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The BaoFeng UV-5R is tougher than the $25 pricetag implies


I ll admit it: I m a bit of a handheld radio snob.

I don t own many HT transceivers, but the ones I do own are manufactured by the big three namely, Yaesu1, Kenwood2 and Icom3. For ages, these three companies dominated the handheld radio market.

A few years ago, several Chinese radio manufactures (Baofeng4, Wouxun5, TDXone6 and TYT7 to name a few) started flooding the market with inexpensive handheld transceivers radios that literally cost a fraction of those produced by the big three. Where a Yaesu dual band handheld might cost between $150-250 US, a Baefeng model might cost $25-50 US.

As one might imagine, these inexpensive transceivers gained quite a following in the ham radio community and with preparedness/communications enthusiasts.

I ve read that many of these ultra-cheap transceivers are difficult to program and I m sure that s one of the factors that has kept me from purchasing one.

I also assumed that a $25 radio must be very poorly constructed.

Seems I m incorrect at least on this point.

Many thanks to Dave (K4SV) for sharing the following video8 from Chris (K5CLC), who put the popular Baofeng UV-5R9 through an extreme field test:

The Baofeng UV-5R10 is available at for a mere $25.80 US shipping included11.

UV-5R accessories. Click to enlarge.

UV-5R accessories. Click to enlarge.

The UV-5R12 even comes with a number of accessories:

  • a ANT5 SMA-J flexible antenna,
  • BL-5 Li-ion battery (7.4V 1800 mAh),
  • belt clip,
  • wrist strap,
  • AC adapter (8.4V 600ma)
  • and drop-in charger.

Frankly, it s hard to believe you get so much radio for the price.

Curiosity is getting the best of me and I believe I very well may purchase a UV-5R13 in the coming days. I ll probably purchase the USB programming cable as well14 (anything to make it easier to program).

Click here to view the Baofeng UV-5R on Amazon15: I encourage you to read the numerous reviews many of which sing its praises.

Readers: if you have the UV-5R, please post your comments about this little radio.

I m curious if you find it easy to use and if the battery life has held up over time.

Any tricks for programming it?


  1. ^ Yaesu (
  2. ^ Kenwood (
  3. ^ Icom (
  4. ^ Baofeng (
  5. ^ Wouxun (
  6. ^ TDXone (
  7. ^ TYT (
  8. ^ the following video (
  9. ^ Baofeng UV-5R (
  10. ^ Baofeng UV-5R (
  11. ^ $25.80 US shipping included (
  12. ^ UV-5R (
  13. ^ purchase a UV-5R (
  14. ^ I ll probably purchase the USB programming cable as well (
  15. ^ Click here to view the Baofeng UV-5R on Amazon (