Are you planning to scour the market for a Baofeng radio? We have prepared this article with the best performing Baofeng radios to make your search easier. We have done the detailed research to determine that the BF-888S is the top pick. However there are others with unique and compelling attributes that might surprise you. Now without further ado, let’s get into the details.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best for Business: BaoFeng BF-888S (Pack of 4)
- 2 Best Value For Money – Baofeng UV-5R
- 3 Best For The Outdoors: BAOFENG BF-888S (Pack of 6)
- 4 Best waterproof – Baofeng 1 Pack GT-3WP
- 5 Best battery life – Baofeng Pofung Uv6r
- 6 Most Powerful Radio – BAOFENG BF-F8HP
- 7 How We Picked The Best Baofeng Radio According To Performance
- 8 Summary
Best for Business: BaoFeng BF-888S (Pack of 4)
- Noise reduction
- Rechargeable 1500 mAh li-ion battery
- 16 channels
- Built in LED torch, hand strap, and belt clip
- Power saving mode with low battery alarm
- Comes with earphone
The Baofeng BF-888S is a handy 2-way low-range radio for various applications. This well-priced radio is convenient and simple. Its 5 km range makes it ideal for use by security guards, construction workers, and supermarket attendants. Moreover, the Baofeng BF-888S is a great choice for hiking, biking, and field survival.
- Excellent value for money
- Simple and easy to use
- Useful accessories included in the box
- Good battery life
- Hands-free operation with VOX function
- Computer programmable with a separate programming cable
- Clear sound
- Battery could do better
- Need to buy programming cable
- Tricky programming for beginners
- Only UHF frequency range
- Lacks VHF and FM support
- Charger runs only on mains power
People highly recommend the BaoFeng BF-888S (Pack of 4) for ease of use and quality material. However, you need some technical knowledge to program this radio. Batteries for these radios can last a day and the radios are good for short-range communication.
The BaoFeng BF-888S (pack of 4) short-range radio has great sound and reception making it ideal for construction and industrial workers. This radio has a handy LED flashlight to see clearly in darkness or at night.
Best Value For Money – Baofeng UV-5R
- 4-5 watt maximum output
- Tri-color LCD
- 700 mW speaker
- Amateur usage
- LED flashlight
- Supports manual programming
The Baofeng UV-5R is a dual-band radio with a frequency covering 136 – 174 MHz to access various frequencies. The use of a long and powerful TIDRADIO 771 antenna allows easy communication by enhancing access to frequencies. And, the stock works great and you can replace this to match your performance requirements.
This radio has effective and reliable voice compounding thanks to squelching technology. Voice compounding allows compressing or decompressing analog or digital audio messages to eliminate crosstalk and noise. This allows getting crystal clear sound including when in noisy environments.
With 128 channels, there is adequate room to save your frequently used frequencies. The radio is programmable by cable on a computer for easy access. However, the process requires programming software.
Using this radio allows blocking irrelevant calls using DCS and CTCSS codes to focus on important calls only. The radio comes with a backup battery to keep you going. There’s no need to wait as the primary battery charges.
The power-saving function makes this Baofeng UV-5R offer great value for money. It allows using the power sparingly when in remote areas where getting a charge station is a challenge. This power-saving function keeps you going much longer.
- Easy to use.
- Lightweight and versatile
- Weather alert functionality
- Great functions at an affordable price
- Controlled power consumption
- Easily programmable settings
- Standby battery and power save function
- Metallic rugged shell for outdoor operation
- Tricky operation that takes time to master
- Only scans 3 frequencies every second
- Not your ideal high-end radio
This Baofeng radio for beginners comes at a great price that allows programming using a keypad or Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse (CHIRP). Its sound is loud and clear making it a great device for backup in case of emergency.
The BAOFENG UV-5R has a sturdy and durable body that make it survive extreme conditions. It offers exceptional performance to keep up with the best Baofeng radios when it comes to value for money.
Best For The Outdoors: BAOFENG BF-888S (Pack of 6)
- VOX function and voice prompt
- UHF radio frequency ranging from 400-470 MHz
- Intelligent charging with battery saving
- 16 channels
- Low voltage and emergency alert
You can tell the BAOFENG BF-888S (Pack of 6) is built to last in the outdoors on first sight. These radios have a compact pitch black body, two orange buttons on the left side, and no keypad.
The range and power of these radios make them ideal for the outdoors. At maximum power, the radios cover a range of about 2 miles and a half of that in the city. So, you can use them as walkie-talkies while mountaineering, hiking, and camping.
These budget-friendly devices have great sensitivity with a battery that lasts from 9 to 10 hours of regular use. This means that you can use the radios until you reach where you can recharge from.
The handy low battery alarm alerts you to prepare for the worst. Fortunately, the battery for these radios takes less than 4 hours to charge fully when not drained.
- Very affordable
- Long battery life
- Easy to use
- Built-in flashlight
- Compact and durable
- English voice prompts
- Fast and intelligent charging
- Lacks screen access to settings
- Bad selectivity
- Works only on 70 cm band
Many users praise these radios for doing a great job at an affordable price. The radios reach about a mile, don’t break, and the batteries will work for the hours you need them. However, you can’t use these radios before programming them.
The BAOFENG BF-888S (Pack of 6) are compact and rugged radios made for the outdoors. These pocket-friendly devices are very useful for various outdoor activities for the superior sound quality and range.
Best waterproof – Baofeng 1 Pack GT-3WP
- Waterproof and dustproof body
- Crossband reception
- Selectable frequency
- Battery “SAVE” function
- Display illumination
The BaoFeng 1 Pack GT-3WP is a waterproof and dust-proof two-way radio. In case of an accident and it slips in water, this radio can survive 30 minutes in a meter underwater. The radio keeps working well regardless of the circumstances.
Regardless of whether you on a trip in the desert or near a swimming pool, you can rely on this radio. Its battery-saving feature comes in handy while on long excursions. The feature allows stretching the life of your radio’s battery to allow use in places where there are few chances of finding a charging station.
- Inbuilt LED flashlight
- Tighter power button
- Backlit keyboard
- Good sound quality
- Comes with remote earphone and microphone
- Heavier than other Baofeng radios
- Doesn’t come with a programming cable
Many users give the GT-3WP 4.6 percent when it comes to battery life. Additionally, this radio is highly praised for being water and dust-proof. It has been tested to withstand being in water while others criticize it for missing A/B and VFO/MR key. And, the user manual also lacks some key aspects.
Overall, the BaoFeng 1 Pack GT-3WP is a great addition to your condition when planning to hit the outdoors. This radio has a strong body built to survive one meter underwater in about 30 minutes.
Best battery life – Baofeng Pofung Uv6r
- Frequency range from 136-174 MHz / 400-520 MHz
- Built-in VOX function
- FM radio from 65.0 MHz-108.0 MHz
- LED flashlight
- Emergency and a low battery alert
- Large LCD
- Battery saver
- Time-out timer
- Monitor channel
The Baofeng Pofung Uv6r is an improved version of the UV-5R radio. This radio comes with LED light inside for use as a torch. The best part of the UV-6R is the powerful 16-ohm loudspeaker for listening clearly in noisy environments.
Its menu and functions resemble those of the UV-5R but with a better and larger grip. The new firmware fixes bugs and has more sensitivity to provide better reception in case of weaker signals. The larger 15 cm antenna also enhances radio signal reception.
- Powerful speaker for better listening
- Can use UV-5R charger
- Nice looking radio
- Feels comfortable to hold and use
- Can’t use UV-5R battery
- Programming is not so easy
Although programming is a bit hard, it doesn’t stop these radios from working great. Many users recommended the radios for offering great value for money. The battery retains a charge for months when used for the receive function while its small and sturdy body can sit on the dashboard slot. The radio is loud and clear.
The radios come with an Xbox one headset for adjusting and muting volume. This radio has whatever you need in a handheld radio with great transmission audio and comes with various accessories like antenna adapters to allow use while in the car.
Most Powerful Radio – BAOFENG BF-F8HP
- 8 Watt output power
- New Hardened Durable Radio Shell
- 30% larger battery
- V-85 High gain antenna for greater coverage
- VHF (136-174 MHz) and UHF (400-520 MHz) coverage
The BAOFENG BF-F8HP is a much improved version of the UV-5R radio. This radio was designed in the USA and with this product Baofeng is committed to provide an excellent user experience with extensive documentation.
- Larger range than the average Baofeng radio
- Larger battery for longer operation time in the field
- Some users have reported reliability issues
How We Picked The Best Baofeng Radio According To Performance
A radio with more wattage has a powerful signal and longer range. Wattage is crucial when using the radio for long distances to allow connection when two radios are apart. It is important to purchase a radio with appropriate wattage to cover the conditions for use.
The average power output is 5 watts although a radio with more is a good deal. The efficiency of the radio depends on wattage backed by a powerful battery. To use the radio for a long time requires a strong battery that won’t need recharge soon.
Baofeng radios support mono, double, or three-band frequency modes with FM, UHF, and VHF. Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) radios perform better inside a building while Very High Frequency (VHF) radios are better outdoors. This is because VHF waves transmit through open distances while UHF waves pass through obstructions (https://www.highlandwireless.com/the-differences-between-uhf-and-vhf-radio-frequencies/)
Speaker and noise control
The radio speaker ensures that you hear everything from the other side regardless of the prevailing conditions. So, the ideal radio should have high power to allow hearing in all environments. Opt for a radio with at least 700 MW speaker power.
Poor signal reception and noise are bound to happen when you least expect while using the radio. You need a radio that won’t get affected by compromised audio quality in such a situation.
You can’t rule out the possibility of getting into some troublesome situations in the outdoors during the night. So, you need a radio you can use regardless of the time of day. A radio without distinct light is hard to use at night. A good choice is a radio with a backlight option or color display.
The ideal radio should be durable enough to give you good value for money. A radio with a sturdy cover withstands all kinds of damages and allows use for a long time. A metal housing endures destruction and breakage. Always pick a Baofeng radio to match your working condition.
All Baofeng radios have an antenna for capturing and transmitting signals. The ideal radio should have an appropriate antenna to ensure that you get whatever the person on the other end is saying. Besides, the antenna should be durable enough to withstand falls.
You can’t use the radio when the antenna is broken. An antenna with a high dB gain is powerful enough to give a quality signal.
All Baofeng radios are not made equal. There’s a radio to match your purpose whether you have a team of builders on a construction site or camping outdoors. It is important to choose a radio with features most appropriate to your condition.
A radio with an LED flashlight works great at night while one with a powerful speaker allows hearing clearly in a noisy environment. All in all, you have to mind your requirements before you hit the market for a Baofeng radio.
In closing here are our picks for the best Baofeng radios: