replay/Audio Recording
The BCD536HP is leading in the features compared to the BCD996P2, and now we are adding even more onto that list. The BCD536HP can instantly replay the last 4 minutes of transmissions captured.
You can even record the transmissions for later review and use with the audio recording function.
Yet another win for the BCD536HP, you can customize your scanner to alert you when you receive notifications Unit IDs, Close Call hits and more. There are different tone patterns, volume settings, colors and flash patterns for customization.
The BCD996P2 also has alerts but lacks the diversity and customizability the BCD536HP has.
This is also unique to the BCD536HP and can be used for the custom alerts. The multicolor LED alerts are comprised of 7 colors that make it even clearer when you receive notifications.
The BCD996P2 leads in this category. It has S.A.M.E weather alerts that notify you about the weather conditions in your location. Not only that, it also has specific area message encoding and emergency alerts as well.
System/Channel Number Tagging
Both these well-reviewed scanners have this feature, which allows you to quickly access systems or channels. It’s a useful feature that can save you a lot of time when you navigate through your lists.
They both have a pretty big screen, but the BCD536HP is capable of displaying longer texts and more info. However, the BCD996P2 has a brighter display and larger fonts, which makes it easier to read.
The two scanners are exactly the same size, measuring at 2.2”x7.2”x5.9”. As for the weight, the BCD996P2 is slightly heavier weighing in at 3.5 lbs, while the BCD536HP comes in at 3.39 lbs.
In terms of receiving modes, both scanners are neck and neck receiving AM, FM< NFM, WFM, FMB, APCO25 and Phase 1 and Phase 2.
The BCD996P2 operates on more frequencies  than the BCD536HP. This is important depending on what you plan to listen to.
Scan and Search Rate
Both devices are the same in terms of speed. The search and scan rate are at 80 steps/sec and 85 channels/sec respectively.
Conclusion: Uniden BCD996P2 OR BCD536HP?
Both scanners are excellent in their performance ratings.
The BCD996P2 is a great choice if you need weather alerts (for those often on the road) and GPS functions. It also has more frequencies, which is a bonus if you have a habit of scanning through more channels.
The BCD996P2 is also the scanner that is more sensitive and picks up signals slightly better.
In general, the BCD536HP is the better scanner in terms of ease-of-use and a lot of other features. It is able to display more information, which also contributes to the easy use and the custom lights and alerts give it a unique flair.
The Wi-Fi capabilities are a huge plus if you plan on using the device remotely. If you are hard of hearing or the transmission is fuzzy at times, the BCD536HP can also record and playback transmissions.
If you are new to police scanners, the BCD536HP is highly intuitive and doesn’t require much learning to operate.
If the features of the basic BCD996P2 will do for you, then the pricier BCD536HP is unnecessary. However, the advanced features of the BCD536HP could be well worth the extra jump in price for others.