Top 10 Best Baofeng Radio in 2020 – Buying Guide & Expert Picks

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The very first thing that people say in response to someone recommending them baofeng radios is- why baofeng? Aren’t there other kinds and brands of radios available in the market? The answer to that is that there are indeed multiple kinds of radio brands available in the market. But what makes baofeng standout is the price. 

Baofeng radio is affordable. Generally, their radios are less than half the price of typical radios. But just because their price is less doesn’t mean that that compromise on the quality in any way. It must be said that baofeng has such a good reputation because it works so well. So with baofeng radios, you will get the features but at a lesser price. 

Among the features, you will get a good battery life, a good chunk of channels to communicate over, and great VHF and UHF frequencies. Along with these, other notable features come with this device. We will get to know all of them in the list below. 

The list below in fact contains a list of the very best baofeng radios available in the market. After all, there are a lot of baofeng radios available in the market. So to help you choose the very best from them all, we are here with this well-curated list. 

Best Baofeng Radios in 2020

Baofeng radios are affordable and come with great features that will help in any kind of emergency. With the help of these radios, you will be able to call your friend and get assistance. So here are the very best of baofeng radios: 

1. BTECH DMR-6X2 (DMR and Analog) 7-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio

  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 1.5 x 5 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Band: Dual. VHF is 136-174MHz and UHF is 400-480mhz

This radio is equipped with both UHF and VHF bands. On the VHF band, you will get frequencies of 136-174MHz, while on the UHF band you will get frequencies of 400 to 480 MHz. Apart from this, you will find that this sturdy radio can be used for both commercial and amateur purposes. On VHF you will get an output of 7W whereas on UHF you will get an output of 6W. 

It comes loaded with a large display which is 1.77″ in size. Note that the display features colored TFT. Here you will be able to see various stats like battery level, the channel being used, signal strength, and other such information. One unique feature of this display is that you will be able to adjust it in dark more or light mode. The light mode is a vibrant blue whereas the dark mode is black. In the radio itself, you will get to use 200k contacts, 10k talk groups, and 4k channel. 

As is mentioned in the name, this DMR radio works with both tier one and two. Know that you will be able to upgrade this radio using the firmware available. Since this model comes with a programming cable so you will be able to upgrade the device by just using your Windows PC. 

You will be able to monitor all kinds of DMR traffic which goes through the channel being used. Along with this, the Digital Monitor feature will let you hear about all kinds of DMR traffic irrespective of the time slot, color code, private/group call, etc. You will even be able to assign any channel you want as analog, digital, or split. Know that the radio itself can automatically detect any channel as digital or analog.

Pros

  • Dual bands
  • Monitor DMR traffic
  • Large display
  • 200k contact storage
  • 4k channels
  • Firmware upgradeable

Cons

  • None

2. Baofeng UV-5R Two Way Radio Dual

  • Package Dimensions: 7.05 x 5.55 x 4.02 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.17 pounds
  • Band: Dual 

This radio comes with a dual-band as well as dual display. So you will be able to use both VHF and UHF frequencies. Know that the device allows a facility for 128 groups-channel storage. So you will get the option to choose from while connecting with someone over the radio. 

The radio comes with an emergency alarm too. With the help of this, you will be able to get the assistance you need in times of need. Apart from this, know that the display on this radio will show the battery strength, signal strength, the channel being used, and other such stats. Know that if you ever suffer from low battery issues then the radio will let you know that you need to plug in the device. 

The device comes with a vox option as well. What this means is that you will be able to operate the radio using just your voice commands. This is a feature that will come in handy during emergencies. The device also comes equipped with a keypad lock that will prevent you from accidentally changing channels while talking. 

The radio comes with FM services as well. You will get to tune into the frequency of 65.0MHz-108.0MHz here. Apart from this, the product is fitted with a LED flashlight as well. This will help you see in the dark. You will even be able to easily program the device using your PC.

Pros

  • Dual-band
  • Led flashlight
  • Vox feature
  • 128 group channel storage
  • Keypad lock

Cons

  • None

3. radtel Baofeng UV-860 (UV-5R Newest Gen) 8 Watts Dual Band Rechargeable Long Range Two Way Radio

  • Item Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Package Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 3.7 inches
  • Band: Dual. VHF is 136-174MHz and UHF is 400-520MHz 

This radio comes with an LCD which will show you the function menu. Know that using this display you will be able to see various kinds of device stats as well. For one, you will get to see your battery strength, channel number, signal strength, and other related information. Know that you will get 128 memory-channels with this radio. 

The model works on a dual-band of VHF and UHF. On the former, you will get frequencies of 136-174MHz while on the latter you will get frequencies of 400-520 MHz. This radio comes with FM radio facilities as well. You will find that the radio works on frequencies of 65 MHz to 108 MHz. 

The device comes with a vox feature which means that you will be able to operate the device using just your voice commands. This will come in handy during an emergency where your hands might be incapacitated or otherwise busy. Know that this radio comes with a long battery life of 2800mAh. This means that you will get ten and more hours of guaranteed battery power with this. 

You will find that this radio comes loaded with the emergency alarm function as well. In case of an emergency where you need assistance, all you will need to do is press the button. This will let people know that you need help. 

Along with these features, you will find that the device comes equipped more as well. For one there is the battery saving feature which will turn off the radio if there’s no usage for a period. Along with this, the radio comes with scan modes. You will be able to select the one which serves you the best. Know that the model has an inbuilt led flashlight which you will be able to use to fix your way in the dark. 

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Emergency alarm function
  • Dual-band
  • Vox feature
  • Led flashlight

Cons

  • None

4. BTECH MURS-V1 MURS Two-Way Radio

  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 2.28 x 1.26 x 4.33 inches
  • Band: Dual 

With the help of this radio, you will be able to connect with your friends and business partners. These radios can be used during an emergency or for everyday business tasks as well. Note that MURS channels are not the same as those used by commonly known walkie talkies or children’s radios. It is the lack of this interference which makes it good for commercial and business tasks. 

Know that this radio will work with other MURS radios as well. It comes with privacy tones that will eliminate the need for guesswork between brands. What this means is that even if other users aren’t in the know about the privacy tone being used, but you will indeed be able to scan for it. 

Using this radio you will be able to view dual channels simultaneously. The twin channels can easily make use of the independent PTT-side-keys to address the corresponding-channel. You can further simplify the operation by synchronizing those side-keys present there as well as the display to make use of just one channel. 

The model comes with a keypad lockout feature that will prevent you from accidentally changing channels while talking. Know that this radio comes with FM radio as well. So you will never be bored. There will always be some channels you can tune in for entertainment. Additionally, this device comes equipped with the vox feature as well. So you will be able to activate the radio using just voice commands.

Pros

  • FM radio
  • Vox feature
  • Privacy tones
  • Keypad lock 
  • Wide variety of professional use

Cons

  • None

5. Walkie Talkies 2 Way Radio BaoFeng Radio

  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 5 inches
  • Item Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Band: Dual. VHF is 136-174 MHz, UHF is 400-480 MHz. 

This radio is compact and will fit in your hands easily. Note that you will get a frequency range of VHF and UHF both here. For the VHF you will get 136-174 MHz and for the UHF you will get frequencies of 400 to 480 MHz. You will be able to listen to FM on this as well and entertain yourself. The FM can be found on the 65 to 108 MHz frequency. 

On this device, dual reception is indeed supported. As for channels, you will get to store 128 memories. Along with this, you will also be able to activate the radio using the voice command thanks to the vox feature. 

Of course, a battery-saving function comes loaded on this radio. With the help of this, your radio will last longer. Know that apart from this, the model also comes with a keypad lock so you won’t accidentally change the channel while talking. Note that the model comes with an inbuilt flashlight as well. You will be able to use this to see better under low light and in the dark. 

Note that this radio comes equipped with an 1800 mAh battery which will last you perhaps ten hours of use. But even this is stretching the estimation a lot. Overall, when it comes to battery performance, it really could have been better. Along with the device, you will get a wrist strap and belt clip as well. These will help you carry the radio safely. So you won’t have to carry the product always in your hand.

Pros

  • FM radio
  • Dual-band
  • Inbuilt flashlight
  • Keypad lock
  • Vox feature

Cons

  • Low battery

6. BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio

  • Product Dimensions: 2.28 x 1.26 x 4.33 inches
  • Item Weight: 8 ounces
  • Band: Dual

This radio comes with an LCD. But it’s not an ordinary display, instead, it’s a dual-line display. Before, using dual-display would have allowed you to carefully monitor dual frequencies at once. Here you will get that feature but if you don’t want that then the screen will show you all the needed information and more. This will be done to synchronize and connect the whole display. As a result, the LCD will end up showing the name of the channel as well as its frequency. 

The radio comes with a menu which will ensure that you can remove and add the channels you want from your scanning list. This entire process is easier now because before you need to have a computer to edit your list. Also, note that using this radio you will be able to scan easily through a whole frequency range. 

The model comes with 128 memory-channels, all of which are programmable. As for power levels, the device can give you powers of 5-watt max. With this, you will be able to adequately choose just how far it will be feasible to communicate. If you use the CHIRP software then you will even be able to set those VFO limits as well. 

The device comes with a vox feature that will allow you to operate the device, using only voice commands. Such a feature can very well save your life during an emergency. Do note that you will even be able to make use of the work mode to carry out menu lockout and selectable VFO.

Pros

  • LCD dual-line display
  • Editable menu
  • CHIRP software
  • 128 memory-channels
  • Vox feature

Cons

  • None

7. 8-watt baofeng Radio Upgraded Baofeng UV-5R Ham Radio

  • Item Weight: 6.09 pounds
  • Package Dimensions: 19.5 x 7.5 x 5.3 inches
  • Band: Dual 

This radio comes with a frequency range of 144-430Mhz. Know that it supports a dual-band of VHF and UHF. Do note that the device comes equipped with the scanning function that will allow you to find the channels you will be able to easily communicate on. 

Know that this radio comes with the important vox feature. Due to vox, you will be able to activate the radio using just voice commands. In an emergency where your hands are otherwise occupied, this will come in handy. 

Know that along with the above features, this device comes with a battery saving function as well. This means that the radio will go into battery saving mode if there’s no communication or usage for some amount of time. Due to this your battery will last longer. 

Baofeng is a Chinese company so know that you will be able to get your voice prompts in Chinese as well. Of course, you will get them in English too. Additionally, the model comes with the needed emergency alarm feature as well. If you press the button then people will get notified about your position. As such this can end up saving your life. 

You will be able to program this device by using your PC. The device comes with a battery of 1800mAh that will be able to power the model for a full 8-12 hours. This should suffice for short hiking or camping trips.

Pros

  • PC programmable
  • English and Chinese voice prompts
  • Battery saving feature
  • Emergency alarm feature
  • Vox feature

Cons

  • The battery could be better

8. BaoFeng UV-82C Dual-Band FM Ham Two-Way Radio

  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 2 x 11.3 inches
  • Item Weight: 8 ounces
  • Band: Dual. VHF is 136-174 MHz and UHF is 400-520 MHz. 

Know that this radio supports dual bands of VHF and UHF. On VHF you will get 136-174 MHz, while on UHF you will frequency of 400 to 520 MHz. The device comes with a vox feature that will allow you to activate the device without using your hands. For this, you will just have to give voice commands. 

Know that the radio is PC programmable. This means that you will be able to update it with a programming cable. Also, note that this product comes with the Work mode feature too. With that, you will get a menu lookout and selectable VFO. 

The device is powered using a 1800mAh battery that will give you around ten hours of battery life. With this, you will be able to use it for short camping trips and such. If you are having trouble figuring out how to work the device then know that it comes with a detailed and easy-to-understand user guide. 

Know that the radio comes with additional types of equipment too. Most notably you will get a belt clip and wrist strap. You will be able to store the radio there so that your hands remain fatigued free for other activities.

Pros

  • Dual-band
  • Vox feature
  • PC programmable
  • Belt clips and wrist straps
  • Work mode

Cons

  • The battery could be better

9. Baofeng BF-888S Two Way Radio

  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 12 x 10 inches
  • Item Weight: 6.2 pounds
  • Band: Dual 

Whether you work in a supermarket, as a security guard, in a construction area, or are planning on going hiking or camping, this radio will help you in all such spaces. If you are thinking of packing that one thing which will ensure your survival in an unknown jungle then take this radio if nothing else.  

You will get 16 channels with this device. Not to mention that you will get a frequency range of 400 to 469.995 MHz. So you will get a wide channel to communicate. As for battery backup, this device comes with a 1500mAh power battery. 

The device comes with 105 CDCSS and 50 CTCSS that will help you maintain confidentiality and secrecy while talking to your teammates. A great additional feature is that the model is equipped with the vox function. With the help of this, you will be able to operate your device using just voice commands. 

Know that this product comes with a voice prompt which will allow you to navigate it better. Note that the device is PC programmable. So you will be able to easily upgrade it this way. Along with all such features, there is another important one that this device comes with. This is the emergency alarm feature. If you are in danger then one push of this button will allow others to know of your location. 

The device comes with a low-voltage alert and battery saving function. If no communication is being carried out through the radio then its battery usage will be lowered. Thanks to this your battery will last longer. Also, it must be mentioned that the product comes with a flashlight as well. This will enable you to see under low light or in the dark.

Pros

  • Vox feature
  • Inbuilt flashlight 
  • Emergency alarm
  • 105 CDCSS and 50 CTCSS
  • Battery saving feature
  • PC programmable

Cons

  • Low battery life

10. BaoFeng UV-82L Two Way Radio-Dual Band 136-174 MHz (VHF) 400-520 MHz (UHF) Amateur (Ham) Portable Two-Way Radio (Black)

  • Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 2.05 x 11.26 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.01 pounds
  • Band: Dual. VHF is 136-174 MHz and UHF is 400-520 MHz. 

This radio supports both VHF and UHF dual bands. On VHF you will get a frequency range of 136-174 MHz whereas on UHF you will get a frequency range of 400 to 520 MHz. The device comes with a large LCD dual display. 

Know that there you will get 128 channel-groups to work with here. To make things easier, the menu-operation mode will be available in the shortcut mode. The device comes with FM radio as well. It can store 25 stations easily too. There is a keypad lock feature as well. This will prevent you from accidentally changing the channel. 

Along with the above features, you will also get a memory-channel scan and VFO feature here. You will find that the device is equipped with an emergency alarm as well. This can save your life in dire situations. Pressing this button once will alert people of your location. As such, it will increase your chances of getting to safety. 

Note that this radio comes with a vox feature as well. Vox will allow you to activate and use the radio with just voice commands. There will be no need to use your hands. As such, it will be useful if your hands are otherwise occupied in some other task.

Pros

  • Vox feature
  • VFO feature
  • Dual bands
  • Emergency alarm
  • Keypad lock

Cons

  • None 

Buying Guide

Baofeng radios are reliable and trustworthy. These radios are cheaper than many other radio brands. But just because the cost is low doesn’t mean that their quality is. Baofeng is used and has been able to maintain its reputation because it has consistently produced high-quality radios at low prices. 

So when buying baofeng radios, it’s not a question of quality, but a preference. So, you need to figure out which kind of radio will be perfect for you. To help you make that decision, here’s a list of the major features you need to consider before buying a baofeng radio: 

1. Band

Make sure that the radio you are getting supports dual bands of VHF and UHF. Moreover, at the very least the VHF frequency range should be 136-174 MHz and for UHF it should be 400-480 MHz. With this, you will get a better range to communicate. Not to emotion the fact that you should get a radio which comes with space for a lot of channels. There should at least be space for more than a hundred programmable channels. 

2. Vox feature

Vox feature means that you will be able to operate the radio without using your hands. You will be able to do this by instead giving voice commands that the radio will receive and carry out. Having a radio which is vox enabled is important. It is a great security feature that will help you during emergencies. 

3. Emergency alarm

Along with the above vox feature, make sure that your radio comes equipped with an emergency alarm as well. To activate the alarm you will have to press the designated button. After that, your location will be sent to your emergency contacts. If you are getting a radio for use during camping, hiking, and such then make sure that the device you are buying comes with this feature. After all, in dire situations, one press of the emergency button might very well save your life. 

4. Battery

If your radio doesn’t come with a good battery backup then no matter how many amazing features it has, it will all go to waste. So ensure that the radio you are buying comes with a battery power pack of 2000+ mAh. With this, you will get a radio that will work for around 20 hours more or less. Know that if you don’t get a radio with a 2000+ mAh battery then get a radio which has at least 1800 mAh. With this, you will get around fifteen or so hours. If your radio comes with battery saving features then the hours will get increased. 

5. Keypad lock

Make sure that the radio you are buying comes with a keypad lock. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want to accidentally change the channel while you are in the middle of having a serious conversation! A keypad lock will prevent exactly such a situation from taking place. Also while you are looking at keypad locks, ensure that the device you are buying comes with a large LCD. It will allow you to know all your radio stats constantly so that you can determine the next steps to take easily.

FAQs

1. What to do is the LCD breaks?

If the LCD of your device cracks then you should take it to the service center. If you don’t know where the service center is then there’s no need to worry. Just call the online customer service and tell them about your issue. They will guide you and give you the assessment of the service center that can solve your issue. 

2. Do you have to buy a programmable cable?

If your radio allows for firmware upgrades through PCs then you will need a programmable cable to get that upgrade done. But before buying one, it’s advised that you check if your radio model comes with one already. If not then you can buy it. 

3. Are baofeng radios waterproof?

Generally, they are not. But some radio models very well could be. If you want to be sure then check the user manual and the online sites where such information is given. Keep in mind that if it’s not explicitly mentioned that radio is waterproof, it’s better to consider that it’s not. 

4. For what period warranty is given?

Warranty is given by baofeng for a year to a year-and-six-months generally. But if you want to be sure then check the warranty period of the radio you have bought or are planning to buy. If your radio breaks within this period then you can get it fixed without paying anything extra for it. 

5. Are knobs better or LCDs?

It truly depends on preference. Some people are comfortable using knobs while others prefer LCDs since all the important information is mentioned there neatly. Choose the one which you like. Although it must be said that knobs are more preferred by visually impaired people. If you are suffering from such a condition or are planning to gift a radio to someone with a similar condition then keep this in mind. 

Conclusion

Overall, baofeng radios are some of the very best in the market. You will find that such radios are very high in quality. Also, note that they come with a lot of features that make the radios attractive for use. But perhaps the best part is that these radios are affordable. You won’t feel like paying for one drained a good chunk of your savings. As such whether it is for use in supermarkets, construction sites, or hiking, baofeng is reliable and won’t easily let you down.