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on November 17, 2017
Love the radio. Works like a champ.... However this thing losses stars for the following
1) The accompanying cd is garbage.. I tried installing it and it is in Chinese and would not load anything at all, So not quite sure what is on my computer now. I understand now I have to use a 3rd party program to be able to program the radio. Its called "CHIRP"
2) the programming cable that come with it... Oh wait. it didn't come with it...

Baofeng... You have an awesome product. Package the right accessories with it!!!!
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on February 27, 2017
I have bought a lot of these radios. They are a great little two meter radio. I use them to scan local police chatter and they work well. They are not the fastest scanning radio but if you don't put a lot of channels in, it works well. I would certainly recommend anyone buying a radio to buy a programming cable as well. It makes programming multiple channels a breeze. They have been very durable for me and I have dropped mine many times. Battery life is great. If you don't transmit a lot, you are good for the day on a charge. I have worked stations on the satellite SO-50 with just the stock antenna. They are a great starter radio and for the price they can't be beat!
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on June 1, 2013
I have a wouxon, a puxing and an earlier Baofeng. This is tied with the Wouxon (and I have the pricier Wouxon, legal for commercial and amateur). Much better than the earlier Baofeng. Many of the hams on our local repeater are using this Baofeng, and they work great. The audio sounds as good as their pricey "name brand" mobile radios, seriously. There is one guy I talk to regularly, and I can't tell if he is on his icom mobile or the Baofeng. Assuming he is close enough for the 5 watts to reach.

This really is a fantastic deal, and all hams who use VHF/UHF should have one! Of course the manual is really hard to use. There are sites on the net with English as a first language explanations. Also, it goes without saying that you should use the programming software to program this rig. Makes it much easier, even though the software is also hard to understand. But it works. Buy the correct USB cable. Don't skimp on the ones with the fake prolific chip, you will have driver woes forever.

For those just browsing, please remember this is an amateur radio, and you do need an FCC license! This not a replacement for a "family radio". Search for FRS if that is what you are looking for!
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on October 17, 2016
This is a great little radio. I compare it to name brands from japan. Cant see the difference except price. Has solid receive and transmit distance is decent. If you get a better antenna of course you will see a improvement. Feels good in your hand and the battery holds up vary well. Thought it would feel and look cheap for the price, It Exceeds my expectations. When i step out side i can hit most of the repeaters full quieting... A keeper...
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on April 20, 2016
You know when you buy a Ham radio, you expect to pay money for it. I have in the past owned nothing but Yeasu radios. Handhelds and mobiles. I never use my mobile in my vehicle, in fact I haven't had it on in very long time so I decided to part with it. It was a dual band so I wanted still to have a dual band radio. I saw this and thought "well I can't lose anything trying it". I love this little radio. It's every bit as good as the others I've had in the past. Quick to charge, holds it's charge well and hits all my local repeaters that my Vertex handhelds struggle to hit. The audio quality is comparable with the other handhelds that cost much higher. I used it for a couple of weeks with the stock antenna that comes with the radio. It worked admirably. I purchased an aftermarket antenna for the radio and it's made a fantastic increase in what it is capable of (ExpertPower XP-771). All in all for the money you pay for this radio, it's worth way more. If it breaks it's cheap to replace. Only major issue is the programming of the radio. Not super hard but fiddly. The addition of a programming cable and using the free Chirp software makes things so much easier.

So as someone who needs a radio for emergency purposes (Storm chasing, Emergency Management) would I recommend this radio, I'd give a resounding yes. Don't buy one.. Buy two. At this price having a spare is more than affordable.
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on August 7, 2015
This little radio will give you the most bang for your buck of any portable radio on the market, period. Not only is it dual-band, which was almost unheard of with portable radios, but it's light, the battery life is excellent to outstanding, and the price is UNBEATABLE. Yes, they do require some knowledge regarding how to operate them, but there are lots of great Youtube videos demonstrating how to use them. Once programmed, using them is very simple, not much more difficult than a CB radio.

If/when I want two-way communication with other family members, I will simply buy extra radios and use them outside of the traditional HAM bands (144 and 440 mghz). Yes, this is technically faux pas, but the hammers can't come down on you if you're not operating in their ranges. Doing it this way, you can easily get double the range of a FRS/GMRS radio.

I highly recommend that you replace the stock antenna with a 'duckie', a longer, flexible one that will greatly increase reception quality.
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on March 1, 2013
As a licensed radio amateur operator, it is refreshing to find a low cost handy talky that competes with the big guys who sell the same basic units for 200 to 300 dollars more. It's about time Yaesu, Kenwood, Alinco etc. got a viable and logically priced competitor. The only problem I am experiencing is the difficulty in programming the radio. It is a very complicated procedure. A knowledgeable amateur who knows how to program it should be hired to do a step by step, easy to understand instructional manual The reception and audio on the unit is remarkably clear. A great buy but too sketchy in their setup procedure. I have since found a video on YouTube where a knowledgeable amateur does the step by step procedure.
Tom Glover WA2RVU
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on February 20, 2014
Great two way/ham radio so.many settings and features dual band, scanner capabilities

Great for camping, hunting, vacation, or just to be a kid again, baker breaker one nine !!!

Program a few frequencies and of you go into radio land listening to music on the fm receiver or kidding to repeaters in the frequency mode ham radio is awesome what a great hobby listen to police , fire, and medical within a few minutes of opening the box

recharging the lithium ion battery packs are easy just slide into the included charging stations long range !! Built--In light and siren alarm for the price you can't beat them.would recommend to anyone wanting to get into ham radio or two way communications best product
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on March 13, 2014
So I want to get my Technician Class Radio license and wanted something inexpensive to be able to use for my quest and ran across this relatively inexpensive Baofeng UV-5RE. Having been a previous owner of a Yaesu FT-50R and Yaesu FT-60R I really wanted either another Yaesu FT-60R or the FT-90R but those were not in my current budget of $100 or less. They were close at around $150 though and I love how solid Yaesu products are built. I might sell a bunch of my crap and eventually get another Yaesu.

For the Baofeng UV-R5E, it came with the dual-band (2 meter / 70cm) radio, charger, headset for around $40 – thats not a typo - but I also purchased a Nagoya 771 antenna and a speaker/mic which upped the price to $57 - also not a typo. Out of the box its quite plasticy looking but feels solid, battery attaches in a solid fashion and feels right when holding. The belt clip "screws" on with actual screws which to me is a plus. I briefly went through the menu’s and they are pretty straight forward I feel, but I am a gadget kind of guy and adapt to devices right away.

I cant say I favor the backlight lasting maybe 5 seconds after the PTT is let go. When transmitting the backlight is orange, then it goes to a light blue and then to no color background. I think I will also get a different antenna for it. I don’t have any issues right off the bat but in forums I have been told the stock antennae isn’t worth the plastic it was molded in. I will write more about the radio as I get more into it. As I progress I will eventually work my way to a General and Extra class for digital and morse code, then bounce the the FCC for a commercial license like the General Radiotelephone Operators License, Marine Radio Operator Permit, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System operator or something. Not fully projecting that far yet.

I was quite delighted to see that I could utilize the 70cm band to punch in the frequencies of my Motorola T5420 Talkabout and essentially use it as a second unit, NOT transmitting on the amateur bands in the fashion that the FCC dictates. As far as my research has lead me to believe.
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on March 31, 2015
Great little unit. A little confusing if you aren't accustomed to the terminology. Clear voice receipt. Bought it to use after I get my amateur license. Also covers several other bands but the radios need to be approved by the FCC for use in transmitting on those frequencies. They are not certified to Part 90 or Part 95 types and should not be used to transmit. Battery charge lasted about 3 weeks on Rx. I plan to get an additional battery and perhaps a case for it. Will probably get a second unit for my wife.
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